Hello Bloggers and New Website owners! Thought I would share my recent experience and do a StockUnlimited Review for you. I learned a few things that may help a some of you out. A few things that I would have appreciated knowing before hand.
Why I Signed Up
A while back I was trying to figure out the best places to get images/pictures for my new website. Someone online in a forum I was in had recommended I sign up at StockUnlimited. They said they had tons of great images, and that you can sign up for a month for $9 and download a ton of pics and then drop your subscription.
So, based on their recommendation I went to check it out. When I got to the site I found out I needed to sign up to even browse their inventory. As I have mentioned in other posts, I do not like paying for something before I can see it, or have even any idea what it is. But because this person had said they had thousands of great images, I decided to go with the $39 for a year plan. Seemed like a good deal and I wasn’t sure that one month would be long enough for me to really grasp what all I would need for my new website. They also offer a 7 day money back guarantee…so I thought, “What the heck, I’ll do it”!
(Update- I have found you can look at their images without signing up. I had used a link given to me by the guy who recommended it, and it took me straight to the sign up page, and I didn’t realize that wasn’t the main page.)
Not For Me
As soon as I signed up and saw the images they offered, I knew it was not what I was looking for. It is all cartoon like images, and some super fake staged people doing fake stuff in pictures. I am sure some people love it and it is great for something, just not at all what I wanted.
But I thought, “Well hey, I already signed up for this I might as well download some images that I might want at some point”. I mostly did this because it is basically what the person who recommended the site in the first place had told me to do- Sign up, download, drop subscription…
So I went through and spent like an hour and downloaded like maybe 20 or 30 images I could possibly have a use for in the future. Then I went ahead and cancelled the membership. As soon as I pushed cancel, I had a feeling something wasn’t right. Like a feeling that I wasn’t going to get my refund.
It had immediately booted me out when I hit cancel. So I tried to go back in to make sure the refund would process. And, of course, it said I was no longer a member and I couldn’t get back in.
They have a pop up instant chat thing, so I asked on there if there was something I could do to confirm my refund would be processed. The chat guy said they were only there to help people sign up and he didn’t know anything about anything else.
Then I found an email address for them- firstname.lastname@example.org. I wasn’t sure this would be the correct address to send my inquiry to, but it was the only email I could find, so I wrote to them and let them know what had happened and that I just wanted to make sure I was getting my money back.
At this point I felt I had done all I could do and decided to go work on my website. Thought I might as well try to use some of the images I had downloaded. Sadly, when I went to add them into a couple posts, they all had stockunlimited watermarks going through them. Total waste of time. I was really wondering why that guy had said to sign up, download, and cancel with them in the first place.
A few days later, I still hadn’t received any correspondence from them, so I wrote to them again. I let them know I was worried about it, because the 7 day cancellation period was ending and I hadn’t gotten my refund or heard back from them.
Then a week or so later, I still hadn’t been refunded and wrote to them again. No answer.
So, three weeks after the initial sign up and cancellation I decided to try to find a phone number. I was skeptical that I would find one since so many online businesses nowadays don’t have phone numbers. But to my surprise I found a number!
Yay! A Phone Number!
I called at 5:02 pm eastern standard time, doubtful that anyone would answer (I’m not feeling to positive about the whole thing at this point). To my surprise, however, a woman answered!
I explained to her what was going on. She then told me she would let the team know and they would get back to me, and then she went to close the call. So I was like, “Wait, how are they going to contact me?” Then she said, “Oh, hold on, let me see.” She then put me on hold for a few minutes.
There was no hold music and even when the woman was on the phone it was eerily quiet in the background, so at this point I am not even sure they are legit at all.
She finally comes back and asked for email address. After another brief hold, says that they had emailed me weeks ago. So, I go back a few weeks in my email and I see nothing. She says they will resend it and goes to hang up again. I stop her and ask her to redo it while I am on the phone to make sure it comes through.
She sends it, I still can’t see it. So I look in my Spam folder, in my Trash folder…I just can’t find it. Then when I am totally sure this whole thing is a scam I push a button on the side bar that says “all mail” just in case…and there it is! I couldn’t believe it. And sure enough they had sent me an email one week after I initially contacted them…oops.
They Are a Real Company, I can’t Believe it!
I was super happy to see they weren’t totally full of it, but with that being said, even the first email was after the 7 day cancellation period, so it had a pdf form attached asking me for additional info in order to process my refund. She tells me I need to print it, fill it out, hand sign it, then scan it and email it to them! Geez!!
Luckily, I read through the form before letting the woman hang up, and I see the form asks for an invoice number and a reference number. I ask here for this info, and she tells me to log into my stockunlimited account to get the numbers. I had to remind her that I was unable to sign in because my account was cancelled!
So, she says she will send me a copy of the invoice. I ask her to stay on the line and make sure I get it. She complied. Then I get it and there is only an invoice number, no reference number. After another holding period she sent me another email with the reference number hand typed.
While I was on hold I was reading the cancellation notice they had sent a couple weeks prior, and something caught my eye. It said that none of their images were allowed to be used unless you were a current member. It said that they were to be deleted from anywhere you had used them and any copies you had saved were to be discarded.
I asked the woman about this, and she said yes, you can only use them if you are a member. That was interesting since the guy who had originally recommended this site had said to download a bunch of stuff and cancel.
He was obviously not aware of their rules…so buyer beware! I even asked her if I had been a member for a year and then cancelled, would I have to go back and delete all the images? She said yes. This seems crazy to me, but I wanted to let everyone know just in case. I don’t want anyone getting in any kind of legal trouble, especially from this place!
What an Ordeal This had Been!
I let the lady off the phone, after 40 minutes and the constant pushing it took for me to get all the necessary information.
I ended up being able to use the “Fill & Sign” feature for the pdf form on my computer. I filled in the blanks, used my mouse to sign my signature, and emailed it off to them.
I got an email the next day saying they received the form and would be processing the refund and I should see it in my account within the next few days. Holy cow, thank goodness! However, it ended up taking three or four more emails from me and 15 more days to actually get the refund!
I am really so very happy that I didn’t like what they offered and didn’t put their images anywhere. I can’t even imagine the horrible hassle of having used them for a year and then having to go back and change everything, to have to find and get rid of their images wherever you had used them. Ridiculous.
(Update- Another person has told me that you can use their images after you are no longer a member. I am reporting this, because he seems pretty adamant about it. I am still skeptical though, because my images had watermarks even when I signed up, and the person on the phone said you had to be a member. I will look into this further and report back.)
Just in case you weren’t sure…
I Do Not Recommend StockUnlimited.com
Of course it is up to you if you want to use them. Just be careful, don’t say I didn’t warn you.
If you have used them and had a better or worse experience and would like to share…Please feel free to comment below. I also welcome any other questions, comments, or suggestions.
Check back soon for more website reviews and other tools and information to help you have a great website.
If you would like to read about something I do recommend (highly), a wonderful program that can help you with your existing website, or help you start your own for free click here to read my previous review.