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Author Topic: Increase in Credit Value at Fotolia?  (Read 46075 times)

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« Reply #100 on: February 03, 2010, 03:43 »
0
Eireann,
Thanks for your kind words, and I do see the apology as one to all Fotolia contributors not just me, at the end of the day it could have been anyone of us who got that reply. I felt real down last night what with one thing and another and had decided not to even bother with any forum at all and just work hard at producing more photos and illustrations.I have now changed my mind on that and will still be posting as I enjoy it so much (usualy!)


« Reply #101 on: February 03, 2010, 06:30 »
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so if buyer paid for package of 325 credits or more - we are actually getting higher % then specified in our level?


I couldn't give a monkey's uncle if every single sale I've made has actually been paid out at a higher % than agreed. All that argument says is that there is no agreement and you just take what you get, higher or lower.

In fact, hardly any of my sales are subject to American tax so presumably most of them are to Europe and cost 40% more than the US price. It seems to me that Fotolia is implying that it probably all averages out, while the reality is that it is probably crediting me with an average nearer 25% than 31%.

And look what that does: if they credited me with, say, $100 at a rate that was really 25% but should have been 31%, then I lost $24 in unauthorised deduductions. That isn't a six percent reduction in my earnings, going from 31% to 25%. It is a 20% pay cut.... all hidden behind a smokescreen of "well, it probably doesn't make much difference".

Now, multiply that out across the entire company earnings


« Reply #102 on: February 03, 2010, 11:09 »
0
I skimmed that Fotolia thread, and it only reinforces the conclusion I reached yesterday after reading the contributor agreement: these people are simply incapable of making a clear, unambigious statement of policy.

As far as I can see, the agreement makes no real, specific, quantifiable commitment with regard to commissions.  It uses words like "percentage" and "credit" with no context or definition.  

Sure we could leave our images there,  take whatever we get, and tell ourselves it's just easy money.  But do we really want to trust these same people to protect our interests with regard to all these shady "partner" sites that seem to have access to our images?  That I think is where we could really get hurt.  Yes I know they can supposedly only generate thumbnails.  Do I accept that on faith?

How do we know we're even getting paid for sales on these partner sites? Do we just trust Fotolia?

For whatever reason, Fotolia doesn't sell much for me - it's way behind IS, SS and DT.   I plan to give Fotolia  a week or so to issue a sensible, clearly worded comittment on commissions and if they don't, I'm pulling out.  Or I should say, I'm starting the process of pulling out - I suspect it may not be easy to flush my images out of those wonderful partner sites.



« Last Edit: February 03, 2010, 11:35 by stockastic »

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #103 on: February 03, 2010, 11:37 »
0
I skimmed that Fotolia thread, and it only reinforces the conclusion I reached yesterday after reading the contributor agreement: these people are simply incapable of making a clear, unambigious statement of policy.

As far as I can see, the agreement makes no real, specific, quantifiable commitment with regard to commissions.  It uses words like "percentage" and "credit" with no context or definition.  

Sure we could leave our images there,  take whatever we get, and tell ourselves it's just easy money.  But do we really want to trust these same people to protect our interests with regard to all these shady "partner" sites that seem to have access to our images?  That I think is where we could really get hurt.  Yes I know they can supposedly only generate thumbnails.  Do I accept that on faith?

How do we know we're even getting paid for sales on these partner sites? Do we just trust Fotolia?

For whatever reason, Fotolia doesn't sell much for me - it's way behind IS, SS and DT.   I plan to give Fotolia  a week or so to issue a sensible, clearly worded comittment on commissions and if they don't, I'm pulling out.  Or I should say, I'm starting the process of pulling out - I suspect it may not be easy to flush my images out of those wonderful partner sites.




I'm pulling out. Do you know if we have to delete the images one by one or can you request they delete the whole port?

« Reply #104 on: February 03, 2010, 11:41 »
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I'm pulling out. Do you know if we have to delete the images one by one or can you request they delete the whole port?

As has been suggested previously, I would make sure that you (politely) let them know why you are leaving them.

Nothing speaks louder than an unhappy customer (or supplier in this case) that is willing to take action.

« Reply #105 on: February 03, 2010, 12:25 »
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I'll let them know why I'm leaving, but not until I'm sure all my images are deleted and no longer available on partner sites.   Some of the people running these microstocks are petty, immature and vindictive and I'm not just talking about Fotolia.   


RacePhoto

« Reply #106 on: February 03, 2010, 12:45 »
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I'm pulling out. Do you know if we have to delete the images one by one or can you request they delete the whole port?

I did all but two images, one by one. I'm done. I asked if I could close my account and cash out, they said no. (fair enough that's their policy, I read it, I agreed, no problem here)

All I'm hoping is that I can spend the credits on something useful and go away.

I don't think that one little person is going to make a difference and I think that so many people are hungry for income that most will put up with this rude and insulting treatment. Too many will just take the whipping from the boss man (Fotolia), whimper in the corner, and take the slave wages. The big ones don't care and the little people don't matter.

For three years I've been reading how FT pulls crap like this, over and over. If you speak up they say they will close your account and keep your money, even if it's on a forum like this one. Their attitude sucks. They control contributors with fear and threats. Then the double talk message about how they care about us, which didn't answer one question or address the issues, was the final straw.

I had already removed most of my files quietly, but now I'm a quitter.

Maybe someone would like to start a petition or Facebook group, "I quit Fotolia"  >:(

What does this really say below? As far as I can see, nothing but, we'll get back to you, here's a bunch of fluff and snow that we'll throw at you until the peasants quiet down. Nice to apologize Chad, that's kind. Now how about the real questions? Things like commission is a percentage of what? Credits are valued how?



Hi Fotolians,

I realize you have a lot of questions about some of the strategies Fotolia has rolled out lately. Fotolia is committed to providing clear communication and individual attention to each of our Customer Service inquiries. In the last couple days, brevity has taken precedence over clarity on some individual inquiries. This is not to Fotolia standards. On behalf of the entire team, I extend a sincere apology.

We have taken this opportunity to learn from this experience and reaffirm our commitment to our community. Our contributors are extremely valued for the content they provide. We ask for your continue support and patience as the details develop over the coming days. We are adjusting the website and communication materials, so this new structure is clear to all those in the Fotolia community. In the meantime, we will be starting a new thread and encourage you to post any inquiries there or to contact Customer Service directly. Thank you for your understanding.

Chad Bridwell
Director of Operations
Fotolia LLC


What happens when the customers find out about this?

I can be replaced by a chimpanzee with a camera, but the buyers can't!  ;D
« Last Edit: February 03, 2010, 13:27 by RacePhoto »

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #107 on: February 03, 2010, 12:53 »
0
I wish I had a million dollars and could take them to court over all this. I haven't read the contributors agreement but it more than likely it says if you close your account they keep the money. I know alot of them have this in their contracts. How many people actually read the terms and conditions before they click "accept". I am deleting my files one by one as I post. I also have 28.00 sitting in my account.

RacePhoto

« Reply #108 on: February 03, 2010, 12:58 »
0
I wish I had a million dollars and could take them to court over all this. I haven't read the contributors agreement but it more than likely it says if you close your account they keep the money. I know alot of them have this in their contracts. How many people actually read the terms and conditions before they click "accept". I am deleting my files one by one as I post. I also have 28.00 sitting in my account.

Convert them to credits and buy something from someone here, that's my plan.

« Reply #109 on: February 03, 2010, 12:59 »
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Well great - so I can't just request my money and leave,  I have to wait until I make a payout.   After that, I'll close the account so fast they'll notice a brief red glow from one of their servers.

XPTO

« Reply #110 on: February 03, 2010, 13:02 »
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I think that a good measure against this way of working of FL would be if we could come up with a good mail, stating all the negative actions, wrong-doings and deceptions that FL has been submitting it's contributors, as well the damage they constantly inflict on us and starting to send it to every site, magazine and client using FL images.

Just googling we get a lot of references.

This way they would know that they were collaborating with an agency that is dishonest in the communication, using deception to lower the commissions and exploitive with their contributors.

We are "bombarded" with fair-trade products rightfully showing how multinationals exploit people in poor countries. Well, we're being exploited also so let's show FL costumers the way they operate and present other agencies (like SS and DT for example) that could serve them as well, but use greater respect with their contributors.

This mail should state only factual events so there would be no place for legal action from FL.

I think subversion is the only way to fight people like the FL, since it's impossible to unite microstockers in any organized action.

FL is one of the biggest agencies to me (and I live from stock alone) but I'm tired of getting worried with this crap, when I should be more preoccupied with taking new photos. I don't wish FL to fall but if they don't start respecting us, I don't care if they fall because the buyers will go to other agencies where we all have the same images.

Let the clients of FL know that when they buy an image from this agency they are contributing to people that exploit the good-will (and pockets) of their contributors.

If a photographer leaves it's easily replaced by another, but does the same happens if a client leaves?

I think FL would start listening then...
« Last Edit: February 03, 2010, 13:05 by XPTO »

« Reply #111 on: February 03, 2010, 13:53 »
0
@Stockastic, Donding,
I'm not trying to change your mind, but let's do this in a more organized manner. The more of us do it, the greater our chances for success.
Let's first decide what's the best way to deal with this issue.

Are we writing a letter? Who's writing it?

Do we stop uploading? When do we stop?

Are we pulling ports out? When do we start?

Is there anybody wanting to take charge of this?
I worry, don't go by yourselves, wait for all of us.

230 images online, no sales, no money, nothing to lose. Count me in.

@XPTO,
I already use the 'fair trade' argument all the time :)
I posted about it on DT a few months ago.
And I keep repeating this to all my friends and all the designers I know.
I'm also going to leave a note on my DT profile.
When buying a fair-trade pack of coffee my cappuccino tastes just that bit better.
In my case, whenever possible, it works.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2010, 14:25 by Eireann »

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #112 on: February 03, 2010, 14:00 »
0
I've already started pulling my port one by one...I'm sure they are noticing this on their site if there are alot of contributors that have already started doing this. I agree with Eireann as being just a small fish in the big ocean, they proubably don't care, but if the big boys get PO they might realize what is going to happen!!!

« Reply #113 on: February 03, 2010, 14:43 »
0
@Donding,
I thought about it a bit more, and I realised that unfortunately, if you're doing it this way, you're not going to make much of a difference. Neither will I for that matter.
You're only going to hurt yourself, don't do it, Donding!
For this to work we need the big players, experienced photographers with thousands of great images to step in.
But of course, these are the people who make a lot of money and have to consider things very carefully.
Wait until they decide what's best to do. Then it's our turn to follow in their steps.  Just wait a little bit longer please! Give yourself a bit more time!

« Reply #114 on: February 03, 2010, 14:49 »
0
@Donding,
I thought about it a bit more, and I realised that unfortunately, if you're doing it this way, you're not going to make much of a difference. Neither will I for that matter.
You're only going to hurt yourself, don't do it, Donding!
For this to work we need the big players, experienced photographers with thousands of great images to step in.
But of course, these are the people who make a lot of money and have to consider things very carefully.
Wait until they decide what's best to do. Then it's our turn to follow in their steps.  Just wait a little bit longer please! Give yourself a bit more time!

Doing what you feel is the right thing doesn't mean you need to wait until someone with more clout goes first. Likely they won't. They may in fact have sweetheart deals making all this fuss irrelevant to them. It's simply deciding if you are being taken advantage of and then deciding if you want to do something about it.

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #115 on: February 03, 2010, 14:55 »
0
@Donding,
I thought about it a bit more, and I realised that unfortunately, if you're doing it this way, you're not going to make much of a difference. Neither will I for that matter.
You're only going to hurt yourself, don't do it, Donding!
For this to work we need the big players, experienced photographers with thousands of great images to step in.
But of course, these are the people who make a lot of money and have to consider things very carefully.
Wait until they decide what's best to do. Then it's our turn to follow in their steps.  Just wait a little bit longer please! Give yourself a bit more time!
I'll wait but I imagine things are not going to change there. I started deleting from the back to the front and have gotten alot of them deleted already, starting with the old dust gathering photos. After thinking about it...don't you have to wait six months to get your most recent uploads taken off?

« Reply #116 on: February 03, 2010, 15:20 »
0
True Zeus,
you're right.
And this is why I'm offering to take part.
But I don't just want to pull my port and leave. I don't have those kind of feelings and doing so won't be much help to anyone anyway.
It goes nowhere.
My motivation is not so much personal, it is the hope of making a difference.
If I am to pull my port, I'm in, but let's do it in an organized way. Better chances of success.

I'll be watching this thread.
-----------------------------------------------

Actually, sorry, Zeus, I came back. No matter how I look at it, you're right. They are taking advantage of us. Should I just pull my port out now? Will that make them stop? I'm thinking about it, give me a bit more time.  
« Last Edit: February 03, 2010, 15:29 by Eireann »

« Reply #117 on: February 03, 2010, 16:57 »
0
donding and lizard,

Some facts.

In the contributor's FAQ, it's written: 1 credit = 1 USD
http://www.fotolia.com/Info/Contributors#item_8

Then there is the table of sizes vs ranking vs credits.  If you want to understand that table as USD instead of credits, it's up to you.  But when you go to any other FT, it's always the same number (therefore, credits).  The table for subs is more clear: commission is in credits.

In the buyer's FAQ, it's written: 1 credit = 1.2 USD
http://www.fotolia.com/Info/Faq#a07
And in the Credits' page: prices are in credits; credit from US$ 0.75
http://www.fotolia.com/Info/Credits

This is the new part.  Indeed, this means we are being ripped off.  However, given that there are actually discounts, the price of a credit is actually variable.
http://www.fotolia.com/Member/BuyCreditsChooseAmount

I do agree it's more likely the actual, effective average credit price will be above US$1, and then we will lose money.  Even if they say the actual average is below US$1 - and we will not believe them if they do - I always prefer the transparent way.  31% of 75c or 31% of $1.20, it doesn't matter, that's my fair share.  I may even lose in the end, but it's transparent and fair.

However, this is not what is written in the site.  Our share is 31% (in my case) of each credit.  Was it not written like this when we signed up?  Unfortunately I did not print a copy of the terms that time, but I think it was.  If we interpreteded it differently, it's our problem.
Quote
Transactions on the Website, including downloads of Works and the remuneration to an uploading Member in the event his or her Work is downloaded, shall be conducted using Website credits (Credits) in accordance with Fotolia's Standard pricing and payment policies  and subject to any amounts that may be owed to Fotolia with respect to such transactions

http://www.fotolia.com/Info/Agreements#7.

As in any other site, FT puts a not in the TOS saying they can change anything at anytime.
Quote
Fotolia shall have the right, in its sole discretion, to amend the terms and conditions of this Agreement, in whole or in part, at any time, and any such changes shall be effective immediately upon member notification and publication of such changes on the Website. Your continued use of the Website after the effectiveness of such changes and notice constitutes your acknowledgement and acceptance of the terms and conditions of this Agreement, as so amended. If you do not agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of this Agreement as so amended, do not use or access the Website.
If at any time the terms and conditions of this Agreement are no longer acceptable to you, whether or not as a result of an amendment by Fotolia, do not use the Website.

http://www.fotolia.com/Info/Agreements#2.

I've always wondered if it's legal to have this one-side breech, but the terms are there. I questioned them also when DT introduced subs, as it was a change in our agreement.

Now, is it a fair way to treat contributors?  No.  Should they have implemented a new pricing with at least a small increase to us? Yes.  But what they did, to my understanding, is legal.  Unfair, unethical, but legal.  Or not?

Like they said in other occasions, as also DT said in other occasions, they may say now we will not lose because, according to their numbers, the average will be below US$1 and the discount packages will attract buyers, thus bringing a higher overall revenue.  Given our previous experience with FT, we will not believe them. 

But again, I certainly was much more harmed when they changed my commision from 35% to 32% in April.  Overall earnings increased because of the higher credit/image in larger sizes, but our share was nevertheless reduced.  Then came January and we had our commissions cut ever further.  THAT was outrageous for me.  The recent change was so small compared to this...

« Reply #118 on: February 03, 2010, 17:48 »
0
The thing is, Madeline, that there is no longer any such thing as a "website credit" because it is defined in different ways on different pages. I have no doubt that tomorrow if we go and look there will be a new classification "subscriber credits" and "customer credits" replacing the now ambiguous "website credits".

The value of a credit for customers is now clearly defined as being $1.20 on the US site, it is not somewhere between 0.75 and 1.20. Anything other than $1.20 is defined as a discounted rate from the true credit price of 1.20.

« Reply #119 on: February 03, 2010, 18:39 »
0
It's madelaide.   ;)

Everything you said is in my message.  We simply have different interpretations. 

Mind you, some of us are always suspicious of new members coming only to post flamed replies on a specific controversial thread (a series of them, in this case).

I only discuss facts. 

« Reply #120 on: February 04, 2010, 01:50 »
0
donding and lizard,

Some facts.

In the contributor's FAQ, it's written: 1 credit = 1 USD
http://www.fotolia.com/Info/Contributors#item_8

Then there is the table of sizes vs ranking vs credits.  If you want to understand that table as USD instead of credits, it's up to you.  But when you go to any other FT, it's always the same number (therefore, credits).  The table for subs is more clear: commission is in credits.

In the buyer's FAQ, it's written: 1 credit = 1.2 USD
http://www.fotolia.com/Info/Faq#a07
And in the Credits' page: prices are in credits; credit from US$ 0.75
http://www.fotolia.com/Info/Credits

This is the new part.  Indeed, this means we are being ripped off.  However, given that there are actually discounts, the price of a credit is actually variable.
http://www.fotolia.com/Member/BuyCreditsChooseAmount

I do agree it's more likely the actual, effective average credit price will be above US$1, and then we will lose money.  Even if they say the actual average is below US$1 - and we will not believe them if they do - I always prefer the transparent way.  31% of 75c or 31% of $1.20, it doesn't matter, that's my fair share.  I may even lose in the end, but it's transparent and fair.

However, this is not what is written in the site.  Our share is 31% (in my case) of each credit.  Was it not written like this when we signed up?  Unfortunately I did not print a copy of the terms that time, but I think it was.  If we interpreteded it differently, it's our problem.
Quote
Transactions on the Website, including downloads of Works and the remuneration to an uploading Member in the event his or her Work is downloaded, shall be conducted using Website credits (Credits) in accordance with Fotolia's Standard pricing and payment policies  and subject to any amounts that may be owed to Fotolia with respect to such transactions

http://www.fotolia.com/Info/Agreements#7.

As in any other site, FT puts a not in the TOS saying they can change anything at anytime.
Quote
Fotolia shall have the right, in its sole discretion, to amend the terms and conditions of this Agreement, in whole or in part, at any time, and any such changes shall be effective immediately upon member notification and publication of such changes on the Website. Your continued use of the Website after the effectiveness of such changes and notice constitutes your acknowledgement and acceptance of the terms and conditions of this Agreement, as so amended. If you do not agree to be bound by the terms and conditions of this Agreement as so amended, do not use or access the Website.
If at any time the terms and conditions of this Agreement are no longer acceptable to you, whether or not as a result of an amendment by Fotolia, do not use the Website.

http://www.fotolia.com/Info/Agreements#2.

I've always wondered if it's legal to have this one-side breech, but the terms are there. I questioned them also when DT introduced subs, as it was a change in our agreement.

Now, is it a fair way to treat contributors?  No.  Should they have implemented a new pricing with at least a small increase to us? Yes.  But what they did, to my understanding, is legal.  Unfair, unethical, but legal.  Or not?

Like they said in other occasions, as also DT said in other occasions, they may say now we will not lose because, according to their numbers, the average will be below US$1 and the discount packages will attract buyers, thus bringing a higher overall revenue.  Given our previous experience with FT, we will not believe them. 

But again, I certainly was much more harmed when they changed my commision from 35% to 32% in April.  Overall earnings increased because of the higher credit/image in larger sizes, but our share was nevertheless reduced.  Then came January and we had our commissions cut ever further.  THAT was outrageous for me.  The recent change was so small compared to this...


well stated.

« Reply #121 on: February 04, 2010, 02:43 »
0
It's madelaide.   ;)

Everything you said is in my message.  We simply have different interpretations. 

Mind you, some of us are always suspicious of new members coming only to post flamed replies on a specific controversial thread (a series of them, in this case).

I only discuss facts. 

Sorry about the mistake Maria, I was tired. I shot processed and uploaded a dozen photos yesterday of several different subjects, which takes me quite a lot of effort.

Obviously you discuss facts and also chuck about innuendos. What is the second paragraph supposed to imply? It is as factual as Gostwyck (I was careful to check the spelling  ;) ) implying that you are the new Matt Hayward.

You also get your facts wrong. If you check the Bigstock downloads increase thread you will find I posted in that yesterday about something that was nothing to do with Fotolia, so your "only" goes out of the window.

If, however, you mean that I signed up because I was outraged over Fotolia's latest behaviour and wanted to comment on it, then you are right. Is one only meant to sign up out of a general interest in the micros, not because of a specific issue of concern? If so, sorry. I'm too busy building my portfolio to spend all my time hanging around chat sites.

I have been doing stock much longer than you and have thousands more files online at all the main agencies, so I reckon I have a right to comment. And, yes, I personally have been treated badly by Fotolia including getting emails from THE CHAD that have been rude, condescending or verging on the threatening in answer to ordinary business requests.

This latest move by Fotolia has poked a hole in the dam holding back my growing resentment at the way I've been treated both as an individual and in the general cutting of commissions, etc. that affects everyone. So maybe my "flames" are "motivated", but isn't being insulted, threatened and now in my personal opinion cheated something to get "motivated" about?

If Fotolia behaved like a civilized company instead of acting like a thug towards the people who supply it then I wouldn't be posting this and I wouldn't feel the need to be anonymous.

« Reply #122 on: February 04, 2010, 04:13 »
0
BaldricksTrousers,

Spot on, as you know I have personaly been subject to rude replys to genuine questions I have put to Fotolia, and to be totaly honest with you its this fact that gets me anoyed more than anything else simply because there is no need for it.
I can understand why Fotolia want to scew us its greed, what I cant understand is why they want to be rude and disrespectful to as at the same time !!

« Reply #123 on: February 04, 2010, 06:35 »
0
@Donding,
I thought about it a bit more, and I realised that unfortunately, if you're doing it this way, you're not going to make much of a difference. Neither will I for that matter.
You're only going to hurt yourself, don't do it, Donding!
For this to work we need the big players, experienced photographers with thousands of great images to step in.
But of course, these are the people who make a lot of money and have to consider things very carefully.
Wait until they decide what's best to do. Then it's our turn to follow in their steps.  Just wait a little bit longer please! Give yourself a bit more time!


Just what FL wants you to do that's nothing, sit and wait take the lies until this goes away or they come up with a new avoid. Fear and threats they will control us. I'm closing my acount and following this advise. 
My Advice to You.


« Reply #124 on: February 04, 2010, 07:38 »
0
Yep!
This is not first  and unique case,  this is politics...

Deja vu!


 

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