I normally do not like calling people or businesses out, but there comes a point where it is necessary. The first time this happened, I let water run under the bridge. But, as this is the second time that Shutterstock has attempted to coerce me into unnecessarily “upgrading” my account for “Corporate compliance”, I’m putting this shady af company on blast.
Here’s the situation:
My designer used stock elements purchased from Shutterstock for some of my covers. When I want to make stickers, pins, keyrings, etc, I need to buy the commercial licenses for all elements used. My designer gives me a link to the assets, and I purchase them.
Here are some important context issues:
I have not logged into my shutterstock account in months, since the last time I made acquisitions for a cover.
I do NOT share my passwords/login with any staff. I don’t even think I’ve ever used anything other than one computer and one browser specifically for shutterstock. (I hate shutterstock’s site, it’s clunky af. I use depositphotos for ease of use AND pricing.)
I’m currently not going to ask my designer to change which stock site she uses, but we will NOT be doing merchandising through Shutterstock in the future outside of the non-refundable credits I have on my account. (I can’t get that money back, so I may as well use them…)
Anywhere, this is the first email that they sent me.
Please note the following:
This was a first communication.
They had been spamming my phone for days prior. They were not leaving voice mails.
The subject reads: Account Review.
I sent a very snappy reply informing them that they were incorrect, I absolutely did have the correct coverage, and that I would not be signing any agreements because that’s not how this works.
The terms I agree to upon making purchases are the legally binding agreements.
I let this be water under the bridge after discussing this with my designer.
Fast forward to today. And oh, by the way? I HAD clicked that link asking them to stop mailing me…
I sent the equivalent of an “Excuse me, sir, but are you fucking stupid?” email, which essentially informed them they were wrong and to kindly eject themselves into orbit and stop bothering me.
I then got into chat with shutterstock’s customer service, who informed me that Hasham Khan is a member of the sales team.
This is, last I checked, illegal and goes against most basic fair trade laws. As they are in Canada, I’m going to find the Canadian authorities responsible for their business practices and report them.
So, beware if you use shutterstock. They are absolutely unethical, never to be trusted, and I would take a closer look at depositphoto.
They don’t send their unethical sales department to make false claims and use scare tactics to upsell their services.
P.S.: I’m beyond infuriated that I had to waste any of my time on this today. I have ham to eat and worlds to conquer!
Do not fall for the shutterstock scam. And that this company is stooping to this level is utterly unacceptable.