Streamload/MediaMax/LinkUp: Cheats and Offenders on Web

Fraud by Online Storage Company

I am sure, sometimes you would have wondered about backing up your files online. You thought, in case you lost files or delete files from your computer, you could stack it away safely to access it in future. If you did that, your data is in danger as mine has been lost by a online backup and storage Web site. You heard it right, I have LOST all my data due to unscrupulous online practices.

I researched well about all the available online and storage options. Here is a post from Techcrunch’s blog that says: “Streamload is the most aggresive on pricing – offering a full 25 GB free to every user.” Here is another post from Lifehacker going ga-ga about it.

Naturally, I signed up for Streamload that had by then become Mediamax. I backed up all my pdf documents online and kept deleting them from my PC and laptop to avoid the clutter. A BIG mistake in hindsight! :(

A few days back, I try logging into Mediamax to upload more files. Mediamax had now changed to Linkup. I was surprised as I had received no information. I thought perhaps that was fine. But imagine my rude shock, when I read on home page that ONLY accounts for paid users had been moved to the new Web site! For free usage upto 2 GB (compare it with earlier free offering of 25 GB), we needed to signup again for a new account with Linkup. What about all my FILES in Mediamax? LOST!!

Holding my data Hostage for a paid membership from me

I saw Linkup support email ID and wrote to them how could I get my files back. Someone called Colin responded back to me with this:

** Please send your username ASAP if you are willing to pay for an upgrade to have your files transferred over. Our minimum monthly fee is $5.95 USD.***

I could access my files ONLY if I subscribed the paid membership of linkup for $5.95/month! Can anything get more unscrupulous than that?

I wrote back that I was not even notified. I didn’t want any kind of account with cheats like them. I just want my files back. After few rounds of communication, I was arrogantly told that only way to get my files was to upgrade. Period.

About notification: they say they did, but it must have gone into spam. I have saved spam for more than a month, but there is no mail from them. Also, all the previous mails like email notification and changes passwords always arrive in my inbox, why should their email go in spam? They are lying openly.

Ethics at Yahoo

I remember when Yahoo closed down their Yahoo photos, they sent as an email distinctly marked as important. They had provided a link where we had to go permit them for our pictures to be moved to Flickr. Flickr also had paid service, but yahoo never held my pictures hostage for paid membership. Filckr had a deecent option of a free account that I am using till date.

Yahoo had also given us options to move our pictures to other image storage services like Imageshack and Photobucket. They had also provided us with a time period so that we could sort all out pictures and decide which ones to be moved.

Streamload/MediaMax/Linkup should not be allowed to get away with such unethical practices.

Prevent the Fraud

It is not a question of money, $5.95/month, but about ethics. I was not informed. My lawful right to my own data is denied till I pay up. I realise how other MediaMax users must be upgrading to premium service in despair. You backup files online for security. Its that very security that has been unethically challenged. Do these biggies like Techcrunch and Lifehacker realise that they have been unwittingly writing about unscrupulous companies as Streamload/MediaMax/Linkup? Thousands of people must subscribe services after their reviews. Streamload has changed name twice, there has to be something fishy. They attract with 25 GB free storage and then deny it!

Guys, we must prevent others from upgrading to Mediamax/Linkup just because they have been hoodwinked and have no choice. We must spread the word so that others are not caught in this fraud. I am thinking of suing them legally as well over this. Any help on this is appreciated. Consumer rights are important.

Sign this petition against MediaMax. I found that it already existed, created by other victims.

Digg this story here so that other people can know about it. Please add to other social media networking sites you may know of.

Newspaper steals image from a blog

Before I sign off, I must write about another small-time cheating committed by Hindustan Times. They stole a picture from Nita’s blog for their print version of middle piece on edit page. She has written to them and is waiting for their response before writing to the Press Council.

Here is Anshul’s Brainstuck cartoon on the subject.

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98 Responses to “Streamload/MediaMax/LinkUp: Cheats and Offenders on Web”


  1. 1 Amyth June 3, 2008 at 11:16 am

    This is nothing short of cheating.. I hadn’t used MediaMax or any of their service (thankfully!) — but this is downright unethical.

    I’m going to mention it in my next post as well.. And thanks for bringing it out in the open.. we often brush these things under the carpet.. saying.. “after all, it’s online”.. but with such a major part of our day being spent in some form or another fo online activity, people need to be aware of their rights online too!

  2. 2 Shefaly June 3, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Poonam:

    While this is clearly a fraudulent attempt at getting money out of people, I do not put much truck into online back-ups. What is wrong with backing up on one’s own drives at home? If we carry the most important things on a pen drive, it is not so onerous is it?

    See my friend Jason Ball’s experience with Mozy which is not very different.
    http://www.jasonball.com/techbytes/2008/05/mozy-aka-how-not-to-backup-your-files.html

  3. 3 Soham June 3, 2008 at 11:48 am

    Thisis really shocking .. Completely insane .. Cant tolerate such a cheating ..

    I wont be of any help as I m no lawyer but do sue them and send them a legal notice ..

    We all are with you..

  4. 4 Poonam Sharma June 3, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    @Amyth: Thanks, Amit! I need all the help I can use. Judging by enormous number of other users, I am not alone. :(

    @Shefaly: Truth is, I don;t have any removable hard drives. I makedo with 1 GB USB drive. I was gullible enough to trust a online Web site with my data. There were only pdf files: whit papers, books, and other resources. These were what I ahd read but want to keep as reference for future. Harddrives on my laptop and work PC were almost full.

    I went to Jason’s web site and also found a backup review web site in the comments. I found there are more users hoodwinked by this company.

    We can’t let them get away with it because then other Web companies may follow suit.

    @Soham: Unfortunately, I am not the only one. See other acounts here:

    http://flashvideoblog.wordpress.com/2008/01/03/online-storage-and-sharing-%e2%80%93-beware/#comment-11

    http://drmikessteakdinner.com/2008/04/19/mediamax-screws-over-its-clients/

    http://www.backupreview.info/2008/05/12/oppps-mediamax-changing-its-services-to-thelinkupcom/#comment-12916

    Please spread the word so that there are not so many gullible consumers.

  5. 5 Shefaly June 3, 2008 at 12:24 pm

    @ Poonam: One can easily buy 100GB or 120GB USB portable disk for a fairly small sum. If I were you, I would get one even as you sort this mess.

  6. 6 Anshul June 3, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Recently, few websites were down, because servers of some hosting provider were physically robbed from the site. So, one should always have a fault tolerant plan for back ups too. Since, accidents happen some time.

    like I have all my cartoons on my server where I am hosted, same back up on my notebook and its backup on my desktop and as soon as it reaches certain limit, I will make a cd/dvd of it, usually its not advisable to write sensitive data(that you need to keep for a longer term) in Portable drives, coz. they are subject to shocks etc while moving. Even my collection of music is backed up in DVDs. Usually my machinery dies of over-heating every once in a year, so I can’t trust that too.

    Free clients are not really valued, I have observed.

  7. 7 Poonam Sharma June 3, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    @Shefaly, Anshul: True, my folly not to backup my data myself in drives.

    Believe me, I was planning to buy a removable hard drive. But the thing is I can’t let a company go ahead with such fraudulent practice. It encourages others to follow suit. It is infringement on my rights as a consumer. :x

  8. 8 Xylene June 3, 2008 at 1:52 pm

    Poonam, OH ! i had an accoutn with Mediamax where I had uploaded some tutorials etc. I tried accessing it recently and I was not able to login, I thought I forgot my password and stopped trying. :(
    OH !!!!!
    Anyways I do not have any important documents……. I stopped uploading to mediamax, when I came to know that I cannot download above around 10MB file.
    I can upload them, but I cant download it unless I get the premium account. :(

  9. 9 Poonam Sharma June 3, 2008 at 2:03 pm

    @Xylene: Thank God! You did not have any important documents there.

    But be sure to take backup for your files if you uploaded them elsewhere. Any web site, as I have realised, can go MediaMax way.

    The reason I am campaigning against MediaMax is that I don’t want to encourage other Web services to create similar nightmares about us. Why don’t you sign that online petition against MediaMax? The link to petition is in the post.

  10. 10 vimal June 3, 2008 at 2:39 pm

    The petition is signed. I really dont know what to write. There is no use crying over spilt milk now. We are all with you. I will be mentioning about this in my space too very soon.

    Btw, regarding the blog theft, I dont know if I am right or wrong. But a small portion of my post had appeared in indiatimes.com. Check out the last comment of mine–http://vimalsparadise.blogspot.com/2008/05/start-actioncut-bollywood.html

  11. 11 Anshul June 3, 2008 at 3:00 pm

    Did any one of you read their “Terms and Conditions” or “EULA” while signing up ?

    I think that is what keeps them safe from their own malpractices.

  12. 12 Poonam Sharma June 3, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    @Vimal: Thanks for signing the petition.

    It is not because of my data and mediamax I am writing. I am writing because I do not want to encourage more unscrupulous practices by other online companies. It will be good to read about it in your space too. People should know what they are getting into.

    @Anshul: The Linkup support quoted the following terms and conditions:

    “As per the Terms & Conditions of the MediaMax service to which you agreed at account creation, free accounts were trials of the full service. Once the MediaMax service ceased to exist so did all trials of that service.”

    But nowhere in my terms and conditions, I signed that I would not be notified about change and would not be liable to download my own data.

  13. 13 Nita June 3, 2008 at 3:15 pm

    I was shocked to read this. Unscrupulous is the word. However if you want the files back, I think you should pay one installment, copy your files and then stop paying. Is it possible to do that? Also back up everything on CD, 2 CD’s preferably.
    Thanks for mentioning the HT thing Poonam. They have still not replied and today I sent an email to the press council. I wonder if they will reply!

  14. 14 Anshul June 3, 2008 at 3:20 pm

    Anyway, You can also write to techcrunch or lifehacker about it, sometimes they re-review based on user opinion, depending upon the gravity of the situation.

  15. 15 Suda June 3, 2008 at 3:38 pm

    Anshul is correct, its the ELUA and Terms n Conditions which we need to read before trusting anything on internet with sensitive information. They keep loopholes in such a way that they can get away easily.
    Sorry for your loss, and don’t give up on them, keep trying.

  16. 16 ish June 3, 2008 at 4:36 pm

    That’s sad, but not very uncommon. These sort of things are happening everywhere, in different ways. It’s not always data-related but accounts are cancelled without notification many times.

    I would also suggest doing what Nita has said. The internet isn’t a safe place to backup your data if you ask me. The speed at which the WWW is growing, it will get saturated soon enough and then companies would start withdrawing their free accounts without any notifications. And moreover, you might not have an internet connection when you want a particular file and it takes time in downloading them back too. Better would be to save your data on storage media, CD’s/DVD’s etc. I’d actually prefer hard disks. Whenever you buy a new computer and discard the old one, you should always get the hard disk removed and cased to work as a USB-Drive thing. It’ll cost you something like 200 bucks but you’ll have a big storage space. CD’s aren’t very durable and can’t store much data. But then, there are negatives with physical storage too, but you’ve got to take the risk somewhere.

    I didn’t sign the petition, because you’ve got to be a mediamax member to do that, which I’m not. I did however Digg it.

    http://www.adrive.com/ << that’s a site that provides 50 Gigs of free storage. I read about it on someone’s blog but I have no clue what so ever about their policies. And it’s in the Beta stage too but try it out if you wanna. I’d still suggest a Hard Drive though.

  17. 17 Reema June 3, 2008 at 6:31 pm

    Ohh I’m so sorry to hear about ur data loss..I would suffer a heart attack if I were you. I would also suggest store data on dvd. Dont go for external hard drive..Even if u do dont store in it for long periods and dont perform many copy/paste actions at same time..they are also unreliable..Have had bad experience with it. Dvd is best option.

  18. 18 kpowerinfinity June 3, 2008 at 11:08 pm

    Did you send an email of their customer support threatening them?

    One of the reasons I don’t trust startups with very important data — they can go out of business anytime. So, trust Google, Yahoo and Microsoft — they are here to stay. I am usually suspect when it comes to storing important data without knowing what will happen in 5 years.

    For backups, a better option is to mail them to yourself in Gmail/Y!Mail (or use Gdrive), or use Foldershare (from Microsoft). You can also store them all on Amazon s3 — I am sure there would be some backup solutions on top of it. See: http://jeremy.zawodny.com/blog/archives/007641.html

  19. 19 vimal June 3, 2008 at 11:20 pm

    @Poonam:
    Like how some of them have commented, hard disk isnt that reliable. But I guess thats the best option available so far. They are available in different storage capacities and in case you go for one, do not get the unbranded ones. There are a lot of ‘em floating in the market.

    I am somehow not convinced on the whole online storage thing and so havnt tried them yet except for d snaps.

    @ Ish :
    I dont think one needs to be a member of Media max to sign the petition. I wasnt and I got it signed. I even recieved a confirmation email from them which has my petiiton number, etc. So you could still try.

  20. 20 Sakib June 4, 2008 at 12:49 am

    Me also lost my pdf files and some ppt files.

  21. 21 Liju Philip June 4, 2008 at 6:25 am

    Online storage websites and online email sites (gmail, yahoo, hotmail) etc are all free service. Use them, but dont make them the only point of failure. A friend of mine got his yahoo mailbox hacked. Yahoo never bothered to respond to his pleas for help. If you buy the yearly service from them, then only they serve you well.

    A perfect example of “there are no free lunches”

    The point is, no one reads the fine print of their “License agreement”. When you agree to that, you wash away all your rights.

  22. 22 Poonam Sharma June 4, 2008 at 12:14 pm

    @Nita: I thought of that. Of course, data is important. In my case, it was a collection of references, ebooks. I will miss them, but it is not that big catastrophe. They were there in organized way so that I could refer to them in future. I will manage. But thought of paying my hard earned money to cheaters is something I cant digest.

    I too wonder if press council will apply. :(

    @Anshul: I wrote to them and other star bloggers. So far no one has replied except Amit Aggarwal. He has also made a post about it: http://www.labnol.org/internet/tools/can-you-depend-on-online-storage-services-that-are-free/3489/

    @Suda: See my answer to Anshul’s comment above. No terms and conditions say that they will inform me that their services (trial) have ended. That way any one can lynch me. :( Yes, will keep trying. :)

    @Ish: I used to save data on CDs/DVDs. I have lost them because CD/DVD get corrupt. I have an account on ADrive, what do I do if they too go the MediaMax way? That is why I am fighting against it.

    @Reema: yes, data loss is sad. Thankfully, I can manage it. I lost my ebooks and various pdf that were references for my area of work and interest. I guess I will have to now manage about my repository. DVDs get corrupt that is why I dont use them. I lost emails from my last company. That is why I had thought of an online solution.

    @kpowerinfinity: I did write email that I will take legal and media route. But they cheekily responded that have to pay up and pay up early if I want my date. Or they will delete it!

    I will check up these solutions. Thanks for oming by and sharing! I hope you are well soon. :)

    @Vimal: yes, hard drive seems to be only best option available so far :(

    @Sakib: Where did you lose your files? And thanks for writing about it in your blog! :)

    @Liju: True, not to make any services single point. That is why my gmail account doesnt have all.

    About this company, even paid people are not happy. They deleted their files too that were more a year old. The thing is no licence agreement says that when they end their service they will not inform me and not let me access my own data. :( Only cheats do it because they are sure they will get away. :(

  23. 23 Sakib June 4, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Poonam Sharma,

    I also taking backup on mediamax and I checkout and lost my all backup files. Nowadays using Mediafire.com and I have no idea about that company. Hope they will not do that types of work like as mediamax.com.

    However, Mediafire has no premium options but they has unlimited space with unlimited bandwidth. You can upload upto 100 MB and download too.

    Thanks for your comments Yaar ;-)

  24. 24 dinsan June 4, 2008 at 4:14 pm

    sad :(

    what r u going to get that data back anyway ? you dont have it on your comp right ?

  25. 25 Poonam Sharma June 4, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    @Sakib: That precisely is the point what if all storage companies take MediaMax route. God forbid! That is why I am ceaselessly campaigning about it.

    @Dinsan: Don’t think can get data back without paying. No, I don’t have it on my computer.

  26. 26 Amit June 4, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    I have never tried taking backup of files on the internet. I think its too risky and I guess it is, specially after reading your post. :)
    I think the best way(as many of the readers have pointed out) is to have a backup in a portable hard drive and Dvds.
    What are you planning to do now??

  27. 27 Xylene June 4, 2008 at 8:18 pm

    I signed the petition !!

  28. 28 Amit June 4, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    Poonam, sorry to hear about your bad experience. This is not a good business practice by any means and shows a total disregard for customers, and I wish you good luck in resolving this issue.

  29. 29 Jun Hae June 5, 2008 at 10:21 am

    aa, i’m so glad someone is willing to take action against this!
    i was rather tempted to buy the membership just so i can pay the beginning fee,
    get all my files back, transfer them to my flash drive or a more reliable service for the meantime
    and cancel usage of their serivces and my paid membership once and for all with them.
    hopefully i won’t have to go through all this trouble and have to give them money
    they don’t deserve ;T~ petition signed.

    i’ve learned my lesson on trusting on storage sites a little too much -sigh-

  30. 30 Poonam Sharma June 5, 2008 at 10:22 am

    @Amit: Presently, I want do my best to damage the reputation of this company. I am speaking to other people about possibility of legal route. And I can recover the data lass as I said I put up ebooks and whitepapers. It will be a tough task to assemble them again, but I think I can do it.

    @Xylene: Thanks for signing!

    @Amit: Thanks for your wishes!

    @Jun Hae: I am so glad that you took out time to write here. If your files were important, you can signup for a month. Because legal route to stop this company is not yet clear, save your data. We can still keep fighting them.

    I am not fighting for my data but for ethics. And I don’t want another company go this way or life of a Web worker will be hell. :(

    Thank you for signing the petition.

  31. 31 Jun Hae June 5, 2008 at 10:24 am

    services**

    sorry, i had to correct my mini typo there x)~
    anywho, thanks again for the petition. btw, i just checked my entire email account
    which i haven’t check for about a week now and there was no warning email from them at all.
    bunch of little liars they are >;T

  32. 32 Ashish June 5, 2008 at 12:07 pm

    Like others have said, use a portable drive to backup your files. On the internet, I’ve been using Box.net [who offer a gig of free space] and have had no probs. In fact I once put in a file and logged in after some months and all things were still intact. Check them out. :)

  33. 33 vimal June 5, 2008 at 2:15 pm

    Did u get any other possible means to sabotage their reputation? I did mention about this is in my recent post too, but dont know to what level it could help. Did u get any favorable reply from them after that?

    Btw, is it only for me that the entire layout of ur blog has been changed? I mean, the entire left side has come below the post now !!!

  34. 34 Poonam Sharma June 5, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    @Jun Hae: I am convinced they did not notify anyone. Imagine I got to know when I went there to upload more files.

    @Ashish: I know about Box.net but had chosen MediaMax as it gave 25 GB space free. I had about 5 GB data. I am no longer sure what is safe and what is not. :(

    @Vimal: No, still talking to other victims about legal route. No, I have not written to them again yet. And thanks for posting about it. :)

    You internet connection must be slow, sometimes then site is disfigured.

  35. 35 I_hate_pinku June 5, 2008 at 8:30 pm

    @ Poonam
    Does something like this always happen to you? I there a secret love and lost relationship of you with electronic communication device?

    First a mobile phone then lost back up … too bad!

  36. 36 Poonam Sharma June 6, 2008 at 9:49 am

    @I_hate_pinku: No, something like this doesn’t happen to me always. It is recently things are going sort of haywire. But nothing that I can’t manage. :)

    Seems like you are loving mauve. :P

  37. 37 L June 6, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Honestly it’s not Streamload’s fault. Streamload was bought out by Mediamax that wanted to get their greedy hooks on the success Streamoad was. I had a Streamload acct back in the good old days about 8 years ago when you had to find, out of the way, seriously hidden sites that dedicated themselves to hosting files on their streamload accts. Back then, Streamload worked as a great host site and allowed you to store TERABYTES of data online. But I think that was their demise and werent able to handle it anymore so they sold to Mediamax who took something wanting peoples money and didnt expect the sheer shitload of data they were going to host on Power House servers they didnt have.

    Anyway, I digress.

    Mediamax screwed up. They fumbled, lied, and half assed their way into hosting streamload users files and lost majority of them (They surely lost a good deal of mine) on top of that, they were horrible about responding to their blog to the point they disabled comments which started the horrible customer service as that was almost the only way to contact them while they would send out very rare or hardly ever updates for stuff they were going to fix and never did. Their site was crap, their uploader was crap, their service was crap and so they secretly “ran off into the darkness” (And to mention, I never received an email either about this Linkup change, nor did my friend who also started as a S/L member. I agree they’re lying about sending out anything). And here comes Linkup which, suspiciously is setup just like Mediamax as if they gave themselves a face lift in order to distract people from who they really are because so far, I havent seen anything amazing about them yet. And I am STILL waiting for them to upload a good hell of an amount of my files into my acct because its nowhere close to what my file size was.

    Now, the downside to this for users, such as myself who started with streamload and have hosted YEARS of files there:

    If people, such as yourself Poonam, petition against Linkup which is mediamax which was streamload and it gets to the point that Linkup closes down suddenly and they dont have anyone to pick up their mess, then ALL OF US will lose our files because they will shut down and disappear and there will be no way for us to get our files especially those of us who it would take months to download and back up data on DVDs. So please take that into account when you make these types of posts. Also, I am seeing a couple of comments that are saying “try this site try that site” but no one is saying they checked it out and looked for reviews about what kind of site they are, etc before signing up, then thats sometimes where the mistake starts.

    Know the history of a site before you join and trust your files with it.

  38. 38 Poonam Sharma June 6, 2008 at 2:00 pm

    @L: I realise you are as harassed customer as me. You have been a long time customer, have trusted the company with huge load of data. I completely understand how you feel about it.

    I have been through the harrowing experience myself where all that matters is your concern about getting your deed done, all thoughts of consumer rights walk out of the window. I too had plenty of data on MediaMax and lost it completely. And worse part is, there are thousands like me. It is not a pretty story either.

    But tell you what, writing about MediaMax/Linkup and signing petitions against them may not get them closed down.

    The real purpose of my writing of being duped by them is to warn other people not get harassed like you or me. Purpose is to bring bad name to the online company so that no other customer touches it. It is necessary because what would you do if every other Web service went MediaMax way. It will make lives hell for all web workers and internet users.

    If Linkup really wants to be in business, they will sit up and take notice of bad publicity and get their act together. And if Linkup has to close down or they don’t want to clean up mess, they will not, no matter what you do.

    I really do hope you get your data back. My best wishes!

    If not, be prepared to fight back. Don’t rule out legal measures if nothing else works out.

  39. 39 i_HATE_PINKU June 6, 2008 at 2:43 pm

    @pOONAM

    i HAVE TURNED COLOUR BLIND. to me it now seems greyish purple :P

  40. 40 Poonam Sharma June 6, 2008 at 2:47 pm

    @i_HATE_PINKU: There is no such thing as greyish purple. :P It is still mauve, though lighter. :)

  41. 41 Harsha June 7, 2008 at 9:26 pm

    Having online storage with third party and storing all our data is not safe at all. We will never know that companies like Mediamax how they use our data.. this is a sort of blackmailing.

    Better option is to have external storage device and store all our data onto that.

  42. 42 I_hate_pinku June 9, 2008 at 11:43 am

    @poonam

    How do You know what I am seeing? I see greytish-purple…and I don’t need a second opinion on that!!!

  43. 43 Poonam Sharma June 9, 2008 at 3:41 pm

    @Harsha: yeah, I came to know of it hard way. :( I will have to get a hard disc.

    @i_hate_pinku: he he..But the colour of icon doesn’t change for each person. It remains same. :D

  44. 44 I_hate_pinkiu June 9, 2008 at 11:11 pm

    @poonam…

    You have a memory of a gold fish..Didn’t I tell u I have turned colour blind…

    By the way, I thank myself that I didn’t post acoment on save our ragpickers.. otherwise we would have daggers drawn situation.. lol..I prefer to keep my mouth shut on issues such as cChilod labour, child rights…women empowerment etc…

    And to be honest I refrain from reading those posts… becoz… becoz… becoz…
    let’s leave that.. Anyway goos to see that u feel for the issue …I don’t…

  45. 45 dkd903 June 10, 2008 at 3:31 am

    Get a 1TB hard Disk drive, Smoking Cheap nowadays, ANd use it for back up purposes only. And the very very important data could be second backed-up on DVDs, twice if necessary, and store them with care. Its as simple as that. Poonam, I don`t know where you stay, but if you are in India, theres no point in going for Online file backups, The unreliable broadband networks here will always let you down, when you need something on the pipe most. Just a suggestion :-)

  46. 46 Tom Bassett June 10, 2008 at 9:55 am

    Thank you for discussing this terrible company. They have lost SO much of my data and my friends’ data. It’s been over a year and I am still angry.

    It seems they change their name and company every so often to get a “fresh start” so people forget how they were cheated.

    First they were “Streamload”. That’s what they were called when I signed up.

    They changed their name to MediaMax. At that time, they lost some of their good features.

    Then, they split off into a new company called Nirvanix – but it still contains a lot of the same employees, same computer systems, same servers, etc.

    Now they’ve changed their name AGAIN to “The Linkup”. It is disgusting!

  47. 47 Poonam Sharma June 10, 2008 at 10:52 am

    @i_hate_pinku: I certainly didnt think you were colour blond if you could make out mauve. and I never spoke about child labour in my posts! Where did you read them?

    @Dkd903: True,I can not access data online due to non realiable internet services. Seems like I will have to get that long pending hard drive.

    @Tom Bassett: yes, disgusting is the word for company. I understand how you feel. Do we not have any legal route to pursue?

  48. 48 I_hate_pinku June 10, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    @ poonam

    I had recently turned colour blind… after seeing the pinku for the first time..

    Well a majority of ragpickers come under 14 so .. what is it? Child labour… only in this case… the employer is “Hunger” … and let’s not forget… they are also supposed to sell their pickings to a certain “kabbadi wala”…!!!

    I guess It’s time to get a shout box.. or something similar…for this stupid comments…!!!

  49. 49 Shawn June 10, 2008 at 8:59 pm

    I’m one of their paid members (don’t ask me why…their service has sucked for the last few years but I’m far too lazy to find another). Imagine my surprise when I logged in a few weeks ago and saw they had changed to “The Link Up”. Not a big deal I thought – as long as my data is there, I don’t care what they call themselves…

    Anyways, I sign in and see NONE of my files in my folder. I check their blog and it says they’re transitioning over and that they’re not complete yet. I figure I’ll give them a few more weeks so they can finish the transition.

    I log back in today and I see on their messages that they’re all done. Of the 100+ files I uploaded, it shows 3…imagine my disappointment. While it’s not critical data (it’s just music I like to have with me so I can listen to them at work or at a friends house, etc) it’s still a pain to upload back again. With all the downtime Mediamax has had, I’m not even sure I want to do that.

    Anyways, just thought I’d chime in for those who were considering paying them to get you your data back – don’t be surprised if it’s not all there when it’s done. I’ll be submitting a ticket to bug them about it, but I’m not really expecting them to respond. They never responded to my billing issue, and it took an email to their higher management before anything was done.

  50. 50 Tom Bassett June 11, 2008 at 1:07 am

    Hi Poonam,

    I have read different people discussing the possibility of a lawsuit – but those efforts don’t seem to be going anywhere – most are content to complain and never do anything about it.

    For my part, myself and a few other Mediamax victims are considering writing a short book on the topic. If anyone is interested to submit their stories, they can visit my site, or fill out this form.

  51. 51 Maya Nivara June 11, 2008 at 8:25 am

    I found your blog while searching for other’s experiences with mediamax. I just logged went to their website to see my files was shocked to find out that it’s closed. They said my files could not be recovered, it’s all gone!! I had so much on there :(

  52. 52 Poonam Sharma June 11, 2008 at 10:03 am

    @i_hate_pinku: You have not read the post, so you have no idea. Child labour is hardly the issue I made hue and cry about. There are other things that make a working ragpicker’s life miserable.

    @Shawn: I know, I understand. Even though it was music, I understand it will be lot of trouble to find and organise the stuff again. Same for me I lost 5 GB worth of whitepapers and ebooks. I know I can find them, but it will take me lot of time. Now I do not even know if I can trust any online storage company. I am too scared. But I am sure, I want to spread the word about MEdiaMAx so that no other customer touches it and is duped by it. I want to stop other Web companies going MediaMax way by setting a bad example of MediaMax. Its the best I can do.

    Please fill out a form in Tom Basset’s comment below so that he can compile a book of our bad experiences with MediaMax. Also, Digg the story here, it helps to spread the word. http://digg.com/security/Streamload_MediaMax_LinkUp_Cheats_and_Offenders_on_Web_Vi

    @Tom: I have filled out your form. I will do my best to help you. I amnot familiar with laws in US but do we have no hope, legally?

    @Maya Nirvana: I am sorry, Maya. I hope you get your data back. Did you write to Linkup support, but knowing their reputation I am not sure if you can rest easy about your data. They are cheats, yet do try. I understand exactly how you feel, it happened to me too. :(

    Please fill out a form in Tom Basset’s comment below so that he can compile a book of our bad experiences with MediaMax. Also, Digg the story here, it helps to spread the word. http://digg.com/security/Streamload_MediaMax_LinkUp_Cheats_and_Offenders_on_Web_Vi

  53. 53 Debjit Saha June 11, 2008 at 10:40 am

    @Poonam, the thing is the rate at which start-ups come-up nowadays is alarmingly high. Most of these online storage companies are no more than start-ups. No-one can`t guarantee a start-up. Can we? Well, does the Indian Law have something for the victims, had the company been based in India?

  54. 54 Debjit Saha June 11, 2008 at 10:42 am

    @shawn, could you enlighten me about what your billing problem was and what all communications did happen between you and the higher management?

  55. 55 Debjit Saha June 11, 2008 at 10:54 am

    To all the readers, who are following this wonderful post of Poonam: If you feel that Online storage is so damn necessary for you, then you might consider going for the services available from Microsoft and Symantec.

    SkyDrive is a password-protected online file storage provided by Microsoft, which features 5 GB of free online storage. Since it`s from Microsoft, it can be trusted, although it`s free. And, Symantec (makers of Norton Antivirus) has a PAID service called SwapDrive. The SwapDrive website lists various schemes, of which one fetches you 2GB of space @ USD 500 a year.

  56. 56 Falcon June 11, 2008 at 11:05 pm

    @Poonam

    You are entitled to have ur own opinion!!! :)

  57. 57 Poonam Sharma June 12, 2008 at 12:52 pm

    @Debojit: I don’t think there are any Indian laws yet dealing with such kind of unethical practices.

    Thanks for making suggestions for online backup storage. Only I am wondering when one day they too jilt us, do we have any hope of legal remedy?

    @Falcon: Thanks you acknowledge that. ;)

  58. 58 I_hate_pinku June 12, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    @poonam

    In case I haven’t made it clear… I was refferimg to the “greyish purple” Icon.

    And did u give a thought about Shoutbox???

  59. 59 dkd903 June 12, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    @Poonam, It is always better to have the back-up of stuff which is very important, inside your prmises itself. I mean, these online storage compnaies, do not encrypt the data you are storing, at least the ones which come for free, do not know about the paid ones, so it is very possible that they can actually access the data you have stored on their servers. And this is violation of your privacy. These companies are clever enough to write their terms and conditions in such a way that we might tend to skip such points in the TnC and then when things goof up, only then we come to know about that particular term in their TnC. For eg., Gmail, its a beta, if your mailbox screws up someday and causes you a damage financially some way or the other, you can`t claim anything. We being on a foreign land for those based in the US, not much of option is available for us, coz most of these companies clearly state about any legal matters at their place strictly. So, taking them to court is completely out of question for us. Things are this way, and I am afraid we have to accept it. Nothing which works the e-way is safe actually, but again e-way is what the world is striving for today!!

  60. 60 dkd903 June 12, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    @Poonam, Sorry for that multiple identity, am Debjit Saha, and dkd903 is my web identity

  61. 61 Poonam Sharma June 19, 2008 at 12:08 pm

    @i_hate_pinku: yes, will think about shoutbox.

    @Debjit: I recognized that your identities with same picture. :) Its fine as long as communication happens without hitches.

    I hate the fact I have no legal rights against this company. Sometimes, for principle you could spend hundreds of dollars for justic but I first want to find out do we have a case? But terms and conditions may make us lose.:(

  62. 62 FredMikeRudy June 19, 2008 at 6:26 pm

    Perhaps the tech-savvy folks here need to look back at what they were taught when they were in the learning process. If there was too little info and emphasis given about Backups and free Online Storage, then that’s what needs to be addressed. Let the educators and the youth of the generation following yours be better informed and prepared. You’ll be doing the country a huge favor by creating something of lasting value.

  63. 63 BIOMEDLIVES June 26, 2008 at 6:24 am

    I received an Email notice that my files would disappear from my free MediaMax account unless I upgraded to a paid theLinkup account. I followed the link in the notice and subscribed for the lowest level account at theLinkup, but my files have yet to appear. I have received promises from “Colin” that the files would appear, and I finally set a deadline of June 27th for it to happen. It hasn’t happened yet.

  64. 64 Poonam Sharma June 26, 2008 at 12:35 pm

    @FredMikeRudy: Yes, the value of backups we all must learn to appreciate. But after reading this do you still support online backup ans storage systems?

    @Biomedlives: Oh, I am sorry about it. Actually I had read more complaints about its payment. And may paid users alaso lost their old files. When this company told me rudely that option to have my files back with paid membership would not be available for long, I doubted their authenticity. So I did not subscribe.

    I have heard complaints even after you have canceled your account, they charge on your card. One of the users wrote he had fortunately canceled his card, yet he received an email that his card has been again charged by MediaMax!

  65. 65 Kathryn June 27, 2008 at 1:08 am

    I’m a paying MediaMax (or I guess now it’s TheLinkUp) customer and I have yet to receive ONE SINGLE FILE from my MediaMax account to the new one at TheLinkUp. So even paying customers are being completely cheated.

  66. 66 Francesco Cosoleto June 27, 2008 at 2:25 am

    Simply they have to change job.

  67. 67 suteiquake June 28, 2008 at 7:27 pm

    This is a serious nightmare. With no warning thelinkup deleted over 200 TERRABYTES of files I had stored. I was supposedly grandfathered in pricewise since streamload at $19.95 for 50 gigs of dl and unlimited uploads. Yes, I have files that other people will want, but it should be MY choice as to what I share with others.

    Now for $29.95 a month they deleted all my files except one 20 kb chapter of one of my unpublished books AND now I have upload caps of 200 gigs.

    This is total bait and switch and the fact that they did this with zero warning, zero emails, and zero chance to even recover some of my files is absurd.

    I put up with years of mediamax sucky service simply because they had my files hostage. And now this?

    They need to be sued for breech of contract, badly.

  68. 68 Poonam Sharma June 30, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    @Kathryn and Suteiquake: I am not surprised to hear about your plight with dihonest MediaMax even though you were paid members. Why don’t you help Tom asset finish his book about bad experiences of MediaMax customers worldwide. Please fill out this form:

    http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?key=pPxpdAQjUfCpLduORcf8KdA

    Thanks a ton for writing about your experiences here, more we have against this company the better!

  69. 69 Tom Bassett July 9, 2008 at 8:58 pm

    Hey all,

    Check out TheLinkup.com or the official blog:

    We regret to inform you that we will be closing The Linkup service on Friday, August 8 at 5:00 pm PDT.

    The Linkup is no longer accepting any uploads or new accounts, and no further charges will be made to your credit card. After August 8, your account will not be accessible, all your personal information will be deleted (username, billing information, history, etc), and your files will be deleted. Please download any files that are in your account that you wish to keep before Friday, August 8 at 5:00 pm PDT.

    It was not possible to satisfactorily complete the move of files from MediaMax to The Linkup as we had expected, and as a result cannot offer a service that meets your expectations and our business requirements. This is a very disappointing outcome for us, and we know it has been a frustrating experience for many of our customers.

    We are very sorry that we have not been able to rebuild our service as we had envisioned. We sincerely appreciate those of you who stuck by us and held out hope for the return of a great service, and apologize that things did not work out better. And also a special thanks and apology to those developers who have been developing applications on The Linkup API that can no longer be supported.

    Sincerely,
    The Linkup Team

    Wow. Didn’t see that coming.

  70. 70 Nishu July 10, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    seems like the blogging site multiply.com is deleting the content .. all photos and videos uploaded if you don’t upgrade to premium :) ..

    How Cheap people are they ?

    BTW don’t you feel unsafe about you blog at wordpress.com poonam?
    I will recommend you to create a backup of it every time you post by going to settings > export.

    Also i will recommend using your own domain name.

  71. 71 Poonam Sharma July 11, 2008 at 11:57 am

    @Tom: Thanks for informing me about it! Somehow I am not surprised. Now I am convinced it was a scam. Would you still be writing/compiling your book about them?

    @Nishu: I think you should spread news about Multiply too. Yes, I do believe in taking backup of wordpress. I remember your earlier fiasco with them, I have been scared after that.

    As for using my own domain name, I don’t know how to manage on my own. I am still a novice. :(

  72. 72 Tom Bassett July 11, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Poonam,

    It hardly seems necessary now. However, I suspect they will resurface under a different name, so I’m leaving the document up for people to peruse and edit if they like.

    Also, check out the story on TechCrunch or other sites. It seems like Nirvanix, their spin-off, is in fact the reason for all the problems, and may possibly still have some users files. I plan to investigate this further.

  73. 73 Matt K July 12, 2008 at 4:32 am

    I had used Streamload as a paid user prior to MediaMax, but the move to MediaMax was problematic at best. While you may have complained about losing your files, try backintg up 50GB of data that you spent months uploading again!

    Streamload worked great for me, but MediaMax was slow to upload and problematic to manage.

    I fotrunately had an external hard drive as my primary backup – I’ve now switched to Mozy instead – much more convenient than MediaMax / TheLinkUp was and far more relaible – we use the MozyPro service where I work and it saved me when my laptop drive died two months ago.

  74. 74 Doug July 12, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    I paid for a YEAR of storage with MediaMax! I also was never notified that they were switching over to theLinkup… I had over 100GB’s of data THAT THE NEVER EVEN TRANSFERRED OVER!!!! I emailed 5 times to support and they never responded… only email I got was two days ago when they said they would NOT be porting over MediaMax users and would be shutting down operations… I smell a class-action suit in the making here.

  75. 75 Anshul July 13, 2008 at 11:06 am

    @Doug: You can join other people for class-action at http://www.sueeasy.com , or make other people join you for the same.

  76. 76 Poonam Sharma July 14, 2008 at 11:12 am

    @Tom: Yes, I too ahve a feeling taht they will resurface. But something in me is not happy that they can getaway with cheating us. :(

    I had written to TechCrunch about this, his story has a link to this very post. And you are right, it all started with Nirvanix. Stupid me, still signed up for MediaMax. :(

    @Matt K: Hey! I am sorry about your loss. I have been hearing such stories from may people who have been swindled by MediaMax. But be careful, with Mozy too, in fact with any online service you use, I have read somewhere about someone complaining about Mozy. If I find link, I will put it here in this comment.

    @Doug: See Anshuls’s link below, would that be useful for us to get together against MediaMax?

    @Anshul: Thanks, I will check this link out soon!

  77. 77 Laura July 15, 2008 at 7:18 am

    Wow, this is a really great blog on this matter. I’ve been using the site for 8 year, since they were S/L. And like Doug, I have the yearly subscription (that’s $100 a pop).. which I’ve had for 8 years…

    I finally cleaned up the Mediamax mess in April and reposted all the files (or at leat all the one’s I had a copy of) they somehow deleted. Two weeks later I was pretty pissed to find that no one could access any files. I just spent 4 months cleaning the mess up and for what? My subscription renewed in Jan so I feel like I’m being cheated out of 8 month of usage.

    I can’t believe they told people to pay and their files would be transfered. And then they do nothing… That’s really a scam!

    I feel like I’m in a different boat.. if any company goes under and doesn’t finish out any remaining contractural agreement there’s really nothing you can do about… cause they’re already broke.

    I was using the site to help host my web site… I don’t even want to use another company like this, cause I don’t want the same thing to happen. If I don’t use one I lose part of my website.. Catch 22.

    thanks for the info!!
    Laura

  78. 78 Poonam Sharma July 15, 2008 at 11:04 am

    @Laura: I had two reasons to write this post after my files were lost:

    1. to inform others, I knew paying up wont help
    2. to build in awareness that this can happen to us with any other online storage company, for that matter an web company can swindle us. :( I have read how other backup companies have bothered web workers.

    I wanted to take this up legally, bus as I do not reside in US was not sure how.

    I am sorry about your loss for understand how it feels. If you are upto it, you could record your experiences in Tom Basset’s boo here: http://spreadsheets.google.com/viewform?key=pPxpdAQjUfCpLduORcf8KdA

    Thanks, Laura for stepping by and commenting about your experience!

  79. 79 aneinu July 22, 2008 at 5:49 am

    Do you know how adrive compares with http://www.hotlinkfiles.com? I started using hotlinks, but I have not been completely satisfied. Today, i can’t even get in. It says, “too many connections.”

  80. 80 Sujay July 25, 2008 at 2:26 pm

    I had stored all the documents in Mediamax ….. now I am completely speechless .

    Just a suggestion DriveHQ looks good, they even have a client .

    Anyway, Mediamax promised the same …

    Looks we all need to settle in for a replication server which shall backup our data to / from pc .. to avoid such irreparale damages .

  81. 81 Paul July 26, 2008 at 2:55 pm

    So you can actually get at your files for six bucks for a month? Maybe you need to do that and download what you want to keep. You are getting what you paid for – nothing, so that seems fair. Stop referring to yourself as a consumer. It makes it sound as though you have a two way relationship with this company, but you don’t.

  82. 82 Poonam Sharma July 28, 2008 at 9:56 am

    @aneinu: After Mediamax mess, I am not too keen to try out any online storage service. I am sorry, I have no idea about hotlinks. WHy don’t you check out its reviews on google.

    @Sujay: I wrote this post because I thought if MediaMax got away with it, anyone can. My trust on online companies is broken. :(

    @Paul: We could actually get to or files for free every month. And no its not fair, as what was promised was not given. No one has right to hold my own personal data hostage for money on false claims.

    You are right about the latter part, we certainly did not have two-way relationship with the company. Yet I am a consumer.

  83. 83 Falcon... July 28, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    @poonam…

    Kya hai Mere faltu good for nothing comments bahut pasand hai kya….Ek shout box kyon nahin daal deti blog pe….

    OH I forgot u r thinking about it…just don’t think so much that u become a philosopher……OR …fully Psycho….Lol
    Thgis comment is postedf entirely as a timepass :P

  84. 84 AnotherVictimOfMediaMax July 30, 2008 at 1:25 pm

    I am a victim too. And even Linkup is closing and I can’t login to Linkup to get the files back. Unbelievable.

  85. 85 Poonam Sharma August 7, 2008 at 12:20 pm

    @Falcon: Find me one good shoutbox that I can easily integrate in WP. I dont mind timepass comments.

    @ANothervictimofMediaMax: Yeah, those crooks have escaped scot-free.

  86. 86 imam September 18, 2008 at 4:37 am

    Oh… like a SCAM or mybe Traping :(

  87. 87 Dudley Agramonte January 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    Finally I found amazing content on your site, keep posting like this, Its very helpfull.


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