Thursday, March 25, 2010

My first customer refund

It hasn't happened to me so far in almost two years of selling images on internet. Maybe some agencies would not even bother notifying contributors, but I got this email this morning from Dreamstime:

Dear Mariusz,

Due to reasons which are beyond our control, we are sorry to let you know that [some $$$] have been removed from your earnings as result of a refund for file IDs 5327340.

Possible refund reasons:
- Accidental download;
- Credit card fraud with mandatory refund issued at request to real card holder;
- Duplicate download;
- Incorrect size/format/license purchased;
- License update;
- Performance issues (misspellings in texts, quality);

Due to the high volume of daily transactions, we cannot provide additional clarification on the refund performed. Measures are always taken for the licenses to be withdrawn and images deleted. Any subsequent unlicensed usage is liable to legal action and penalties.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.

I understand that my images were not good enough or not popular enough in the past so maybe that's why it did not happen before. Agency admits they cannot protect my images from stealing. I wonder if somebody steals Sony TV from a store it would ask Sony to give them money back. Normal stores at least got some security to prevent such loss. Microstock agency does not care, they ask contributor to cover their loss. If it was fraud store should take the hit.

Now let's thing about refunding money for digital media download. I am sorry but image download is not a software download. You can somehow deactivate software if you issue refund. You cannot do that with digital image. If somebody downloads a file accidentally it will not be returned when money is refunded. I wonder how enforceable is requirement to delete image if you got refund? There are no tools to track image usage on internet. Unless somebody gets caught with thousands of images acquired this way it is not worth any legal actions. Also because we contributors cover losses agency does not have any incentive to make any actions. All similar reasons are just perfect excuse for stealing image. All downloads should be final. I am sorry but we are not
talking about accidentally spending $100 per image it's usually close to $1.

Have you seen this image somewhere?
Mount Tamalpais


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