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On Backupify killing their free backup service & online services’ bait and and switch tactics

Long ago when Backupify said they were going to offer their service for free, I knew it was too good to be true and weren’t going to last long. Fast forward today, they mention they’re going to not only kill their free twitter backup service, but also wipe out data of their existing free users.

Dear Customer,

We are writing to let you know that we are discontinuing the current TweetBackup service.

Your TweetBackup account will continue to back up for the next 30 days, until June 13th. Access to the service, and your data, will be disabled on June 28th. You will have the full 45 days to export any data. Please visit our Tweetbackup service shutdown FAQs answers to common questions, or you can also contact support directly with your questions.

Yeah, let me just quote from their blog when they announced their free service:

If you sign up during this time period, you get unlimited storage, for free. You get an account that is not a free trial, not free for a limited time, free forever.

Free forever, eh? Right. This is what annoys the fuck out of me. Why in the world do you promise shit you you can’t keep? Why the fuck do you have to sugarcoat and provide false promises? All in the name of “gaining traction”.

These services are driving me up the wall with their bait and switch tactics. Bait users with their free tactics, gain “traction” and then switch over to paid service or sell out to big cos (“yay, exit!!!!11”) and then dump users, early adopters and others who promoted their services for free, leaving them in the lurch.

STOP. FUCKING. DOING THIS. Argh. I’ve lost count the number of times and the time I’ve had to spend in moving shit out of the services.

Don’t have a business model? Don’t launch. Don’t assume giving things for free will work out. It fucking won’t. Unless you’ve bazillions in reserve.

2 Comments

  1. Sathya – I can feel your frustration. You may have noticed that Backupify have recommended our product, SocialSafe, for their current users. Two things I would highlight for you. Firstly our business model is to charge you (albeit only $7 per year) after a 2 month free period so we will be around. Secondly, just in case we’re not (hopefully that won’t happen, but just in case) we have a different philosophy – we provide an application for you to get your own data from the social networks, and to interact with that data – it is all stored on your computer and you can ALWAYS export that data to csv format (whether you are a paid customer or not) so you are not beholden to us in the long run if you don’t want to continue with our service. We are giving a six month free version for all Backupify customers – just go to http://services.socialsafe.net/backupify/

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