A few years ago, my sister had an unpleasant experience with a data recovery service whose name I shall not disclose. They would essentially disassemble one's crashed HDD and examine through it and if you were to decline their services, they would charge examination fees before they would return it. Well, given the data 'held hostage', I was not surprised that most people paid up.
Anyhow, I shall relate a good experience. I was not able to access my HDD some weeks ago, and I could hear a 'clicking' sound. I called up three different data recovery services, Adroit Data Recovery Centre, Ontrack Data Recovery and Data Savers. The quotes ranged from $500 to $2600 depending on the difficulty of recovery (as well as the possibility). I decided on Data Savers which was located at Suntec City Tower One. They had guaranteed if no data were recovered, they would not be charging.
After a preliminary examination, they were able to determine that the drive head was either spoilt or off alignment and that there were no damage to the platter! Hurrah! Anyhow, all my 'lost' data was recovered thanks to them. Cost? $480 including GST. Recommended.