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Author Topic: I'm very angry with Adobe.  (Read 5092 times)
mistybreeze
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« on: July 22, 2010, 07:53:43 AM »
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Yes, this is an anti-Adobe rant. I'm sick and tired of their awful customer service, which, IMO, has greatly deteriorated through the years. As far as I'm concerned, bad customer service starts at the top. Adobe's CEO should be fired.

Am I the only customer who finds the following product title almost impossible to decipher?

Adobe UPG CS5 ADOBE DESIGN PREMIUM 5 F/ 2/3 VER BACK MACINTOSH FR SUITES

I called Adobe and, after being transferred around the world, from one service rep to another, a total of five people, sales to tech help to customer service, nobody, and I mean nobody, including a supervisor in sales, could tell me what FR means in this product title. The supervisor told me "no such product exists...there should be no FR in the product title. Be sure to purchase your Adobe product from an authorized reseller." I told the supervisor that I was using the authorized reseller list as my guide when I made this mysterious discovery. The resellers I called could not tell me what the FR means because they simply copy and paste description info from the information Adobes sends them.

In the meantime, if you Google "Adobe FR Suites," there are pages of Adobe product descriptions with this FR in the title. None of these descriptions tell you what FR means or stands for. And, according to Adobe, such a product description does not exist.

I considered purchasing the CS5 Design Premium upgrade at the time of the launch but I was on my way out of town for a 3-week gig in Europe. I downloaded the 30-day trial version to get my feet wet and figured I'd love it and upgrade immediately upon my return. Now that I have returned, I discover the price has changed for the upgrade. Instead of $600 a month ago, I now have to pay $800 because, without notice, Adobe decided to punish all those photographers (and anyone else who purchases these bundles) who didn't upgrade to CS4.

Business is terrible. The economy sucks. And my electric bill is killing me. Now Adobe expects us to upgrade every 18 months and we small business owners have to pay, pay, pay to deal with all the expensive issues that come with an upgrade. Otherwise, skip one cycle and fork over an extra $200 to upgrade a year or two later because Adobe really needs your money. Sounds reasonable at the foundation but I hate the way Adobe displays its need for capital.

I resent the sneaky and confusing way they go about informing their customers of their new pricing policies. Yes, they tease consumers with the term "starting at $599." But until you dig deeper and make sure your pop-up blockers are turned off, it takes a few steps to discover that the $599 price only applies to those who bought CS4, which most professionals did not buy. Their 18-month upgrade cycle is driving most of us insane.

Are 15 variations of the same product really necessary? CS5 Design Premium has 15 variations. How many people are purchasing "CS5 Adobe Design Premium 5 - Version Upgrade" for $599, only to find when they go to install it, the license won't work because they did not upgrade to CS4? There are numerous online resellers, some very popular, who don't offer specific information regarding version upgrades. Some resellers only carry one version of an upgrade and they don't explain that their $599 version only allows you to upgrade from CS4. One authorized reseller I spoke with had no idea that a 2/3 Version Back existed.

IMO, all of this nonsense is confusing, disruptive, and time wasting. Maybe the confusion is making Adobe a ton of money. I don't know many consumers who shop by Manufacturer Part #'s, especially for software.

I'm furious with Adobe and I'm glad I gave them a piece of my mind. I've grown too cynical to think my opinion will change anything. In the meantime, I still have no idea what the FR means in the product title. And I'm furious that no one at Adobe could explain that to me.
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2010, 08:07:23 AM »
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I think you'd make much more mileage with this issue by sending a calm, cool note to the CEO of Adobe explaining in a flat, factual manner your frustration with sorting out their product line and pricing policies and that you've experienced great difficulty getting clarity from their customer service network. Tell him what exactly it is that you want from them in order to make your experience as a customer better and to ensure that you are selecting the product which is correct for your needs. He may not even see your letter, but whoever in his office sorts his correspondence will make sure that it gets to the right place for a response.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Thomas Achermann
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« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2010, 09:41:10 AM »
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Am I the only customer who finds the following product title almost impossible to decipher?

Adobe UPG CS5 ADOBE DESIGN PREMIUM 5 F/ 2/3 VER BACK MACINTOSH FR SUITES
I googled the describtion - the very first result points to an Amazon article called "Adobe Creative Suite 5 Design Premium Upgrade from CS2/CS3 [Mac]" - so that's pretty clear to me.
No idea about FR either...
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Nill Toulme
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2010, 09:54:18 AM »
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Um... maybe French language version?

Nill
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mistybreeze
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2010, 10:50:14 AM »
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Quote from: Mark D Segal
I think you'd make much more mileage with this issue by sending a calm, cool note to the CEO of Adobe explaining in a flat, factual manner your frustration...
Calm and cool ended after being bounced around from one uninformed person to another. Calm and cool ended when the price point jumped $200 before my free-trail was completed. None of Adobe's products are cheap. Nobody who plunks down thousands of dollars for a product, year after year, should have to tolerate such incompetence in customer service or endure such confusion when trying to make a sale. That said, I'm a firm believer in letters to CEOs. If I can get calm in this heat, I will send one.
Quote from: Nill Toulme
Um... maybe French language version
That would be a logical assumption except "Universal English" is always listed as Language Support in the description.
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BartvanderWolf
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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2010, 10:58:56 AM »
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Quote from: mistybreeze
Am I the only customer who finds the following product title almost impossible to decipher?

Adobe UPG CS5 ADOBE DESIGN PREMIUM 5 F/ 2/3 VER BACK MACINTOSH FR SUITES

While I agree that the number of upgrade versions is baffling, I read it as:
  • Adobe UPG CS5 ADOBE DESIGN PREMIUM 5; An upgrade to CS5 Design Premium 5
  • F/ 2/3 VER BACK; For maximum 2 to 3 versions back (so CS3 and CS4)
  • MACINTOSH; Mac OS platform
  • FR SUITES; For suite upgrades only, not for e.g. Photoshop to suite

The confusion is caused by an attempt to throw up blockades for loyal customers who want to do partial upgrades, e.g. due to changed business model. Once a suite licence is issued, one cannot use it for a single item upgrade anymore, thus forcing to do a more expensive full suite upgrade. Forcing customers into certain behavior shows contempt for the customer base, alienating one's loyal customers base is a bad practice if one wants to stay in business long term. The fact that the dealers even have a hard time understanding, as I personally experienced as well (it took one of the largest local ones the better part of a day to figure out which upgade I needed), is telling.

Cheers,
Bart
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2010, 12:13:03 PM »
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Quote from: mistybreeze
Calm and cool ended after being bounced around from one uninformed person to another. Calm and cool ended when the price point jumped $200 before my free-trail was completed. None of Adobe's products are cheap. Nobody who plunks down thousands of dollars for a product, year after year, should have to tolerate such incompetence in customer service or endure such confusion when trying to make a sale. That said, I'm a firm believer in letters to CEOs. If I can get calm in this heat, I will send one.

That would be a logical assumption except "Universal English" is always listed as Language Support in the description.

You see Misty, the only person who suffers from your ending of "calm and cool" is you, because you're the one who gets agitated/uncomfortable and no-one else is impacted by it. So do cool-down despite the heat down there in NYC (Toronto is only a little better because we're further North and sit by a huge lake) and write the letter. You'll do yourself and the community some good. Companies periodically get lost in themselves and need reasoned feedback from their customers to help set them straight again.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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mistybreeze
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2010, 12:55:39 PM »
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Quote from: Mark D Segal
You see Misty, the only person who suffers from your ending of "calm and cool" is you, because you're the one who gets agitated/uncomfortable and no-one else is impacted by it.

Every photographer is impacted by Adobe's actions and behavior. We should all write and complain. But, today, everyone with a camera is a photographer. And Adobe does little to differentiate the pros from the rest. We're all treated like idiot cattle who need to be shipped off to India to get incompetent customer service. I changed printers because my favorite brand sent its CS Department to India. I can't change my need for Adobe so I'm stuck and they know it.

Until Adobe has a legitimate competitor, my fear is they won't ever truly care about customer pain and frustration. Actions always speak louder than words. They're in business to make money so, let's face it, if they can't develop new, successful products, the burden of raising capital falls on our backs. Honestly, how much more do we need Photoshop to do? Is Content Aware Fill going to impact my bottom line anytime soon? I don't think so. Have you seen all the things that the latest Photoshop CS5 update attempts to fix? In a perfect world, these things would have been fixed before the product hits the shelves.

Hopefully, my rant here will help other customers through the shopping quagmire. I'd be really angry if I had purchased one of those upgrades that required CS4 and then had to fight to get my registration number to work now and in the future.

In the meantime, I'm off to the gym. That's the most effective way I know how to manage anger.  
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jjj
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« Reply #8 on: July 22, 2010, 03:19:38 PM »
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Quote from: mistybreeze
I resent the sneaky and confusing way they go about informing their customers of their new pricing policies. Yes, they tease consumers with the term "starting at $599." But until you dig deeper and make sure your pop-up blockers are turned off, it takes a few steps to discover that the $599 price only applies to those who bought CS4, which most professionals did not buy. Their 18-month upgrade cycle is driving most of us insane.
No-one is forcing you to upgrade, so why complain about it as if you have no choice. And if you do want the new features, surely you do not expect the product for free just because you have an older version of the software?
The upgrade price does say 'from' not 'is' $599? And there are lots of choices as there are lots of upgrade paths, as it is a collection of programmes. If you upgrade PS, then there is just the one price of $199 if upgrading PS and you can do so up to 3 version back or 4 if you buy the latest version just after the next one is announced. So you can upgrade every 6 years for a mere $200, hardly expensive to buy one of the best programmes you can buy. You obviously pay more for the suites as there are a lot of programmes in them, so the suites are pretty good value and usually include the more expensive PS Extended too IIRC.

I'm also curious as to why you think most professionals did not buy CS4.
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jjj
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« Reply #9 on: July 22, 2010, 03:29:44 PM »
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Quote from: mistybreeze
Every photographer is impacted by Adobe's actions and behavior. We should all write and complain. But, today, everyone with a camera is a photographer. And Adobe does little to differentiate the pros from the rest.
So PS Extended, PS, PS Lightroom and PS Elements does not cater for a range of photographers? PS Elements even has most of the power of PS at a fraction of the price.

Quote
We're all treated like idiot cattle who need to be shipped off to India to get incompetent customer service. I changed printers because my favorite brand sent its CS Department to India. I can't change my need for Adobe so I'm stuck and they know it.
Indian call centres are the bane of so many customers lives. Usually a complete waste of time dealing with them.
Actually you could try non Adobe products, lots of people use them very happily - Aperture, Capture One, The Gimp, Paintshop Pro, ACDSee, DPP, NX2 and there are a few others that I can't remember the names off hand.

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Honestly, how much more do we need Photoshop to do? Is Content Aware Fill going to impact my bottom line anytime soon? I don't think so.
No need to buy it then is there! Problem solved.
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BobFisher
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« Reply #10 on: July 22, 2010, 06:13:59 PM »
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Agreed, Adobe's service is atrocious.  Here's the question:  Who's any better?  Software or hardware?

In the last few years, the only companies that I personally have experienced good or very good service from are small, nimble, new(er) companies.  HDRSoft (producers of Photomatix) provides great service.  A couple other small, specialised software makers provide very good to great service.  Other than that, it's all a bag of poop.

Customer service and technical support service have become anathema to companies and corporate management and the concept is nearly completely antithetical to the majority of business models.  Today's business model works on the basis of screw the current customer because there's always another sucker waiting in the wings.  The idea that it costs less to retain a customer than develop a new one doesn't apply to many of the types of companies we deal with today.  They simply don't care.  Beat last quarter's earnings?  Yep.  Beat the street estimate?  Nope.  OK, cut something here or there, revise outlook and try to beat the street next quarter.  

Sorry to say it but well thought out, articulate, reasoned letters to management aren't going to do anything.  Won't matter how many they get.  Unless and until there's a mass exodus of customers; so large that any influx of new customers can't make up the difference, nothing will change.  Even then, nothing's likely to change because management of most companies is stupid.  Stupid and arrogant and they'll simply think it's not their problem.  They'll keep thinking that right through the Chapter 11 process.  

Hell, I've been waiting 4 days to get my login for the NAPP forums fixed and it'll be at least a 5th day before anything happens (if anything happens).
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Mark D Segal
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« Reply #11 on: July 22, 2010, 06:37:48 PM »
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I think this is overly harsh and inappropriate. Over the past few months I've required technical support from PNY/nVidia, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Adobe, Epson, and NEC. All of them are very large corporations and in all cases the issues I brought to them were handled properly and got resolved, if not on the first call, on the second. Some of the calls were addressed in the USA, others in the Philippines and India - doesn't matter where really - what matters is the quality of the systems and personnel. Yes, there are horror stories on support - many of them, but when you look at the whole universe of support these companies are offering to many millions of people, I don't think such over-simplified generalizations bear serious scrutiny.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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Nino Loss
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« Reply #12 on: July 22, 2010, 06:46:41 PM »
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Quote from: Mark D Segal
I think this is overly harsh and inappropriate. Over the past few months I've required technical support from PNY/nVidia, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Adobe, Epson,

Maybe you are just like those heavy smokers that make it in the hundreds  
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Craig Lamson
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« Reply #13 on: July 22, 2010, 08:28:11 PM »
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Over the past few months I've required technical support from PNY/nVidia, Hewlett-Packard, Dell, Adobe, Epson, and NEC.


This quote should make every one of us who depend on professional hardware and software cringe.....
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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2010, 09:07:09 PM »
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Quote from: ninoloss
Maybe you are just like those heavy smokers that make it in the hundreds  

No.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2010, 09:15:15 PM »
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Quote from: infocusinc
This quote should make every one of us who depend on professional hardware and software cringe.....

I'd say yes and no to that. Yes in the sense that for several of these issues, had the companies issued better documentation the calls to tech support would not have been necessary. They scrimp on documentation - either to save money or because they are too immersed in their own subject matter to really understand the needs of communication with the outside world, so they end-up wasting resources on the consequences of inadequate documentation. Some companies actually do try to optimize their communication strategies in terms of dollars and cents worth of tech support they could avoid, but I'm sure not all do. No in the sense that these systems we use are truly very complex, it's simply impossible for any one manufacturer to anticipate each and every kind of issue that can arise in getting it all to function properly together, especially as their cooperation can be limited by the proprietary nature of their businesses - so glitches are unavoidable and calls to tech support therefore become inevitable. Some of it is cringe over, but not all. Some we just have to expect as the "cost of doing business", of "having fun" as the case may be.
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Mark D Segal (formerly MarkDS)
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daws
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« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2010, 10:13:21 PM »
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Quote from: mistybreeze
I called Adobe and, after being transferred around the world, from one service rep to another, a total of five people, sales to tech help to customer service, nobody, and I mean nobody, including a supervisor in sales, could tell me what FR means in this product title.
It's a surprise.

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Phil Indeblanc
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« Reply #17 on: July 22, 2010, 10:38:29 PM »
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Quote from: mistybreeze


You certainly are not alone with the way you feel about ADOBE.  for the last few years, they have just gotten to be sloppy, and careless.

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WombatHorror
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« Reply #18 on: July 23, 2010, 03:15:21 AM »
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Quote from: BartvanderWolf
While I agree that the number of upgrade versions is baffling, I read it as:
  • Adobe UPG CS5 ADOBE DESIGN PREMIUM 5; An upgrade to CS5 Design Premium 5
  • F/ 2/3 VER BACK; For maximum 2 to 3 versions back (so CS3 and CS4)
  • MACINTOSH; Mac OS platform
  • FR SUITES; For suite upgrades only, not for e.g. Photoshop to suite

The confusion is caused by an attempt to throw up blockades for loyal customers who want to do partial upgrades, e.g. due to changed business model. Once a suite licence is issued, one cannot use it for a single item upgrade anymore, thus forcing to do a more expensive full suite upgrade. Forcing customers into certain behavior shows contempt for the customer base, alienating one's loyal customers base is a bad practice if one wants to stay in business long term. The fact that the dealers even have a hard time understanding, as I personally experienced as well (it took one of the largest local ones the better part of a day to figure out which upgade I needed), is telling.

Cheers,
Bart


Indeed. I bought one of the suites simply because adobe offered it at the campus store for the same price as the academic standalone pricing for the product within it that I actually cared about and now they refuse to let me upgrade just the one product even though I have another suite that already covers virtually all of the rest anyway. They won't even allow one to trade in a suite license for a single product license. So they want $499 instead of $199 for the upgrade. If I wait for CS6 then they said the upgrade will be $699 (i.e. same price as new!). Anyway, that's crazy so I'm just going to stick with the version I have forever instead. Not sure how that does them better.....

Anyway, don't feel too frustrated. I literally had to spend years to deal with a single warranty claim from Samsung! (the magic words turned out to be "attorney general")
« Last Edit: July 23, 2010, 03:20:05 AM by LarryBaum » Logged
WombatHorror
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« Reply #19 on: July 23, 2010, 03:16:53 AM »
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Quote from: daws
It's a surprise.

indeed it is. shhhhh if you don't keep quiet everyone will want an FR in their package!
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