If you call around, you are going to find that every data recovery company has their own policies, procedures, and pricing options. But, the firms that can complete the job, normally base their prices on the following basic factors about their company:
- Qualifications and certifications as a data recovery provider
- Level of data recovery technology
- Experience of engineers
- Experience with diversity of: manufacturers, structure, and failures of devices
How data recovery prices can be manipulated by companies:
- They won’t give you a flat rate price on the phone.
- They charge by the hour.
- They have hidden fees, try to charge you for moving the data to recovery media
- Charge you by the recovered data’s size.
- They will tell you they need to evaluate the drive to tell you exact price AND this price differs by a range of thousands of dollars for recovery of a single drive.
- They will give you a very low data recovery price to get you to send in the drive, and once they have it raise the price triple or more.
- Give you a recovery cost range that is very low to very high (ie. $400-$2400) and the fine print will tell you to expect a price at least 75% of the range
We have learned you appreciate knowing exactly what the final price will be BEFORE you send your device in. Who wants to send their property to someone who can’t even give a reasonable flat rate quote?
SERT is transparent about pricing, explaining your situation, and puts you “in the know” throughout the whole process.
SERT’s data recovery service price list is based on three common factors:
- Storage capacity of the hard drive
- Symptoms of the drive
- What parts are required to rebuild the drive (when necessary)
- Quantity of hard drives (when more than one ie. RAIDs)
- Configuration of the drives (RAID arrays)
- Previous attempts to recover the data
- Desired turn around time
All of these 7 points will change the amount of labor, bench time, clean room time, and actual money we must invest in your drive before we can even determine if the files are recoverable. Remember, we do not make a dime unless we recover your files.
While there are many sizes of drives, pretty much every recovery case falls into one, of two categories. We have an easy flat rate price for each of them!
- Basic Level – This applies when a drive is able to be imaged on our hardware level imager (no software, Windows, Linux, Apple) and has minimal bad sectors, and images in a n appropriate amount of time. A 2TB hard drive in good shape but wont recognized on computer should take about a day to get a bit level image of that drive on our hardware. Every quality data recovery service has basically the same advanced equipment.
- Advanced Level – This applies when the drive will not initialize on our imaging hardware. It Includes: firmware level problems/corruption/damage that must be temporarily repaired first, too many bad sectors causing imaging to take more time than normal, major file system damage. It also includes mechanical level, where physical parts of the drive have failed and must be repaired/replaced including: PCB, Read Write Head Failure, Frozen Spindle/Motor (cost of donor parts not included in recovery fee), etc.
- If a case requires parts, those are always additional, paid up front, and non refundable.
- When it comes down to data recovery fees, the reality is your files are only worth what they are worth to you. We get it.
- At some point, data recovery prices may be more than what it will cost you to live without the files, or recreate them.
- We understand your position, and do our best to give you the most secure, transparent, and reasonably priced flat rate service for recovering your files.
1. Do I have to pay SERT upfront?
For standard cases, there is absolutely no fee required from you until after we have recovered your files. For clients within the US, we will create a prepaid shipping label for you so you can send your device to us.
2. Can you give me an estimate price?
We can do better than that. We will provide you with one of the lowest flat rate recovery fees in the United States. We have a basic, and advanced flat rate price for most of our recovery services. We always attempt to qualify all our cases for our basic flat rate recovery price first.
When we get a drive in that does not qualify for our basic recovery, a case manager will call you and go over what was found, and why it does not qualify. This is the only time your recovery fee might change, if you were not already quoted both levels to begin with.
It may be necessary to purchase replacement parts to rebuild your drive so we can work with it. When this is is the case, the only additional fees would be for the parts themselves. We simply pass that cost along to you, as our investment is the labor.
If you were not initially quoted the advanced fee, you will always have the option for us to return the drive, and pay shipping and handling. However, if you were quote both and do not want to move forward with the advanced recovery due to parts costs, (or any other reason) a $99 evaluation fee may be required to return your device.
3. I don’t want my drive repaired I only want my files back.
In some cases where the device has a serious problem, we may have to temporarily repair it (which may include replacing parts) so the drive will work properly. Many times we have to do this first, before we can determine if your files are recoverable.
- We don’t repair your drive and send it back to you.
- When a drive fails you never want to trust it again.
- We don’t repair drives and send them back so you can move the files on to another device yourself.
- When you receive your drive, you will receive it in the same condition you sent it to us in with your data on a different working drive.
4. How do I know all drives don’t end up requiring the advanced recovery price?
First, it’s our pleasure to provide a low cost effective solution to get your files back. It’s better for us to qualify your drive for flat rate as this means we can turn around your recovery, and get your files back to you faster. This means we can do more recoveries on a daily basis.
If your drive does not qualify for the flat rate recovery, it means there is something substantially wrong with your drive. These types of recoveries require more resources, bench time, labor, and potentially parts to continue to determine if your data is recoverable. Sometimes drives are also too badly damaged to be recovered.
5. We are committed to the final price for recovering your data!
Once you make a commitment to a final price, we invest the time to get the job done before you even pay a dime. You only pay after we recover your data, right before we give it back.