At the prodding of a buddy of mine over the winter I signed up for an online backup service called Zip Cloud. It’s an online backup service which basically takes a copy of all your files and places them online. If your computer ever crashes you simply download all your files onto a new computer. Pretty novel concept, eh? I’ve been using online backup with Dropbox for quite a few years now.
There are lots of services out there that specialize in online backup. I personally use Dropbox, which isn’t truly an online backup service in the traditional sense but serves my purposes well. I pay $10/mo for 50GB of space and unlimited computers.
Zip Cloud offers “unlimited backup” space for $4.95/mo which sounds great until you actually sign up. The red flag was they tried to squeeze you into yearly billing. So $4.95/mo becomes $60 if you’re not careful, more on this later.
First off, you can pay quite a bit extra per month for “unlimited upload speed”. This is probably the most scammy upsell. The speed of your backup is determined by the the upload speed of your internet connection. For the most part, upload speed is abysmal in the US. You would essentially be paying extra to remove an artificial limit placed on your account by Zip Cloud and still be waiting days for your backup to complete. My guess is support would blame your internet connection after taking the extra money.
Instantaneous backups? Yup, that’s a monthly upsell too. Every reputable service offers instantaneous backups of your files even with the introductory or free plans. What use is a backup that’s days old? Every additional computer to be backed up or sync’ed also incurred another monthly fee.
ZipCloud / My PC Backup is nickel and diming their customers. Generally, I’m okay with the upsells or “freemium” business model. However, scamming people with nonsense upsells is not okay. The ‘unlimited upload speed’ package is what turned me off right away. It’s a pity that you don’t see all this nickel and diming before you sign up.
Once I seen what was going on I went to cancel and here are screen caps of the cancellation process.
Remember that yearly billing squeeze I mentioned earlier? Look the first option of cancellation:
Continuing on with an offer of 20% off:
No, okay how about 50% off?
You really want to leave? Well okay but would you stay with us to the end of your billing period so we can keep your money?