Data Recovery Labs DataRecoveryLabs Service misrepresentation, additional un-refunded charges, fake addresses, no results Cleveland, Ohio - Data Recovery Labs
November 22, 2010, Anonymous
Please do not do business with these people. I should have done better research on this company before sending in my laptop hard drive to them. I had dropped my year old laptop and the hard drive stopped working. I thought I was being smart by going with a company that claimed not to charge any bench fee to assess the drive. Here's what happened. I opened a "case" with them and got a response back almost immediately which listed many addresses to which I could send the drive. I sent in the hard drive FedEx overnight to the Atlanta location. I didn't get a response back to them for a week, so I called to see what was going on. They told me they would need to evaluate it. I was surprised they hadn't even started. After a bunch of calls to see if they had made any progress they claimed they were still "evaluating" the drive 2 and a half weeks later I got an email indicating the data was indeed recoverable and they estimated $1300 in order to recover it. I told them to go ahead. After a bit of research and asking them I found out the delay was due to the mail forwarding of the drive from their fake "virtual office" location to their Ohio location. They told me they would need a donor hard drive to begin recovery and wouldn't proceed until I gave them a credit card to pay for a donor drive or sent one to them. I opted to just pay $100 for the donor drive as that would be about what I would pay for a hard drive in a store and the cost to send it to them. There also was a $200 for a down payment to start the recovery process. They charged $300 on my card and claimed to start the recovery process. I never got a proactive update on the status. I ended up calling 9 times and always spoke to the same 2 people every single time. When I called, they kept giving me the same story with "just a few more days" excuse and would tell me a little higher percentage toward making the drive image which was the first step. This lasted for over 3 weeks and they kept telling me it was taking so long because my hard drive sectors were so damaged. They also couldn't provide any indication of whether or not any data was being recovered while trying to create the "image" of the hard drive. As the laptop was nearly new and I had not had a problem until I dropped it, I highly doubt ANY of the sectors were damaged, but rather that the head of the hard drive was just not functioning. Anyway, I also learned from researching online if you leave a hard drive spinning and trying to read data for such a long time without actually repairing it first, in effect it was just trashing the hard drive and making recovery impossible. After 3 weeks of pestering them for the status, I finally got an email saying recovery wasn't possible and asking if I wanted to scrap the hard drive. I asked to have it sent back to me and I had to call multiple times to make sure that happened. They didn't even send back the original drive parts which is also negligent from my perspective. In the end they held my drive captive for over two and a half months and didn't recover a single byte of data. DataRecoveryLabs.com ripped me off for $300 which I never got refunded, even though on their site's home page it says "NO DATA - NO CHARGE." I also learned a little too late that even though they list 14 facilities on their site, that all but one all are Virtual offices owned by a company called Regus which specializes in mail forwarding and phone answering services. I do not believe that the company has any advanced data recovery equipment, nor technically qualified people to perform real hard drive rebuilding. I asked, but never was given the opportunity to speak with a "technician" or "engineer." I think it is possible that they are even using fake names because when they answer the phone they just say "yeah" or "hello" and do not greet you properly. I would suggest calling 1-866-823-0333 and put in extension 301 to see what I mean.