Anyone doing business with Iconscout.com and it’s parent company chamedesign.com should think twice before signing up as a customer or designer. Iconscout.com touts itself as one of India’s first icon marketplaces and is backed with a flashy website. A stroll to their plans page shows two plans on offer, Miniscout and Masterscout. The Masterscout plans advertises “Unlimited premium icon downloads”. Unfortunately this is far from the truth. Wonder over to their legal page and you reveal the truth at http://www.iconscout.com/legal, it reads “With your Masterscout Plan under Regular License your download limit will be 700 icons/month. However you can download only 7 icon packs/month during the subscription plan period. So much for an unlimited plan..
Iconscout offers a phony service and unfortunately our partnership with them has fallen out. It all started when we reached out to the founders early in 2017 to see if extended license plans were offered. At that time, they did not, however we were offered a custom plan called an Extended Premium subscription. With such subscription, one is able to license the icons on their site for Unlimited Personal Use, Multiple Commercial Projects and Unlimited sales of End Products. They offered this special plan on the condition we prepay for a full year. Yep, it was really expensive but hey, it was slightly better than what their competitors offered. Not before long we signed a contract and paid our subscription fees.
Our Extended premium plan came with 1,000 icon downloads per day, with no restrictions on icon pack downloads. After using the service trouble free for a week, we asked one of the co-founders if it was possible to upgrade our download limits by paying more. They agreed and we pad our dues. We commenced our downloads trouble free. The new terms were: 2,000 icons per day, or as many icon packs as we desired, as long as the total daily count was not over 2,000 for a period of 3 months, which would revert back to 1,000 icons per day thereafter. This was our new updated agreement.
Over the following weeks after taking thousands of dollars from us, they swiftly altered their download limits to just 15 icon packs per day without any prior notification. After a lengthy chat to the co-founder, he made it clear that they changed the policy because “its permitted in their terms of service”. We were now stuck with 15 icon packs per day. He assured us that ultimately nothing changed as we could still individually download 2,000 icons per day.
Anyone who uses Iconscout will quickly realize how slow downloads are. Clicking on an icon to download, can sometimes be as quick as 5 seconds, or be as slow as a minute PER icon. We strongly voiced our concerns but it fell on deaf ears. Several weeks pass before we hit a new snag. Iconscout has once again devised of new ways to restrict our downloads! One morning as we fetch the first icon we are greeted with a prompt “Sorry! We’ve got a little problem. Your subscription ‘Extended Premium were disable on 18th August, 2017 because you have reached your spending limit. Please renew or choose new subscription of iconscout to download icons.”
We contact Iconscout and their response? “Your account was disabled because you were using bots to download icons.” Surprised by this, we asked if using Chrome’s download manager was classified as ‘abuse’ and we get a surprising response “Using download manager to download continuous icons is also a type of bot. We can not allow that.” At this point in time, we realize it’s no longer worth arguing with these guys as they are adammit on finding every trick in the book to limit downloads. It seems hidden behind the flashy website is an operation bordering on being just a scam. Once they’ve taken your money, they no longer want to deliver on what was promised. We were referred to their terms of service/legal page, which is available at:
On this page lies the following rules:
“If Iconscout found any illegal activities caring out by your account like cloning the website content, sharing content on other sites, privacy violations, destruction of data, and interruption or degradation of our service then Iconscout can stop all the operations of your account without prior notice. If you’ve discovered a security vulnerability or concern, please e-mail us as at the earliest at firstname.lastname@example.org. As security is our highest priority, we’ll work with you to make sure that the issue is understood and addressed as soon as possible.”
“Iconscout is facilitating users to download desired icons in big number under our Unlimited Pro subscriptions. However subscriber is not allowed to download icons in bulk and thereby using our Unlimited Pro Subscriptions with intention of making local collection of icons. In any of these situation our system will automatically stops all the operations of your account. If you’re not downloading large number of icons with bad intention then we advice you to e-mail us at email@example.com. Iconscout will team will respond to that with prior solution.”
We go over the terms and something strikes us. These were not the terms we signed on for! It appears something was altered recently. We quickly jump to Wayback machine and the truth is revealed. On 31/May/2017, the terms which they recently added were not there. https://web.archive.org/web/20170531032205/https://iconscout.com/legal
It appears Iconscout quietly added those terms after we had signed an agreement. They re-enabled our account and changed the limits to 5 icon packs per day. At this point in time, it was simply useless arguing with this mob. We just continued downloading our meger download allocations.
UPDATE: On 19/Sept/2017 we were told to pack our bags. Our 12 month Extended Premium subscription which was fully paid upfront will be permanently suspended (we had many months remaining). The only light at the end of this tunnel was this. They accepted that all icons downloaded to date was still licensed as per our signed agreement.