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Author Topic: Wow, how cheap and tacky!!  (Read 8597 times)

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« on: September 13, 2007, 15:56 »
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Well this has never happened to me before (been selling stock for 2 yrs) but I got a notice from iStock today that a customer actually requested a refund for a file. The email also said that the customer has destroyed the file! Sure...oh my gosh, how CHEAP AND TACKY is that?!!? There is nothing wrong with this file apparently he/she probably just decided another image might suit their purposes better. This file never sold an EL so the guy probably got his lousy couple of bucks back. I don't care about the money, it's the principal, what a penny pinching cheapskate!! Anyways, thanks for listening to me rant and rave, I feel better now.

« Last Edit: September 13, 2007, 15:58 by Delilah »


« Reply #1 on: September 13, 2007, 18:36 »
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I wonder, did he send the debris as a proof of file being "destroyed"?

ianhlnd

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« Reply #2 on: September 13, 2007, 18:49 »
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How much time did it take to log on, and request a refund?  Probably cost the company more in time than the download did.  Pennies, that's all we're talking about, pennies.

« Reply #3 on: September 13, 2007, 21:21 »
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I'm amazed! I'm amazed because a customer actually bothered to do this, but even more because IS actually accepted to refund the money. If there was a defective photo, by all means, but with the nature of microstock, there is no way IS or anyone else can control that the customer is not using the image now or in the future.

If this is IS policy, they should reconsider it the sooner the better. If it gets known that it's possible to get a refund on photos that you don't use, they can get a lot of work on their hands. There are lots of cheap, tacky people out there.

« Reply #4 on: September 13, 2007, 21:26 »
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Unless they downloaded a whole lightbox by accident or something...  But, since when does Istock have a return policy as good as Costco's?

« Reply #5 on: September 13, 2007, 21:31 »
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I'm assuming the contributor, in this case Delilah, has to foot the bill for the refund???   Well, if this becomes a trend, it's good-bye to microstock for me......

« Reply #6 on: September 13, 2007, 22:06 »
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I'm surprised to see that more of you haven't run into this.  I have had two refunds on images.

The first time I had found a discrepancy in payments and called IS.  They then told me that the customer "returned" an image and the sale was "refunded".  I was quite annoyed that they didn't bother to inform me of the situation.

The second time IS informed me of the situation, but I still feel that it is pretty chintzy.

I would have thought that those of you with lots of sales would have run into this a little more often than me.  I guess I'm just lucky like that  :-[

« Reply #7 on: September 14, 2007, 01:35 »
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I have had an image returned at big stock, I was quite surprised, it was only 50 cents.

« Reply #8 on: September 14, 2007, 02:25 »
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This has happened to me twice. The first time I received an email telling me a customer had been refunded because they had accidentally hit the download button twice ... fair enough
But the other day I got an email telling me that a refund had been issued because the customer had filled out a "certificate of destruction". I wasn't sure what that meant, but now I'm thinking I'm supposed to believe they just decided they really don't want the pic and they have destroyed it?

« Reply #9 on: September 14, 2007, 03:27 »
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...the other day I got an email telling me that a refund had been issued because the customer had filled out a "certificate of destruction". I wasn't sure what that meant...

When I spoke to IS customer support, they said that when a customer wants to "return" an image, they need to fill out a "certificate of destruction" (or whatever they call it) in order to "prove" that they have destroyed the image.

« Reply #10 on: September 14, 2007, 05:53 »
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"....what a penny pinching cheapskate!! Anyways, thanks for listening to me rant and rave, I feel better now. "

The same back at you buddy!

« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2007, 06:04 »
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"....what a penny pinching cheapskate!! Anyways, thanks for listening to me rant and rave, I feel better now. "

The same back at you buddy!

are you admitting to being the cheap buyer??? :)

PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #12 on: September 14, 2007, 07:39 »
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Returning a picture? It couldn't be for technical quality reasons because IS is really picky. So what valid reason would a buyer have to "return" an image at IS? I wonder how many returns IS will take from a buyer before it raises a red flag.

« Reply #13 on: September 14, 2007, 07:44 »
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Sorry Nazdravie, but you are wrong ... Last year I did a request for refund on IS. The picture in question was uploaded in 2006, but the quality didn't meet the standards at all. It was noisy, out of focus, and the background (showing a blue cast due to a wrong white balance setting) was photoshopped away (leaving portions of a wallpaper structure which the "artist" probably hadn't seen at all) in such an amateurish way that it made me asking for refund in the second I opened this picture after download. Not sure how this one had slipped through the approval process, but I got pretty angry about this particular picture.

Yes, I had to send a Certificate of Destruction via fax, signed by me and another witness. The fax, a phone call (because something went wrong at the first try to get the refund) from Germany to Canada, the time needed etc. was certainly worth more than the $5 refund. But sorry, this picture was so off from the standards that I didn't want to honor the contributor with giving him MY money.

« Reply #14 on: September 14, 2007, 07:50 »
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in many cases getting the refund is probably as much about letting istock know they were unhappy with the purchase than anything else - as lathspell said.

« Reply #15 on: September 14, 2007, 08:30 »
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This seems a borderline call to me.

Most businesses allow purchasers to return goods they aren't satisfied with, the notable exceptions being digital format items (software, games, music, DVDs, ...). Should stock photography allow returns? I can see how a consumer might find a stock agency more attractive if they had a no questions asked money back guarantee. The potential for abuse is very high, and I hope (but doubt) that any agency that has such a return policy also has the staff and tools available to ensure that it isn't being abused.

« Reply #16 on: September 14, 2007, 09:11 »
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Returning a picture? It couldn't be for technical quality reasons because IS is really picky. So what valid reason would a buyer have to "return" an image at IS?

As I stated before, I have had a total of two returns so far.

In the first case, the buyer(s) supposedly bought the image twice.  So in this case, they supposedly made a mistake.  IS said that they might be a large agency with multiple designers and that two designers might have purchased the images, but I think that IS support was just guessing.  The two purchases were XLarges, so it kinda stunk to lose such a good sale.

In the second case, the image was an XSmall size, but I have no idea why they returned it.  I am positive that it wasn't for technical quality since the image currently has an orange flame with over 200 sales.


PaulieWalnuts

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« Reply #17 on: September 14, 2007, 12:35 »
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Sorry Nazdravie, but you are wrong ... Last year I did a request for refund on IS. The picture in question was uploaded in 2006, but the quality didn't meet the standards at all. It was noisy, out of focus, and the background (showing a blue cast due to a wrong white balance setting) was photoshopped away (leaving portions of a wallpaper structure which the "artist" probably hadn't seen at all) in such an amateurish way that it made me asking for refund in the second I opened this picture after download. Not sure how this one had slipped through the approval process, but I got pretty angry about this particular picture.

Yes, I had to send a Certificate of Destruction via fax, signed by me and another witness. The fax, a phone call (because something went wrong at the first try to get the refund) from Germany to Canada, the time needed etc. was certainly worth more than the $5 refund. But sorry, this picture was so off from the standards that I didn't want to honor the contributor with giving him MY money.

Okay that makes sense. I wouldn't be real happy if I got a crappy quality image.  Sounds like IS wasn't always super picky as they are now.

I wonder how much of an issue this will become for some of the less picky agencies that are taking just about any image.

« Reply #18 on: September 14, 2007, 14:22 »
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...Sounds like IS wasn't always super picky as they are now.
You can say that again - there's just no way that some of their older images would be currently be accepted!

« Reply #19 on: September 14, 2007, 14:27 »
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I still do not understand, why they are not throwing more old files out. Thats for all agencies. Well some are doing tiny steps like Istock, but only very slowly. I t would be much better for their reputation as well for us.

« Reply #20 on: November 16, 2007, 11:59 »
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I had my first istock refund today.  Ironically, it was a photo of money :)  I think it is crazy that they offer refunds when we sell for such small amounts.

« Reply #21 on: November 16, 2007, 15:43 »
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I had the same image download three times within minutes in BigStock. I can only assume it was a buyer's mistake, and I wonder if he will request a refund.

Regards,
Adelaide

« Reply #22 on: November 16, 2007, 16:06 »
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SS absorbs the price loss for subscription pictures:

http://submit.shutterstock.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8228&highlight=subscription+refund

"With subscription sales - we absorb all fraud, refunds, etc. We do not currently pass this onto the photographers. With per-pic sales we cannot do this in all cases. Currently we absorb fraud - but not refunds."

The post is from Oct 94, bur SS edited it in Mar 06, so I suppose that it is still the current policy.

« Reply #23 on: November 16, 2007, 19:52 »
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The post is from Oct 94, bur SS edited it in Mar 06, so I suppose that it is still the current policy.

You're looking at the join date of the person who made the post (Jon), which is October 2004. The post was actually March 2006. The edit was 1 minute later.

But well spotted.  It's good to see them absorbing various costs, but I don't know any other agency that doesn't absorb fraud costs.

« Reply #24 on: November 17, 2007, 00:22 »
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Thanks for clarifying the date Lee  :)   I had remembered this good-spirited thread when it went on and did a quick search for it.


 

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