Pissing Off Users By Changing Terms Of Service Along The Way

from the big-changes dept

One of the important things with online services is that users need to feel a certain level of trust with the service providers they use. Otherwise why would they take the leap and use them. It's no surprise that service providers often end up changing the terms of service to keep up with the times, legal changes or changes to the service itself. But, when you make a big change in the terms of service -- one that fundamentally alters what people thought they were signing up for, that's a pretty big problem. A bunch of folks have sent in the news that Kodak has changed their terms of service, such that its "free" photo sharing site (which was formerly Ofoto) is no longer free at all, but will cost users $5/year in additional services (i.e., you have to buy $5 worth of prints/year). If you don't, Kodak will simply delete your albums.

Now, obviously, Kodak is doing this to try to increase its revenue and get those who don't bring in much money off the site. Kodak certainly has every right to try to come up with a better business model. But, in changing the terms of what people had already agreed to, and in doing so, threatening to delete their photos and "treasured memories," it seems that Kodak is absolutely killing any level of trust people might have had with the site. There are tons of competitors out there (many of which do still include free options). Kodak may not mind the free users going elsewhere, but breaking that bond seems like a massively dangerous idea. Those "free" customers still can generate some revenue -- but they won't at all if you piss them off by suddenly charging them for what was previously free or deleting their photos.


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  1.  
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    CleverNameHere, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 5:53pm

    Terms Of Severence

    "One of the important things with online services is that users need to feel a certain level of trust with the service providers they use."

    And this is why cloud computing will fail to meet expectations

     

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    Willard, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 6:07pm

    Trust

    I got Kodak's notice along with a note that I was in compliance with the new terms -- probably because I ended up using Picassa as a better site, so had a total of 0 (yes, zero) pictures on Kodak's site.

    I did take advantage of the new terms by uploading a stock photo and setting up one album, with one picture in it. Guess that Kodak will try to bill me for prints of a picture I don't want.

    Oh well. Digital was going to do them in anyway. Lack of understanding of what an agreement is won't slow things down.

     

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    Geoffrey Kidd (profile), Mar 31st, 2009 @ 6:20pm

    Only One Thing to Do

    Leave the site.

    When they came for the free users, I didn't speak up, because I wasn't a free user.

    When they came for the $5/year customers, I didn't speak up...

    If they can change the terms of service so drastically after an agreement is made, it follows they'll have no qualms about doing it a second time. Or a third. Or...

     

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    Michael Vilain, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Hasn't this happened before with Shutterfly

    Or some other free photo site? Or was it some other service? Anyway, in that instance, some Attorney General(s) whispered the words "extortion" and "RICO" into the CEO's ear and they extended the deadline of when they're were going from free to "pay".

    Pity Elliot Spetzer couldn't keep his fly zipped. If he had a few words with the CEO of Kodak, maybe that might have done some good.

     

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    Erv Server, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 6:41pm

    Screw Kodak

    Who needs em...Kodak can charge what they want, I want do business at their site

     

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    ehrichweiss, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 6:42pm

    Re: Terms Of Severence

    Wow, you seem to be speaking but all I hear on this side is gibberish.

    Seriously, what does cloud computing have to do with that statement? You provide nothing more than a snarky comment that has no apparent relation with the subject at hand, or you're generalizing so broadly that you're destined to fail.

     

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    Slackr, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 6:46pm

    A cup of coffee

    Honestly people, $5 a YEAR? It's hardly extortion. In an age where we expect free it isn't like Kodak are demanding a huge purchase to make their services available. I think they might have managed the transition better perhaps but there's always going to be complainers.

    I imagine that in internet cafes all across the US people are sipping a momentary cup of coffee worth more than a year's access to their 'precious memories' (in my local currency this would be true). Not to mention the fact these precious memories don't seem to be backed up anywhere else?!? We all pay for storage be it on CD, DVD, memory stick, HD etc...$5 per year for access, convenience etc from Kodak seems pretty resonable to me.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 6:49pm

    Re: Terms Of Severence

    no relation to anything

     

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    Overcast, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 7:02pm

    Makes one think it's a good idea to avoid future dealings with a company that will 'change the rules' on you after subscribing.

     

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    greg, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 7:05pm

    Kodak not learning from hostage negotiations 101

    Kodak is acting like a hostage-taker in bad faith. After the initial terms were set for entrusting your photos with them, they later decided to change the terms, to ask for more money, and held the hosting of user photos hostage.

    Problem with that hostage negotiation scenario is that you then have no faith that they will not increase the terms again further down the line. You also question whether they will remain faithful to their word. Deadly force becomes a more likely scenario for resolution.

    Kodak may have just ordered in the tear gas grenades from their users.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 7:23pm

    This is terrible. Terrible indeed. Don't they realize we like in a world where contracts are immutable?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 7:29pm

    Re:

    "like" should be "live"

     

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    David T, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 8:06pm

    Re: A cup of coffee

    It's the mental transaction. In a world where people are pecked to death by nickels and dimes, adding one more bill is irksome.

    Besides, if it was free before, what did they add to make it worth paying for? If the answer is nothing, then the user automatically feels cheated.

     

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    stainless, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 8:49pm

    Nothing New

    While I don't like companies moving the goal posts on me (unless it's in my favour). It's really nothing new. ISPs do it, Banks do it, Satellite TV providers do it, birds do it, bees do it even educated flees do it.... I have been through 4 ISP's and every one has changed the terms of the contract within months of me signing up. Contracts nowadays seem to be one way things... The only recourse we have if we don't like it is to move on.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 9:20pm

    anyone that depends on an online source to back up their personal data is a fool.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 9:39pm

    anyone that depends on A SINGLE online source to back up their personal data is a fool.

    There fixed that for ya.

     

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    epc, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 10:02pm

    Everything Old Is New Again

    Kodak did this in the 90s with their first photo sharing site, which they then shut down when they bought Ofoto. While I understand the business logic (providing storage for "free" only makes sense if there’s enough business transactions to pay for it), it will drive potential customers away. I wonder if the acquisition costs for new customers or re-acquiring those who leave because of this change are less or greater than the ongoing storage costs (physical disk + systems and staff to manage it + bandwidth to distribute photos).

     

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    Rose M. Welch, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 10:28pm

    Whiners, much?

    I don't see what all of the fuss is about. Didn't they give the users enough time to take their items elsewhere? Was there a time limit set in the original subscription that Kodak breached? Was there a promise that Kodak would always offer free storage or are people just being pissy?

    I think someone took a look at the profit/loss statement and said 'Hey, we no longer make enough money to support all of the goodwill services that we offer. We are going to have to charge our paying customers more or get rid of the customers who don't pay us anything.'. And someone else said... "Hey!'.

    I guess I don't see the problem but I do see users like Willard, who are annoyed at being charged for a service that they (apparently) didn't even use, much less make profitable. Why is it better to alienate customers who give you money by charging them more, for the sake of... Willard? (Assuming that they are trying to cut costs, like most businesses are right now.)

    Until two years ago, my store did alot of stuff for free and charged alot less than we should have for alot of things, like watch batteries.

    I convinced the owner to lightly raise alot of the prices on the stuff we wanted to do (like watch batteries) and people don't even blink. We still offer better service at (usually) a lower price.

    I convinced him to start charging alot more for the things we don't like to do, and the things that only we can do (there are about ten jewelry stores in town but only one horologist*) and we make alot more money on those services and have gotten rid of the problem customers that needed to be fired anyway. (Yay!)

    End result: More money from good customers, fewer bad customers, happier employees, happier horologist. The bad, cheap, whiny customers are pissed and will now take their business elsewhere, which is an added bonus if they do, because our competition is now spending time and trouble with them. Roflmao, thank God.

    *http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-horologist.htm

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 31st, 2009 @ 11:08pm

    you'd think with all the "noise" about facebook's attempt to change TOS, other sites/ companies would think twice...

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 2:04am

    "..threatening to delete their photos and "treasured memories,"

    If those memories are "treasured," surely the users wouldn't mind paying 5 bucks a year.

    "...it seems that Kodak is absolutely killing any level of trust people might have had with the site."

    "breaking that bond seems like a massively dangerous idea."

    Hehehe...Mike, your hyperbole never fails to crack me up. But I guess that's what keeps bringing more people to this site. Kodak is clearly saying they cannot continue to subsidize freeloaders; how is that a breach of contract? Are you implying that a company should continue to bleed just to keep freeloaders happy instead of recognizing the lack of viability and acting accordingly?

    "Those "free" customers still can generate some revenue.."

    Pray how? When these cheapskates won't even pay $5 a year, how could they possibly bring in any revenue that doesn't offset the bandwidth and storage costs incurred on their account? Perhaps Kodak could offer a free one-year subscription to the site to anyone who buys $5 worth of prints, instead of the other way round. It's easier to give paying customers freebies than get freeloaders to pay.

     

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    cram, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 2:04am

    The above was my comment.

     

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    One Disciple, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 4:39am

    Sheeple

    Why is it, when people expect honesty and integrity from a cooperation, there are a bunch of people that comment about whiners. It is not whining to point out that Kodak changed their TOS in mid game. It is not whining to point out that telling people if you do not want your stuff that we said we would hold for you, you must now pay. It does not matter how much the service costs, the fact is they are lying and conniving to get money where there never was before. It would have been a non-issue had they said we can not afford to maintain this site any longer. we are setting up a new site that will cost $5 and anyone who wishes to transfer their old accounts can. That would have been honest, extortion is not.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 5:36am

    Funny how cloud computing can be gone in a minute, blown away by a gust of wind apparently.
    As said already, cloud computing is a fools errand.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 6:33am

    Geez, your cable bill goes up five bucks a month every year or so and nobody bitches about that. Why does everybody think everything on the internet is supposed to be free? You don't want to pay Kodak five bucks a year to use their website's tools and storage? Fine, go buy some blank DVDs and use them instead.

    This may sound trivial to a lot of people, but some people store hundreds of gigs of photos on these sites. Kodak probably could have just shut the whole thing down with no notice. In a bad economy you better expect free services to get cut off first.

    The name of this site should be changed from "Techdirt" to "Mike expects everything online to be free."

     

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  25.  
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    Chris, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 6:47am

    Let me get my photos back

    First off this article the first I have heard about this change in service. I was not informed by Kodak even though they have my e-mail address.

    Second the $5 a year is only if you have less than 2GB of storage space used. I have over that so I need to pay $20 a year. This is still not that much but right now I do not have any need for any additional prints or products.

    Third, lets say someone did use Kodak for their only online storage or if someone uploaded their pictures to Kodak and then lost any other copy leaving Kodak's site as the only place the picture is stored. There is no way to get those pictures back from Kodak unless you subscribe to their Premier subscription for $25 a year or purchase an archive CD. Granted this is a lot less expensive then any kind of data recovery service it still seems down right dirty. If someone is stuck and wants their pictures back to goto another service Kodak will charge them for that. A similar situation happened to a company I used to work for. They had a document imaging service they were paying for. This service stored all their images onto WORM disks and the drives to read them were discontinued years ago. They also stored the images in a proprietary format so even if you could gain access to the file system you could do nothing with the images. However that company that held our images did offer another service to convert our files to PDF format. I think in the end they paid several thousands of dollars to get THEIR data BACK from this company. An analogy to this would be you get an account from your bank and then you decide to goto another bank but they say in order to withdrawal all your funds you will have to pay us a fee.

     

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  26.  
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    David Forness, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 7:21am

    I have no objection with Kodak charging a fee. Free is not free and someone has to pay. I have all of my pictures backed up and use Picasa now anyway. What ever they have stored from me, they can delete and it won't be a problem.

    Does anyone know how to unsubscribe from the site? Unless I missed something, they don't provide a way to contact them.

     

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    revwillie56, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 8:04am

    Re: mike expects everything to be free

    After paying the cable bill for access, everyone should expect anything on the internet to be free.

     

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    Steve R. (profile), Apr 1st, 2009 @ 8:44am

    Contract Sanctity

    Another base case of relative reality. We had a firestorm of analysis concerning the sanctity of contracts when it came to the contracts authorizing "bonuses" to AIG executives for failure. To paraphrase -> "We have to honor contracts, they are binding legal documents and we can't break our holy word."

    Companies routinely "break" contracts with customers all the time. In fact many of these "contracts", to me anyway, don't even qualify as valid contracts. Yet where is the moral outrage when companies fail to honor their contracts by those who feel that the AIG contracts should be honored?

    If private industry can renege on the holy contract at will in any arbitrary and capricious fashion of their choosing. The government has a right to void contracts allowing unearned "bonuses".

     

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  29.  
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    Stephen S. Power, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 9:22am

    kodak can't print well

    My wife used Kodak to print the calendars she makes up for the mothers of our daughter. To say their printing was shoddy and muddy would be to insult the shoddy and the muddy. So we're already done with them.

     

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  30.  
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    Mike Bevans, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 10:45am

    Alternative

    Kodak made a lot of people angry by pulling the rug out from under them.

    But it does point out a big problem. Photos are the most important data that we have, and it's really the only irreplaceable data we have. It's a big responsibility for us to keep our photos for future generations.

    I've been working on a photo archiving site, www.swisspicturebank.com, for the past couple of years, and I'd like to invite you all to give it a try.

    I want to be upfront with you, though. We've put most of our effort into building the secure, long-term data archiving infrastructure - we're just now looking to add photosite features and functionality - so the user interface will probably feel a little rough at first.

    Please try it out (yes, free trial) and tell us what you want from a photo site.

     

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    hegemon13, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 12:50pm

    Simply charging for a service

    I don't get it. We are talking about a free service. No currency has changed hands, and Kodak has no obligation to continue offering a free service. The user did not have to give anything up to receive the service, so why should they expect any obligation from Kodak to provide the service indefinitely? Plus, Kodak did the right thing here by notifying their customers up front and allowing them to explore other options if they did not like the new terms.

    All they have done is attempt to offset the cost of maintaining the site. Storing and backing up that many photos, as well as maintaining a huge database, has substantial storage, bandwidth, equipment, and IT costs. They aren't asking for a monthly fee. They aren't even asking you to pay $5/year for the service (which is EXTREMELY cheap). They are asking you to spend $5.00 on $5.00 worth of product sometime during the year. I hardly find that unreasonable.

    As far as deleting the albums, if you are relying on a third party to store your photos, you are an idiot, anyway. Plus, given that the primary distinguishing feature of their service is it's ability to synchronize with their EasyShare software, most of their customers will have all that "lost" work setting up albums backed up on their computer already.

     

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    Slackr, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 1:00pm

    Re: Re: A cup of coffee

    @David T "Besides, if it was free before, what did they add to make it worth paying for? If the answer is nothing, then the user automatically feels cheated."

    I'd definitely agree if the amount were more than such a paltry sum. If it were $5/month it might make me stop and think. But it's such a measly amount for the service they provide and if you don't have copies of your photos elsewhere frankly I doubt people place much value on their data anyways.

     

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    hegemon13, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Contract Sanctity

    Nice try, but this was a free service.

    For pay services (mobile phone carriers, cable cos, ISPs, etc), I agree with you 100%.

     

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  34.  
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    hegemon13, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 1:11pm

    Re: Kodak not learning from hostage negotiations 101

    If you "entrusted" them with the only copy of your photos, you are an idiot, and you do not have my sympathy. Backing up your data is your job. If you expect to have a reliable backup solution for free, you are beyond clueless. "Backing up" also does not mean "transfer and delete." A backup is there for when you lose your local copy. It should not be the only copy, or it is, by definition, not a backup. Therefore, if you set yourself up for this so-called "hostage" situation, it is no one's fault but your own.

    Kodak has notified you up front, as well. So, download your photos and save them locally. What is the hostage situation here?

    You also use the term "more" money. Understand that there was no cost before. They are saying, in effect, "We are no longer providing this service for 100% free. To continue using this service, you must purchase at least $5.00 per year worth of product." Where, exactly, is the "bad faith" you claim?

     

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    hegemon13, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Sheeple

    What is this crap about "mid-game"? They notified users ahead of time that the service would no longer be free unless you bought $5 a year worth of product. If these were people who had pre-paid for a year of a paid service, or who were locked into a contract paying a monthly subscription fee, then I could understand the outrage. Changing the terms on those users would truly be a "mid-game" change. This is notifying users of a change to the *FREE* service.

    "It is not whining to point out that telling people if you do not want your stuff that we said we would hold for you, you must now pay."

    Um, they are an online photo album. NEVER have they marketed the service as a data backup solution. If you used it that way, then sorry. Take a lesson, and learn to back up your stuff properly next time. It is not Kodak's job to compensate for your ignorance and lack of personal responsibility. And what is stopping you from downloading the stuff back to your hard drive, or keeping a local copy to begin with?

    "It would have been a non-issue had they said we can not afford to maintain this site any longer. we are setting up a new site that will cost $5 and anyone who wishes to transfer their old accounts can. That would have been honest, extortion is not."

    BS. You would still be whining. Know how I know? Because the situation you outline would have the exact same effect on the end-user. The only difference is that it would cost Kodak a bunch of money unnecessarily.

     

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    hegemon13, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 1:37pm

    Re: Let me get my photos back

    "Third, lets say someone did use Kodak for their only online storage or if someone uploaded their pictures to Kodak and then lost any other copy leaving Kodak's site as the only place the picture is stored."

    So sad for the user. Should I whine about Wal-Mart for not keeping a backup of my negatives when they developed them because I couldn't be bothered to keep track of them? As I said in another response, this is an online photo album, not a data backup service. Any data backup service is going to cost MUCH more that $25.00/year, so your complaint is quite moot.

    "An analogy to this would be you get an account from your bank and then you decide to goto another bank but they say in order to withdrawal all your funds you will have to pay us a fee."

    It's called an "account closing fee," and yes, banks do this. In fact, I just got charged $25.00 for closing an HSA account. Still, this is a lame analogy. If Kodak were holding your actual photo negatives, or if they somehow forced you to delete all your own copies of the file, then yes, this would be equivalent. They aren't. They are holding a digital copy, with the emphasis on the word "copy." That is, you copied your file up to them. If you proceeded to lose that file, that is your own problem, not Kodak's.

     

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  37.  
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    Rose M. Welch., Apr 1st, 2009 @ 3:47pm

    Re: Sheeple

    It is not whining to point out that Kodak changed their TOS in mid game.

    When is the game over? Once again, I ask, was there a time limit that Kodak breached? Or was the time limit simply not specified? If there was, then Kodak sucks, but if it was just open-ended, then Kodak just announced the end of the game. The game will be over. In the new game, the rules will be different. Deal with it.

    It would have been a non-issue had they said we can not afford to maintain this site any longer. we are setting up a new site that will cost $5 and anyone who wishes to transfer their old accounts can. That would have been honest, extortion is not.

    You think that they should make a new site for paying customers, force paying customers to migrate, and then close down the old site anyway?

    How is that a) cost-effective and b)any better for the non-paying customer? They still lose their accounts. Further, if Kodak did that, they would have pissed off paying customers as well as whiny non-paying customers. How is that logical at all?

     

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    Gene Cavanaugh, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 4:29pm

    Ofoto

    THANK YOU! Two of my wife's treasured photo albums (Kodak, you guessed it, I assume) suddenly disappeared, and we have been blaming Ubuntu, Google, anyone we could think of - it NEVER occurred to us that KODAK would do this!

    Wow! Now we have to buy a camera from someone else, and delete Kodak from our lives.

     

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    cram, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 9:18pm

    Yahoo shut down its storage service called Briefcase a few days back. Would that qualify as a breach of contract? I suppose Yahoo has "absolutely killed" the trust of its users by not allowing the freeloading to go on. A "massively dangerous" move by Yahoo, I'm sure.

     

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    bowerbird, Apr 1st, 2009 @ 11:59pm

    sigh... i guess we will just have to learn that
    "free" means "until we decide to charge you".

    still, you'd think _kodak_ would understand
    how important people's pictures are to them,
    and thus would realize that ripping that bond
    will cost kodak lots of lost trust and credibility.
    the threat to _delete_ photos is quite troubling!

    i will certainly be leery of kodak from now on...

    -bowerbird

     

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    Published Articles, Apr 6th, 2009 @ 9:45pm

    Great Article

    I totally agree that it's annoying when a company changes their TOS "Along The Way".

    I once had a website hosted with a free hosting service. They decided to change to paid hosting. The problem was that since the domain was a sub-domain I lost all of the backlinks and visitors to the site. I could have just paid the monthly fee for hosting but I was a bit pissed.

    "It's no surprise that service providers often end up changing the terms of service to keep up with the times, legal changes or changes to the service itself. But, when you make a big change in the terms of service -- one that fundamentally alters what people thought they were signing up for, that's a pretty big problem."

    I agree 100% with that!

    -Becca

     

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    Lindsey, May 10th, 2009 @ 5:51pm

    Kodak rip off

    If Kodak manages to scare one million customers at $4.99 per threat that is a "$4.99 million bucks kodak moment"

    Way to go Kodak..... you shoul be ashamed...

     

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    Pat Miller, May 19th, 2009 @ 7:14pm

    No Notification

    I went to Kodak Gallery to remove my pictures or whatever only to find they had been deleted one day earlier. I e-mailed them and they responded that they had sent me numerous e-mails warning me about this. I never received a SINGLE one. I am seriously considering reporting this to the Attorney General.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  44.  
    identicon
    Jeff Palmer, May 21st, 2009 @ 5:52pm

    I've been a customer since Ofoto, in 2001. Over the years I've spent between $10 and $50 dollars a year, on albums and prints. I did not use the service for storage, only to order prints and products. I had about 200 mb of photos stored on the website.

    I received an email saying I needed to send Kodak 34 cents to keep my account active.

    I ordered a photo archive CD for $11.44, pictures that I did not have digital copies of because they were from developed film, when Ofoto offered that service.

    I paid for the CD and canceled my account.

    It's not a question of money; it's a question of principal. I have no interest in being a subscriber; I'm a customer. If Kodak wants to charge people yearly, fine, but that's not for me. It may not be entirely rational, but who is?

    I'm irritated also by the tone of their interaction, as though by not fulfilling their arbitrary yearly requirement, I'm a freeloader. They spend $100 million a year on advertising, and give their iphone application away for free. Who is subsidizing that?

    I own a Kodak camera, which I bought mostly out of brand loyalty. I'm looking forward to a new Fuji now.

    Thanks Kodak, it's been a good run. I'm 35, and hopefully will enjoy many more years of taking photos. I'm happy to spend my money elsewhere.

    A quarter, a nickel, and four pennies...worth losing a customer for life?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  45.  
    identicon
    stefano, May 24th, 2009 @ 2:39pm

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  46.  
    identicon
    Sam, Jun 9th, 2009 @ 11:45am

    family photos lost?

    $5 really isn't that big of a deal, I don't mind paying, but does anybody know what will happen to my shared albums if their owners don't don't pay? Will I lose access to their albums? My wife's brother has sorta been the family photographer for the last couple years (weddings, my bachelor party, bbqs), he is in alot of financial trouble right now, but I don't want spend $400 buying prints of all his photos. Plus what will I do with all those prints? Pay somebody to scan them and make them digital again? Anybody know of an easy way to download all these photos to my pc?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  47.  
    identicon
    lorraine, Jul 9th, 2009 @ 5:09am

    Re: Kodak's new policy

    I think Kodak made a big mistake when they said the word "delete". people treasure their photos and there are plenty of other sites to pick from.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  48.  
    identicon
    Tony Fiorello, Aug 7th, 2009 @ 6:04pm

    Deleted Family Albums

    Yesterday, I was going to add a couple hundred family vacation photos to my Ofoto account. I was very suprised to see all of my albums missing or (empty). I got very sick to my stomach and got on-line with Kodak's online support. The woman appologized and said all of our photo's had been deleted July the 17th because we had not purchased anything within 12 months. I explained these were 8 years of family photos that could not be replaced. She said we got three emails stating the new policy since March and had no response from us. I told her I hadn't gotten the email and she said it might have gone to spam mail..... So you deleted them anyway??? What recourse do I have? The manager said "once they are deleted from the server, there gone" I will speak to my attorneuy Monday! Can anyone offer tech advice? Thank you...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  49.  
    identicon
    Jennifer, Aug 13th, 2009 @ 1:17pm

    Deleted Photos & Legal Advice

    Hi there,
    I agree 100% with those opposed & upset with Kodaks recent poor business practices. I thought the same as many in that it does not seem legal for our stored photos to be completely deleted after we were lead to believe we could trust Kodak with them based upon initial terms at sign up. They should have a back up cached or the like system to allow for existing customers to retrieve the photos deleted for an extended period of time post deletion. I believe this is somewhat of a bait & switch??? I like many did not receive the email warning (maybe went to spam??) & logged on this week to share some photos with friends to find that they all had been deleted...including shared photos received from others.I contacted Kodak & they would not restore them & said they are deleted permanently.

    I do not mind paying for photos or the CD newly offered that would have proved a copy of all my albums & the opportunity to save my memories trusted in their hands. I also do believe that existing customers should have been grandfathered with the original terms. Kodak then could have proceeded by implementing the new terms with new customers as the info would be disclosed upfront.
    Last, I do agree online services should not be the only method of back up storage...however in my case I was challenged with the threat of computer virus's earlier this year that prompted me to pull all photos off and back them up somewhere else quickly. Originally I was appreciative and thankful to save at least these memories as I did lose the data on my computer. I planned to pull them back off into my possession to back them up..but that takes an awful lot of time and I trusted they would be there when I was able to take on that project.

    So after all of my rambling and expressions of frustration, (thank you for allowing me to do so) I am seeking any Legal Advice and or feedback from anyone who has researched the possible legal implications if any with this matter. I do believe that there must be a way for kodak to retrieve the data they claim to no longer have a record of. My ultimate goal would be to force Kodak to take the necessary actions to do so. Hopefully something can be done.
    Thank you.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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