It's not often these days that you can come across a company which fails in so many ways that it's almost unbelievable they are operational, however in the past 3 weeks I have come across just a company that I think has failed on so many aspects that it's impossible not to warn other people about them.
So the company in question is Livedrive and it is a cloud storage company create by the same founder as Fasthosts. I've head great things about Fasthosts, so I was expecting good things from Livedrive, but unfortunately almost from the get go there were severe issues.
You see, I'm currently testing out which cloud storage system can act as a true file store for 100% true cloud computing. In my tests, I have come across a lot of solutions, from Dropbox, SugarSync, Gladinet and Livedrive. The problem was that to really get true cloud computing, where your original file starts from the cloud, there are many things you need to consider.
For anyone working in extended remote teams, you'll know what I mean when I say that you need full Windows Explorer type controls, permissions and functionality. To have a truly cloud based storage device act as if it was a drive on your computer, you need all these things and you need stability, reliability and speed.
Unfortunately in all our tests, not one single platform could achieve this. So for anyone reading, there is a massive opportunity right now to develop something that fills this gap.
The thing I want to highlight in this particular post is DO NOT EVER USE LIVEDRIVE.
Livedrive fails on both service, support and technical. The only thing they might be good as is sales, but that is subject to opinion. They are good at sales because they can sell you all the features and benefits of their system, even though over 60% of it does not work as intended or fails completely.
This means they lie to you during the sales process!
Ok, I so swamped with issues I don't know where to begin.
Let's start with support. Zero attention to their customers is where their starting position is. No telephone support, email only support and they don't even respond to email support via their support website. In fact the only way I got a response was calling their SALES line, pretending to need sales, and then telling them I'm a customer and I need some mission critical issues solving right now.
Only then did they respond, but they did not help, they just asked for logs. I'm guessing it'll take them a few months to get round to it. The problems on their support highlight a critical factor if you are running a business. No matter how good your products are, or your services, if your customer support is crap, it will be the worst marketing for your company you could do.
Technical issues are abound with the FTP system, their desktop client and also their web interface. In fact, every part of their system seemed to have serious flaws. Here's a few tech issues I've encountered:
- unstable file syncing
- unreliable file copying, you can never be sure that you're file hasn't been corrupted by the transfer
- desktop client software issues with file integrity
- unable to specify an upper limit on cache size
- ftp unable to support more than a handful of connections, and then when you do, you get locked out
- client software indicates potential for multiple connections to speed up downloading, however only 1 download at a time ever happens
- using files from the Pseudo mounted drive will slow your applications down to hanging sometimes
- folders will often look empty when you enter them
the list goes on.
This is a warning, avoid LIVEDRIVE at all costs. The pain is not worth the promise, so far I think I've lost 3 solid weeks of my life dealing with the aftermath of using them.