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Complaints & Reviews

Unethical behaviour

If Shutterstock had an ounce decency, or even listened to the reams of customers calling for it - they would deactivate their auto-renewal.

Thousands of loyal customers are being scammed and tricked out of money, and this company does not care, in fact I am pretty sure its is part of their business model.

There is no need to have auto-renewal activated by default, other than to line their pockets while customers are unaware of their bank accounts being emptied. No matter how many times you disable auto-renewal, it defaults to "on" every time you buy another image package.

The only thing worse than their underhanded tactics is their complete arrogance. It takes a lot of balls to be so blatantly dishonest and then still be arrogant about it.

This company needs to be brought under legal review.

Unauthorized credit card charges

I was charged $49 twice on 4/7/2020. I have transacted no business with this company within the past 12 months, so I was very surprised to see these charges. I have notified my credit card company and the charges are being disputed. I also had to close that credit card, and now have to wait 7 - 10 days for the new card to arrive all because of Shutterstock.

[Resolved] Unethical behaviour

Dear SS, I just can't belive what has happend to me.My account has been deleted for similars. I work with your site for 8 years now and we had a very good partnership. 400.000 works deleted
I am devastated. Income from Shutterstock is my main source of income
so I will be left with no source of living. I understand the reasons why you want to low down the number of similar photos, but you never gave me a chance or any warning. I could have deleted all of my textures and continued to work with photographs.My textures were selling very well too. All should get warning first and a chance to improve. I thought what was accapted, is ok. I apologies but I think we can get some better solution then deleting my 8 years work.I have never copping anyone elses work. I have worked hard by myself. Many accounts have similars and they were not terminated.Give me please a chance.Its a bad time for all of us. Corona virus and all...Above all I am now with no source of living. Can I at least get a written authorization to open another account. Nobody is answering me for 10 days now. I have an open discussion on forum.I wrote to administrators, and nothing at all.
*This is terms of service *

*If your account is terminated for any reason, you must obtain written
authorization from Shutterstock prior to establishing another account. You
may not have more than one active contributor account at any time without
the written consent of Shutterstock in each instance. *

Can I at least get any response. Its not fair after all this years.My account is
Alted Studio. id 997631
With respect, Sasa



Deceptive billing practices at shutterstock

Literally the worst experience with this company. They have some auto renewal feature I can completely unaware of and charged my credit card 11 times without my consent. When I inquired the call center was cagey and difficult to deal with (also clearly not based domestically) and refused me any help. When I asked for more information on the escalation process nothing was provided. Protect your personal information this company has no accountability and incredibly deceptive business practices.

email received

I received an email from shutterstock saying that I was charged for some stock. First the email belongs to me and in the email the information used is not mine at all for this account and not even in the country I am in. Someone is using my email address and i have no business with shutterstock at all. The email came from [protected]@e.shutterstock.com

email received

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automatic renewal of policy a scam and no ability to cancel

Hello, Shutter stock use very tricky means to sign you up for a subscriptions making you believe it is a...

can't cancel my account / they charge you for cancellation

I've not used my shutterstock account for months already. Of course when the annual mark came in (April 2019), they charge my card without any notice. So when I see this in my card records, I request for cancellation as the account is of no use to me. They are quick to get back to their customers with a cancellation fee, quite unheard of in this day and age as online accounts/plans can be deleted at the user's discretion.

From previous sources, this cancellation fee was 100usd, howeverthey've doubled this amount already. Anyway, I'm not willing to pay this charge for simple cancellation of an account which has been dormant for months.

can't cancel my account / they charge you for cancellation

shutterstock 1 month pack


Autorenew on by default - turn it off.

Shutterstock does not send a monthly renewal email or send a monthly invoice as is usual because they know they are scamming. It just keeps billing your card.

1 month pack turns into several month billing.

Autorenew must be clear and conspiciuous - can you find it?

Customer support does not respond. On second email they ask for details they already have (user id, credit card) and after 2 days someone from India replies that they cannot give a refund because ... autorenew is on by default, and hope you understand.

Shutterstock then stops answering emails.

shutterstock auto renewal plan is on. you may not realize that!!

We have the same problem. Shutterstock's has the auto renewal button checked, and this year Shutterstock just took US$49 from my credit card without noticing me. So, be cautious, even if you make a one-time purchase. I did not see / notice the default button last year. I called the credit card centre and they said because it is a pre-authorized purchase, they would not send a message to my cell phone.
I am now requesting a refund.

  • Lr
    lrussell55 Jan 30, 2019

    Did you ever get a refund? I'm going through the same thing, purchased a few photos last July and had no idea I would be billed monthly! What a scam!! I was told they would not offer any reimbursement, I never logged in or used the service after my initial purchase. Have threatened legal action etc. but they're just pointing at the fineprint...

    0 Votes

will let my 6,000+ follower know that shutterstock is a scam

My experience is like everyone, no need to say. Was tricked to purchase the $29 plan and now it's a recurrant charge and YOU CANNOT CANCEL IT unless you pay $180 fee or do that "within 30 days of your annual period", said some random guy at some random call center.

Screw you Shutterstock, I am not going to pay the ridiculous fee, and as one of the trend leaders in design, I will let my 6, 000+ followers know about how Shutterstock steals money from people and tell every one of my designer friends not to use Shutterstock.

  • Am
    Amy Mattes Jan 28, 2019
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Ridiculous! A couple weeks ago, in order to cancel my subscription I was told I would have topay $60. Today, $100. They need to be shut down!

    1 Votes

auto renewal

Dear Sir/ Madam, First I wanna tell You that I am using Shutterstock for years. I was always choosing it...

automatic opt-in for auto-renewal

I'm a graphic designer for a non-profit. Last June, I needed to download one photo from Shutterstock, so I purchased the minimum two photo credits needed for the download. This option is called "365-day Images On Demand" and does not indicate that this is an annual subscription. In fact, I would argue that "on demand" insinuates the opposite of a subscription. However, unbeknownst to me, we were automatically opted into a subscription that is auto-renewed annually.

A few weeks ago, we were charged another $30 from Shutterstock. I would have had no idea that we were charged—I did not receive an email from Shutterstock confirming the charge—but our accounting department noticed it on our credit card statement as asked what it was.

I called customer support and was credited this amount as a "one-time courtesy." I was treated as though I did something wrong and this was a favor, when in fact it's a dishonest business practice to automatically opt someone into an auto-renew cycle after the purchase of one image. If they were providing this service in the best interest of the customer, they would highlight the service and allow people to opt in if interested.


Called to speak to a representative about canceling my plans: the image on demand and the $29 monthly subscription where I can download 10 images per month. The lady I spoke to on the phone was extremely rude and told me the cancellation fee was at least $120. $120 is WAY TOO MUCH MONEY to charge a cancellation fee, and exceeds the price of a $29 monthly subscription. I told her very honestly that I couldn't afford it, but thankfully I do have a job where I can earn money and I'm working minimum wage and get paid every 14 days based on the hours I worked. That lady I talked to over the phone needs to go find another job if she's going to treat her customers like this. Plus that company shouldn't be in business if they're going to charge people hundreds of dollars for a cancellation fee. It only shows they can get away with ripping off their customers. Her attitude and totally despicable that she clearly has no customer service talking to people like that and charging way more than what the average cancellation fee should be worth. I could never spend any more than $5 for a cancellation fee. This business needs to clean up their act and admit how bad they're ripping off their customers.

  • Sa
    Sam Mousa May 24, 2018
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Yes I agree.
    Cancellation fee at shutterstock is ridiculous

    1 Votes
  • Ja
    Jason Sikes Jul 23, 2018
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Just got "auto billed" for an annual "subscription" that I don't recall signing up for. The chat support says that I'll be getting a refund. I trust that I will. When questioned about it she told me that Shutterstock is "subscription" business like Netflix and therefore auto billing is automatic and must be de-selected during checkout. I don't recall this option. If was there, it was not obvious. This used to be called "negative option" and was illegal, might still be, illegal in the U.S. They have likely figured out a way around this with small print or something.

    Regardless, beware. There are other affordable and trustworthy options. I license a lot thru http://www.123rf.com/

    0 Votes
  • Lr
    lrussell55 Jan 30, 2019

    @Jason Sikes Did you ever get a refund? I just realised I was getting auto billed with no intention of doing so..

    0 Votes
  • Sh
    Shutterscam Mar 18, 2019
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    I just wanted to buy 5 pictures from shutterstock and paid $51.70. I took about 2 weeks looking through images on their website until I found the 5 pictures I wanted. I downloaded the 5 pictures on 3-17-2019.

    Later that day I checked my bank records and saw shutterstock had automatically taken AN ADDITIONAL $51.70 from my bank account. I didn't know that they have a stupid "auto-renewal" policy that charged me a second time for 5 additional images that I don't want! I find these kinds of business practices to be slimy and dishonest. I requested a refund via customer support e-mail. Too early to see if I'll get my money back.

    Imagine if grocery stores worked this way; you pay $2.00 for a gallon of milk and they charge you and additional $2.00 for a gallon you don't want and didn't ask for! And if you foolishly pay for and take the second gallon, they "auto-renew" and charge you a third gallon and charge you an additional $2.00. It would never end, and is clearly a dishonest scam.


    5 Votes
  • Su
    Sukaina Rashid Sep 05, 2019
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    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.

    0 Votes

Shutterstock is charging for renewal even if option is turned off

The company, which makes everything complicated to get a filedownload, is altough charging you for renewal with the renewal option turned off. They turn it on on their own and charge several days before the end of the paid period. On the 4th of March I ordered a 30 days period with 750 downloads in this time and turned of the auto renewal opiton immediatly after first payment. I was recharged on 1st of April for a new period of 30 days. This is fraud!

Unauthorised credit card charges

Date : 29.03.2017


Phone: +[protected]
My name is Anup it was found that OMR 88.853 has been debited from my BANK MUSCATcredit card on 29th March 2017, I was not using this card from long since and also not purchased any thing from ShutterStock, I need this amount to be credited back to my card at the earliest to avoid any further complication.
Here you go with my card details.

No authorization given.
Card : [protected]

I need a immediate reply for this mail. I am available at [protected]@yahoo.co.in

Anup Balakrishnan

Auto renewal

I purchased 2 stock photos from shutter stock last year & now they charged my credit card again for "another year of service" - I never signed up for anything yearly, I only purchased a few photos. Apparently they put everyone on AutoRenewal & recharge you each year!!! Seriously! This is absolute fraud! All I wanted was a few photos for a website... not a headache year after year being scammed by these people!

I will never do business with them EVER AGAIN... and neither should anyone else! it's absolute fraud!

Can't cancel plan

I have registered on Shutterstock for the 1-Year Subscription, Standard License with 750 Downloads per Month...

They scammed me and stole my money!

I was signed up for this scam and I when I contacted them I told them that I was not interested in their service and did not want to renew my account. Shutterstock assured me that they will not renew my account and that I have nothing to worry about but that was just a scam. Next month I got a charge on my card for an auto renewal of my subscription. I was so angry and demanded all of my money back and even threatened them with the police, but they were so ignorant and simply did not care. They said there was no way they could refund me. What a joke of a company!! Don't deal with them if you don't want to be robbed!


Do not deal with Shutterstock they are real thieves and they use this well known automatic renewal scam! I used their service only once and next month they charged me again. I tried to get my money back but they refused and said that was impossible. But they promised they will not charge me again, but later I got another charge from them and when I contacted Shutterstock they said it was a renewal fee! Avoid this scam!!

Auto renewal

In September 2014, I purchased 2 images for my freelance work.

In 2015, I noticed a charge on my credit card. I didn't realized that Auto Renewal is on as a default as soon as I make a purchase. So I made sure that the Auto Renewal was turn off on my account.

Today (September 2016), I saw the charge again on my credit card. When I called in they said there was actually a few steps to turn off the Auto Renewal. I had to answer their surveys to make it effective.

They said they are going to give me refund, but as I am in Canada, I will still be charged for the currency rate.

1. Auto Renewal should NOT be default setting
2. Turning off Auto Renewal should be one step (no trick!)
3. I never received any emails about the renewal