I started using Photobucket a couple of weeks ago. Great, they give you over 20 gigabytes of storage space before you have to upgrade to Photobucket Pro! Pro costs $24.95 a year, when and if you have to upgrade.
Or so I thought. What they don't tell you is that you only have "10 gigabytes of bandwidth" a month, whatever that means -- can you only upload 10 gigabytes? No, I had only uploaded about 3 gigabytes. Can you only link to 10 gigabytes? No, again I had only linked to about 3 gigabytes. So what the hell are they talking about?
The first I had heard about this ambiguous limit on usage was when I received a warning message this afternoon saying I had less than 3 gigabytes of bandwidth left. I thought this was dirty pool since I had never heard of any kind of limit before except for storage capacity. I emailed them and told them what I thought of this, that I would look into their competitors. A couple of hours later, when I came back, my Photobucket account had "exceeded its band width," which caused all of my linked photos (including my blog background photo) to be replaced with an obnoxious graphic (see above, right).
Since I had linked my blog background to an image on Photobucket, my entire background became a mosaic of that ugly little image above, rendering my blog unreadable. Of course, to fix it all I had to do was pay Photobucket $24.95. The alternative was to allow all of my photo links to be inoperative until October 31.
$24.95 is not a lot of money. However, I RESENT the use of heavy handed tactics to force me to pay it, i.e. a nasty surprise that temporarily rendered my blog unreadable and my best graphics replaced with that ugly image above. Tonight I will replace the broken links with images placed elsewhere.
And I will buy an upgraded account, it just won't be from Photobucket. If anyone has suggestions on an alternative, please let me know.