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Snapfish's logo. Click here to visit the Snapfish website! Snapfish closes curtain on free photofinishing!
(Thursday, March 8, 2001 - 12:25 EST)

Online photofinisher famous for its 'free' photofinishing announces new fee for developing, increased handling fee...

Snapfish.com Corp. has announced in an email to its users that it is instituting a new developing fee for its online film photofinishing service, as well as increasing its handling fee effective the last week of March. From March 25th, the cost of shipping and handling for all film sent in to Snapfish will be $1.99, raised from the old price of $1.69 per roll. The new developing fee, which brings to an end Snapfish's 'free' photofinishing which the company has heavily promoted since its launch, will be a further $1.99 per roll. Not mentioned in the email, but listed on a Snapfish web page covering the price changes, is the fact that the existing $1.99 per roll developing fee for customers ordering 5" x 7" prints will also be increased, with the new charge for this being $2.99 per roll.

Snapfish notes that it will waive the developing fee for the first three rolls users send in after March 25th, and that it will also drop two further charges from its old model. Previously, users of Snapfish were charged $3.99 if they did not look at their photos online within 30 days of the film being developed, plus a further charge if users sent in more than 24 rolls of film per year to the company for developing. These two rules have now been dropped, and there will be no penalty for not viewing your images on the company's website, nor for sending in large volumes of film.

A further caveat is that users who have already exceeded their 24 roll annual limit will apparently not be entitled to the developing fee waiver on their next three rolls processed. Following is the full text of the email which Snapfish has sent to its users:
"March 7, 2001

Dear (username),

We're writing to inform you about some upcoming changes to the Snapfish service. First off, we want to thank you for your continued support of Snapfish. It’s been an exciting year for the company; we received several awards for our quality and value in recent months and our service is growing by leaps and bounds.

During the last week of March, Snapfish will revise its pricing for film developing. The charge for shipping and handling will increase from $1.69 to $1.99 per roll, and we will introduce a new, low developing fee of $1.99 per roll. You'll still receive a full set of quality prints on Kodak paper and your negatives from each roll, and we will continue to put your photos online for free for easy sharing and reprint ordering.

As a courtesy, you'll receive FREE developing on the first three rolls you send in after the changes take effect during the last week in March. For those first three rolls, you'll pay only the $1.99 shipping and handling charge per roll.

As you know, our online advertisers currently subsidize the cost of your film developing. And, as you may have heard in the news, the online advertising market has become more uncertain. As a result, we need to introduce a new, low developing fee. You will still continue to see ads on Snapfish and thanks to continued support from our advertisers, the developing fee will be only $1.99 per roll. Shipping and handling charges will also increase as a result of postal rate and packaging cost increases that took place in January. Making these pricing changes will ensure that Snapfish can continue to help preserve your photo memories for years to come.

Even with these changes, Snapfish still offers the best value of any photo processor. The total cost for developing a roll of film will be just $1.99 for developing plus $1.99 for shipping and handling, or $3.98 total. Plus we'll put your photos online for easy sharing with family and friends. Compare that to the $7-$8 you'd typically spend to get your film developed at a drugstore (without the online benefits) or the $15-$17 you could spend for developing and a full set of prints from other online photo services.

Once these changes take effect in late March, you will no longer be subject to the $3.99 fee we currently charge if you do not view your online photos within 30 days. You can view your new photos whenever you like to share them with family and friends and order reprints and enlargements. Plus, there will no longer be an additional charge if you send in more than 24 rolls in a year. After the changes take effect, every roll you send in for developing will be subject to our new low pricing, no matter how many you send.

Until the last week of March, Snapfish will continue to offer free film developing and $1.69 shipping and handling. You won't see any changes to our website until that time. If you recently sent in film, or would like to send in film before the changes take effect, you'll receive our current pricing. The same is true if you have an order currently being processed.

Our first year has been a successful one - we've helped hundreds of thousands of customers stay connected with their family and friends through photos and we've received accolades for both quality and value from Popular Photography, ZDNet and PC Data. We look forward to continuing to offer you the easiest way to print, share and store your photos. In addition, we're committed to making our service even better. In January, we launched a new Drag & Drop Upload tool that makes uploading your digital camera or scanned photos faster and easier. In February, we introduced a new Address Book and made ordering reprints even simpler. And, we look forward to offering more enhancements in the next few months, including customized CDs (pick photos from your account and have them put on CD), and decreased processing time.

Thank you for your continued patronage and for helping to make Snapfish the favorite photo site among consumers.


Rajil Kapoor
President & CEO

Snapfish - bringing people and pictures together.

Click below for more information on our upcoming price changes:
Snapfish have not currently distributed a press release announcing the new pricing schedule. The Snapfish website still claims free photofinishing and new users are presumably not advised of the changes until they have signed up, since the main and signup pages make no mention of it. The company notes in its information page regarding the changes that it will be removing the 'free' claims from its site once the price change occurs on March 25th, and that all orders received after this time will be subject to the new pricing.

Source: Snapfish.com Corp.

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