Data Cleanse - Beware!

  pambie 20:42 09 Sep 09
Locked

My husband bought me a Dell computer as a birthday present from a well known PC superstore.
Within a few weeks the PC had all sorts of problems so we returned it to the store.
They were most helpful and offered a credit note.

There was a lot of personal information on the hard drive of the Dell but we were assured by the store that they would wipe the hard drive clean before it left their store. This they referred to as their 'Data Cleanse' service.

We could not have been happier under the circumstances.

Imagine our dismay when we received the following email from a London based company.

‘Our company has recently acquired a Dell XPS 420 base unit. The PC is used and it seems it previously belonged to you as there are many files and information on there which refer to you. Some of this data seems to be very sensitive in nature. I don't know how the PC left your ownership but the files are still on the hard drive. If these files are of no use to you then we will destroy all the information on the hard drive in a secure manner, if on the other hand they are needed by yourself then we can provide a backup of all the information on the hard drive and can send you this backed up to a DVD for a fee of £47.

Please let us know what you would like to do as soon as possible as the PC will no longer be in our possession soon.

Thank you’

I can only praise the company who acquired the Dell for their honesty.
The superstore has apologised, but has done nothing else.

Just be warned not to trust the ‘Data Cleanse’ promise! Certainly don't pay for this service!

  GaT7 21:46 09 Sep 09

Good of them to have apologised pambie. It's difficult even getting this out of most companies nowadays.

As for the company who got in touch, that's very nice of them indeed. But for a fee of £47, I reckon they're taking advantage! I'd have done it for £1 to cover postage & the disk (even that would be overcharging tbh!).

Yes, always backup your data & do any cleansing yourself before giving in your PC/laptop for repair, using the many free tools available out there. G

  spuds 22:30 09 Sep 09

If the well known PC superstore is part of DSG, then I would be inclined to inform their head office, because this issue as been raised before about not taking the necessary steps, to erase hard drive information on returned computers.

Procedures are in place, but it would appear as these procedures have been ignored.

  Forum Editor 22:51 09 Sep 09

but has done nothing else."

Not for the first time, if it's the store I believe it to be. Occurrences like this are a total disgrace. Had you expected to be offered a replacement machine I'm sure you would have erased the files yourself before taking the computer back to the store.

You've learnt a lesson the hard way, which can be little consolation. It's a very sad situation when a large computer retailer can't even be trusted to fulfil such a simple and important promise. In your situation I would be making a very big fuss indeed.

  Input Overload 01:23 10 Sep 09

For the future should the same thing re-occur click here it's Freeware & it will sanitize your hard drive to the casual data stealer. It's worth having on your PC anyway to destroy any confidential information as time goes by.

  morddwyd 07:10 10 Sep 09

Am I being overly suspicious in regarding this offer to wipe for £47 a bit dodgy?

Could somebody have found another scam, buying up replaced hard drives and doing some data recovery?

  tullie 09:23 10 Sep 09

I think you may have something there.

  Quiet Life 12:15 10 Sep 09

morddwyd
"If these files are of no use to you then we will destroy all the information on the hard drive in a secure manner, if on the other hand they are needed by yourself then we can provide a backup of all the information on the hard drive and can send you this backed up to a DVD for a fee of £47."
They are not charging for destroying the info but only if a DVD is required. It is not umreasonable to charge as they would be putting themselves out and time costs money.

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