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Refunds...again.

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tomeng
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:55PM
How can sometime accidentally purchase a file, find out six days later, get a refund on the purchase and then not buy the correct size they wanted in the first place?  Is anything ever going to put in place that says "hey you bought a digital file, it's yours...because you know, you can copy and use that file and we'll never know.  So yeah, sorry about that."


Of course in a more eloquent way of course.  I've had more refunds in the past six months than I have in the past five years.  Which honestly is incredibly frustrating with the dramatic drop in sales overall.


Incredibly frustrated lately.

(Edited on 2012-11-13 13:55:55 by tomeng)
RichLegg
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:59PM
From 2008 through 2012, my average sale price of images has gone up by a factor of over 5. I think in the past, buyers didn't ask for refunds as frequently because of the lower price. But with today's prices they are more apt to go through what it takes to get a refund.
jpsdk
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloads
Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:04PM

Refunds suggest that iStocks way of distributing the files is not correct.


The customer does not get what he thinks.


The contributor uploads a file in a certain size, the agency inspects it and accepts it. From there on, the declaration of the good is the agencys responsibility. That is why the contributor hires an agency.


Every refund shows a lack of responsibility and lack of competence. And that goes both for the description of the good and the procedures in the costumer/ agency interface.


The contributors have no influence on that, and such should not be refunded.
tomeng
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:06PM
Understandable for sure.  Although my latest refund was for $3.  But I think people are in addition, taking advantage of the refund process with its ease of implementation.  Seeing that they obviously (in this situation) didn't want to pay for the photo at all.
juliedeshaies
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 1,249 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 125 Audio downloadsMember is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Illustration downloads
Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:07PM
«The contributors have no influence on that, and such should not be refunded» True !
jpsdk
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloads
Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:54PM
I have a question.
 

When a shop takes back a good, its handled (often by hand) and put back on the shelf, so the same good can be sold again.

Now what happens here? Is the file delivered back or does it still live as a copy in the unsatisfied costumers computer?

Because if so, the file is being spread for free by the agency, and that is not in the contract.

So we are in a situation, where our files are copied and downloaded onto other computers + we have to pay for it.


I have had a couple of refunds and already when the first happened I sent a protest email to iStock, mentioning these problems.

This is not common business behavior.


 

(Edited on 2012-11-13 14:56:34 by jpsdk)
aprott
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:18PM
With the missing zoom function we need to expect more refunds to come...
juliedeshaies
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 1,249 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 125 Audio downloadsMember is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Illustration downloads
Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012 4:06PM
Please IS find solutions of the issues we got as contributor. Refund, holiday payments, zoom function .... ! We deserved solutions.
IvanJekic
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:01PM
For me, it's totally ridiculous to offer a refund for a digital file that can be copied and used zillion times. Sure, big companies and big ads won't mess with the copyright issues. But there are tons of small freelance designers that can buy an image, request a refund and still use it as a modified background or one of the layers, where you can't tell "oh look, he didn't pay for this!". Maybe you won't even see the stolen image(s), because it/they will be used in a way that's not obvious to anyone.

A compromise is to offer a 24h or 48h refund. If you cannot decide whether you want to use the image or not after that period - sorry, be more careful next time.
juniorbeep
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:16PM

The main issue I have with refunds is the amount of time people seem to have to ask for one. I'm getting refunds from sept still. How long does it take to decide the image "isn't fit for purpose"? Now.... I have heard people say "oh well that's because the designers use your images in pitches for work, they dont win the job and decide to get refunds on all the hi-res images they have bought for the pitch"... That really isn't on. Istock shouldnt be a lending library or be seen as such. 


As a designer and contributer here I buy many images for clients work and would never buy an image and then if not used in the final work get a refund, that's all part of the expense of the job. If I have a doubt about an images suitability I use a water marked version as that is exactly what they are for.. as a test.


So who is to blame? Well the designers who see asking for refunds as acceptable practice and istock for actually allowing this and sending the message that that is "ok" here. 


How to avoid this? Refunds are available only in the first 24 hours. After this point istock can reinstate credits if they feel a purchasers claim is viable but this should be done at istocks expense not ours. 


 
synthetick
Member is a contributor and has less than 250 Photo downloadsMember is a Gold contributor and has 5,000 - 12,499 Video downloads
Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:21PM
Today I received a refund notice for a Big Web sale of one of my Vetta videos, and a corresponding drop in my balance. The notice said that the file had been sold on Nov 13th (today). I had seen the sale come through an hour or so before I got word that it was being refunded. Now I have just received an identical e-mail notice refunding the same file at the same size on the same date for the same amount, and my balance dropped by the same amount again. As I have been monitoring my downloads pretty closely, and I had only noticed this file selling once, I am suspicious that the refund has accidentally been processed twice.
laughingmango
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012 5:57PM

i have worked directly with photo buyers for years in the editorial world and advertising world. editorial stories get dropped and hence the need for the image gets dropped. ad agencies deal with clients who can often be flippy floppy and/or bipolar in their "final" decisions, or the project gets dropped hence there is no need for the image.


i would like to see a 10 "business" day ceiling on refunds - that is two weeks of business. anything more and we are just getting our chains yanked.


but this won't happen cause in this industry the tail is wagging the dog.
juniorbeep
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012 6:07PM
Posted By laughingmango:

i have worked directly with photo buyers for years in the editorial world and advertising world. editorial stories get dropped and hence the need for the image gets dropped. ad agencies deal with clients who can often be flippy floppy and/or bipolar in their "final" decisions, or the project gets dropped hence there is no need for the image.



i would like to see a 10 "business" day ceiling on refunds - that is two weeks of business. anything more and we are just getting our chains yanked.


but this won't happen cause in this industry the tail is wagging the dog.



but why 10 days? Doesnt that just invite requests for refunds? Either you buy the image to use or you start to look like you are offering a lending period that in 2 weeks time if an image gets dropped you can rightfully ask for a refund and nothing will be said.


True that the tail is wagging the dog but I'd be keen to know what other photo libraries do? 


 
tomeng
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012 8:13PM
It's simply people taken advantage of the ease of refunds.  Until it's put to a stop it will continue to escalate.  It's just going to get worse.  I am completely appalled by this truthfully.
laughingmango
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Tue Nov 13, 2012 9:14PM
Posted By juniorbeep:

Posted By laughingmango:

i have worked directly with photo buyers for years in the editorial world and advertising world. editorial stories get dropped and hence the need for the image gets dropped. ad agencies deal with clients who can often be flippy floppy and/or bipolar in their "final" decisions, or the project gets dropped hence there is no need for the image.





i would like to see a 10 "business" day ceiling on refunds - that is two weeks of business. anything more and we are just getting our chains yanked.


but this won't happen cause in this industry the tail is wagging the dog.




but why 10 days? Doesnt that just invite requests for refunds? Either you buy the image to use or you start to look like you are offering a lending period that in 2 weeks time if an image gets dropped you can rightfully ask for a refund and nothing will be said.


True that the tail is wagging the dog but I'd be keen to know what other photo libraries do? 


 


honestly giving any refund on a digital image is silly. especially over here in asia where we have a joke about using an image and ranting on about copyright - the reply is usually what? we copy wrong? 


if it was my ship here, i would only give refunds if the buyer downsized or upsized the same image and none of this we sent them a certificate of destruction nonsense.


i find it totally unacceptable to get refunds from weeks (more than my original posting of 2 weeks) and or months past, that is totally BS.
TadejZupancic
Member is a Black Diamond contributor and has more than 200,000 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012 4:58AM
^ I agree, how can we be sure, that they haven't used the image for a few months and when the advertising was over, they requested a refund? 
damircudic
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:08AM
I've had refund for an image downloaded 7 months before the refund. 7 months??? Someone has decided after 7 months not to use an image. All these are becoming very silly.
DeniseBush
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012 5:43AM
Posted By IvanJekic:

A compromise is to offer a 24h or 48h refund. If you cannot decide whether you want to use the image or not after that period - sorry, be more careful next time.

I couldn't agree more! There should certainly be a time limit!
juliedeshaies
Member is a Diamond contributor and has 25,000 - 199,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 1,249 Video downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 125 Audio downloadsMember is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Illustration downloads
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:34AM
Is IS gonna do something about that ... this is the question !
tomeng
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Video downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:07AM
It's something that effects us all as contributors.  Are they going to do something about it?  Historically....no.
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