Why We Bailed on SugarSync (and Moved to Box)

At my company CitySourced, collaboration is key and for a long time we were die hard Dropbox users. They have a spectacular product from a consumer point of view, but as we grew, it was clear their product would not work for me and my team in the long term. Yes, I’m aware that they have a Dropbox for Teams. But that product is really just a half-baked attempt at addressing the real needs for an enterprise. All that being said, we looked to evaluate a couple other platforms – SugarSync, JungleDisk and Box. We went with SugarSync because of: 1) price and 2) user administration features. SugarSync was a complete epic fail because it didn’t work. The one thing it was supposed to do, sync, it didn’t do consistently. Folks on my team were constantly complaining that they weren’t getting the files others were adding, and I wasn’t seeing files they were adding. And to put icing on the cake, their support was horrendous. They would close out trouble ticket issues within 48 hours if there was no response. Fail. They would close out trouble ticket issues if the sending email didn’t match the account. Double Fail. (Our exchange server uses a {firstname.lastname} convention, but we all use the {firstname} convention when signing up for services) Now I’m sitting on hold for chat service. Triple Fail. Yes, you read that correctly. Chat. They don’t even have a telephone support line. At least if they do, I couldn’t find it on their website (and I looked hard).

The bottom line for us was that the product didn’t work, and they didn’t support it anyways. I’m a very busy guy, and I don’t have time to wait 10 minutes in a chat queue so a call center agent in India (or wherever) can run me through a script. Of course, I probably wouldn’t have to wait that long if their product worked in the first place.

We’ve since moved on to Box and I have to admit, the service is working pretty well. It’s syncing (albeit a little slow for my tastes) and the user management seems to work very well. We’re also allocated 1TB of storage. All in all, I’m happy with it so far. If things do go south and we have to bail on Box, I’ll be sure and write a post on that. But let’s hope it doesn’t come to that.

— UPDATE!

I’ve just gotten off my chat session with SugarSync customer support (after my 10 minute wait), and they’ve now told me to call in. ┬áNice. I wanted to call in at the beginning, but couldn’t find the number on their website. For anyone reading this, please take note. SugarSync’s customer service telephone number is: 877-784-7962. If you’re outside the US, you can call: 650-356-6356

I’m glad this catastrophe is behind me. Sheesh!

4 comments for “Why We Bailed on SugarSync (and Moved to Box)

  1. Terry
    April 18, 2012 at 6:35 AM

    I would recommend you to try SyncBlaze as it will fit in your needs perfectly. Share and collaborate on content with your team.

  2. January 18, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    Came across your thread and couldn’t agree more. Sugarsync, as of late, has been the wrst decision we have made. Our files are being deleted at times when nobody is in the office. When I called into their phone support line they said they would look into it and “CALL US BACK”. They never called us back and closed the ticket “because of failure to respond within 48 hours.” Really? I mean, really? In a fast paced environment where syncing files is a necessity, Sugarsync is an epic FAIL. I would recommend all to just stick with what works. Dropbox.

  3. flavaflav38
    May 9, 2013 at 12:35 AM

    Totally agree. Tried out SugarSync for a few weeks, just looking for an alternative to Dropbox. Had trouble with certain files not syncing, they would partially upload, then re-set, then re-set again, never actually uploading (since switching to Dropbox they uploaded perfectly, first time!!).

    Tried to take this up with support. Big mistake!!

    Their support is shocking. If you have an issue, you’re f***ed!!

  4. Procky1
    February 13, 2014 at 7:18 AM

    Your experience with SugarSync sounds EXACTLY like my recent experience with DropBox. Read below:

    I’ve been using (and promoting) Dropbox since the company launched. I currently have a Professional Dropbox account with more than 100 GB of storage but sadly, have watched their customer service gradually degenerate to its present useless state. Recently, without any warning or notice, they seem to have abandoned any pretense of telephone support, and their email support is hardly a gesture.

    I have been using a Dell E6520 for the last 2 years (see my CNET article about my dealings with Dell at […]. This PC has a 32-bit OS, which was required at the time to accommodate the many important legacy utilities I was using, which were not yet available in 64-bit versions. Now that most of those utilities have been updated, I purchased another E6520 as a backup PC, this one with a 64-bit OS.

    I immediately installed Dropbox, of course, and this is where the fiasco began. When I tried to sync my company project files, they were all DELETED – not only from the Dropbox site, but from the other 2 connected PCS, as well. Moreover, they did not even appear as “Deleted Files” on the Dropbox site. I didn’t have any other backup, because Dropbox and my other 2 PCs WERE
    (I thought!) my backup! This could have ended my relationship with my Fortune 500 client!

    In shock, my first impulse was to call Dropbox Tech Support. I quickly discovered that there were NO support numbers posted anywhere; even the GetHuman number led to an announcement stating that phone support was no longer offered. I went back to the Dropbox site and learned that phone support was, in fact, available only for Business Accounts, at $75/month or $795/yr. (on their current sales site). OK… I was ready to pay, and there was a phone number! I called the number and another announcement informed me that I had to send an email and wait for a response.

    I went back to their Tech Support page and filled out a ticket, explaining what had happened, and begged for someone to reply ASAP. The page promised that a tech would contact me “within 24 to 48 hours”. Three days later a tech emailed me. I replied explaining what had happened, and begged him to call me – at ANY price. I never heard from him again.

    I now realized that I was absolutely on my own. My pulse rate eventually returned to double digits, and I began to analyze what had happened.

    I discovered that, on all 3 PCs there is a folder named “.dropbox.cache” under the Dropbox folder. This folder was never visible on my 32-bit E6520, regardless of my folder settings; after I saw it on the 64-bit PC, I found it on the 32-bit PC by searching by name with Explorer++, and I then created a shortcut to it. On each PC, the folder contained several dated child folders; i.e., my current .dropbox.cache folder contains folders for today, plus the last 4 days. On one of the PCs, this folder contained copies of every missing file (in some cases with the name truncated), appended with a 32-character hash code – more than 450 files in all. There was no hint of a tree structure in the file names, but I figured that I could at least identify and retrieve my current work (and not get fired!)

    Searching the Web, I discovered that a utility named “Python” was supposed to be able to restore all the files in the .dropbox.cache. folder to their original tree structure. I downloaded it and followed the instructions, but it failed to work – presumably because it was intended for an earlier version of Dropbox.

    I noticed that, when I viewed my Dropbox.com site from the 64-bit PC, many folders were completely absent, but were present when accessed from the 32-bit PC. This suggested that those folders weren’t visible to Dropbox on the 64-bit PC.

    I immediately realized what had happened. I have been in the habit of placing 1 or 2 leading underscores before the folder name of my current client company in Dropbox so that it would appear at the top of the folder tree by default. This had never caused a problem in all the years I’d been using Dropbox. But, in the 64-bit OS, Dropbox simply DELETED any folder named with 2 leading underscores, although it saw folders with a single leading underscore. I searched on the Dropbox FAQ for any such warning, and found only the cryptic message, “Dropbox doesn’t always play nicely with different file systems”.

    To remedy the situation I first paused syncing on all 3 PCs. Then, on my main PC – the 32-bit E6520 – I moved the parent folder for my client outside of Dropbox and, still outside of Dropbox, created a new one, eliminating any leading underscores. I backed up the good .dropbox.cache. file and, one by one, copied the files to their correct locations in the new client folder tree. I then copied the repaired client folder tree back into Dropbox. When I resumed syncing on all 3 PCs, everything worked fine. I’m now back up and running – no thanks to Dropbox.

    Business lesson learned: If you have a critical business need for Dropbox’s sync functionality, you’d better steer clear of Drobox and look to some comparable service, like Cub, DrivePop or Tonido, for example, where customers matter and telephone support is available – either free or by subscription. Do yourself a favor and call the Tech Support number before you sign up!

    Postscript: Today, 5 days after my first contact with Dropbox Tech Support, I received an email with some instructions from a support agent that may have been helpful if received sooner: “The Events Log in the left column on your Home Page displays recent changes that have taken place in your account.” Since the disaster event was visible in the log, Dropbox might possibly have been able to undo it upon request. In any case, responding only after 5 days (by which time I’d have been looking for work!) shows that the Tech Support Dropbox now offers their ordinary paying customers is fictitious; relying on it would be folly for any professional user. With all the strong competitors in this arena, it should not be necessary to pay for Dropbox’s $75/month Business Plan to obtain technical support.

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