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Mozy customers balk at cloud backup price increase

When EMC’s Mozy told customers this week it was raising prices on its home cloud backup service, company execs said the hike for most customers would be $1 per month. That would come to $5.99 for 50 GB of online backup.

Well, scores of angry MozyHome customers say 50 GB won’t come close to cutting it for them. The support forum on Mozy’s web site has more than 50 pages of posts from disgruntled customers who claim their costs would rise drastically under the new plan, calculating they would have to pay up to thousands of dollars a year to continue with Mozy. Many customers who have posted on the Mozy site said they have discontinued the service, with others threatening to do so.

Mozy reps said the price increase is necessary because customers are storing more photos and videos online, and backing up multiple computers.

Instead of charging $4.99 for unlimited backup, Mozy’s new entry level pricing is $5.99 for 50 GB on one machine. Mozy suggested most of it customers would find that plan satisfactory. Customers who need more online storage must pay $9.99/month for 125 GB on up to three devices, plus $2/month for each additional device and $2/month for each additional 20 GB of storage.

The new price goes into effect immediately for new customers. Existing customers can keep the unlimited pricing until the end of their current contracts.

Mozy CMO Russ Stockdale said the company hasn’t changed pricing for its MozyPro (business) service, because its customers store mostly business files and not photos and videos.

“On the consumer side, pressure’s been there because of large files,” he said. “We feel like this is something the industry has to come to terms with.”

He said competitors and other cloud backup providers have size limits on files they will back up, or throttle bandwidth to keep prices down. “We’ve concluded those aren’t the right was to do it,” he said. “We provide the same quality of service across all file types and storage allocations.”

Stockdale also said Mozy surveyed customers before making the price increase and got the impression they thought the hike was fair.

Many customers obviously do not think so. Here’s a sampling of comments from the Mozy forum:

“I almost laughed when I got the email about the new plans from Mozy. Anyone that knows enough about computers to back up their files remotely has way more than 50gb worth of stuff worth backing up.
I understand that, in any field, unlimited plans eventually go away. But usually companies do so by replacing them with a capped plan that’s still virtually unlimited for most users. We’ve seen this with cell phone carriers and ISPs capping their unlimited plans at heights that only effect the top 0.01% of users.

But here, going from unlimited storage to 50gb of storage in a time when you can’t even buy a 50gb hard drive anymore because it’s so small? That’s a ballsy move.

Going from unlimited to 50gb would have been a fair move 10 years ago. Now, not so much.”

“Someone else made a great point earlier in this thread that it is sad that my iPod can backup more than 50gb! If the folks at Mozy think 50gb of data is a reasonable “average user” threshold to set their baseline, they must still be living in 2003.”

“I thought Mozy was great, but I have over 600GB backed up on them, that’s over a $1,200 a year they want for that with the new pricing plans. I was debating between cloud storage and building my own server … that decision is a lot easier now. I can build a server at a relative’s house and FTP backup and still save money, or I could just run it from my house with a UPS in my detached garage for safety if I was that paranoid. … For $200, I could get 2tb backup with a dock, that’s a lot faster than Mozy and no constant resource drain.”

“This new pricing structure is ridiculous! I currently have 275 gigs backed up and this will jump my monthly fee from $4.5 to $30!! I can buy a small fireproof safe and a good external for that kind of money. I understand that things have changed since you started, but gradual changes or a better pricing structure might have worked better. Hitting loyal customers with a huge increase is just going to drive them away to other alternatives.

Only 50GB?! Seriously – only casual computer users only have 50GB of files and media, and those type of users aren’t savvy enough to even think to backup their files.”

“… With this new plan my fee would increase from $210 for 2 pc’s for 2 years to $1680. No way Mozy. My need for storage increase with 100-200 GB per year so if I renewed now the next renewal would run up to a staggering $2500! No way is that going to happen.

So my plan is to buy two external 2 TB hd’s and use them for offsite storage at my workplace. I will backup to one and the other will be offsite and once a month I will switch them. And just to clarify my online backup is NOT my only backup it is just a convenient offsite backup.

And for the people that are considering a competitor please remember that if you have more than 200 GB then your upload speed will be reduced to only 100 kbit/s. So for me they are not really an option. It took long enough to complete the initial backup here on mozy with a 2 mbit/s upload line.”

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