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Author Topic: I am really disappointed in Adobe's treatment of customers  (Read 7535 times)
Bryan Conner
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« on: April 24, 2012, 11:21:19 AM »
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I purchased a CS5 upgrade in November because I was afraid to wait due to the fear caused by Adobe's announcement of the change in policy.  Adobe caused me to be afraid to wait, and now, the ones that waited are being rewarded with a complimentary upgrade. If I would have waited until after the end of March instead of acting quickly, I would now have a free upgrade to CS6.  I had a chat online with Adobe Customer Service this morning.  Of course, I am not eligible for the free upgrade to CS6.  The customer service chat person "Junaid" has told me that the contact information of the proper person for me to express my opinion to is not available.  Adobe does not have email support.   I must pay Adobe for the privilege of speaking with them on the telephone.  I am very disappointed.    I started with Photoshop 5.5 and upgraded to 7, CS, CS2, CS3 and finally CS5.  I feel like I have been taken advantage of by Adobe. 
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2012, 11:26:08 AM »
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Same here. I have not even installed CS5, as the only reason I bought it was the threat of the new upgrade policy.
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Bryan Conner
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« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2012, 03:07:16 PM »
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I just ended another chat session with Adobe. My case has been elevated to a higher level. The agent ended my session with the following: "This is in terms of the Adobe upgrade policy which was previously announced and hence we will look into it so that something can be done to the products purchased in the time after getting the previous message.". We shall see.
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« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2012, 06:02:13 PM »
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I am very disappointed.    I started with Photoshop 5.5 and upgraded to 7, CS, CS2, CS3 and finally CS5.  I feel like I have been taken advantage of by Adobe. 

I can see how you might feel that way but I'm not sure approach was really optimal. I know some people like to wait a long time before upgrading. There is some logic behind deferring an upgrade a couple of month so that the kinks in a new version is ironed out. However, that approach isn't the best approach from a return on investment basis. To get the best ROI, the best way would be to always upgrade as soon as a new version is available. Then you have the entire life of that version to depreciate the cost of the upgrade.

The question of whether or not to get an actual upgrade is a different matter. You skipped version CS4 and upgraded to CS5 under duress. Can't say I blame you for skipping CS4, but if you are using Photoshop professionally, CS5 had a lot to offer vs. CS3. If you had upgraded to CS5 when it was first released, then you wouldn't be in this pickle.

I will say I think Adobe mishandled the whole 1 version back announcement and extension of the grace period. I think it sucks...but it is what it is, a blunder (and not the first blunder by Adobe over the years). When Adobe changed the "any version to the current version" policy back in the CS or CS2 period, there was some complaining then as well. But not as much as the whole point product vs. suite upgrade policy meaning if you got a suite you had to upgrade the entire suite...

There are business reason why Adobe is trying to transition from a perpetual license to a subscript license and a lot of it has to do with revenue recognition and accounting practices. As it stands, the way Adobe accounts for the cost of the development for an upgrade must be deferred over the entire life of that version and the only changes that can be made are bug fixes and compatibility maintenance updates. The engineers are precluded from adding new features or functions because of accounting (you can blame Enron for that).

Thus major version upgrade end up getting feature lock for usually 2 years, which sucks for the engineers and the users. If Adobe can transition to a subscription basis, new features and functionality could be added at any time so the problems of compacted development schedules would be reduced. Note, I'm not trying to defend Adobe's handling of the 1 version back policy change, I'm just trying to explain why things have come to this.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2012, 06:51:09 PM »
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Just to clarify my own situation: I am on CS4 and never planned to go CS5, as many others do (i.e., upgrade every other version). At this point, I have not yet installed, nor activated the CS5 I bought "under duress". I do not know if the fact that it has not been activated would have any bearing on the matter.
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Bryan Conner
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« Reply #5 on: April 24, 2012, 11:35:45 PM »
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I would contact Adobe.  As of now, I have not been emailed by Adobe (I need to check my spam folder!).   I will keep you informed about the next steps.
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Alto
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« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2012, 02:13:50 AM »
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Just to clarify my own situation: I am on CS4 and never planned to go CS5, as many others do (i.e., upgrade every other version). At this point, I have not yet installed, nor activated the CS5 I bought "under duress". I do not know if the fact that it has not been activated would have any bearing on the matter.


I quite agree Jeff but it still feels like you have been "done over" as I have always used registered Adobe product I feel a little let down to say the least.

Jon
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Bryan Conner
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« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2012, 04:55:27 AM »
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Thanks for your input Jeff.  I understand, and agree in the sense that from a business standpoint I probably would have done the same thing to create both an environment where improvements and innovations can be shared with the public faster and smoother and an environment where the cash flow is also steadier.  But, the way that they did this was lacking integrity. The flip-flopping is what bothers me.  Adobe's policy change in November told me that CS3 users would not be able to upgrade to the upcoming CS6....we would have to purchase a full version.  So, I bought the upgrade even though I had previously decided to wait for CS6.  I had no problem with this.  But, a few months later, presumably after thinking about the damage that the decision had done to their customer relations, Adobe said that CS3 customers could wait...and that those that had purchased a CS5 upgrade in the last few weeks could go to CS6 for free.
This is a matter of principle with me, it is not a matter of the money.  Adobe has decided to offer some of the customers that took their policy change information to heart an upgrade to CS6 when they purchased a CS5 or 5.5 upgrade---other customers that took their policy change to heart and spent the same money are not allowed to upgrade without paying for two upgrades.  I think that this is bad business...and it leaves a bad feeling in me.

I will probably either upgrade to CS6 or purchase Lightroom 4 regardless of what happens concerning this issue.  I am a big fan of Adobe's products...just not a happy fan at the moment.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2012, 05:05:05 AM by Bryan Conner » Logged

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« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2012, 06:59:05 AM »
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I hate to state the obvious, but if Adobe thinks there is some incremental value in subsequent releases, why not simply provide an incremental upgrade price?

In that respect Adobe seems to try to do the exact opposite of what the rest of the world is trending to. There is a distinct trend towards fragmentation of functionality for a tiny price. Be it publishing, the music industry, or the creation of images. So what the h*ll is the (business) sense in a creative suite or a subscription model?

Maybe that is the problem: neither accounting nor engineering should have anything to do with feature sets or business-models. What Adobe seems to lack is some decent innovation experts. (Innovation in this case meaning some sense of the intersection of market, technology, and economics. Not necessarily meaning revolution in just one of these areas.)

And yes, I am also a disgruntled customer. Purchasing a different language for a 30% premium because of the Euro, and then expecting to be able to install the US english version. I understand translations and multi country distribution costs additional money. No problem. I do not understand however why this is a 30% increase, nor why this is a sudden mutually exclusive feature.

Perhaps Adobe should deconstruct the Adobe applications to some universal core editor and then provide satellite or modular add-ons, and allow customers to purchase and upgrade these individual modules. Whether these modules should (also) be available through a web-based cloud-based service package can be decided on a case by case basis. Customers should at the very least be able to purchase these services in some highly customized/individualized fashion. Adobe's current service and pricing model already reeks of customer lock-in and exploitation, and in no way reflects the ubiquitous availability of similar functionality all over the internet cloud.

Or to put it entirely differently:

It is getting increasingly difficult to think that Adobe has the customer's interest in mind, no matter how many times the evangelists tell us otherwise. So even if it is the case that the customer comes first, Adobe should be aware that this is becoming less obvious in the general perception. (That is: I think I do not speak for just myself.)








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« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2012, 07:33:17 AM »
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There are business reason why Adobe is trying to transition from a perpetual license to a subscript license and a lot of it has to do with revenue recognition and accounting practices. As it stands, the way Adobe accounts for the cost of the development for an upgrade must be deferred over the entire life of that version and the only changes that can be made are bug fixes and compatibility maintenance updates. The engineers are precluded from adding new features or functions because of accounting (you can blame Enron for that).

Thus major version upgrade end up getting feature lock for usually 2 years, which sucks for the engineers and the users. If Adobe can transition to a subscription basis, new features and functionality could be added at any time so the problems of compacted development schedules would be reduced. Note, I'm not trying to defend Adobe's handling of the 1 version back policy change, I'm just trying to explain why things have come to this.
I'm pretty familiar with accounting rules and Sarbanes/Oxley (the law that dealt with the Enron mess) and am not certain that these rules preclude Adobe from doing what you say.  My only quibble with Adobe's practice is that for users of LR/PS combination, one is kind of forced to upgrade both in tandem even if one perceives that the new PS is of only marginal benefit.  I don't mind Adobe or any other company maximizing their revenue stream (that's our capitalist system which functions pretty darn well) and I think we users are understanding of this.  I did go on the Adobe website yesterday to see if there is an easy way to communicate with the company on this matter and there really is not.  A lot of companies have on-line forms that allow you to communicate with senior management and the Board of Directors; Adobe doesn't so I guess those who would be interested would need to send a snail-mail to the CEO to register complaints.
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Bryan Conner
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« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2012, 08:00:24 AM »
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I did go on the Adobe website yesterday to see if there is an easy way to communicate with the company on this matter and there really is not.  A lot of companies have on-line forms that allow you to communicate with senior management and the Board of Directors; Adobe doesn't so I guess those who would be interested would need to send a snail-mail to the CEO to register complaints.

Exactly!
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john beardsworth
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« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2012, 08:13:47 AM »
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I'm pretty familiar with accounting rules and Sarbanes/Oxley (the law that dealt with the Enron mess) and am not certain that these rules preclude Adobe from doing what you say. 
Agreed, also from being (too) familiar with them. But they're perfect to hide behind.
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richarddd
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« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2012, 09:30:04 AM »
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There are business reason why Adobe is trying to transition from a perpetual license to a subscript license and a lot of it has to do with revenue recognition and accounting practices. As it stands, the way Adobe accounts for the cost of the development for an upgrade must be deferred over the entire life of that version and the only changes that can be made are bug fixes and compatibility maintenance updates. The engineers are precluded from adding new features or functions because of accounting (you can blame Enron for that).
It isn't the accounting rules that preclude engineers from adding new features or functions, it's Adobe management.  Management might have some reason for liking the accounting results of a subscription model better than the accounting results of a perpetual license, but they are free to adopt either approach.

Typically, the SOX and accounting rules are an excuse to do something unpopular that management wanted to do for other reasons.  As Alan says, the rules are perfect to hide behind.
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JonathanRimmel
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« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2012, 09:56:02 AM »
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I am currently chating with a rep from adobe. I am running and educational version of CS4 Design Premium. It seems one can directly upgrade to a standard license. I too didn't want to go to CS5 but it seems now it would save me about $300 if I did so and received CS6 free.
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JonathanRimmel
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« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2012, 10:07:49 AM »
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I just placed my order for CS5.5. I feel a bit sick, I did not intend to spend $650 today... But such is the price to pay...
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jeremypayne
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« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2012, 10:47:04 AM »
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I'm pretty familiar with accounting rules and Sarbanes/Oxley (the law that dealt with the Enron mess) and am not certain that these rules preclude Adobe from doing what you say. 

I am also pretty familiar with the accounting rules for software development related to commercial products.

Don't blame Enron ... there is plenty of history within the software industry itself to account for the current rule set ...

FASB Statement 86 is the governing statement and it dates back to the mid 1980's.
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shotworldwide
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« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2012, 10:57:33 AM »
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Thanks for your input Jeff.  I understand, and agree in the sense that from a business standpoint I probably would have done the same thing to create both an environment where improvements and innovations can be shared with the public faster and smoother and an environment where the cash flow is also steadier.  But, the way that they did this was lacking integrity. The flip-flopping is what bothers me.  Adobe's policy change in November told me that CS3 users would not be able to upgrade to the upcoming CS6....we would have to purchase a full version.  So, I bought the upgrade even though I had previously decided to wait for CS6.  I had no problem with this.  But, a few months later, presumably after thinking about the damage that the decision had done to their customer relations, Adobe said that CS3 customers could wait...and that those that had purchased a CS5 upgrade in the last few weeks could go to CS6 for free.
This is a matter of principle with me, it is not a matter of the money.  Adobe has decided to offer some of the customers that took their policy change information to heart an upgrade to CS6 when they purchased a CS5 or 5.5 upgrade---other customers that took their policy change to heart and spent the same money are not allowed to upgrade without paying for two upgrades.  I think that this is bad business...and it leaves a bad feeling in me.
This is how I see this situation too. I upgraded last October as we have been told we can't upgrade to CS6 from other versions than CS5. Otherwise I would wait till CS6. It is not fair

Regards, Filip

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shotworldwide
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« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2012, 11:05:02 AM »
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Perhaps Adobe should deconstruct the Adobe applications to some universal core editor and then provide satellite or modular add-ons, and allow customers to purchase and upgrade these individual modules. Whether these modules should (also) be available through a web-based cloud-based service package can be decided on a case by case basis. Customers should at the very least be able to purchase these services in some highly customized/individualized fashion. Adobe's current service and pricing model already reeks of customer lock-in and exploitation, and in no way reflects the ubiquitous availability of similar functionality all over the internet cloud.

Or to put it entirely differently:

It is getting increasingly difficult to think that Adobe has the customer's interest in mind, no matter how many times the evangelists tell us otherwise. So even if it is the case that the customer comes first, Adobe should be aware that this is becoming less obvious in the general perception. (That is: I think I do not speak for just myself.)
This is interesting, I was thinking yesterday about similar model. Just to have a "Core" version and some modules for web designers, 3D artists, film makers ...

Regards, Filip

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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2012, 01:20:25 PM »
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I am also pretty familiar with the accounting rules for software development related to commercial products.

Don't blame Enron ... there is plenty of history within the software industry itself to account for the current rule set ...

FASB Statement 86 is the governing statement and it dates back to the mid 1980's.
But I think it's a real stretch to think that FASB 86 applies to incremental advances.  If interpreted too literally it would also directly apply to updates of existing software, e.g., version 1.3 -> 1.4; but that's only my opinion.
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Bryan Conner
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« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2012, 11:55:05 PM »
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Update:  I still have not gotten the promised email or any other contact from Adobe.  I am still waiting patiently.
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