Written on: 31/07/2013
First: Shutterstock like some other micro-stock websites is a pyramidal scheme
The way it works is simple:
Photographers/video-graphers believe they can make a fortune selling their work online through this website. Thousands of amateurs, pro, semi-pro or anybody who believes in it can send its pictures for review. Selection is based on the mood of the day and the dubious competence of the reviewers.
If selected, the image/footage are published online for a very cheap price ( from 10 cents to 10 $) and shutterstock can claim it has millions of pictures in its catalogue.
Amateurs are happy to sell a bad holiday picture at this ridiculous price. shutterstock won't give you any money until you reach a certain amount (hundreds of $).
Smarter people understand: 90 to 99% of "artists" are there to populate the gallery. only a tiny minority (always the same) will make money in this pyramidal scheme.
Most of the contributors will sell no or few pictures, not enough to pay for all the cost incurred by their job/hobby anyway.
I have asked them to access and remove my data from their databases as the law allows any citizen to do so. I didn't trust them with my record and their attitude towards security and confidentiality.
I was right, they refused to comply and we ended up in an ongoing dispute just to remove my details from their systems. I don't know what is wrong with these people but be very careful before sending anything there.
Thirdly: Incompetence and arrogance at every layers
I have contacted a lot of people in this "company" following this dispute and I have to say I have been in contact with some of the most incompetent and arrogant people in my life.
Some will never answer your mails, ignoring you totally. Others are going to answer you things even a 10 years old wouldn't believe.
The only goal at the end was not to comply with my very simple request. Why ? I don't know.
Is there something wrong with the way they handle clients, users, contributors data ????
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