It’s a simple question, and one that you would think is asked frequently — what happens if you fail to keep up with your cloud storage payments? Do files get deleted, continued to be stored, are there additional costs? 

After an ample amount of research and inquiry emails to four major cloud storage providers, it seems each enforces its own policy about this topic. Here’s a quick look into the fine print.

Google Drive, Dropbox, JustCloud & SugarSync

In Google Drive’s purchase policies and conditions, user accounts are set to auto-renew. Due to insignificant funds or expired credit card, if renewal fails, a 7-day grace period is given to resubmit payment information. If it is not updated, 30-days are given to clear account space or purchase a new plan. Upon official expiration, storage limits are set to the free level so files are still accessible but cannot be created or added.

Dropbox's website displays a similar policy to Google Drive. When an account is downgraded or payments are not made, it defaults to the free service. New data cannot be imported but existing documents are not erased and can still be utilized.

More rigid terms and conditions were found when reviewing JustCloud. About a quarter of the way down a very long page of text, unpaid invoices were addressed. If not paid within seven days due to negligence, rejection or denial collection proceedings can begin and extra interest charged. Cancelled, non-renewed, expired or terminated accounts will have information deleted immediately.

SugarSync states that when a paid subscription commences, it can charge the provided credit card until the account is canceled. There was no specific time frame listed for how many payments could be missed before cancellation or termination but both are effective immediately, revoking use and access to the service.

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Conclusion

It’s apparent that there is a variety of policies when it comes to paid cloud storage. And although none of us enjoy reading “terms & conditions,” it could be beneficial, educational and protect against the loss of stored data or information.

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Full explanation of usage and payments can be found on individual company websites. All four providers were contacted about this question and any answers will be added. Do you subscribe to any of these services and have you ever missed a payment? Would these policies affect your decision when choosing a new or different cloud storage provider?

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