So last night Photobucket advised me that my account and third party hosting privileges would be extended til the middle of next year (this was after I had manually downloaded every one of my 5000+ photos from the account) - as I wrote in my last post I doubted this was a coincidence
I subsequently wrote back to photobucket
Am I able to extend my plan past Summer of next year please?
Moss (Photobucket Support)
Nov 9, 12:50 PM MST
As long as you keep your recurring billing active your plan will automatically renew for another year of the Plus 20 plan.
Please let me know if you have any additional questions regarding this.
Have a question about something else? Our help site is packed with articles to get the help you need quickly. Click this link to access our help site - http://support.photobucket.com/home.
so in summary I was informed on Monday that the Plus 20 plan (20GB) would be defunct in 30 days and to maintain access and third part party hosting rights I had to switch to their new 200 Plan for $400/year
I asked them if there was any other option for hosting my blog photos at a lower price - no response within 24 hours.
I recovered all my photos from Photobucket one by one ( I have subsequently discovered the album download function is NOT working/Not available). Having done this Photobucket write to me and tell me that they acted in haste and it now appears that providing I renew my contract next year they will give me another years grace.
Net result I appear to have a lot more breathing room to make my decision
However the actions of Photobucket should be classified as wanton vandalism....millions of images have been disconnected from the worlds greatest library, years of research, stories and threads across hundreds of forums have been wiped out by a single button.
I count myself lucky that I have been able to recover my images and be afforded the time to think about my next steps.