aethelwulf wrote:How is it freeloading to use a service for free, that the provider is offering for free?
Do you consider every person who has a Gmail, Yahoomail, Hotmail account to be a "freeloader"?
"To use a service for free, that the provider is offering for free, isn't freeloading". Hence Stampboards, Hotmail, Yahoo and others all offer free services, and encourage users to participate.
Where it becomes freeloading, in dictionary terms, is when the provider disdains of the use of the free service (in their eyes "users exploiting their hospitality").
In Photobuckets case, they came down hard, with NO ACCESS and a RANSOM NOTE, then relaxed, but the reality is that they don't have the free account they used to have, and have raised hurdles in terms of continued usage.
If PHOTOBUCKET had merely closed the old free accounts to future additions, and demanded people signed up with new accounts (free) on the new terms, they would have handled it without use of the term, but the fact you can have significant assets locked into their system, which have now been compromised by use of demeaning advertising, means they are clearly holding old account holders in disdain.
Hence "Freeloading" (in their eyes)...... Of your core customerbase....... Which never ends well.
"If you do not pay for the service, then you are the product, not the customer".
Maybe all the other companies that seemingly provide good value for nil explicit cost are simply much better with their business model.
I expect Photobucket to be lost to history in a very short space of time.