Backup Creator Review: A Timeline History Of Customer Support

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If you have found this article it is most likely because you want someone else's experience with Robert Plank's "Backup Creator 3.0" software. If you are someone, like me, that has many websites and uses WordPress, chances are you are going to need:

  1. Software security to reduce the chances of being hacked, and,
  2. Backup and restore software that automatically backs up at regular intervals so you can quickly and easily restore an earlier copy of that website.

You have heard all the pre-sales marketing talk and that the entry level is too good to say no to, but what about the post-sales support and service that is also critical, especially if you do have numerous clients' websites running under your control?

Remember, for such software  to work there are outside elements it needs to run in harmony with:

  • WordPress upgrades
  • A web-host server,
  • Other WordPress "plugins" like security software that can potentially cause system file conflicts

I am going to give you a timeline history of events that have transpired, and I want you to ask yourself, "Is this acceptable after-sales support and service?"

As a background, I have used various iterations of Backup Creator since 2011, and in July 2016 purchased the top-of-the-line Ultimate version that included lifetime support and upgrades. I had met the software developer, Robert Plank, in 2011 at an internet marketing conference.

For the most part, I was very satisfied with the product. But, you don't judge the character of a person or a business when things go well, but when things aren't working as they should. I will make this as easy to follow as possible, showing images of events as they transpired. I will not say anything negative, just let the audit trail speak for itself. You be the judge by knowing in advance what to expect under Robert Plank's current customer-client support culture.

Before we start!

Maybe I was just the exception, but a quick search on Google and I found a similar story to mine. Take a quick read from this customer five years earlier, taking note of the names, response times and detail of replies given.

Backup Creator Support Timeline

1. David submits a support ticket - automated backups to Amazon S3 not working

2. Support standard reply received 5 days later! David replies the same day.

3. Waiting, waiting, waiting for 15 days. David asks for a reply.

4. 13 days more waiting. Support blames web host blocking Amazon S3 with no explanation why, yet manual backups work fine!

5. David asks for explanation knowing that manual backups not blocked.

6. Support gives their reply. Let's follow up with the web host despite my doubts.

After 6 Weeks Of Exchange...Time Out!

At this stage I was spending much time overseas, and both my virtual assistant and I did weekly manual backups on all the websites. Once my anticipated new clients were coming on board in 2018 the auto-backup functionality would escalate in urgency.

Ask yourself, especially if your technical understanding is limited, "How is it that automatic backups that were working fine then all of them progressively stop working?" The access connections were unchanged. The manual backups could save to Amazon S3. Would you be feeling lost and frustrated with your lifetime support by now?

I decided at this point to track from start to finish this trail of events should this type of support continue into the new year.

4 Months Later...A New Year And New Hope!

Okay, time to look at this again with a fresh mind. So Jason did the same as me and the auto-backup didn't fire off either. He ran another (undisclosed) plugin that also didn't run. Do you think that might have been helpful if I knew what it was and replicate it for myself? And finally, yes, I should contact the web host to eliminate all possibilities before getting back to Jason. Fair enough?

7. David sends a detailed breakdown of subsequent testings with web host input, an example of another plugin that works and potential reasons why Backup Creator not working.

8. Support sends the briefest of replies, "This is being caused because they are blocking s3", that totally omits combined results with web host and findings.

9. David sends results of more testing done, this time not using Amazon S3. No reply received from Jason. What would you have done, knowing that this is the only channel of communication provided? Who would you escalate the problem to when every reply is "they (web host) are blocking S3", even when Amazon S3 was not being used in testing?

Escalate The Issue...But Where To?

Look at the level of detail and specificity of the investigation undertaken. You might be fooled into thinking that this was conducted by the support team, but it was by the client! In fact, the repetitive, short and vague responses are those provided by the support department.

Jason did not address the following:

  1. Testing was done with the web host
  2. Backup Creator didn't work when saving to Dropbox instead
  3. The "Automatic Backup" checkbox remained unchecked after settings saved, and,
  4. The Amazon S3 "permissions" were correctly set at folder level as per out-of-date instructions.

10. David emails Robert Plank with basic summary of support history with hyperlink to online ticket.

11. David has no reply after 5 days! What next? How about Messenger to get his attention.

12. David asks his colleague to message Robert Plank on April 6, 2018.

As mentioned previously, if the support department is where your issues lie, what is the point of messaging them again? Perhaps you may have given up at this point, but I wanted to see if this same customer culture was equally applicable from the top-down or just one individual.

By Wednesday 11th April, how to get Robert's attention! It seems that emails and messages are not read, so I got a same-day response as soon as I posted my March 28 message on his Facebook page. Sorry, but I had tried every path possible to get your attention, Robert!

13. Robert replies to my Messenger message, but he still had not read my concerns (I'm feeling like a number)

14. Support forgets he has asked for this back in step 2!

15. Support tells me to follow their out-of-date instructions

16. David replies and gives very specific diagnostics of what works and what doesn't

17. David discovers another customer review from 5 years earlier (click green button above) and sends video reply. Maybe Jason and Robert will respond to a frustrated client rather than an anonymous one...wishful thinking perhaps.

Judge The Character Of A Business When Things Aren't Working

Jason replies,

Robert Plank replies,

Finally, I liked Backup Creator when it worked. When it stopped working automatically I hated the support culture that you have witnessed for yourself. I will find another product, as there are many out there, but I shall be asking more questions to others about the standard of support provided.

I hope this has helped you make the correct decision whether to purchase Backup Creator or not.

1 Comment

  • David Lee

    Reply Reply 11/08/2018

    As a follow-up to this story…I reviewed several products subsequently.

    My chief frustration in the article was the repeated lack of empathy and practical response to solving the problem.

    Eventually, I opted for Backup Buddy. Initially I was getting some similar problems when attempting auto-backups.

    However, because this software had kept a much more thorough audit log to assist the help desk, in addition to being much more responsive and precise with their diagnosis, I now have all of my websites being backed up automatically. Occasionally there are hiccups that I expect due to the various interacting technologies that are constantly changing. However, 4 months later, I have been more than impressed with the responsiveness and resolution provided by the support team at Backup Buddy.

    Backup Creator refunded me $247 for the whole software+support package. It seems happy for me to just go away so they can go on with “business as usual”.

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