Carbonite defends "unlimited" backup claim
By Nicole Kobie
Posted on 3 Aug 2012 at 12:06
Carbonite has been banned from calling its online backup "unlimited", but says it never heard from the advertising watchdog during the investigation.
The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled earlier this week that Carbonite can't use the term in its online marketing, because the firm imposes bandwidth restraints on uploads.
"Although unlimited amounts of data could be uploaded, we noted that if data uploads exceeded 200GB, less bandwidth would be available resulting in slower backup," the ASA said. "Because it did not make this clear, we concluded the ad was likely to mislead."
However, Carbonite didn't get a chance to defend itself. The ASA said Carbonite didn't respond to its requests for information despite making "every effort" to contact the firm. "They failed to respond to any of our correspondence, which is why the adjudication cites their lack of response."
A Carbonite spokeswoman told PC Pro it "didn’t respond to the ASA investigation because we were never made aware of it; we were made aware of their final adjudication only".
Carbonite said its backup was unlimited, and the claim clearly referred to the storage space offered to customers, not bandwidth. "Carbonite’s focus is on the speed with which it restores files to customers who are recovering from a data disaster, versus the speed of the initial backup process," it added.
The watchdog said the ruling stands, but the company can appeal "if they wish" - which Carbonite said it intends to do. "We hope that – with more information on Carbonite’s backup processes – the ASA may reconsider their decision," Carbonite said.
Carbonite has some chance of winning its appeal, even if the ASA includes the bandwidth restriction.
The ASA has ruled several times on "unlimited" claims, saying ISPs can use the term "unlimited" if they manage traffic, but only if it's a "moderate" restriction. They can only use the phrases "totally" or "truly" unlimited if there are no "provider-imposed" restrictions.
According to Carbonite's website, the standard home service "allocates more bandwidth to users doing a typical initial backup of less than 35GB, and less to users after their backup exceeds 200GB" for the initial backup. That restriction applies to fewer than 2% of customers, it said.
Seriously the ASA thinks that backing up unlimited amounts of data isn't unlimited, but all the phone/broadband deals with restricted downloads are unlimited?
By jamesyld on 3 Aug 2012
Carbonite is great, but....
.... if you want to move your data from say a C: drive to a D: drive because you want to install an SSD, you can't unless you want to back up all the data again. I have over 100K files / 300 GB of data, so that is just not practical.
Backup speeds for me are still reasonable (trying to keep on topic).
By Jules75 on 3 Aug 2012
Have you checked your spam folder for the ASA emails? Failing that, the the (unlimited) backup of your spam folder?
By JohnAHind on 3 Aug 2012
what ever happened to innocent until proven guilty then?
By curiousclive on 3 Aug 2012
An email or postal letter can be verified by requesting the recipient to sign for its reception.
It is up to the recipient to ensure that they are able to receive their mail and respond to it.
Some companies refuse to acknowledge correspondence or answer telephone calls, but so long as the sender has tried all reasonable ways to communicate, previous law cases state that is reasonable.
Another noteworthy point is "Fixed means Fixed" Which? tm 16 July 2012: Where price increases have been made to users during their "Fixed" contracts.
A contracted company (and contractee also) should do what is written on the contract.
By lenmontieth on 4 Aug 2012
A bit stupid or what?
In quoting the Carbonite case as Prima facie example, I would suggest that the download and upload of all the phone/broadband deals are indeed, LIMITED BY THEIR BANDWIDTH and therefore do not comply with Service Providers advertisement "UNLIMITED" statements.
By lenmontieth on 4 Aug 2012
- Flickr redesign: is it enough to tempt photographers back?
- Hands on with the new Google Maps
- Nokia Lumia 925 review: first look
- Why I won't subscribe to Creative Cloud
- GoPro camera strapped to a remote-control helicopter: the ultimate boy's toy
- Acer Iconia A1 review: first look
- Acer Aspire P3 review: first look
- Acer Aspire R7 review: first look
- How we produce the PC Pro podcast
- Google Now draining iPhone battery