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Refund a year later?


ROC
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Like a lot of you I’ve had quite a few sales at ridiculously low fees. A year ago one sale was $0.45 and the only info given was “bulk discount flat rate”. Today that image has been refunded (I’m going to really miss my $0.11 share!). So the buyer has had use of the image for a year, then gets a refund. Who in any business allows a refund after a year of use??  

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Asking myself; who would even request a 45 cent refund on one picture? Maybe some Joe who bought up a thousand micro priced images and then maybe chanced his luck and went for a mass refund. Either way it cost Alamy more.

Would love to know Alamy’s reasoning for allowing this. Gets crazier every day.

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The OP didn't say whether the sale had cleared. If not, then Alamy were never paid. Perhaps the buyer has gone out of business, and Alamy have written off these sales.

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41 minutes ago, VbFolly said:

The OP didn't say whether the sale had cleared. If not, then Alamy were never paid. Perhaps the buyer has gone out of business, and Alamy have written off these sales.


This post has satisfied my curiosity. I had been wondering if it had only been the more expensive license fees that get refunded, now I know. I had previously read a reason for refunds after a very long period was that the image/s were bought for a project that never materialised. My feeling is that the Alamy contract should specify a set period of perhaps 2 - 3 months during which refunds could be claimed. Then the infringement team should check to verify the image/s hadn’t been used. I’ve previously read the T&C of a European photo Agency that’s an Alamy distributor, and they set a relatively short period allowed for refunds. A year or more is a joke.

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1 hour ago, VbFolly said:

The OP didn't say whether the sale had cleared. If not, then Alamy were never paid. Perhaps the buyer has gone out of business, and Alamy have written off these sales.

My understanding is that our cleared balance for sales is based on buyers having paid. Some contributors have reported instances where a refund has left them with a negative balance, so on that basis would it not be a reasonable assumption that some, or maybe many, refunds are being made after buyers have already paid. 

I’ve said it before that most retailers set a time limit around 30 - 45 days for return of goods. I don’t understand why  Alamy can’t operate in this way.

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4 hours ago, sb photos said:


This post has satisfied my curiosity. I had been wondering if it had only been the more expensive license fees that get refunded, now I know. I had previously read a reason for refunds after a very long period was that the image/s were bought for a project that never materialised. My feeling is that the Alamy contract should specify a set period of perhaps 2 - 3 months during which refunds could be claimed. Then the infringement team should check to verify the image/s hadn’t been used. I’ve previously read the T&C of a European photo Agency that’s an Alamy distributor, and they set a relatively short period allowed for refunds. A year or more is a joke.

 

It does, but they don't enforce it. Here's from the Alamy Licence Agreement ("LA"):

 

"10. Licence cancellation

Provided you have not used the Image/Video(s) you may cancel the Licence within 30 days from the date of the Invoice by sending Alamy an email with notification of the cancellation to the following address: sales@alamy.com.

You may cancel the Licence within ten (10) days from the date of the Invoice without charge.

If you cancel less than thirty (30) days after the Invoice date, a cancellation fee of fifty (50%) percent of the Invoice will be charged.

After thirty (30) days, no cancellations will be accepted and the full amount of the invoice must be paid."

 

Really?

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11 hours ago, VbFolly said:

The OP didn't say whether the sale had cleared. If not, then Alamy were never paid. Perhaps the buyer has gone out of business, and Alamy have written off these sales.

I’ve just checked the dates. Sold in July 2021, cleared in December 2021. Refunded yesterday. 

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3 hours ago, rickygui said:

Alamy better have a good explanation about this issue. 

I wish Alamy would provide explanations on forum threads. I didn’t get chance to email them yesterday, I will ask today. 

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9 hours ago, CarloBo said:

I have a refund today of an image licensed on July 2021 for 0.10$ and cleared on Dec 2021.  

Same buyer maybe? 

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These refunds bring a new contractual issue which is not specifically provided in the Agreement, what is the impact on the determination of Contributor Levels on sales/refunds across Revenue Years?  Do they go and recalculate the affected Year and reassess commission since start of the new one? Do you now start in the hole for the Current Year? 

 

I have now asked Support for clarification. 

 

the $0.45 sales are not going to have a big impact, but some of us have had more significant ones recently and if Alamy continues to be so generous, beyond the actually buyer's agreement, in allowing refund of licence that had been paid in these difficult economic times this may become an issue for more people 

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13 hours ago, Dave Richards said:

I’ve said it before that most retailers set a time limit around 30 - 45 days for return of goods. I don’t understand why  Alamy can’t operate in this way.

Because Alamy isn't a retailer. It couldn't impose terms far harsher than the rest of the industry for long.

Edited by spacecadet
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16 hours ago, VbFolly said:

The OP didn't say whether the sale had cleared. If not, then Alamy were never paid. Perhaps the buyer has gone out of business, and Alamy have written off these sales.

 

That's a key point, maybe the OP can comment? However, in the case of bulk discount packs, shouldn't payment be up front anyway?

 

Mark

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13 minutes ago, M.Chapman said:

 

That's a key point, maybe the OP can comment? However, in the case of bulk discount packs, shouldn't payment be up front anyway?

 

Mark

Actually, he did come back, and said the sale had cleared in December 2021. So it does seem a really long time after paying up to get a refund.

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On 10/08/2022 at 07:46, ROC said:

Like a lot of you I’ve had quite a few sales at ridiculously low fees. A year ago one sale was $0.45 and the only info given was “bulk discount flat rate”. Today that image has been refunded (I’m going to really miss my $0.11 share!). So the buyer has had use of the image for a year, then gets a refund. Who in any business allows a refund after a year of use??  

Agree, but who in any business would spend time and resources chasing a  $0.45 refund, unless that refund applied to 000s of licences. Just not good business practice whichever way you look at it.

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Is not about $0.45 cents or small amount. An explanation is clearly needed why Alamy allowed the refund. Imagine you sold your image for $1000, and a year later call for refund. Then we all are back to the same story again. If this can happen, it sure can happen again and the amount from cents may goes up in dollars. 

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On 11/08/2022 at 06:40, meanderingemu said:

These refunds bring a new contractual issue which is not specifically provided in the Agreement, what is the impact on the determination of Contributor Levels on sales/refunds across Revenue Years?  Do they go and recalculate the affected Year and reassess commission since start of the new one? Do you now start in the hole for the Current Year? 

 

I have now asked Support for clarification. 

 

the $0.45 sales are not going to have a big impact, but some of us have had more significant ones recently and if Alamy continues to be so generous, beyond the actually buyer's agreement, in allowing refund of licence that had been paid in these difficult economic times this may become an issue for more people 

 

So this is the reply if received:

 

"In the contributor agreement, it only mentions how we report to contributors and calculate the difference on commissions.

 

I have had clarification from our team that sales and refunds of that July-July year are what count, so if the refund happens in that year, then the total at the end of June counts towards the figure for the next year."

 

So First they acknowledge the Agreement doesn't even cover their position, and second i'm still not sure how it handles, but it looks like a refund from prior Revenue Year puts you in a hole for the new year. 

 

 

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On 11/08/2022 at 11:03, spacecadet said:

Because Alamy isn't a retailer. It couldn't impose terms far harsher than the rest of the industry for long.

I just used the term retailer as an example. Gen Vallee has confirmed that an appropriate clause exists in the buyers agreement but Alamy don’t enforce it. 

Maybe they should just scrap it and replace it to say that buyers can ask for a refund and walk all over everything whenever they like.

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On 12/08/2022 at 08:10, Dave Richards said:

I just used the term retailer as an example. Gen Vallee has confirmed that an appropriate clause exists in the buyers agreement but Alamy don’t enforce it. 

Maybe they should just scrap it and replace it to say that buyers can ask for a refund and walk all over everything whenever they like.

 

why would you need to do this, no one is going to sue you because you are more generous than the provision of the contract.  The current one allows then deniability with contributors, so we tried, without even any negative with clients.   

The only time where they try to be more stringent than the contract is with contributors, like when they tried to deny that "Distributor Sales" are Sales, and now arguing Refunds are "Negative Sales", even though the contract clause shows they should be applied the original sale (big difference when across years)  

Edited by meanderingemu
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Hi all, 

 

The refund after a year have occurred due to a system error on our side. 

 

We are really sorry to those affected by the mix-up and we will be paying back the refunds to contributors whose images sales had been cleared. 

 

 We apologise for any inconvenience and are looking into how we can improve the way we deal with refunds. 

 

Thanks, 

Alamy 

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23 minutes ago, Alamy said:

Hi all, 

 

The refund after a year have occurred due to a system error on our side. 

 

We are really sorry to those affected by the mix-up and we will be paying back the refunds to contributors whose images sales had been cleared. 

 

 We apologise for any inconvenience and are looking into how we can improve the way we deal with refunds. 

 

Thanks, 

Alamy 

 

Thank you for this. Regarding how you can improve the way you deal with refunds, maybe you could apply the terms of the Alamy Licence Agreement:-

 

"10. Licence cancellation

Provided you have not used the Image/Video(s) you may cancel the Licence within 30 days from the date of the Invoice by sending Alamy an email with notification of the cancellation to the following address: sales@alamy.com.

You may cancel the Licence within ten (10) days from the date of the Invoice without charge.

If you cancel less than thirty (30) days after the Invoice date, a cancellation fee of fifty (50%) percent of the Invoice will be charged.

After thirty (30) days, no cancellations will be accepted and the full amount of the invoice must be paid."

 

...........or otherwise advise contributors why you don't, won't, can't?

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2 hours ago, Alamy said:

Hi all, 

 

The refund after a year have occurred due to a system error on our side. 

 

We are really sorry to those affected by the mix-up and we will be paying back the refunds to contributors whose images sales had been cleared. 

 

 We apologise for any inconvenience and are looking into how we can improve the way we deal with refunds. 

 

Thanks, 

Alamy 

That's great news, thank you for responding. 

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