“My experience is exactly the same as the ones below.
I paid about £200 for them to tell me it was too damaged and needed the clean room and after the clean room tell me it would be £80 for motherboard, £395 for new heads and another £120 for recovery with a 50% chance of recovery.
I gave up on it and never expected to ever get my data back. Fast forward 6 months and I am lucky enough to end up in a relationship with a guy that owns a data recovery company.
The mother board was broken. It should have been no more than the £80 for the motherboard and £120 for data recovery.
It did not need a clean room and there was nothing wrong with the heads. My partner recovered all my data at the first step of their diagnostic process. He said it was a simple and most normal type of problem.
This company are either incompetent or cowboys. I think it is more the latter.
Avoid at all costs.”
“They claimed £120 fixed fee and they can recover my data. They got the Hard drive and then said it needed to be opened in a clean room and the cost would be around £500. I told them to leave it and they returned my hard drive. I then took the hard drive to Cheadle Data recovery in Stockport who had a look at the hard drive. They told me what I had been told by Essential data recovery was a pack of lies. Cheadle Data recovery was able to recover the data without using a clean room at half the price quoted by Essential Data.”
“I just want to echo Toby's comments.
I sent my hard drive believing that I'll be made to pay a fix rate of £120+vat (if they could recover my data), which was far more attractive than what many other companies were asking for.
After sending my email, I received a first email saying that my "hard drive was too damaged to be connected" to their data recovery imaging equipment and suggesting that it could be examine in their clean room chamber but that they would charge £55+vat "to produce a quote to repair your drive well enough to be connected to our data recovery equipment."
So basically £55+vat to just get a quote. So much for their "no data, no fee" claim. I was reluctant but given that I had already sent my hard drive, I went ahead with it.
A couple of days later I received another email with their quote: a total of £485+vat (including the £120 no data, no fee) to try to recover the data in my hard drive, with a 50% guarantee of success. In other words, if they were unsuccessful I would have been made to pay £365 + vat (in addition to the £55+vat already paid) and not recover any idea.
Again they left me the choice to go ahead or decline and this time I asked them to return my hard drive (which they did - without charging me for the post).
So they might be very competent in recovering data and my hard drive might have been too damaged (it was disconnected without being ejected) but I find their marketing strategy deceitful. I'd be interested to find out how many customers who have recovered their data have indeed pay £120+vat.”
“They sell this as a £120+VAT Flat fee - it isn't. I believe the only time this fee would be charged is if the problem was something like a registry/boot error causing the PC not to start up. Anything over and above this will bring hefty Non-Refundable charges.
After an initial check they informed me they would need to open the disk up to see what was wrong - a £55+VAT Non-Refundable Charge straight off the bat. Before proceeding I did ask for a ball park figure and was told could be between £50 and £800 - but it is rare for a disk to be that badly damaged that it would warrant £800 worth of work - so I went ahead. Guess what? The disk was very badly damaged and required £580+VAT worth of spares/work to even attempt to get the data off (@120+VAT) - which I was told would be 50/50 chance. This is for a disk that did nothing more than sit inside a PC as a storage disk - hadn't been in a flood or fire or explosion!
Needless to say I didn't go ahead - and asked for my disks to be returned. Even this took a week as they reckon they were sent out and the post office returned them all to sender accidentally...yeah right - the packaging didn't show they had been through the postage system twice. If you ask me they probably outsource the clean room work and make their money on the easy fixes from non-tech savvy PC users.
The data recovery service sector is a minefield - good luck!”