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IMO, this is a horrible policy and I will not do business with them again based on that alone.
PARAPHRASED - Tedster
The credits you purchased will be expiring soon - all our credits expire after 1 year. So the 35 credits you purchased on 2008-11-13 will expire 30 days from today.
[edited by: tedster at 4:38 am (utc) on Oct. 20, 2009]
[edit reason] paraphrased the email [/edit]
Changing something AFTER THE FACT is a completely different story. But I am pretty sure that the 1-year expiration was in the ToS back when I looked at using them some time ago.
Also, be glad that they actually sent you a reminder. A lot of places would be perfectly happy to let the credits quietly expire.
What they don't realize, however, is it stops me from buying **large** blocks of credits. They're losing a lot of revenue this way. So I buy smaller credit blocks, and as my cycle comes closer to ending, smaller yet.
There is a certain freelance site who uses credits in the same way. You get X a month, if you don't use them, poof. They don't roll over.
Don't like that one either, but same deal, it's just the way they do it.
Could margins be that tight at the bottom end of the image market that expired credits are seen by iStock as a valid revenue stream? If so, that would be very revealing, wouldn't it?
But I am pretty sure that the 1-year expiration was in the ToS back when I looked at using them some time ago.
Yes, I'm sure it was in the TOS when I purchased. This was more of a 'raise awareness' post.
What they don't realize, however, is it stops me from buying **large** blocks of credits.
Exactly! If you buy from them, don't purchase large blocks if you don't intend to use them. I don't use them often, but I do use them. I bought a large block at the discounted rate not thinking there would be an expiration.
Deadlines are a fact of life.
And usually extremely generous. If your deadline has passed, you've twiddled your thumbs a loooong time. I have no problem with expiration policies. They should be held open forever? Not at all unusual for gift cards and such to be charged a monthly fee after one year of non-use until the balance drops to zero - which often gives you another year to waste.
I use istock from time to time. I sell low-end stuff there, so never actually have to buy credits.
...legislation in place to protect consumers when using gift cards,...
To protect people too stupid to use them in a reasonably timely fashion.
I'm fine with consumer protection standards but good grief.
Whatever smokescreen they call it or fancy legal-sleeze in use for justification, this is just plain profit-mongering with no care just business practice. This practice may still be legal but it lacks integrity, there is a debt of genuine honesty owed the public in all transactions.
Say what you will but these folks can give the money back or leave it on-account but they choose not to do that for one reason only. It makes them more money to expire points quickly. It stinks from any direction you smell it.