05 October 2010

Fotopic: A Warning

One year ago today, I renewed my subscription to use the personal gallery service provided by Fotopic.net. When renewing last year, I didn't reacquaint myself with the different types of gallery offered; I assumed I had the Plus Gallery, which is one of three different galleries offered:

Free Gallery - as its name suggests, it costs you nowt to sign up for this, but the amount of storage space allotted is very small indeed

Plus Gallery - for a fee, offers you a total of 5 galleries, basic copyright protection and more allotted storage space. £20 p/a

Premium Gallery - for a fee, offers 3000Mb on top of that given with the Plus Gallery, watermark copyright protection, direct linking, more themes, colours etc., and password protection for galleries. £45 p/a

As it turns out, I must have paid more than £20 p/a as this didn't offer the things I'd grown accustom to. No problem though, since a handy box was displayed that said: "Upgrade to the Premium Gallery from Plus and only pay an additional £25" (i.e. the difference in price between Plus and Premium). This I did.

But, importantly, Fotopic said they'd still take £45 but credit me the £20 difference. There was no other option available, so I went ahead and sanctioned it. I have never received the £20 credit. Ever.

And this is not for the want of trying. Those with issues regarding their Fotopic account are given a specific reference to quote in the subject line in all correspondence with the company. Naturally, having left it a week, I queried where my £20 credit was and did not receive a response. Thereafter, every Monday from mid-October until the end of the year, I emailed Fotopic with the same query in the very format they asked for..... and received nothing.

In February, I wrote to Fotopic's parent company, Snappy Designs, at their 17 Hertford Avenue, London, SW14 8EF address using Royal Mail's 'sign for' service. The letter was signed for, yet I have received neither a response nor a £20 credit.

Normally this blog's readership - all interested in public transport, many of whom being photographers - averages at anything between 2,500-3,500 per day, but on one occasion last week, eight thousand unique visits were recorded, so what better way to inform fellow hobbyist photographers about the manner in which Fotopic has conducted itself, than to post a warning here. I am not going to renew my now-expired subscription, but to consider moving my albums to its competitor, Flikr. Had I received a response in any form and, naturally, my £20, this would not have happened.

The cynic in me would liken the unwillingness of the company to part with £20 to the likely state of its finances. It wasn't long ago Fotopic was taken down amidst rumours that the company had gone into liquidation. This is another thought process going through my mind.

Apologies for the rant. I do not want any other hobbyist photographer to suffer the same treatment as me. Normal posts resume in the morning.


didbygraham said...

Join the Flickr club - O long ago made the move from Fotopic and have never looked back. Unlimited storage too. Also works brilliantly with blogging etc through being able to embed your photos.

Anonymous said...

Fotopic has gone down again 16 october 2010 i wonder if it will be ok