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Review of iStockPhoto

iStockPhoto reviews

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48 reviews
1240 20th Ave SE, Suite 200
Calgary, Alberta T2G 1M8, Canada
Tel: 866 478 6251
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48 Reviews From Our Community

Rating Distribution

Detailed Rating Summary


All Reviews

1 review
0 helpful votes

As a long time customer, I have tried all of your various subscription models either personally or for creative departments I have managed.

I thought the most arbitrary and absurd model was the 700 credits a month subscription leaving hundreds of unused credits on the table every month. You then switched almost every decent image to "Signature" making it even more difficult to spend the non-premium credits you convinced me to buy.

Most disappointing, to me, is your rollover subscription model reminiscent of the old Cingular Wireless rollover campaign designed to benefit the provider not the subscriber.

What needs to be more clear is the "USE IT OR LOSE IT" part of your rollover model. No posting a push URL to your FAQs page is not what I mean by being more clear.

In both of the aforementioned subscriptions, I have been left with unused credits at the end of every month. In the first model, I lose hundreds of credits that don't rollover. In the second model, I lose the unused rollover credits the day I don't renew.

So since I lose images when I subscribe to you, you lose a long time subscriber to Adobe Stock.

Ask Aaron about iStockPhoto
1 review
2 helpful votes

I've been using them for many years and have been suckered into buying their annual subscription. But since then the quality of their photos has seriously gone down hill. Before I could I could find nice newsletters to use for our n ewsleters quickly, but now the pickings are paltry and totally AMATEUR.

If someone has a better site they know about , please share.

Ask Nils about iStockPhoto
1 review
2 helpful votes

Customer service sucks. Beware!

Ask Lisa about iStockPhoto
1 review
3 helpful votes

I'm in Australia, and by Australian law pricing must not be misleading or deceptive, it must show all included taxes and charges.

iStock advertised that a particular subscription would cost $230 AUD. I spent 3 weeks choosing images. When I went to buy the subscription they charged an additional $23 in tax, and then I also found on my credit card over $5 in foreign exchange conversion fees. Unfortunately I needed to continue with the purchase as I had already committed time to finding the images I needed.

I have written to iStock twice to get them to refund the additional money, I have also spoken to them several times and they are not interested.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission agree that iStock is in breach of Australian law and I am currently taking up the matter with the Office of Fair Trading.

I suggest you don't deal with iStock as there are plenty of honest businesses out there you can work with.

Ask Paul about iStockPhoto
1 review
4 helpful votes

Poor services for contributors have dwindled to non existent over the years as they find new ways to chip away at the time spend actually addressing contributor concerns. They do not value contributors and it shows in the customer service. Its bad enough that they only give you Approx 30% of the small amount they sell your work. IstockPhoto are parasites not in any way designed to empower or help artists.

Ask Mike about iStockPhoto
1 review
22 helpful votes

First, I've never written an online review of a company before, but I have had such a horrible experience with iStock recently that I had to warn people. Hopefully I can save someone from the painful, stressful experience I just had. I signed up in June 2015 for the monthly subscription. At the time it was $199 to download up to 200 images. It's now only $166 for 750 images, which seems like a great deal, right? Well, it's NOT! Don't do it! It's a trap. Here's how it worked for me... Many of the images I wanted were "signature" images. So, I had to upgrade to the "premium subscription" and pay another $150 to access the images I wanted. I downloaded approximately 40 of my 200 images. A few weeks later, a very "nice" rep by the name of Eric Niederer called me, offering to help me and give me some great offers/specials after he better understood my graphic needs. A few minutes later after I explained what two projects I was using the images for (a corporate brochure and refreshing our corporate website), he turned from "nice" to evil, telling me I was out of compliance, and had voided the terms and conditions of the agreement because I had allowed our website developer to upload a few of the images to our development site. He said that I was the only one under that program who could touch the images in any shape or form. By letting anyone else touch the image, even if only to upload it, I wash in breach of the agreement. He then went on to tell me that unless I paid their company $3,600 I was going to regret the legal problems I was going to have. Meanwhile, I hadn't even used or published any of the images and had only downloaded 40 of the 200. He also explained that I could only use the images for a period of 30 days (only while the subscription was in effect). Any image not used in "final" content within the timeframe that my subscription was live (for 30 days) needed to be destroyed and could never be used. I was in complete shock. I explained that I hadn't read the terms and conditions, but that a reasonable, rational person would think you could use the images in corporate materials because they had been purchased. I told him I was shocked and confused and had to think about what he had said and talk to my boss. That was on a Thursday. They next morning (this past Friday) he emailed asking what my decision was. I said I hadn't spoken to my boss yet (which I hadn't as it had been less than 24 hours and I only meet with my boss weekly). He said that was fine "if that was my answer", but he was going to send over a second "out of compliance issue" and that I only had five days to make my final decision. That was last week. Today he called almost hourly (I didn't answer because I recognized the number). I have never been treated so poorly by a company and literally felt violated, harassed, and entrapped. He even admitted he knew I hadn't done anything malicious, and that he doesn't usually read the fine print in the terms and conditions either, but regardless I can either pay them $3,600 dollars or "take my chances". Wow. Not the kind of company I will ever do business with again. Completely misleading advertising and really unethical business practices if you ask me. I am not going to use any of the 40 images I downloaded. They basically got $350 from me, and then threatened to sue me for an honest mistake. Let me add that Ghetty images recently bought iStock. I have been told by several others that Ghetty has been doing this sort of thing for years (calling people and threatening to sue them unless they pay thousands of dollars). For your protection and peace of mind, please do yourself and your company a favor and use another image provider other than iStock or Ghetty. I am still in complete disbelief that businesses think they can operate like this in 2015. Misleading marketing, awful customer service, very poor long term strategic planning. iStock did the complete opposite of what you want to do to retain and wow customers. They wowed me for all the wrong reasons. Hope this review helps someone...

Ask J about iStockPhoto
1 review
10 helpful votes

iStockPhoto has the worst customer service I've ever experienced anywhere. I was locked out of my company account - exactly one day after purchasing their most expensive subscription - and when i called to unlock it, they refused to do so and instead kept asking me questions as if i was a thief violating their copyright laws. they told me that if i download an image and email it to my coworker, i am in violation of their copyright laws. really? i purchased this photograph and I can't even share it with someone who is on the same work project that I am on? eventually after hours of talking to them, we tried to cancel because i'd rather pull all my teeth out then have them talk to me the way they do. and they said we were stuck with them for a year because we had already downloaded 32 photographs. They would not let us pay for the photographs we downloaded and cancel our subscription. so we're stuck.. with terrible service and nasty operators. run away from this company! all they want is your money and they don't care about helping anyone.

Ask jane about iStockPhoto
3 reviews
1 helpful vote

You find good information and more beautiful photo .

Ask Breban about iStockPhoto
2 reviews
299 helpful votes

I like good photos and have nothing against this site. Photographer also need earn money and good photos are not free. And I said is like a professional photographer. When I was a beginner I was looking for good site with helpful tips for making good photos and I try this You are welcome=)

Ask Natasha about iStockPhoto
1 review
6 helpful votes

As a long time customer, I have seen the steady decline of this provider over the years. Now the only thing they care about is $$. There are much better photography providers available. Choose them instead.

Ask Jay about iStockPhoto
1 review
10 helpful votes

iStockPhoto has been nothing but trouble for us. Their site never works, they are constantly changing their rules, the customer support team is NASTY, and they don't have as many unique images as they seem to think they do. Do yourself a favor and RESEARCH your options before just going with a known name like iStock. I can't rate them poorly enough.

Ask Cheryl about iStockPhoto
2 reviews
4 helpful votes

Istock/Getty has been treating its customers like a number and treats the overall Graphic Arts Community poorly. They took low cost access to quality images and increased prices dramatically. I continually read how Getty extorts websites that cannot prove they purchased an Istock image for hundreds or thousands of dollars, when the original image may have cost $10-$30. If you've been in graphic arts for any amount of time there is no doubt you don't have every receipt for every last image, graphic, software or digital material you have purchased. While they may collect on a few cases here and they Getty has alienated more buyers and sent them to other resources.

Ask Ken about iStockPhoto
1 review
3 helpful votes

I would not use this site again even if it was free. So many things wrong. Features are so limited its incredible they are a real business.

Ask Tyler about iStockPhoto
10 reviews
15 helpful votes


Ask Velma about iStockPhoto
1 review
7 helpful votes

Don't ever sign up to

JUST DON'T <--- So many reasons why

Ask Iva about iStockPhoto
1 review
9 helpful votes

I have been using Istock for years and I have to say this is the FIRST REVIEW I have ever written. I am not sure if it is be cause I am so irritated about how they changed the pricing procedure but it was a good deal for us at one point. Our company invested a lot of money into Istock but now it seems very over priced. We don't want a subscription because we operate one project at a time. Some months we will need 12 photos and others, none. As far as I am concerned we will get our stock images elsewhere. Nice work, you ruined our opinion of you.

Ask Tiffany about iStockPhoto
1 review
4 helpful votes

I feel that istock has ripped me off for $200 by their lack of clear disclosure on what the subscription included. I then tried to contact them by telephone and could not reach anyone. After three attempts I wrote and emailed....still nothing. I finally reached them a week and many calls later only to be told the refund policy precluded anything after ten days....I was then told "I'm sorry you are confused". Who would say that to a customer? istock does not deserve anyone's business. Find another vendor....we are!

Ask Tom about iStockPhoto
3 reviews
6 helpful votes

Echoing other recent reviews: been a member and contributor since'02. Not a huge contributor or user, but Always made enough in credits to support(convert) my modest image needs. Today I login to start another light box and only see a $3 balance.WTF???. Dig around and see ALL my credits and purchases have expired!!!! Even though they display a "credits never expire" statement on the pricing page.They've been receiving income from MY work and continue too without compensating me! Hello state attorney general & FTC, have I got something for you! Maybe John Stossel too.

And the pricing is increased too. Dang Getty corporate crap.It used to be a community of artists, now its the Suits running the loony bin.. Somebody needs to start another Stock site modeled after the original Artists helping artists.

Ask All about iStockPhoto
1 review
6 helpful votes

ISTOCKPHOTO IS A SCAM!!! Their customer service is sickeningly twisted. For the love of god stay away from this place and never NEVER sign up for their plans.

Ask Andrew about iStockPhoto
1 review
4 helpful votes

Shocking customer service, poor packages, overpriced, STAY AWAY, far better providers out there for a fairer price.

Ask JAMES about iStockPhoto
1 review
13 helpful votes

I have been an image contributor since 2008 and I have to say that over the past 5 years the site has been on a steady decline. Contributor services are the absolute worst. If a contributor has a problem forget it, there isn't a direct phone line to call. Contributors can only open a support ticket online and it may take several weeks to finally get a response. Bottom line, they do not take care of the content suppliers. They do not listen to contributor or buyer concerns. Inspectors are highly inconsistent. If you need a 2nd opinion from "Scout" GOOD LUCK!!! you will be waiting a very long time to get it. My wait time for one image recently was so long that when they finally responded to my ticket, I was told "I am sorry but the photo is no longer available for us to review". Unsatisfactory!!!

As an exclusive contributor unfortunately I cannot recommend this site to contributors or to buyers, that's just how bad that it's become. There are other sites that have far better prices and they actually take care of their exclusive contributors and listen to buyer and contributor concerns. If you are thinking of becoming an exclusive contributor, do yourself a huge favor and make sure that you do your research and then research some more. There isn't any incentive to being an exclusive contributor here now. The grass definitely isn't greener. Payouts are becoming less and less and we do not have the ability to get more images to their parent site in order to make more money from our work. It's become impossible to move up in pay level because the redeemed credit targets is broken. They've actually had to grandfather contributors to maintain their current pay level for at least 3 or 4 years consecutively. They'll tell you that they are doing contributors a favor by grandfathering but in reality that way of doing things isn't working and they will not change it. The majority of sales generated now are through subscriptions and partner programs, all of which do not generate credits toward contributor redeemed credit targets because the only way to increase your redeemed credit totals is if a buyer purchases images with credits!

I'm happy that I don't have to rely on the income to survive as it has become very very low... it's a joke actually. Even though I'm still an exclusive contributor who's invested a lot into this company, I'm to the point where I don't even care if this ship finally sinks completely. Call me sick, but I'd actually get some sort of enjoyment from it.

Additional info:

There are also rumors on the discussion boards that some of the Forum Moderators and file inspectors (who are also contributors) have access to individual contributor account pay balance info... I don't have words for this.

Ask Clyde about iStockPhoto
1 review
5 helpful votes

Finally finished with this place. My last 10 credits were "restructured" "in my advantage" to 2 credits but every photo I've looked at is 3 credits. As a web developer, I don't have any need for sizes other than the small which used to cost a thanks to their "improved pricing" a small costs the same as a large.
I have steered all my clients away from this place. Thankfully, there are much better business models out there that don't cheat their clients.

I should mention that if the pricing structure had been improved to support the contributing photographers, it might not have been so distasteful. Also, had they properly grandfathered existing credits instead of reducing them... I look forward to the class action suit.

Ask MaryAnn about iStockPhoto
1 review
10 helpful votes

As with many others I too am fed up with istock and their changes in pricing/credits.

Yet again they have devalued my investment and I can't see how it can be legal.

Example, invest £100 and get for ease of maths 100 credits. I used to get low res images for 1 credit but then they all went up to 2 credits. Over night the value of my investment halved.

Recently I had about 48 credits left so could buy 24 low res images. Then iStock changed the structure again so I could only buy a maximum of 10 photos. I am no maths expert but I think that works out that iStock reduced the value of my investment over night by 60%.

My advice do not touch iStock. Overpriced and it wont be long before they change their structure again and you get even less for your money.

Ask Andy about iStockPhoto
1 review
7 helpful votes

I was a customer since the beginning of iStock, but as several here have posted, since getty bought them, they've gone to $#*!. In particular, their practice of expiring your money. Yes you read it right. You deposit money into your iStock account. If you don't use your money within an allotted time, they take your money and you get nothing. That is theft, plain and simple. But that's standard practice in the business world these days, isn't it.

To hell with iStock. Why throw away money when there are so many good stock photo sites to choose from???

Ask Tony about iStockPhoto
5 reviews
11 helpful votes

iStockPhoto has excellent collection of photographs, backgrounds, technological perspectives, and so on. But all those collections are looking similar and I didnt find any variety in a particular category. Either a photographer or a technology enthusiast is always searching for unique and new concepts. Thus, this site is not up to the extent of the vision of enthusiasts.

Ask pamela about iStockPhoto

2 Questions & Answers

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on 7/1/16
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on 11/6/15
A: I can not help you, Istock sucks
on 11/6/15
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