This is a modified transcript of Episode #3 of Micro Biz, The Video Newsletter for Micro Businesses. Watch the video.
VIDEO HOSTING BLUES: Vimeo Enrages Customers, Trashes Brand!
What is up with Vimeo??? They are enraging even paying customers and trashing their own brand!
I’ll just warn you right off the bat -- this video review could accurately be described as a rant. Some people might even describe it as over the top, and that’s fair enough.
But I believe my experience with Vimeo also highlights a real issue for micro businesses which simply don’t have the resources to pay for video hosting, especially when starting up.
This episode started with a nastygram from Vimeo a few weeks ago. As you can see, they are threatening to take down all of my videos unless I upgrade to a paid account.
When I opened the free basic account last year, I guess I somehow missed the prohibition against any use of my account for “commercial” purposes. And yes, that’s my bad and totally on me. No problem, Vimeo, I’ll take down my 5 videos totaling less than 30 minutes which have received a total of 12 plays in 9 months because they are such a huge drain on your servers.
I logged in to take down the videos, and saw this warning at the top of the page that basically boils down to: upgrade or die.
Keep in mind, they are demanding that I jump from paying nothing per month to $20 per month or more to host my pathetic 30 minutes of unwatched video. That would cost me more in a year than I pay to the site that hosts my entire little website, and they really do have great customer service.
So, according to Vimeo, taking down my videos won’t be good enough. Or, taking down the 3 lame little tutorials which mention and display a link to my website, and just leaving the 2 creative/educational videos won’t be good enough. Pay up, or lose my account completely.
I’m just a writer with a website who wants to put a couple of videos in my portfolio. I don’t need a zillion terrabytes and all the rest of that jazz.
I mean, what is an “independent artist,” and how do you prove that you are one? Don’t “independent artists” try to sell their work? Don’t try clicking on “learn more” to find out!
I erased everything and made my opinion about this extortion attempt abundantly clear in my new username and profile. The final versions may have been, er, slightly less G-rated.
They just couldn’t leave it alone, though, and sent me this final extortion demand, er, warning.
Yeah. I deleted my own account the day before the deadline. Then I hopped on the search engines to see what other people were saying about this extortion, er, forced upgrade.
The FIRST time I searched something like, “Vimeo forcing me to upgrade,” this was the first site that popped up in the results, but that’s not happening anymore. For some reason.
Anyway, let me first make it clear, that I am in no way endorsing this website, Trustpilot, and you always have to take these reviews sites with an enormous shaker full of salt – including this review, itself!
But you can see the results for yourself. Except for this new, poorly written, nearly incoherent review which was NOT there the first time I looked at this page, the first page of results is virtually NOTHING but one-star reviews.
At least 3 of them have gone up since the last time I viewed this site a couple of weeks ago!
All these poor reviews have a certain consistency which is convincing.
Let’s go back and look again at everything I supposedly will get if I upgrade, besides a zillion terrabytes of storage that I have absolutely no use for, now or ever.
Notice especially the pledge to provide “VIP Support.”
Now go back and look at the reviews and see just what people are complaining about — the customer service! And here’s the real kicker: Those are all PAYING CUSTOMERS.
Just look at the progression through the years, from Vimeo is fantastic five stars yadda yadda to one angry complaint after another. It’s pretty horrifying, don’t you think???
And I am truly not just trying to drag Vimeo. Well, I mean I am. Obviously.
But I also think my experience highlights a common problem for micro businesses when it comes to hosting their videos.
You’ve probably read or heard that you should never host videos on your own website.
So what is a writer, tutor, lawn service, house cleaner, or other microbusiness with a small website and a few videos supposed to do???
Still, in the end, my abrupt parting of the ways with Vimeo actually had one of those proverbial silver linings.
It impelled me to take another look at YouTube and some other free and low-cost video hosting options for micro businesses which were new to me. We will examine all of them in the next episode.