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 Post subject: Business Strategy.. $0 fees if nothing recovered.
PostPosted: June 15th, 2024, 23:17 
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How do these companies earn some money? Just can’t wrap my head around their strategy. Anyone care to elaborate?


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 Post subject: Re: Business Strategy.. $0 fees if nothing recovered.
PostPosted: June 20th, 2024, 4:02 
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Location: Poland
This is a very interesting issue.

Until 2021, we also had free diagnostics in the event of resignation or inability to recover data.

For several years, diagnostics in our company has been an independent amount, payable in the event of resignation, inability to recover data or acceptance of the final results. This amount is payable before work begins.

Why did we introduce paid diagnostics?
First of all, to put it bluntly, it perfectly filters the potential customer.
If someone is not willing to pay the amount to spend the time to determine the problem, they will not pay to solve it.
There is also a fee for an examination at the dentist, during which it is determined how many holes you have in your teeth and which need to be pulled out.

Second, it covers some of the work necessary to determine whether you can get your job back.
In virtually every case, this requires at least partial repair of the device, which consumes time and resources.
To open a drive and say it's impossible requires gloves, tools, electricity, and a technician's time to check it.

Thirdly, paid diagnostics to some extent force us to prepare the case much more carefully, because we simply charge money for it and the client focuses more on his problem.
Without paid diagnostics, many users "forgot" about their case or ignored it and avoided contact.


It is possible that the free diagnostics were or are the result of receiving simple orders.
Unfortunately, manufacturers introducing new technologies significantly complicate the repair of devices, and in the past the term "software damage/mechanical damage" more often had a zero/one character.
An example are WD SMR drives, where a large number of orders we receive are related to the earlier replacement of the head, and in which the initial problem was the software...

Flash devices present the same challenge.
To determine recoverability, an image must be captured, which – again – consumes time and resources.


To sum up:
We adhere to the principle that if a customer does not pay for a given service, he or she pays elsewhere. Sometimes money, sometimes lack of knowledge, skills or inability to provide the service elsewhere.
Have we lost customers because of this? Yes.
Does this make us feel worse/better? No.
We do not judge companies offering free services, it is possible that they benefit from this type of work, but we do not.

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 Post subject: Re: Business Strategy.. $0 fees if nothing recovered.
PostPosted: June 20th, 2024, 9:01 
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interesting subject i totally agree with @lukas we also have started paid Diagnosis just to filter Qualified Clients.

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 Post subject: Re: Business Strategy.. $0 fees if nothing recovered.
PostPosted: June 20th, 2024, 14:47 
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Diagnostic fees are a potential source of scam income. For example, a DR company may know that it is incapable of recovering a helium drive with a mechanical fault, but they may still accept the drive just so they can earn money from a diagnosis. And how many companies provide a genuine diagnosis, anyway? Most seem to resort to email templates, which then begs the question, what did the client pay for?

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 Post subject: Re: Business Strategy.. $0 fees if nothing recovered.
PostPosted: June 20th, 2024, 16:08 
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See what Ontrack charges for an evaluation:

https://forum.hddguru.com/viewtopic.php?p=197215#p197215

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 Post subject: Re: Business Strategy.. $0 fees if nothing recovered.
PostPosted: June 20th, 2024, 16:11 
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Joined: October 3rd, 2005, 0:40
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you talking bs...
How does the eval fee make an income??? we would be dead 1000 times
It only pays off some of our efforts so that the risk of failure with a previously screwed drive doesn't put the entire load on those who do the WORK, but the client bears some of the burden as well.
this hurts. Honestly.

pepe

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 Post subject: Re: Business Strategy.. $0 fees if nothing recovered.
PostPosted: June 20th, 2024, 16:34 
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pepe wrote:
you talking bs...
How does the eval fee make an income??? we would be dead 1000 times
It only pays off some of our efforts so that the risk of failure with a previously screwed drive doesn't put the entire load on those who do the WORK, but the client bears some of the burden as well.
this hurts. Honestly.

pepe

The client needs to be able to screen out those companies who can't do the work. Likewise, the DR company needs to screen out those clients who are just tyre kickers. Remember, the client doesn't know you from Adam.

For example, why would a client send his helium drive to Ontrack (in 2014) and pay Ontrack AU$1400 just to find out that they can't handle mechanical faults in these HDDs?

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 Post subject: Re: Business Strategy.. $0 fees if nothing recovered.
PostPosted: June 20th, 2024, 17:04 
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Joined: October 3rd, 2005, 0:40
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doh, we never ask 1400 for eval, that's obviously stupid, you should be able to see the difference between Ontrack and the like vs us.
This should not be, in any circumstances, set as a standard.
There are bad practices in every area of life, it is not very nice to put all the blame on the whole segment.

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 Post subject: Re: Business Strategy.. $0 fees if nothing recovered.
PostPosted: June 20th, 2024, 17:13 
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pepe wrote:
doh, we never ask 1400 for eval, that's obviously stupid, you should be able to see the difference between Ontrack and the like vs us.
This should not be, in any circumstances, set as a standard.
There are bad practices in every area of life, it is not very nice to put all the blame on the whole segment.

From the client's perspective, Ontrack is the player with the biggest reputation. The rest of you are mere mortals. But if you want to frame it another way, why would a client be expected to pay $100, or $50, or even $1 (plus shipping charges), if the company cannot do the work? The client's time is valuable, too.

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 Post subject: Re: Business Strategy.. $0 fees if nothing recovered.
PostPosted: June 20th, 2024, 17:26 
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you are talking about the extreme. We usually can do the job and if not, we still worked on it a lot and tried our best. and remember, the sum we ask, when the thing is really screwed (not for the virgin cases), does not cover our time most of the times. Ontrack is not on this forum, so let's just leave them alone to do their business and talk about what we can do.

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 Post subject: Re: Business Strategy.. $0 fees if nothing recovered.
PostPosted: June 20th, 2024, 17:35 
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To me, free quotes should be an expected cost of doing business, and I say this as someone who was in business for himself. Admittedly it was in a different field, but I once quoted on a job in a factory in a different country, and I paid for my airfare to get there (I got the job).

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 Post subject: Re: Business Strategy.. $0 fees if nothing recovered.
PostPosted: June 20th, 2024, 19:55 
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Joined: October 3rd, 2005, 0:40
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Location: Hungary
normally we quote free. Eval fee occurs on 2 conditions:
- urgency
- tampered device

consider what added complexity can occur if a few fellows already went thru the drive... Sorry, we won't do that free.
Some fee also occurs if the drive is in bad condition and it is possible we cannot reach a decent success rate. Lot of time spent and parts used. Both costs money. This is where no-data-no-fee fails. Intelligent client understands that.
As to your job parabole: you got the job, you were sure you will be paid and you knew you will have to go there and set your demands accordingly.
DR is not like building a house. There are quite some unseen params. Oh well, and when someone wants to have his/her house built, he can be sure that any excessive expense occurs (and it always does) it will be charged on him/her, no builder will pay it. We, on the other hand, never surcharged anybody even if his suckin job took three times longer than it was expected and quoted.

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 Post subject: Re: Business Strategy.. $0 fees if nothing recovered.
PostPosted: June 21st, 2024, 10:46 
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I think it's important to warn the client about potential complications before starting any work.

It is one thing if someone receives a helium disk and immediately accepts this type of order, knowing about the potential inability to work and charging the user for "analysis", but it is another thing if he warns the client about why this is happening and what may not happen succeed, and the Client consciously accepts the impossibility of success and the risk of incurring the costs of the work that must be performed.

We ourselves are a perfect example of this when we recive the first helium drive after a fall, which turned out to have blocked heads on the surface and damaged the motor bearing.
The user was informed before leaving the disk about what problems we may encounter, and that at the moment mechanical damage to these type drives is mostly incurable.
Only after checking the extent of the damage can a further action plan be presented and an attempt to evaluate the case be made.
Now tell us - in this situation, was it justified to cover the costs of our work, even though the client resigned after receiving the analysis results?

Some helium drives had bad sectors or were unable to write data, causing problems.
Why should we assume that it is impossible to recover data from such a device and not get a job?

It's all a matter of approach.
Consultations and presenting the complexity of the problem and providing the necessary knowledge to non-technical users are currently free of charge and this is unlikely to change.
If the customer decides not to pay for the diagnostics, he does not leave the device with us and can go somewhere where he will not pay for the inspection.
We don't blame anyone for this.

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 Post subject: Re: Business Strategy.. $0 fees if nothing recovered.
PostPosted: June 21st, 2024, 12:26 
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There are many pro and cons for both bussines models.
I don't charge just for checking unless the drive was opened before. I think that it is the best aproach for a client. Not for me. To just take his side. And no one will ever say that i took money for nothing. Did i loose donors and didn't get any money? Yes, it happened more than once. My business model is made the way that i have good cost management so i can afford this approach. Did it hurt when i get 0$ for a case i spent some time recovering? Shure. It hurt bad. It's good to let it go, let the client resign and go away.

I don't think that my approach is the best. It's not the safest way when i take all the risk. Everyone is diffferent, have different approach, costs, needs etc. Is our time worth to be paid for? Shure. Do we need to pay taxes? Oh yes.
if someone cares for his time, has lots of cases, thinks it's all about the money or any other reason, got to pay a lot for rent and other stuff - shure, charge for it. It's not something bad untill, as mentioned before, client pays for cases that from the start are unrecoverable - like Android after factory reset. Had many calls where someone told me that other lab wanted a lot of money just to check. We all know that it is undoable. I love what i do so money is just a bonus for what i would do anyway.

So, until your intentions are good - go for it and charge for your time.

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 Post subject: Re: Business Strategy.. $0 fees if nothing recovered.
PostPosted: June 21st, 2024, 14:52 
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I think a difference need to be drawn between a rough quote for pricing and an evaluation based on an examination when you have the device in hand.

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 Post subject: Re: Business Strategy.. $0 fees if nothing recovered.
PostPosted: July 9th, 2024, 8:15 
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Location: Manchester, UK
My business still works on a genuine 'no-recovery no-fee' policy and covers the cost of donor parts on disks up to and including 5TB which have not been previously opened. As storage devices have become more complicated and time-consuming to work on this business model becomes harder to justify. Not to mention the frustration of fully recovering a device and then a customer 'disappearing' when an invoice is raised. Fortunately, that happens only occasionally.

However, I feel that it is still necessary predominantly because, "the scammers keep scamming." My business starts its nineteenth year of trade this summer and if there's one thing that hasn't changed over the years it's the scams and poor business practices of certain DR companies.

@fzabkar "For example, a DR company may know that it is incapable of recovering a helium drive with a mechanical fault, but they may still accept the drive just so they can earn money from a diagnosis ." Indeed - a couple of months ago I inspected a helium filled 18TB HDD which had been to a well known UK data recovery company, that had charged £2500 upfront non-refundable for the recovery attempt. Needless to say the data was not recoverable. Worst of all, the disk had a mechanical failure (motor seized) and they had not even bothered to open the disk to at least give the impression the disk had been worked on! Just took the money from the customer desperate for their data. Disgraceful.

John

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