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DavidC

Refunds - should there be a time limit ?

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Just had a refund on a sale made nearly six months ago:

C5MY5C.jpg C5MY5C tiger2011 David Cole 02 November 2012 Royalty-free Usage: Corporate Package Use – Internal use and external non-advertising use $ 49.00

 As part of the usage appears to be 'internal' obviously it would be hard to confirm that no use 'internally' had been made of the image -- do other forum members think that Alamy should include a time limit for Refunds of say - three months - that would surely be long enough for customers to make up their minds after they had actually made a purchase of a license.

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According to the EULA there is already a 30-day limit

 

 

    1. Licence cancellation

      Provided you have not used the Image(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.

      Cancelling the Licence revokes a right to publish, reproduce or use the Image(s) in any manner whatsoever.

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That's what it says alright - but it was invoiced and paid in the following manner:

 

                     Cleared                                      Date of Invoice                              Paid

17/12/2012 2/11/2012 12/2012 C5MY5C tiger2011 David Cole RF 49.00 -19.60 29.40

 

....and refunded:

 

23/4/2013 23/4/2013   C5MY5C tiger2011 David Cole RF -49.00 19.60 -29.40

 

I have asked MS who say they will "will check this further and get back to you with more information."

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And the answer is:

 

"We have checked this with our billing team and unfortunately your image was refunded because the client was not using the image. We usually give customers a 100% refund if the sale is within 3 months, but as this is one of our key clients we have made an exception.

 

Alamy report sales to contributors as they happen, the benefits of this are that you can see immediately when a customer has purchased an image. The downside is that from time to time that sale gets refunded. When we say refunded, technically this term is not always accurate as in very few cases does the money actually change hands. Occasionally an image is incorrectly invoiced, a customer’s price agreement has not been factored into the sale or the customer’s project is cancelled at the last minute.


In the vast majority of these cases the image will not have been used, unless the sale is re-entered with the correct invoice details.

 

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused."

 

Top marks for a quick response.

 

I know it is a tough old world out there and you have to look after your customers - but there are two sides to a sales contract - and this was outside of the generous three month allowance - or am I being petty and small minded?

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No,not petty or small minded,I don't think ! I have never really understood why refunds should ever be an option....it's not as if images are being sold unseen.A client can zoom an image,add it to a lightbox and look at it as often as they like within whatever time constraints they have.It is then a simple decision....yes,we want to use it,pay for it,download it,.....or not,as the case may be !

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I had one refund from a sales for almost a year ago.  When you play in someone's backyard so have to follow their (unwritten) rules.  Such is life and there is really not much you can do other than suck it up.

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I had one refund from a sales for almost a year ago.  When you play in someone's backyard so have to follow their (unwritten) rules.  Such is life and there is really not much you can do other than suck it up.

 

The rules are there though as Sprocket quoted above, there is a 30-day limit.

 

Alamy's reply to DavidC says 3 months unless it's a key customer. It looks like all customers are treated as 'key' as it seems refunds can happen at any time.

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Yeah, let me translate that reply for you:

 

Blah blah blah we choose as we like and we dont give an iota about the contract you and the buyer signed.

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Haha, I remember seeing the people comment in the old forum that the voting system was dumb and was better removed, yet its used in full force. 

 

Its ok guys, you cant help it, its a human trade, must feel good to hit that vote down button in all anonymity. 

 

LOL.  

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Nobody liked my postings in this topic either - I can see that,  now that I can be bothered to look - they just liked yours even less.

 

I said I'd give it a try and for a while it has looked OKish - it would be good if the childish stuff was not here - You get good postings from the likes of David Kilpatrick which are informative and thought provoking but you also get a few folk anxious to score points in strange ways - I laid bare my own history in my profile so that you can guess that if I post that a UK picture desk is acting in a certain way it is because I've been there and got the T-shirt.

 

Likewise I chase infringers - in the USA I use ImageRights and they use both lawyers and debt collectors - so far I've had two nice big pay outs - I have 8 Settlement Release Agreements outstanding and have issued invoices for just over $2,000 this week - it is not boasting, I am sharing a real experience in following up image thefts. I don't post on highly technical matters because there are those with much better and up to date knowledge.

 

Not sure that time spent here is cost effective or of much point - I usually post when I'm waiting for my slow broadband to allow my computer to do something - but I could always go and make a coffee instead....

Edited by DavidC
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Liked your posting on this topic David and was understanding and sympathetic to what you were saying....guess that was not as apparent as I would have liked !!

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I would really like to know the reaction of my local newsagent if I went in and picked up a magazine and paid for it but advised them that if I never get around to reading it, I would bring it back and demand my money back. Sigh.... Sheila

Edited by Sheila Smart

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a very good point sheila

 

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For me, one of the very best things about Alamy is the deal - I make the images and they deal with the customers!  

 

If they judge it best to agree a refund even outside the normal time limits, so be it, keeping good customers happy is obviously important.

 

I made my first sale 7 years ago in May 2006,   Total sales to date 210.   Number refunded 11.   Number of refunds resold at a different price 4.   So actual refunds 7  or 3.5%  of the total.

 

Not enough to worry about....

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