When will companies figure out that screwing over their entire customer base isn’t the smartest move?
A company called Photobucket is up for the “stupid move of the year” award after burning basically every one of its customers.
The company launched in 2003 and, up until the end of June, offered all users free uploading and embedding of images all over the web. The image hosting server has been used since then by countless small businesses selling items through online marketplaces like eBay and Amazon. 2GB of storage was free and 102GB of storage was $100 a year.
At the end of June, the company dropped a short article stating it was updating its terms of service effective June 20th.
“At Photobucket, we are committed to providing the best experience and services for all of your photo and image needs. We have updated our Terms of Service, effective June 20, 2017. Please take a moment to review our updated terms and policies as they may affect your account.”
But in that brief post, they neglected to point out the biggest change. It would now cost uploaders $399 a year to put their pictures on another website using direct image links.
So what happened? Millions of “error messages” instead of pictures appearing all over the Internet for users. Sales plummeting for small businesses who used the services. People who can’t even get their images without being forced to upgrade. And a whole mess of people accusing Photobucket of extortion.
The company has been getting destroyed on Twitter, and has yet to formally address the countless people who are ripped.
Lesson of the day? The market dictates everything. And in this case … it may just dictate that the company ends up going out of business.