Aqueous Digital

Photobucket is now more trouble than it is worth

Like many of you, I was one of this affected by the corporate brain fart in 2017 which saw them, overnight, hold large chunks of the internet to ransom.

Like most of you out there, I simply switched to Imgur and frankly if I need to buy a premium account at some point I’m sure I won’t have a problem doing so.

But from Photobucket? Not likely.

So, now I’m a problem customer for them.

I have an account, I have ‘too many’ images in my account but they can’t turn my account off and delete my images as it would be against their stated bill of rights.

Their current approach is to pretty much spam my inbox with their increasingly desperate emails.

Thirteen of them from 1st to 20th June, twelve of them telling me, again, that my account is over their limits. Two identical emails on one day for crying out loud!

Photobucket Spam Emails

Guess what guys, this is not my problem, you are the ones who changed the limits. Moreover, you seem to think that we are going to bend over backwards to help you when all you have done so far is threaten your customers, hold the internet to ransom and now engage in email spamming.

Seriously, you have zero brand loyalty left with most people.

Moreover, if I was to try to do something to bring my account under your new limits it seems that even that is fraught with difficulty.

When all of your recent emails are aimed at getting me to buy a ‘premium’ package I see nothing in the functionality you offer which would convince me that this is a good buy. More like a ‘goodbye’ to my hard earned cash.

What I mean by this is that if you are using the mobile app, as many people are these days, it’s not possible to bulk delete. I can’t even delete a whole album. The reviews on the App store tell you everything you need to know about how people feel about the functionality.

Photobucket App Store image Photobucket App Store Reviews

Even if I use the desktop version, it’s not simple to delete items. Moreover, it seems no matter how many images I delete, your ‘usage’ percentage at the top doesn’t change. Which leads to an important question;

How are we supposed to know how many images constitute the ‘limit’ on a free account?

Your emails are less than helpful on this point, the website again is severely lacking and no matter what I delete (including whole albums) the percentage usage meter doesn’t change.

The only clue is when you log in, the new ‘splash’ that shows itself in your face on a desktop which says this;

Photobucket splash message

Why am I seeing this message?

You are receiving this notification because your current account usage is above our Free Tier limit*.

*The Photobucket Free Tier is provided for users to get started with up to 250 images or a maximum total of 2.5GB and try all the features of our Beginner package including 25MB per month of image hosting bandwidth.

What do I need to do?

Upgrade to a premium plan. For just $4.99 per month, you can upgrade to our lowest priced premium plan. You get 25GB of storage, room for up to 2,500 images, along with priority access to our new state of the art image editor, private album sharing, an ad-free experience and more.

Unlock for 1 Month

Unlock for a Full Year & Save 10%

or select another plan

What If You Do Nothing?

If you don’t upgrade and continue to exceed the free tier limit, you will not be able to add photos to your account and must either delete or download images to meet the free tier limit.

The emphasis in red is mine and is the first clue as to why the system is broken.

Even if you can get past the first splash page then you are faced with another warning which you can not get past;

Photobucket 5 minute warning

This ‘Buy now or we’ll hound you again in five minutes’ approach means that even if I wanted to delete images I won’t have enough time to do so before your damn pop up interrupts me again.

So, I don’t have the tools to do the job you ask me to do and even if I had the time to manually delete all my images, you will interrupt my progress every five minutes.

And I still don’t know whether, if I bring it under 2.5GB, that will be sufficient, as I will still have almost 2000 images stored with you?

Frankly, it’s a mess.

If you expect people to pay you money to use your service then at least provide the tools which mean the site is useful.

Otherwise, you are destined to disappear into the ether, taking all my images with you. 

And then where will you stand on your bill of rights promise of never deleting our images?

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