Damn you, Indecision!

Webshots is spamming me!

UPDATE: Now that I think about it, I probably needed to register for an account to see my co-worker’s album because it was a private album. In that case, Webshots is the same as Flickr. So I apologize for that little bit of misinformation. However, I still maintain that there are better ways of implementing private albums without forcing people to sign up to your service. I have a Smugmug account (and I pay the yearly professional-level membership fee) that allows me to share private albums with anyone, and all they have to do is enter a password that I give them. Both Webshots and Flickr would do well to implement a password mechanism for private albums instead of this lame “only let my ‘friends’ (meaning fellow Webshots or Flickr users) see this album” crapola. 😛

And BTW, I’m glad someone from Webshots (the PR dept, not tech support, BTW) stopped by to comment that they’re looking into the problem I described. I appreciate it, even though I virtually guaranteed that I won’t get the blasted newsletters anymore because I changed the e-mail address associated with my account. I still think it’s ridiculous that I (or anyone who has customer support issues with any company that makes it difficult to find their tech support info) had to resort to airing out my issue in a public forum just to see some action result from it (or warn other people).

=====

GRRRR.  I absolutely hate websites that have these unsubscribe pages that DO NOT work.  I signed up for a free Webshots account just to look at a co-worker’s album quite a few months ago, and haven’t revisited the site since, except to futilely unsubscribe from their spam.  None of the newsletters are checked in my account, yet I still get the stupid e-mails.  The unsubscribe link in their spam doesn’t work, either.

So I decided to hit up their site to find a feedback or “contact us” link, and get shuttled to their “tech support” page that has FAQ and this ever-so-helpful link:

Yeah, great.  I tried to see if I could just delete my stupid account, and found this answer:

How do I cancel my free membership?
We cannot delete member names once they are created, but you can remove Webshots from your computer, unsubscribe from our mailing lists and remove your personal information from your account.

To uninstall Webshots:

  1. Click Start > Settings > Control Panel.
  2. Double click Add or Remove Programs.
  3. Select Webshots Desktop.
  4. Click Change/Remove.

If you have uploaded photos to the Community section of Webshots, delete them by going to the My shots tab. Click an album title then choose the Delete Album link. Repeat for each album you’ve created.

To unsubscribe from Webshots Weekly, click the My Account link in the upper right hand corner (If you can not find My Account, you’ll need to sign in by clicking on the sign in link.). Uncheck the box next to Send me ‘Webshots Weekly’ emails. Personal information may also be modified.

To sign out of Webshots, click on the sign out link at the top of the page.

Bullcrap.

So basically, since their unsubscribe mechanism doesn’t work, I have to go to my account, which apparently will exist forever, and blank out all my info to approximate getting rid of the account.  Yeah, thanks!  Why would a company do this?  I would think that companies like this, who try to steer people away from free accounts, would do some kind of regular purging, like Yahoo! Mail and Hotmail do, where if you don’t log into your account in a couple months or so, it gets deleted.  I’d think they’d want to continually free up space taken up by “delinquent” accounts.

I did find a feedback form and typed this:

I have tried many times to unsubscribe from your newsletter from both the unsubscribe link in the e-mail, as well as going to the My Account page on Webshots.com.  None of the newsletters are marked as subscribed, yet I still am receiving the e-mails.  Since I can’t even delete my free account, I have no choice but to send feedback via this form and hope that someone actually reads these.

Unsubscribe me immediately.

I highly doubt this will work, so I’m just going to change my e-mail address to one from Mailinator, and hope that this shakes them off my Gmail account.  And if it doesn’t, I’m just going to report them as spam to Gmail.

A. I HATE websites that force you to sign up with them just to see photo albums, or other content.  I understand that they have to figure out a way to profit from their venture, but this is NOT the way to do it.

B. I HATE websites that don’t even have a working unsubscribe form for their spam newsletters.

C. You know it’s a bad sign when the website has buried their contact information or tech support page.

No offense to Webshots users, because I know there are a lot of people who enjoy the service (and take very nice pictures), but I think Webshots, the company, absolutely SUCKS.  I can’t believe they are a C|Net company, because the tech news part of C|Net is pretty good.  One of their main netcasts, Buzz Out Loud, is one of my favorite netcasts.  But Webshots is junk.

If you want a free site to post your pictures on, I would recommend Tabblo.  They have a really nice set up, with no limits on bandwidth or storage (that I know of), pretty nice iPhoto-looking album templates, and the ability to share your albums without forcing people to sign up for a Tabblo account.  AND you can download full-resolution pictures if the settings allow it.  No downsizing pictures and locking away the originals.

Of course, there’s always Flickr, where you can share public albums, also without forcing people to sign up for a Flickr account.  If you make the album private, your friends and family will have to sign up with Flickr.  And there are limits to the free accounts.

Anyway, there are many other sites to share pictures from; I highly recommend staying away from Webshots, unless they make some major changes to their tech support and account management.

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17 responses

  1. Jezlyn,

    Actually, you do not need to sign up for a Webshots account to view another users album.

    Regardless, I have forwarded your post to customer support and will see what we can do to stop the mailings you appear to be still getting.

    Best,

    Webshots Public Relations

    November 1, 2006 at 11:48 am

  2. MSfromtheOC

    Change the email to the CEO of the organizations. Then send him/her an email explaining why.

    MSfromtheOC

    November 4, 2006 at 8:08 pm

  3. heyy yaar do you know how to delete an webshots account ??

    it would be great if you can just drop a mail at golden_vulture@yahoo.co.in

    i just cant find it in your blog !:)

    Thankz again ..

    ~~~God Bless ~~~

    May 11, 2008 at 7:31 am

  4. IMP

    I’m just going to post pornographic images on my account and report the photos. If they won’t let me disconnect, I’ll get myself kicked out. I just hope this stops the mail.

    June 12, 2008 at 4:21 pm

  5. Jim

    Actually, there is no way to contact tech support, period, premium member or not. I’m unable to use the site at all because I can’t open the pictures I downloaded. If you have a Mac, don’t throw away your money on this site.

    October 9, 2008 at 1:20 am

  6. John

    I gotta agree that I now despise Webcrap. Have tried many times to unsubscribe from their spam, as well as to even changing my email address (does nothing).

    I hope they all rot in hell….

    November 4, 2008 at 7:05 pm

  7. lianne

    This is what Andrew J. at webshots wrote me in Feb 09:
    “We are sorry to hear you’re experiencing problems with updating your account. Our engineering team is actively working to resolve this issue. We appreciate your patience as we work through these problems.”

    Since nothing changed I complained again and below is what Dennis R. wrote back to me in May:
    “I apologize. We have not been able to correct the problem you are having where some customers recieve alerts although they’ve have not requested them. I’m sorry for the inconvenience.”

    What do you mean “sorry for the inconvenience?”
    I happen to be a paying member.

    Below is what I suggested to solve the problem:
    The issue of being unable to unsubscribe is VERY easy to solve if you simply change the text on the alerts subscription page below:

    How This Page Works

    * What are you looking for on Webshots? Sign up for an alert and get the content via email or RSS (mobile phone coming soon!). It’s that easy!
    * Tip: Click the �� icon for a description of the alert.
    * Tip: Newsletters are different than alerts; click “newsletters” on the left-hand menu

    Change this into:

    How This Page Works

    * What are you looking for on Webshots? Sign up for an alert and get our free alerts the rest of you entire life! Yes, that’s right: Get the content via email or RSS (mobile phone coming soon!) and we simply don’t let you unsubscribe ever! It’s that easy!
    * Tip: Click the �� icon for a description of the alert (just know: once you have subsribed, the buttons don’t work anymore).
    * Tip: Newsletters are different than alerts. If you want more spam from us, also click “newsletters” on the left-hand menu

    So there! Please go ahead and make that simple change.

    I just can’t wait, it is so simple!!

    May 20, 2009 at 3:32 pm

  8. lianne

    Dennis R let me know today that he “updated” my email address because it was not the same as was on the record. That’s right, Dennis, because I changed it yesterday!! I nevertheless got alerts to my old email address this morning.

    Folks, Webshots was purchased by American Greetings in 2008 for $45 million. Webshots is not some little guys in their bedrooms maintaining a website. I let Dennis know that they can’t tell me they don’t know how to fix this problem – and that I will keep posting on the internet until they fix it.

    May 21, 2009 at 10:00 am

  9. lianne

    This is the profile of Zev Weiss, CEO of American Greetings.
    http://people.forbes.com/profile/zev-weiss/4745

    He makes 1.5 million a year. I am sure he’s the one that can fix this issue with alerts!

    May 21, 2009 at 10:05 am

  10. Dee

    I feel your pain.
    I had some photos that were marked PRIVATE on Webshots….(once they made changes in 06, being a Mac user, I could no longer use the site. SWEET.

    While I was still a paying member, I contacted them and told them I can no longer upload photos. They asked me what kind of computer I was using. I said, MAC.

    THEY SAID WEBSHOTS NEVER WORKED WITH MAC..which is bull, b/c I had an account with them since 03.

    In 06, with the changes, it seemed that Webshots suddenly became incompatible with Mac.

    ANYWAY. Long story SHORT.

    I had marked all my remaining photos/albums PRIVATE.
    Recently while googling some birds with my town name, imagine my horror when MY PHOTOS SHOWED UP IN THE IMAGES !! I clicked, it took me to WEBSHOTS..

    I signed in…and checked all settings. All of my remaining albums were MARKED PRIVATE yet SHOWING UP IN PUBLIC SEARCHES!!

    I, like you, could not contact Webshots.
    I just deleted all of my photos after downloading them to my computer.

    Thanks for the tip, though. I am going to change my personal info . being that I can’t even DELETE MY FREE WEBSHOTS ACCOUNT.

    IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO DELETE A FREE WEBSHOTS ACCOUNT!

    thanks for a great post, btw.

    July 3, 2009 at 12:07 pm

  11. Webshots is junk.
    It was decent years ago but has progressively gotten worse.

    There’s a reason that there is no option to remove your account once you have one.

    September 29, 2009 at 6:41 pm

  12. I signed up (NOT premium) & am supposed to get 5 free downloads per day. Went thru ‘hell’ getting log-in to work, etc. When find regular pic I want & click download it takes me to a pay screen for Premium. No way past this.

    Webshots needs to be SHOT! Hope they go out of business.

    December 17, 2009 at 10:50 am

  13. Help !!
    I uninstalled Webshots from PC but am not able to delete my photos.
    I followed the instructions for this process. There is delete option to the right of any of my photos.
    Customer Service link is dead !! Any help would be appreciated

    March 14, 2011 at 7:32 am

  14. Sorry, that should have read “There is no delete option …”
    jagr53

    March 14, 2011 at 7:37 am

  15. jessica melo

    i been trying to get banned from webshots for ever it doesn`t work,.webshots is a nerve racking site i`m even afraid to look to see whats left everyday!!photos go up today tomorrow they are gone.sure i tried just to upload pictures that i took myself that doesn`t workthey claim that i downloaded them from the net.do i hate webshots?Yes don`t be surprise if you see my name on cnn or fox news!!someday i`ll just go into their place of work and start shooting.sorry to say that but it will happen someday.from this day forward i`ll just use webshots to load porn stuff i had-it with these jerks.

    April 27, 2011 at 5:58 am

  16. Mike Collins

    I have a premium account and cannot find a way to cancel it…Cancel button does not work and feedback tells you to contact customer support which is just a revolving door that leads nowhere and to no contact. These people quite simply…are assholes. They are owned by American Greeting cards and I would recommend staying away from both companies.

    December 19, 2011 at 6:48 pm

  17. LenaD

    This site sucks. I spent quite a long time trying to find how to delete an account and there is no way to do so. I can’t even delete MY photos!
    And when I went to search for customer assistance or support and there was NOTHING.

    Its obvious that they deliberately created these accounts in a way where you can’t delete them. This is just another scam method to trap the public. ANOTHER BUNCH OF WORTHLESS, BLOOD SUCKING, PARASITIC ENTITY.

    August 22, 2012 at 7:36 am

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