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Iconscout.com, An unethical company bordering on being a SCAM

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Iconscout Review

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:
https://iconscout.com/legal

On this page lies the following rules:
“Illegal Activities

“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 contact@iconscout.com. 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 contact@iconscout.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.

Anyone doing business with Iconscout and its parent company, chamedesign.com should think twice before boarding the scam train.

7 Responses to “Iconscout.com, An unethical company bordering on being a SCAM”
  1. Twinz

    Thats sooo low. Will be steering clear of iconscout.

  2. Samuel

    I saw them on producthunt and was actually thinking of signing up but the lousy terms – no thanks!

  3. Ronny C

    Stick to the better known brands like IconFinder. I had an account there and was suspended after 500 downloads but after an email they unlocked it and never had an issue since.

  4. Chris Wallop

    Sounds like another scammy site to avoid.

  5. Freddo

    Ugh, was about to upload my icon collection to this site before I found this article….

  6. Varun from Iconscout

    Thanks DreamTemplate for the article. We hope that you will feature this comment.

    As @Ronny C mentioned about how other sites are providing limited icons and upon request they will unlock your icons. I think you should mention how upon your request we also have unlock your account and also given ‘SPECIAL’ download limits.

    We also have given proper reason for why we have put limits on downloads. Iconscout is an icon marketplace powered by community of designers who uploads their creative work on our site. We are giving 70%-90% income to our designers. We were first site in icon industry who have given special feature which allow users to download icon pack. We thought that it will facilitate users by saving their time. But out of our imagination, some users (Including DreamTemplate) have misused this feature as they have downloaded entire icon packs in bulk even if they only want couple of icons of that pack. This affect heavily to income of our designers. They get very less money for their hard work because users are misusing the feature.

    Specially for your account, we have given so many special privilege to your account. I think you should mention that how you have been given facility of downloading 2000 icons in a day. Yes 2000 icons per day!!! The reason was, if you don’t have enough time to visit our site everyday and want to download necessary icons, you can visit some days and can download icons. But now if you’re downloading 2000 icons everyday for 3 months then it is not need it is basically cloning of the site. Please mention how many icons you have already downloaded from our site. Or you want us to reveal the number?

    Just like this, you have mentioned so many fabricated facts about our site. I would request you to come up with actual facts and numbers. We have so many proofs and evidence about what you have done with your account on our site. Upon other users or even your request we would be happy to provide all the documents.

    Currently Iconscout has more than 500,000+ icons and our designer community size is 170+ designers which includes all the top designers of the industry. So we don’t need to say how much our designers and users adore us.

    During our working we have been covered by many industry leaders like Product Hunt, Invision, Muzli, etc. If they’re writing about us then I don’t think we need to give more proof about our credibility.

    To facilitate our users to save their time and increase their productivity, we have recently launched plugin – Icondrop. Icondrop is a Plugin to get premium icons right into Sketch, Adobe lllustrator and Photoshop. This simple and easy-to-use tool empowers one to embed icons directly in design layout by just one click.
    Icondrop and Iconscout has special feature of ‘Scout’. Using Scout, user can create collection of icons for their individual projects for free.

    @Freddo I would request you to upload icons on Iconscout and see how we help our designers. We are even giving facility of uploading service. It means you just need to create your account, rest is on us. From giving proper tags to upload under your account, we’ll handle everything. Direct contact us on: Varun@iconscout.com. We will guide you through entire process.

    We are always happy to have our customer reviews either positive or negative. What concern us is fabricated facts. We would request DreamTemplate owner to not distract users by providing half information.

    If any user has any concern or any question you can directly shoot us an email on : Varun@iconscout.com. We would be happy to answer any of your query.

    Thank you.

  7. DreamTemplate

    Varun, Thank you for confirming that you’ve scammed us out of thousands of dollars. We paid huge fees, fully prepaid for a year for our download allocations and just because you don’t like us downloading to our “agreed” limits, you limited and now permanently suspended our account. Did I not ask you many times before if our download limits were acceptable? Why were you happy to accept more money to raise our daily downloads when you were not going to honour it? Are you now going to deduct your designers payout fees because you suddenly had less income this month? Why do you advertise unlimited icon downloads when it’s clearly just 7 icon packs/700 icons per month? Flaticon.com charges just $9.99USD/mo and you can actually download 2,000 icons/day. There’s no bogus hidden terms. The only thing worthwhile out of this whole mess was we at least both agreed that the icons acquired to date is still permitted for use in our future projects.

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