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Author Topic: Shutterstock's support lack of communication  (Read 12146 times)

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« Reply #25 on: August 24, 2011, 13:28 »
0
cclapper: maybe you should have stayed on hold and actually talked to a "customer representative" .. then you would have realized that those numbers are FOR CLIENTS ONLY, NOT CONTRIBUTORS.. and the customer service guy would POLITELY tell you to go write an email and wait.. until they feel like replying.. which has been 4 months now..

RacePhoto: wow, you must be so smart, it is a miracle how brain matter is not overflowing through your ears :) No I didn't make anything up. Unlike you, I have some inside knowledge on the matter. Read my other thread.

I am Canadian. The Canadian electronic banking and payment systems are at least a decade ahead of the US. However, I CHOOSE to be paid by check, because that is an option offered by SS and I CHOSE IT. SS has the responsibility to honor ALL of their payment options, not just the ones that are the cheapest to them.

The email you quote is the one I am writing to every week and have not received a reply in 4 months.  How does that taste for your "4-6 weeks weeks for a check to arrive"?

So, keep your unsolicited advice to your self, and as all our mothers have told us "if you have nothing smart to say - keep quiet" and enjoy your all-american trailer park.


« Reply #26 on: August 24, 2011, 13:56 »
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cclapper: maybe you should have stayed on hold and actually talked to a "customer representative" .. then you would have realized that those numbers are FOR CLIENTS ONLY, NOT CONTRIBUTORS.. and the customer service guy would POLITELY tell you to go write an email and wait.. until they feel like replying.. which has been 4 months now..

RacePhoto: wow, you must be so smart, it is a miracle how brain matter is not overflowing through your ears :) No I didn't make anything up. Unlike you, I have some inside knowledge on the matter. Read my other thread.

I am Canadian. The Canadian electronic banking and payment systems are at least a decade ahead of the US. However, I CHOOSE to be paid by check, because that is an option offered by SS and I CHOSE IT. SS has the responsibility to honor ALL of their payment options, not just the ones that are the cheapest to them.

The email you quote is the one I am writing to every week and have not received a reply in 4 months.  How does that taste for your "4-6 weeks weeks for a check to arrive"?

So, keep your unsolicited advice to your self, and as all our mothers have told us "if you have nothing smart to say - keep quiet" and enjoy your all-american trailer park.

Well, first of all, you have posted your problem here in a public forum so no ones advice is unsolicited. You have had several ideas and suggestions proposed to you and you have shot them down. I'm just not sure what you are looking for here. Shutterstock support does NOT usually reply in this forum, so you won't get any information straight from the horses mouth (SS) here but only from those who read and participate in this forum, contributors like yourself.

Good luck to you!

« Reply #27 on: August 24, 2011, 14:01 »
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 no, cclapper, I haven't.  I have explained what I did and how I contacted the people, read my other thread.  I don't need someone to tell me to go google their phone numbers and call them.  Of course I did that from the bat, and if anyone thinks otherwise, they have a problem.

My question was directed purely to the SS contributors who are being paid by check AND to the small subset of those who had their checks bounced in the last 6 months.  All others stand down. Please. (<-- yep, a Canadian please :)

And then the other guy started bitching about Canada and Canadians, as if our country is neck-deep in crap right now, not his. I don't take well to that.

« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2011, 14:11 »
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no, cclapper, I haven't.  I have explained what I did and how I contacted the people, read my other thread.  I don't need someone to tell me to go google their phone numbers and call them.  Of course I did that from the bat, and if anyone thinks otherwise, they have a problem.

My question was directed purely to the SS contributors who are being paid by check AND to the small subset of those who had their checks bounced in the last 6 months.  All others stand down. Please. (<-- yep, a Canadian please :)

And then the other guy started bitching about Canada and Canadians, as if our country is neck-deep in crap right now, not his. I don't take well to that.

You got it.  ;) Good luck to you!

RacePhoto

« Reply #29 on: August 24, 2011, 16:29 »
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no, cclapper, I haven't.  I have explained what I did and how I contacted the people, read my other thread.  I don't need someone to tell me to go google their phone numbers and call them.  Of course I did that from the bat, and if anyone thinks otherwise, they have a problem.

My question was directed purely to the SS contributors who are being paid by check AND to the small subset of those who had their checks bounced in the last 6 months.  All others stand down. Please. (<-- yep, a Canadian please :)

And then the other guy started bitching about Canada and Canadians, as if our country is neck-deep in crap right now, not his. I don't take well to that.

If this is "bitching about Canada", then you were talking about me? "I suppose you are in one of those places where there is no PayPal or MoneyBookers? (Canada they have it, even Vancouver ) Or do they charge you a fee to get your money? Which I wouldn't like either. Paying for my own money?"

It was two questions the way I read English... And two statements: they have PayPal in Canada, and I wouldn't like paying a fee to get my own money. That's bitching about Canada?

You are English speaking aren't you, and since you are anonymous here and on SS, (I just made a guess at Canada now that you got all pissy about a bit of humor) and you have been a member on SS since 2008, while your first message here says,
Quote
Is it possible that SS is a fraud and trying to cheat us out of our money?
Oh nice way to break the ice, followed by threats of legal action. Smooth sailing.

Then people answer with the contact numbers, international and fax, your answer is, they are only for buyers, but many have used those same numbers for contact as contributors, so you are calling all of us liars?

Since I get paid by PayPal and I guess you have put that stipulation out, than only people who get paid by check can reply to your message, I'll just say good luck, you seem to be someone who knows everything. I don't know why you ask for advise and then contradict anyone who tries to help you.

Quote
I posted on their forums with questions about this, but my posts get instantly deleted.

That's how I figured out who you were, by reading the post you claim was deleted. Just a bag of contradictions.

lisafx

« Reply #30 on: August 24, 2011, 18:11 »
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no, cclapper, I haven't.  I have explained what I did and how I contacted the people, read my other thread.  I don't need someone to tell me to go google their phone numbers and call them.  Of course I did that from the bat, and if anyone thinks otherwise, they have a problem.

My question was directed purely to the SS contributors who are being paid by check AND to the small subset of those who had their checks bounced in the last 6 months.  All others stand down. Please. (<-- yep, a Canadian please :)

And then the other guy started bitching about Canada and Canadians, as if our country is neck-deep in crap right now, not his. I don't take well to that.

If this is "bitching about Canada", then you were talking about me? "I suppose you are in one of those places where there is no PayPal or MoneyBookers? (Canada they have it, even Vancouver ) Or do they charge you a fee to get your money? Which I wouldn't like either. Paying for my own money?"

It was two questions the way I read English... And two statements: they have PayPal in Canada, and I wouldn't like paying a fee to get my own money. That's bitching about Canada?

You are English speaking aren't you, and since you are anonymous here and on SS, (I just made a guess at Canada now that you got all pissy about a bit of humor) and you have been a member on SS since 2008, while your first message here says,
Quote
Is it possible that SS is a fraud and trying to cheat us out of our money?
Oh nice way to break the ice, followed by threats of legal action. Smooth sailing.

Then people answer with the contact numbers, international and fax, your answer is, they are only for buyers, but many have used those same numbers for contact as contributors, so you are calling all of us liars?

Since I get paid by PayPal and I guess you have put that stipulation out, than only people who get paid by check can reply to your message, I'll just say good luck, you seem to be someone who knows everything. I don't know why you ask for advise and then contradict anyone who tries to help you.

Quote
I posted on their forums with questions about this, but my posts get instantly deleted.

That's how I figured out who you were, by reading the post you claim was deleted. Just a bag of contradictions.

Pete, I am just gonna quote you from another thread:


I completely agree - whether it's one, or dozens, or thousands, any contributor having to wait months for their payout is completely unacceptable.  I was just trying to search for a possible reason.  Best of luck getting paid ASAP.  :)

Don't feed the Angry Trolls. :D

Good advice, don't you think?  ;)

« Reply #31 on: August 25, 2011, 15:37 »
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RacePhoto: don't answer any of my threads, ever again.  I have no time do deal with creatures like you.

« Reply #32 on: August 25, 2011, 16:54 »
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Regarding my initial issue with the account lockdown following or as a consequence of the Shutterstock's claims of me using parts of protected works in one of my images I have to inform you that they reactivated my account... after two months.

Two months of investigation, almost no communication in between whatsoever (except for the initial notification of the investigation, followed 6 weeks later by a "suggestion" not to post additional threads also saying they will get to me in due time, followed one day later by an extremely unsettling investigation matter inquiry and today a final conclusion letting me know the account has been reactivated, but somehow leaving pins in my back by also telling me that if something else comes to their attention, my account will be terminated).

Now, let me first start of by saying I'm split into half regarding the matter. Obviously I'm happy about the resolution, no qualms about that. But I also have serious doubts about their actions and sad thoughts about their business practices.

A few thoughts on why I'm personally phased right now:
- I received no clarifications regarding the investigation to this date; the only little piece of information I got throughout the process was a question from their part (mail mentioned above) asking me what was my relation with... another microstock agency offering my RF images. Is this the reason why they blocked my account for 2 months and stopping payments and earnings for that time? I mean, seriously?
- their emails all carried a legal prohibition to not disclose any information about the contents of the emails, however scarce they were - does it mean I could face retaliation because I'm talking about it right now?
- from how I'm interpreting their words I'm basically under a no-more-strikes-allowed account flag; if something else comes to their attention, I'm terminated, that's their words - why if I was innocent in the first place?
- is my portfolio, after reactivation, going to be severely crippled because I sold no image for 2 months and probably my ratings witnessed a massive blow on popularity rankings?
- I have an extremely negative feeling about their business practices and I'm honestly demotivated on future prospects, because the whole completely unfounded compliance investigation could easily happen again, which makes me wonder what sort of protection and stability in terms of business relationship warranties do we have as submitters.

The bottom line is that I feel I was innocently forced under a business-crippling investigation that blocked my account, consequently my hard earned and deserved earnings, and that I'm left exactly 2 months later with nothing but doubts on the matter. It is bleak, in my eyes the matter is bleak.

I do have to thank first and foremost Bigstock's compliance team. Their correspondence was always quick, alas concise, and however obviously linked to Shutterstock's proceedings very friendly. I guess I also have to thank Shutterstock's team that the matter is now solved, especially believing that the people involved in the matter, the people investigating the matter, were just following their compliance practices. I want to believe that. And I also want to believe I will not get punished because I'm openly talking about this right here, publicly expressing my experience and letting you know what has happened to me and where have I stood and I'm standing right now in regards to Shutterstock's behavior.

p.s.: In case you wanted to know which image started it all, here's the link: http://www.crestock.com/image/821050-Afro-hairstyle-cartoon-music-face.aspx. I confess, it is a poor quality vector graphic, made back in 2008, which got me seriously low or no earnings. It's a shame, honestly concerning the image in itself I'm at a loss for words.

Thanks for listening, fellow microstockers.
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 17:18 by domencolja »

Batman

« Reply #33 on: August 25, 2011, 19:52 »
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Good luck domencolja it seems like you were not treated fairly at all. Glad to see it has been solved.

« Reply #34 on: August 25, 2011, 22:36 »
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... the only little piece of information I got throughout the process was a question from their part (mail mentioned above) asking me what was my relation with... another microstock agency offering my RF images. Is this the reason why they blocked my account for 2 months and stopping payments and earnings for that time? I mean, seriously?

Good to hear about your reinstatement.

I'm wondering about the part of your message quoted above.  Did you get the sense that SS suspected you were selling your images on your own RF site, and they have a policy against this?  Does anyone else have any experience in this type of matter?  I'd like to launch my own site selling images... and I might sell credits that can be used to download images (for a number of reasons)... but would this upset SS and the other agencies?

« Reply #35 on: August 26, 2011, 04:12 »
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Thanks for the support, first and foremost.

Honestly I think, from my own terrible experience, there is nothing we can do to avoid potential investigations and immediate account blocks. Whole portfolios severed because of a claim of unknown origin. In my case, and that's the most worrying fact, the claim was completely unfounded and in my eyes senseless, even because of the nature of the targeted material itself. It's shocking they can, whenever they deem necessary, push you into a vegetative state of business relation with the blink of an eye. Why? And why this feeling of "nimby" world order surrounds the issue?

Contributors have to step up and demand a formalized membership warranty that the process of investigation follows certain predetermined rules, such as following a timeline, honest communication each and every step of the way (limited of course to avoid investigation contamination), lift the bullyesque legal obligations of not allowing disclosing of correspondence on the matter and completely changing the initial practice of disabling whole accounts on mere claims of possible infringement (ideally blocking individual compliance related images and leaving portfolios intact or even more legally sound acknowledging we all are innocent until proven guilty). I'm sure there's many more details contributors need to force agencies to accept and rightfully instill.

There's no compassion on my part regarding copyright infringement acts, let this be clear to anyone. Having said that though, we have to demand a clause in our membership agreements to set the investigation procedures straight, regulating the whole process from start to finish.

Remeber, it could happen to anyone.

p.s.: Stockmarketer, yes, I do think my investigation's internal details had something to do with my image being available at other microstock agencies. I didn't want to go into any of it, but since you brought it up : They asked me about my relationship with an agency that offered my portfolio through a third-party resale program I subscribed to with one of the biggest agencies. This third-party agency in particular had my portfolio images (along thousands of others from other microstock contributors) listed as their portfolio. Honestly it came to my knowledge 2 weeks ago and I wrote SS about it. It was irrelevant to the investigation though because this type of third-party activity is common in the microstock world and in no way, shape or form legitimazes what happened. There is no copyright issue related to other agencies selling the same RF licenses. And why an agency has the right to press forward on such senseless foundations? It is ridiculous.

Carl

  • Carl Stewart, CS Productions
« Reply #36 on: August 26, 2011, 06:02 »
+1
What makes this frightening is the realization that if I don't like the way you part your hair, all I have to do is accuse you of copyright infringement and I can have your entire SS portfolio shut down for months, even if my claim is bogus!   :o

« Reply #37 on: August 26, 2011, 06:26 »
+1
I've rarely been associated with the "expect the worst" camp, but yeah, after this experience I'm led to believe the possibilities of this happening are realistic.

Although I do still give the benefit of the doubt to anyone, but 2 months of insanity have turned my tides big time I'm afraid.

lisafx

« Reply #38 on: August 26, 2011, 11:49 »
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First off, congratulations that this was resolved in your favor.  I am sure it comes as a big relief!

Thanks for sharing this experience.  I hope you don't have negative consequences as a result of explaining what happened to you.  It is very frightening indeed to anyone who earns their living through microstock. 

« Reply #39 on: August 27, 2011, 08:04 »
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Thanks, I'm crossing my fingers on the portfolio search engine rankings. So far it looks like it got crippled tenfold. 2 months of no downloads takes its toll.

RacePhoto

« Reply #40 on: August 29, 2011, 20:05 »
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What makes this frightening is the realization that if I don't like the way you part your hair, all I have to do is accuse you of copyright infringement and I can have your entire SS portfolio shut down for months, even if my claim is bogus!   :o

I hate to bring this up, but it's a double edged sword. In the infringement thread people were hopping up and down because they notified agencies of a potential copyright issue, flat out stealing and copying and derivatives, and the images weren't removed fast enough. On SS they were disabled and people still complained that the account wasn't removed.

Hey wait. If it's us complaining we want swift beheading, and then an investigation and if it's us accused we want slow, deliberate justice, while they investigate.

Seems that people are not being balanced and fair in their observations.

With that I still defend domencolja and it's too bad there was any issue at all. But sometimes we get stuck between a rock and a hard place, the infringement and copyright problem, is one of those for the agencies.

« Reply #41 on: August 29, 2011, 21:22 »
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Sure it hurt domencolja regarding image placements in the searches now but all he was asking for is information during the investigation (that's how I understood it).

It's bad enough once they shut down a portfolio for investigation but then when it turns out that the portfolio is ok and re-activated, it kind of makes me wonder why it was shut down in the first place?

Since domencolja obviously didn't do anything wrong (otherwise he would have gotten the boot), he still has to deal with lower search placements and the loss of two months royalties.

On top of that he didn't even get a proper explanation what actually was happening.

That's a bit not nice...


RacePhoto

« Reply #42 on: August 29, 2011, 23:21 »
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Sure it hurt domencolja regarding image placements in the searches now but all he was asking for is information during the investigation (that's how I understood it).

It's bad enough once they shut down a portfolio for investigation but then when it turns out that the portfolio is ok and re-activated, it kind of makes me wonder why it was shut down in the first place?

Since domencolja obviously didn't do anything wrong (otherwise he would have gotten the boot), he still has to deal with lower search placements and the loss of two months royalties.

On top of that he didn't even get a proper explanation what actually was happening.

That's a bit not nice...

In the messages, reason was "Shutterstock's claims of me using parts of protected works in one of my images" just so we know it wasn't the way he parted his hair...  :)

I agree with those points, the problem is, the double standard that some people here apply about the speed of removal, shut down or blocking. If we complain it's supposed to be swift and decisive, harsh penalty. If someone else complains, we want slow thoughtful, examination.

Can't always have it our way and the agency can't always get it right on short notice.

Quote
What makes this frightening is the realization that if I don't like the way you part your hair, all I have to do is accuse you of copyright infringement and I can have your entire SS portfolio shut down for months, even if my claim is bogus!
That covers it and what's the other side? What if someone complains and SS doesn't act fast enough for their taste? Or the thumbnails are still there but the images are not for sale, there's a complaint.

What I forgot to add was, the agency should reverse the payments and credit the real artist. That won't happen, but it should.

Also how hard is it to deactivate one image, instead of giving someone the death penalty in a case like this. One offending image, maybe?

Do we know for a fact that the search placement is harmed? Yes, all sales are lost, that's not right. But what are they supposed to do during an investigation? Leave it up, which means image thieves are getting a free ride, or shut it down, which means sometimes honest people will have adverse effects? Can't have it both ways, at the same time.
 
That's the problem I was trying to get at.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2011, 00:00 by RacePhoto »

« Reply #43 on: September 15, 2011, 12:04 »
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Hi everyone,

I'm new here and not really a forum poster in general, but I came across this thread and couldn't help but share.

I have a similar problem with SS - inquiry started almost 3 months back (account blockdown, payments freeze, forum ban), and regardless my immediate response with detailed explanation, and my several following emails during this 3-months-period requesting for information regarding my case - still no response from SS to date. Won't go in details about the case - my point is not to convince you if I'm innocent or not (although I believe I am), and also - as OP mentioned - in the SS compliance email is clearly stated that the content is confidential and cannot be shared with third parties. (Since I'm still hoping for a response and a happy ending I'll stick to that.).

What really concerns me (and what the actual topic of this thread is) is Shutterstock's complete ignorance towards contributors. It's totally unfair and it kind of re-confirms the common picture of the big company being totally careless about the millions 'small' people, who actually generate the big company's profits. I love the idea about standing for our rights as microstock contributors and demand for certain clauses in the agreements with the agencies, although I'm a bit skeptic about it.

What also struck me in this thread is that OP received a response from Shutterstock right after posting in this forum, after he was waiting for months for a reply to his emails? Isn't that strange?! Is posting in this forum the only way to get SS's attention and make them answer their unanswered emails? Well, to be honest, I'd be glad if they read my post here and finally solve my case - if this is the (only) way it works...

Thanks for 'listening' :)

« Reply #44 on: September 28, 2011, 16:52 »
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No more replies in this thread? Come on..
No replies here, still no replies from shutterstock in my mailbox.. I feel like in the middle of a desert...


 

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