It doesn’t take much to make the internet angry these days but even so, this latest stunt from Photobucket takes some beating.
At first, some people thought it was a scam. There are plenty of posts saying that they thought Photobucket had been hacked but these swiftly turned to anger when they realised that it was real.
The issue; Photobucket have decided that it’s a great idea to stop people from using their platform for sharing photos on other websites unless you pay them $399 a year.
As many angry people have pointed out, the service has been glitchy and inconsistent for some time. As somewhere to store your photos it’s been OK but for sharing it has been prone to issues. And the solution they have come up with of charging everyone for doing something that has previously always been free has not gone down well.
This is the sort of thing you can find today if you go and look at their Facebook page;
Twitter is no better and what’s adding fuel to the fire is the ‘corporate speak’ responses to every complaint. Quite simply people are not being heard.
The change has meant that bulletin boards and auction sites across the internet are a train wreck this morning, along with people’s personal blogs and websites. And to date, Photobucket is doing nothing about it. They appear to be hunkering down and hoping they can weather the storm.
The problem they face is not simply that disgruntled customers may go elsewhere but that in doing so they will shout as loudly as they can about how badly they have been treated. Forget that many of these people, in fact, many of the 166 who have commented so far today on their Facebook page, probably have a free account, the fact is that they are customers.
And Photobucket is about to find out that when you upset customers en masse then no amount of backtracking will protect your brand. There is only one way this can end well and it involves them reconsidering this bizarre move. Every other way sees Photobucket come to a sad and sticky end.