July 08, 2009

Flickr and Customer Service Lesson

Dear Flickr CEO:

I innocently violated your Terms of Service. When I started using Etsy.com to host my jewelry making hobby earlier this year, I thought it would be a cool idea to direct people from each image to my Etsy site! WOW, this was a BAD idea. I truly did NOT realize I was violating the Flickr.com Terms of Service and that my ENTIRE Flickr account would be terminated and not restored even if I would gladly delete all references to my online store on Etsy.

This goes to a larger customer service issue. When people innocently do something wrong it's generally a good thing to give them a second chance... Well, i guess that's not the case with Flickr. I asked the customer service rep if my account could be restored if I deleted all the references to my online Etsy store, and here's the response I received:


Account deleted for violation can not be restore.



Well, I guess all of the years of being a paid Flickr member and promoter, and someone who even received schwag for free from a Flickr rep to help promote Flickr, means nothing.

This is a really good example of customer service gone wrong.

I guess I'll just use Facebook for photo sharing now. Looks like more people are migrating from photosharing web sites like Flickr anyway now that Facebook is so much more popular...

Dr. Curtis Rogers,
(former Flickr user)


  1. Unbelievable - what a ridiculously rigid and shortsighted reaction from flickr. I'm really disappointed with them. You've been such a promoter of their services for so long. I can't imagine how many new customers you've sent their way over the years.

    Incredible that they didn't bother to notify you about the problem, especially as a paying customer of their service. And to send such a terse, downright rude response, is just such a bad way to do business.

  2. Oh wow, that's terrible!

    I do remember coming across the "no commercial bla bla bla" quote in the terms but still - no warning? Nothing? Brutal!

    I hope your situation gains enough attention for them to fix this! :(

  3. You should have paid more attention, or maybe been more active in the craft community. I know you're not the first one to violate the terms of service and have their account deleted. This is a lesson that you actually should read those TOS before agreeing to them, on any site.

  4. NOT COOL! Seriously not cool. Makes me glad I never went Pro yet - though I think about it all the time...