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?