MicrostockGroup Sponsors


Author Topic: Going over Kelly's head: an iStock contributorship call to action  (Read 8637 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

« Reply #25 on: April 16, 2011, 11:10 »
0
The clawbacks may have been quite legal, but they could at least have made token payments to the contributors, who were in fact damaged in some sense, because their intellectual property was taken and it can be easily resold.  However, it would probably be impossible to prove actual damages in a court of law.


« Reply #26 on: April 16, 2011, 11:19 »
0
The clawbacks may have been quite legal, but they could at least have made token payments to the contributors, who were in fact damaged in some sense, because their intellectual property was taken and it can be easily resold.  However, it would probably be impossible to prove actual damages in a court of law.

I don't know if you download your images at these warez sites, most of them still have the agency ID numbers where they got them from. I sent a support ticket about one of them that came from IS and never heard back. Also, I sent a complaint to Google and never heard back from them either. It's a sad part of the business. Maybe, legal action is the best way to get results?

« Reply #27 on: April 16, 2011, 11:29 »
0
The clawbacks may have been quite legal, but they could at least have made token payments to the contributors, who were in fact damaged in some sense, because their intellectual property was taken and it can be easily resold.  However, it would probably be impossible to prove actual damages in a court of law.

I don't know if you download your images at these warez sites, most of them still have the agency ID numbers where they got them from. I sent a support ticket about one of them that came from IS and never heard back. Also, I sent a complaint to Google and never heard back from them either. It's a sad part of the business. Maybe, legal action is the best way to get results?

We are really starting to see the dark side of doing business on the Internet, with companies like Google and IStock.  They promise great things but when problems occur and the chips are down, they don't know your name and won't even answer an email.  In the end we're just a bunch of entries in their database, not people with whom they have some sort of business relationship. 

« Reply #28 on: April 16, 2011, 11:41 »
0
Okay, a couple points of clarification:

Of course I'm signing my name to the letter. (That's why it says, "YOUR NAME." I guess I thought that went without saying.)  There's a big difference, it seems to me, of signing my name to a letter sent to H&F and having it listed here.

Second, the fraud is one issue. It's the issue that we chose to address as only one of the major affronts to contributors, because it bespeaks a general lack of good housekeeping and bookkeeping on iStock's part. I printed out the laundry list of recent contributor complaints (compiled by another contributor) and attached that list (sans Contributor name) to my letter.  As stated, this is a FORM LETTER -- contributors should feel free to adapt it as they see fit, addressing other issues. Hell, if you really want, write your own letter and send it to the same people.

I don't disagree that there is good power shown through our portfolios. So far I hear a lot of people talking about that, talking about leaving, etc., and guess what?? A lot of you are still exclusive, so I guess that says a lot indeed.

No, the fraud money may not technically be owed us. I think you'll note that we didn't state it *was*. What we stated was that those fraud clawbacks would have reassured us that iStock recognized their responsibility in our losses and felt that they were worth something, if for no other reason that to keep contributors happy (as other companies dealing with fraud have done). Nothing more, nothing less.

This letter may not accomplish much, in fact, I would like to bet money on it going nowhere. But I've taken all the other remedies that I can at this point. When other outlets are viable, my portfolio will be taken away from iStock completely. As it is, I (me personally, I can't speak for the rest of the writers) no longer upload there, rarely go to the forums there (except to keep abreast of new problems). But as long as I've been on iStock, I do feel (as the letter states) that this is a business relationship that is worth trying to sort out.

« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2011, 12:00 »
0
The idea of this letter is based on the fact that Helmond etc know what is going on on the lower level.. but do they.?.

Corporate umbrellas... left hand doesn't know what right hand does.... .?.
Deeper... as if they care....... it's business.

Patrick.

ps : i've made my statement, deleted my portfolio.. who else.?...  ???

jen

« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2011, 12:02 »
0
No, the fraud money may not technically be owed us. I think you'll note that we didn't state it *was*.
You said:

"...without touching on the myriad problems at present, I will simply highlight one - failure to pay contributors what they are owed."

« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2011, 12:12 »
0
The idea of this letter is based on the fact that Helmond etc know what is going on on the lower level.. but do they.?.

Corporate umbrellas... left hand doesn't know what right hand does.... .?.
Deeper... as if they care....... it's business.

Patrick.

ps : i've made my statement, deleted my portfolio.. who else.?...  ???

Me.

« Reply #32 on: April 16, 2011, 12:22 »
0
The idea of this letter is based on the fact that Helmond etc know what is going on on the lower level.. but do they.?.

Corporate umbrellas... left hand doesn't know what right hand does.... .?.
Deeper... as if they care....... it's business.

Patrick.

ps : i've made my statement, deleted my portfolio.. who else.?...  ???

Me.
Chapeau...  ;D

« Reply #33 on: April 16, 2011, 13:33 »
0
No, the fraud money may not technically be owed us. I think you'll note that we didn't state it *was*.
You said:

"...without touching on the myriad problems at present, I will simply highlight one - failure to pay contributors what they are owed."

So if you want to send the letter in but don't want to word it that strongly, change it to "what they may be owed." Problem solved.

Heck. Change the whole focus of the letter to "negligence" as someone else pointed out.

It's a form letter, folks. I get form letters all the time from the ASPCA, Humane Society, and tons of other online action groups that I'm either a member of or the friends forward to me. The letters can always be edited in whole or in part, as you like.

And obviously, to make it count, you have to sign and address a letter like this with your true identity. Otherwise, it's truly a waste of your time.

« Reply #34 on: April 16, 2011, 14:41 »
0
Thank you for taking the time to draft this letter, despite all the negative-nancy comments which is to be expected and ignored (they are mostly exclusive contributors.) I think it is always important for the upper level folks to hear from the lower level folks. There is no harm in doing this.  I have had numerous positions in management and it is true that I never really knew what was going on down at the retail employee level. I always appreciated hearing directly from those employees rather than the overly filtered reports from lower and middle management who only have the interest of covering their asses and recieving their quarterly bonuses in mind.  Thank you for being pro active. Complaints like this never get ignored out of fear of not wanting employees to unionize or bring lawsuits. Send this letter to the Better Business Bureau as well. I have had the best success in getting matters resolved by going through the BBB.  I actually had 2 years of back pay given to employees of a company simply by filing a five minute claim with the BBB. They are really great at resolving issues.

« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2011, 16:15 »
0
the letters would need to be written to a representing attorney, who in turn files a class-action. Whether or not it had teeth would be less relevant than the fact that a pending suit was leveled against them. If they are indeed positioning to sell their troubled site to the highest bidder, pending litigation is a HUGE turn-off to a potential buyer...
2 cents...

« Reply #36 on: April 16, 2011, 16:35 »
0
Thank you for taking the time to draft this letter, despite all the negative-nancy comments which is to be expected and ignored (they are mostly exclusive contributors.) I think it is always important for the upper level folks to hear from the lower level folks. There is no harm in doing this.  I have had numerous positions in management and it is true that I never really knew what was going on down at the retail employee level.

That would speak more to your management abilities than to the effectiveness of the letter.

« Reply #37 on: April 16, 2011, 16:55 »
0
Thank you for taking the time to draft this letter, despite all the negative-nancy comments which is to be expected and ignored (they are mostly exclusive contributors.) I think it is always important for the upper level folks to hear from the lower level folks. There is no harm in doing this.  I have had numerous positions in management and it is true that I never really knew what was going on down at the retail employee level.

That would speak more to your management abilities than to the effectiveness of the letter.

Sorry, that's just rude, given that we know zilch about the size or geographical locales of said pieces of the operation.

« Reply #38 on: April 16, 2011, 18:13 »
0
A noble attempt, and I applaud it, but don't hold your breath waiting for anything but a canned response from someone in their legal department.  You're aiming 2 corporate tiers up from the point where the problem occurred and the decision was made.  These at H&F see IStock itself as the "product" and what goes on inside IS day-to-day is of little interest to them.
My feelings as well.  It is standard business practice to simply discard anonymous letters unless they contain threats.  They are opened, shredded and not even read completely by the mail room clerk.  Perhaps if hundreds came in, some attention would be garnered.  H&F are in my opinion, the ones doing any screw turning, afterall that is their job.  Not only their job, but they have a fiduciary legal responsibility to the company to do so ( yes I know about the shareholder/ stakeholder side of this debate).  Of course we hope they are aware of issues at our level, I suspect they are.
Reasoned positive venting, as in your letter, can be good for us emotionally, but I think the value to issues at hand, is very little.

RT


« Reply #39 on: April 16, 2011, 18:26 »
0
I think it is always important for the upper level folks to hear from the lower level folks. There is no harm in doing this. 

I have had numerous positions in management and it is true that I never really knew what was going on down at the retail employee level.

I always appreciated hearing directly from those employees rather than the overly filtered reports from lower and middle management who only have the interest of covering their asses and recieving their quarterly bonuses in mind. 

So you appreciated and thought it important to hear from the lower level folks but having done so you had no idea what was happening!! Maybe you could take over from KT  ;)

donding

  • Think before you speak
« Reply #40 on: April 16, 2011, 23:26 »
0
I think it is always important for the upper level folks to hear from the lower level folks. There is no harm in doing this.

I have had numerous positions in management and it is true that I never really knew what was going on down at the retail employee level.

I always appreciated hearing directly from those employees rather than the overly filtered reports from lower and middle management who only have the interest of covering their asses and recieving their quarterly bonuses in mind.

So you appreciated and thought it important to hear from the lower level folks but having done so you had no idea what was happening!! Maybe you could take over from KT  ;)

I think what he is trying to say is that being in upper management that you don't always know what's going on down the line, but if an employee comes to you personally with concerns that you wouldn't have heard otherwise, then that makes you more aware of the problem which may not be reported through the chain of command.  Someone in upper management gets their information through the management below them...that's why they are there.

« Reply #41 on: April 17, 2011, 00:00 »
0
While I think this is a good start, I don't think it addresses a lot of the broader issues having to do with search, broken functionality, etc. specifically enough. I also agree that it's a bit wordy and could be shortened a bit.  That said, I also agree with the point that higher ups are often out of touch with what's going on in the trenches. If they're made aware of the day-to-day mess that Kelly and his crew are making of iStock and all the shortcomings that have come to light within the last year or so, hopefully that will do some good. 

« Reply #42 on: April 17, 2011, 01:37 »
0
You've chosen the wrong issue. Instead of telling them that you have lost out and want them to give you money, you should tell them that they are losing money because iStock policies are driving customers away.

The letter would probably still end up in the bin, but they would think slightly longer about their potential losses than about yours.

Microbius

« Reply #43 on: April 17, 2011, 01:42 »
0
I think that writing to H&F is a very good idea. The more of a PITA we can make ourselves the more likely something is to be done.

I would have chosen a different issue and drafted the letter differently, but I would definitely encourage everyone to write in about whatever issues they have with IStock.

It will at least put across to the bosses that there is a high level of perceived mismanagement at the site.

michealo

« Reply #44 on: April 17, 2011, 05:34 »
0
A noble attempt, and I applaud it, but don't hold your breath waiting for anything but a canned response from someone in their legal department.  You're aiming 2 corporate tiers up from the point where the problem occurred and the decision was made.  These at H&F see IStock itself as the "product" and what goes on inside IS day-to-day is of little interest to them.
My feelings as well.  It is standard business practice to simply discard anonymous letters unless they contain threats.  They are opened, shredded and not even read completely by the mail room clerk.  Perhaps if hundreds came in, some attention would be garnered.  H&F are in my opinion, the ones doing any screw turning, afterall that is their job.  Not only their job, but they have a fiduciary legal responsibility to the company to do so ( yes I know about the shareholder/ stakeholder side of this debate).  Of course we hope they are aware of issues at our level, I suspect they are.
Reasoned positive venting, as in your letter, can be good for us emotionally, but I think the value to issues at hand, is very little.

Don't know what business world you operate in my a lot of companies have executive response teams specifically to deal with customers forwarded to executives and their remit includes looking at issues raised anonymously ...

« Reply #45 on: April 17, 2011, 06:22 »
0
If thousands of contributors were to send registered letters to the same H&F director, warning him of the lack of seriousness and competence of the Istock administration, it would surely have some effect..

...at least, it would make us laugh a bit... just to think, he have to sign for everyone of them ! 
« Last Edit: April 17, 2011, 06:29 by Buzbuzzer »

« Reply #46 on: April 17, 2011, 09:20 »
0
You've chosen the wrong issue. Instead of telling them that you have lost out and want them to give you money, you should tell them that they are losing money because iStock policies are driving customers away.

The letter would probably still end up in the bin, but they would think slightly longer about their potential losses than about yours.

Exactly.  Tell them what they are losing, not what you are losing...or at lease weight the two properly.  However, back to the signing of the letter....there were two harassment issues at my work and both were clearly ligitimate.  When the persons filed complaints through the proper ethics channels the issue was ignored.....as often happens in big companies.  So both wrote signed letters and sent them to our parent companies ethics and legal department.  What do you think happened?

Both issues were simply sent back to the division HR department to handle, then HR sent them back to the original managers who ignored the issue and nothing was done at all.....except both complainees are no longer with the company.

So given istocks retaliatory reputation I would be careful what you do unless you are willing to lose your account.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2011, 18:10 by Mantis »

« Reply #47 on: April 17, 2011, 18:45 »
0
It reads to me anger over the fraud and I think it will just get binned as a contributor disgruntled over the one issue.
I'd work on listing all the problems (possibly even just in dot form) with more focus customers and revenue lost.
I would definetly expect to (and be surprised if you didnt) lose your account.

Finally I doubt if they care, it was a short term purchase designed so that could borrow heavily from it and strip out as much cash as possible, why should they care about contributors (or staff) or the long term future?

Pixel-Pizzazz

« Reply #48 on: April 19, 2011, 21:20 »
0
respectfully snipped:

There won't be any audit - there's no facility in the agreement to ask for one, like there is on Getty.

Are you sure about that?  I think Revenue Canada might like to know what corrections were needed/made...

« Reply #49 on: April 20, 2011, 06:23 »
0
the letters would need to be written to a representing attorney, who in turn files a class-action. Whether or not it had teeth would be less relevant than the fact that a pending suit was leveled against them. If they are indeed positioning to sell their troubled site to the highest bidder, pending litigation is a HUGE turn-off to a potential buyer...
2 cents...
ding ding ding ding ding!


 

Related Topics

  Subject / Started by Replies Last post
7 Replies
2312 Views
Last post August 05, 2007, 01:05
by IRCrockett
6 Replies
2094 Views
Last post December 13, 2008, 21:22
by bittersweet
16 Replies
4186 Views
Last post July 18, 2009, 14:41
by puravida
31 Replies
8069 Views
Last post February 19, 2011, 15:04
by madelaide
366 Replies
33210 Views
Last post March 17, 2011, 19:27
by CurtPick

Sponsors

Microstock Poll Results

Sponsors