Name That New Kodak Gadget!

Years back I started to utilize the website ofoto to store my pictures. What a great service with its ability to share your photos immediately with others. Years later Kodak purchased the company and integrated it into its backend photo processing systems. I am still a loyal customer of what is now called Kodak Gallery but recently the company changed its policy, forcing users to order a certain dollar amount in order to keep from having their photos deleted. In my case the magic number was $20.

Interestingly I am a big fan of printing photos but haven’t had time to print much lately.

I do understand Kodak needs to make a living and I also understand how hard it is for a company which was a virtual monopoly to reposition itself in the digital era.

But rather than rush to print more photos this experience made me pause a bit. After all I am not thrilled to have a company change its policy on me after it told me there would be no charge to store photos. This is not what you call a stellar CRM experience.

This is probably the reason I didn’t act quicker and logged on today to find all my photos gone. Wiped. My kids being born… My wife as fiancĂ©, my cousins, parents, sister, friends. All gone.

The shocking screen I saw today

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I learned when I called the company at 1-800-360-9098 that my photos are actually not deleted but hidden. I suspected as much but I am still having seriously mixed emotions about the company. After all if they did delete my photos I would likely be on my way up to Rochester to have a frank talk with the CEO.

Its all fun and games until someone loses every photo they ever took

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I was told my photos should come back in 24 hours or so but I will not receive an email when they are restored. The operator suggested I keep checking online for when they appear. (See my thoughts on free time above)

If this happens to you, don’t worry. You see I was told 72 hours after the photos appear they will disappear and I have to make a purchase between the time the photos are there and aren’t. I didn’t ask how long they are kept hidden but I should have.

On a separate but related note, Kodak is looking for help from its community of fans to help it name its new pocket-sized video recorder. My first thought is the new Kodak – Better Late Than Never but I think this moniker may be a bit too long for a small device and not quite in line with the company’s business practices. Instead I invite them to have it use the above online photo storage practices and proceed to call it the the new Kodak iHostage.

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