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Refunds...again.

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sjlocke
Member is a Black Diamond contributor and has more than 200,000 Photo downloadsMember is a Gold contributor and has 5,000 - 12,499 Video downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 125 - 1,249 Audio downloadsMember is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Illustration downloadsExclusiveExclusive iStockphoto IllustratorExclusive iStockphoto Videographer
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:49AM

Posted By Ju-Lee:
Is IS gonna do something about that ... this is the question !


Nope. We can complain/whine/b*tch all we want, and the policy will likely be, as many refunds as requested for any time period you like. They said they monitor the action to make sure the refunds are not being abused, but who knows. So just accept it. Unless venting makes you feel better. Then, go crazy.

(Edited on 2012-11-14 07:50:52 by sjlocke)
manley099
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 Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:44AM
I've had over 3-5 $12 refunds in the past month. Yay me!
manley099
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 Wed Nov 14, 2012 8:45AM
Remember that refunds can also be given for stolen purchases. Oh the joys
Love paying for the lack of security
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 12:56PM
So since buyers can refund any purchase at any time, we could technically owe back anything we make?
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 1:08PM
This has no sens
bunhill
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Nov 14, 2012 1:27PM

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.


If a buyer uses your image as part of a selection of images presented in a proposal then that is a use and should be paid for. Even if their client ultimately chooses only one specific image. All of the images formed part of the proposal and it would have been the total presentation which ultimately scored the job. The image buyer is not buying images on behalf of their potential client anyhow.

A presentation or proposal is a use. The client is the person who downloads the image ... not the person they are looking for work from.

Or look at it another way: Suppose an engineering firm downloads your images to use in a presentation when bidding for a tender. But they do not win the tender. They should not expect a refund. The image was bought to use as part of the process of tendering for work.

(Edited on 2012-11-14 13:31:32 by bunhill)
lissart
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusive
Posted Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:54PM
Or look at it another way: Suppose an engineering firm downloads your images to use in a presentation when bidding for a tender. But they do not win the tender. They should not expect a refund. The image was bought to use as part of the process of tendering for work.


Today I had a smaller image refunded to me in lieu of a larger one. I assume the smaller one was "traded in" on the larger. Noting the above comment, I wonder if the job hadn't been won if there would be a refund for a different reason.

I've had a number of refunds. Less refunds than sales for sure but refunds are happening more and more. It frustrates me but I recognize it as a sign of the times.
Drbouz
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsMember is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 1,249 Video downloadsExclusive
Posted Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:31AM
 Refunds are in a bigger picture better/ok for business. Of course, every time i have some refounds i got mad   - BUT:   i believe that background of all of this issue would be  - that IS is sure that customers are basically o.k.  - yes, this is possible to find some refunded files on torrents/piracy discs etc... and this can not be resolved in some easy way.  but from the other hand - if you are customer and have downloaded some image accidentally in resolution/size that you did not want actually - and if you have your money back - this is most likely that you well recognize agency as "o.k." business partner. -and next time you will buy credits AGAIN, and buy images here. (for example, few years ago, i bought some images, and had my IS $ converted into credits. My intention was to dowlnoad some 20 small, or xs images, can not remember corectly really (1 credit at that time), but IS is set on L size by default, and after few images, i just clicked "download" (15 credits). i press esc right away, but, credit ballance was -15$.  and i did contact support immediately, and had my credits back. and i REALLY destroyed that file (which was not fully downloaded at all), and i used only what i was paying for - xs size.
unizyne
Member is a contributor and has less than 250 Photo downloadsMember is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Illustration downloadsExclusive iStockphoto Illustrator
Posted Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:12AM
Posted By IvanJekic:
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.
unizyne
Member is a contributor and has less than 250 Photo downloadsMember is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Illustration downloadsExclusive iStockphoto Illustrator
Posted Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:19AM

Yess, I agree with you.


I got a refund which was purchased on July! I dont understand this! In this digital era anybody need this much time to decide on that file.
cmannphoto
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:26AM

How about a pro-rated refund policy?


Would be a win win for everyone.
vecstar
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsMember is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Illustration downloadsExclusive
Posted Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:57AM

On October 24th I got hit by a refund of four vector files purchased on July 12th. It actually took this client over 3 months to decide whether these images suited his project or not.


This goed beyond my comprehension.
lfreytag
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsMember is a contributor and has less than 250 Illustration downloadsExclusive
Posted Tue Nov 20, 2012 1:14PM
I would limit refunds to small sizes those can be used as proofs.
molloykeith
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Nov 21, 2012 1:34AM
Posted By tomeng:
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)
vandervelden
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 21, 2012 2:14AM

Would I be right in assuming that only the contributor (that's us!) suffers the refund? We have the money deducted from our account. iStock, presumably, puts those credits - which are pre-paid (unless it's a credit card transaction) - back into the customer's account. iStock doesn't REFUND any money.


This being so, iStock won't care a fig that they're giving refunds willy-nilly.
threeseven
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloads
Posted Wed Nov 21, 2012 2:57AM

In an ideal world, designers would use watermarked comps until the client gave the green light, then they'd pay for the file. And if they didn't want the client to see the watermark (because they don't want the client to see the difference between what they are being charged and the actual file cost) then the designer is taking a calculated risk to make more profit, and should not be passing that risk onto iStock and it's contributors.


Genuine mistakes? Sure. If they bought the wrong size I should see the replacement sale. If they bought the wrong file, iStock should see the replacement file. While the zoom function is moribund there may be disappointed purchasers of larger files, but there's no reason to refund on smaller ones.


What bothers me is the possibility that some purchasers are given the freedom to change their mind for whatever reason, and whenever. That's not exactly transparent to contributors. And will surely happen more often now the corporate accounts are being pushed. I hope that iStock will impose some kind of limitation - and publish this for purchasers and contributors to see - so that refunds can be fluid for these clients but within a reasonable time frame. Perhaps in line with the credit agreement (30 days).


The unreasonable time frames of several months I suspect are the result of bad debts. Either clients reneging, or claw-backs from credit card companies where purchases are made with fraudulent cards. I would expect an agency acting on my behalf to factor bad debts into its operating costs and not pass the risk on to me. Call me an idealist, but I'd hope that any refund executed more than a month after sale should have an explanation offered to the contributor - it's an unusual circumstance and as you're my agent I think you owe me an explanation. And it might stop me thinking that you're rolling over and showing your belly to a large client.


I'm based in the UK so I'm used to the Sale of Goods Act defining why and when a refund can be made. For internet sales that's 7 days for any reason, otherwise the goods need to be faulty/not fit for purpose/not as described. In other words, outside 7 days you can't just change your mind. However, iStock sales are governed under the laws of the Province of Alberta and I have no idea whatsoever that means for refunds. Perhaps someone can enlighten me? Can anyone buy goods within Alberta and return them 7 months later and expect a full refund, no questions asked? If not, I'd be tempted to say that contributors who have suffered from late refunds should ask iStock for clarification (and justification) on each instance.


 
mikedabell
Member is a Gold contributor and has 10,000 - 24,999 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Nov 21, 2012 4:29AM
With Istock method of calculatin excghange rates, it is possible that each sale that is refunded could result in a loss of money, not just a refund.
CowlickCreative
Member is a Bronze contributor and has 250 - 2,499 Photo downloadsExclusive
Posted Wed Nov 21, 2012 10:51AM
Posted By vandervelden:

Would I be right in assuming that only the contributor (that's us!) suffers the refund? We have the money deducted from our account. iStock, presumably, puts those credits - which are pre-paid (unless it's a credit card transaction) - back into the customer's account. iStock doesn't REFUND any money.


This being so, iStock won't care a fig that they're giving refunds willy-nilly.


I don't think so. In my case I receive a 25% royalty so if a $10 file is purchased I get $2.50 and IS gets $7.50. So in the case of a refund IS has to return three times the amount I do, so a refund hurts them as well.


I really don't understand offering refunds for downloaded files at all. Try buying a magazine at the local bookstore and going back two months later and asking for a refund. What do you think would happen then?
vandervelden
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 21, 2012 11:12AM
Posted By CowlickCreative:

Posted By vandervelden:

Would I be right in assuming that only the contributor (that's us!) suffers the refund? We have the money deducted from our account. iStock, presumably, puts those credits - which are pre-paid (unless it's a credit card transaction) - back into the customer's account. iStock doesn't REFUND any money.


This being so, iStock won't care a fig that they're giving refunds willy-nilly.



I don't think so. In my case I receive a 25% royalty so if a $10 file is purchased I get $2.50 and IS gets $7.50. So in the case of a refund IS has to return three times the amount I do, so a refund hurts them as well.


No. My point is that iStock doesn't 'return' anything. You lose $2.50 - that money is taken away from you. iStock doesn't pay back $7.50 to the client - that money remains with iStock and the client gets to spend the credits again, but iS doesn't lose that money in the same way that a contributor does.


Effectively, they give the client a credit note, rather than their money back.
soberve
Member is a Silver contributor and has 2,500 - 9,999 Illustration downloadsExclusive iStockphoto Illustrator
Posted Thu Nov 22, 2012 12:14AM
On october 4th I "sold" 47 illustrations carefully chosen from all over my portfolio, only to have them refunded three weeks later when I was actually believing I had a very lucky day. I demanded some explanation due to the size of the "accidental" downloading but just got the same old automated message... frustrating
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