Bumpy digital world


In my recent entry about the Singapore Zoo visit with Bernhard and Tatjana you could see that I bought two photos taken by official photographers. They were expensive (50 SGD for 2, with special offer to get one more for free), but I wanted to have them as a nice memory.

What intrigued my inner nerd was when the guy at the print shop said:

Guy: Here’s your receipt and see this code down here? You to this website and you can download the actual photos again.
Leo: Really? In full resolution?
Guy: Yes.

Hard to believe, but hey: if it’s true, it’s pretty darn cool.

So we got home from the zoo, I went tot the website pictureair.com and typed in my picture codes. But I only got an error message, stating that the code did not exist or that the photos were not uploaded, yet, and I should try again in 24 hours.

Okay, I thought, that’s fair.

But 24 hours later I got the same problem. Same on Tuesday.
So I wrote an email to the support team, asking them why I could not get access to the photos. PictureAir replied the same day, apologized and asked me for the following information:

  1. A photocopy of the receipt (with the photo codes on it)
  2. Name of Attraction
  3. No. Of Photos Purchased
  4. No. Of Adult/ Child in the Photo
  5. Colors of Clothes Were Wearing
  6. Photo Codes
  7. Receipt/order number
  8. Photocopy of your print photos /Photos of guests for face recognition

Look, I get they want to confirm I am the person who bought these photos and they want to have confirmation of that beyond the mere codes. But what they’ve asked there felt a little excessive. I mean, come on: when I am asked to share a copy of the photos I bought, why would I need to tell them how many people are on the shots and what they are wearing?!

I chose not to bitch about it, typed in all the information they asked (except the colors of the clothes) and attached a photo of the receipt and a photo of the print-outs to the email.

And today they replied:

Greetings from PictureAir. We are sorry for the inconveniences caused.
The code is working now. Please login to website and insert the following photo codes to retrieve your lovely photos!

Also you can find your lovely photos from attachments.
Thank you, we hope to see you again soon!

Same codes, and they did work now. I did not like that I had to sign up to the website just to get the photos, but I guess this was to be expected.
The photos are hardly full resolution, but they are decent enough and you can see them in the original zoo entry. In a way it makes you wonder whether they ever really upload those photos and only do so when somebody complains. I kinda imagine that not many people bother downloading them and I can imagine even less that somebody who downloads them would buy additional things on the website.

It still feels like a missed opportunity. What if this service was working much more flawlessly and would add some cool ideas what to do with these memories? Not sure what this would be, to be fair, but somehow I think there should be something more to it than what they do right now.

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