A Warning about ExpanDrive / SmartSync

On March 9th I tried to purchase a “lifetime” license for StrongSync ($150), the new tool for Google Drive which works on M1 Macs (and which allegedly will work with Dropbox “soon”).

Upon completion of the sale, the receipt page showed that I had only been charged for a one-year license ($50), even though I was sure that I had selected the “lifetime” license.

I contacted support and reported this issue to them.

They asked me to place a second order for the “lifetime” license, and then they would refund the first.

I went through the exact same steps again and had the exact same result.

Now I had two incorrect licenses and two incorrect charges for $50/each (or so I thought).

I reported this as well.

Then the developer got in touch (via what I assume is an automated system that asked how my experience with “ExpanDrive” was going). I replied to him telling him about the problem. He replied with words to the effect of “Our system isn’t generating receipts properly, but you did get a lifetime license (twice). I’ll send you a new receipt and refund the incorrect charge.”

To be clear: Instead of $100 worth of charges, I had $300 worth of charges on my debit card because a) their system was broken and b) they told me to go through the process a second time.

Someone from the support staff replied and said the same thing: they would issue a refund and would get me an updated receipt.

I explained that this was a business expense and that getting it resolved was a high priority for me.

Two weeks have passed and I have heard nothing more.

I have sent several requests for updates. No response whatsoever.

In the meantime, I had to write a letter explaining this whole fiasco to the church treasurer (the whole reason that I wanted this in the first place was to use Google Drive, which the church is starting to use and Google doesn’t yet support M1 Macs for Google drive). It’s entirely possible now that the refund, assuming it comes, will be on a different billing cycle than the original charges, which is going to make more work for the treasurer to track this down and make sure that it is resolved.

Anyone can make a mistake. Obviously, the incorrect receipt problem was a mistake. I can accept that.

That mistake was compounded by a support person who told me to repeat the process. Had they just tried to fix the order immediately or even just checked their system to see that the order had gone through for $150 instead of $50, all of this could have been avoided.

Anyone can make a mistake. But when you make a mistake that involves someone else’s money, you fix that mistake as quickly as possible, and you respond to their follow-up emails as quickly as possible.

What you don’t do is turn into a black hole where follow-up emails are ignored.

Let the buyer beware.


Can you dispute one or both charges with your debit card company?


I can, and I probably should have done that a week ago, but I know that tends to causes problems for the seller, not to mention that it’s a giant PITA and time-suck.

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I mentioned earlier in the previous thread that I have concerns with how ExpanDrive operates. They basically, develop software that they do not maintain nor support. So you end up in similar situations like yours.
I am very sorry that you had to get through that. Please dispute one of the charges before it’s too late, as long as you didn’t hear back from them, just dispute it.

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Just to close the loop here… they did finally fix the issue, but it required me to get angry about it via email after having asked nicely several times.

I hate getting pushed to that point, and I don’t like myself when I do it, but unfortunately it seems to be the only thing that gets a response from people at times. But it leaves me feeling gross.

Anyway, I hope that the issues are worked out on their website now, but just be careful, especially if you are going for the ‘perpetual’ license.


Sorry you had to feel that way but I’m glad you got the issue resolved and shared your experience with us.

IMO your response to the problem was reasonable. Especially since it wasn’t your money that was involved. :+1:t3:

I was having issues using sshfs on an iMac that I’d installed using homebrew.
Homebrew has stopped supporting sshfs so started looking at other possible solutions.
Before sshfs I had been using Transmit Drive which is also now deprecated.

ExpanDrive was the only other bit of software I found that would do what I wanted.
I installed it and it did exactly what I wanted but in testing I found it was capping out at 800kbps when doing a file transfer - previously with sshfs it would saturate my line.

I received an email from the developer within hours (probably automated) asking if there were any issues etc. I replied and mentioned that transfer speed wasn’t what I was expecting and if there was anything I could do… 4 days later nothing.

Installed sshfs again from github and found the same speed issue.
Looked around and found someone had reported a bug with sshfs and macOS restricting the speed and also provided a fix in a pull request - over a year ago.

So seems all ExpanDrive is doing is using sshfs with a UI wrapper and the Dev could have fixed the issue and released an update and I would probably have bought it.

Now I have rebuilt it from the open source tools it has saved me some cash and learnt something :slight_smile:

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I have a StrongSync network location that shows up in the finder sidebar after having uninstalled the app (twice) using AppTrap. I would hesitate to recommend any expandrive/strongsync software.

Currently using CloudMounter from Setapp on my M1 MBA.

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The developer seems like a nice enough guy… but he also seems to be in over his head. He has created multiple apps that (in my experience) barely work.

IIRC, he has launched another new app (S3 Pro) since SmartSync, which was barely past 1.0 and had lots of issues.

I had a billing problem with my SmartSync order and could not make any progress trying to get it resolved until I threatened a chargeback through the credit card company, then it was suddenly resolved the same day.

I very much want him to succeed (I own ‘lifetime’ licenses to two of his apps) but I don’t have either of the apps installed, and don’t plan to unless I hear that something remarkable has happened.

For using Dropbox on my Mac, I’m still very happy with Maestral, as discussed elsewhere on the site.

Also StrongSync. The developer was active in this thread for a bit.