Smugmug subscription fee increase, Netflix bombshell style!

by Dolwolfian Photography

Hello guys,

Received this Friday the following E-mail from Chris MacAskill, co-founder and president of Smugmug:

Hi Bertrand Van Isterdael,

For the first time in 7 years, we’re raising the price of SmugMug Pro subscriptions, something we tried hard not to do.

We know $100/year is a lot and personally, if I were asked to pay more for a service, I’d want to hear from the person responsible for the decision.  That’s me, so I placed my dSLR on a tripod, and looked it right in the lens, imagining it was you.  I tried to offer a peek inside SmugMug and our thinking:

Because storage, engineering and support costs are so much higher for pros who sell at a markup, we split pro accounts in two: Portfolio and Business.

1. Portfolio is still $150/year (or $20/month) and still provides access to our pro labs for both you and your visitors, plus pro features like watermarking.

2. Business lets you set prices and earn profit.  It will be $300/year (or $35/month) for new customers, but existing subscribers who set prices will be asked to renew at $250/year (or $30/month) beginning October 15, 2012.

It looks like you’ve set prices so we’re guessing you’d choose to renew at the Business rate.  If we guessed wrong, you can always downgrade in a few seconds by going to your Account Settings.

There are more details and a discussion on our blog, and our Heroes are standing by to answer questions. If you’d like to make sure I see your question or comments, just put “attn: Baldy” in the subject.

We love that many of you have been with us for nearly 10 years, and it’s stunning to see how far we’ve come together.   The silver lining in this increase is it lets us invest more engineering into SmugMug, which is exactly what we’re doing so we can make better improvements, faster.

Thanks for being a part of the SmugMug family,

Chris MacAskill (aka Baldy)                 Co-Founder & President

You can imagine that he didn’t took long for that a tsunami of unhappy customers storm social medias and forums for complain for this huge increase of subscription price! On twitter the #Smugmugged was trendy. For be fair Smugmug as his usual transparency opened a uncensored forum and Chris MacAskill (Co-Founder & President) even posted a video on you tube with already a lot of dislike!

Even if this E-mail was sent late Friday just before the long Labor Day week-end this bold announcement didn’t quite go well over the customers!

A so bold huge increase with nothing in return or only future promises and with so many lately issues remind the Netflix catastrophic move!

It’s quite surprising from Smugmug as they have been quite a “friendly” minded company who’s quite rare but I guess even more rare after this bold move who will cost them big!

Only on the Smugmug forum over 200 people complained and announced their move to other company as Zenfolio.

Ironically a lot of customers moved from Zenfolio to Smugmug before they improve their customization but now the wave will go the other way as they got a free boost campaign from their concurrent!

And wait after the week-end when everybody will learn the move of Smugmug….

Even if they have built over the years a tie relationship with their customer the bottom line in these difficult economic time it’s the money and this kind of huge increase with nothing in return will not go well at all!

Dolwolfian Photography