Probably Only Important to Me, thoughts

Whr has my Flickr gone? [10/30/08]

I’ve had it- this is it, I’ve got to do something- because this is ridiculous. The thing is- I’m actually really sad about this whole fiasco because I really did love Flickr, but every day of this BS makes me more and more adverse to wanting to ever go back.

If you want to read about all that’s gone down- check after the jump.

[Please comment and Digg this story to show your support!]

[Oct 1, 2008]
So about a week and a half ago, at this point- I discovered that my Flickr account had mysteriously been de-activated when I found that my pictures no longer were showing up on my photo website. My photography website uses Flickr API to grab pictures from my albums and pop them into a modified version of SimpleViewer (by Airtight Interactive). The script mod is called FlickrViewer (by Mark Sweeting). So I went to investigate. I tried logging into my Flickr account on the login page and every combo of username and password I could think of did not work. I then went to recover my password and my account could not be found. So when I went to view my stream directly via url- I get this:

A message saying: “adam.dexter is no longer active on Flickr.”

Now, due to being busy at school, I haven’t updated my Flickr in a few weeks, maybe a month, I thought that could be why I was terminated and with a regular account, I would almost expect that- however, I have a Pro account, I have for a few months, since at least April. So instead, this just really pisses me off. I have a paid account, not even a year old, and it just disappears/ gets deactivated randomly and without any notice to me. A true WTF.

Even more frustrating is the total lack of customer service and response from Flickr support about the situation. I emailed them first on Sept 22nd, 10am (I waited because I thought maybe a server went down… nope). And got there little automated note immediately. Then a few hours later I got this:

Hello,

Thank you for contacting Flickr Member Support.

I have escalated your email to a senior representative in
an effort to obtain the best answer. Please allow some time
for a follow-up reply to your question.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to reply
to this email.

Thank you again for contacting us.

Regards,

Flickr Member Support

So I wait.

Four days have passed, not even an update. Account still down. So I email again on Sept 26th, 12:18pm- immediately, same automated email- this time- it only took about 30minutes for a “real” response – same copypasta cut and paste bull email as above.

So I wait.

Four more days, nothing, not even an update. So this time I respond to the email directly, my tone, a little annoyed.

Now it hasn’t been quite 24 hours since I sent the last message (I replied 10:30pm Eastern on Sept 30). But still nothing, not even another confirmation that my email reply was received. I’m still without a Flickr account, without pictures and without a portfolio on my website- because I don’t have time to put up a manual gallery in its place. (But you’re writing this… yes, this took me 10 minutes and if Yahoo/Flickr does any social web research, this could get some attention and help me, throwing up a new gallery would take at least 45min).

So Yahoo, Flickr, whoever, if you are reading this, PLEASE TELL ME WHERE MY FLICKR has gone! I want it back! I miss it. I need it. Please help. I shouldn’t have to beg. I just want some answers. I don’t think I did anything wrong. Why must you shun me so? Flickr, you need to step up your customer service follow up and turn around time, really.

And

Dear Blogosphere,

Has this ever happened to you? Problems with Flickr? Let me know, how did you get it back?

[UPDATE – Oct 6th]

So after more waiting and no response, last night, Oct 5th at 10:40pm, I sent an email through Yahoo!’s abuse.yahoo.com form under “other abuse” – this morning I was glad to see a response from Yahoo- until I read it. My email had for some reason been forwarded to Yahoo! Photos – I’m guessing the “other abuse” emails are automatically screened for keywords and the word “pictures” sends it to Yahoo! Pictures- that would make sense, except I never used the word pictures. I did use the word “flickr” five times though. So, I got some more automated dribble about how Yahoo! Photos has been deactivated and was done so in Sept 2007, etc. Nothing about Flickr and nothing about my issue. I’m glad Yahoo! actually reads their customer abuse reports and cares oh so much (sarcasm).

So then, I called Yahoo!’s customer service number (1-866-562-7219) and tried to get through in the abuse department, that goes to a dead end and tells you to go online, then disconnects you, so I went for billing. I talked to Joey and after he read the same exact thing off his screen at least 3 times, he finally told me that it appears my account violated one or more item in Flickr’s TOS. When I asked what I needed to do, he told me to go use the abuse form on abuse.yahoo.com…I was not amused. I told him about my previous yahoo abuse report, but when I read him the email and told him the responders email “photos-feedback@cc.yahoo-inc.com” (because it had obviously been routed to Yahoo! photos for whatever reason) he didn’t seem to believe me that I actually used the abuse site. It should read abuse-something@yahoo-inc.com I guess. So then he directed me to the Flickr specific abuse form, different than the “other abuse” form (I didn’t seen the Flickr one last night).

It’s interesting because when you go through to the Flickr abuse form, it brings you to a Flickr address (http://flickr.com/report_abuse.gne) which is all Flickr branded, etc. However from my previous searches, it seems there is no way to access this form directly from Flickr- it seems the only way is to go to abuse.yahoo.com – which doesn’t really make sense- but, then again, the link could be hiding somewhere on Flickrs page.

So I sent in a report under “Other Concerns” – It detailed this whole deal so far and provided them with details on the other 4 emails I sent plus the call- all yielding no help.

I feel like someone who has been scammed by the cops. The ones who should be righting the issue are the ones responsible for it. Ah!

I just really want my flickr back and get on with life.

[update Oct 8th]

I got this message back after using the Flickr Abuse form:

Hello,

The email [my primary email] is not associated with any Flickr
account.

I have sent a note to the primary email address associated
with the account you are asking about with more
information.

I cannot provide you with information about an account
unless you write in from an email address that is
associated with that account and has been verified.

Flickr reserves the right to terminate your account without
warning at any time, for violating our Terms of Service and
Community Guidelines.

http://www.flickr.com/guidelines.gne

Regards
Omar

I responded to the message asking for more details and clarification- especially since I never got another message to anyone one of my email accounts. I know I registered it with one of two emails. My primary, or an alias for my primary- no email and no reply email to my request for more info or to verify my account via credit/billing info.

WTF.

[update 10/10]

Still no response- I sent another message through the Flickr abuse form via abuse.yahoo.com.

I will now wait some more.

[update 10/12]

Well, I was away this weekend, but when I got back, I had a message in my inbox asking for verification via challenge questions- I just answered them and sent it back- we’ll see if I can finally get some answers.

[update 10/13]

Back to square one.
I got a response email:

Hello,

Your account was deleted for violating Yahoo! Terms of
Service.

Flickr reserves the right to terminate your account without
warning at any time.

Omar

I already knew this! I found that out when I called billing a week ago! My past emails have ask WHY. What term, what clause, what little catch? As far as I know, I was not doing anything shady or in violation of the terms! I had no nude pictures or questionable content! I did not spam or harass other users! I was PAID PRO MEMBER! I willingly gave Yahoo! money and they boned me. Now, all I want is a reason and it’s worse than pulling teeth. Gaaaahhhh!

I guess I’ll wait more.

In the meantime,

does anyone know of a Flickr alternative?

I really need my pictures back up!

[Update 10/14/08]

So I think if there was a last straw- this would be it. However, since I cannot think of any action I can take other than be sodomized by Yahoo!/Flickr- I guess I’ll keep replying to the emails and waiting.

Here is an email I got from Flickr today.

Hello,

Thank you for contacting Flickr Member Support.

Please go to abuse.yahoo.com to contact Yahoo! Customer
Care about why your YID was deleted.

Thank you again for contacting us. If you have any other
questions, please feel free to reply to this email.

Regards,
Omar

So basically- I am being told to do exactly what I have already done. To get where I am and to get this email from “Omar”, I had to go through abuse.yahoo.com.

Here was my response- I kept it clean and simple, because I still am being optimistic that someone will listen- and I’ve gotten better luck being nice than being an asshole.

Hello,

I am assuming “Omar” is some generic name you put at the bottom of all your emails- because if I am actually talking to a real person- you would know that abuse.yahoo.com is how I got here. I went to abuse.yahoo.com and used the Flickr abuse link to make the inquiry- after a whole lot of back and forth I got an answer from “Omar” saying:


Hello,

Your account was deleted for violating Yahoo! Terms of
Service.

Y!ID: adphotonet
Flickr username: adam.dexter

Flickr reserves the right to terminate your account without
warning at any time.

Omar

My response back asked WHAT TERM I violated or in other words HOW or WHY. I have been told I violated a term, but to my knowledge all of my Flickr behavior was within the bounds of the TOS and Community guidelines- To be clear, I am asking for details- I want to know HOW I VIOLATED THE TOS AND WHAT I DID TO VIOLATE THE TERMS OF SERVICE.

Please let me know.
Thank you,

Adam Dexter

This is the ultimate run around and the most bullshit I’ve been through in a while.

[UPDATE; 10/30/08]

I sent two more emails. One to Flickr Abuse and one to Yahoo! Abuse on 10/22/08. It is now 10/30 and I haven’t heard a word from either- this is the ultimate “I’m a big corporation and there is nothing you can do about it you little shit, cold shoulder attitude.” Unacceptable and “Unforgivable”. I’m gonna file a BBB report or something.

PLEASE DIGG!

Digg This.

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12 thoughts on “Whr has my Flickr gone? [10/30/08]

  1. Cecilia says:

    The same thing just happened to me!! All my photos are gone and I need them to run my ebaystore! I paid for the pro account only 2 weeks ago! This really pisses me off!! I am a paying customer and yet no one has responeded to my questions nor do they seem to care! I am beyond pissed and furious!

  2. Pingback: Flickr + Yahoo! = Evil « Adam Dexter’s Life Blog

  3. Pingback: Being abused by Flickr. | Adam Dexter Photography

  4. Adam,

    You spelled “why” wrong. Check your spelling.

    It seems that there are many people are losing their flickr accounts due to rule breaking, and you should really use PicasaWeb or Zooomr.

  5. Pingback: Taking Flickr Back « Adam Dexter’s Blog

  6. plasticdisaster says:

    I tried to post about my own experience with Flickr account being deleted in the exact manner yours was. I do not understand why it was “discarded” and did not go through for moderation.

  7. plasticdisaster says:

    FYI – Sorry for the multiple posts, but I forgot to mention that I tried Digging your article and the page generated on Digg turns up as an error page –

  8. @plasticdisaster

    I don’t think I discarded your posts, but I didn’t have a chance to moderate them until just now. I saw a longer one in there on the Taking Flickr back feed- was this the long post you were talking about? Thanks for the support and I’ll look into the digg thing.

  9. Well, that’s how Yahoo works – auto generated reply! I sent them severals email reporting errors, abuse, feedback and always got auto replies! They NEVER read your emails and consequently NEVER answer your questions!
    It’s time to get over Yahoo! It sucks!

  10. Dan says:

    Flickr sucks. Apparently they just delete your account without any prior warning or notice. I had a pro account with them for a year and then I find out a couple days ago they deleted my account. No email stating whatsoever so I contact flickr and they later tell me I violated the TOS by uploading images that were not mine. Yes I found a few images on the website deviantart.com that I wanted to upload in my flickr profile. I got permission from every rightful owner of that image and even gave them credit in my album! Yet according to Flickr thats still wrong. Thats down right ridiculous. Everybody shares/trades their photos online all the time and these guys decide to have a serious ego and make it the total opposite. If a person was really concerned about their personal photos being stolen and used on someone elses website they wouldn’t upload them on the internet. Its that simple. Even AOL and Ebay give the member a chance to appeal their case instead of just permanently deleting their account, taking their money and running. Especially over something so harmless. Its not like I threatened anybody or anything. These guys should be shut down by the FLC or something.

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