PSA about IDrive and Privacy.com: They delete your backups without alerting you payment is due

When signing up with IDrive a year ago, I opted not to auto-renew payment. A few days ago I received an Email saying -

"Your IDrive account with the following username has been cancelled:

Username : djquad@gmail.com
Reason for cancellation : Canceled since auto renewal was disabled

We hope you benefited from IDrive and don’t experience data loss in future. We’re sorry to see you go."


I received no indication that payment was due from support, nor the application itself. When payment is due, you might want to actually TELL PEOPLE INSTEAD OF CANCELLING THEIR ACCOUNTS.

How do expect me to pay when I cannot login?


Thanks for contacting IDrive,

We received your request to reactivate your IDrive account, but can see there was an outstanding billing associated with it.

The amount currently owed to reactivate your IDrive account is: $99.50

This amount must be paid at the time of reactivation, or the account will be cancelled again.

Please note, paying this amount does not guarantee your data is still present, you are requesting simply to reactivate the user access.

Please indicate that if we find your data is no longer available, if you still want the account to be reactivated regardless of the state of your data.

Please reply to this email with an acknowledgement of these terms, as well as your desire for reactivation regarding the state of your data, and we will proceed with reactivating your account.


Avoid future interruptions and keep your data safe by ensuring your account is always up-to-date and fully paid!


I updated the card. I especially liked this line – “keep your data safe by ensuring your account is always up-to-date and fully paid!”

You might want to let your customers know when a bill is due and give them a chance to actually pay it.

From what I can tell from your horrible interface, the card was updated, yet I’ve received no indication that the charge was made. Upon logging in, all of my backups are gone.


I’ll update the thread if there is anything new, but as of now, this company is a complete joke. Going back to Carbonite I guess.

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What kind of backup system is so unreliable you can’t count on it for literal years. Imagine if you were a user who had a horrible accidental fire, and were barely alive for months before eventually recovering only to find your account went inactive while you were under care and now you have lost your belongings, including your PC as well as the backup of all the data from that PC.

Paying a fee for backup should mean that the data received while the account is paid is protected, no matter what. The fee should be for “we will protect this data for at least n years no matter what.” Restoring the data or restoring access to your account should require you to return to good standing, but the protection of the past data shouldn’t require current good standing… otherwise they have become a risk to the very data they promised to protect.

They put too much marketing in their workflow, that is only confusing you further.

I may disagree with your stance on the auto renewal however since you opted not to renew and the email is not saying you subscribed to any notification. Almost all services I have subscribed to over the internet (probably about 50 or more) have been the same with this behavior and almost none of them will remind you unless there is a newsletter subscription or billing reminder. I like the part where it automatically deletes your data, I cannot disagree with that from a security or privacy perspective.

The last email you received however is a blatant marketing tactic especially when the price quoted is listed on their website as the full yearly price plan for iDrive Team/Business. You could simply re-subscribe as a new account and get the same benefits with the promotional offers.

I could simply agree with this but are these conditions imposed or written in the agreement or terms of service? Data retention and use of data should be clearly outlined before being handled in a manner like this otherwise I would assume the customer would have storage space and have their access and data revoked at the end of the subscription. Missing from this are the realities of how to make the data redundant and how to partition the data securely on these servers and how to prevent other issues such as demand or bandwidth saturation. These factors may also increase the price and expectations.

Remember also this is a public offering using shared facilities and processing power where the provider may not be able to make these provisions or guarantee the security or retention of your data. A public cloud provider such as IBM does not always guarantee these provisions either for the same reasons otherwise they instruct the customer or client to purchase a minimum level of support and infrastructure to accommodate for redundancy and data security, even going as far as ordering in the necessary hardware/software to provision for the customer on a multi-year contract.

Not having auto-renewal on is very different to not wanting to renew. If you decide not to have auto-renewal on or the credit card expires, every service worth its salt starts telling you a couple of months in advance, that the subscription is running out and you need to renew, which then lets you assess, whether you really still need it, or whether to cancel it. Silently letting the subscription run out, with the only notification being that the account is now locked and your data deleted is a very poor way at trying to retain customers.

I use Microsoft 365 (reminders 3 months before renewal), Carbonite (several warning in the months leading up to subscription renewal / cancellation), LastPass (reminders when my credit card expired, that was on auto-renewal), Strato (reminders 1 month before payment is due), Thurrott.com (reminders when payment is due).

In fact, when I cancelled Carbonite, LastPass and a Strato service (I use several of their packets and cancelled 1), they bombarded me regularly with messages telling me my subscription was running out and I would lose my data.

I do agree, if you were warned that the subscription is running out and you don’t renew, then you should have no expectation that the data should be held indefinitely - although Microsoft holds your full data for, I think, 90 days after expiration, before deleting it, which I think is very reasonable, allowing for oversights or illness.

I buy my Microsoft 365 from Amazon, for example, where it is usually 30% cheaper than direct from Microsoft, so I don’t have auto-renew enabled (although Microsoft pesters me to turn it on in the 3 months leading up to expiration, with weekly reminder emails and in-app warnings.

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Based on what you wrote: I would agree with you, however, even in this instance the user chose to turn off auto-renewal and it is only the reaction I see posted here. I do not know his expectation here or if he was even using the service during this time. Sounds like he ended up signing up for a subscription to store his data and left it at that. At that point I would feel he did not even need this service and would have been fine using a NAS backup solution at his home or office. I could not even begin to fix this or set his expectations, except to say it still sounds like he bought the marketing and I could not even tell you if he was told all this in advance when he signed up originally.

I’ll ignore the fact you mentioned subscription as I did because a subscription actually implies it works until the service term has ended which is also standard practice when dealing with a product or service.

Last Pass is a good one but Microsoft 365 and Last Pass are far different for each other especially since 365 has multiple agreements with data residency and implied ownership of customer data. 365 also has multiple options for subscription periods such as one-time benefits, yearly/monthly and volume license agreements. I’ve never been able to compare all these different services on the same scale especially with how features work differently on each product. The only thing I could point out is that Microsoft does explicitly state upfront how you will be notified and how to turn off auto-renewal in these instances.

A big theoretical Microsoft pointed out however in regards to holding of your data and its implications: When a subscription lapses, the servers may trigger a deletion request far in advance and at the same time, backup and restore procedures may override or trigger a deletion of active directory and database records. In worst case scenarios the restore procedure may simply disregard the old data and choose not to restore pending deletions as is standard practice for Microsoft Exchange databases. It could be that all that is retained in this scenario is your personal and billing information leaving behind no traces of your user data.

Even still, I am not sure who I would base my comparisons on in regards to how billing works with a subscription if they all have varying lengths and retention policies. It could even be as simple as a music streaming service which holds nothing except for playlists and your credit card/email address.

I wouldn’t expect iDrive to retain your data if you let your subscription lapse. I would hope for a grace period.
But, I would also expect them to notify you that you need to pay up beforehand. I use their other product, RemotePC, I have it on auto-renewal, and I do get reminder emails.

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I’ve thinking about this and I wonder if they landed in his spam box or something…

If they didn’t notify him, it is very bad form.

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iDrive has a grace period. In fact, as I remember it’s several months, comparable to Carbonite. I’d check and see if it’s still there before assuming they deleted it.

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I wonder if there is a service (or FOSS app) that connects backup buddies so that your backups are sent to someone you know and encrypted so that your buddy only has your encrypted data and vice versa.