New Site: Graham Hobson – Head of Technology

By PhotoBox 7 years ago50 Comments
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Hope your holiday weekend went well – it sure made a change to see the sun down here in the south.

I have decided to make a post to address some of the issues highlighted on this blog. As you are all aware we have launched a new version of our website to mixed responses. First the history: our old site was in operation for nearly 8 years. At the beginning of 2007 we started to build a replacement site. We wanted it to be a new platform to offer great new features and products to our customers for the next 5 years and beyond, and to make it easy for all users: pro and novice.

That site started to appear for some UK users during April and is now active for all of you.

To date we have received feedback from a number of different groups: a group of UK members who we migrated during April, survey response from UK members migrated over the past week and feedback from members migrated in France and Germany over the past few months. Generally the feedback has been positive, with only 16% of UK respondents preferring the old site. We have also seen record levels of ordering activity.

But clearly, based on your feedback below, many of you on this blog feel unhappy about some aspects of the new site. I am confident that we are already on the way to addressing many of these points.

The challenge now is to set some priorities, and make changes to the new site where necessary in order to respond to your feedback, and to improve the service further. Whilst we have an ambitious plan going forward, the plan for immediate improvements in the next month or so is pretty clear, so I thought I’d let you know what’s coming up.

Pixellated thumbnail images

This was caused by the process of moving over to the new site, which uses larger images (so your smaller images looked “fuzzy” when displayed in a larger space). We had several hundred million photos to convert but that process should be completed by Thursday this week. Please be assured that the original, full-res image has not been changed in any way by the move to the new site.

Album sharing

Again, there’s been problems caused by some people being still on the old site. Everyone with shared albums will be fully migrated by the end of the week, at which point all albums shared with you will be there for you to view again.

Large-quantity photo orders

It’s clear this and performance have been your main concerns. You should therefore know that we plan to go live with an improved way of ordering prints in the next 2 weeks. This will reintroduce the features you have expressed concern about, specifically, the ability to tick one, many or all images in the basket, then rotate, resize, delete or shrink-to-fit all of them in one click. We’ll also be introducing larger thumbnails during the ordering process so that cropping effects are easier to see.

Performance

Originally we designed the new site to be very “active” and to work much more like a desktop application supporting features like drag-n-drop and content updating without having to load a new page. Unfortunately some browsers support this type of site better than others and we know that the performance is unacceptable for some of the people posting below. We are doing a bit of a U-turn on this based on recent feedback.

You should expect a progressive improvement in performance of the new site starting with a major step at the end of this month. Our old site was causing us a few headaches towards the end, but it was fast so we set ourselves a hard standard to live up to. It may take us a little while to get back to normal, but I’m positive we’ll get to the performance you want soon.

Postcards

Finally, we’ll be steadily bringing in great new products and bringing back some old ones, the first of which being postcards later this month. Apologies for the delay, but I hope you’ll like the new version, which will have all the old features, plus more.

There’s much more to come of course, but I hope you’ve found this post useful. Either Mark or I will update again soon. Anybody out there who knows us will already be certain we’re completely focussed on making the new site as successful as the old one. We’re equally certain we’ll get there!

I appreciate that is has been a frustrating time but please be assured that we do agonise over every piece of negative feedback, and will do our absolute best to create the new PhotoBox that you all want. And we do very much appreciate your feedback. You are telling us what our priorities are for the period ahead.

 

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50 Comments

  • C Griffith says:

    Well, I know you have some critics out here, and ok you may not be able to deliver everything we’re concerned about, but I appreciate you guys listening, thanks for that. Please keep doing so over the coming weeks to restore our belief in the site.
    Thanks
    Colin

  • Tom S says:

    Wow – you must have been gutted that you spent all that money on a new, flashy site and 16 per cent of your survey said they STILL preferred the old site! Head out the sand time boys – that’s a scarily high percentage for a project like this – especially if it’s a controlled survey, where respondents have been gently introduced to a new service, after being force-fed lots of expensively crafted marketing bingo words like “added value” and “It’s web two point zero, innit”.

    I’d be having serious words with those “best in the whole universe (honest) software engineers”.

    How much revenue do you lose if almost two in ten customers goes elsewhere? And what sort of customers are those 16 per cent? Low volume users or the high volume pros and semi-pros?

    Still nice to see you are taking some comments on board and prepared to do a bit of a U-turn on a few issues – although if you think reintroducing postcards is enough to win back the customers, you might be being a little optimistic.

    Happy firefighting.

  • Andy Duff says:

    Why was this not done before you launched? I think the damage has already been done. I’ve already started to use another site. I will need to see a massive improvement before I come back especially as promises made to me in the past were lies.

  • peter crymble says:

    Hi,

    Good to see you are sorting this out. Actually, the new site isnt that bad. It works better on my Mac than the old one did – I uploaded 400 photos using the Java uploader, something that has never worked before (I had to use FTP).

    2 things that are annoying (Safari on latest version of Mac OS)…

    1. No tick box for ‘shrink to fit’. That was essential when working with 300+ photos.

    2. When you do go into crop photo, it simply doesnt work. I tick ‘shrink to fit’ which it does, then save – but its not reflected in the shopping cart.

    So if you can speed the thing up a little and fix the above, this new site will be a great improvement.

    Peter

    p.s. maybe this is geeky, but liked the way it added stuff to the cart with the speech bubble!

  • tim fisher says:

    Early days, so some thoughts.
    1) http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/organise
    Please, don’t dumb down the English language!
    It’s Organise. No “z”.

    2) on the “your upload is complete” page and I select “All”, and then “Order Prints”, there’s no change in the screen so I assumed no prints had been checked out as 6×4 with white borders.
    If there was a window saying it’d been completed and they were now in my Basket, it’d have prevented me from duplicating the order!

    3) Can’t find a way of viewing all (1000 ?) the images in any given Album, and Customer Services confirmed this.

    4) If I want to collect and therefore not pay the courier charge, there’s no mention of this. I have fields to fill out, then I have to bother customer services and they have to refund the postage and then “pop down and tell them not to send the parcel out”. Waste of their time if you ask me!

    5) ….. that’s all for the moment. Hope that this is useful feedback. I’m sure there will be other “things” I’ll encounter over the next few weeks, so I’ll email you if that’s OK.

    Cheers
    Tim

  • Ian says:

    Hmmm… no mention of re-instating FTP access. Obviously not high up enough on your list to include in your post.

    Fortunately I have an email from Lawrence Merritt saying that it will be re-instated.

  • Timothy Parker says:

    Hi, Sadly, I believe us dialup users can longer be accomodated on the new site. Sometimes log ins require repeated page refresh before i get into the site, up to 15 mins later! Even then, when carrying out tasks, it is 50:50 whether clicking will work. I have tried broadband access, and there too, half the time, the browser crashes. Internet explorer vers. 6. timothy parker

  • Fiona Wyatt says:

    I’ve just discovered by accident that there IS a global ‘shrink-to-fit’ option; it’s under ‘My PhotoBox/my preferences/Crop images’ and is the Fit photos’ option. Great – BUT I discovered that I’d set it on an earlier exploration of the new site when I received an order this morning of prints ‘shrunk-to-fit’ that I didn’t actually want done so. The trouble is, the effect doesn’t show up on your basket item thumbnails (only when you open up an individual basket item). Now I know, I can use the option when required (good – as long as I remember to un-preference it when I don’t want it(!)). Three questions:-

    1) why doesn’t the shrink show up on the thumbnail as it used to?

    2) As recent blog comments highlight the ‘shrink’ tick-box as being missed by a lot of customers, why isn’t this ‘preference’ get-round pointed out somewhere?

    3) Why don’t costomer support point it out when asked?

  • seems like you are trying to address our (many) complaints, and for that I’m grateful, but after spending many thousands of piunds with you since your launch, I’m very disappointed by your recent developments if only that they were not tested sufficiently and the whole site was not finished (it still isn’t) before your ‘grand launch’ and backslapping ….. best of luck, but in the meantime i’ve had to jump ship because my business depends on customer service and quality, and you have let me down on both more than once since before Christmas ….. I MAY be back depending on how things go

  • Jack says:

    In reply to Tim’s comment about viewing of 1000+ images a page. IRRC there are issues with all browsers if you start to have that many images viewed on on page. It causes the browsers to become slow to respond.
    I take ~1000-2000 images each week and I find viewing them with ~200 per page adequate.

  • Andy says:

    I’ll be happy when I can upload & order without having to use 2 different browsers.

    Since switching to the new site uploads in IE7 no longer work, I did manage to get it working once by doing a complete reset in IE7 (and losing all my cookies, plugins & other settings) but now it’s back to ignoring me when I click on upload photos. So I have to upload with Safari but I can’t order with that as when I tick a photo in the album the tick appears briefly and then goes away again. Having uploaded in Safari I then switch to IE7 to complete the order, it’s just not good enough Photobox and needs sorting asap or I and, I suspect, many other customers will be looking elsewhere. I’ve already put one large order for 340 prints elsewhere because I simply couldn’t face the though of struggling with trying to order on here.

    FWIW the Image Uploader app works fine in IE7 with other sites such as Facebook and used to work fine with Photobox.

    I raised the issue with support and I was told to try using a 3rd browser which, to me, translates as “we don’t have a clue how to fix this” :(

  • …and just to add to my comments .. here is the sort of things being said on Pro Photography bulletin boards this week:

    “I have been using Photobox for some time for my printing requirements with great success and good results. It was easy to set up galleries and direct clients to the site so they could choose and order their preferred prints and get them delivered to their door without having to bother me.

    It was great. Worked well – it was really good for social events and the like.

    BUT!!!

    They have now migrated their web to web 2.0 – what a disaster!

    I don’t want to tag. I don’t want to “share”.

    I don’t want to add comments. I don’t want to belong to a “group”.

    For professionals that just want something that works and get
    good results it is a nightmare.

    The galleries that once were fine now display very blurred, soft looking previews. Not a good selling tool at all.

    Their help centre replies to my emails with some very confusing non complete
    sentences and grammatical structures.

    I think they might not have English as their first, second or even third language by the look of it. Not at all
    professional.

    What are the alternatives out there?

    I need a site that clients can access without having to download software. That they can use easily. That is web
    based. That does not require and technical expertise at all to buy prints.

    Just view, select, buy.

    Any ideas?”

    That is what you are up against in ‘professional’ land …

  • Louise Paton (Nic Photo) says:

    I have been using Photobox for some time for my printing requirements with great success and good results. I was often astounded by the speed at which orders were turned around and dispatched – I bored work collegues with stories of Photobox greatness!!! It was easy to set up galleries and direct clients to the site so they could choose and order their preferred prints and get them delivered to their door without having to bother me. It was great. Worked well – it was really good for social events and the like.

    BUT!!!

    Now you have migrated to web2.0 – what a disaster! For the numpties who use that unspeakable image “sharing” website (I cannot bring myself to utter its name) I’m sure they love it. I don’t want to “tag”. I don’t want to “share”. I don’t want to add “comments”. I don’t want to belong to a “group”. For professionals that just want something that works and get good results this is a nightmare. The galleries that once were fine now display very blurred, soft looking previews. Not a good selling tool at all. Your help centre replies to my emails with some very confusing non complete sentences and odd grammatical structures. I cannot even understand the replies to my queries – this is NOT professional

    What are the alternatives out their? I need a site that clients can access without having to download software. That they can use easily. That is web based. That does not require and technical expertise at all to buy prints. Just view, select, buy.

    Can you not run the two sites in tandem? One for the enthusiast and another for profesionals that want good quality, quick, easy, straight forward photo printing services?

    Please bring back the old site. It worked. It worked well. It was quick. If these issues cannot be solved. I’m off elsewhere. Please can you suggest to me viable alternatives to your service?

    I cannot believe that only 16% of people did not like the new site and prefer the old. I’m sure it is more. I know quite a few other professionals that use the site too and their views echo mine.

    I have lost orders from my professional galleries due to these issues. I cannot afford to lose any more. Please fix this site.

  • Chris says:

    Was this transistion from old site to new site actually project managed? I don’t think it can be because funnily enough if someone had Project managed this they might have taken into consideration your main stakeholder in all this, oh by the way if you are not sure who that is – it’s us your customers! If I treated my customers as badly as you have treated me, and judging by comments here, everyone else, I would deservedly be thrown out of my job. This is a complete farce.

  • Dudleyc says:

    Bring back FTP upload, super quick and efficient. Also JAVA upload doesn’t work on my preferred browser – Firefox Mac. OK in Safari – but I don’t like to switch just for one site. Otherwise seems like you’re on the right track with the changes.

    Would be nice to be able to change the quantity of a batch of photos already in the Shopping cart. Can change the size in one go, but not the quantity of all the pics. Have to go back to the album and add again.

  • Ian says:

    The new site is sooooo slow, you wait and wait, peering through that fog and guess what, when the album does open, lots of the images are missing, gone, they are no more, only tiny little icons in there place, so sad. I call myself ironbridge-digital-images and all the images of the Iron Bridge are no longer there. Now I’ll call myself, disappointed.

  • “Things You Should Never Do: rewrite your code from scratch”
    http://www.joelonsoftware.com/articles/fog0000000069.html

    This is a *classic* software engineering mistake. At least you’re in good company: remember Netscape?

    My peeve is/was the lack of Picasa support. Myself, my friends and my in-laws have all switched to a competitor. Bye.

  • Ian says:

    I’ve just noticed that there are not only images missing from the galleries on the new site, they are also missing from the old site, you know the one, the one that worked and was supposedly left alone so as not to interfere with the Pros and there livelihood.

  • Andy Law says:

    Does anyone know how to upload now?

    I’ve tried ie6 and firefox on mac and pc.

    FTP doesn’t work……..

    I’ve got print credits that run out in two days and I can’t upload anything.

  • Very disappointed with the slowness of the new site – every operation seems to involve a slow page refresh (using Mac OS 10.3.9 on an iBook G4), the blurry thumbnails, and the alteration to the page layouts of Stylebooks. We used to use Style books as a company brochure, but some of the most useful single pages with bleeds to the edges of the page are now gone. These books are not so big – I don’t want large margins around every picture. I do hope you will fix these issues, like a previous commentator I used to rave about the excellent service from Photobox.

  • First of all I would echo pretty much everything that Louise Paton said.

    I’ve got great respect for the speed of service and quality of prints. I’ve been using PB for probably around 3 years so in that time I’ve used a lot of different services, had occasional cause to talk with your customer service department and all in all I’ve been very happy.

    Tonight I’ve ordered around 120 photos from about 30 different order forms, taking photos from 2 different albums for each order. I’ve been reading file numbers and holding the cursor over the individual photos on screen to see which photo I’m looking at… and the ‘loading’ delay between the album and ordering and swapping between albums is killing me. Am I missing something or is this really the way it has to be now? Is it not possible to have the file number show below the thumbnail like it used to?

    It looks great, but I’d rather have something functional than pretty!

    I’ll try again in a month or so, but if it’s slow at that point I’ll have to look elsewhere for future orders.

  • David says:

    As a newbie about to use the Photobox site, because I like the straightforward and good value that the purelygadgets site has proved with previous orders, I thought I would take up the offer of ordering some photo prints from the recommended photobox link … I normally use other website providers …

    Having registered as a new customer with photobox, the next webpage had a Promotions tag highlighted. Having got me to register, there was an advertised second promotion if I introduce a friend … with a big red “100 free prints” tag. The same offer is also showing in a Home page “refer a friend” box …”100 free prints” .

    Clicking on to refer a friend, the “come-on” offer seems to be downgraded …

    Underneath a big photo of lots of happy people, with yet another “100 free prints, the wording changes to …

    “Get 30 free prints for referring a friend! … only THIRTY free prints … per referral.

    Yes! I am still getting something for nothing, you might say.

    WRONG!!! You want new customers for a very low intro cost!!

    This is either poor website management or someone thinks the public is stupid. In a highly competitive business environment, I can pick several suppliers to do the same job at the same quality … I use purelygadgets because I trust them to deliver what they say and advertise EVERY time.

    Perhaps I should be rethinking about using photobox (and purelygadgets again?) if this is the “new” approach to sharing business … and reputation?

    This may seem a strong response, but genuine mistakes can be made and you get a second chance …

    Deliberate rip-offs get just a chainmail letter of sent to all my friends.

    I need to place orders for items and prints … do I stop using both companies?

  • james says:

    Order placed 27th April, you took my money on the 27th, now May 8th and still no pictures or photobooks.
    Thats not service, its day light robbery!
    And you still wont give me a dilivery date.

  • Jo T says:

    What a retrograde step this has been.
    I want to order photographs – I tick the box but where the hell has the BUY button gone to?
    It’s slow it’s cluncky and very, very frustrating.
    You are in grave danger of losing a regular customer here!
    Jo.T
    After the Rain.

  • David Harding says:

    I’ve only just started using the new site and have yet to see any benefits over the old one – but several major problems.

    First it wouldn’t even accept orders, continually asking me to sign up or log in when I got to the checkout stage and then sending me round in circles. Your helpful people suggested this only happened with ‘non-supported browsers’; I use IE 7, and have had to change several settings and waste several hours just before being able to place an order.

    One vital feature from the old site is missing: the ability to send a personalised note to the recipient of the photos.

    Like many others, I’m now searching for alternative on-line photo labs. I’ll be happy to stay put if the problems are sorted but, like many others, would prefer the wider use of plain, intelligible, adult English. Just as an example, when first logging on to the new site I was told that my ‘stuff’ was being moved. Who writes this?

    Get the site working, put the emphasis back on straightforward print and product ordering without all these distracting peripherals, and I might be persuaded to keep using the service. Surely retaining existing customers who recommend you is worth something.

  • Victoria says:

    Really disappointed – tried all last week to start an upload – hung my system every time. Finally got in to upload 68 photos the other day, took four hours, got a message telling me all 68 had been uploaded and (you probably know the rest) then I could neither see nor buy them…. Phoned CS to see if I was missing something – you would think that buying was the easy bit! – to be told that they were having problems and uploads were not working. Newsflash guys – if uploads are not working, then put a message on the homepage or stop the upload facility till it’s fixed. I have tried to check the site today to see if all is OK – no info at all – have tried to call CS – no answer after 9 minutes…. Not about to upload again to end up with nothing so think I may be off elsewhere..

    I just want to say WHY WHY WHY? Your old site was fantastic, you won every award in the book for quality and service, we recommended you to friends and family … we all loved you. You know the old saying – if it ain’t broke? Well now it is. Please fix it soon.

  • Michele Warren says:

    I too have only just used the new site and am horrified. I only wanted to order a few photos but it took ages and crashed my browser at least once. Changing the print options didn’t always work correctly and one of the prints has arrived with the wrong crop.

    I know you’re working on this but I do hope the experience will lead you to great caution about this kind of redesign. Speed, reliability and robustness are far more important to me than fancy functions I didn’t want. I used to recommend you to friends but wouldn’t dare now.

  • Chris says:

    I’m pleased (!) that I’m not the only one with problems. Spent Tuesday morning with some friends – main topic of conversation – our problems uploading photos on your site. Mine upload ok – just to the wrong album. So I have to search all albums to find them.
    Please do better, I’ve recommended you to so many people, and now I’m beginning to regret it. And worry about the `stuff` (horrible word) that I have saved with you.

  • Jack Pedlow says:

    I’m afraid I’m just about to give up on your site – i uploaded photos last night & cannot yet access the album to edit.
    It was so easy before!

  • incident reference no 080501-00235

    dear graham hobson,
    i reported an incident via email on 01/05/2008 to your operative frida who has been more than diligent in trying to resolve this matter,however the missing 3 shared albums which failed to migrate from your old website to the new site of which you seem so proud have as yet failed to materialise.i do not understand why your technical team are taking so long to resolve this matter when you are advertising globally that by the end of this week all shared albums for people on the old site will be in place for those people.what on earth has happened to our shared albums!for us this transition from one site to another is extremely disappointing and not good enough.

    please resolve this matter for us

    mary birkett (mrs)

  • Graham says:

    As a new start-up business, I looked hard and long before committing to a particular company for most of my online printing. Having tried Photobox, not only have I used it ever since, but I have repeatedly sung its praises to other people. I was especially impressed by the quality of the product (crucial for helping to build my business) and the ease with which the site operated.

    Not sure what to do now, having really struggled with the ‘new’ site!

    Surely ‘improvements’ should be precisely that. If it wasn’t broke, why mend it.

  • I’m afraid I have to agree with nearly all of the comments on this blog. I have been using PB for over 5 years now and the old site worked well, it was easy to find your way around and you knew where you were at all times.
    I know that you must move with the times and improve your ratings on the WWW but I think you have dropped a rather large clanger with this one.
    I’ve just spent over 2 hrs uploading 36 images of 6 different sizes, some needed shrink to fit, some didnt. GOD I feel worn out trying to get my images to the right size and fit, it just takes too long. Another thing I’ve noticed is that my NTL discount is not being added to the total as it always has been. I know that this doesnt aply to everyone but with 3 million customers, there must one or two with the NTL discount and we all know that every little helps.
    To be fair, I have much better things to do with my time than waste a couple of hours trying to spend some money with you.
    I hope you get this fixed ASAP as I dont really want to move on but will if things dont improve.

  • Victoria says:

    Update on above – lovely e-mail from PB who have found my uploaded photos and saved them for me – possibly as an indirect result of my moan above! This is the kind of service we are used to, so please just fix/speed up the website now and we’ll all be happy campers… I don’t really want to go elsewhere!

  • john wheatley says:

    I am astonished that you have created a new site, and completely overlooked the pro galleries. I have just been reading some of the other comments, it would seem it has been as successful as terminal 5 Heathrow. My advice, would to scrap this new configuration, and re install the old version before you loose any more customers. This is just not good enough. I have just read you will return the pro galleries by the end of the summer – this is not good enough. Fix it tomorrow !!!

  • Emma says:

    Am I the only one with seemingly no problems uploading or cropping images but having a nightmare trying to pay for them?
    I have had a couple of emails achknowledging one order as “failed” as one as pending but the whole thing crashed before I could confirm it so I seriously doubt its really pending at all. How many confirm steps does one order need?! I’m buying prints not signing my life away – when I press confirm 2 times I really really mean it and don’t need a 3rd confirm option just to be sure especially when the whole site is taking so long to load with each click.

  • sarah says:

    I find the new site utterly abysmal. My entire family is in Australia and we rely on photobox heavily for album sharing and it is now ATROCIOUS. I am going to cut and paste the actual comments and GRAHAM CAN YOU PLEASE READ THIS!!!!!

    Great Auntie Val (Euroa): “I’m OK, but heart-broken as I cannot access your photos under the new website design! I tried everything and even got my IT neighbour to come and help. He eventually managed to get them up on my screen but I couldn’t look at them at the time and have again drawn a blank. I shall not give up: there must be a way in: with expert help , my neighbour again! He, Peter Ward, is very kind.”

    Cousin Andy & wife Jen (Sydney): “I noticed with the latest email photo album you sent, that PhotoBox have changed their web site. Only this time the log in to view the album took ages to load. (over 10 minutes). I actually had to completely exit from my browser and then re-log in before the page displayed as it should. This has never happened with the old web site design. Only this new one. I think the extended loading time was due to the new website design, but I just wanted everyone to be aware that it took a long time for the album to become visible. Just thought you should know (ding my bit for community service).”

    My Dad: (a farmer, who was fine using the old site despite not being technically able at all): ” I find the new photobox website difficult to access,eventually saw small images of your photos,not an enlarged slideshow as before.”

    My mum: can’t find her email but it was more of the same.

    CONSEQUENCE: I will be shifting elsewhere, to my disappointment and disgust. Why on EARTH change something that was working perfectly. You silly idiots.

  • David Boyce says:

    I think the old site was solid, not sure about all the new ajax functionality – it’s flash but I’m not sure it’s neccessary. I just want to get on an print my photos as quickly and simply as possible – but maybe I’m not a typical user.

    You might want to check the checkout process because I think you’re displaying content not on the https protocol (ie http) and so in IE it comes up with a warning about the page having both secure and insecure content.

    I understand FTP is coming back? Because I’ve never got on well with the activex control.

    I haven’t really looked at the new site in all that detail so these are just first impressions.

  • Mat C says:

    I’m really sorry but I’m going to have to use another online printing service. I’m so incredibly frustrated by how slow the site runs, I can’t use the wonderful FTP uploader any more, it’s taken me half an hour to order two photos and I can’t be bothered any more.

    Some of my friends call me Mr Photobox because I recommend you guys so much, and it breaks my heart to see what terrible, terrible job you’ve done of the new site. Maybe I’ll drop by in six months and see if you’ve improved things…

  • After all this hoohaa …… yesterday I upl;oaded one additional image to a pro album for an old customer … he rings this morning to say it’s not there ….. I say I saw it when I uploaded it in the album .. I try the link from my website to my pro albums and the image is not there ….. there are 138 when I view them on my Photobox ‘My Albums’ page .. and only 137 wehn my client views the pro album …

    So, I think, I will create a new album, upload it (the one image) to that and then ‘share’ that to the world, so that my longtime client can order an A3 image of this photograph .. click the ‘Share publicly’ button .. .and still the album doesn’t show up in my pro albums .. so I guess my pro-albums don’t work now then …

    What a huge pile of rubbish you have created with Ajax and Web 2.0 ….. just goes to show that there was nothing wrong with ‘boring’ Web 1.0 in the first place. Your business will fail amazingly fast now unfortunately, because you forgot the most important part of businesses when you all got so excited and expanded so fast ….. your customers.

  • Nina Calder says:

    I have written comments 3 times and 3 times the site has crashed before I have finished…This site is rubbish…I am hanging on for customer services..45 minutes so far..I am waiting more than a week for an answer to an e mail…The last e mail was sent by someone who did not speak English and had not understood the question…

    So many problems…Please get it together SOON

  • Nina Calder says:

    I was assured items left in my basket would not be lost but guess what, they are lost and I can not access the shared album they came from. I spent hours cropping the photos and working on them…It is so FRUSTRATING…50 minutes hanging on for customer services now…

  • Nina Calder says:

    How can I get my albums off your site???

  • I’m going to add my voice to the chorus of disapproval. I used to recommend PhotoBox to everyone, but now the site is so slow that I consider it unusable. The main new feature seems to be the “Loading in Progress. Please be patient” box. I certainly spend more time looking at that than getting anything done. The very existence of that box shows that your software developers had their priorities wrong.

    The sad thing is that Web 2.0 technologies, AJAX in particular, allow you to make a much more responsive site, avoiding the overhead of loading whole pages.

    There are a number of other niggles, like the loss of the ability to reset a crop to its original central position after you’ve changed it, but those pale into insignificance beside the intolerable slowness.

  • John L Jones says:

    Being new to Photobox, I ordered a large quantity of prints based on the ‘print & despatch’ same-day philosophy. Unfortunately this has not happened in my case, and my first experience of Photobox may well be my last.
    You cannot make claims that you cannot live up to!
    What are other people experiencing in turnaround times?

  • stacey says:

    it’s all going pear shaped!!! rang to check an order would be with me for a specific date before ordering – ordered, then had a call from a lady telling me (despite have an email saying my order was dispatched) that they can’t send it as the address is incorrect, this is the same address used on every order!!! What she didn’t do was leave a number, i did call a missed number on my phone, but i was answered in french, didn’t for one moment think it was Photobox and put the phone down ! Tried calling customer services, just left on hold for in excess of 20mins, tried emailing after 4 hours, no response, so tried calling again. To discover that no one can help as their French department is now closed until Monday and no-one knew what the problem was – how useful is that to someone that called in advance, had never changed their delivery address and has paid for delivery by 1pm, all because this work was URGENT! Because this piece was so time sensitive, there is no way in this world i would have ordered with Photobox had i have know that it was being dispatched from europe, having a mail order business myself i know the problems this can incur and it’s just not worth the risk – So Please Please Photobox, be more transparent with your customers, give us the choice to say yes or no. Furthermore I can’t abide the practice of surnames being made secret – the girl that stumbled through dealing with my query refused, until pressured to give me the Managing Directors surname, so bizarre, she knows my surname, is there a something we should know?????????

  • sarah says:

    As someone in Project Management, I’m guessing that those who managed this project have now “left the country and are not returning their calls” or if not you should be firing their sorry ‘behinds’! This is disgraceful – what happened to talking to your customers, and the big one – TESTING!!!! (or perhaps it was cheaper to get your customers to test once the site had been launched – if that was the case I’m guessing losing customers is more costly)

    I agree with others, you should at least (if at all viable) – turn on the old site again until all these issues have been rectified.

  • Vicky says:

    I’m so dissapointed with the new site. I really thought some of the basic issues would have been sorted out by now considering you are using the best software people!

    I’ve tried to be patient but i’m really looking to move now. I want to order pictures but i can’t even view them properly and certainly do not want to share them with friends any longer because it is so slow. The slideshow feature is terrible.

    I loved the old photobox – it worked!! I used to tell everyone about it.

    Hope the issues are sorted soon for everyones sake! I really don’t want to go elsewhere but leave it much longer and i’ll have to.

    .

  • Sam Wyld says:

    I’m afraid I’m not just disappointed but deeply upset. I have been creating a stylebook for about 8mths, charting my baby son’s first year. It was really special for us, as he was premature and at one stage we were fearful of losing him.

    I emailed as soon as I heard word of the new site and was reassured by email that I’d still be able to add images until 1st June – my son’s 1st birthday.

    Suffice to say, when I logged into the new site to add some more, I discovered I was unable to do this. I phoned customer support, spoke to a very fed-up sounding man who said a manger would call me back – he confirmed I had been lied to previously. I never received a call.

    I emailed twice further and didn’t even receive an incident report on these two occasions so called again. After holding for a personal record of 55mins+ I got through to the only customer support agent taking calls – what???????? (in spending all this cash on a sooper-dooper new site, have they sacked all their staff????). I also got nowhere.

    The kind lady, Iwona Bronicka, who bore the brunt of my displeasure has tried hard to help me but it would seem that not only is there NOTHING I can do but buy the darn thing (unfinished!) but she is also unable to access my ‘old account’ to add the free postage she ‘generously’ offered as compensation. (£1.99 – my follow-up phone call cost more).

    I have been credited two lots of free postage on my new account – like I will EVER be using you again!!!!!!

    I just want to say – congrats for having just about the worst customer service I have ever come across! There is more but frankly, I can’t be bothered! I am looking forward to ‘unrecommending’ you to all my friends and family!

  • Ken Pollock says:

    We have just used the new site for the first time and were very disappointed. It is slow, clunky and has lost some of the features we used on the old site.

    In the course of putting in the number of pictures required in the order, it twice seized up, and required us to go back to open the Photobox website afresh. This never happened with the old site. In fact nothing about the new site is really good – the old site was much better. We are very surprised that this new interface was launched, as it could not have been tested properly.

    Please bring back the old site!

  • Neil says:

    What a complete shambles. As an Orange customer, I still cannot log onto the new website, your customer services proudly say to still use the old one. The trouble is there is nothing on there!, nor can you upload images for printing either. All my albums (a considerable number) have disappeared (I have no idea where, nor does it seem, do you know either). After the shambles over the Christmas period with delivery delays, I would have thought that you would have thought this one through before inflicting more woe on your customers. Just how long are Orange customers going to have to wait before they can use the service again? Even joining again with a different e-mail address, does not allow me to upload anything.

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