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Reviews Art & Design, Graphic Design Shutterstock

50 customer reviews of

HUGE ripoff/scam
Already, paying $30 a month for access to literally 10 photos max is a bit high, but my client requested I use this site so I did. Little did I know when that client could no longer afford to pay me that I would have to keep paying Shutterstock forever. There is no cancellation my friends, unless you are willing to pay a ridiculous month to month price.
I emailed them requested cancellation, Shutterstock didn't respond, but they did send a link to a survey asking if their customer service was sufficient.
The link didn't work, but as I didn't see another monthly charged, it seemed I had cancelled.
Nope! 2 weeks later, charged again. I called explaining I needed out (at this point I have paid almost $200 for the use of exactly 4 photos) and that my client dropped me. She said sure, for the low price of $60 they could cancel. She claimed I did receive an email back (I combed through my spam on the date she told me it came- nothing.)
SO I paid $60 to get out of an overpriced service I wasn't using anyway! Seriously?
I'm all about paying artists for their work- I AM one- but make no mistake. Shutterstock is the one making the money here. And ripping off the artists on the paying end as well.
Don't get tied up in their BS. Use anyone else.
I wish so much I had looked up reviews first.

Shutterstock engages in bad business practice
I just called the support line due to the 3 charges of $29 that were charged in the month of June. I only have a $29 per month fee authorized. The customer service agent, Joe indicated that one of those charges was a manual download and one was an auto renewal' of the manual download. I indicated that this was completely unwarranted and I did not need an auto renewal. The agent refused to refund the amount. I asked to speak to a manager and was told one was not available. I asked to cancel my monthly subscription due to the unfair billing and was informed that this was not possible and I would have to call back otherwise would have to pay a cancellation fee. I was unaware that the billing was a commitment and was informed that this was on the purchase page that I completed years ago. The company has never sent another email indicating that there would be a renewal since then. I decided then that I did not want anything to do with shutterstock and would be willing to absorb the cancellation fee so I would not have to deal with them again.

I am amazed that a company would engage in such underhanded billing techniques and also such poor customer service. For a dispute over $29, the customer service agent forced me to cancel my subscription for the entire year and basically resulted in lost revenue per month for many years to come.

They are awful!
Poor business practices. Shutterstock do very sneaky things like try to get you to buy more than you want. When I used my last image they automatically charged my credit card for 2 more images without asking for my approval. When I complained they refunded me. I gave them one more shot the next time I needed an image, and purchased what I thought was a 2-image package, but they charged me for 5 images, again, without letting me know. When the purchase went through, I was never given a confirmation of what I bought, so didn't find out until my credit card statement came. So now I had this 5 image bundle which I didn't want but decided to use (and never purchase from them again), but when I went to get an image, the site did not even recognize that I had available images and said I needed to purchase a bundle. Called customer service, indefinite hold, finally left a recorded message. They didn't return the call. Finally, I was able to contact them and they refunded my entire purchase price. A lot of energy wasted on my part.

Istock photos was my go to, until their image prices started climbing, then I switched to Shutterstock, however istock finally caught on to losing their customer base and now has inexpensive images available. I won't use Shutterstock again.

Autorenewal Complaint
I've used Shutterstock sporadically over the years for business (only downloading a few photos here and there... so the auto-renewal system never got activated so I forgot it even existed). Last week I noticed Shutterstock offered video, so I had enough budget to download 5 videos (it went slightly over budget as it added VAT onto the price... again, this wasn't clear before I paid for the package). Anyway, content with the 5 videos, I thought nothing of it until I saw my bank statement and they'd taken double the amount on the same day. When I went to the accounts section I noticed the autorenewal system had been triggered because I'd downloaded the 5 videos. This is VERY SNEAKY and UNETHICAL marketing practice. I don't object to autorenewals, but there should always be a 'cool off' period of a couple of days and some warning to remind you of the payment being taken so that you have an option. I've requested a refund. If I don't receive one from them I will not be using them again (after 10 years of being a customer) and I will be making sure that my social media network of business owners (20,000+) know what an unethical company they are.

As many, many previous reviews indicate, turns out to be a complete Sham. I am adding my review to the 1,348 reviews on trust Pilot from People who have used their services and 94% rated them Bad - lowest rating out of 5. On their website, I read "$2.50 per download for an image". I only needed one image. I CANCELLED my erroneous subscription with a request "on-line" at the ShutterStock site right after I realized the problem with their pricing, on the 18th April, the day my error occurred and again on the19th of April via email. Shutterstock responded with a request for extra charges to allow me to pay for 1 month instead of a Full Year I had apparently signed up for. After multiple emails and filing a Dispute with Mastercard (who were no help), I believe they have finally Cancelled my subscription as I have just paid an additional $60 us/ $74.58 Canadian today, as a penalty for early cancellation.
I have now been billed:
2021, April 20th = $37.26
2021, May 18th = $36.08
2021, June 18th = $36.71
2021, July 2 = 74.58
TOTAL Dispute = $184.63


Shutterstock is a scam / cheater
I highly recommend you avoid Shutterstock. Shutterstock have a sleazy auto-renew feature that charges you automatically without any notice. You don't select into auto-renew. In fact nowhere do they say you are in auto-renew just by signing up. Rather you have to dig into your account to find this option and turn it off. Otherwise you will be auto-billed for the next period. No alert emails like with almost every other service saying "auto-renew is turned on... you will be billed $50 on xx." All you get is a new charge on your credit card. When I called billing to complain, I was told billing was not able to handle this request and was put on hold for 20 minutes so a retention specialist could come along and try to keep me as a customer. I'm not even sure what they are doing is legal but it is certainly a scam and no way to grow a company.

Overcharging - Auto Renewal Excuse - Nightmare!
I bought 3 packs of video clips from Shutterstock. When I saw the auto renewal I had immediate reservations. Anyone with automatic access to my bank account without me 'opting in' is a recipe for disaster and an excuse to overcharge. I was charged for 4 packs instead of 3. I was forced to transfer money into the account in question so I would not go overdrawn and be charged every day. After purchasing one pack I tried to switch the other auto renewals off however the website would not allow me to switch one of them off (surprise surprise).

I emailed Shutterstock immediately and got a prompt reply telling me that all of them had been switched off. Checked my account and Shutterstock were all off. Then a few days later when checking with my Bank they can see that I have been charged for another 25 pack of videos at £298.80 which sends me overdrawn again. I cannot access funds going into my account. I cannot buy stock for my business and I can't work as my business is very small.

It could not be an auto renewal issue the second time. I tell them that I do not agree with the reason for the charge, but they keep ignoring me and specifically writing in their emails that auto renewal is the cause to cover themselves no doubt.

I have asked for the contact for the Director/s of the company or their Customer Service Department so I can make a formal complaint and I have been ignored each time that request has been made. Hmm doesn't sound like they want me to be able to explain my side of the story.

Good content on site, but absolutely not trustworthy with regards to access to your bank account and money. They seem to think that a quick response to queries in enough in itself. No it is not. You need to stop taking unauthorised payments and using AR as an excuse and allow people to complain when they have been messed around due to your mistakes.

The auto renewal thing was designed in my view partly as a cover for overcharging and with a large account where people are spending considerable amounts of money maybe these extra payments do not get picked up so easily. If I was a large business using this company I would back track a little and recheck what you were charged for your photos and videos, just to be on the safe side.

Don't even open the site
If I could give this 0 stars I would. Like everyone else here I signed up for a free trial and, like an idiot, imputed my information without looking into it at all. Without asking or even letting me know Shutterstock locked me into a year subscription plan. $31 (FOR 10 PHOTOS YOU CAN FIND ELSEWHERE! 10!) it sucked but I've made that mistake before. However due to memory issues I end up paying this for 3 months due to them defaulting to auto payments AND then when I reached out to cancel (less than 24 hours after the notification) they charged me an additional $43! I hadn't downloaded a single picture for months, since the free trial. This site is bull$#*!, over priced and unethical. Do yourself a favor and try literally anywhere else.

This is a corrupt company
Shutterstock is a very unethical company. I bought some images in 2016, and I did not agree to let them automatically charge my card. Nonetheless, Shutterstock charged my card every year since without my knowledge, provided absolutely no service (I did not download any images in 2017 or 2018), yet when I complain about it, they refuse to refund me any money. Apparently, a big part of their business is to charge people money without providing anything. That's why they will charge you for a period of time, and if you don't download any images, you don't get anything at all for the money you paid. This is quite deliberate, and should be illegal.

The company also makes it impossible to remove your credit card information when logged into your account. You have to actually communicate with someone to cancel the account. What other companies do this nowadays? They apparently don't want you to remove your card or cancel your account so they can continue to charge you even when you're getting absolutely nothing for it.

There is a lot of art out there that is not provided by Shutterstock. But be careful, because they will buy ads that pop up even if you search for free images and icons. That's another lie, because they aren't free, and they make it difficult to tell until you click on the link.

I would suggest to anyone who is considering Shutterstock, find your art somewhere else. They will deliberately rip you off and then refuse to do anything about it, just like a scam artist.

Glad I didn't get the job
I used Shutterstock years ago because my computer teacher was a contributor and paid for it so she encouraged our class to use it as well.
A friend referred me to this position so I applied. I first got a phone interview which was fine but the recruiter lied about knowing who referred me, then I got accepted to phase two. I would say that I wish I didn't get to the second phase of the interview (which was in person) but now I know what a terrible interviewer looks like.

For those of you thinking about interviewing here please read my lil piece:
The interviewer had come late and with bad energy. She didn't make eye contact with me and seemed standoffish from the start. She only asked me about my first internship, and downplayed it. I understand that as a recent college graduate I may not have the most impressive work experience but to later make passive comments about the answers I gave in an effort to let me know Im not fit for the position is one of the most unprofessional things I've encountered thus far. Can't believe someone with that much lack of emotional intelligence is in charge of hiring potential employees. Not really sure what she's going through but hope she gets better.

Anybody else:
I haven't used the service in ages, but it looks like it's gone to sh*t and the employees definitely hate their lives based on what I saw when I went to interview. So, good luck if you're vibin' with this service.

Needed an image for a non-profit organization. The least expensive option was what we thought was a one month/10 image plan for $40. The board decided that it was acceptable for full license to a single image we wanted for advertising. However, once we got the image we realized we had not just signed up for a one month/10 image plan, but we signed up for a year long program with an early cancellation fee that was more than the monthly fee. Spoke with "customer(un)service", and Shutterstock could do nothing but charge the early cancellation fee. Asked to talk to a supervisor, however was informed they could not change anything. Then we indicated we would be contacting our credit card company to report fraud and suddenly they could cancel the plan with no early cancellation fee. DO NOT PURCHASE ANYTHING FROM SHUTTERSTOCK. There are much better options!

They exploit the photographers, boycott this microstock
Je suis contributeurs depuis des années et depuis le 1 juin, suite à un changement de politique tarifaire, nos commissions ont diminué de 66%!
Nous sommes desormais rémunérés 10 centimes la photo pendant que Shutterstock s'en met plein les poches sur notre dos. Une honte, un scandale!
Boycotez cette banque d'images escavagiste, svp achetez vos contenus ( photo et vidéo) sur Adobe Stock, Dreamstime ou Depositphoto. Ne cautionnez plus ces mafieux qui nous exploitent. Merci pour nous.
I have been contributors for years and since June 1, following a change in pricing policy, our commissions have decreased by 66%!
We are now paid 10 cents a photo while Shutterstock is full of pockets on our back. A shame, a scandal!
Boycott this escavagiste image bank, please buy your content (photo and video) on Adobe Stock, Dreamstime or Depositphoto. Do not endorse these mobsters who exploit us. Thank you for us. I

Shutterstock is NOT user-friendly. Shutterstock are a scam artist company who have set up their business to scam people into what they call "subscription plans" that cannot be canceled unless you pay extortion fees. I got wrangled into a year subscription and then as my year started to wane was bombarded by emails stating I needed to change my plan to a corporate plan and pay them more money. LOL, I use my stock images on my dog's Instagram... what kind of corporation is that? My dog has no 401K, nor has my dog ever earned me any money. Perhaps my dog is an undercover agent who is working for Shutterstock on the side... are they giving my dog extra treats to extort money from me? Anyhow, my contract is coming up and I do plan on canceling... of course they will not cancel my "auto-renewal"... I have to do that... their plan is if I do not do it to handcuff me into another year of payouts. Does this sound like the photo mafia to anyone else? Lesson learned... if you want stock images, find a more reputable company like Adobe or Getty to deal with. They do not bleed creatives dry. Shutterstock you should be ashamed of your scam policies. EXTORTION: the practice of obtaining something, especially money, through force or threats.


My name is (fill in the blank I received 5 of these from 5 different people) and I am your new Licensing Solutions Manager here at Shutterstock. I wanted to reach out on behalf of my team to review your current account and license.

We've noticed that your business/organization is utilizing the images from a personal account and is not registered with us under a Business Agreement/Business License. Currently, you're set up with a single user personal license which means there is only one person allowed to utilize and is responsible for downloading/working with the copyrighted material under their name/assets.

We're concerned that your license isn't covering your business and the unregistered/unauthorized people that may be accessing this type of license.

I look forward to discussing this with you because there are some irregularities that need attention as soon as possible to avoid issues with the current terms of service. We have been receiving alerts due to multiple user sessions and we're concerned about getting the right license and protection for you and your company.

Could you help me better understand the workflow, image use, and team size?

1) How images are used (i. E., ALL anything that looks like a web or print, packaging, billboards, merchandise, etc.)

2) What's your current Sworkflow (number / roles of people who work on images on your company's behalf)?

3) How many images (and/or video clips) do you think your business will need for upcoming projects within the next 12 months?

I look forward to working with you to make sure you are properly covered for your needs.

Royalty Free? WRONG!
I found an image on Shutterstock that I liked and selected the button for "Royalty Free" download. And was taken to the page to select how many images I wanted to PURCHASE. I liked the image and decided to go ahead with the purchase. An online chat window opened up and the assistant told me the least number of images I could purchase was two, for $29. I decided to still move forward even though I only wanted one image. Then I explained what I was doing with the image - including in a silkscreen to go on a T-shirt for a group of walkers in a walk to raise money to fight ALS (my Father has ALS) and was told I would also need to purchase an enhanced license for $199! Incredulous, I made sure the agent knew I was raising money to fight ALS and was told it didn't matter, I had to pay the enhanced license fee. No. No, I won't pay Shutterstock $199 to line their pockets. That money will go direct to the ALS Foundation instead. Shame on you, Shutterstock!

Stay away from Shutterstock! Never choose this company for images
Shutterstock is the company with the worst customer service ever! Shutterstock would never help you but only take money from you. I canceled my subscription after I realised about autorenewal scam and images not rolling over to the next month. I wrote to Shutterstock "Customer Care" that I was misinformed and kindly asked for 1 more day to download the images as Shutterstock expired which I didn't know about. Shutterstock would never help me. They kept saying:
"in this case an extension could not be granted". 1 day! 6 images. For a company that has 145 million images. For 6 images they lost me as a customer and hopefully all those who read these reviews. Please, stay away from this company and never give them your card data. Shutterstock should be taken down by organizations that protect consumers.

They use trickery to get you hooked on an annual plan
I am starting to get so freaking tired of companies tricking you into paying them money instead of just offering a good service and letting you decide if you want to continue to use them or not. It's so sneaky to put in small print that this is an automatic charge monthly and that it is an annual plan. Can a company stop trying to scam their customers and just do normal payments just like everyone else. If I want to continue to use you I will. Stop forcing me... to me it's like one of those things like we got them on the hook when we buy from them. I know this sounds like a crazy idea... but hear me out How about you offer a good service and guess what I will pay you again if I like you out of my own will not because you tricked me into an annual plan. Also if you are going to do an annual plan you should do it a one time payment so we know it's for the year and not some tricky one month at a time payment to make it look like you can quit when you want. I am getting so sick of companies doing this to scam and trick their customers. Shutterstock are all about that one time customer instead of offering a good service and keeping a customer for life. I would of continued to use them but now because they used trickery to get me on the hook for the year, I will never use them again. Congrats Shutterstock you got me... but jokes on you because you lost a potential life time customer because you have to resort to tricks. You deceive people to make money. Look at the reviews here... a straight one star. How are you still up and running with a one start review. You are a publicly traded company too? Wait until you get more and more bad reviews. Then your company will sink... all because you use trickery instead of just providing a good service and letting people choose if they want to continue to use you or not. I'm thinking of getting people together and filing a class action against them. I am so freaking tired of companies trying to trick and scam customers. Do a freaking yearly plan or monthly plan that you can cancel anytime. Stop tricking people! Are their any honest companies left. Horrible. Horrible. Horrible. Not transparent about pricing at all. I will never use them again.

Cancellation Policy - shady business practice
If you sign up for a subscription and try to cancel your subscription because you realize Shutterstock don't have enough images of what you want and need you will be CHARGED by the company. First of all, you CANNOT CANCEL unless you call them. It is highly inconvenient to have to sit on the phone to wait for a rep in the technology age. This practice is like from the 1990's when you have to use the phone to make a cancellation. They do this so they can get your feedback and I'm sure it is so they can change your mind. Felt like a telemarketer type of approach. Also, did you know that if you sign up for the lowest package $29 / month and you want to cancel you will be billed $20 / month x # of months you have had the subscription. Basically, with the lower end subscription, you are stuck in a contract. You have to purchase the $49 / month to have the right to cancel without penalty. This is not good business practice. Also, they are not explicit about the cancellation policy. So in order to get out of my contract, I had to pay $40 = $20 x 2 months I had the subscription to get out. This is like negative billing. Absolutely appalled at this company. I will never again sign up or promote this and I'm a marketing consulting agency. This was the worst experience. Shutterstock - you should take lessons from other image bank companies who retain their customers and have customers who keep coming back. Make it convenient for people to use your service. Don't try to tie them down through negative billing practices. Don't make us call your reps to turn off auto renew or cancel. AND BY THE WAY. THE REP I TALKED TO TOLD ME THERE ARE LOTS OF PEOPLE COMPLAINING ABOUT THIS SITUATION. SO DEAL WITH IT AS SOON AS YOU CAN to save your reputation.

Auto-Renew Cost Me Hundreds
I purchased some photos from Shutterstock in February & paid what I thought would be a one-time fee. I did not see that Shutterstock have a hidden auto-renew button on their website. I had no intention of signing up for a monthly $29 payment, but Shutterstock has been charging me $29 every month since then. When I called Shutterstock to ask about this, they offered to cancel the account and refund $29 - one month's payment only. When I pressed for more (and this took quite some time) she agreed to refund $89. She said that was the best she could do. Then I called my bank's customer service & they did their best to be helpful. They will attempt to get a refund, but they can only ask for the last 60 days of payments.
I run a small local business and have a lot of respect for people who offer good service with integrity. The people at Shutterstock seem to have no integrity, they are actively scamming their customers by engineering their website and policies to steal their customer's money. Ive filed a complaint with the Better Business Bureau of New York City, Im sure its not the first complaint theyve gotten.

Nice images but over priced and now cant access all the images
I've used shutterstock for a couple of years now and built up a library of a thousand or so images. Those of you using shutterstock for occasional images will have some idea of how much that has cost.

However some months ago Shutterstock reported software issues. I cant download the images i've paid for. It's an issue their end, and when you speak to support they always tell you it will be sorted it 48 hrs and that there is nothing more they can do. I assume it's scripted as numerous support staff have told me exactly the same thing over recent months.

I've given shutterstock a one star review because they are expensive and it's inexcusable to charge a lot of money for images then not provide them due to an IT issue their end - and to add insult to injury not fix that issue months down the road. Shame on you shutterstock.

Disrespectful company, poor customer retention strategy
Most people only need a few images and then don't need to use shutterstock for a year or more, as most of the content can be found elsewhere. So, this company does the opposite of what makes sense. Shutterstock charge high prices for their single images and try to rope you into a free trial that leads to an annual commitment with cancelation fee. They could just sell image bundles at reasonable prices.

I signed up and got the trial and half way through it they "disabled" my account, for no reason. I couldn't even log in to cancel my subscription. There was no notice, no explanation or anything. I emailed their customer support and they said the following:

"After thorough review of the activity surrounding your account, we have determined that your account cannot be activated. Please do not attempt to create a new account since it will result in disabling the account again. Unfortunately, the determination to keep your account deactivated cannot be overturned. We thank you for your understanding."

I got this message even though my free trial was still active. I couldn't log into my account. I wondered if they were going to charge me even though they'd canceled my account. So I called, instead of emailing, and asked 1) why my account was canceled and 2) if I was still going to be charged. The representative told me that she was able to cancel my free trial to keep me from getting charged. She also told me a different department handled cancellations and they didn't have a reason for the cancelation.

Honestly, I wasn't going to keep shutterstock because I only needed a few images. Kinda weird how they treat you though, like you are some kind of scammer or something.

Ive been in digital marketing for almost 20 years. This is the worst way to conduct business that I have ever seen. A.) If you dont use your images in an allotted time period, you loose them. Which no one ever told us upfront. Second when we realized this, we started shopping around and realized we were getting screwed. There are other sites out there that dont do this, with great selections. B.)... When we tried to cancel our services after 6 months because A.) we were informed for the first time we are locked in, and to cancel its like $120 dollars... If this company doesnt change their ways unsuspecting people may start out with your services, but Shutterstock sure as hell wont be coming back once they figure out how it works.

Shutterstock: The Worst Site For Contributors
Before venturing deeper into this review, please take note of the following.
I am a contributor for Shutterstock's image gallery. This review is based on that aspect of the site, not the purchasing.

I am a photographer. As such, I've taken to selling photos on various stock photography sites on the internet. I have my work on Adobe Stock, iStock, Alamy, and more. Shutterstock stands out from the rest of these sites for all the wrong reasons. The review process is absolutely terrible. Your images will be rejected at random, and it will site that your image is out of focus or has excessive film grain. The problem, however, is that this is blatantly incorrect. This is made very clear when the images pass the inspections on all other stock sites, all of which follow the same acceptance guidelines that Shutterstock has in place. The AI governing photo acceptance is broken. Having gone onto the user forums, I've found that this is even an issue that Shutterstock is aware of. Rather than fix it, Shutterstock have told users to simply brute force images through the process. Just resubmit them until it goes through. This is, in my opinion, unacceptable.

If you are looking to get into selling stock photos, steer clear of Shutterstock. Save yourself the time and headache. This site is not worth the hassle you need to go through. Unless something drastic changes with their acceptance process, they are absolutely not worth using.

Shutterstock sent me an e-mail to tell me that there was "suspicious activity" on my account, and tp click on a link, which would result in yet another link to go and change my password. Four days and about ten or 15 clicks on the link to get the password change link, nothing further has happened. Suspect the "suspicious activity" may have been because I got a new credit card number and didn't give not to them, so they couldn't keep charging me 50 bucks a mon th for essentially nothing. Don't understand how one customer of them gave then a one star ( I personally thing it should rate in the below zero range) but say the were treated fairly. They are a rip off. They don't even have a human customer service number to call. Nor a non-automatic e-mail reply, just automated. For a company with 967 employees (according to Forbes), I wonder what all those people are doing. Counting the money flowing in? One of the most suck ass companies on the internet. Along with Pay-Pal.

Do not use Shutterstock
Good selection of videos but very unfortunately, I wrote to them with an urgent question about four times and only got a response a month later.
I had purchased a package of videos apparently suitable for the website but it turned out really blurry.
I wanted to upgrade to one with higher resolution and Shutterstock simply told me to purchase the new upgraded videos and they will refund the old videos that i had bought. However, they didnt give me any indication of how the refund process would be and didnt ask me for any details.
This does not give me any confidence that my previous purchase would be refunded at all after i purchase the new one.

My project was delayed because of their poor to zero customer service. VERY DISAPPOINTING!

Auto Renewal Default
I use Shutterstock on occasion, but only buy credits vs. a subscription. I avoid subscriptions as often as I can because Shutterstock appeal to your sense of a good deal/bargain, but rarely pan out to the extent you originally envisioned.

My issue with Shutterstock is that they default to auto-renew credits rather than default to not auto-renew. The vast majority of clients will purchase credits based on their current needs. If customers wanted more, they will buy more, and do not need Shutterstock to "conveniently" automatically buy more credits. It's like having a drink at the bar and the bartender automatically filling your glass when you finished because you have a tab open. Yeah, it's nice to have that option, but, no I want you to always ask before spending my money.

Seeing all the overwhelmingly bad reviews really confirms how little Shutterstock values customer experience.

Uncaring, Unappreciative Dix
As long as nothing goes wrong the site is fine and the image selection is adequate. Unfortunately, the customer service folks are unhelpful or ill-equipped and the account reps are just awful people or are directed to be awful. Just had a customized contract expire 2 days ago. We realized we had about $3000 of unused images that we mistakenly didn't take advantage of in time. In stead of being cool and understanding, or at least enterprising / compromising. Shutterstock essentially said "too bad". So, they keep $3k and I get nothing, on a technicality. I get it... blah blah, I should have realized, you snooze, you lose... But, the ethical thing to do would be to offer a short extension or to at least offer a compromise; let's say access to half of the images, or perhaps a credit towards a new contract.

Auto-Renewed 1-month Purchase Without My Knowledge
I purchased a 30-day 10-image subscription from Shutterstock 8 months ago. Reviewing my CC statement today, I see a charge and find out Shutterstock have been charging me every month since then. I did not consent to this.

I called Shutterstock customer service and explained I had received no invoice in mail or email indicating a recurring monthly charge. They said they don't send emails because you can see the charges on your credit card statement.

Shutterstock customer service refused to refund the 7 months I did not use. They reviewed my account usage and confirmed that I had only downloaded 2 images on the day of purchase, and nothing ever since.

They offered to transfer me to the retention department. It was a long hold. I finally asked for a call back so I'm not sure what will happen. I do know it is unethical to charge a recurring fee for a one-time purchase without the buyer's consent, deny a refund for services not requested, and not tell a customer they're being billed every month.

Auto Renewal is Deceptive and Costly
While the images are of outstanding quality and the price is competitive, I have rated this company with only 2 stars because of their auto-renewal. I began my monthly subscription on the 21st of June and made a note on my calendar to cancel on July 18th if I decided not to renew. However, before I called on the 18th, I noticed my credit card had already been charged that morning for the renewal. I immediately called and was told Shutterstock would refund the charge. The next day i received a confirmation email that the refund had been processed but that it could take up to five business days to process the refund. I am extremely disappointed the renewal fee was charged 3 days early resulting in my not having access to necessary credit. As a small business owner, this is quite inconvenient.

Great pics, shady and maybe even fraudulent practices
I have a love hate relationship with Shutterstock. I live their pictures, hate their lack of customer service, sneaky self renewing auto renewal (even after you navigate through the bs to figure out how to turn it off, it automatically turns back on), and boarder line fraudulent business practices. First, I deliberately selected a day to start my plan that would set the next charge for after I got paid the following month and hey charged me 3 days early ( the day before payday instead of two days after) causing me to acrue over a hundred dollars in late fees. I turned off auto renew. As I rushed to use up the last of my images towards the end of my last month, I figured I beater double check that I did cancel that. Nope, it was still on. Hum, weird. So I turned it off again, closed out and went back in and what do you know? It had been turned back on. I once again turned it off and sent an email to support explaining what happened and asked them to please make sure I was cancelled. The next morning... same freaking thing happened so I sent two more emails and cancelled my membership. Yep, Shutterstock still charged me. I tried contacting them several times from the bank where I was disputing the charge and still have not gotten a response. They went from a 10 to a "mad enough to write a review" in 24 hours as far as I'm concerned.

Early termination
I contacted customer service today to look into cancelling my plan early (I'm 9 months into a year subscription - paying $29/month for 10 images). With 3 payments remaining, and not using the service - I thought I'd save a little, and pay a small fee. NOPE. Since their plan was "discounted" at the time of purchase, and normal price being $49/month - I'd have to pay the difference in the price for the amount of time I've had the subscription. Meaning - to cancel early, I'd owe $180 (9 months of saving that $20). In that theory - it's best to take the "Yearly" discounted rate for 1 month, and cancel - since the termination fee is only the discounted savings for time used. Pathetic customer service, pathetic policy, average content. (their vector content is mostly unusable)

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Shutterstock Rating

Based on 50 reviews from Shutterstock customers, company has accumulated an average rating of 1 stars, indicating that majority of customers are not satisfied with its service.
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Description: Search millions of royalty-free stock photos, illustrations, and vectors. Get inspired by ten thousand new, high-resolution images added daily.

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