There are three good reasons for going local. First of all, it reduces the distance your Mac (or its hard drive) has to travel and therefore reduces its exposure to further damage or theft (the drive itself might not have any value but the data on it presumably does).
Secondly, it is easier to identify any red flags about the premises where the work is to be undertaken. For example, it should be easier to identify if a business address is in a residential area and if it is to check and see if it looks like an industrial building which just happens to be in a residential area or if it looks like it’s actually a private house. The latter may be fine for software-based recoveries but if a hard disk/SSD drive requires a physical repair then this needs to be done in hygienic conditions.
Thirdly, it means that you will have (fairly) straightforward legal recourse in the event of a dispute. Most companies have a policy of insisting that disputes are settled under their local laws and by their courts, which can make it more challenging to get resolution if something goes wrong.
For the sake of completeness, you want to verify the location where the work will actually be done. If a company is advertising multiple service locations, then it’s a safe bet that the vast majority of these will be drop-off points or customer-service points rather than proper data recovery labs, which are hard to staff and expensive to set up and run.
Make sure the service can actually handle Mac HDDs/SSDs
As previously mentioned, data recovery for Macs is a very specialist niche so check specifically if a data recovery service can actually handle it. To make matters even more complicated, Macs can have either traditional (mechanical) hard drives or the more modern solid-state drives (SSDs). SSDs carry all kinds of data recovery complications of their own, which is why they are also, currently, a niche market (albeit one which is expected to grow). This means that potentially a data recovery service for Macs could handle Mac hard drives but not Mac SSDs.
Decide if there are any value-add services you may require
The obvious one here is fitting a new drive into a laptop and importing all your data into it so it is close to being an exact replica of what you had when your Mac hard drive was actually working.
It is very unlikely to be a 100% match as the data recovery process tends to recover only the actual data, in other words not file names and certainly not folders. Instead you’ll get a list of files with names which have been created by the software used in the recovery process and extensions showing their type (e.g. .doc. .jpg .pdf etc) and you will then have to redo the naming process yourself. Again, not all data recovery services for Macs will necessarily offer this service so you will need to check.
Check the process and billing conditions
What you want is for a data recovery service to offer you a free, no-obligation quote in which they will set out what they think is wrong with your Mac hard disk/SSD, what percentage of your data they think they can recover, what steps they propose to take to recover it and how long it will take. This last point will generally be negotiable depending on how much you are willing to pay. The important part is that you should only be billed anything at all if the data recovery service actually succeeds in recovering your data, at least to the extent they say they can.
Insisting on a no fix/no fee service will stop you from getting caught out by companies which may well “have a go” at recovering your data but which will charge you for their efforts rather than their results. This is preferable at the best of times, but is particularly important when it comes to choosing a data recovery service for Macs because you often only get one chance to recover your data and you want to put it to good use.
If you want to speak to a reputable data recovery service for Macs, please click here now to contact Aperio.IT.