WARNING: DO NOT USE IMAGECAVE.COM

I really can’t put it any plainer than that. If I had the resources, I would paint the moon to say the same. Let me make this long story as short as I can, so y’all can see where I’m coming from.

I have been using IMAGECAVE.COM for my photo hosting for a few years now. On July 31st of 2008, I subscribed via Paypal to their $5 a month plan in order to increase the size of my server space. Since then, I’ve been receiving monthly emails alerting me to the fact that I’ve just paid another five bucks. This made sense, and all was well. In the meantime, I adorned my blog with photos, updated my sister’s art blog with hundreds of photos, and sent out e-newsletters to clients that now number 412 souls.

On April 1st (oh, how that day of jest will toy with my memory forever) I received an email alerting me to the authorization of a $25 payment to a company called RIPSIDE.COM. Having never heard of this company, I did a little research and it turns out that they’re another image hosting site. Something smelled like ass of salmon, so I entered a dispute with Paypal. That was a critical error.

You see, I had also scheduled an e-newsletter to go out at 10 am of that day––it was my own little April Fool’s edition––and shortly after that hour I began receiving reports that there was something wrong with my email. Lo-and-behold, all the pictures looked like the vomitorious filth you now see fouling the whole of this blog. Confused, I attempted to log into my Imagecave account only to be refused access with no reason given.

I immediately saw a connection and emailed the Imagecave site using the only contact method they allow: email. And then I did some google-digging. Come to find, IMAGECAVE.COM is owned by the same people who own RIPSIDE.COM. Go ahead, give that email address a try. Or this one. Or even this one, which is from another image hosting site connected to them called VILLAGEPHOTOS.COM, which I would also avoid like the proverbial plague. Go ahead and ask them something, like, why Ripside Interactive has had one of its service sites deactivated by Network Solutions. Don’t believe me? Have a look. But before you send that email away, why not also ask why they’ve let their BBB online participation lapse. The possible reasons listed by the BBB online site include non-payment, and the flattering “failure to abide by program standards”. Want proof? You can find it easily by clicking on the BBB online logo on the RIPSIDE.COM homepage.

All this is odd for an organization that claims to be a “family-owned, honest and stable company”, isn’t it? It is to me, anyway. As is not replying to at least ten different emails I’ve sent asking for help and any kind of information whatsoever through several different accounts including a Myspace page (where he has the balls to say he makes $250k a year), and a Portrait Studio where their tag is “Capturing Life’s Moments”. Unfortunately, they forgot to add “and never giving them back”.

I’d like to add that, in all of my correspondences––even the ones where I felt the need to tell them I may have to pursue legal action––I’ve been polite, civil, non-threatening and fair. And yet, even after waiting almost two weeks, still nothing.

So it looks like I’m out $55 (turns out they also billed me three months after I joined, making April 1st their 6 month re-up, and then proceeded to bill me for my monthly Imagecave subscription that very same day, a.k.a the day they suspended my account) and four pages of precious photos, some of which I’ll never get back. And before you think it, please understand that I’m not at all looking for sympathy. Perhaps they got a cease and desist due to some copyrighted photos being used on their site. It’s damn near impossible to police that, and even yours truly has used photos that he’s found already in existence on the Internet unless they were on a Photo site, but I’ve always either contacted the person first or linked the photo to their site and mentioned them. And all this time, I’ve never heard a single, discouraging word. Even so, shit happens, but it would still be nice to know a) why I’ve been getting billed for a service I didn’t subscribe to, and b) why I wasn’t given the courtesy of a reason as to why I’ve been suspended. Obviously, I don’t matter, and I’m sure I’m not the first or only.

And that’s why this entry today. I hate when I don’t matter to people who have had the pleasure of taking my money and my property. In fact, it makes me…well there’s mad, there’s frustrated, there’s very angry, there’s livid, and there’s what I am today: all of the above, mixed with a lot of disappointment and more than a bit of hurt. Even though it’s hard to hide on the Internet, it’s apparently easy to dodge your fuck-ups. Just don’t acknowledge them. It’s the way anymore, isn’t it? Shirk your responsibilities and let someone else foot the bill? All I can do is look into my legal options––which you can be damn sure I’m doing––and hope that others learn from my mistakes.

I think now is definitely time for another “perspective video”. This one’s quite special, actually, because it’s the first record I ever owned. I was about 4 or 5, and I can still remember how my dad set up a little turntable next to my bed and woke me up by putting it on. Until next time, folks. Be careful, out there.

And send a few emails, why don’t you?

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About S. Norton

Writer, marketer, musician.
This entry was posted in Non-fiction and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

31 Responses to WARNING: DO NOT USE IMAGECAVE.COM

  1. Ryan Field says:

    What an experience!! Well, I’m sure people will read posts like this and process the info for the future. I know I won’t use imagecave.com.

    Great song, BTW.

    Have a good weekend.

  2. scottyus says:

    My hope is people will read this and storm their Nebraskan Bastille. Just beneath contempt, these filthy untermensch. But I’m making some headway into making their life at least as miserable as they’ve made mine, so stay tuned. I never quit. Info forthcoming.

    You know what one of my biggest regrets is? Not asking Bobby Goldsboro for an autograph when I saw him in a restaurant when I was living in LA. I’m just not that guy, but I kinda wish I did. It would have made a cool keepsake.

    Enjoy your weekend, as well, Ryan.

  3. Rick says:

    Thanks for the info about imagecave – found your blog on google.

    It’s Sunday morning, and I’m currently looking at my entire eBay shop devoid of pictures – all of which are hosted at imagecave.

    (I was wondering why I didn’t get any trade last week – I don’t know how long they have been down – perhaps i should be more dilligent in checking my listings and not just assuming it’s the recession!)

    Problem is I have hundreds of pictures and loads of eBay listings, which will involve the 2-day long mind-numbing task of going through each listing individually and re-uploading the pictures :o(

    I don’t suppose you found a decent alternative host did you? – I don’t want to be doing this too often!

    Thanks for the post – good luck with your endevours
    Rick

  4. Kali Marcum says:

    Oh…the nightmares of bad image hosting. I feel for you!

    OMG…Rick! As if eBay doesn’t have everybody running around revising every listing enough…now you are stuck with replacing ALL of your images!!!

    I found this blog because imagecave came up today…and yep…those pics are gone, gone and gone! I have been selling Ebay Auction Templates for almost 4 years now. I have customers that have been using my templates for alomst the whole time. NEVER once have I lost hosting from photobucket. They offer a free account with plenty of storage space. If by chance you are getting ready to run out of bandwidth…they actually send you an email to warn you. Go figure! If you have a need to upgrade to a pro account…it’s $25 a year! To sign up for a free account go to…

    http://www.photobucket.com/

    Hope this helps!

    Kali Marcum
    Kali’s OnLine Productions

  5. rick says:

    Thanks Kali,
    It appears the pics are back up and running this morning – albeit loading extremely slowly.

    I’ll definitely be changing over the next few days – will probably use photobucket.
    cheers
    Rick.

  6. I was just doing a search on imagecave.com to see if others had been having trouble. I have several images hosted and linked to hundreds of blog postings on the web. Their (imagecave.com) service was initially okay although somewhat spotty as far as downtime. They NEVER reply to any emails sent when seeking a reason for some downtime. I should have abandoned them much earlier, I’ve been busy and it was low on the priority list. Now they are down for several days in a row, I cannot retrieve the images that were there and my site is spotted with broken image links. I will move all aspects of my site to GoDaddy.com where I should’ve had them from the start.

    In short….Imagecave sucks!

  7. Jeff Wiener says:

    Rick,
    I feel for you. I also have been running around going crazy wondering why all my auctions are not selling. Image cave has been down hard for 4 days now for a virus. I want to thank scott for the story.
    I am on my way to photobucket.

    Jeff 10/22/09

  8. scottyus says:

    Hey all,

    Sorry to hear of all the problems. I know how you feel.

    Anyway, I finally received a reply from Scott Smith on Myspace:
    _____________________________________________________

    Yeah, you got the right guy.

    Have you tried writing help@imagecave.com? You might have, but email just isn’t that reliable.

    You can contact me directly at ripside@gmail.com – include your username, and I’ll see what up with your account.

    Scott
    _____________________________________________________

    I haven’t followed up with him, but others may want to. Thought I’d share, and best of luck.

  9. rick says:

    I’ve now switched completely over to Photobucket, and have gone ‘pro’ – $25 a year seems pretty good, so I just went for it.
    So far, the service has been excellent.

    It took 2 days to change all my eBay listings over to the new picture host – I’m just glad eBay now allow you edit your listings once you have had a sale.

    Good luck to anyone staying behind with imagecave!

    Rick

  10. Chelsee25 says:

    I just wanted to say damn. That just sucks. Is why I do not pay for image hosting sites. I have imagecave free account, no issues other then the whole problem of them crashing not long ago, and I also heard of others getting viruses in their computers from the crash too.

    Photobucket, watch out, they will delete any image that even in the slightest bit does not comply with their regulations. I have had things deleted for no reason, and then all you get is a box saying that the image has been deleted for violation of terms and regulations or something like that. So just watch out what you put there, and keep a back up copy incase you lose it..

    http://www.fotki.com is a great site. Wonderful for organization of your images. You start out with a fully active free acount, but after so long it goes down to a basic free account. The paid accounts are not badly priced either.

    Chelsee

  11. Kali Marcum says:

    I’m so glad that I could be of help! With over 10,000 images hosted at photobucket for more than 4 years there has only been 1 instance where an image was deleted for no reason that I can think of. Just make sure there is nothing inappropriate in your file name…I think mine said “ass” and you should be ok.

    Kali

  12. Lil Monkey says:

    I just wanted to say, thanks!! for letting me know what happened to my account @ imagecave.. I Was wondering..

  13. Scott says:

    Ran across this doing some googling…. We do reply to emails – they all go into a helpdesk application, and stare at us until we respond. First in, first out sort of thing. Help@imagecave.com and service@villagephotos.com are both functional (scott@ripside.com is a very old address, not published intentionally, and rarely checked), and my personal email, ripside@gmail.com is available.

    If you don’t get a response, 99% of the time it’s because our reply has gone into a spam trap somewhere. As to your overpayment, contact ripside@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to review your account and any possible overpayment. Sorry for the confusion when you saw “Ripside” as the biller – we don’t have control over the details on credit card payments, as to how they appear, and Ripside is the parent company for multiple sites.

    And FWIW, all image hosts have outages. All of them. We get a flood of users in every time Photobucket or other competitors have problems, and we have had millions of happy customers, who understand that now and then there will be ghosts in the machine.

  14. scottyus says:

    I appreciate your posting, Scott. And I do understand about ghosts in the machine, as I run my own web services and publishing company (at the time, I still needed image hosting). But the article kind of speaks for itself: I tried everything, many times, over many days, and got no response whatsoever. I think I finally tracked you down on Myspace and did get an answer.

    Again, I’ve had blips myself, but there was no fixing the problem no matter what address I tried and to this day this website is missing images that I may never get back. As for the money I was charged, thanks for the offer. But maybe I’ll just ledger it as an educational fee.

  15. sara says:

    you should not even have to pay for image hosting there are allot of free ones i use http://www.hogpic.com for my blogs

  16. Steve Doyle says:

    Imagecave.com seems to be gone. Just gone.

  17. Gary says:

    Not even so much as an email now, for DAYS. This has really become a regular even for these people.

  18. Carlos says:

    Hello, somebody know what is happening with image cave??? I sell by internet and all the pictures are gone! I don´t know what to do..

    Terribe!

  19. ROK says:

    I’ve been trying to retrieve some photos I had on Imagecave and was told the address isn’t working. I’ve been a member in good standing since 2004. Does anyone know if they are gone for good? I’ve never ran into any problems with them, and my pics are always there. I know I don’t have as many pictures as a lot of you, but I did have over 150 pics, most, I’ll never get a chance to take them again. Like my brothers wedding pics, and my sons graduation pics from college, and our first grandchild. I’m so pissed I could spit molten nails!!!!!!!! WTF Imagecave?!?!?!?!?!

  20. LGM says:

    Just tried to find out what happened to imagecave.com

    I used them to post pics in a game forum, and my images just are gone. Now I search google for them, and the links are all bad.

    Seems they don’t have a site, or it’s been shut down. I feel bad that I suggested people use them in the past.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Same here. Not a lot of pictures stored there but did have some linked to my posts on various forums. Now there will be those infuriating ‘missing image’ icons when readers try to call up the related pictures!

    If the site is well and truly gone, would have been nice to have had a notice to extract one’s pics!

  22. Anonymous says:

    Thanks for all the info.
    As Scotty says, it’s an education.
    I use Photobucket as well so I’m not completely stuck but ImageCave pics are lost.
    My intention is always to back up to DVD but do I do it?
    No.
    This is because I’m an idiot.

  23. Contacted PayPal today. Found out I had paid “Village Photos” another subsidiary of Ripside Interactive, Inc $480 in the last 9 months. Seem each time they said I was out of space, I would increase my plan. Come to find out that you have to manually cancel your old plan with PayPal otherwise it keeps billing you.

    As of today, Village Photos, Imagecave and FileAve.com are all down, including the Ripside Interactive Inc site.

    Paypal has forwarded my claims to their fraud department today.

    Another source is to go to http://www.IC3.gov

  24. Here are a few numbers I have for Daniel Scott Smith, President of Ripside Interactive Inc.

    402-980-0554
    303-242-9861
    303-351-2094 (received last week on an email from him)

  25. Jane says:

    I lost thousands of images. Thanks a lot imagecave!

  26. jenny says:

    be very careful of Photobucket I have paid for pro for the past 3 years and they deleted my account overnight with an e mail saying I had infringed copyright, I had not put anything into the account for 3 months and the folder they were talking about was one that I had pictures in from Photbuckets groups so they came from them in the first place.

  27. Anonymous says:

    In my opinion it”s pretty obvious what happened: their competitors paid them to “disappear”.

  28. JIM says:

    PHOTOBUCKET worked great for a few years to add pictures to my ebay descriptions but they have had a recent change and it isn’t a good for ebay description pictures So look into it to see if it will work for your purpose

  29. michelline says:

    thank you for the heads up! I very much appreciate your letting us know!!

  30. V.P. says:

    I had an imagecave.com account with so many years of photos and now that website doesnt even exist anymore. I lost all my photos.

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