And the Dropbox debacle continues

There are times where you cannot help but sit back and enjoy the sight of a company repeatedly stabbing itself in the eye. Today it is Dropbox’s turn.

A couple days ago Dropbox updated their TOU with some unsettling language. A lot of us got upset on Saturday because, as we saw it, Dropbox gave themselves the right to do what.ever they want with our content. I was bothered more by the repeated changes to the license than what it said, but that’s not the important detail today.

A friend just sent me a link to a recent tweet she received from @dropbox_support. Whoever is running that account is about to get fired. He’s responding to all complaints that mention Dropbox and the TOU problem with the same link to the same article. Here’s what my friend tweeted:

Seems to me the people who are harshing on @dropbox are people with intellectual property at stake.

In case you were wondering, there’s not really a good response that Dropbox can make to that tweet. That was a tweet that should have been left alone. (At least wait until the rest of the marketing dept got back tomorrow!) But no, here is what Dropbox sent back:

And people who have never read a TOS before.

The really fun part is that this isn’t just a single response. There are dozens of tweets like this. And some are from conversations that are 3 and 4 tweets deep from this account!

Update: Someone finally figured out their mistake an deleted the tweets from@dropbox_support. Lucky for us I grabbed the screenshots from a couple tweets (here, here).

What makes this worse is that the link goes to a snidely written blog post from 2008 that defends the language Dropbox used in the TOU agreement. But that post, while probably legally correct, does not address all of the issues raised. It is also incredibly arrogant of @dropbox_support to suggest that those who are upset by the changes are simply ignorant.

My friend described the subtext of the Dropbox tweets this way “May the Universe F*** You Up the Ass Without Lube” and I have to agree. Pardon me for stating the obvious, but you don’t talk to customers like this.

So what we have here with Dropbox is a trifecta of FAIL: technical, corporate, and customer service. A couple weeks ago they bungled their security one Sunday morning when they broke the password protection. A couple days ago they upset a lot of users when they changed the TOU agreement.

And today they’re calling people on Twitter ignorant. Now this is smooth.


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. karen wester newton4 July, 2011

    Have you seen this post?

    I don’t know much about it, but that post sounded like the voice of reason.

  2. Robert4 July, 2011

    After reading your last post about drop box I deleted my account…

  3. Moriah Jovan4 July, 2011

    They’re gone.

    DropBox apparently deleted all their replies and FUCK ME that I didn’t get a screenshot of that.


    1. Nate Hoffelder4 July, 2011

      I did.

  4. hey nate,
    I’m really sorry about the defensive/rude tweets that went out on that account. it’s never okay to communicate to users like this and I’ll be making sure it doesn’t happen again. sent an email to you privately as well.


  5. Moriah Jovan4 July, 2011

    Playing fair:

    Arash did send me an email personally apologizing for the tweet.

  6. Mike Cane5 July, 2011

    Did they apologize for the eff-up of the TOS? THAT is what bloody matters.

  7. P A Wilson5 July, 2011

    I’m really hoping they straighten this up. I like using the service and the other TOC pretty much say the same thing. I know I looked.
    If I had a realistic option, I would probably take it, but moving out of DropBox and syncing somewhere else is something that takes time I don’t have, and as I said above, all the TOC say the same thing.

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