T-Mobile Sidekick users rejoice, your contacts are coming back … finally.
In what has to be the biggest disaster to date for mobile data loss, T-Mobile and Microsoft have finally figured out a way to get your contacts back on to your Sidekick. Microsoft made the following announcement earlier this morning:
The Danger / Microsoft team continues to work around the clock and has completed its latest round of rigorous tests. We are now ready to make the first phase of the content restoration process available to you, starting with personal contacts.
This data restoration effort is only necessary for the minority of customers who lost data from their Sidekick devices.
Beginning today, log into the My T-Mobile website, where there will be a recovery tool to restore contacts you may have lost during the recent service outage. This tool will enable you to view the contacts you had on your device as of October 1. With a few clicks and a confirmation, you will be able to restore these contacts to your Sidekick. If you have recreated some of the same contacts on your Sidekick since October 1, you can choose to keep both sets of contacts, merge them, or just keep the set of contacts now on your device. You may also edit any partial or complete duplicates on your Sidekick after restoration.
We continue to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to restore your data. We’re making solid progress on the next phase in this restoration process, including your photographs, notes, to-do lists, marketplace data and high scores.
While it is nice to see progress being made, it would be even nicer to finally get some sort of official word as to how T-Mobile plans to make this up to their users who have suffered through weeks of this mess now.
Microsoft has announced that “most, if not all” data lost in the recent Sidekick debacle is being recovered.
The following letter was issued by Microsoft today:
Dear T-Mobile Sidekick customers,
On behalf of Microsoft, I want to apologize for the recent problems with the Sidekick service and give you an update on the steps we have taken to resolve these problems.
We are pleased to report that we have recovered most, if not all, customer data for those Sidekick customers whose data was affected by the recent outage. We plan to begin restoring users’ personal data as soon as possible, starting with personal contacts, after we have validated the data and our restoration plan. We will then continue to work around the clock to restore data to all affected users, including calendar, notes, tasks, photographs and high scores, as quickly as possible.
We now believe that data loss affected a minority of Sidekick users. If your Sidekick account was among those affected, please continue to log into the T-Mobile Sidekick forum at http://www.t-mobile.com/sidekick for the latest updates about when data restoration will begin, and any steps you may need to take. We will work with T-Mobile to post the next update on data restoration timing no later than Saturday.
We have determined that the outage was caused by a system failure that created data loss in the core database and the back-up. We rebuilt the system component by component, recovering data along the way. This careful process has taken a significant amount of time, but was necessary to preserve the integrity of the data.
We will continue working closely with T-Mobile to restore user data as quickly as possible. We are eager to deliver the level of reliable service that our incredibly loyal customers have become accustomed to, and we are taking immediate steps to help ensure this does not happen again. Specifically, we have made changes to improve the overall stability of the Sidekick service and initiated a more resilient backup process to ensure that the integrity of our database backups is maintained.
Once again, we apologize for this situation and the inconvenience that it has created. Please know that we are working all-out to resolve this situation and restore the reliability of the service.
At last there is a silver lining to this T-Mobile Sidekick disaster: you can get out of your contract.
As we reported yesterday, it appears that T-Mobile not only made Sidekick users go without their data for a week, they ended up completely losing everything.
Originally T-Mobile was offering a free month of data services as an apology for the week long outage, but now at least one person is reporting to Gizmodo that you can get out of your contract for free due to the data loss. According to the T-Mobile customer, they were offered a slightly discounted G1, a phone that runs on Google Android, told about BlackBerry units or apparently you can just leave the carrier all together.
The T-Mobile site is also currently showing all versions of the Sidekick as “Temporarily out of stock.”
No matter how you slice it, this was a disaster for T-Mobile and for their customers. While it is understandable that some consumers didn’t have their data backed up locally, what possible excuse is there for people who work professionally in the data industry to have not done so? One of the first rules of any upgrade is to back up your data, so why didn’t T-Mobile?
If I was a Sidekick user, I wouldn’t only be getting out of my contract, but leaving the carrier all together. (I was with T-Mobile for one 2-year contract from 2005 to 2007 … that was enough)
Never let it be said that you shouldn’t back up your data.
After a week of issues, T-Mobile and Danger (a subsidiary of Microsoft) have announced that users of the Sidekick cell phone have had all their data lost. Apparently an upgrade was being performed on the network, and no one thought to make a backup before preceding. After the upgrade failed, all contacts, calendars, to-do lists and so on that were stored on the servers was erased.
Sidekick users who do not power down their phones, pull the batteries for a reset or let their phones run out of power will still be able to backup the data locally on their computers, but if no backup is done, you will lose all of your information fairly quickly.
While storing data in a “cloud” is always convenient, this is exactly why you don’t want to rely on it 100%. It never hurts to save your data locally as well as off-site.
T-Mobile released the statement below, and we are sorry to hear this has happened to so many people.
T-MOBILE AND MICROSOFT/DANGER STATUS UPDATE ON SIDEKICK DATA DISRUPTION
Dear valued T-Mobile Sidekick customers:
T-Mobile and the Sidekick data services provider, Danger, a subsidiary of Microsoft, are reaching out to express our apologies regarding the recent Sidekick data service disruption. We appreciate your patience as Microsoft/Danger continues to work on maintaining platform stability, and restoring all services for our Sidekick customers.
Regrettably, based on Microsoft/Danger’s latest recovery assessment of their systems, we must now inform you that personal information stored on your device – such as contacts, calendar entries, to-do lists or photos – that is no longer on your Sidekick almost certainly has been lost as a result of a server failure at Microsoft/Danger. That said, our teams continue to work around-the-clock in hopes of discovering some way to recover this information. However, the likelihood of a successful outcome is extremely low. As such, we wanted to share this news with you and offer some tips and suggestions to help you rebuild your personal content. You can find these tips at the T-Mobile Sidekick Forums (http://www.t-mobile.com/sidekick ). We encourage you to visit the Forums on a regular basis to access the latest updates as well as FAQs regarding this service disruption.
In addition, we plan to communicate with you on Monday (Oct. 12) the status of the remaining issues caused by the service disruption, including the data recovery efforts and the Download Catalog restoration which we are continuing to resolve. We also will communicate any additional tips or suggestions that may help in restoring your content.
We recognize the magnitude of this inconvenience. Our primary efforts have been focused on restoring our customers’ personal content. We also are considering additional measures for those of you who have lost your content to help reinforce how valuable you are as a T-Mobile customer.
We continue to advise customers to NOT reset their device by removing the battery or letting their battery drain completely, as any personal content that currently resides on your device will be lost.
Once again, T-Mobile and Microsoft/Danger regret any and all inconvenience this matter has caused.