Why “cloud” services are a bad idea…

eyefi

Rant time:

Many of us use cloud services alot. Personally I’ve shied away from most, save one: the Eye-fi premium online┬áservice.

For those not familiar, the company Eye-fi created SD cards with built in WiFi access points and clients. The cards were FAR more expensive then regular SD cards (for example, 1 slowly performing 16GB Eye-fi card would cost ~$100, while a “normal” 16GB card could be had for $20).

That said, the benefit was that all your photos would automatically upload to your PC and “the cloud” (although admittedly eye-fi didn’t call it that).

I integrated these Eye-fi cards into my flows with great success (I have several). The automation allows for me to run scripts that sort things and keep everything very tidy.

The service isn’t cheap, $60/year, but well worth it for my uses.

That said, Eye-fi has now just shown why staying away from cloud services is a good idea. After paying alot of money for these cards, and the service itself, I just got the following email:

Important News from Eyefi
Dear Eyefi customer,
We are announcing that the remaining online 
services (OLSs) for Eye-Fi View and Eye-Fi 
Premium (collectively referred to as legacy 
products) will end on September 9, 2015. 
This change will impact you if you are using 
the online services with the original Eye-Fi 
and Eye-Fi X2 product line. We have 
maintained support for these legacy services 
as long as possible, but due to marketplace 
realities, we are unable to continue 
operating them. See here for affected 
products and complete list of OLSs, as well 
as frequently asked questions.

Going forward we will provide a variety 
choices for using third-party services in 
concert with the award-winning Eyefi Mobi 
product line. The Eyefi Mobi card, apps 
and cloud service incorporates state of 
the art capabilities for integrating 
third-party offerings. In early August, 
we will announce a bundle of products and 
services for migrating Eyefi Premium 
accounts from the legacy products to Eyefi 
Cloud. Please keep an eye out for the notice 
regarding account migration.
As always, thanks for your continued loyalty 
and support.
Regards, Eyefi

 

This is the problem with cloud services. Even though the service is sold as something you can rely on, they can just one day decide to remove it, and you’re SOL.

For those not familiar, Eye-fi decided to create a new series of cards, and a new online service. The fatal error on their part was the new service wasn’t compatible with the old cards.

I’m sorry Eye-fi, I’m not spending hundreds of dollars buying new cards to replace perfectly working “legacy” SD Eye-fi cards just to use your new “service”.

Eye-fi isn’t alone in this sort of thing, we’ve seen other providers just dump their customers in similar ways.

I await the “offers” they will make to their legacy customers, but I don’t hold out much hope.

To Eye-fi: thank you for making a product that worked reasonably well, and now for making it almost worthless. After treating your “loyal” customers this way, how do you expect to get new customers?

 

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