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06-09-2012, 12:53 PM   #1
newmikey's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,796
FOTKI going out of business?

The photo sharing site shut down its servers housing the originals of uploaded content and sent its subscribers an extortion email that they will only be able to access their own files after additional payments.

So, just a few months after I renew for 3 years (member since many years), Fotki changes the rules on downloading my own images? I need to buy credits? What is this, why am I paying you in the first place?

The whole reason I joined years ago was to be able to offer my friends and family access to my images and have a cloud-like backup myself.

Sorry Fotki, you have just made yourself redundant. My money you may have taken (for the very last time), but I will not upload one single image anymore, ever again and will let what I have sit there until the recently renewed 3-year membership runs out.

If there's something I can't stand is businesses that think they can change the rules midway through a contract. We had a contract and you did not mention any expected change with regards to having to pay for downloading my own images a few months ago when you took my money.

What a scam!

06-10-2012, 06:15 PM   #2
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: West Lafayette, Indiana, USA
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I didn't even receive an email, but I only found out from facebook. I also use it as a backup and for the purpose of sharing original photos with friends and family. I take photos for the high school swim team, and posted all of them on fotki for parents to download. I really can't believe this behavior. And they have my prepaid membership until December 2015!

I was willing to put up with the slow service (I've had a customer service inquiry dating to December 2009 that still hasn't been fixed - their site doesn't correctly autorotate or read ISO data from Pentax EXIF), but taking away access to my original files without advance notice is unacceptable, regardless of the contract language.

The sad part is that they recently released an iPhone app that is decent, and I was excited to see something new and useful.

I hope they will do the right thing and reopen download access at least for a limited period. I have my originals, but not in the file structure that I have on Fotki.

06-12-2012, 11:58 AM   #3
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Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Massachusetts
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I did not get an email either, and am also paid out for a couple more years. Same usage model for me- sharing and backup. This stinks! The worst part is the effort required to upload someplace else.... I have about 80GB of data there, so 640 "points" a month, or about another $50 a year. I'll be looking for other options regardless of the effort.
06-12-2012, 02:56 PM   #4
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Southern Alberta
Posts: 280
Yikes, what a low thing for them to do without any warning to their current customers!

You could always dispute the charge with your credit card company.

08-07-2012, 03:58 PM   #5
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klh's Avatar

Join Date: May 2009
Location: West Lafayette, Indiana, USA
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After waiting in vain for Fotki to resolve this matter, I will no longer be using Fotki for storing and sharing my photos.

I joined Fotki for the purpose of sharing my original photos with friends and family as well as having a reliable online backup for my important photo files. Unfortunately, Fotki has chosen to eliminate both of these services from my prepaid membership.

I purchased a Premium Gold membership in November 2009, and am now prepaid through December 2015. The advertised membership benefits included "safely back-up, store and share the joy of your photos and videos" and "conveniently and securely store unlimited number of photos at the highest resolution". Without any prior notice, Fotki suspended access to original files and demanded additional payments from their customers for continued storage and access to original files.

It is true that "FOTKI, INC. reserves the right to modify any part of this Agreement at any time in its sole discretion" (per the user agreement). However, I reserve the right to take my business elsewhere.

Last edited by klh; 08-07-2012 at 05:40 PM.
08-09-2012, 08:18 AM   #6

Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Charleston & Pittsburgh
Photos: Albums
Posts: 1,668
Yes, please thoroughly dispute any such charge on anyones credit card.

I'd also print off a copy of their email and facebook potings to foward (at the united states level) to both one's stte atty generals office and also even the FBI. If even half of what is stated is true their senior managemnt/owners have a lot of explaining to do after being sworn in.

Also BBB it. It will follow the owners
08-09-2012, 08:28 AM   #7
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Join Date: May 2010
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Posts: 5,900
I would definitely call your CC and while you are at it tell your tale on Rip Off Report online and to the Better Business Bureau. You could have a lot of people some heartache doing that and you have legal grounds for contesting that payment. It was definitely collected fraudulently.
08-11-2012, 03:11 PM   #8
newmikey's Avatar

Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 1,796
Original Poster
It was only 50 bucks so I'm not going to spend any time on it whatsoever. I will use their service for as long as my contract still runs but I'll use it so as to minimise any positive exposure to them in any way. Won't mention their name anymore, will edit Facebook postings to remove any linkage except the image link. More importantly, I'll only upload lowres images and use a proper service for highres. Once this contract period expires they'll never, ever see a penny of mine again and in the meantime: no referrals, no forum contributions, no nothing. I will enjoy seeing them go down without a liferaft - at least get some entertainment out of the money I paid.

Vindictive old bastard, you say? You bet ya!

08-14-2012, 10:09 AM   #9
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Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Upstate New York
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Posts: 8,535
Do we need any other reason to not consider cloud storage as a principal back up plan? Picasa and Flickr are are fine for most of us non pros and aren't likely fold tomorrow. I pay $5 for extra storage on Picasa.
09-15-2017, 12:40 PM   #10
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Posts: 1,796
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Sorry to revive such an old thread

I am truly sorry but I thought something just happened that made it worth making a few final notes on a promise I made in this thread 5 years ago. Fotki (even though I had removed my CC info years ago) have sent me a cute email saying my subscription would be renewed and they'd charge my CC US$24 this coming Wednesday. I have excellent memory still so I sent them a termination note linking to this very thread on PF.

To me this now closes the loop - I had actually stopped using them for anything other than small thumbnailed product-shots for stuff I wanted to sell on eBay and some screenshots I wanted to share on forums. As of the date they blocked access to my originals against their promise, I never uploaded anything of interest again. It may have cost me a one-off payment of $55 back in 2012 for what I thought was the real deal, but making Fotki hang on to diskspace without promoting their service or contributing in any other way was my way of showing them some sort of payback. Time is up now and this story ends here.

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