Don’t get me wrong – Flickr is a great service. They have done some really cool and innovative things. Their pro account is the best deal out there if you want to put up your photos on-line, either for sharing or as a backup/storage option. Recently however, there have been some kinks in my user experience.
It all started out as partly my fault. One day, I cancelled my pro account only to learn later that Flickr does not refund you the balance of your fees. Nowhere is this stated during the cancellation flow. Only the user boards talk about this and I see that others have also been bitten by this in the past. This apart, why can’t they refund the balance fees? Its fairly standard practice on the part of all service providers. The good thing was that after contacting their service folks (via email of course, which sane company these days wastes money on providing a phone number to its paying customers?), they offered to restore the pro-ness of my account. My photos were gone of course, but I knew that up front and so can live with it. This was followed by a series of me filing more of their service tickets, since they simply don’t reply to your emails on the original tickets. File a ticket, expect a single response and that’s it. I had to include the previous emails in my tickets to get a response from them.
On the positive side, they are offering to give me back the pro account. On the (significantly) negative side, this customer service experience has left a sour taste in my mouth, and I’m not sure if I want it anyways.
And while I’m on the topic and ranting, in Flickr why is it so difficult to delete photos quickly or to sort uploaded photos in the “Date Taken” order? In some ways, its a very cool service but in other ways it frustrates the heck out of me. I don’t expect anything out a free service, but if I pay then dammit, I have a right to expect good customer service.
- Give users the information they need
- Users will judge you through your customer service. Give it as much importance as a revenue generating product.
- User goodwill is an intangible revenue
UPDATE: After more than a month, Flickr did reinstate my pro account. My criticisms of their service and features still stands though.