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Author Topic: Arrogance abounds at istock  (Read 30294 times)

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« on: May 26, 2011, 07:47 »
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http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=329630&page=1

Sean Locke is working harder to help a buyer than lobo.  The "good luck" comment really means fu...see ya.


« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2011, 08:14 »
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And topic closed, no further discussion needed.

At least some buyers are giving them a chance to do something by taking their time and posting on the forum, not that it matters. I am certain many more buyers have wasted too much time already and have just moved on.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2011, 08:48 »
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They really need someone other than Lobo handling buyers. "Sorry, good luck" is pretty bad. Treating customers poorly, or not caring, will always come back to bite you.

Maybe the buyer got their budget cut, today. What happens when they switch jobs and now have a huge budget? Or go from tiny independent to a buyer at a large company. Or move up the food chain from designer to VP?

Even if they don't give a crap, how about being diplomatic with "anything we can do to help?". Then the buyer may come back at some point. Kick them while they're headed out the door and they probably won't come back.

Price and selection only go so far. Relationships go much deeper.

ShadySue

« Reply #3 on: May 26, 2011, 08:56 »
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They really need someone other than Lobo handling buyers. "Sorry, good luck" is pretty bad. Treating customers poorly, or not caring, will always come back to bite you.

Maybe the buyer got their budget cut, today. What happens when they switch jobs and now have a huge budget? Or go from tiny independent to a buyer at a large company. Or move up the food chain from designer to VP?

Even if they don't give a crap, how about being diplomatic with "anything we can do to help?". Then the buyer may come back at some point. Kick them while they're headed out the door and they probably won't come back.

Price and selection only go so far. Relationships go much deeper.
All the above, plus what that buyer tells his mates or maybe posts on a designer network/forum.
Plus the world and his dog can see how buyers are treated on the iStock forums.

RT


« Reply #4 on: May 26, 2011, 09:01 »
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They really need someone other than Lobo handling buyers. "Sorry, good luck" is pretty bad. Treating customers poorly, or not caring, will always come back to bite you.

Maybe the buyer got their budget cut, today. What happens when they switch jobs and now have a huge budget? Or go from tiny independent to a buyer at a large company. Or move up the food chain from designer to VP?

Even if they don't give a crap, how about being diplomatic with "anything we can do to help?". Then the buyer may come back at some point. Kick them while they're headed out the door and they probably won't come back.

Price and selection only go so far. Relationships go much deeper.

You've highlighted exactly what everyone in the world knows to be true, everyone except that is the iStock management. I wonder how much has been lost in potential sales revenue through the arrogance seen in the iStock forums by 'moderators', at a time when iStock is losing it's market share you'd think they'd be doing all they can to gain and keep the respect of their customers.

All I can say is thank god I'm not an exclusive there, every time that guy opens his mouth (literally speaking) he's losing exclusives money, the very people that pay his wages. Sean your approach was very diplomatic, you must cringe everytime you see something like this.

« Reply #5 on: May 26, 2011, 09:09 »
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The buyer probably didn't want to hear my words either, that prices are up everywhere.  They just want a way to complain a bit and aren't really looking for suggestions.  "Sorry, good luck" is probably an ok way to leave the vent where it is and move on.

« Reply #6 on: May 26, 2011, 09:15 »
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Saying prices have been rising steadily across all supply sites is not true, but I suppose people have to say that so that the price increases at iStock don't seem so bad (everyone else is doing it, right?). Someone should direct that buyer to 123RF or StockFresh. Has Shutterstock been raising their prices? I don't shop there so I wouldn't know.

And Lobo...forever clueless about customer relations.

PaulieWalnuts

  • On the Wrong Side of the Business
« Reply #7 on: May 26, 2011, 09:24 »
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The buyer probably didn't want to hear my words either, that prices are up everywhere.  They just want a way to complain a bit and aren't really looking for suggestions.  "Sorry, good luck" is probably an ok way to leave the vent where it is and move on.

The best sales and customer service people I've seen can take an angry customer, understand their frustration, provide a solution, and the buyer will most likely not only stay but may even buy more. Telling a frustrated customer "sorry, good luck" is about as bad as f-u.

Imagine going to the camera store you've been buying from for years. You tell them how frustrated you are with rising prices and you may need to go shop elsewhere and they say:
A. "Sorry, good luck" and you leave even more angry swearing never to go back there again
B. "Sorry, is there anything we can do to help?" and they give you a little discount or some incentive and you keep buying from them.

Even if the store doesn't want your business they could just nicely say goodbye without the f-u tone.

« Reply #8 on: May 26, 2011, 09:32 »
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I don't think when people complain it is just for the sake of complaining. If someone is taking the time to find the forums and type a post it is a last ditch effort to say, "I really like shopping here and I have been very loyal, but there is a serious problem and I'm not going to be able to buy from here much longer. Is there anything you can do to keep my loyalty (and my money)?"

I'm just surprised Lobo stopped at "Good Luck" and didn't add "Good Riddance".

« Reply #9 on: May 26, 2011, 09:38 »
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Saying prices have been rising steadily across all supply sites is not true, but I suppose people have to say that so that the price increases at iStock don't seem so bad (everyone else is doing it, right?). Someone should direct that buyer to 123RF or StockFresh. Has Shutterstock been raising their prices? I don't shop there so I wouldn't know.

And Lobo...forever clueless about customer relations.

I agree, and with your second post as well. As I said, most buyers aren't going to take the time to stop and post...they're just gone. Though it really is a waste of their time to post anything. Clearly.

« Reply #10 on: May 26, 2011, 09:51 »
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The buyer probably didn't want to hear my words either, that prices are up everywhere.  They just want a way to complain a bit and aren't really looking for suggestions.  "Sorry, good luck" is probably an ok way to leave the vent where it is and move on.

Respectfully disagree.

I saw that yesterday and thought it was very rude.

Getting snarky with contributors is one thing. Being short with people who spend money in your store, even if they're ranting, is just utterly crappy customer service. I don't care how fed up he/they are with hearing that buyers don't want to have to wade through Agency/Vetta if they're looking for less expensive content, they can't "talk" to customers that way.

And leaving these locked threads around for everyone to read is like leaving heads on a pike outside medieval cities - you're warning others off by showing how you deal with dissenters.

As someone funnier than me said a few months back about delivering good customer support "I could tell everyone to eff off and still be doing better than iStock".

« Reply #11 on: May 26, 2011, 10:00 »
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Wow there's one customer that won't be back.  How many ways can you dance around the obvious fact that buyers want a 'sort by price' option? 

Slovenian

« Reply #12 on: May 26, 2011, 10:08 »
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What right does he have to behave like that, when EVERYTHING is * up over there. They're raping customers with A/C files, ignoring their requests for a search filter for a year (dunno really for how long, I've been over there for a year), making it even worse after the last best match change, while all along the site is full of errors and bugs. I haven't seen a buggier site ever (not talking about stock sites, but about ALL of the sites I've been on). On top of that they're raising prices and screwing contributors over and over, and some of the contributors are buyers as well, so buyers DO get to know about the community falling appart and contributors being robbed at broad daylight.

And I've heard that they know that site code is totally messed up, it was never made to withstand so much traffic, but they're too greedy to build a new one that would really work, RC, special collection and price raises that bring (or better said brought in) a ton of money aside.

« Reply #13 on: May 26, 2011, 10:11 »
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How many ways can you dance around the obvious fact that buyers want a 'sort by price' option? 

I guess Istock's sales data must be indicating that it is more profitable (at least in the short-term) to keep pushing the Vetta/Agency files the way they are. Personally I think they are making a huge mistake.

rubyroo

« Reply #14 on: May 26, 2011, 10:16 »
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I completely agree this is a terrible way to speak to buyers.  They really need to read fewer war-based business books and pick up a copy of 'How to Win Friends and Influence People'.  

Treating customers in a combative or dismissive manner is incredibly ungracious in the short-term, and suicidal in the long term.  

« Reply #15 on: May 26, 2011, 10:19 »
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And I've heard that they know that site code is totally messed up, it was never made to withstand so much traffic, but they're too greedy to build a new one that would really work, RC, special collection and price raises that bring (or better said brought in) a ton of money aside.

Maybe *this* explains their systematic purging of their customer base? If not, then their behavior defies logic.

Slovenian

« Reply #16 on: May 26, 2011, 10:27 »
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How many ways can you dance around the obvious fact that buyers want a 'sort by price' option? 

I guess Istock's sales data must be indicating that it is more profitable (at least in the short-term) to keep pushing the Vetta/Agency files the way they are. Personally I think they are making a huge mistake.

And that way of thinking, on the very same continent, brought us global recession that's still lasting in most of the countries. Not to mention nobody is going to bail them out;). And the good thing is, they're not going to make waves. I'd just not be happy to loose my second best earner. Well I'd be left with only SS then, but then again, an agency would probably take their place and it would be business as usual, I'd just have to got through all that uploading again...


Microbius

« Reply #17 on: May 26, 2011, 10:34 »
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I'm convince that Getty is going to end up loosing all the new customers they gained with the IStock takeover.
The new customers attracted by the micro model over the years since IStock started will be driven to the other micro sites.
The most they will manage is to regain a few of those who moved from Getty to IStock and were used to paying Getty's inflated traditional prices.

What a wasted opportunity to break into a new market....

lthn

    This user is banned.
« Reply #18 on: May 26, 2011, 11:09 »
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I'v seen self appointed teenage admins on fanboy vs. fanboy forums behind god's back act more responsibly an maturely than Istuck's very own village idiot, Lobo. Istuck's reputation is bad enough by now, why have a large hairy pent up kid ruin it further? Looks like they really just want to sink that ship : ))

RT


« Reply #19 on: May 26, 2011, 11:21 »
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The buyer probably didn't want to hear my words either, that prices are up everywhere.  They just want a way to complain a bit and aren't really looking for suggestions.  "Sorry, good luck" is probably an ok way to leave the vent where it is and move on.

They may well have just been looking for a way to vent, but now they've got a reason to never come back and to tell others not to use the site, "sorry, good luck" is an arrogant way of saying "tough and up yours", it's also a very stupid response to a customer complaint especially without knowing anything about that customer, there are a million ways that the guy could have been dealt with better which may have meant they used the site again in the future, I really don't understand what low form of satisfaction Lobo gets out of responding the way he does, it's quite sad really.

Slovenian

« Reply #20 on: May 26, 2011, 11:27 »
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Even more sad is when I read Lobo is good compared to (some nickname I forget) that used to do what Lobo does now. So everything is just fine, righ? :)

« Reply #21 on: May 26, 2011, 11:29 »
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I really don't understand what low form of satisfaction Lobo gets out of responding the way he does, it's quite sad really.

It's a strange 'job' for a grown man anyway isn't it? Hardly surprising he is curt and flippant sometimes.

« Reply #22 on: May 26, 2011, 11:42 »
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Saying prices have been rising steadily across all supply sites is not true, but I suppose people have to say that so that the price increases at iStock don't seem so bad (everyone else is doing it, right?). Someone should direct that buyer to 123RF or StockFresh. Has Shutterstock been raising their prices?

Since the early days of MS, I'm pretty sure most places have raised prices in some way.  Unfortunately, buyers still want everything for a buck.

« Reply #23 on: May 26, 2011, 11:49 »
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Even more sad is when I read Lobo is good compared to (some nickname I forget) that used to do what Lobo does now. So everything is just fine, righ? :)

Peebert was his name.

He set the tone that Lobo seems to aspire to. How any client facing organisation would tolerate such behaviour has always been a mystery to me.
It is indeed a great shame that the only remaining vestage of 'the good old days' is the way that the forums are moderated. Oh that Rob Sylvan would have stayed.

helix7

« Reply #24 on: May 26, 2011, 11:55 »
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Since the early days of MS, I'm pretty sure most places have raised prices in some way.  Unfortunately, buyers still want everything for a buck.

True, but I think we can all agree that istock has taken it much further than most. And I'm not talking Vetta or Agency. Low-end credit packages cost around $1.50 per credit now, and a large image can easily run you over $20. Whereas many sites still price large images at around $10.

...And I've heard that they know that site code is totally messed up, it was never made to withstand so much traffic, but they're too greedy to build a new one that would really work, RC, special collection and price raises that bring (or better said brought in) a ton of money aside.

I think this is sort of the company line at istock these days. They have to know they're losing customers, and maybe that was part of the plan all along. Drop the dead weight that isn't willing to spend at least $20 per image, and just focus on the smaller customer base that is willing. They don't need all of the customers they have, and maybe just want to keep the ones with the bigger image budgets and ignore the rest.

It makes Lobo's comments more understandable. They're not interested in keeping all customers happy, just the ones that will grow with the company and pay the higher prices. To everyone else, "Sorry, good luck," seems like a reasonable response from a company that maybe doesn't care about serving customers in the microstock price range anymore.


 

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