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Hi All,

 

Been chasing this up with Alamy for some time now, but no luck. Made a sale in July 2019 and STILL haven't received payment for it - seems mighty unfair to me that a person/company can use an image and NOT pay for it - OK I understand that Alamy haven't got their cash to, but it's over $100 to me and every penny counts!

 

Has anyone else had this happen? How was it resolved?

 

Cheers

 

John

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Sometimes the company goes bankrupt; sometimes, the publisher cancels the project.  Any sign that the photo was actually used? 

 

I've had one go around a year but they did finally pay. 

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  • 3 weeks later...

OK well I am getting a really poor response from Alamy, which is against my experience, normally the girls and guys over there are very responsive:

 

Last email I received on the 29th of Jan 2021 was:

 

Hi John

 

We’ve asked our team for the latest update on this and we’ll get back to you.

 

Kind regards,

*****

 

7 days later and no update, this is not the first time they have given this response see this email:

 

22nd Jan 2021

 

 

Hi John,

 

Apologies for the delay with this – we’ve asked our credit control team for an update.

 

We’ll let you know as soon as we hear back from them.

 

Kind regards,

 

*********

No reply or update ever given - in both instances.

 

So now I am getting riled, does anyone have the head of Alamy's email/twitter address handy because I want to elevate this to the top man. I will contact him directly. I've forgotten his name, but seem to recall the crap he got when he released the 40%/60% Contributor cut a few years back - sorry I have memory problems. 

 

Seriously 1 year and 7 months and no payment?? Can I have a medal for this please ;)

 

 

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I'm sorry to say that it seems to me that if the payment isn't worth chasing Alamy will, at least on occasions, just drop it. 

 

In my opinion  they are  too lax about allowing downloads and uses, then not getting paid, and then deciding that it is uneconomic to chase payment. 

 

Overall I suppose that this policy is to the advantage of Alamy but it is hardly fair on contributors.

Edited by geogphotos
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51 minutes ago, geogphotos said:

I'm sorry to say that it seems to me that if the payment isn't worth chasing Alamy will, at least on occasions, just drop it. 

 

In my opinion  they are  too lax about allowing downloads and uses, then not getting paid, and then deciding that it is uneconomic to chase payment. 

 

Overall I suppose that this policy is to the advantage of Alamy but it is hardly fair on contributors.

 

 

what bothers me is they also let the client continue downloading.  I have a usage from over a year ago that still has not cleared, and another from same client reported in September,  and I still see regular report in the "Alamy Image found" thread for the same organisation. 

At some point Alamy needs to put the foot down, the customer is not always right. 

Edited by meanderingemu
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The pre-xmas video did promise an improved system for chasing misuses coming in the New Year.

 

So, I assume that it is on its way soon. 

 

There certainly needs to be a better and more organised system for logging reports and monitoring what happens. It often seems to be a question of 'we will pass this on' , 'we'll look into this', ' I'll pass this to the client's relationship person', 'we'll chase the distributor', 'you'll get paid at the end of the month'

 

And then.....

 

Not blaming the staff involved just that there needs to be a more coherent system tracking cases fully. 

Edited by geogphotos
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53 minutes ago, meanderingemu said:

 

 

what bothers me is they also let the client continue downloading.  I have a usage from over a year ago that still has not cleared, and another from same client reported in September,  and I still see regular report in the "Alamy Image found" thread for the same organisation. 

At some point Alamy needs to put the foot down, the customer is not always right. 

 

What I can't get my head round is how the client can download an image but it is then basically left up to their honesty to report usages. I do know from a recent contact with CR that they can tell when an image has been downloaded, but the implication was that it was still then up to the client to own up to it. I can't say any more than that as I don't know the intricacies of how they work, but I have seen more than one instance on here of people saying they had to report usages themselves as the client hadn't, which to me is massively concerning. Without wanting to sound sanctimonious we pay Alamy 50%+ of our royalties to offload this responsibility, the least they can do is have systems that reliably track usages and regular infringements.

Edited by Cal
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8 minutes ago, Cal said:

 

What I can't get my head round is how the client can download an image but it is then basically left up to their honesty to report usages. I do know from a recent contact with CR that they can tell when an image has been downloaded, but the implication was that it was still then up to the client to own up to it. I can't say any more than that as I don't know the intricacies of how they work, but I have seen more than one instance on here of people saying they had to report usages themselves as the client hadn't, which to me is massively concerning. Without wanting to sound sanctimonious we pay Alamy 50%+ of our royalties to offload this responsibility, the least they can do is have systems that reliably track usages and regular infringements.

 

The trouble is that when the fee is so low it becomes uneconomic to chase every 'forgotten' use. Overall Alamy must gain from having this rather lax system but it is a pain for contributors. I thought that they said in the Xmas video that this was about to be addressed - so perhaps something will happen soon. 

 

From the contributors viewpoint we are expected to accept low fees because that's what the market demands, and then it seems that for a certain percentage of uses we are expected not to ever get paid because chasing the low fees costs too much. We lose out both ways and Alamy gains both ways - because chasing the infringements costs them probably more than the fee that hasn't been paid.

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2 hours ago, geogphotos said:

The pre-xmas video did promise an improved system for chasing misuses coming in the New Year.

 

You actually believed that?  Oh dear 😂

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4 hours ago, Colblimp said:

You actually believed that?  Oh dear 😂

 

Yes I did believe what Emily and James A said in the video. And I expect it to happen. Or at least I expect some improvements to be made to the system - such as issuing 'tickets' to help track reports of misuse/non-payment. At the moment it seems to be down to the contributor to do this and to keep going back and asking.

 

If I truly didn't believe what Alamy tell me I don't suppose that I would carry on supplying them. 

 

Do I expect the changes to be 100% perfect? - obviously not. There will always some misuses that are just not worth chasing. 

 

I do think that being firmer with some of the distributors is long overdue. 

 

 

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4 hours ago, geogphotos said:

 

Yes I did believe what Emily and James A said in the video. And I expect it to happen. Or at least I expect some improvements to be made to the system - such as issuing 'tickets' to help track reports of misuse/non-payment. At the moment it seems to be down to the contributor to do this and to keep going back and asking.

 

If I truly didn't believe what Alamy tell me I don't suppose that I would carry on supplying them. 

 

Do I expect the changes to be 100% perfect? - obviously not. There will always some misuses that are just not worth chasing. 

 

I do think that being firmer with some of the distributors is long overdue. 

 

 

Fair. 

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2 hours ago, David Pimborough said:

 

 

Seriously they really need to do credit checks on clients and distributors.  There's no excuse for none payment.

 

 

 

never dawned on me non payment would be because organisation was going bankrupt- i thought it was just bad process.  now i feel bad for complaining, as many UK people would be unemployed.

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The current system of image download then maybe remember to pay is inadequate.

 

Wouldn't pay up front and then download the image be better?  Not to say it would solve all issues but seems more equitable for most with skin in the game than current "honor" system.

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15 minutes ago, Phil said:

The current system of image download then maybe remember to pay is inadequate.

 

Wouldn't pay up front and then download the image be better?  Not to say it would solve all issues but seems more equitable for most with skin in the game than current "honor" system.

 

 

That seems sensible especially for low value sales that aren't really worth chasing. That is easier for one-off purchases rather than dealing with a large publisher that wants flexibility and to pay one invoice rather than lots of tiny ones. And guess which one of those two customer types brings in most revenue?

 

The difference with Alamy and other agencies is that others report when they have already been paid so the contributor doesn't get to know about all the stuff behind the scenes. having said that the other agency I am thinking of ( G) has a reputation for fearsome lawyers 😁

 

I suppose it has to be a mix of carrot and stick. 

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18 minutes ago, Phil said:

The current system of image download then maybe remember to pay is inadequate.

 

Wouldn't pay up front and then download the image be better?  Not to say it would solve all issues but seems more equitable for most with skin in the game than current "honor" system.

This isn't how business operates. It's not retail. The overwhelming majority of transactions are on account.

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1 hour ago, Phil said:

The current system of image download then maybe remember to pay is inadequate.

 

Wouldn't pay up front and then download the image be better?  Not to say it would solve all issues but seems more equitable for most with skin in the game than current "honor" system.

 

so send and invoice and collect with every download?  that would increase admin costs, which in the end reduces our compensation.   I remember having to bill my clients monthly, and that was painful enough, couldn't imagine having had to do it with every single transaction. 

Edited by meanderingemu
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21 hours ago, meanderingemu said:

 

so send and invoice and collect with every download?  that would increase admin costs, which in the end reduces our compensation.   I remember having to bill my clients monthly, and that was painful enough, couldn't imagine having had to do it with every single transaction. 

 

 

 

Today's pay upon purchase on-line software systems should be adaptable to most any online purchase/delivery business model it would seem to me. Web site shopping carts with online checkout, payment acceptance and validation systems, and invoice generation are the rule.

 

Anytime I buy anything online l receive an emailed invoice within seconds or the web site generates one for me to save/print.  This is after payment is made via credit card, PayPal, or other means of EFT.  

 

The current system seems to be so antiquated and inefficient. Not good for Alamy, contributors. and customers.   With the value/prices of stock imagery seemly continuing to decrease - for Alamy to remain a profitable supplier it will need to streamline it's operations more and more.  They might lose some old "on account" customers that are not willing to change/adapt but likely that could be offset with new customers and more efficient sales/delivery systems.

 

 

Addendum: 

On closer inspection Alamy's current basic online system provides a shopping cart with download/pay via credit card, PayPal,   

I've not downloaded anything so can't go thru the entire process end-end to see exactly how it works.

 

So why recurring late or non payment problems?  Maybe the corporate group deals and corporate finance accounts?  Or abuse of Alamy's offer to provide access to hi-res files before final purchase decision and payment?   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by Phil
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On 18/01/2021 at 06:43, JohnskiRus said:

Hi All,

 

Been chasing this up with Alamy for some time now, but no luck. Made a sale in July 2019 and STILL haven't received payment for it - seems mighty unfair to me that a person/company can use an image and NOT pay for it - OK I understand that Alamy haven't got their cash to, but it's over $100 to me and every penny counts!

 

Has anyone else had this happen? How was it resolved?

 

Cheers

 

John

John,

 

I am sorry to hear that you are not happy with Alamy's communication on this.  I have no idea of your experience in this business, but

I've been working with international agencies since 1978 and I will tell you that you win a few and lose a few.  I do know that Alamy does

the best they can, considering the volume that they deal with.  Many agencies or libraries do not give the contributor as much information

about licenses (I do not sell images) as Alamy does.

 

Chuck

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