Tag Archives: reviews

SugarSync – The Black Cloud

About, well, exactly this time last year I had a look at SugarSync, a competitor in the cloud storage space. They had a deal of 49.99 for 60GB of space for a year. I was reminded of this today when I got a billing receipt for $99.99 for my next year of service. This is the only communication concerning this account for the year other than the general marketing blurbs about their new and improved 2.0 beta. To further place them in the halls of evil, the receipt actually came from my billing service so I have still never been notified by the company. Neither reminder/notice before the transaction, nor even a receipt after. Nothing.

This situation is in direct contrast to DropBox, a company that sent out a nice reminder of my subscription with actual information about what would be happening, when it would happen, and how to easily make any changes as to exactly what would happen. Others such as Apple, and Skype also sent me reminders so it’s really not an unreasonable expectation.

So, I decide to dump SugarSync and proceed to their website. Looking through the options, the answer to the question “how do I cancel my account” is to email them or use the support portal. Clicking the support portal link and selecting email allows me to input the problem. Clicking submit asks me to see if my question is answered by the note “how do I cancel my account” which directs you to the support portal. We will see if they ever get back to me. This is seeming like one of those impossible to escape billing scams I had been lucky enough to avoid so far.

To at least get the account settings right for future, I then try to downgrade my account to the basic free one. This offers a warning that if I consume more space than the maximum I will be charged another $99.99 or whatever they feel like never notifying anyone about when they initiate the secret ninja billing again in 365 days. The question as to why I might be allowed to casually exceed maximum disk space is an incidental imponderable. So, to get the space down below the “limit,” I go to delete things. I had basically used the service to back up my iTunes and never touched it again so there were huge numbers of files and directories. Apparently you can see 20 of those files at a time (which is apparently not adjustable), you can “select all” and “delete” them. Okay, so now the space used is unchanged. This is because the items just went to the “deleted items” folder. Great! Just empty that? No, no, no, no, no. You can see the “deleted items” … 20 files at a time, “select all” and “delete them permanently” after clicking the pop-up asking if you really want to do that. Every click of every page, waiting for reload, and more clicking has given me plenty of time to write this consumer report … and there is plenty more clicking left to do.

Conclusion: Avoid SugarSync like the plague and use DropBox instead. SugarSync does not integrate well with iOS apps I use, and DropBox works with most everything. SugarSync billing practices border on slimy, while DropBox notifies customers in advance of any activity. It’s really not worth it to deal with a company with so little regard for customers when there are others doing it right. It’s a shame because SugarSync does offer some promising features such as the ability to sync specified folders external to a central sync directory without the linking workaround required by DropBox.

[It should be noted that I have no affiliation with either of these companies, but if you feel like checking out DropBox and sign up with this link we’ll both get some permanently free additional space.]

UPDATE: SugarSync support promptly issued a refund, but then stated that they don’t issue any notifications “because you can check on the website.” Great! My opinion has entirely solidified.

An App Shopper Wish List

Apps for iOS abound to an almost insane extent. You want a camera app? Well, here are 150 of them. Per page. Just click next. Figure it out. So, you look at the icons, the star ratings, and read all the reviews. You’ve picked one out and buy it. If you don’t, you have to keep some mental list of which ones you were interested in lest having to do the search all over again. Let’s see, was that Pro Camera, Camera+ Pro Camera Pro+, Camera Plus, or just Camera Pro you liked before?

This was the muddled situation before I came across AppShopper. It’s universal and let’s you look through what’s available and filter it all by paid or free, by device or category, by date or popularity, and by type of update. That would be great if it ended there, but the real value of the app is that last criteria coupled with the “Want it” button. If you are browsing and come upon an app you’d like to consider, just click it. You will then have an entry in your Wish List to refer to. You could have just written this down to consider. You are, however, quite unlikely to chart price changes and updates unless you’re gifted with some serious compulsion issues. AppShopper can notify you of these types of changes. Perhaps you might like to get The Professional Chef but find that $49.99 is ridiculous for a glorified cookbook app. This is not the best example, only a personal one, because the only activity for this in AppShopper is Oct 25, ’11 – New App: $49.99. If someday the notification comes in that there has been a price drop, I would certainly reconsider the app. Many apps have a sale for a few days only, and the notifier dutifully reports: Price Drop: 14.99 -> Free. Oh, joy! Of course, the feeling is not so great when you get that notice a while after your own purchase, but thus is life.

I noticed recently that they also have a website with all of this functionality that syncs with your other devices, as was always the case (it also has some features for the Mac App Store), but it also has a utility for Mac and Windows that uploads the names of the apps from your local iTunes folder to your My Apps tab so that you don’t have to do a session of search and mass Own it jabs if you want to know what you already have. Of course, Apple added the Purchased link in the iTunes store for an unabridged picture, and this is a necessity, but scrolling through years of purchases can be an onerously frustrating task.

AppShopper is quite a necessity for me in my quest to impose some sort of order to the wild app landscape.