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Video on blog was $20, now $80. No notification = Bad business.

  1. I just read:

    "Space Upgrade...

    "To upload and embed videos directly onto your blog, you need to purchase VideoPress. The new policy is active since May 6, 2009. All video blogs with active space upgrade before or on May 6, 2009 automatically receive a 1-year free VideoPress subscription."

    So does that mean that as of May 6, 2010, all my videos will be yanked? That is pretty sad considering the contract I signed up for with the space upgrade would enable me to upload & share video. That's the product I bought. That's the product I have.

    Is WordPress now telling me that they changed the contract between us, without due notification of the revocation of my rights and capabilities, and WordPress will flip a switch killing a good portion of my blog content unless I fork over another $60 a year (on top of the space upgrade $20) !!!

    That's pretty sad stuff if it is true. Very out of character for the "underdog*" to do such shady business practices.
    *http://en.wordpress.com/about

    I would have expected that those who were early adopters and bought into the space upgrade when it enabled video would be grandfathered until the blog was terminated, or they stopped renewing the space upgrade– just like cell phone contracts keep the initial agreement going after the contract ends. They don't say, "at the end of your 2-year contract, we're gonna take away your capabilities unless you pay us an additional $60 a year" like WordPress is doing.

    It was never presented like an "initial offer" that will change after something like "90 days" or 1 year. There was no notice when I bought in to this that said, after 1 year rates will change. No. My agreement was Space Upgrade = video on blog. That's the product I bought.

    That's really skeevy business and I seriously hope WordPress reconsiders their stance on this.

    The blog I need help with is littlesophia.wordpress.com.

  2. Volunteers ie. your fellow bloggers obviously have no role to play in the setting of corporate policies. We answer questions and provide technical support -- we do NOT provide emotional support. Please direct your communications to the folks who have the authority to deal with them ie. Staff http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/

  3. There was a notification about this, plus I recall a note suggesting that the already uploaded videos will not be yanked out from your blog if you do not purchase the upgrade.

  4. And what of that Space Upgrade... if I upload video, and WordPress compresses it, do they keep the original and the compressed version? What if I don't want or need a high-bandwith HD version?

    WordPress charges for space, and video is a HONKIN bit of space, but they do not devulge how the video is managed, offer any tools to manage it, or allow the user to make any decisions about the videos other than existing- or deleting. Can I choose heavier compression for smaller file sizes? No. Can I choose widescreen SD as opposed to HD? No. So WordPress can choose very light compression, big files and in pretty short order, your $20 space upgrade has to become a $50 space upgrade to hold all the video.

    There's a whole lot of data management here that we're being charged for, but have no control over.

  5. Please communicate directly with Staff as they are THE only ones who have all the facts. http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/

  6. Way not just go the free route and upload your video to a 3rd party site like i.e. Youtube, Vimeo, and just embed it on your site

  7. Because that's an extra media management step that I avoided by paying for the Space Upgrade.

  8. Interesting dichotomies:

    Automattic, Inc. pays a staff of more than 40 people.
    In November 6,380,052 posts were made,
    1,390,120,928 pages were served from WordPress.
    That's serious computing horsepower.
    Yet Automattic.com, WordPress.com, etc
    are owned by: "Matt Mullenweg, PO Box 5446..."

    It's a major business being treated like its a hobby.
    You can change pricing whenever you want when it's a hobby.
    Not when it's a business with hundreds of thousands of paying customers.

  9. Please communicate directly with Staff as they are THE only ones who have all the facts. http://en.support.wordpress.com/contact/

  10. Do I have to or three copies of a single video counting against my allowable space?

    - - -
    "we are happy to announce that we have encoded all of our video inventories in Theora/Ogg format as well as the usual mp4 formats."

    http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2009/10/21/videopress-supports-ogg/

  11. letmeexplainthat
    Member

    @timethief

    You have already told the same thing 3 times. We all know about contacting support.

    Please let him express it! There are others here who would want to know about this..

  12. TimeThief, I had replied, to you directly after ismailmail, but I do not see it here.

    I HAVE communicated directly with support. They have been gone for 9 days and have a backlog of stuff to wade through.
    http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2009/12/18/support-holiday-hours/

    ismailmail, I'd like to know what sort of notification was made because I have a paid agreement between me and WordPress. With any other financially binding agreement, it takes written notification, and both parties have to agree to the change in terms. I haven't received any written agreement updates from WordPress, nor any direct e-mail. And that's what's required when you pay cash for an offered service, and the seller of the service wants to change what they provide.

  13. Like TT has said, you'll have to communicate with staff. Any volunteer here who could give you an answer would just be pulling out of their ass. We haven't the faintest idea.

    Except that I suggest you read the terms of service again; there's a clause in there about changing offers.

  14. Nothing gets yanked, you just cannot upload any more.

    As for changing pricing, every company I have ever dealt with changes prices be that Apple for their computers or my local store. We do try and communicate all changes and we always err on the side of the purchaser in extending upgrades where we feel it is right.

  15. Thanks Mark. I have been reading http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/videopress/

  16. Mark, Thank you for chiming in. Every company changes prices? Apple? They may change the price of their computers, but it only matters if you haven't bought it yet. Otherwise, you make a price/product choice and paid a price for a product. That doesn't work at all.

    WordPress offered a service- Space Upgrade enables video on a WordPress blog.
    At NO point in the beginning was it offered as a "beta test" with information that the price to have video on our blogs will triple, or quadruple.

    This would be like your local cable company offering "tiers" and if you want more than the basic tier, like movies, you pay an extra $20 a year. Okay. I do that. Then, they CAN'T decide, in the middle of our agreement, without prior notification, that the movies will cost 3x the basic rate, in addition to the basic rate. It's simply against the law. Don't worry, I'll be contacting the FTC for you.

    TimeThief, thanks for the link. Clearly not a notice sent out those those who were actively paying for a product, nor is it a clear change in policy. In fact, subscribers to the Space Upgrade would literally have no way of knowing about this casual post unless they were in a daily search for possible changes to policy. This is not the way customers should be treated.

    Let's look at the wording:
    "The video feature was part of the space upgrade previously and for those that helped us test it we have now extended a one-year free video upgrade. We just want to make sure existing video users can continue to use it without any hassle. For new users, the video upgrade costs about 5 bucks a month."

    I like how it's "about" $5 a month because, across the whole year, it's only 3¢ shy of $60 so it's (3¢ ÷ 12 or) $4.9925 a month. But I digress.

    It's clear that video was part of the Space Upgrade.
    For NEW users, the video upgrade costs $5 a month.
    Nowhere does it clearly explain that those who purchased the Space Upgrade will now NO LONGER have the ability to upload video without paying an additional $60 in addition to the $20 for the Space Upgrade to keep the videos they have already uploaded. It does not address what happens to already uploaded video if the ransom, er, new fee structure is not paid.

    This casual paragraph reads like a college kid changing the fee structure of his fledgling service by a few bucks, and assuming everyone will just go with it. No real explanation needed, no cost/service explanation. No terms of service. Just a happy note that we've given those who have the Space Upgrade a "one year free Video Upgrade" that we didn't ask for, pay for, and didn't need because we are already paying for a service that, when purchased, said it included video- with no note as to it would be removed after some "testing" that he mentions.

    This just makes me more and more pissed off.

    "Please communicate directly with Staff as they are..."

    Yea, Yea. I already did that, and I also fired off a direct e-mail to Matt using the address he provided to INTERNIC for his domain registration for his personal web sites- Automattic, WordPress.com, etc.

    As of yet, the only "official" response has been on this forum.
    Ironic, isn't it.

  17. Littlesophia, if you're serious about growing an audience for your videos then it's best to go the youtube route. Your YouTube posts will drive traffic to your blog in far greater numbers than simply uploading them on the WordPress platform. That's one of the reasons I didn't renew - and therefore missed all this price increase hassle entirely. I think had I stayed on and run into this like you have, I'd have dropped it on price grounds, because it now seems like way too little bang for the buck. On Youtube if you have good video there is no noticeable difference in quality compared to WordPress, and more people see the videos. Simple.

  18. @littlesophia those who paid for a 1 year space upgrade, back when video was included, got what they paid for. More so, in fact, since they got a free 1 year VideoPress upgrade as well.

    We're not offering new subscriptions to the old upgrade now that VideoPress is a separate upgrade of its own. But everyone who subscribed to the old one got more than what they paid for.

  19. You know, I never did get that. What was the purpose of charging another $20 for the video upgrade, when you still need to buy the space upgrade to do anything with it? (I'm not complaining, and I don't mind, like lettershometoyou, I use blip.tv to share my videos, I'm just curious).

  20. tbol3 you don't need the space upgrade to use the VideoPress upgrade. Only if you want to upload more than 3 GB of video files.

  21. Look at that. response tally is:
    direct to Support & Matt — 0
    WordPress staff replies in the forums — 2

  22. Solutions? 0.

  23. @letters... Our blog is a personal family blog. Posts are restricted and keeping the video on WordPress was the only way to ensure it wasn't visible outside of our intended audience.

    Oh, and I agree, $60 a year for video hosting is a huge jump.
    Compare that to the costs for any other consumer video hosting service which, for the biggies, are zero. So I was fine with the $20 because I needed the space anyway.

    I havent priced disk space ont he internet but one check of Amazon S3 is
    First 50 TB $0.150 per GB / month.
    That's 15¢ a gigabyte on Amazon.
    WordPress' Space Upgrade is $4 a GB.
    So I guess the VideoPress pricing makes sense. ;-)
    (or maybe WordPress ought to resell Amazon S3 space at $200% profit)

    @tellyworth... If you look at it from _now_ I can see your viewpoint.
    If you look at it from the original viewpoint that, a $20 Space Upgrade gives you video. Okay, I pay for that. Oh, wait, suddenly, and without any direct notice, it doesn't. What the hell?

    It's like AT&T offering unlimited data for $20 a month. That's the service. You buy it.
    And then, without any notice to you, suddenly you can't push photos to facebook or your blog. Well that's because the owner of AT&T decided that the test is over and that pictures or video now cost $60 and the space to keep them costs $20. He did mention it in passing on one of the thousands of pages and posts on the company's web site. But didn't feel any reason to let you know that the service you paid for isn't going to do what they said it would when you bought it. No formal announcement. You should just pay $80 for what you were originally told would cost $20.

    You know how the phone companies handle this?
    The contract you signed is honored till you change it.
    Even if you pass the 2 year end, the prices and services you were offered remain yours till you need to... add a handset, change your minutes, etc, which will NOW be at the new terms / rates.
    When all the carriers made 9pm the new "night" of "nights & weekends" I still had 7 pm for nearly a year after my 1 year contract ended because that's what I was offered when I bought my service. I was grandfathered in at the rate/service that I was originally offered. They honored the deal they offered me & I bought.

    That's all I want here. Honor the service/price agreement I was promised.
    WordPress can charge new customers anything they want, and those people can make their own cost/performance assessments based on that.

    Oh, and, @Tellyworth, I agree that the service is very good. Video is good. In fact, that's part of the problem that @tbol3 notes: the need for all that space.

    As Matt revealed in his casual post on this issue: "when you upload a video... we’ll crunch it into several different formats just right for streaming on the web, DVD quality, HD quality, and even optimized for iTunes and Miro."

    Can I delete all but the one version I want to save space? No. Who decided that my one video upload would have 5 + versions stored and counted against my available space. Looks like you'll need a Space Upgrade more than ever, even if you "officially" don't need one with the VideoPress upgrade.

    You know, it just made more sense the old way: "Video is included in the Space Upgrade." Because, well, if you're uploading video, you're gonna need a lot more space a helluva lot faster than if you were just pushing a couple appropriately compressed images per post.

  24. Raincoaster & Timethief, I appreciate the time you spend on these forums and my beef is not with you or the other volunteers like SacredPath who offer their time and knowledge to help.

    I agree, Solutions = 0 but not through any fault of those like you who are dedicated to make WordPress a great place to create.

    My beef is with Matt & those who,
    A) enacted a rate/service change not indicated when the service was originally offered & purchased,
    B) never directly notified any of the paying customers who were already relying on that service,
    C) failed to honor the agreements that were sealed when the service was paid for by the customers.

  25. I quite see your point, and thanks for that. WP.com is a great service with communication skills that need improvement. I've clashed with them over that issue myself from time to time.

  26. Monday, Noon, central. Still no direct response from the mothership.

    I hope they realize they way they did what they did wasn't in the spirit of "awesome features and improvements that you see here every month."(1) Maybe they're discussing ways to straighten this out, and how to best inform those who still don't know they won't be able to upload video after May 11th, 2010 (2) unless they are prepared to also pay $60 in addition to whatever Space Upgrade they may already be paying for.

    Maybe WordPress will do something great.
    Maybe they'll be like Apple and say nothing because customer's aren't worth clear, caring communication.
    I hope for the former.

    ———————
    1. http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2009/12/08/november-wrap-up-3
    2. http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/videopress
    Matt is not clear as to when the "one-year free video upgrade" actually started and when it expires. Just one of the many problems in this fiasco.

  27. Hold the presses, I received an e-mail from, well, someone named Nick. Didn't give leave a last name so I don't take it all official that they're really dealing with this issue. I'll pass along what he had to say because I'm sure there are many people interested in this issue, even if they aren't posting here.

    Nick said, and I still dont' know if this is the official WordPress word on this:
    "We will not delete your content and it will continue to be available even if you do not renew the upgrades. Where did you read that we would?"

    The point is that I never read WordPress wouldn't.

    For a company in the business of enabling communication,
    WordPress really needs to do better at communicating.

    Show me the page where you explain, in detail, by date:
    - When the Space Upgrade _no longer_ included video?
    - When those with the Space Upgrade were secretly gifted with a temporary Video Press upgrade?
    - When will that VideoPress upgrade end?
    - What will you do for those who paid for the Space Upgrade thinking it was providing Video when, in reality, it was a much more expensive VideoPress upgrade they never knew they had that was doing the work?

  28. If there are blogs about WordPress for those who use the service, let me know so I can inform them of this issue and they can write about it what they want. If they don't think it's an issue, no coverage. If they see that their readers may be surprised when they can no longer upload video, and then further stunned that it'll cost an extra $60, then they can post a news tidbit about it. But I don't know who to tell.

  29. @littlesophia I agree that some of the finer points of VideoPress are not well documented. We're working on that. (We'd rather fix stuff than make press releases)

    Re your questions about when each upgrade started and finished, those are answered (briefly) here:

    http://en.blog.wordpress.com/2009/05/11/videopress/

    Space upgrades purchased after that date didn't include video. Those who had active space upgrades on that date got a free 1 year VideoPress subscription, starting then. It wasn't secret, it was posted on our news page and shown in dashboard notifications.

    "we have now extended a one-year free video upgrade" - in other words, starting on that date, and lasting one year.

    Thus, everyone who purchased a space upgrade when it was advertised as providing video did in fact get a VideoPress subscription that lasted at least as long as their space upgrade subscription. No active subscribers lost the ability to upload video, none were slugged with an extra $60 fee.

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