Upvato Backup Service Confirms Files Are Lost, Plans to Relaunch on New Provider

Upvato creator Freddy Lundekvam has confirmed that all user files entrusted to the service have been permanently lost, as his previous storage provider is unable to recover them. After receiving a series of emails from the provider reminding him that payment was due, the provider terminated his account seven days after the invoice was overdue.

Lundekvam said ordinarily he would expect his sites and servers to go offline in response to an unpaid invoice but this particular provider, which he would not identify, simply terminated his account.

“I contacted the provider in good faith, knowing that any decent provider has complete backups of everything they terminate for X time after they terminate it,” Lundekvam said. “Apparently, with this ‘crappy’ company, terminated means literally terminated. All decent backup providers have backups of their backups, and any provider with such a setup knows very well that terminating the backups at the same time as you terminate the original files is a HUGE mistake, after all, you have those backups in place just in case something is terminated wrongly or the system corrupts something. We can simply conclude with the fact that this provider didn’t do backups of their users’ data and therefore would never be able to recover anything they have lost.”

Although Lundekvam mentioned Amazon Glacier in a previous interview as an example of how cheap storage space is, he confirmed that Amazon was not the provider in question here. “Amazon was quickly ironed out in the launch phase due to the heavy adjustments it needed to make it work exactly the way we wanted it to,” he said.

Lundekvam said he sincerely believed this backup provider was reliable and was disappointed to find out otherwise after trusting users’ data with the company. Despite the misfortune and embarrassment of the current situation, he is determined to relaunch Upvato with a new provider that offers redundant backups.

Upvato to Relaunch with Improved Version that Allows Users to Define Backup Destination

Lundekvam said the new version will be launched “as soon as possible.” His team is considering firing up the current (old) version and then migrating as originally planned instead of relaunching with the new version. The improvements include a better backup algorithm and new functionality.

“The very new version will allow the user to define their own destination / choice of backup location, whether that be on Upvato’s servers, their own FTP / SFTP server, Dropbox, Amazon, and other providers we’re looking into implementing,” Lundekvam said. “This would make Upvato function as a mere gateway that detects and keeps your backups in sync at your favorite destination, while at the same time presenting the same awesome visual experience on the website to display the sales ad associated with the item.”

Lundekvam remains committed to keeping the core service free indefinitely and may add commercial upgrades if costs exceed what he is able to contribute on his own.

“As long as I am able to sustain Upvato on my own, then it will remain ad-free and completely free to use,” he said. “But of course there are plans to monetize the website if we at some point need help keeping the lights on. That might be ad-generated revenue, or a premium service for premium functionality. But regardless of what we do then, the core functionality of Upvato – backing up your Envato files – will always remain free to use.”

In response to commenters who suspected the service of fraud and users who may be wary of continuing with the service, Lundekvam said, “Upvato is not a fraud in any way. It’s really entirely up to the user if they want to give us a second chance or not. We are a completely free service that intends to do the very best we can do make sure that we stay a reliable, good way to store and backup your Envato files.”


26 responses to “Upvato Backup Service Confirms Files Are Lost, Plans to Relaunch on New Provider”

      • Unfortuantly all of this was explained to Sarah in the email correspondence, and im not sure why she has decided to exclude it.

        I also pointed out several times, and find it important to point ut again this time since it didnt come trough in the article.

        “Upvato paid for their services three months at the time, when it was time to renew the service with our provider (Which specialize, and only sell backup storage) then i was at a point where my “real life” kept me from being as active as i usually am online, and the TWO emails the provider sent me in total (Note: Two emails) before they terminated the service and all files associated with it.

        I am not blaming the provider, hence why I’m not willing to share who the provider was. But i am extremely dissapointed as to how my now ex-provider handled the entire process of renewing the service, with very little notifications, and a complete utter termination of all files without any suspension or shut down of the service first.

        A simple 10 minute down time would have given me all the alerts i needed to realize something was wrong. Trough SMS and real people calling me to ask whats going on. That wasnt the case. This went from working perfectly fine to all files being gone entirely in a moments notice”

        All in all, i got one email saying the invoice was available, one email saying it was overdue and one email saying it was now terminated (A total of two notifications and one final good bye). Thats two emails in a period of 14 days, two emails with all the other 2000 i didn’t have the time to read at the time.

        Smafe runs a hosting company that specalize in PHP specific hosting. And we would never in any way, condone the methods our previous provider used. And hopefully they have learned as well, after all, they lost a client over something they could easily have avoided by clicking two buttons in their WHMCS billing system.

        • Well if you get that many emails (2000) and no time to look at them or find the important ones then for the really important ones, one can either use a filter or a seperate email address. :-(

          On the other hand “what if you had a accident”. Auto renewal by giving them permission to debit a creditcard or bank account would have solved that giving you at least a 3 months of time to take care of stuff in case it really had to stop.

          I totally agree though that the service provider should have kept a full backup aside and not delete all. They are to blame for that part. Don’t understand why its name can not be mentioned as they did a poor job on that part.

        • @Sarah, series of emails when there is actually only two emails send?

          ” I summarised it” ? Are you Serious? Where can we read back some of Freddies response on that part. It is completely missing from the story if you ask me.

    • This is a provider that specialize in backup space, and solely sell large quantities of space intended solely to backup data.

      What if i was in a coma? Dead? In a hospital or in any other way in-disposed from reading the two emails the provider sent? (Which i was). You keep backups because you find what you backup valuable in a way that you dont want to lose it. For a provider that specialize in backing up files, then they should do a lot more then sending two emails before they terminate the entire service.

      Im not blaming the provider for shutting down the service due to a non-payment. I am pissed at the provider for sending me exactly two emails notifying about the invoice, performed no suspension or any action that interrupted the service and instead let everything work and function smoothly until their automated systems automatically terminated my service.

      In my head, for a provider that specialize in backing up files, to terminate all files after 7 days of an invoice being overdue, including termination of all backups they might have (They dont, they just say they do) is completely unacceptable.

  1. I mean, the guy is providing free backups. Give him a break. The fact that any provider would terminate an account and flat-out delete everything immediately is extremely suspect. I would really like to know who that is so I don’t use them for anything ever.

    • My sentiments exactly, free stuff and services often come with this sort of risk. On the other hand he should clearly have charged at least a nominal fee for the service and paid someone to mind the sevice as he clearly leads a busy life. This sounds a lot like Heartbkeed all over again, a busy man with divided attention making a costly mistake.

  2. So if you are in a comma, that service provider is supposed to provide you with free service until you come back? We can all be in a “comma” or sick and not pay our bills.

    My hosting provider, domain registrars, cell phone service provider, my insurance company and my credit card all expect me to pay on time, my CC will even charge me a penalty if I don’t pay.

    I have domains that are due on December 25, January 3, January 10.

    If I know I will be a way for a 3 week christmas vacation, I can pay them right now November 16 for all those domains due on December 25, January 3 and January 10.

    I have been with HostMDS, 1and1, HostGator, IWTHYW, Godaddy and more providers. Some of the above are small, others are big. They all have the ability to setup automatic payments. Which I do.

    My cell phone service, internet, water, electricty, insurance all get automatic payment once a month (insurance is once a year, discount for that). My credit card gets paid from my savings/chequings account.

    You couldn’t get your payments set up?

    Almost every service that I use for my life and work are all automatic charge to my credit card which then goes to my bank account.

    What is your excuse not to of done that?

    Hell I even get my monthly public transit pass mailed to me, and my CC/bank account get charged automatically, it arrives a week or so before the month (december pass gets to me last week of november, and so forth).

    Come on it is 2016. We all have families and lives. I am capable of putting a sticky note on the wall or fridge to remind me to pay something that is not set for automatic payment.

    • “My hosting provider, domain registrars, cell phone service provider, my insurance company and my credit card all expect me to pay on time, my CC will even charge me a penalty if I don’t pay.”

      It’s irrelevant if these services are shut down and terminated, it’s pretty clear how it works, and if your in a coma, you need neither.

      But there is a difference with backups, with a company that specialize in hosting those backups. We’re not talking about a phone number, cc card or an insurance (Which you most likely still have considering your in a coma, otherwise i would switch companies) that can all be replaced whenever your back in the game.

      We’re talking about permanently terminating, removing and deleting sensitive files and information that has specifically been backed up without any means to recover them. Everything you mentioned, can easily be restored back to normal when you yourself are back to normal.

      This is a little bit like being in a coma and your house burns down because you werent there to catch the neighbour kids that try to set it on fire every Halloween. An action that can never be reversed.

      I feel sorry for how little you expect from your backup provider, and i can only assume that there isn’t much in life that means much to you. We stuck notes on walls in the 1960’s, then computers and emails arrived :)

  3. I feel a little bit conflicted about this. Part of me sympathizes with Freddy, as I am human, often miss emails, and sometimes miss bills that are due.

    On the other hand….as a business owner, reliance on email reminders to pay important infrastructure bills just isn’t professional. And then, there is the response.

    Now, maybe I am mis-reading, but I see repeated statements that he doesn’t blame the provider, but 90% of what he says about the situation revolves around how he feels like he was screwed by the provider’s actions.

    If it were me, making this mistake — and I don’t put myself above it — I would be profusely apologizing.

    I’d be saying, “this was an oversight on my part, largely due to family circumstances, but inexcusable nonetheless. I feel terrible about the impact to my customers who trusted my service with their data. I completely understand the justified anger people may feel towards me regarding this situation. Again, I accept full responsibility. I am sorry, and I will do anything in my power to make it right.”

    But that’s just me.

    • Word for word of “What you would do” is what i wrote to Sarah in the emails, multiple times. You can only assume that it wasn’t important enough for her when she “summarized” it.

      I am in no way blaming the provider, but you are correct, i am ultra upset by how they handled it, considering they are a company that specialize in hosting backups, and you don’t make backups in a remote location just for fun, so ultimately the backups mean something and the provider in question should have done a lot more, provided a lot more effort to ensure that i actually wanted to discontinue the service, before they terminated the account.

  4. A lot of people here don’t realize how easy it is for your life to be turned upside down in an instant. One moment you’re walking down the street, the next moment you wake up in a trauma center.

    The cost to the provider of keeping a cold-storage latest backup is virtually nothing. Certainly less than the cost of deleting it and then having customer relations spend time on the phone dealing with the fallout.

    Someone mentioned credit cards, insurance etc. Your health insurance can’t cut out when you’re in the hospital. Credit card companies will keep your card active for weeks if not more than a month, and even then they don’t call the full outstanding balance due. I’ve purposely let domain names lapse, but they live on for months anyway.

    Seven days, with just two contacts through only one channel, is unreasonable.


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