the Web o.: A personal attack would be to insult someone based on qualities they themselves lack or posses, e.g. calling someone a troll. My comment was aimed at your words, not you, and I'll back my assessment up.
condescending: You are doing exactly what I pointed out was wrong with this thread a whole page ago. We already understand what happens to storage quotas when you share folders. We do not need you to explain that to us.
arrogant: Your insistence on explaining what we already understand instead of addressing our complaints suggests a lack of comprehension of the actual problem.
smug: You literally ended your message by laughing at us.
Now, in reply to your next posts:
Who said anything about ISP's? This is about Dropbox; stay on subject. In any case, of course Bob still pays his ISP to download those files. The example still points out that Alice has paid for the storage of those files on Dropbox's servers, so why should Bob have to? Dropbox is marketed by capacity of storage, and touts "simple file sharing." You might have a point if the marketing was done by data throughput, but it isn't.
The very real, legitimate complaint here is that users are not ever made aware that the files within shared folders count against the storage quotas of every user with access. Regardless of the technical reasons for this, it's not intuitive and it confuses users who hit their storage quota because of shared folders they joined.
Explanations about deduplication, bandwidth costs, file systems... It's all irrelevant because users are expecting a certain behavior. Operating counter to that expectation shouldn't just be documented; it should be communicated to the user during the folder sharing and joining processes.
"dont like it, use another cloud provider": This is exactly why this complaint matters. People are leaving. Paying customers are leaving. This complaint isn't about getting more space out of Dropbox for free; it's about improving the experience so that threads like this one aren't necessary. All Dropbox has to do is just tell users how storage quotas are affected when they share or join a folder. That's it. It's so simple, and yet it isn't done. That is our complaint.
Edit: Good job closing a thread of legitimate complaints, guys. Just a fantastic way to run things.
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the Web o.: Your entire poorly-written reply comes across as arrogant, condescending, and smug. We already understand how shared folders affect storage quotas. The problem is that this behavior is both (1) utterly non-intuitive and (2) never explained to the user.
Even those with technical knowledge have complained in this tread, myself among them. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter how well the user understands the underlying technology because Dropbox accounts are marketed at a given capacity of storage.
You don't seem to grasp that this problem extends to paid users as well. For example: Alice signs up for a Dropbox Pro account, giving her a total storage capacity of 1 TB. She has paid for this space, and is happily using it without problems. She brings in Bob, a Dropbox Basic user, to collaborate with her on a project. Alice creates a folder and shares it with Bob, and they're all set...until the files in Alice's shared folder exceed the free space in Bob's own Dropbox and his ability to sync anything is revoked. Why, though? Alice paid for the extra space, so Bob shouldn't have to.
At no point, during the process of sharing or joining a folder, is the user made aware of the fact that files in that folder will count against the storage quotas of all users involved.
The problem at hand isn't that we think this should change (although some of us do have that opinion), it's that this behavior is counter to the overwhelming majority of users' expectations, and by not making an active effort to inform them of this, Dropbox is failing to properly communicate to its customers. I'll prove it: this thread exists.
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Every few weeks, I realize there's a new e-mail waiting for me off in that "Forums" tab of Gmail, and I skim through all the new comments in this thread before archiving the chain and forgetting about it for another few weeks. Every time, it's always the same back-and-forth.
Another perfectly valid complaint about how shared folders affect storage quotas in a completely unexpected manner.
An explanation of how shared folders affect storage quotas, whether or not the user indicated that they already understood that.
A reply from a user about how it's not intuitive.
A detailed reasoning why Dropbox chose to implement shared folders in this manner, failing to address the point about how it isn't intuitive.
Let's clear something up: we are not here trying to argue the facts. We understand how storage quotas are affected by shared folders. Painfully well, I might add. Some of us think this behavior should change, but that's actually a separate discussion that requires first-party input from the folks actually running Dropbox, and is beyond the scope of a thread on the forums.
The very fact that this thread exists underscores exactly the problem: that shared folders affect storage quotas in a completely non-intuitive way--a way that is not made apparent to the user without effectively resorting to reading the manual.
Does it make some amount of sense for them to operate this way from a technical standpoint of having to host and serve the massive amount of data that Dropbox is responsible for? Yes, but again: this is a separate discussion.
Your users are coming to you--many of them not knowledgeable in the field of information systems--telling you they are confused by a specific implementation detail of your platform, and all they get in response is a technical, detailed explanation of why it works the way it does. What's more, each user--sometimes the same user, multiple times--is having this explanation reworded at them, ad nauseam.
How does it fail to dawn on everyone that this is a completely inefficient way to handle the situation? If this information were simplified and presented in a concise manner, up front and without having to dig around, this thread wouldn't even have been made.
And that, right there, is exactly the point I was trying to get across two pages ago. Your users have certain preconceived expectations, and if you are going to operate against those--as is Dropbox's right--is it not obvious that you should make that clear up front instead of waiting until it frustrates someone enough to complain, possibly abandoning your service?
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Dacia doesn't pull a bait-and-switch in their fine print outlining that yes, the car has power steering and an FM radio, but they designed a custom electrical system that more efficiently uses energy, and as a result you can't use the power steering while the radio is on. Sure, the documentation is available if you look for it, and the sales person likely has knowledge of the limitation, but if you hop online to various car enthusiast forums you'd find threads started by owners just finding out about the limitation after nearly crashing on the road because they wanted some music. You'd also find Porsche owners pointing those who complain right to the documentation and telling them to RTFM, and others still that tell them to get a different car if they're not happy with the one they have.
No one is saying Dropbox isn't within their legal right to act this way. We're saying it's a really sleazy thing to do, limiting what is perceived to be a conceptually simple feature in some non-intuitive way without being upfront about it.
Also, this doesn't just affect free users; a Dropbox Pro user would run into this issue as well with enough data.
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1) A shared folder takes NO storage capacity. (folders are not files)
This is a matter of semantics, really. Also, folders on a filesystem do indeed take up space, albeit only a few kilobytes.
2) Files that are in your account take storage capacity. 3) Files in a shared folder are in your account (see 2)
This is precisely the concept that is not explained to the user up-front, and that is the complaint: I should not have to search the help center or ask a question on the forums about how the use of one main, advertised feature of the service (joining a shared folder) seems to gimp another main, advertised feature of the service (storage capacity).
If you are sold a bookcase that fits 2000 books, and with that bookcase you are given the ability to share books with others and have those books available to you and the original owner, and you are invited to share in a section of books that are in someones 5,000,000 book bookcase,
This failed analogy seems to be a rehashing of your "amount of data accessible" argument.
That does not make your bookcase capable of holding 5,002,000 Books! EOL.
Of course not. It means you have access to your own bookcase that holds 2,000 books, and you also can walk over to your friends' bookcase and read one of his 5,000,000 books. If the books exist in both cases, they take up twice as much space in the library. To suggest otherwise belies a basic understanding of the physical world.
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In that case, I would ask you to stay on topic. Obviously, Steve is leaving because of the problem I've outlined very clearly, and which the bulk of the other users in this thread have experienced first-hand.
You are very much allowed to reply in order to bid him goodbye; these are, after all, public forums and I'm sure the mods have no problem with that. However, your post contains nothing that actually adds to this discussion. In fact, it reads to me as if you're looking down and laughing at this person who came here only to cast in his opinion that the issue at hand is real, and that Dropbox will be losing a user because of it.
You've gone on for several posts now since I presented my argument as to why, exactly, this business of taking users' promised space without alerting them is a problem. Your excuse is that it would be a rehash? Since my points are in response to the ones you'd be rehashing, they are ultimately insufficient anyway.
I'll admit, I've been a bit emotional writing a few of these posts, and I can become a bit antagonizing when that happens, but never has that been my goal. If you want my contributions here to be devoid of emotional influence, so be it. To clarify: I am asking for a clear, concise counter-argument to the statements in bold from my previous post. You have yet in this thread to provide such argument, and my previous posts outline exactly why.
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So bye now [...]
Oh, thank goodness. You're leaving. Maybe now the actual complaints about this actual problem can be heard.
[...] just one thing [...]
Oh for f--...
[...] go look up what troll means, and then examine your post for similarities. I think you will be surprised (actually that's sarcasm, I doubt you would get it).
Your attempt at having the last word would have gone better had you actually taken your own advice and looked up the definition. Let me Google that for you. http://lmgtfy.com/?q=define:trolling
"make a deliberately offensive or provocative online posting with the aim of upsetting someone or eliciting an angry response from them."
My aim was to point out that there's a very real problem here, which I'll state explicitly again for the record: At no point during the process of sharing or joining a folder is any user made aware that the use of shared folders, one of the main features of the Dropbox platform, comes at the cost of storage capacity.
The only other task I had hoped to accomplish was to make you understand that your reasoning--indeed, your entire argument--is flawed. "Access to data," or however you word it, is not what Dropbox touts as a feature; they market storage capacity. To promise users a capacity of storage only to turn around an take some of it away without alerting the user is underhanded and deceitful.
Being oblivious to how ignorant and conceited you make yourself look must be great. Prove me wrong by either acknowledging or rebutting my arguments (the two I've reiterated, in bold, above). Your refusal to do so does not magically make me a troll.
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I dont feel like arguing your points since, you strategy of first complaining about how I market MY service and then acknowledging its not mine is pretty wack.
I never once said I was commenting on "your" service. These are the Dropbox forums. We're talking about Dropbox.
All Ill mention is check the volume of files in your dropbox before saying you dont have that volume of files in your dropbox, because you do, that access to those files is shared with others so you can collaborate on content changes, is a bonus in itself, not something that should also give you additional storage space.
I don't even know what you're trying to say here. If anything, it looks like maybe you're just arguing your same old point about users' "amount of data accessible." I thought I had made it clear, but I'll try again.
"Data access" is not what Dropbox is marketing and promising you when you sign up. They offer users a capacity of storage. You can simply change up the wording to address this by saying that when joining a shared folder, you're getting a copy of those files placed in your own Dropbox.
This, however, is not the case. At no point during the sharing or joining process for these folders is the user alerted to the fact that its contents will count against ALL users' quotas, not just the owner. The only exception to this is when there is more data in the shared folder than the joining user has capacity available.
I offer you 2 hours of free viewing of our streamed video content, additional to that users can now also share their own videos they upload. And someone shares one with you, and now you want 18 hours for free? HA!
"2 hours of free viewing" is equatable to throughput, not storage capacity. Your example would be relevant if Dropbox accounts had transfer caps. As Dropbox has no such cap, your example is irrelevant.
As to your complaints, Im a user, Im allowed to think what I like, just as you are, I did due diligence before purchasing this service, and new exactly what I was and was not getting, it was all out there for quick reading, and or sample testing with free accounts. Failure to pay attention cant be blamed on others when it appears to be you who failed to notice.
Really? RTFM? We're not installing Gentoo here. We're synchronizing files with a piece of software that is designed for use by the general public. Such a critical piece of information about how a main feature of the service affects a user's storage quota should be up-front and directly available to the user. They should not have to research or dig around for this information.
And my elitist comment comes from the number of free users who repeatedly tell everyone how they are leaving and then post over and over, your one of millions, DB make money to survive not by supplying you things over me (which they do do by the way), but by hearing problems I have first.
Dropbox is perfectly free to internally prioritize your feedback over mine. After all, you are contributing to their income directly and I am not. That isn't in question here. At the end of the day, the only differences between the two of us as far as our relationships with Dropbox as a company are concerned, is that you've handed them money. Both of us have entered into an agreement with Dropbox that we will respect the terms of service, in return for said service. Just because someone isn't paying you doesn't suddenly mean you should be able to go back on your agreements with them.
PS: get of your high horse dude, I didn't come riding on in commenting on your post first. Trolling me got you a reply. If you dont like others opinions then don't mention them in your posts.
(Emphasis mine.) That word, it does not mean what you think it means.
I am here because there is something legitimately wrong, and you are seemingly blind to it. The very fact that this thread even exists is proof enough that there is a fundamental lack of understanding among users about how shared folders affect storage quotas. Since sharing is one of the main features that Dropbox uses to market its service, this should be unacceptable. That you seem to think it's fine is mind-boggling.
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You keep saying the same things over and over again, as if it will suddenly explain away the problem. And let me be perfectly clear, here: there is a problem.
If your service is marketed by storage capacity per user (and Dropbox is), you can't explain away users' complaints about how sharing affects their storage quotas by citing additional throughput cost. Throughput and storage capacity are two entirely different things, and to limit one on the basis of the other is deceptive when you are promising a certain amount of space at signup.
I also acknowledge that you're just a user, and that you're not the one with whom I should be arguing this point. I was a Dropbox Pro customer until a few months ago when I realized that the space I was using did not exceed the capacity I would still have had as a free user.
You stated earlier in the thread that you aren't here to defend Dropbox, but rather the pricing scheme they use to "make money and survive." Promising users two things (storage and file sharing), and then telling them they may have to pay more to use both of them at the same time, sounds an awful lot like a scam to me.
You seem to think that simply because you are paying for the service, our complaints as free users don't carry weight. You can argue that the only thing they do is storage, and that they might go under unless they boost profits in this very specific, dishonest way. You can argue that as a business, paying customers' voices matter more. I can only hope that enough people realize how incredibly sleazy it is for Dropbox to operate this way. I'll hope that when confronted with the choice between paying for more space and not joining the shared folder they were just invited to, that they'll instead drop the service altogether and move to a solution that doesn't lie to them.
I'd make a comment about what you and the pompous, elitist, "I'm a paying customer so your complaints are less significant" high horse you rode in on can go do in private, but that would be rather vulgar.
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Dave: What your comments don't seem to address is the reason many of us in this thread are complaining. It is never made clear to the user during the process of sharing or joining a folder that its contents will count against all users with access. From signup, (free) users are told that they have "2 GB of space." Well within that limit, a user accepts an invite to a folder belonging to someone else, and suddenly that 2 GB of storage they were promised is gone.
Sure, you can explain why exactly it works this way every time someone posts a thread like this, but as it stands the whole thing feels dishonest. One of Dropbox's largest advertising points is the ability to share files, and yet as soon as a user tries to take advantage of this feature it looks like it comes at the cost of storage capacity.
Don't tell people you're giving them "2 GB of space" and "simple file sharing," only to turn around and take away some of that space as soon as they join a shared folder. It's misleading, it's deceptive, and it's why I'm leaving.
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