Provide tool to enable users to monitor data use and download data before RingCentral indiscriminately deletes messaging history (SMS, etc)

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The idea presented here is born from a serious and on-going support issue now open with RingCentral. While investigating significant data loss that recently occurred within our RingCentral business account (e.g., the loss of 3+ years of SMS correspondence with our customers), we've just learned from RingCentral technical support staff that their development team, needing to "improve" SMS system performance, recently imposed hard limits without providing prior specific notice to all RingCentral customers and without providing recourse before enforcing these new data caps. In the course of rolling out this service "improvement", it appears many customer may have experienced SMS data loss.

While this change was made to improve on-going service (which we, of course, should/would appreciate had it not caused grievous harm), RingCentral's failure to give notice and provide recourse before enforcing its new data caps is a serious dereliction of duty in safe-guarding its customer data. While our data remains lost (we are, of course, escalating the matter accordingly in the hope that our customer information can be still be retrieved or, in some other manner, our business reimbursed), we have requested that a limit monitoring and alerting tool proposed here be implemented to avoid further harm to RingCentral's SMS customers (and any others similarly affected by this rollout).

Such a monitoring and alerting tool could/should minimally:

  1. Inform the account holder of the exact message count with respect to any limit imposed on the account (in our case, limits are apparently by phone number registered under the account and our cap is now ~5000 SMS messages per RingCentral phone number -- although RingCentral's support staff were unclear as to whether that cap is for total messages sent or total combined messages sent and received before deletion begins (we're still awaiting clarification and, regardless, there is no way today to monitor an account's message totals against RingCenral's newly imposed limits).

  2. Alert the user of exactly how many messages are at risk of deletion (as the algorithm appears arbitrary in its size where one week ago each of our accounts was truncated from all messages ever sent and received down to the last year only being available and, as of today, only the last 8 months being available).

  3. Permit users to download their SMS text messaging history [by individual phone number as well as globally] directly from their accounts (via an Admin Portal "SMS Log" interface tailored for managing text messages similar to what is available for managing voice messages presently under said portal's Call Log)

  4. Offer to connect and/or enable the archival tool that is available under RingCentral's Admin Portal Tools | Archiver to a Google Drive, DropBox or similar cloud storage provider to help prevent future indiscriminate/arbitrary account data deletions (as we've experienced because of RingCentral's recent service "improvements"). 

  5. Promise that, in future, such improvements be vetted internally for any potential negative impact on customers and, thereafter, that rollout include prior notice that affords customers time to change business processes and, here, data archival practices to avoid such significant loss. 
Without such a tool in place, our long-standing trust in RingCentral will remain as lost as our SMS customer data presently appears to be.

Finally of note, under US data privacy laws and regulations (indeed we have some :), the act Clarifying Lawful Overseas Use of Data (aka the CLOUD Act) which was introduced in February 2018 and signed into law by President Donald Trump March 23, 2018, states that:

“A provider of electronic communication service or remote computing service shall comply with the obligations of this chapter to preserve, backup, or disclose the contents of a wire or electronic communication and any record or other information pertaining to a customer or subscriber within such provider’s possession, custody, or control, regardless of whether such communication, record, or other information is located within or outside of the United States.”

In short, as a U.S. resident, your data can be gotten to regardless of where its placed (whether inside the US or outside in a country “with which the U.S. has an executive agreement.”) Congress justifies that in another section, claiming the following:

“Timely access to electronic data held by communications-service providers is an essential component of government efforts to protect public safety and combat serious crime, including terrorism.”

In our case, even as the owners of the data, we have (so far since reporting this issue) been afforded neither timely access to our SMS data nor any certainty of its storage duration at RingCentral ... this is absolutely unacceptable and apparently unlawful. Hence our request for a retention monitoring and pending deletion alerting tool as partial recourse for our loss.
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LEARNING CENTERS

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  • lost

Posted 7 days ago

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LEARNING CENTERS

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Why would RingCentral indiscriminately delete SMS messaging histories without fir....

While investigating significant data loss that recently occurred within our RingCentral business account (e.g., the loss of 3+ years of SMS correspondence with our customers per Case Number 08276193), we've just learned from RingCentral technical support staff that RingCentral's development team, needing to "improve" SMS system performance, recently imposed hard limits without providing prior specific notice to all RingCentral customers and without providing recourse before enforcing these new data caps. In the course of rolling out this service "improvement", it appears that we (among many other RingCentral customers) have experienced significant SMS data loss.

While this change was made to improve on-going service (which we, of course, should/would appreciate had it not caused grievous harm), RingCentral's failure to give notice and provide recourse before enforcing its new data caps is a serious dereliction of duty in safe-guarding its customer data. While our data remains "lost", we are, of course, requesting this matter be escalated accordingly to the highest levels within RingCentral in the hope that our customer information can be still be retrieved or, in some other manner, our business reimbursed for this significant lost.

To avoid further harm (i.e., business data lost due to indiscriminate, deliberate data deletion by RingCentral's service optimizations), customers should be provided a monitoring and alerting tool that will minimally:

  1. Inform the account holder of the exact message count with respect to any limit imposed on the account (in our case, limits are apparently by phone number registered under the account and our cap is now ~5000 SMS messages per RingCentral phone number -- although RingCentral's support staff were unclear as to whether that cap is for total messages sent or total combined messages sent and received before deletion begins (we're still awaiting clarification and, regardless, there is no way today to monitor an account's message totals against RingCenral's newly imposed limits).

  2. Alert the user of exactly how many messages are at risk of deletion (as the algorithm appears arbitrary in its size where one week ago each of our accounts was truncated from all messages ever sent and received down to the last year only being available and, as of today, only the last 8 months being available).

  3. Permit users to download their SMS text messaging history [by individual phone number as well as globally] directly from their accounts (via an Admin Portal "SMS Log" interface tailored for managing text messages similar to what is available for managing voice messages presently under said portal's Call Log)

  4. Offer to connect and/or enable the archival tool that is available under RingCentral's Admin Portal Tools | Archiver to a Google Drive, DropBox or similar cloud storage provider to help prevent future indiscriminate/arbitrary account data deletions (as we've experienced because of RingCentral's recent service "improvements").

  5. Promise that, in future, such improvements be vetted internally for any potential negative impact on customers and, thereafter, that rollout include prior notice that affords customers time to change business processes and, here, data archival practices to avoid such significant loss.
Without such a tool in place, our long-standing trust in RingCentral remains as lost as our SMS customer data presently appears to be.
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Jessica - Community Support, Official Rep

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Hi LEARNING CENTER, 

I understand where your frustration is coming from. I see from the case notes that you are working with a supervisor to address your situation. We will keep this idea open on our forum for other Community members to vote on and share feedback about. If I can help further, please feel free to email community.support@ringcentral.com
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LEARNING CENTERS

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Thank you, Jessica -- your acknowledgement of the gravity of this issue for us is appreciated. Now, per our cases notes and as you apparently have chosen to merge our separate support question hereunder as just an "idea", with only a few days to go before billing is to resume on our account (our annual renewal was placed on hold by RingCentral while the appropriate technical teams investigated our data loss), could we please get an update from your technical support and/or engineering staff concerning their efforts to resurrect our lost SMS text data?

Failing that, please extend the billing hold accordingly until such time as the data is to be restored.

Please understand that both the resurrection of our SMS data deleted by  RingCentral as well as your implementation of prophylactic measures to prevent such indiscriminate deletion in future (via the tool suggested here) are requirements fundamental to our renewing with RingCentral.
(Edited)