Category Archives: Technolgoy

Discussing different technologies I read about

iStockPhoto – ripping off customers by raising prices!

I’ve been a loyal customer to iStockphoto now for about 2 years and today after logging in to purchase an image I realized that I was now paying over $15 per image.  Just about two years ago they promoted $1 images which were very sufficient for the level of web design I was doing.  Over the course of the last 12 months they have altered their buiness in a few different ways.

  1. Reduced the sizes of the images – 1 credit now gets you a ~200 pixel image
  2. Increased the cost of their credits – It used to be $1 for 1 credit now they have altered their pricing to starts at 10 credits for $14 ($1.40/credit)
  3. Increased the cost of the images – Vector images used to be 3 credits, now they are 15.  ExtraLarge images were 5 credits, now they are 15.

As a response to their price increase I wrote them a kind letter to cover my opinion on the matter:

Dear iStockPhoto,

This will be the last time I spend any money with your company.  I don’t have a large budget but you have made sure that my budget continues to afford me less and less each month.  I have been a loyal customer for over 2 years and I watched your prices rise on two fronts.  Not only are you giving fewer credits per dollar you are increasing the cost of the images.  It might not hurt you but my $100/month is going elsewhere.  Thanks to your attempt to screw your customers I feel this will be a recurring reaction.

Best of luck,
Damien Howley

Google

So today I am quite impressed with Google.  Not because of their stock or their market growth but because of their values.

MindTouch apparently does enough work with Google to receive a thank you note during the holiday season.  When we received our thank you note it was very quickly passed around the office as no one wanted to really deal with it.  It seems like Google was asking for us to make a donation to a charitable cause.  When the box came to me I decided to take a look at it.  I figured that if we were going to make a donation we could make it to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society which I am a part of.  Upon reading I found out that Google actually gave us a $100 gift card to give to an educational project of our choice.  I thought that was pretty cool so I selected a local education project that focused on informing students (grades 3 to 5) about current events in non-adult language.

After making the donation I glanced in the box again and saw that there was something else.  I pulled out this small Google branded wallet/pouch and inside it had what looked to be a business card.  When I took out the business card i saw that it had a portion of the card that could flip out.  Even though I didn’t know exactly what it was I had an idea.  After plugging it into my usb drive I found out that it was a 2GB usb drive.  I was very impressed.

Nice job Google, I feel appreciated and I also feel generous because I gave to a charity.