Where Are my Photos? Picturebug Goes out of Business


Today I received a notice that Picturebug is going out of business. Who is Picturebug? I’m not sure. I had never heard of them, but apparently they are a picture service similar to Shutterfly or Snapfish.


My email contained a link to their website which confirmed that they have discontinued their service and users will no longer be able to order prints of any photos stored by the service. I guess if I had used the service this would be a bummer. I do use online photo services for both printing needs and as a backup photo storage method to my PC and backup discs. Now I will rethink that strategy.


According to the Picturebug email:

“For customers who need access to their photos, we will provide them to you on a CD for $19.95 including shipping & handling. Please email us atxxxxxxx@digibug.com to request your CD. We will provide you with instructions on how to order your CD. Please allow 2-4 weeks for processing.”


Really? So anyone who actually used the service is now out $20 just to retrieve their photos.


If that isn’t bad enough, folks visiting the Picturebug website are directed to a “Partners Page” where you are told that while they can no longer fulfill order requests, “The services listed below are among the best in the market for sharing, prints and online photos. We highly recommend you try several of these services to see which ones work best for you!” I was not surprised to see that the dozen or so links to other photo services were affiliate links.

So let me recap. Users of Picturebug are out of luck, unless you want to pay $20 to get your own photos back. And for every “Partner” service you sign up for, Picturebug will get a minimum of $13 on referral commission. I guess this is a great way to make some money if actually processing photos doesn’t cut it.

Does anyone here use Picturebug, anyway?

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Guest's picture

Can you say scam?

Linsey Knerl's picture

I doubt it is phishing.  Now that I've done some more research, it seems that I remember Picturebug being a real photo developer.  They are a company of Digibug Express.  I won't name drop, but I have seen their website, and the websites of their marketing and developing companies.  It looked like they just weren't too succesful at what they were doing and went out of business.

Too bad for their customers.

Guest's picture

Why can't they just login and download all their pictures?

Guest's picture

When Yahoo shut down their photo site not long ago (no, not Flickr; the other one), they arranged for their users to automatically transfer their photos to one of four alternatives. I chose Shutterfly, for reasons I don't remember (mostly having to do with not wanting to cough up cash for a Flickr pro account).

Probably these people didn't have the money left over at the end to do something like that.

Guest's picture

I remember, many years ago, another very popular photo site just went belly up with no warning. On a photo forum, I read about a guy who had the first year of his son's life at the now non-existent site and another who lost his three year chronicle of his rebuilt boat. Let this serve as a reminder to ALWAYS back up your photos in more than one place. Yes, it's a hassle, but it's an even bigger hassle when you have nothing left! I typically back up photos at a photo sharing site, an external hard drive and once a year on a set of DVDs I keep OUTSIDE the house (like at grandma's).

Guest's picture

Companies go out of business, thats life. If someone was silly enough to have there photos only backed up online, i think $20 is a bargain to get all the photos back. The company could have just gone under and not given any photos back, how would customers feel then?

Guest's picture

I would gladly pay 20 bucks to have all my pictures put on DVD! Since my son was born we have thousands and thousands of pictures- it really has become unmanageable! I use Snapfish and love them- I would die if they went belly up!

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