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Author Topic: Surprise, Surprise, Credits Reset to 0  (Read 11672 times)

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« on: January 26, 2012, 19:20 »
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Can't they get anything right?  I'm back down to 15% with 0 Credits.


ShadySue

« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2012, 19:27 »
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Can't they get anything right?  I'm back down to 15% with 0 Credits.
Yup, I'm on 25% with 0 RCs.

wut

« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2012, 19:30 »
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This sheat again?!? I can't believe, more and more monkeybusiness all the time. I wonder how much of the lost money I really get retro payed... :s

« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2012, 19:39 »
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Can't they get anything right is right.  Dear God.  Reminds me of a classic Katrina Brown photo (hope ya don't mind I swiped your photo, Katrina!  ;)  Heavily watermarked just in case someone else wants to swipe it).

« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2012, 19:41 »
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Sigh

« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2012, 19:42 »
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Unfreaking believable  ???  ???  ???  ???  >:(

KB

« Reply #6 on: January 26, 2012, 19:46 »
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I believe it. I'm sure it pulled in quite a lot of money the last time they did it, so why not do it again?  ;D (And before I'm accused of slander or libel or whatever it's properly called: The corrections made the last time this happened were NOT correct. And in most every case reported, including mine, the errors were in iStock's favor.)

« Reply #7 on: January 26, 2012, 19:48 »
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Unfortunately, it's entirely believable, just very frustrating. It's very hard to track which sales were wrong and whether (when they dole out the supposed difference later) the make-up payment is right - too little information is provided on each sale.

Let's hope (a) it gets fixed quickly and (b) this time it stays fixed.

It's never a good sign when developers repeatedly break the same thing - poor source code control, or spaghetti code, or ...

KB

« Reply #8 on: January 26, 2012, 19:53 »
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It's never a good sign when developers repeatedly break the same thing - poor source code control, or spaghetti code, or ...
incompetence or ...

+1

ShadySue

« Reply #9 on: January 26, 2012, 19:55 »
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Maybe the wrong people were retained.  >:(
Why can't they fix something as easily as they break it?
Why don't they test things thoroughly before pushing them live?
Why were they fiddling in there anyway? (OK, RCs had been 'sticky', sometimes coming down a couple of days at a time, like stats.)
Why do they consistently break things?
It's pathetic and sad, if not so maddening.

« Reply #10 on: January 26, 2012, 19:59 »
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Unfortunately, it's entirely believable, just very frustrating. It's very hard to track which sales were wrong and whether (when they dole out the supposed difference later) the make-up payment is right - too little information is provided on each sale.

Let's hope (a) it gets fixed quickly and (b) this time it stays fixed.

It's never a good sign when developers repeatedly break the same thing - poor source code control, or spaghetti code, or ...

To break something they have to release new code. Why are the releasing new code during the US business day. I realise iStock is a 24/7 company (except when it comes to customer support) but surely there is a better time to be doing this.

« Reply #11 on: January 26, 2012, 20:01 »
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I'm so frustrated!  Are they really this incompetent or are they diddiling around with settings behind the scenes in preparation for the next big  horror story improvement?

« Reply #12 on: January 26, 2012, 20:02 »
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Every time something like this happens my decision of a few days ago seems like a better idea. I know this sort of thing happens to all the sites from time to time, but it seems to happen far more often to iStock than others and if that is your only sale outlet, then you have no other outlets at least keeping things up for you.

wut

« Reply #13 on: January 26, 2012, 20:03 »
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To break something they have to release new code. Why are the releasing new code during the US business day. I realise iStock is a 24/7 company (except when it comes to customer support) but surely there is a better time to be doing this.

No it isn't, it's the time they profit the most ;)

« Reply #14 on: January 26, 2012, 20:07 »
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I'm past the point of being mad at IS.  Now it's just downright sad what that place has become.  What happens there this year will determine whether I pull my port or not.

ShadySue

« Reply #15 on: January 26, 2012, 20:07 »
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Unfortunately, it's entirely believable, just very frustrating. It's very hard to track which sales were wrong and whether (when they dole out the supposed difference later) the make-up payment is right - too little information is provided on each sale.

Let's hope (a) it gets fixed quickly and (b) this time it stays fixed.

It's never a good sign when developers repeatedly break the same thing - poor source code control, or spaghetti code, or ...

To break something they have to release new code. Why are the releasing new code during the US business day. I realise iStock is a 24/7 company (except when it comes to customer support) but surely there is a better time to be doing this.


They take in money 24/7, but only have a skeleton staff working out of normal office hours.
But surely this isn't really during the US business day: it seemed to start at midnight here/5pm MST. Just when the programmers are knocking off, probably.

wut

« Reply #16 on: January 26, 2012, 20:07 »
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Every time something like this happens my decision of a few days ago seems like a better idea. I know this sort of thing happens to all the sites from time to time, but it seems to happen far more often to iStock than others and if that is your only sale outlet, then you have no other outlets at least keeping things up for you.

I contribute to 8 sites and I guarantee you, if I combine all of them, they have 10x less bugs in a year, than IS has in a month, even in a bad week ;) . They're beyond pathetic, my level of trust in them is at a level of a follow the ball street artist

« Reply #17 on: January 26, 2012, 20:36 »
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...and this while i'm STILL waiting for the corrections of 1-3 january  >:(

« Reply #18 on: January 26, 2012, 20:41 »
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Maybe an integration into the Getty accounting system would be a good thing.   >:(

« Reply #19 on: January 26, 2012, 20:55 »
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Maybe an integration into the Getty accounting system would be a good thing.   >:(

Funny man :)

I never took Getty up on their contract, so I don't know if they're better (but they would have to be, I'd think). I do like daily stats though, and if Getty accounting meant only getting data once a month (my brothers get it once a quarter from the PumpAudio division of Getty, I think), it'd be a tough choice.

« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2012, 20:57 »
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Maybe an integration into the Getty accounting system would be a good thing.   >:(

How do you know that? With high-volume, low-price sites we can sometimes spot anomalies. With high-price, low-volume sites like Getty we have no way of doing so. Therefore we don't know if Getty might be better or worse.

helix7

« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2012, 21:01 »
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I'd care about this if my earnings weren't already in the toilet. But at this rate, dropping me a couple more percent is barely noticeable.

« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2012, 21:50 »
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Can't they get anything right?  I'm back down to 15% with 0 Credits.

when the flip did this happen?!  argh!

« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2012, 21:52 »
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Can't they get anything right?  I'm back down to 15% with 0 Credits.

when the flip did this happen?!  argh!

It seems to be around 5 PM EST

« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2012, 22:33 »
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Funny how these blunders always happen at or just after quittin' time.

« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2012, 23:28 »
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Maybe the wrong people were retained.  >:(
Why can't they fix something as easily as they break it?
Why don't they test things thoroughly before pushing them live?
Why were they fiddling in there anyway? (OK, RCs had been 'sticky', sometimes coming down a couple of days at a time, like stats.)
Why do they consistently break things?
It's pathetic and sad, if not so maddening.

And why why WHY do they never seem to operate with a backup to fall back on when their "fixes" fail?  I will never understand that. 

Noedelhap

  • www.colincramm.com

« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2012, 00:13 »
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Downright SAD.

« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2012, 00:58 »
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Can't they get anything right?  I'm back down to 15% with 0 Credits.
I never liked this kind of board games where you're suddenly at square one near the end when you're almost canistering your grandfather.  ;)

Microstock Man

  • microstockman.com

« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2012, 01:08 »
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iStock. Worst I.T. Department Ever.

« Reply #29 on: January 27, 2012, 01:38 »
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To break something they have to release new code.

Not true. Servers can be flaky, especially with distributed systems, huge databases, NAS, SAN, and perhaps overloaded or flakey network gear tying it all together.

It seems sales are all calculated by a base royalty rate plus offset. When the RC level lookup fails, because the database that has that table is offline or unreachable, the offset is considered zero. That shouldn't be a possible failure mode.

Would be nice of the base royalty was instead the max (45% exclusive, 21% non-ex) and the RC based offsets were negative, that way when the lookup failed and returned zero, contributors would get paid the max royalty.

Contributors would pocket the difference on each bug affected sale, but iStock would save in not having to spend weeks manually calculating the differences and manually adding funds back to every contributor's account that had a sale. The bug would bother contributors less if it was a temporary error in their favor.

« Reply #30 on: January 27, 2012, 02:29 »
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Why can't they fix something as easily as they break it?

Because of the Second Law of thermodynamics

fujiko

« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2012, 02:34 »
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The whole credit pricing structure is designed to make such bugs profitable and hard to notice. As each sale can have a different price, how do you know if the amount is the correct royalty?

« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2012, 03:14 »
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Why can't they fix something as easily as they break it?

Because of the Second Law of thermodynamics

That's the wittiest thing I've heard all week.

wut

« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2012, 04:09 »
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The whole credit pricing structure is designed to make such bugs profitable and hard to notice. As each sale can have a different price, how do you know if the amount is the correct royalty?

That's their plan, that's how they do it. I guess they're loosing so much money, they have to resort to such tricks

« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2012, 05:18 »
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Well the thread has been locked on IS - am I wrong in thinking they still haven't back-paid the difference in commission from the last time this happened?

« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2012, 05:27 »
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My sales are on 30% of usual for this month...- 70% can't be normal even with big "beast match" shifting!

So, I think they probably lose our sales also...  Who can check this, we can't...

rubyroo

« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2012, 05:32 »
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Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Just.... grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

ShadySue

« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2012, 06:07 »
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From Lobo:
"Im going to put this discussion on hold until the morning. No good is going to come from leaving it open.
Let me see what I can find out in 5 hours.
You can send me a site mail if you want to yell at someone in the meantime."


How is it that they are allowed to screw up something a minute before lousin time, then swan off?
They shouldn't be allowed to push something (which they clearly hadn't checked rigrourously enough) just before the end of the working day. Or whoever was the original cause of the issue and the alleged checker  should be made to fix it without overtime. Why should only contributors take financial cuts?

They chose to introduce the RC system, not us.

wut

« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2012, 06:11 »
0
From Lobo:
"Im going to put this discussion on hold until the morning. No good is going to come from leaving it open.
Let me see what I can find out in 5 hours.
You can send me a site mail if you want to yell at someone in the meantime."


Home address would be even better, so I can go on denailing you all night long

« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2012, 06:19 »
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Quote
am I wrong in thinking they still haven't back-paid the difference in commission from the last time this happened?

You are wrong in thinking that, yes.

« Reply #40 on: January 27, 2012, 06:27 »
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Quote
am I wrong in thinking they still haven't back-paid the difference in commission from the last time this happened?

You are wrong in thinking that, yes.
No he isn't. I'm still waiting.

« Reply #41 on: January 27, 2012, 06:35 »
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Quote
am I wrong in thinking they still haven't back-paid the difference in commission from the last time this happened?

You are wrong in thinking that, yes.

Did they send you an email detailing the adjustments?

« Reply #42 on: January 27, 2012, 06:37 »
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Quote
No he isn't. I'm still waiting.

Well in that case i apologise, but I know of no one else in that position and I think the forums would have been pretty red hot were there many others. I assume you have contacted IS, so what is their reason for not paying you what is owed?

« Reply #43 on: January 27, 2012, 06:42 »
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Actually I think I was sort of wrong - I just dugg through the emails from iStock and found 5 from 13 December 11 with some royalty adjustments. They don't really detail what files or what dates they relate to, but I assume this was it.

« Reply #44 on: January 27, 2012, 06:42 »
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Quote
Did they send you an email detailing the adjustments?

I received an email as far as I can remember telling me the adjustment would be put in my account and it was. I can't remember if the amount was broken down into individual amounts per file sold, but I can assure you if I hadn't been happy with the amount I would have been kicking up a serious fuss, so I was OK with it, as were others I know.

traveler1116

« Reply #45 on: January 27, 2012, 08:26 »
0
Quote
am I wrong in thinking they still haven't back-paid the difference in commission from the last time this happened?

You are wrong in thinking that, yes.

Did they send you an email detailing the adjustments?
I think there was a problem at the beginning of this year for people that reached a new level and those haven't been paid yet as far as I know.  As to the emails from last year, I sent two of them and waited 2 months with no response but then an hour after posting in the forums that I never received any info an email was sent. 

« Reply #46 on: January 27, 2012, 08:31 »
0
that sounds like something a used cars dealer would do, when the creditors began to scratch the gate.

« Reply #47 on: January 27, 2012, 09:02 »
0

To break something they have to release new code.

Not true. Servers can be flaky, especially with distributed systems, huge databases, NAS, SAN, and perhaps overloaded or flakey network gear tying it all together.

It seems sales are all calculated by a base royalty rate plus offset. When the RC level lookup fails, because the database that has that table is offline or unreachable, the offset is considered zero. That shouldn't be a possible failure mode.

Would be nice of the base royalty was instead the max (45% exclusive, 21% non-ex) and the RC based offsets were negative, that way when the lookup failed and returned zero, contributors would get paid the max royalty.

Contributors would pocket the difference on each bug affected sale, but iStock would save in not having to spend weeks manually calculating the differences and manually adding funds back to every contributor's account that had a sale. The bug would bother contributors less if it was a temporary error in their favor.
With the very long "Bug List" which seems to get longer everyday, you have to wonder how many little code tweaks they have to be adding everyday. I know wishful thinking on my part, that they are actually trying to fix the mess.
So really you both could be right.

As far as making the problems in the contributors favor will never happen. They hope contributors don't closely check their sales and if they don't iStock benefits.

helix7

« Reply #48 on: January 27, 2012, 09:59 »
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iStock. Worst I.T. Department Ever.

I don't suspect that their IT crew is any worse than any other microstock IT dept. But they're not sufficiently capable enough to handle the complex system istock HQ wants to employ. If they want to have the most complex and feature-rich site in the business, they need to have the best talent available for this sort of thing. Obviously they don't. Their IT folks may be good, but they might also not be of the caliber required to pull off the vision HQ has had for the site for years.

It's more an issue of knowing your limitations and working within them. Aside from the fact that such a complex site is probably not even giving them a competitive advantage anyway, a smart company knows when they're in over their heads and when to pull back on an aggressive development plan. istock will never admit that they can't do everything they want and keep things humming along smoothly, so they'll always stumble along like this with constant bugs and an almost monthly major issue cropping up.

« Reply #49 on: January 27, 2012, 10:15 »
0
iStock. Worst I.T. Department Ever.

I don't suspect that their IT crew is any worse than any other microstock IT dept. But they're not sufficiently capable enough to handle the complex system istock HQ wants to employ. If they want to have the most complex and feature-rich site in the business, they need to have the best talent available for this sort of thing. Obviously they don't. Their IT folks may be good, but they might also not be of the caliber required to pull off the vision HQ has had for the site for years.

It's more an issue of knowing your limitations and working within them. Aside from the fact that such a complex site is probably not even giving them a competitive advantage anyway, a smart company knows when they're in over their heads and when to pull back on an aggressive development plan. istock will never admit that they can't do everything they want and keep things humming along smoothly, so they'll always stumble along like this with constant bugs and an almost monthly major issue cropping up.
I'm not sure that they aren't worse, from what I've seen, the IT dept in IS couldn't implement the changes we've seen over at SS - the map, tracking your sets, the darkroom features - certainly not smoothly and without a ton of new bugs being introduced. 

« Reply #50 on: January 27, 2012, 10:32 »
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My RCs and %s just came back

« Reply #51 on: January 27, 2012, 10:37 »
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Quote
No he isn't. I'm still waiting.

Well in that case i apologise, but I know of no one else in that position and I think the forums would have been pretty red hot were there many others. I assume you have contacted IS, so what is their reason for not paying you what is owed?
Hmm, I'm not sure we're talking about the same bug. This one is from Jan 1-3rd, when my royalties were set back to 15% (i dont think everyone was affected). I meant to contact support but then i saw Sean posting in the forums that he still was waiting too; with a response from Kelvin the corrections for those would be there 'soon'.
Sean, did you get yours corrected in the meantime?

« Reply #52 on: January 27, 2012, 10:48 »
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I have not yet received my correct percentage fix for Jan 1-3.  Nope.

« Reply #53 on: January 27, 2012, 10:48 »
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Quote
No he isn't. I'm still waiting.

Well in that case i apologise, but I know of no one else in that position and I think the forums would have been pretty red hot were there many others. I assume you have contacted IS, so what is their reason for not paying you what is owed?
Hmm, I'm not sure we're talking about the same bug. This one is from Jan 1-3rd, when my royalties were set back to 15% (i dont think everyone was affected). I meant to contact support but then i saw Sean posting in the forums that he still was waiting too; with a response from Kelvin the corrections for those would be there 'soon'.
Sean, did you get yours corrected in the meantime?

I don't think so. On this past Monday Lobo posted:
JAN 1-3 royalties update:

We have email copy for the emails ready. Working on the script today, hopefully it's resolved mid-week, I'm going to say end of week just to be safe.

This is a huge priority. We apologize for the delay.


Maybe that "fix" broke the RCs and %s?

« Reply #54 on: January 27, 2012, 11:01 »
0
Can't they get anything right?  I'm back down to 15% with 0 Credits.
I never liked this kind of board games where you're suddenly at square one near the end when you're almost canistering your grandfather.  ;)
So true!  It's like playing snakes & ladders.  Just when you can see the goal the snakes come out!

« Reply #55 on: January 27, 2012, 11:08 »
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I have not yet received my correct percentage fix for Jan 1-3.  Nope.

sorry but how can you see that? your firefox app? thanks

ShadySue

« Reply #56 on: January 27, 2012, 11:36 »
0
My RCs and %s just came back
They must have been quite a few days behind when they got lost: my recorded RCs are well over 1 day's-worth up on when I saw them in stats yesterday morning.

« Reply #57 on: January 27, 2012, 11:45 »
0
I have not yet received my correct percentage fix for Jan 1-3.  Nope.

sorry but how can you see that? your firefox app? thanks

Because I didn't get an email about getting the rest deposited.

KB

« Reply #58 on: January 27, 2012, 13:01 »
0
My RCs and %s just came back
They must have been quite a few days behind when they got lost: my recorded RCs are well over 1 day's-worth up on when I saw them in stats yesterday morning.
The RC total usually corresponds to the end of the day, 3 days earlier. So today's value normally would have been the total through the end of Tuesday.

The current value is through the end of yesterday.

« Reply #59 on: January 27, 2012, 18:08 »
0
Occupy iStockphoto!

We need a full accounting audit. Yesterday.

« Reply #60 on: January 27, 2012, 20:27 »
0
Occupy iStockphoto!

We need a full accounting audit. Yesterday.

I'm not occupying anything in Calgary except in August (when the chance of snow is lower - although still non-zero) :)

But they are going to have to do something about the inept and inaccurate handling of accounts. There's a lot of money going through their system every day and the leaky pipes are in urgent need of repair - IOW an audit is a good idea, but they need improved IT systems to handle money as a bank would. Accuracy to the penny, every time. Did they ever do anything about that stupid code that was miscalculating subscription royalties for (I think silver) because they were using floats? Or the "it's wrong but as it's a bit too much we aren't going to fix it" when the paid us the EL bonuses they had incorrectly removed too soon.

« Reply #61 on: January 29, 2012, 01:11 »
0
iStock. Worst I.T. Department Ever.


I don't suspect that their IT crew is any worse than any other microstock IT dept. But they're not sufficiently capable enough to handle the complex system istock HQ wants to employ. If they want to have the most complex and feature-rich site in the business, they need to have the best talent available for this sort of thing. Obviously they don't. Their IT folks may be good, but they might also not be of the caliber required to pull off the vision HQ has had for the site for years.

It's more an issue of knowing your limitations and working within them. Aside from the fact that such a complex site is probably not even giving them a competitive advantage anyway, a smart company knows when they're in over their heads and when to pull back on an aggressive development plan. istock will never admit that they can't do everything they want and keep things humming along smoothly, so they'll always stumble along like this with constant bugs and an almost monthly major issue cropping up.

I'm not sure that they aren't worse, from what I've seen, the IT dept in IS couldn't implement the changes we've seen over at SS - the map, tracking your sets, the darkroom features - certainly not smoothly and without a ton of new bugs being introduced. 


There's nothing particularly difficult about showing this sort of data on a map or displaying statistics from a gallery. The gallery material can be quite easily reproduced on IS with a few greasmonkey scripts such as this one from Sean: http://www.istockphoto.com/forum_messages.php?threadid=271062&page=1 which is much more useful than the limited information on SS. There's a whole lot more data SS could give us, but they choose not to. The strength of the SS system is that its really simple, not that it employs any amazingly innovative features.

The complexity at iStock is from them trying to factor in search and purchase results in re-weighting new searches and making these more customised at a geographic or even user level, combining that ambition with a controlled vocabulary, and then trying to optimise the whole package to maximise the amount that customers spend. Throw into the mix that the whole site allows for statistics on a per image basis, different pricing structures that can change, commenting and rating on images, and direct communication between contributors and sellers, not to mention allows for a variety of file types, not just images and the sum total is a site that is a lot more complex than the other microstocks. Whether this is a good thing is debatable, but I think the previous comment is spot on.

fujiko

« Reply #62 on: January 29, 2012, 03:19 »
0
The strength of the SS system is that its really simple

And that alone is a HUGE strength.

IS is so overly and uselessly complicated that it breaks just because times passes. Every month, odd weeks, even days and prime hours.

KB

« Reply #63 on: January 29, 2012, 11:09 »
0
IS is so overly and uselessly complicated that it breaks just because times passes.

Ha!!  ;D  Quote of the Day!

(TBH, though, I'd think "IS code is so overly ..." is the most likely truth. IS's site is far less complicated than Amazon's, yet how often does Amazon's site break?

« Reply #64 on: January 29, 2012, 12:01 »
0
IS is so overly and uselessly complicated that it breaks just because times passes.

Ha!!  ;D  Quote of the Day!



Thanks for the great laugh!

« Reply #65 on: January 29, 2012, 20:05 »
0
Occupy iStockphoto!

We need a full accounting audit. Yesterday.

Even more so now that several people, including myself, have reported a drop in RCs today.


 

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