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Serious Problem with Photobox Pro-Gallery

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a.shepherd
a.shepherd  10
2 Sep 2010 - 10:58 PM

Am I the only person who is getting very angry and frustrated with photobox? I am days away from taking them to court. Am I the only one?

I have used their pro-gallery print fullfillment service for over five years. My work is mostly seasonal so I request payment of my revenue at the end of the season. For the last three years it has become increasingly difficult to get them to send my money. This year I have been begging for weeks vis email, telephone and letter but They still haven't given me my money. They owe me about 2k.

Also, contrary to their published terms and conditions, the will not pay via BACS or Cheque only paypal. They also now inform me that if you have any revenue outstanding on the last day of the calender year they wipe the slate clean and you lose your money!

In addition I have repeatedly requested an answer to concerns I have about possible false accounting because there sums don't add up. It appears to me that they are systematically creaming off and extra 2.5% from our revenue. All of which is irrelevent if they won't pay us anything anyway!

To make matters worse, this year I have had some complaints from clients about their images being too dark. Oh, yes they offer to reprint them but they print them exactly the same, too dark.

I really wish there was some other company that offered the same sort of service without an annual subscription.

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f8
f8  109169 forum posts England22 Constructive Critique Points
2 Sep 2010 - 11:34 PM

Sounds like cash flow problems and their going bust,get out now, and cut your losses.

BarrieNeilPhotography

Payment difficulties for three years and you still use them?

Complaints from YOUR customers and you still use them?

Let them have YOUR money for a whole year?


Quote: I really wish there was some other company that offered the same sort of service without an annual subscription

I have to say, I'm saddened when people expect a high quality service for nothing Andrew, you gladly take money from customers and yet baulk at paying for a professional service yourself. Photobox is at BEST a second rate service for a professional photographer. I couldn't think of anything more naff than sending my customers to Photobox for print fulfilment to be honest - I'm shuddering at the thought.

A professional photographer (you are taking money for a service so you are a professional photographer) needs to both act and present himself in a professional manner - bite the bullet and use a professional print fulfilment service - there are plenty around - you might be surprised how beneficial it is in terms of the extra money you make

I do hope you get it resolved but take this as a big hint move on and an opportunity to up your game a bit Smile

Last Modified By BarrieNeilPhotography at 3 Sep 2010 - 7:15 AM
BarrieNeilPhotography

I meant to add, as you are selling prints, I'm assuming you are declaring your not insubstantial earnings for tax (as required by law) and therefore you should be able to offset all or some of the costs of the print fulfilment service subscription against that Smile

arhb
arhb e2 Member 72216 forum postsarhb vcard United Kingdom68 Constructive Critique Points
3 Sep 2010 - 8:50 AM

I stopped using photobox after the 2nd dark >A4 print was returned exactly the same.
I had to send back A6 greeting cards, because they couldn't fold them straight.
I would not even consider them for any work I was planning to sell.

I now use Loxley.
Also look at D S Colourlabs
and Peak Imaging.

peterjones
peterjones e2 Member 123913 forum postspeterjones vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
3 Sep 2010 - 8:52 AM

To cut a long story short IMO Photobox may be inexpensive but I have to agree the quality of their prints falls way below what I consider to be a professional print. Again just in my experience I used to use them for proof prints unfortunately their present quality means I can't even use them for those.

a.shepherd
a.shepherd  10
3 Sep 2010 - 9:26 AM


Quote: I have to say, I'm saddened when people expect a high quality service for nothing Andrew, you gladly take money from customers and yet baulk at paying for a professional service yourself. Photobox is at BEST a second rate service for a professional photographer. I couldn't think of anything more naff than sending my customers to Photobox for print fulfilment to be honest - I'm shuddering at the thought.

I do not disagree. I used to use imagicam for the online album and Loxley for the printing. The only trouble is Photography isn't my main business now so when I get a high number of orders in a very short space of time I don't have time to process the orders fast enough for my clients, including putting them in folders addressing and posting etc.


Quote: bite the bullet and use a professional print fulfilment service - there are plenty around - you might be surprised how beneficial it is in terms of the extra money you make

The problem is that I only need such a service occasionally not all year around. I don't want to pay all year around for a service I am not going to use. I really need an ad-hoc online album provider who sends the orders to Loxley or One Vision for fullfillment.

66tricky
66tricky  7742 forum posts Scotland
3 Sep 2010 - 10:11 AM


Quote: Am I the only person who is getting very angry and frustrated with photobox? I am days away from taking them to court. Am I the only one?

I have used their pro-gallery print fullfillment service for over five years. My work is mostly seasonal so I request payment of my revenue at the end of the season. For the last three years it has become increasingly difficult to get them to send my money. This year I have been begging for weeks vis email, telephone and letter but They still haven't given me my money. They owe me about 2k.

Also, contrary to their published terms and conditions, the will not pay via BACS or Cheque only paypal. They also now inform me that if you have any revenue outstanding on the last day of the calender year they wipe the slate clean and you lose your money!

In addition I have repeatedly requested an answer to concerns I have about possible false accounting because there sums don't add up. It appears to me that they are systematically creaming off and extra 2.5% from our revenue. All of which is irrelevent if they won't pay us anything anyway!


Are you operating as a business? If so then you can apply "The Late Payment of Commercial Debts Regulations 2002 Act", assuming you have a date by which the debt should have been settled.

This allows you to charge a fixed sum of 70 for values between 1k and 10k plus annualised interest at 8% over BoE base rate. If applicable I suggest you apply this to your invoice then consider legal action.

Options open to you are the Small Claims Court or private legal action, the former being the more economical for a debt of this size. Before taking it court it might be worth trying The Thomas Higgins Partnership who will send a lawyers' letter on your behalf for a small fee. A number of IT contractors in my trade association have had success via this route with awkward, non-paying clients.

HTH

cameracat
cameracat  108578 forum posts Norfolk Island61 Constructive Critique Points
3 Sep 2010 - 10:33 AM

Agree with absolutely everything Barrie has contributed.....!!!


Quote: I used to use them for proof prints unfortunately their present quality means I can't even use them for those

Same here as Peter has stated....!!!

Over a year ago we gave them a try for a " Photobook " the theory being to see if it might prove useful as a proof option as well as a product option.

The ghastly and I mean horrible thing that arrived in the post, Was beyond a joke, Words fail me to describe just how bad the results where....!!!

The images for the book where shot with a mix of cameras Canon 5D/Canon 40D/Nikon D700/Nikon D200 all with top quality lens fitted.

The Nasty rubbish in the book looked like they had been shot with a very dodgy " cameraphone " , To say we where not happy, Was a serious understatement.....!!!

To be fair Photobox did listen during a fairly lengthy phone call, We spared them nothing in detail regarding the crap they called a Photobook....!!!

BUT at the end of the day, All they could offer was a re-print via the very same " French Printers " who produced the first pile of Sheeet ....!!!

I mean to say, Even the darned cover looked like the end product of a primary school kids efforts......GGGGRRRRRRRrrrrrr


Ok, So we got a refund, Found a Pro print lab, Been happy ever since.......Smile

Needless to say we do not use Photobox for anything now, We certainly don't recommend them either, Not for anything or to anyone......Wink

peterjones
peterjones e2 Member 123913 forum postspeterjones vcard United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
3 Sep 2010 - 11:07 AM


Quote: This allows you to charge a fixed sum of 70 for values between 1k and 10k plus annualised interest at 8% over BoE base rate. If applicable I suggest you apply this to your invoice then consider legal action

This seems to be a highly effective course of action against late payers along with the threat of a Small Claims Court; it concentrates minds wonderfuly and a recent problem I had with a late payer was very quickly resolved.

LensYews
LensYews  51300 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
3 Sep 2010 - 12:52 PM


Quote: I do not disagree. I used to use imagicam for the online album and Loxley for the printing. The only trouble is Photography isn't my main business now so when I get a high number of orders in a very short space of time I don't have time to process the orders fast enough for my clients, including putting them in folders addressing and posting etc.

The problem is that I only need such a service occasionally not all year around. I don't want to pay all year around for a service I am not going to use. I really need an ad-hoc online album provider who sends the orders to Loxley or One Vision for fullfillment.

I have the same requirements, and am using a similar print fulfilment service, just with Zenfolio instead of progalleries and settled for the annual subscription and a mix of Photobox for small prints and Loxley for large prints.

What would be ideal would be foliopix integrating with Loxley's ROES for print fulfilment and ideally delivery to customer.

a.shepherd
a.shepherd  10
3 Sep 2010 - 1:46 PM

I have been asking Loxley for a print-fullfillment service for years. There is clearly a gap in the market for one of the pro labs

LensYews
LensYews  51300 forum posts United Kingdom1 Constructive Critique Points
3 Sep 2010 - 5:34 PM

An option on the annual subscription issue if you have an existing website, might be a feature front end like: Photocart.

But again it would mean self-fulfilling the orders via a pro lab.

nikonhammer
4 Sep 2010 - 5:50 PM

dont even get me started on photobox I missed delivery dates on albums because their quality controll is S@~{e. I have had so many wrangled images and dented insecurly packaged stuff I am even thinking of investing in my own printers . Get out and stay out of them. they will probably go bust soon by the sounds of things. Pr imaging are very good so I hear.

richard00
richard00  7504 forum posts1 Constructive Critique Points
4 Sep 2010 - 9:29 PM

Photobox seem to get a real hammering on here. I've only ever had prints from them, and never had a problem with them (photobooks do seem to be a problem for others though). When one of the other named printers in this thread were slow to deliver (as they often are), I had some printed with photobox to cover me - and truth be told there was no difference between the two sets (most likely the same machine/paper where used).

Photobox will likely go bust though as they insist on splitting orders into multiple deliveries - my last order would have cost them 2-3 times the P&P I paid.

Last Modified By richard00 at 4 Sep 2010 - 9:29 PM

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