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I Guess It’s Not My Data…

Posted by susabelle at 6:56 PM on October 30, 2008

So today I got a client’s new website up and running. They had a service that basically built their website for them, which really wasn’t working for them. I ended up changing the whole service.

Before I did, I looked for a way to get all the photos off the old server. They had no FTP, no file manager and no way to get the photos off their servers. I emailed the support asking for a copy of all the pictures. What I got back really knocked my socks off:

Thanks for your message.

Unfortunately we don’t have any more access to your images than you do.

If you don’t have those images still on your own computer, the best way to download them might be to add them to a Photo Album, then view the album and download each image.

Sorry for any inconvenience!

Software Support Technician

Granted, the material on the site can be reproduced, but that means a little more work on my end. I was not too happy to hear someone couldn’t give back the content that is not theirs.

It’s not like this was a Geocities account. The company payed $20 a month to store data on. I can’t believe they just said “no” like that.

I know not everyone wants to know how to build a website. It’s not always the easiest thing to do. I’m just glad the site wasn’t too complex. I would’ve had a field day with their tech.

Instead, I canceled the membership and put the site on a trusted server.

3 Comments

  1. From Peter J at 12:12 am on October 31, 2008

    That’s the problem with outsourcing and the whole ‘cloud computing’ philosophy. Many companies no longer own their own data. It will only get worse if companies build ERP systems on Google or MS or Amazon’s cloud. I’ve worked on multiple projects where the work was outsourced, the servers were located elsewhere and in the end, somebody else actually owns you data.

    You’re lucky this was a simple website. Imagine working on an ERP system where you have only view access to all the customer, finance, sales, marketing, and so on data. And half the time you can’t even get that access.

    I honestly think people who brag about cloud computing never actually realize how hard it becomes the larger that other system you no longer control gets. When you don’t really control your own data, it’s never a good thing in the long run.

  2. From Jeffrey Powers at 1:45 am on November 3, 2008

    If it would have been that involved I would have made a real conscious effort to get that information. Thank goodness I didn’t have to….

  3. From Brian in Poland at 3:04 am on November 5, 2008

    I don’t understand the outrage. For $20 a month, you can’t expect great support.

    Furthermore, you seem to be bashing them for not designing the site well. All I can think is that they designed it how they designed it, and if they didn’t mislead the purchaser, then they did no wrong.

    I myself have been physically outraged on a few occasions when I bumped up against horrible programming decisions that blocked or extremely frustrated a task for me. But I always directed my rage at the decision maker that purchased the shoddy IT work from lowest bidders, not the IT workers.