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Author Topic: Chronic iStockphoto Uploading Disability  (Read 7202 times)

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« on: April 13, 2006, 01:09 »
Warning: long rant. Posted this elsewhere but it's something I need everyone to know :
I've been hoping someone else would bring it up, but I can't contain my frustration any longer. For almost 6 weeks now a small minority of iStockphoto contributors around the globe have been unable to upload AT ALL due to what iStock claims are 'ISP problems'.
It's possibly affecting a lot more users than those who politely post about it on the iStockphoto forums as there are bound to be a few applicants who face the same problem when they go to post their three initial images for review, so it really is costing iStockphoto as well as the photographers.
However, it seems the company has grown so huge that it doesn't need or care about these few contributors, as iStock staff appear to be largely ignoring the issue and offer us only, on average, one update on the problem per week. That is, unless you have the nerve to threaten to post other stock site URL's as a temporary distraction.. in which case they respond with ferocity in an attempt to intimidate you into not speaking out again.

I think that, after 3 - 6 weeks of twiddling our thumbs, most of us are either taking steps to switch to another internet service provider or looking elsewhere to sell our work. I'm choosing the latter as the former isn't a possibility where I'm sharing a network. There has been no other option provided, apart from waiting possibly another several weeks for iStock to either solve the problem or simply give the official word that it's one that is impossible/too difficult to fix. I have indeed received this response, in not so many words, from technicians so that may make me a fool to believe they're actually taking any steps towards remedying the problem.. I understand that complicated problems with different ISP's located in different parts of the world are difficult to address but why the inability to admit defeat? This would at least allow us to make an informed decision about what we might do, ourselves.

I could go on for a few more paragraphs about my disgust at this neglect of what is a very serious site glitch and the attention and time invested into trivial things like 'forummeters' and 'steel cage battle-viewers' but I'm sure that would be best expressed to iStockphoto management directly.. if only they would allow free speech on the forums I could air my woes there..

I realise that this is probably too much to ask from the microstock market leader but it's mighty unprofessional and unbusinesslike of iStockphoto to not even provide even so much as an apology for the inconvenience caused, much less our financial loss. The arrogance is truly astounding considering the rising popularity of their competitors, alot of whom offer more than twice the commission on image sales and a much higher quality of service to contributors and probably customers as well.

Is there anyone out there also suffering this handicap who has any ideas or can anyone offer any suggestions as to how we get this addressed properly? If you were in our shoes, would you report this behaviour to Mr. Getty?

I would post a link to the thread where you could all read about it but in the interests of avoiding the iStock Gestapo I hope you might track it down yourself if you're interested : 'To all those who CAN'T UPLOAD, click here' in the main discussion forum.
There are severe penalties imposed (ie. banning) on those who 'misbehave' or criticise istockphoto on their forums and I realise this is just another form of oppression which defines the relationship between contributor or employee and company but this is an issue that is long overdue for some attention. I'm trying to turn microstock into a business but dealing with agents as unreasonable as this makes it a less than attractive proposition.

End of rant! Thanks for reading. All thoughts and comments welcome!
« Last Edit: April 13, 2006, 01:11 by tiramisu »

« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2006, 10:45 »
The problems is iStock have lots of photags working for them so if the issue only effects a few, their is no real incentive for them to help you.

Imagine if a supplier of Walmart said they wanted Walmart to change something.  In all likelyhood, they would no longer be a supplier of Walmart unless they had something special.

« Reply #2 on: April 13, 2006, 13:10 »
Yeah I think i agree with CJphoto.. and to continue the walmart analogy, I saw a documentary once about a jewlery supplier to walmart.. and it was walmart who set the rules not the supplier.  The supplier was fined for not supllying on time, and had to have a large supply ready whenever walmart wanted and oh, i forget it all, but walmart could do as they wished and the supplier was busting their but trying to stay within their rules and not get fined be walmart.

Not to unsimilar in istock's case.  They may be working on the problem, but when they have a backlog of all the images they have to review, I don't image they are too concered about a couple of uploaders who can't upload.

On another note, I admire the sites that offer a very open and free forum, like shutterstock.  people on there mention competition sites all the time in discussion (albeit in code like IS, DT, BigStock).  If there is censorship or warnings about not mentioning other sites, it is usually sudjested by the other submitters.

« Reply #3 on: April 13, 2006, 15:46 »
Feel sorry for you Tiramisu, but just telling it like it is.

« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2006, 00:25 »
That does make all those customers and suppliers who support Walmart and iStockphoto but don't demand the service they pay them for, look very foolish indeed!

It's not like we hold no sway over these companies - we are their livelihood! Without us, they would not exist! Isn't it a bit pathetic of us to roll over and suffer the abuse? What I'm trying to point out is that we don't have to endure this neglect simply because they happen to be the market leader right now. Smarter competing sites are soon going to attract more business if the service isn't up to scratch. It's not that I'm asking iStock to change anything (yet) - all I want is the same basic functional site that existed 2 months ago! The simple fact is that they are a 50 million dollar company who can't get their site to work consistently.
I now have a portfolio that's more than 3 times larger on other microstock sites and there are bound to be others also taking their business elsewhere. I'd like to expand my iStock portfolio too but they have made that impossible. We only have ourselves to blame if we let this go unchecked.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2006, 01:57 by tiramisu »

« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2006, 02:02 »
well i think if the problem gets big enough or if they eventually have enough things that people don't like they will definatly notice that people are taking their images elsewhere, and I seem to hear that from different place.  I as well have a portfolio at 3-4x larger on other sites.  I upload to istock periodically, but it is one of the last places I upload to, and don't often get around to it.

« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2006, 18:51 »
It's just a temporary routing issue isn't it ? It'll get sorted.

Get out and shoot some great pictures whilst they fix it :)

« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2006, 20:10 »
mnbvblah, istock hasn't even identified the problem yet.. or do you work for them and know something i don't? maybe you can make me feel better about things after you read this thread right through.. (please notice the dates)

« Last Edit: April 15, 2006, 20:28 by tiramisu »

« Reply #8 on: April 17, 2006, 12:44 »
No I don't work for iStock :)

But, in the first post on that thread which you linked to, there is reference to this probably being a routing issue. Which would certainly make sense. I've certainly experienced similar problems with other sites which were down to routing.

Routing issues are notoriously difficult to sort out quickly - somewhere between them and you there will be some computer which isn't working right. Someone brighter than me can probably point you towards a howto for route - tracing .... which would probably identify the point on the chain between them and you (or you and them - more significantly) which is causing the problem.

EDIT: somewhat ironically - I've been getting timing out issues with this forum over the past few days. The internets are like that.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2006, 16:37 by mnbvblah »

« Reply #9 on: April 17, 2006, 17:53 »
mnb, maybe you could help us out by posting your knowledge to the thread yourself or informing the technicians  for us..They seem to be struggling with it and haven't made it very easy for those who want to switch ISP's - I want to know which ones to avoid but they won't tell me that either.
It's the 7th week now and the last word we heard from iStock was that it may be Canon cameras that are to blame.. It sounds far-fetched but you'll see it there in black and white. It's too late for me regardless - I'm about to lose my internet connection altogether.. I just hope that other contributors affected get it seen to before the 2 month mark. Btw, sitemails don't work either, but only sometimes..
« Last Edit: April 17, 2006, 18:13 by tiramisu »

« Reply #10 on: April 17, 2006, 19:05 »
Routing issues are notoriously difficult to sort out quickly - somewhere between them and you there will be some computer which isn't working right. Someone brighter than me can probably point you towards a howto for route - tracing .... which would probably identify the point on the chain between them and you (or you and them - more significantly) which is causing the problem.

Thanks for your advice but if you read more of the thread you'll see that offers of assistance were ignored.. We all want this fixed sooner rather than later but, as Leaf and CJ said, until this becomes a problem that is widespread, iStock's priorities lie elsewhere.

« Reply #11 on: April 18, 2006, 05:56 »
It's the 7th week now and the last word we heard from iStock was that it may be Canon cameras that are to blame

iStock (bitter) last wrote to the thread on the 13th. That's only 5 days ago - and including the holiday weekend.

They obviously have been taking the issue seriously.

« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2006, 06:20 »
Ok, we have to disagree there, mnb. The site doesn't and hasn't worked for a bunch of us for so long now and we've been given no alternative way to upload or idea of when this might be repaired.. People keep asking, very politely, what's going on, but days and then weeks pass with precious little feedback from iStock. In all of this time no real explanations or apologies were given. I just don't think that constitutes professionalism and you may have a different opinion but it really isn't the service you'd expect from the microstock leader.
« Last Edit: April 18, 2006, 06:45 by tiramisu »

« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2006, 11:37 »
But what you don't seem to be understanding is that if it is a 'routing issue' as seems likely - then the problem probably isn't at iStock.

But I'm sure that they'll be trying to find out where the problem is.

(Who do you blame if a letter goes missing? The senders?)

« Reply #14 on: April 18, 2006, 16:53 »
Now I don't want to be banned from here for repeating myself, but let me say once more: Regardless of the nature of the problem, the support and feedback from iStock is abysmal. Also, if the issue was a routing one, why did all work fine  for everyone until iStock upgraded it's servers at the start of March? Why also can you suggest would they be asking about Canon cameras now?

One last question: why are you defending them?


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