The New Gap in SmugMug Services

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  • McQMcQ Grinning From Ear To Ear Registered Users Posts: 165 Major grins
    edited September 13, 2012
    TalkieT wrote: »
    It has been asked many times, because the only 'answers' have been non-answers.

    From the quote you make, it actually sounds like an acknowledgement that the hobbyists ARE being left out in the cold, and there's no immediate plans to address that.

    The aspirational statements of looking forward to big changes etc are rightly viewed with skepticism because Smugmug does NOT have a good history of delivering large features in a timely fashion.

    How about asking the bosses directly if they are prepared to make a clear statement about the short and medium term (up to 9 months say) likelihood of any changes being made to accommodate the hobbyist photographers that are stuck between 'Power' and portfolio/Pro?

    Don't bother re-interpreting their statements so far, because they are simply not clear. Don't tell me they are clear.

    Cheers - Neil G

    Yep. It's called obfuscation, and it's been displayed in abundance so far. We'll see if the direct question ever gets a direct reply, but I'm not holding my breath.
    "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you?"

    http://mcq.smugmug.com
  • mbellotmbellot Major grins Registered Users Posts: 465 Major grins
    edited September 13, 2012
    Rogue 1 wrote: »
    We just haven't figured it out today."

    Maybe it's time to start figuring then, you have been given dozens of viable options by members here. Anything from limiting the commerce features (events, coupons, etc) to capping storage (a maximum total storage or incrementally increasing storage by time with SM, limiting annual uploads, etc), limiting access to "Pro" labs" and even suggestions for ala carte style pricing so people who want to sell can decide which features are worth paying for in their particular circumstance.
    Rogue 1 wrote: »
    ...we hear you. We really do feel your pain.

    Andy, is that you?

    I seriously doubt you "feel our pain" since I would be willing to bet that SM employees enjoy a free Pro account as part of their benefits. So this price increase has no impact on your bottom line as a hobbyist.

    Rogue 1 wrote: »
    Like Rome, this action wasn't built in a day.

    Interesting analogy since we all know what happened to Rome, thanks to it's leadership.

    Rogue 1 wrote: »
    As has been mentioned/hinted too many times, we've got revolutionary 'stuff' in the pipeline.

    YAWN.

    We have all heard this so many times that it simply has no meaning any more. As has been stated ad nauseum, if SM truly has "revolutionary things in the pipeline" then the price increase should have come after, or at the very soonest at the same time as, the release of these (currently) hollow promises.
  • DreadnoteDreadnote Unwanted Customer Registered Users Posts: 634 Major grins
    edited September 13, 2012
    Rogue 1 wrote: »
    We've caught a good bit of flack, but we've also gotten a massive amount of support along with the ire,

    So is it fair to say that support for the price increase far out ways the flack and ire? Perhaps I'm plugged into the wrong Internet (I didn't realize that there was another one) because everywhere I've looked I have seen what has been described as a "firestorm", or is this just "spin" and "damage control"?
    Rogue 1 wrote: »
    and like my Dad used to say, "I only beat you because I care." :D - There's zero doubt that you all care greatly. As with any family, in the long-term we won't let you down. (but agreed, this a rough patch!)

    Ok, ok, since SmugMug refuses to let go of this absurd family analogy, please explain why you don't love us as much as our older brother and why are we getting sent to bed early, because in my experience beatings usually get handed out when the old man gets drunk.

    Hmmm, maybe we ARE a family after all. :slurp
    Sports, Dance, Portraits, Events... www.jasonhowardking.com
  • jonh68jonh68 Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,711 Major grins
    edited September 13, 2012
    Which is feedback we listened to and in result extended the pricelist feature to allow you to directly enter a retail price for products.

    And you left out the part that myself and several others were made to feel like our opinions were wrong when we complained.

    I didn't leave just because of the pricelists. I left because of the smug attitude we got when we started to complain. I saw bigger issues and one of them was SM didn't want the small time pro or advanced hobbyist and the price increase bears this out. We were told during the pricelist issue the pros that made more money didn't complain as much as the one that didn't. That told me right there you guys take into consideration the weight of a complaint by how much the pro was making.

    You make it out like you guys listened and made pricing back to setting a price. The thread about the pricelists shows otherwise. That "popular demand" was first met with you guys just give it a chance, it's wonderful, those that don't like it don't make as much as those that do. That is the attitude that caused me to leave.
  • jonh68jonh68 Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,711 Major grins
    edited September 13, 2012
    Rogue 1 wrote: »
    H





    It stands to reason this move was a loooong time in the works. Planning. Debating. More planning. More debating (some debates that may be described otherwise). Engineering. Re-engineering. Discarding and starting over. Rinse repeat. Rinse repeat. We agonized over it...

    Do you guys have regular users that you could run this by? Being pro-active and getting feedback from a select group of pros would do wonders with your PR and you wouldn't have to agonize over this.

    After the pricelists debacle, I just find it hard to believe this caught SM by surprise, especially having such a large gap in service for the casual pro to not go anywhere within smugmug. It just appears to me a study was done that even if half of your pros left, you knew you would at least break even and have less overhead if the lower profit pros left. The pros making more money probably wouldn't leave since the increase wouldn't mean as much, plus they are already have their SEO established and probably wouldn't want to lose that either.
  • ParkermanParkerman Big grins Registered Users Posts: 73 Big grins
    edited September 14, 2012
    Ann McRae wrote: »
    Hi Gretchen

    Nothing will change for you in October - the change in pricing is effective on your next renewal date. The time that change comes into effect is Oct. 15. So, if your renewal were Oct. 16 a Business account would cost $250 whereas if your renewal were Oct. 1 it would be $150 for the Business account.

    So you have the time from now to your renewal to decide which account level you will renew at.

    All of our accounts offer the ability to password protect galleries and to keep galleries unlisted, and also to keep them from search engines with the Hello World settings.

    The new portfolio level account not only provides the same image protection settings as the previous 'pro' account but it allows you to place print orders from any of our labs, as opposed to the Consumer accounts that are limited to ordering from EZPrints. This gives you access to many more products and color correction services by lab technicians.

    I hope that helps,

    ann


    But you see, there is no point in the Portfolio account. It sucks.


    You are trying to tell me that watermarking, back/front printing, and my choice of labs is worth an extra $90? HAH, no.

    You all seem to act as though we don't have access to these pro labs outside of SM. Honestly, why in the world would I want to order through SM when I can go to their websites, and have the full array of everything that they offer.

    If I wanted to have watermarks I would just apply them myself prior to uploading on a lower resolution picture. Then also upload my originals to hidden gallery so they are still being backed up in case disaster happens here.

    Thankfully I was renewed in August, which gives me about a year to figure out what I will do with my pictures. I know for sure I WILL NOT stay at Business level, and no way in hell would I want the absolutely pointless Portfolio level. So either I jump ship, or I will be a Power user. I guess that really depends on how horrible SM continues to handle this situation.




    Also, Are the employees at SM that out of touch... that they did not see how horrible the Portfolio account was going to be? Apparently this wasn't a well thought out decision.
  • David EvertsenDavid Evertsen Regular Grin-Orama Orlando, FLRegistered Users Posts: 524 Major grins
    edited September 14, 2012
    jonh68 wrote: »
    Do you guys have regular users that you could run this by? Being pro-active and getting feedback from a select group of pros would do wonders with your PR and you wouldn't have to agonize over this.

    After the pricelists debacle, I just find it hard to believe this caught SM by surprise, especially having such a large gap in service for the casual pro to not go anywhere within smugmug. It just appears to me a study was done that even if half of your pros left, you knew you would at least break even and have less overhead if the lower profit pros left. The pros making more money probably wouldn't leave since the increase wouldn't mean as much, plus they are already have their SEO established and probably wouldn't want to lose that either.

    John do you remember them telling us the Pricelists and it's implementation was laying the groundwork for new and better features on Smugmug in the future? Where are those magical features? I hope history isn't repeating itself again but, I feel it is..

    Pricing pictures by the price and not % of profit is not a feature request that smugmug implemented due to customer request, it is common sense that Smugmug just couldn't understand and finally had to put back and Smugmug never likes to say it is wrong.
  • jonh68jonh68 Major grins Registered Users Posts: 2,711 Major grins
    edited September 14, 2012
    John do you remember them telling us the Pricelists and it's implementation was laying the groundwork for new and better features on Smugmug in the future? Where are those magical features? I hope history isn't repeating itself again but, I feel it is..

    Pricing pictures by the price and not % of profit is not a feature request that smugmug implemented due to customer request, it is common sense that Smugmug just couldn't understand and finally had to put back and Smugmug never likes to say it is wrong.

    I remember that. From that attitude with pricelists and now this, I am confident SM doesn't want the business of the lower tier pro or high end hobbyist that has stuff good enough to sell.
  • Art ScottArt Scott Have PASSPORT will TRAVEL WICHITA, KS USARegistered Users Posts: 8,959 Major grins
    edited September 14, 2012
    jonh68 wrote: »
    I remember that. From that attitude with pricelists and now this, I am confident SM doesn't want the business of the lower tier pro or high end hobbyist that has stuff good enough to sell.

    that is why I took advantage of the Photo Dough Deal and got my 1st yr at Zen for $75.....I fired off a couple of emails for support and I was notified, by my mail reader, in less than 10 minutes that I had a response from them.....the longest it has taken so far was 2 hours and that was because it wound up in my SPAM folder and I had to fish it out.....come Dec 15th I am done with SM.....My images are now on private galleries on Zenfolio.....Upload junction was a breeze to use ... ... ... ...

    For $120/yr, which is $30/yr less than the portfolio site at Sm...Zen gives you the ability to make a profit and take less in charges from you...
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

  • McQMcQ Grinning From Ear To Ear Registered Users Posts: 165 Major grins
    edited September 15, 2012
    McQ wrote: »
    I read all that. I've watched the interview and listened to the interview. What you typed is not a direct answer to the questions I asked, but a recap of interviews that don't directly answer them either.

    So the question stands, as before. Will you make an announcement now to address this gap along with a plan for it?
    I asked my question directly to Baldy. What, and when will SM do something to rectify the gap?
    Fair question that has been danced around but not answered.

    And.....

    just as expected. No reply.

    Does anyone at SM wonder why we might not trust you any more? You won't even answer a direct question.
    "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you?"

    http://mcq.smugmug.com
  • TalkieTTalkieT Major grins Registered Users Posts: 491 Major grins
    edited September 16, 2012
    Please Baldy and co, come out and say you don't care about the Hobbyist photographers. It would actually stop me whinging completely.

    I just find it annoying and dishonest that you purport to want them, but your actions and pricing gap between power and portfolio/pro clearly demonstrate that you just don't have a suitable account level for hobbyist photographers that want to either protect their photos or sell to make some pocket money.

    BE UP FRONT AND HONEST WITH US.

    Cheers - Neil G
    --
    http://www.nzsnaps.com (talkiet.smugmug.com)
  • carolinecaroline Major grins Registered Users Posts: 1,302 Major grins
    edited September 17, 2012
    TalkieT wrote: »
    Please Baldy and co, come out and say you don't care about the Hobbyist photographers. It would actually stop me whinging completely.

    I just find it annoying and dishonest that you purport to want them, but your actions and pricing gap between power and portfolio/pro clearly demonstrate that you just don't have a suitable account level for hobbyist photographers that want to either protect their photos or sell to make some pocket money.

    BE UP FRONT AND HONEST WITH US.

    Cheers - Neil G

    10 days now since any formal communication ne_nau.gif seems they are waiting for people to lose interest and just carry on as usual. I wonder how many people aren't even aware of what's happened.
    I'm with you Neil but I think we are talking to ourselves.
    Mendip Blog - Blog from The Fog, life on the Mendips
    www.carolineshipsey.co.uk - Follow me on G+

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  • McQMcQ Grinning From Ear To Ear Registered Users Posts: 165 Major grins
    edited September 17, 2012
    caroline wrote: »
    10 days now since any formal communication ne_nau.gif seems they are waiting for people to lose interest and just carry on as usual. I wonder how many people aren't even aware of what's happened.
    I'm with you Neil but I think we are talking to ourselves.

    Considering that they read this and have not replied, I agree with this thought. They've hunkered down and are waiting for it to blow over. And it will blow over, but what they don't seem to realize is that they've lost not only current customers, but they've lost and good will capital they may have had and that the word of mouth will continue outside of this forum. That equates to countless more business lost than SM is not considering.

    My new Zenfolio account is already in place and I've decided to let my SM account lapse. SM thinks that that's just one customer and it's no big deal. They don't know how much they've lost in future customers via recommendations and active selling of ZF and active steering away of customers from SM.

    I'm just a little bummed because I finally got my galleries looking and running just the way I want them. Because one person refuses to answer a direct question and maybe give this one customer some hope that he's willing to keep me and others as customers, it shows me I'm making the right decision.

    Direct questions from any customer deserve direct answers, not silence or obfuscation.
    "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you?"

    http://mcq.smugmug.com
  • mike_kmike_k Major grins Registered Users Posts: 153 Major grins
    edited September 17, 2012
    caroline wrote: »
    10 days now since any formal communication ne_nau.gif seems they are waiting for people to lose interest and just carry on as usual. I wonder how many people aren't even aware of what's happened.
    I'm with you Neil but I think we are talking to ourselves.

    I think you are exactly right. Ignore the issue and it will go away. In my case, it's going away to Zenfolio.
  • Art ScottArt Scott Have PASSPORT will TRAVEL WICHITA, KS USARegistered Users Posts: 8,959 Major grins
    edited September 17, 2012
    this is not the only forum with upset smugmuggers and they seem to be shifting to zen...especially after a 2 day Photo Dough sale for 475 for the $120/ yr acct...
    friend of mine has been Paying around $80 for his Zen account for several yrs.....he was guaranteed it would never go up and it has not...1st increase was to $99,
    then second increase was to the current 120... ... ... as I look at Zen and how they seem to be handling their clients with this issue....I took the $75 photo dough
    deal and by using Upload Junction, My stuff moved quickly and painlessly ... and customer service has been better there than here.....so all of my emails have been
    answered in less than 10 minutes......so after I get my customizing finished....I will be done here.....

    now off to get a new monitor.....mine is crapping out.....and I just got doen calibrating it....damn!!!
    "Genuine Fractals was, is and will always be the best solution for enlarging digital photos." ....Vincent Versace ... ... COPYRIGHT YOUR WORK ONLINE ... ... My Website

  • BaldyBaldy SmugMug co-founder Mountain View, CaRegistered Users, Super Moderators Posts: 2,853 moderator
    edited September 18, 2012
    Hey everyone,

    I wish I had more to say than we said in the video, but the honest answer is we'd love to offer a less expensive pro account with commerce, but now that we've been in business as long as we have and reached our size, we just don't know how to do it and make it really good. It kills us to say that, but it's honest.

    You might wonder what time and size has to do with it because I've mentioned mostly storage and engineering costs, and if you want me to answer I can, but I know that what you'd love and we would too is the $150 commerce account back in some form. With the heat we're taking for not having one anymore, we'd dearly love to offer it, it's just at this time we don't know how.

    I'm sorry I don't have a better answer for you.

    Baldy
  • TalkieTTalkieT Major grins Registered Users Posts: 491 Major grins
    edited September 18, 2012
    Baldy wrote: »
    Hey everyone,

    I wish I had more to say than we said in the video, but the honest answer is we'd love to offer a less expensive pro account with commerce, but now that we've been in business as long as we have and reached our size, we just don't know how to do it and make it really good. It kills us to say that, but it's honest.

    You might wonder what time and size has to do with it because I've mentioned mostly storage and engineering costs, and if you want me to answer I can, but I know that what you'd love and we would too is the $150 commerce account back in some form. With the heat we're taking for not having one anymore, we'd dearly love to offer it, it's just at this time we don't know how.

    I'm sorry I don't have a better answer for you.

    Baldy

    Thanks for entering the fray again :-)

    Still not a great answer and it's with utter dismay I note you have again ignored the difference between the $60 power account and the $150 portfolio account.

    Personally I stopped using the Smugmug ecommerce features ages ago because of the US centric approach and the 6 year delay getting any form of international currency support.

    Personally I'd like to see watermarks simply get added to the power account. It would suit ME perfectly, and I suspect it would give a lot of others at least a way to stay without opening up their photos to being ripped off - even if they don't build their own ordering system.

    So how about it? Add watermarks to Power, and raise the price from $60 to $75 or so if you feel the need...

    The pricing gap between power to portfolio is just ridiculous given the tiny difference in features.

    Realistically I'm on an old grandfathered account and I'll probably even stick with Pro at $200 simply because I am trapped by the amount of customisation I have done - and I expect I would have to fix a lot even if I downgraded to just portfolio. BUT, if I was going to downgrade - here's what my sensible option is:

    - Downgrade to Power (losing you $140/year for me)
    - upload every photo twice, once prewatermarked, and once to a set of hidden galleries without a watermark. (using twice the storage)
    - Continue to sell using my Paypal integration.

    I know I'm not typical in my site design or use of the Pro account features, but please address the $90 difference between power and portfolio. I am begging you. You've ignored the question half a dozen times in various forums so far.

    Cheers - Neil G
    --
    http://www.nzsnaps.com (talkiet.smugmug.com)
  • AceCo55AceCo55 Aussie Grinner Registered Users Posts: 946 Major grins
    edited September 18, 2012
    TalkieT wrote: »
    Thanks for entering the fray again :-)

    Still not a great answer and it's with utter dismay I note you have again ignored the difference between the $60 power account and the $150 portfolio account.

    Personally I stopped using the Smugmug ecommerce features ages ago because of the US centric approach and the 6 year delay getting any form of international currency support.

    Personally I'd like to see watermarks simply get added to the power account. It would suit ME perfectly, and I suspect it would give a lot of others at least a way to stay without opening up their photos to being ripped off - even if they don't build their own ordering system.

    So how about it? Add watermarks to Power, and raise the price from $60 to $75 or so if you feel the need...

    The pricing gap between power to portfolio is just ridiculous given the tiny difference in features.

    Realistically I'm on an old grandfathered account and I'll probably even stick with Pro at $200 simply because I am trapped by the amount of customisation I have done - and I expect I would have to fix a lot even if I downgraded to just portfolio. BUT, if I was going to downgrade - here's what my sensible option is:

    - Downgrade to Power (losing you $140/year for me)
    - upload every photo twice, once prewatermarked, and once to a set of hidden galleries without a watermark. (using twice the storage)
    - Continue to sell using my Paypal integration.

    I know I'm not typical in my site design or use of the Pro account features, but please address the $90 difference between power and portfolio. I am begging you. You've ignored the question half a dozen times in various forums so far.

    Cheers - Neil G

    15524779-Ti.gifBeing from Australia, I am in the same position. Can't really use any of the commmerce features but all photographers should be able to protect their photos on the internet with watermarking. I just need watermarking but to achieve that I have to pay an extra $90 for that one feature. If you left my watermarks on the 29,000 photos I already have uploaded, I would be happy to watermark all future uploads. At the moment it has a feeling of being blackmailed to pay that extra $90 to keep my watermarking and provide some protection to my images. I really don't know who the new Portfolio account is supposed to serve.
    My opinion does not necessarily make it true. What you do with my opinion is entirely up to you.
    www.acecootephotography.com
  • McQMcQ Grinning From Ear To Ear Registered Users Posts: 165 Major grins
    edited September 18, 2012
    Baldy wrote: »
    Hey everyone,

    I wish I had more to say than we said in the video, but the honest answer is we'd love to offer a less expensive pro account with commerce, but now that we've been in business as long as we have and reached our size, we just don't know how to do it and make it really good. It kills us to say that, but it's honest.

    You might wonder what time and size has to do with it because I've mentioned mostly storage and engineering costs, and if you want me to answer I can, but I know that what you'd love and we would too is the $150 commerce account back in some form. With the heat we're taking for not having one anymore, we'd dearly love to offer it, it's just at this time we don't know how.

    I'm sorry I don't have a better answer for you.

    Baldy

    Well, we only had to pull teeth to get a fairly straight answer after all this time. I personally feel you've done us a disservice and were essentially dishonest by withholding this answer as long as you did. Did you hope to hold on to customers by not answering and putting out vague comments about new features that we'd all love?

    Regardless, this was the answer I figured was coming and it just makes it easier to part ways and not look back.

    The hardest business to get is business you once had and lost.
    "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you?"

    http://mcq.smugmug.com
  • Pure EnergyPure Energy Major grins Registered Users Posts: 180 Major grins
    edited September 18, 2012
    McQ wrote: »
    Well, we only had to pull teeth to get a fairly straight answer after all this time. I personally feel you've done us a disservice and were essentially dishonest by withholding this answer as long as you did. Did you hope to hold on to customers by not answering and putting out vague comments about new features that we'd all love?

    Regardless, this was the answer I figured was coming and it just makes it easier to part ways and not look back.

    The hardest business to get is business you once had and loss.
    Hey McQ,

    I think you're over-reacting. Watch the two videos, listen to the podcast and read Baldy's first response in this thread. His latest response was nice but you're just goading him to regurgitate until he comes up with better answers based on policy changes they have not made yet. When that happens, he'll reply, post or do whatever needs to be done to get the message out

    The question that SM has put before us is "Here are our account levels, features and prices... please choose one(s) that fits your needs and for those with grand-fathered accounts, here's a discount."

    And just like any failed marketing & pr plan (usually by someone fresh off the college boat), SM will have to assess their decisions. The sooner the better to make a change but with these rolling renewals, who knows when SM will tally the votes and try to adjust.
  • McQMcQ Grinning From Ear To Ear Registered Users Posts: 165 Major grins
    edited September 18, 2012
    Hey McQ,

    I think you're over-reacting. Watch the two videos, listen to the podcast and read Baldy's first response in this thread. His latest response was nice but you're just goading him to regurgitate until he comes up with better answers based on policy changes they have not made yet. When that happens, he'll reply, post or do whatever needs to be done to get the message out

    The question that SM has put before us is "Here are our account levels, features and prices... please choose one(s) that fits your needs and for those with grand-fathered accounts, here's a discount."

    And just like any failed marketing & pr plan (usually by someone fresh off the college boat), SM will have to assess their decisions. The sooner the better to make a change but with these rolling renewals, who knows when SM will tally the votes and try to adjust.

    You may be right. Appreciate the reply and I'll look things over again. But to be honest, I do feel like they've been withholding info they've known about in hopes that the previous replies would hold customers from leaving.

    Thanks.
    "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you?"

    http://mcq.smugmug.com
  • TalkieTTalkieT Major grins Registered Users Posts: 491 Major grins
    edited September 30, 2012
    And now a couple of weeks further on, we have 2 more weeks of refusing to justify the $90 difference between the Power and Portfolio account.

    Clearly the outrage has died down guys, and you've won. You've doubled the price and it only took a month or two for most people to accept it. I have to say I am impressed.

    However, I am never going to recommend your service to anyone based on how you have handled this pricing restructure. Note that I don't believe the top pro increase is unjustified, nor do I believe that you shouldn't be able to raise prices - but they way you have handled it and the constant willful ignoring of the hard questions makes it clear that this whole thing (including the screwing of the hobbyists wanting pro features) was pre-planned.

    Congrats, I hope you don't lose so many customers you have to raise prices again.

    Cheers - N
    --
    http://www.nzsnaps.com (talkiet.smugmug.com)
  • mbellotmbellot Major grins Registered Users Posts: 465 Major grins
    edited September 30, 2012
    TalkieT wrote: »
    And now a couple of weeks further on, we have 2 more weeks of refusing to justify the $90 difference between the Power and Portfolio account.

    Clearly the outrage has died down guys, and you've won. You've doubled the price and it only took a month or two for most people to accept it. I have to say I am impressed.

    The vocal outrage has run it's course, I'm simply biding my time now.

    If SM doesn't pull it's collective cranium from it's rectum with respect to hobbyist "pro" users by January 2013 I will start actively looking for an alternative solution so that things are totally settled by May when my renewal is up.

    It's pointless trying to do anything more at this point, they have made it perfectly clear that they won't discuss anything until they have "figured it out".
    TalkieT wrote: »
    I am never going to recommend your service to anyone

    Ditto, whether or not I end up sticking with SM I will never again recommend them to anyone. The price increase and it's poor handling are just the latest example of the Smug at the heart of SmugMug.
  • vdotmatrixvdotmatrix Nervous Professional Registered Users Posts: 343 Major grins
    edited October 7, 2012
    Rogue 1 wrote: »
    Hi All - this question's been posted several times in the last few days (in all manner of wording, so consider McQ's a paraphrase) - Just for the sake of clarification, Don addressed this exact point pretty clearly in the blog response video with Baldy (posted last Friday) - You can view the whole response here, along with all of the specific questions - http://tinyurl.com/95sb87l

    (not to be confused with the TWiP podcast)

    But for those unable to view, here's that question as it was posed by the community, and his response:

    It looks like you're purposely saying ‘no’ to the hobbyist photographers out there. What's your solution for us?

    "You know we die inside a little bit when we hear this. Our company is full of photographers many of whom would consider themselves to be hobbyist photographers or up and comers, but we believe that SmugMug needs to stand for value above all else. That value means exceptional customer support, features you can't get anywhere else, unlimited storage and more.

    And we just don't know how to deliver all of that at that price point. So like we have throughout our company's history, we're listening to our customers, engaging our community, and trying to figure it out.

    We just haven't figured it out today."

    What I take from this is that we hear you. We really do feel your pain. And we DO need (and very much want) to work out a way to fulfill your needs while also being careful not to do so in a way that is detrimental to ourselves. We ALL want SmugMug to be here for at least a few more decades (conservatively speaking, of course). I'll even quote Don once again, we're "trying to figure it out. We just haven't figured it out today."

    It stands to reason this move was a loooong time in the works. Planning. Debating. More planning. More debating (some debates that may be described otherwise). Engineering. Re-engineering. Discarding and starting over. Rinse repeat. Rinse repeat. We agonized over it...

    Like Rome, this action wasn't built in a day. And a well thought out, properly executed, truly meaningful solution to this 'gap' won't be either. Knee-jerk responses are most often disastrous...

    As has been mentioned/hinted too many times, we've got revolutionary 'stuff' in the pipeline. We're working hard on it as we speak, and have been for quite some time (yes, I'm with you, we want it as much as you and every day someone asks "are we there yet?) We're going to get this done, and we'll be 'trying to figure it out' for the middle-group all the while -

    We really do hope you stick with us, but if you can't we understand, and once again quoting Don (because he said it perfectly), if you choose to leave, "I completely understand if you just can't wait. We'll miss you, and hope to earn your business again once you see what we're pouring our hearts & souls into. I'm confident you'll love it every bit as much as I do."

    Thanks so much for your patience, and your input, and your feedback... and mostly for your passion. We've caught a good bit of flack, but we've also gotten a massive amount of support along with the ire, and like my Dad used to say, "I only beat you because I care." :D - There's zero doubt that you all care greatly. As with any family, in the long-term we won't let you down. (but agreed, this a rough patch!)

    bowdown.gif

    There is a lot said here. The SM heros have saved my bacon on more than one occaision coding and customizing my website. The support I ALWAYS get is unsurpassed in any service I get besides my doctor or dentist.

    Sm handles all the business part which is convenient but at a pretty good clip this is true.

    I like SM and don't want to go some where else and have to start another website...i'd rather gouge my eyes out with a butter knife.
  • ParkermanParkerman Big grins Registered Users Posts: 73 Big grins
    edited October 7, 2012
    TalkieT wrote: »
    And now a couple of weeks further on, we have 2 more weeks of refusing to justify the $90 difference between the Power and Portfolio account.

    Clearly the outrage has died down guys, and you've won. You've doubled the price and it only took a month or two for most people to accept it. I have to say I am impressed.

    However, I am never going to recommend your service to anyone based on how you have handled this pricing restructure. Note that I don't believe the top pro increase is unjustified, nor do I believe that you shouldn't be able to raise prices - but they way you have handled it and the constant willful ignoring of the hard questions makes it clear that this whole thing (including the screwing of the hobbyists wanting pro features) was pre-planned.

    Congrats, I hope you don't lose so many customers you have to raise prices again.

    Cheers - N


    The thing is, they will really see it when people like me, either quit SM.. or drop from the "Pro" rate down to a power user.

    Maybe when that wave crashes, they will realize how stupid and completely worthless the Portfolio account is.
  • wibubbawibubba Major grins Registered Users Posts: 29 Big grins
    edited October 10, 2012
    I just looked at the plans I'll have to choose from when I renew next year. I'm currently a Pro user but have to say the Power level really seems like it will fit me. I plan on doing only in person sales from now on as my sales through my website have been few and far between. Additionally I won't have to pay to have prints made through a lab I've not been to personally and can use my preferred lab.
  • McQMcQ Grinning From Ear To Ear Registered Users Posts: 165 Major grins
    edited October 12, 2012
    wibubba wrote: »
    I just looked at the plans I'll have to choose from when I renew next year. I'm currently a Pro user but have to say the Power level really seems like it will fit me. I plan on doing only in person sales from now on as my sales through my website have been few and far between. Additionally I won't have to pay to have prints made through a lab I've not been to personally and can use my preferred lab.

    This is a good plan for anyone whose sales on their site aren't very large. I wonder if it's possible to go to the lowest account level and accomplish the same thing?

    Since we still haven't head boo from anyone at SM on the great new, world-beating features that are "just around the corner", it's probably best for SM users with low volume sales to cough up as little money as possible and additionally keep all of their sales profits.
    "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you?"

    http://mcq.smugmug.com
  • mbellotmbellot Major grins Registered Users Posts: 465 Major grins
    edited October 12, 2012
    McQ wrote: »
    This is a good plan for anyone whose sales on their site aren't very large. I wonder if it's possible to go to the lowest account level and accomplish the same thing?

    Since we still haven't head boo from anyone at SM on the great new, world-beating features that are "just around the corner", it's probably best for SM users with low volume sales to cough up as little money as possible and additionally keep all of their sales profits.

    The only real problem with this plan is SM's latest "feature" that automatically removes watermarks for Pros that are downgrading.

    I have way too many photos to go back and watermark locally and re-upload. I either need to stay with SM at an as yet unannounced Prosumer level account, or I bail completely.

    If the watermarks would persist through the downgrade (like they used to) then dropping to Power might be a viable option.
  • McQMcQ Grinning From Ear To Ear Registered Users Posts: 165 Major grins
    edited October 12, 2012
    mbellot wrote: »
    The only real problem with this plan is SM's latest "feature" that automatically removes watermarks for Pros that are downgrading.

    I have way too many photos to go back and watermark locally and re-upload. I either need to stay with SM at an as yet unannounced Prosumer level account, or I bail completely.

    If the watermarks would persist through the downgrade (like they used to) then dropping to Power might be a viable option.

    Good point. Hadn't thought of that.
    "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you?"

    http://mcq.smugmug.com
  • McQMcQ Grinning From Ear To Ear Registered Users Posts: 165 Major grins
    edited October 12, 2012
    Baldy wrote: »
    Hey everyone,

    I wish I had more to say than we said in the video, but the honest answer is we'd love to offer a less expensive pro account with commerce, but now that we've been in business as long as we have and reached our size, we just don't know how to do it and make it really good. It kills us to say that, but it's honest.

    You might wonder what time and size has to do with it because I've mentioned mostly storage and engineering costs, and if you want me to answer I can, but I know that what you'd love and we would too is the $150 commerce account back in some form. With the heat we're taking for not having one anymore, we'd dearly love to offer it, it's just at this time we don't know how.

    I'm sorry I don't have a better answer for you.

    Baldy

    Three weeks since this post, so I'll come back to the question for Baldy. Since you've stated you'd answer what time and size has to do with this, please go ahead.

    Second question: You've also stated that you'd dearly love to offer a commerce account at the lower, $150/yr price, but you just hadn't figured it out yet. Again, three weeks later, have you figured it out? Have you tried to figure it out? Any meetings, brainstorming sessions, etc., because if you'd dearly love to offer it, it must be a top priority. When will you let us know?

    Simply waiting for a reasonably a direct answer to direct questions. You are the one who said you'd love to offer it, so I'm simply holding you to your statement and waiting for a reply.
    "Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio, our nation turns its lonely eyes to you?"

    http://mcq.smugmug.com
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