I took my drives to Reynolds back on Dec. 1, 2006. Since then they basically ignored me. I’ve been updating the timeline in my original post to reflect the (lack of) progress I was making in getting any kind of response from them.
On Thursday last week, I decided to try driving up to their offices again. This time there was a person in the office at Reynolds so I was able to go in, find my drives, and leave with them.
So after leaving my drives with them for over a month, I didn’t get any data back. Through a lot of effort on my part, I did manage to get my drives back.
Today I am taking the drives to yet another data recovery shop. I’m cautiously optimistic about them so far, but I’ll save all of that for a future post.
You may remember from my original post that I was able to get in touch with Bill Flinchbaugh (who attended BarCampDenver and was how I found out about Reynolds in the first place) after Reynolds’ phones and e-mail stopped working back in early Dec. Bill was apologetic when I first contacted him. He told me I could call him on his cell phone and he even put that number up on the Reynolds web site as the temporary contact number during their phone transition.
Since Bill’s number was posted as the number to call, I put a number of calls to him – most of the time going to voice mail and without receiving a return call from him after Dec. 13, 2006.
On Dec 26, Reynolds had a different number posted on their web site. I began calling that number too, but it went to a broken IVR and there was no way to leave a message. Because of this, I also called Bill’s number so that I could leave a message (see timeline in previous post linked above for details).
The last time I’d actually spoken with Bill, he’d told me I really needed to talk to Mark Tessin, who’d called me with status on Dec 5th and Dec 14th. Apparently Mark was the one actually doing the data recovery.
Unfortunately, despite asking Bill repeatedly for Mark’s number, he never gave it to me, nor did Mark leave it for me in his message. The only number I had where I could leave a message was Bill’s cell phone.
On Thursday last week, having exhausted all phone contact options, I finally drove up to Reynolds again and was able to get my drives back. On Thursday evening or Friday last week, I assume in response to my previous post, Reynolds posted this on their web site:
There can be a difference between fact & truth. Contact us for the truth .
No good deed goes unpunished. Our IT guy, Bill, tried unsuccessfully to assist Alex. After entering the business through a closed door, Alex took items he claimed were his and left. Fact & truth.
here is a screenshot in case it changes:
This basically has 3 statements:
“Our IT guy, Bill, tried unsuccessfully to assist Alex.”
I’m afraid I have to disagree this – particularly the “Bill, tried” part. Actually, Bill repeatedly told me he could not help me; that there was nothing he could do to help me.
“entering the business through a closed door”
Perhaps this is semantic, but since someone already thinks they are saying that I broke in and stole from them, I should clarify. Like most people, I do open the door before entering a room. I’d imagine that entering a room through a closed door is quite difficult. The door to their suite was closed (as were the doors to all of the suites I saw in the building) and I could see light coming out from the gap between the door and the floor so I knocked, opened the door, and went in.
“Alex took items he claimed were his and left.”
This is accurate, though it leaves out the part where I showed Bill everything that I was taking (the two drives that needed recovery and the one external drive I’d given them to use to put the recovered data on); which was all labeled with my name. [edited for clarification: the external drive was also mine, I’d brought it to them at the same time I brought them the broken drives.]
And darn right I took my drives back. It had been over a month for what was supposed to be a 3-5 day job, and the company had gone from having several people in the office from 8-5 (as was the case when I called and spoke to people before dropping the drives off in the first place) to not having anyone in the office at all on my previous visit (Dec 13th) and having only an IT guy there on this visit (ie. no one doing any data recovery work). This is a red flag to me. If they are ignoring customers because they are going out of business, I certainly don’t want my drives auctioned off with rest of their business assets.
Side note: I’m not sure what “There can be a difference between fact & truth.” is supposed to mean, or how someone is supposed to contact them to find out. Maybe they are answering their phones now – I really don’t know.
So, while part of their statement is accurate, I believe it misses a few salient details though – even if we ignore the whole “Alex lost a month of time to get his data recovered and wasted many hours trying to contact Reynolds” side of this.
When I arrived at Reynolds Data Recovery last Thursday afternoon, the door to their suite was closed but the light inside was on so I knocked and went in. One thing I didn’t want to mention before I got my drives back is that there is no lock on the door to the Reynolds suite (there is a lock on the building door, but not the suite door).
It really surprised me that there was no lock on the door as they have a number of hard drives out on shelves around the office. I presume (hope?) that these drives must not have any customer data on them. Anyway, back to my visit.
When I went in, Bill was on the phone with a customer. He asked who I was, I told him and said I was there to get my drives back. He told me that he really couldn’t help me and that I’d have to talk to Mark.
I told him, as I had at least a half-dozen times before over the phone or in messages, that I had no way of contacting Mark.
Bill then gave me Mark’s phone number – yay!
I sat down and called Mark, got voice mail, left a message. Ugh.
After that, with Bill still on his call and “not able to help me”, I looked around and found my drives. I took them over and showed Bill what I had (just the drives labeled with my name).
Bill got off the phone around that time. We had a somewhat heated discussion about the way I’d been treated as a customer. I asked him what else I could have or should have done given my situation.
This part still gets me a little fired up: he told me that it didn’t help my situation that I didn’t respect his personal time – calling him multiple times a day and even calling during his lunchtime.
Last time I checked, ‘lunch’ was during standard business hours. In fact, all of my calls were during standard business hours. Despite not receiving a call back since Dec 13, all of my messages were professional and I didn’t call more than twice a day (except perhaps the previous day I’d driven up there and waited around outside their empty office for an hour and a half).
I reminded him that I was only calling him because I had no other number to call where I could leave a message. He asked why I didn’t call Mark, I reminded him I didn’t have Mark’s number and told him the number on the web site was broken – no way to leave a message. He didn’t seem to believe me on that one so I pulled out my cell phone, called the number, turned on the speakerphone and demonstrated how it didn’t work.
So I asked him again that, given that I had no other number where I could leave a message, what should I have done but call the number he told me to, that was posted on the web site, and leave a message there? He didn’t really have an answer for that.
The most amazing thing about this was that he was annoyed or angry with me. Never mind that pro-active calls or e-mails from Reynolds would have prevented me from calling him even once. The customer is pretty much helpless in this situation. Never once was I offered an apology. I got several half excuses, lots of blame shifting and some frustration thrown my way. His attitude and apparent view that I had done something wrong just blew me away.
Besides if the calls were bothering Bill so much, there was an easy solution: return one of my calls and provide me with the number of someone I should call. Just last week I got 2 calls from someone who thought my number was a travel agency. After the second one (the first I figured was a mis-dial), I did them the courtesy of calling them and letting them know it was the wrong number. It took less than a minute to make that call.
Y’know how you always think of a good line to say when it’s too late? I wish I’d said:
You aren’t seriously trying to blame the victim here, are you?
Oh well, next time.
A while ago I linked to an blog post that talked about the shift of companies now reflecting on individuals rather than individuals reflecting on companies (this is especially true with small businesses). Bill doesn’t seem to have gotten that memo. He is a Reynolds employee/associate/contractor/partner (I don’t know the exact relationship), and he was the only representative of the company I was able to get in touch with. He may have felt he wasn’t able to help me, but he sure was in a better position to help me than I was – if for no other reason than he knew who did know something, had the phone number of that person, and was able to get in touch with them.
By choosing to associate with Reynolds as he does, the actions of Reynolds reflect back on him. It doesn’t matter if it was Mark that was supposed to call me back. Bill telling me that Mark will call me and choosing to ignore all of my voice mails telling him I never got a call from Mark reflects badly on Bill too.
If you find yourself in a situation where your association with someone or something is hurting your reputation, it’s up to you to fix that. I’ve had to do this in the past myself.
With my experience over the last month and a half, now that I’ve got my drives back you better believe I will never again choose to have any dealings or association with Reynolds Data Recovery, Bill Flinchbaugh or Mark Tessin.
This post is part of the thread: Hard Drive Recovery – an ongoing story on this site. View the thread timeline for more context on this post.
That sounds pretty awful. It seems to me like they know they messed up and now they are trying to put you in the wrong by telling half truths. They know that you’ve been documenting your experience and they look really bad.
Quite frankly, I can’t believe they would ignore you for that long without so much as a single phone call or email, and then seemingly accuse you of stealing.
Classy by them, very classy.
They are just annoyed because the third result for a Google search of “reynolds data recovery” is:
Reynolds Data Recovery = Nightmare | alexking.org
Wow — that’s about all I can say. Glad you got your drives back and hopefully will never have to deal with Reynolds Data Recovery again. Definitely seems like they don’t understand some of the very basics of customer service.
Was the external drive yours, or is it their property? If it’s their property, do you have receipts from them regarding the work you paid them for but that they did not perform? I can very easily see this ending up in small claims court, and unfortunately, even though I’ve followed the timeline as time has gone by, I rather doubt that your site [or anyone’s] is affidavit-quality material. If the external drive wasn’t yours, I suggest returning that to them ASAP with an apology—and yes, an apology, because just because they’re unable and unwilling to be civil doesn’t mean that you have to be.
Reynolds folks, I would look forward to your side of the story if you’d like to present it. I imagine other readers here would as well. As much as I don’t think you guys have much credibility left, I think it’s worth hearing what you’d have to say for yourselves.
Ironically, I can thank the folks at Reynolds Data Recovery for finding your great blog site!
My experience with Reynolds more-or-less mirrors yours, though I have let it run a little longer in duration.
I sent Reynolds Data Recovery my drive around early October. It took a couple of weeks to get the process kicked off, but I figured they were probably busy. They actually called and we discussed the problems with the drive, they gave me a cost estimate, I gave the go ahead and apparently all was well. Whoops, my bad. That was the last time I recieved any communication from Reynolds Data Recovery.
Since, I have made phone calls and sent emails to no avail. By chance I did talk to a person once when she actually answered the phone. I was told Mark [Tessin] had been ill for a week or so but would be returning in a couple of days (this was mid-November) and would return my call. He did not.
Note that none of this has stopped them from charging my credit card for work that probably has not been, and will not be, done.
I chose Reynolds Data Recovery because one of the large companies listed as a client on their web site is a former employer of mine. I did IT related work for them. That is unfortunate for Reynolds Data Recovery.
It really disturbs me that this is all going on and they still have instructions out there on the web describing how to send them your drive and how they’ll do great work for you. Talk about a scam.
They probably have locks on their doors now and I’m guessing I’ll never see my drive (or money) again, but at least the word is out.
Sorry I didn’t make that more clear. The external drive was mine as well. I have given it to them along with the broken drives for them to put the recovered data on.
Jesus, what a bunch of fuckers, Alex.
You’re absolutely right you took your own properties back!
Whatever happened to “The customer is king”? :S
I hear that you’ve been having some bad “bilzzards” in Denver.
Wow, talk about bad customer service. We usually contact Ontrack for data recovery here where I work and they are always fast and make it a point to constantly update you on the progress.
I am shocked that dealing with something as important as someone’s data is just a joke to them.
I was curious, so I looked them up on the bbb, and I was surprised that they have only had 1 complaint in the past 36 months. It’s probably just that the were not reported. Here’s the link in case you have not seen it: http://data.denver.b[...]ml?bid=30870
I am also glad that you got your drives back, and I hope that you also get your data.
It’s also important to have patience “durring” their transition.
Alex, one of the drives you saw was ours, from October 18. You did the right thing. They have our money and our drive with little hope of recovery of either. Dell has invoiced us for the replacement, since we cannot return the damaged drive. A $1200 error! As of 1/31 their website is down an all phones disconnected.
Do you have an update on how to proceed with this?
Listen here all u pre mature fucks! Im Mark Tessins son and you are only telling the side of the story that makes it seem like you were getting screwed over! Well pull ur fingers out of ur pussy becasue im gonna tell you the side that knowone has heard yet!
From wat i witnessed was that your drive had suffered a head crash and wasnt gonna be a super quick easy recovery! And just to make the problem worse, you would call atleast 3 times a day and didnt want to pay very much money! Well i got news for you buddy! Nothing is free in life! Just to let you know i have only been doing data recovery for 2 years and i know that it would have been imposable to do what you were asking in the amount of time you were asking and how much you wanted to pay for it. Just thought i would let all ur cock sucking liberal fag friends know the truth instead of the little bitch go cry to ur momma version of the story! Let me give u 1 word of advice! Go drive ur hippy hybrid car of a cliff and die mother fucker!
It’s good to see that Reynolds has the highest level of standards and professionalism.
Note the HEAVY sarcasm 😉
Kevin – Did you inherit your father’s intelligence as well as his manners? Hope not!
OK! i will admit a couple things! First, that first message was un called for. Second, yes the working conditions can be bad sometmes. But im gonna tell u something about my dad that none of u prolly know. When my dad was 18 he broke his 6th and 7th vertabret in his neck which partially paralyzed him. He can walk but barely and with a drag. At times lik the 2007 Blizzard, his nerves act up and put him in unimaginable pain, which keeps him up all night. None of us can be polite with around 3 hours of sleep a night. Latly i have seen him in so much my that it hurts me casue there is nothing i can do about it. I have seen him too a point were he can t even get out of bet becasue his legs are so crampped up. I hope u have the descency in ur heart to under stand the struggle he gors through to go too work during these cold fronts. Please take that information into consideration before judging my father!
*IF* that is true, then you have my most sincere condolences, and I do hope and pray that your father can fully recover from his injuries. However, what you are saying, as tragic as it is, doesn’t apply, and isn’t the issue. The inability to do the work as not at issue…the total lack of any communication. You can’t leave a customer in the total dark.
Let’s say for a second that what you are saying is true, all he had to do is state what you said in a phone call or email. Or to ask you to send an email, make a phone call, something. Clearly, aside from not knowing how to use a spell checker, you can use a computer/send email/etc.
I think that your story hold a lot of logical fallacies, here’s why:
1. See above, why wasn’t that communicated to Alex. I host Alex’s site, and partner with him with Use Tasks, and a *new* unannounced project, he is the most reasonable person I know. If what you say is true, a 5 minute email/phone call would have fixed EVERYTHING.
2. The initial response of Reynolds was a page that stated “There can be a difference between fact & truth. Contact us for the truth”. Why didn’t you post what you said from the above on there? Why do you infer that Alex is lying?
3. Your first response is, at best, juvenile. Why didn’t you post an apology, with you 2nd comment? You comment appears as an act of desperation. BTW – Look at the search results for “Reynolds data recovery review”, see the 5th and 6th down.
4. Now your latest response, now you look like you are saving face.
Ok! You Win! I give up! Everything i try to say gets oicked apart in some way! Im not saying Alex is a liar! Im saying I remember things differently! If you wanted to practically my dads buisness! Then you have succeeded! And if u intended to destroy my life! Than you also succeeded in that too!
I’ve also given them my business; and boy do I regret it. Everything was running smooth until the phone lines started acting up, then went the customer svc, now their website isn’t working. If you ask me; I think this company is folding and not being honest with their clients!! I’m still waiting on them to return my original HD so I can RMA it before the warranty runs out! Their cust svc is just unaccepable at this point. Debbie was really great, Matt did a pretty good job; but that Bill is just horrible. You tell him the situation (straight and narrow) and somehow he always seems not to “understand.” And he also tries to make it seems as if you asked the question wrong. I just talked to Bill yesterday, and of course he promised to return my call; but have I gotten a call back; nope! I called back today and the phones are sent to the “automated attendant” that says you’re call can’t be completed when pressing “0” for an operator! I will never go back to these guys again. I may just have to have a lawyer send them someting on letterhead and make a phone call to them (that’s if he/she can get thru)!
Well, I finally got a warranty replacement HD from Western Digital (1/28/07) because they felt bad that their website referred Reynolds Data to me and other customers. Not to mention that they tried calling themselves and were getting the same exact treatment that I was getting.
Til this day, they haven’t gotten back to me nor attempted. It looks as though their website url is no longer active. I figured they were going out of business; but I guess it’s obvious that they have now GONE out of business!
Beware of Data Companies that have people inside named Mark Tessin and Bill!!!
Ok to answer ur statement, Bill doesnt work for Reynolds full time. he is only there half of the time. The reason you couldnt get through is that they are currently coming out of a legal battle with a company called “Cebion” were that company held their numbers for black mail and cancled their service. But as of last Thursday we called Quest and requested we get the numbers we had back. Also like it says on the website we ask for your patience during the transition. I am planning on talking to my father tonight about wat you have told me. i hope that talking to him will help. Also our cell phones have been disconnected becasue my dad has had 0 cash flow latly. So i cant even call him.
Kevin- We need to get a drive back.
It’s a IBM laptop drive for Jason Brunz at
Advanced Energy Inc.
There is data on the drive we need.
Please send it to:
1625 Sharp Point Dr
Fort Collins, CO 80525
My number is 970-407-6505
I have major problems with Reynolds Data since October last year. They still have my drive and my $765. They sent a disk to me with someone else’s data. They never could get my data off my failed drive. I asked to get my drive and money back. They promised for a couple of months with no results. Just lies. Then they kinda disappered. I filed with BBB and they had no luck getting in touch with them. BBB sent me to the Colorado Small Claims Court, which I’m working now.
[…] UPDATE: Thu, Jan 4 – No calls from Reynolds. Tried to call at 12:45pm; no luck, no way to leave a message. Left another message with Bill’s cell phone. Drove up to Reynolds and was able to take my drives back. You can read more about that here. […]
[…] number of my friends have been asking what finally happened with my hard drive disaster. I believe it’s finally over and done with (the comment added yesterday by Mark […]
I just thought I would post my sympathy with your situation – I am having a nightmare situation with Fields Data Recovery – think there is any connection?
I find it bizarre that two seemingly major companies (Fields for me, Reynolds for you) have turned out to be something on the verge of criminal.
I still can’t get my hard drive back, and I am thinking about driving to the New York office to get it.
The most bizarre thing about my experience (in my opinion) is that I *wanted* them to try and recover the data. Fields Data Recovery stopped returning my calls (made twice per week) when I was trying to authorize them to do the work!
Fields Data Recovery is a terrible organization.
Good god. And they keep other people’s money and don’t do the work for which they are paid. And this is NOT FRAUD because…?
Alex and everyone else, were you able to get your credit card companies to intervene and get your money back? Sounds like this place has been circling the drain for awhile.
I too have been undergoing a similar problem with Fields Data Recovery. I have sent them the owner of my companies hard drive to recover some personal and work data. They were eager to answer my emails and voice messages, until they got the hard drive and payment. Now for over a month, no returns of any communication. Fields Group appears to be a real company in the UK, but the US offices I am finding out are just hollow shells with phones answered by floor receptionists that can’t do anything for you.
What’s worse is we mailed the Drive. I can’t even drive someplace to get it.
When I was searching for a solution we looked at Fields Data Recovery (quote about $700) and Drive Savers (quote about $2500). I tell you what, if I know now that Fields was just a bunch of Thieves working out of empty shared offices, I would have spent the $2500.
Beware! Do not use Fields Data Recovery!!!! Find a real company like Drive Savers. They might charge a LOT more but at least they exist and are not crooks.
-burnt by Fields Data
The more I look at this and the Fields Group, I wonder if Reynolds is just a reseller for Fields services.
Same story, different day.
Drives sent to Reynolds in late September. Charged on my AMEX 10/1/07 and since then no returned calls or emails. Got Billâ€™s cell and spoke with him twice. That has gotten me nowhere.
Iâ€™m left with reversing charges, contacting paypal and any other bureau I can find if I donâ€™t hear from them by tomorrow. Then itâ€™s legal time.
All I would need is a call back to give me an update and Iâ€™d hold off everything, but that is apparently not happening.
Reynolds sounds like a scam, help others avoid being scammed by data recovery companies! There is also a website that is online called datarecoverycomparison.com that actually allows you to review your data recovery experience, and review the company that you had the experience with. I do not see Reynold’s recovery on there but I am sure you can go ahead and click contact us to add it onto their site. Most people with nightmare stories can post them on this site and have that company exploited to the public, shedding light on their corruptness and unprofessionalism. Also if you have had a good data recovery experience you may post that on this site in support of that company. Then each company is rated on a 1 to 5 star system, 5 being the best, 1 being the worst. If smart consumers go on this site and help expose the unethical hard drive recovery jobs that they have gone through, they will help other consumers avoid these companies, and hopefully help these companies go out of business; it will also help the companies that are trustworthy and professional flourish within the recovery business. Feel free to check it out and leave reviews, together smart shoppers can help rid the business of the unethical and unprofessional data recovery companies.
I wished I had found this blog sooner. I have been trying for 2 weeks to get a return phone call from Mark.
This company is a crook company ! We were promised that our data were recoverable, and finally we paid â‚¬810 to have a DVD with “c:\Program Files\” and, suddenly, our data became impossible to recover.
I sent a written mail with acknoledgment of receipt, and, after 10 days, the quality assurance manager was not even aware of this mail !
I have had many dealings with fields data recovery and have never encountered a problem with their service. the posts mentioned here are prob a minority. I know nothing about reynolds
You guys should really do your research before going with a data recovery company. Fields and Reynolds are a few of the companies that do not have any real credentials and are pretty much fronts for fraud. There is an easy resource where you can do your research and post about yoru experience, www. datarecoverycomparison.com , there you can review at other peoples’ experiences with all of the different data recovery companies, and they rate these companies too. It can give you a nice perspective about which company to go to, based off of their reputation and skills, and if you have had a bad experience you can actually rate it there for others to see.
Make sure that you check this site(datarecoverycomparison.com) out thoroughly before you believe a word that is said about any of the companies listed there. It appears that it is owned by a data recovery company that is just engaging in liable and defamatory statements so that honest hard working data recovery companies look bad. If you look at this website you will notice that there is no real way to contact them if your company has been wrongly bashed by one of their so called reviewers. The site is a total scam and has been created for the soul purpose of bashing other data recovery companies. Like everything on the internet donâ€™t believe everything you read.
If you really want to know if a company is capable and legitimate ask some questions about your data recovery situation. If they know what they are doing they will be able to give you information about what is wrong with you drive, how much it will cost to recover the data, and how long it will take to get your data back to you.
I contacted Fields Data Recovery when my drive failed [on a nine year old mac G4] – during backup I’d missed one very important item, all my email records [in the Outlook Express 5 “Identities” folder]. So, I sent the drive to them.
FDR successfully remounted my disc in a new drive [£195.00 + VAT], then completely failed to extract a reasonable amount of data from it [another £195.00 + VAT]. They found only 19% of what was on there – whereas I was able to simply fit the drive in a caddy from PC world, plug it into my mac and there was 100%!
My story ended well because I got all my data back – but ONLY because I received the drive back from FDR. Many don’t – and I suspect that this was a cock up on their part as it then allowed me to irrefutably demonstrate, by getting ALL the data back myself, how pathetic THEIR attempts had been!
Search for “Fields Data Recovery” and “complaint” and you will find plenty more damning material out there – and don’t even think of using them!
BEWARE – FIELDS DATA RECOVERY, UK
I have just experienced similar, serious problems with this company. I have managed to “escape unscathed”. This company tried to do to me, what it appears to have done to many others. Just search for other examples.
I will not go into details of what happened in my case, but believe me it happened! I am not a spammer, or from a rival company, just someone who’s hard drive broke and was happy to spend my hard earned money to be fixed.
I wasted a lot of my time chasing this company, and they make you chase in circles!
Beware and be strong if you are already in their grasp!
As the owner of a data recovery company which has to deal with the damage Fields Data Recovery Ltd cause, I became irate that we were handling so many calls from victims and having our time wasted trying to provide a true no data no fee service on drives Fields had either contaminanted or deliberately scratched.
We now charge an inspection fee on any drive that has been opened in a non certified clean room.
Any reputable lab should have their clean room tested and be able to show their annual clean room certificate.
When Fields were claiming I did not have a clean room I put my certifcate online, turns out very few labs have annual testing.
Only send your drive to a data recovery lab which has a certified clean room of ISO-3, success rates are higher and prices are lower because less drives fail after rebuild.
We have launched R3Cover(tm) Data Recovery Software for Mac and Windows.
Try it for free from http://www.R3Cover.com only send a drive into a lab if it needs a repair.
Sorry to hear about all of your experiences with corrupt data recovery companies. I just wanted to offer some solidarity and mention that we are having the same problem here in the UK.
That said, Fields Data Recovery seems to be a US/UK operation so I wonder who the “big boss” is behind this industrial scale scam?