back to article LiveDrive drive by: Backup biz's price hikes will kill us, say resellers

Resellers and customers of web backup biz LiveDrive are digesting its recent sweeping price changes with varying degrees of frustration. Some say they’ll quit the service and others are seeking legal advice. As revealed last week, UK-based LiveDrive reseller Monster Cloud, which itself wholesales the online storage services to …

  1. Ragarath

    The Cloud! - Use at your own risk!

    Not much more to say but be aware of what your storing and where and how it can be held against you.

    I assume with such sweeping changes the contract becomes null and void, let's hope there is a clause to extract your data.

    1. deepee

      Re: The Cloud! - Use at your own risk!

      I have setup a forum with a Livedrive board

      http://pubchat.co.uk/index.php?board=1.0

      Feel free to join in so we can debate the Livedrive situation...

  2. Steve K Silver badge

    LiveDrive

    I have used LiveDrive for years (as part of a more diverse personal backup strategy) and renewed last month for approx. £50 (£4/month-ish). I don't think I would use them for business back-up though as their support and SLA are at the cheap end of things (fair enough for what I pay them....)

    I haven't had any notice of changes from them, and the charges look the same on their website.

    Giving the benefit of the doubt, I wonder if this is because of problems that they have had with resellers overselling the service in some cases (rather than a land-grab by LiveDrive)? It looks like resellers get 5TB initially to pool over their user base, so if resellers are selling that as "unlimited" then maybe that's where the charging problem has come from.

    It is pretty tough on resellers if a huge price increase has been imposed on them, but I imagine that contractually there will be get-outs (for the reseller) since they would have no control over their upstream provider (in this case LiveDrive) pulling the plug/going bust/increasing charges in a way that does not suit their reselling model etc.

    It's also tough on the end-users too, but - as long as there is notice and some kind of pro-rata refund available - you can at least get your data back (may take a while if you have several TB stored.....) and move elsewhere before the new charges kick in. As others have said - you should not have something like this as your sole backup target.

    Steve

  3. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

    Livedrive are a dishonest bunch - wouldn't now recommend at all

    We are have been resellers for about three years now and have had nothing but trouble. Apart from anything else, their "support force one" support department are the most useless bunch of people I've ever had to deal with. Not their fault, it's clearly management. There's absolutely NO phone contact at all, which is par for the course these days.

    We sell both backups and dropbox-style work folders to businesses. The model is that for around £40 a month we can sell unlimited backup accounts, and each backup account can in theory save unlimited backups. The price rise information is sketchy at best. All I know is that the backups won't be unlimited - we will have to pay £20 per GB per month over 5GB if you add up all our resold accounts together. But the other restrictions, like on a business account that might be costing £1000 a year for 20-odd users to have shared team folders, and backup all up to a limit of 1TB, I've just heard today won't include backup any more!

    Onto more technical stuff. Livedrive offers one feature that as far as I can see, is not offered by Dropbox, Box, Google Drive etc. which is that you can mark certain files and folders as being "in cloud" only but the difference is that the files still show as a "stub" with a .ld extension, and double-clicking on one of these activates an automatic download from the livedrive cloud service, or a local computer is LAN sync is on.

    This would be great if it wasn't for almost every customer we have having sync problems. Files that say they're not accessible because they're "not uploaded yet", for example. Or instances where files are "in cloud" and just won't download - they just sit there and say "downloading". Or people complaining that they've edited a file and none of their colleagues can see the latest version. Sometimes we see hundreds of files that show as "haven't been uploaded yet" on the livedrive website and we cannot locate where they should have come from.

    Livedrive do clever deduping, so if anyone anywhere (even other clients not known to us) has uploaded a file, upload will be instant. This can go wrong too: in one instance, several hundred files wouldn't upload because it thought they'd already been uploaded. Livedrive support could have helped, and they ended up telling us that the only way to upload them was to make one small change to EACH FILE. When I told Livedrive support that working 8-hour shifts, it would take 6 months to do this for all the files we have found, they said that yes they know it's a long process but that's the only way!

    When things go wrong, we often have to do an "integrity check" which takes ages and doesn't always work.

    And onto the backup side of things. On paper, backups seems great - any changed file is backed up on an hourly schedule. And the last 30 versions of any file are accessible, and kept. Deleted files are accessible too. The same applies to files in the actual briefcase/teamfolder.

    So for an individual file, restoring it to any version is easy. Just pick the file, pick the version by date, and bingo!

    But imagine a scenario where a crypto-style virus as encrypted half your files. What then? Livedrive told us at once point that if this happens, they should be able to help restore all files to a particular date and time, and then let us download them. But when it actually happened to one of our customers, they said it would not be possible. The only way to restore all files back to before a particular date was to go in one by one, to their website, and pick the right version file, and restore it. When I explained that there were over 100,000 files, they just said that was the only way!!!

    In fact, the last time we saw a virus do this kind of damage, the virus had renamed the files first, and the version information was NOT stored at all in livedrive.

    The support we get is frankly shite, they answer with stock answers like "reinstall it" and never give us the help we need.

    We are gradually moving over our customers to dropbox where possible.

    Perhaps we should set up a facebook group or even set up a domain, I'll pay for it even, where we can maybe get together with other livedrive users and won't have our comments deleted!

    annoyedwithlivedrive.co.uk

    livedriveareshit.co.uk

    livedriveymclivdriveface.co.uk?

    1. Steve K Silver badge

      Re: Livedrive are a dishonest bunch - wouldn't now recommend at all

      As a current LiveDrive customer - can I ask whether Dropbox does deduplication and lets you do file versioning?

      I have added Azure Blob storage too as a backup target for my QNAP NAS recently (approx. £5/month for 350GB) which gives availability options too (at a higher price) - pleased with it so far.

      Thanks

      Steve

      1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

        Re: Livedrive are a dishonest bunch - wouldn't now recommend at all

        Yes, dropbox does work with deduplication, and also it works with a sliding window protocol so if a large file is changed, it only has to work out the differences and upload those (think Outlook.pst) - though that wouldn't work with zip files and not too sure about video files.

        The other thing that dropbox does is - if one person starts uploading, say a 1GB file, which is going to take an hour to finish, a second user at another site can begin downloading it BEFORE it's finished uploading, thus saving time.

        Plus, dropbox support so far aren't a bunch of annoying workshy tossers

        1. Steve K Silver badge

          Re: Livedrive are a dishonest bunch - wouldn't now recommend at all

          Thanks!

  4. Martin Pittaway

    So you're wanting peace of mind at a reasonable cost

    Apple iCloud. 1Tb of storage just £6.99p per month. Microsoft iDrive is around the same price. And with the bank balances these 2 have I doubt they will be raising the price any time soon.

    1. anthonyhegedus Silver badge

      Re: So you're wanting peace of mind at a reasonable cost

      You can't seriously consider apple icloud or the microsoft thing for backup. They don't have versioning, they're not reliable and the support is poor to say the least. They're not even backup services.

  5. tcolaco

    Business Destroyed

    We are livedrive resellers for 3 years now. We have bean investing loads of money for the last 2 years to improve website, automate everything, employing people, training them, and now we receive this notice !! This is unfair and frustrating..

    LIvedrive have create a reseller business plan and everyone have build there business across that business plan. This was´t just a small increase in the anual price, business model was completely changed, before they offered unlimited accounts with unlimited usage, now there is no unlimited anymore.. we are small reseller with just aprox. 40TB in our reseller account, before the price hike we paid aprox. 1200€ year now we will pay around 500€ per month.

    I know people that have much more storage usage then us and I can perfectly understand there frustration when they receive an email saying that business plan will be changed and will pay every month what he was used to pay yearly.

    This for sure will kill almost all the business.. all the resellers that were working under the older business model will close there business and most likely to avoid bad impression with there costumers will give them directly to livedrive! I don´t want to think this was all planed by livedrive to get millions of clients... Wen this things append our imagination take us to higher level!

    For what I see they build this business model as much companies do.. as telecommunications for example when they offer unlimited phone calls and unlimited sms.. some people use more, others uses less and there is a balance. It seams that didn't append with livedrive resellers. As livedrive offer unlimited storage, all the resellers do exactly the same for there costumers.

    With the unlimited resellers plan means that for 1200€ year I could have 40TB or 400000TB. I can understand this was´t the best business model ever.. One thing is to tell a personal user that they can use as much as they can... other thing is to tell a reseller(business) they can use as much as they want..

    What I was expecting was to livedrive have in consideration there business partners and maintain there accounts and gradually increase the prices or change conditions just to new resellers.. something similar to that. Changes was communicated by email with immediately effect. I think is´t the best way to treat businesses that in much cases are representing there brand.

    I dough a company with this dimension taken this step without having all legally prepared. In there contract briefly they can do everything they want.. increase prices.. close accounts.. much everything.

    Not sure if will be much to do by us besides spread the message about the poor professionalism of livedrive.. besides that what most of people are doing is looking for alternatives.

  6. buzzlightyear

    It seems clear that Livedrive is now forcing its own resellers out of the business

    My costs will go up from £400 to £2,500 maybe more

    Livedrive have no plans to discontinue their £4 a month service with unlimited backup direct to clients putting themselves in direct competition with their own resellers.

    In addition if you have a NAS bolt on as well as paying an additional fee resellers will also have to pay data storage charges at £240 per 1Tb per year whilst Livedrive will offer it at just £29

    Reminds me of Logmein Free

    Invite you in on a cheap deal and when they have built up there business dump you

    You just can't trust an outfit like this

    They will expect reseller clients to jump ship and go direct

  7. alarose323

    The Solution

    If anyone is a reseller and interested, I have completely white labeled LiveDrive with my own site that can run API's based on usage. This allows me to charge customers on my own terms. for example, I can charge per 50 gb and they will be billed when they exceed that amount. I did this seriously for a few years, but It's a tough business so I'm not that into it anymore. I would be willing to discuss terms of giving you the custom coding. Please email me if interested.

  8. hippy1970

    Sleepless nights and DIY backup!!

    Livedrive new exactly what they were doing was going to upset everyone.

    They actually called me to ask if I had received the 'important email'. When I replied, no what's it all about, the voice on the phone became agitated and shifty. The voice then told me they would send the email again and call me tomorrow to check I'd received it.

    It never arrived and I eventually went hunting for an answer on the website.

    I was shocked to see that I was now being billed by the TB each month. My clients had 25TB+ backed up.

    I tried reasoning with them. I even talked about legal action. All they kept saying was, 'it's to strengthen the relationship we have with our resellers.' WTF guys Seriously??

    What could I do? I can't just close the account and leave all my clients in the lurch. It was that bad that I wasn't sleeping at night.

    So I decided there and then to build my own cloud backup server. It's stable, robust and running very well. My clients have so far all been very co-operative as I'm still in the process of migrating all my Livedive (pun intended) clients to the new system. So far I have managed to get the storage, and the monthly fee, down to under 7TB.

    If anyone wants help to build their own system please ask. I'd be happy to help anyone else get out of this mess they created.

    1. new backup

      Re: Sleepless nights and DIY backup!!

      Yes please

    2. deepee

      Re: Sleepless nights and DIY backup!!

      Please can you send me some info.

  9. deepee

    I have written an article about how the Livedrive price hike screwed me completely.

    http://pubchat.co.uk/livedrive-take-dive-screw-resellers/

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