Making your first call to a data recovery company can seem overwhelming as pricing can be different than you had expected. The reason being that it’s a niche service that is extremely specialized. As with any service, who to hire for your data recovery need is a consumer decision, so shop wisely! When trying to understand data recovery pricing you have to take a few things into account.

Data Recovery PricingRecovery Complexity Should Matter

Companies that offer flat rate recoveries without physically examining your failed media probably aren’t being candid about the limited recovery work they are willing to do for the low advertised price, or about the final cost of the recovery. For example, have you ever gotten into a car accident and called your mechanic and at the end of your call you received a flat rate? Us either. It doesn’t happen with cars and it shouldn’t happen with your hard drive.

Be Wary of Hidden Costs

Be aware of hidden fees for “lab work”, “parts”, “high capacity hard dives”, “Mac/Unix”, etc. These will all dramatically increase the final cost of your recovery. In these situations, a minimal amount of work will be performed for the quoted price, unless the failure is extremely simple. When you consider the frequent need for expensive parts and the required hands-on time for the recovery, you can see that truly successful data recovery is generally not possible for the very low prices that are being advertised.

Quantity vs. Quality

Many companies operate by bringing in as many recovery cases as possible, advertising a ridiculously low starting price ($99-$350), or offer a flat-rate for all (regardless of the type of recovery work needed), which will never apply to your specific situation. They will inevitably only recover the simplest cases while declaring the more complicated ones unrecoverable. Sadly, many of these so-called “unrecoverable” cases are actually quite recoverable, provided the company has the tools, expertise, and dedication to successfully recover each and every failed media they receive. With many of these low-cost companies, the quantity of cases trumps the quality of their recoveries. The first attempt at recovery always has the best chance for success, so this service model spells disaster for many data recovery clients.

Result Driven Company

In addition to the above, using performance-based methods for acquiring services should always be encouraged as it ensures the service provider is highly motivated to deliver. These service providers will always go the extra mile to ensure that the recovery results are as good as they can get as, otherwise, they will see no rewards for their efforts. Always look for data recovery companies that are transparent about their No Data No Charge policy and be cautious if companies ask for upfront fees or for your credit card information prior to delivering results.


When shopping around for a data recovery service, look beyond sticker prices and walk away from unrealistically low prices or upfront fees. Be cautious of hidden charges or a complete flat rate pricing model. Always ask questions to make sure you completely understand the company’s recovery procedures and pricing policy to avoid any potential costly surprises. Looking for a results based company is always advisable, and ensuring that the company you are considering is reputable is obviously always important. It is the combination of all these key points that should guide you in choosing a company that deserves to earn your business as after all, the first recovery attempts always have the highest chance for success.