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Why would RingCentral indiscriminately delete SMS messaging histories without first providing tool for customers to control their data use?
Tags: sms and text messaging
Feb 13, 2019 at 1:08pm   •   0 replies  •  0 likes

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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