One company promising to make copies of your precious memories is coming under fire from some customers for not doing what it advertises.
Irreplaceable family recordings and photos of loved ones from years gone by are often kept stored away, making them vulnerable to fire or misplacement.
Legacybox says it has a solution: The company offers a mail-in kit that makes it easy to preserve your photos videotapes, film reels and more personal items.
But some customers say their precious memories were lost or came back destroyed.
Pat Larkin wanted to surprise her husband, Ronnie, with a digital recording of film from his days racing cars in the early 1970s.
So she packed the family treasure of the 8mm film and carefully followed the company's instructions, she said. When she got the package back, though, the cherished 8mm film was gone, and there was no copy, she said.
“I was just very upset,” she told Inside Edition, wiping away tears. “It still upsets me, because I don't have it. I'm sorry.”
In a statement, the company said it could not explain what happened. It added, “Unfortunately the 8mm did not show up in our possession.” Larkin requested a refund, which was delivered. But, she said, money can't fully replace what was lost.
Larkin is not alone. Jessica Thorne wanted to preserve a film of her deceased grandfather as a gift to her grandmother.
“I would have a permanent copy of invaluable memories,” she said.
“This was one thing that could have brought her back into moments that she would never ever get back,” she said.
But when her Legacybox came back, she said the film was destroyed.
“A portion of our family history has been completely lost,” she said.
Inside Edition spoke to four former employees of Legacybox, who all claimed they saw some people’s personal items become damaged or go missing.
“We had a technician [who] had literally thrown, I had no idea how many, reels' worth of 8mm film into the trash can,” one former employee told Inside Edition.
Another former employee told Inside Edition, “I would never trust them with digitizing my home movies.”
“You were helpless and it was gone and there was nothing you could do,” Larkin said.
The company said it has 6,000 five-star reviews, which demonstrates it has many satisfied customers.
But when Inside Edition looked at Legacybox's website, there was a five-star review from a woman named Debbie that was identical to a review on another one of their websites, Kodak Digitizing Box. This identical review was from someone named Barbra, suggesting that some of the reviews might not be what they appear. The company said this was a mistake and has since made a correction.
“This affected me, it affected my grandmother. It affected our entire family and it’s something we could never recreate,” Thorne said.
The company said that in the last couple of years since those former employees worked there in 2017, there have been significant tracking, barcoding and processing improvements. The company also says in the past year it's helped nearly 100,000 families preserve their memories and the vast majority are very satisfied. As for the dissatisfied customers? The company said it offered to fix Thorne’s film, which she declined, so they provided her a refund. Legacybox also gave Larkin a full refund.