DENVER, COLORADO — Better Business Bureau of Denver/Boulder is issuing a warning on Photobucket.com, Inc. due to a pattern of consumer complaints on the company’s BBB Business Profile. Primarily, these complaints allege issues with Photobucket’s product, billing, and customer service following changes to the company’s terms of service implemented this past June.
Since its founding in 2003, Photobucket’s services had been available to all users for free (customers had the option to purchase an additional 100 GB of storage for $100 a year). However, as of June 20, Photobucket has ammended this policy.
Based on complaints filed with BBB, the most controversial change the company made was to require customers to pay either $39.99 per month or $399.99 per year to continue embedding their Photobucket-hosted images on third-party websites like ebay.com and amazon.com. Where their photos had previously been displayed, customers suddenly saw an image inviting them to unlock their Photobucket accounts.
Consumers accused Photobucket of holding their photos ransom, claiming that the website did not make these changes clear to its users ahead of time.
Users still have the option to operate a free account with the website, but these accounts do not allow third-party image hosting.
Since Photobucket implemented its changes in June, BBB Denver/Boulder has received 15 complaints from Photobucket users. Despite repeated contacts from BBB, the business has not responded to any of these complaints.
Photobucket.com is not a BBB Accredited Business and currently has an F rating. Consumers can visit the company’s BBB Business Profile to view open complaints and reviews or submit their own.