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November 30, 2013

WARNING! MediaFire Cloud Storage - 2 Thumbs Down

WARNING! MediaFire Cloud Storage - 2 Thumbs Down Recently I heard about MediaFire, a cloud storage service. According to their welcome page "With 50GB of free space, you can use MediaFire to backup all your important files—and even your not-so-important ones too."

It's important to note that there is no fine print, no caveat, no details and no other mention of the amount of space given to you when you sign up for MediaFire. 

So let me ask you how much space you BELIEVE you are given when you create an account - 50 GB?

Well if you thought that, you're wrong. You get 10 GB on signup. Yes, you can jump through hoops and earn more free space UP TO 50 GB but contrary to the implied message on their welcome page you do not start with 50 GB

Now I have no problem completing tasks to obtain more free space. What I have a problem with is the sneakiness of the message! Be aboveboard and honest and tell newcomers that they start with 10GB and can earn 40 more.

That was Strike One for me. 

But I started earning my extra GB. I created an avatar for which I was to get 1GB. It never got added to my account. I completed two other "tasks" and earned 4 GB. If I linked my Facebook and Twitter accounts I could earn more. I didn't like the sound of that as there is no need for my Social Media accounts to be linked. That was Strike Two

Then I started reading about some issues with MediaFire - among other issues was one that concerned me -  that private files were sometimes inadvertently shared with strangers. That was Strike Three and at that point I decided to delete my account.

Easier said than done! I could not find any way to delete the account I had opened. I consulted the Help File. The instructions were simple and clearly explained but when I followed them I had no "DELETE MY ACCOUNT" button on the page where it was supposed to be. Finally I wrote to Customer Support for help. 24 hours later I had my answer. Here is what they said:

"The delete button appears after the account has been open for at least 7 days.  Until then, the account cannot be deleted. "

Are they kidding me?? A new customer is held hostage for 7 days and cannot leave the service? Strike Four. I was flabbergasted and very annoyed so I replied that I did not wish to keep my account open for 7 days. I demanded they delete my account for me since I had no way of doing that.

I should note that I also posted on their Facebook page, and tweeted them on their Twitter account with no response.

Five days passed and MediaFire Customer Support had not responded. Strike Five.  I wrote again thanking them for providing me with such terrific material for the negative review I would be writing on my blog. I mentioned the review ould be posted on Twitter, Pinterest, Google + and Facebook. I demanded they delete my account on my behalf.

Within 2 hours I had a response. Interesting that it took a threat of a negative review to elicit any response let alone such a quick one! Strike Six

Their response? Here it is: 

"Unfortunately that is the only way to delete an account. We are not holding any hostage. We are ensuring that you have time to test the services we offer and it is our way to reduce the amount of garbage accounts.

After seven days from when you created your account you will be able to log in and delete it."

On Day 7 I followed instructions in the Help File, found the DELETE MY ACCOUNT button which had magically appeared on my page, and deleted my account. 

On Day 9, using a different browser, I returned to MediaFire and tried my login information. I did this because at this point I do not trust this service. Lo and behold MY ACCOUNT STILL EXISTS! I can see my files, my account name, the fact that I earned more GB and have a total of 14 GB of space etc.

On the Account and Billing Information page, which is where the DELETE MY ACCOUNT button appeared after 7 days of being held hostage, that button is no longer there. 

I will be writing to MediaFire Customer Support again but meantime I urge others to give MediaFire a pass. Use a reliable cloud storage service such as Dropbox which does not use trickery or strongarm tactics to keep its customers. 

And wish me luck in getting my account deleted once and for all.


Debi Ham said...

Yikes! Thanks for the warning, and good luck to you!

nuccia said...

This is insane. Thanks for the head's up - I had wondered about joining but I think I'll pass now!

Jo Allison Henn said...

Thanks for the warning. I've shared it on my Facebook page so my friends don't get caught too.

Michael E. Pollock said...

I had not heard of this outfit, but I am also NOT inclined to use "cloud" storage for a variety of reasons, primary being that my biggest concern is having no power (power goes out with some regularity here due to lines that are above ground, thus subject to damage by high winds (usually from hurricanes, thunderstorms, or nor'easters, though also from tornadoes), ice storms (here in Richmond, VA, we see that with far greater frequency that snow), or traffic accidents, to get on-line to access what I need.

Using both a desktop and laptop with the same configurations, I am rarely without power to access what is on either computer because of both an UPS and power converter that operates off of my auxiliary plug in my car. Going on-line in such situations isn't an appealing option as that means additional devices to be powered, draining my UPS at a more rapid rate or overloading my converter to the point it blows a fuse.

True, I do have spare fuses, but replacing a fuse is a REAL PAIN!

Seems to me we are not just becoming too dependent on technology, but also to quick to buy into "newer" as being the same thing as "better", not to overlook that there are ALWAYS costs for ANYTHING, REGARDLESS OF PRICE, and that INCLUDES "FREE".

The comment from the company about giving customers "enough time" to use the service is interesting in that I RARELY sign up for trials of software, for: 1)too often the length of the trial is insufficient, short of my using it the the exclusion of everything else, for me to gauge if the software will perform as promised and I want (if the trial is a minimum of 90 days, we can "talk"); 2)too often the software can require additional third-party add-ons I have made a point to avoid, e.g., Internet Explorer; &, among other things, 3)too often the installation will reset defaults that are more specific to those third-party add-ons than the program itself, with those changed defaults remaining behind after the program itself is uninstalled.

Thus, the fact there is no "fine print" would have been the first, AND ONLY, strike against this company in my book