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Author Topic: Why does Adobe hate non-Americans so much?  (Read 11912 times)
Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #20 on: May 13, 2012, 12:07:02 PM »
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I do not know about Adobe hating non-Americans, but I understand why Americans might hate Aussies: you come here with that cutesy accent of yours and steel their best jobs in Hollywood Wink
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Justan
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« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2012, 12:32:08 PM »
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Like most Australians, I'm absolutely furious about Adobe's pricing policies. In the US an upgrade to Photoshop CS6 can be bought for $199, but in Australia we're expected to pay $337. At the time of writing, the Australian and US dollars are near parity, and the Australian dollar was worth a bit more when the prices were announced.

Of course, it's not just Australians that are getting ripped off. I see that the British are expected to pay £190.80, (about 307 USD) and the Japanese 26,250 yen (about 328 USD). These prices are for digital downloads, so there's no physical product to be delivered, and therefore virtually no delivery cost. The consumption tax in Australia is only 10% (and it wouldn't even be payable if they let us buy from the US site) so that is not a valid excuse. Adobe are ripping off their foreign customers, and that's all there is to it.

Adobe don't even make any attempt to hide the fact that they're ripping us off. If anything, they seem to enjoy rubbing our noses in it. When I typed "Photoshop CS6 upgrade" into Adobe's Australian web page, it redirected me to a page that showed the American upgrade prices. When I tried to buy a copy, however, it wouldn't let me because I lived in the wrong country. Basically Adobe are sticking up their middle finger and saying "We're ripping you off, and you know we're ripping you off, but there's nothing you can do about it because we're a monopoly, ha ha!"

I can understand that Adobe charge their foreign customers more because by raising prices they make more money, and they think they don't have to worry about losing customers because Photoshop (and much of their other software) has no real competition. What I don't understand is why they don't just raise their American prices to the same extent. Why is it that they think they can get away with ripping off British, Japanese, or Australians, but don't do the same thing to their fellow Americans? What's wrong with a single, global price? Everyone who buys Adobe's software gets exactly the same product, and there are no delivery costs, so it's only fair that everyone should pay the same price.

By charging some customers a higher price simply because of the country that they live in, Adobe generate a tremendous amount of ill feeling. Foreign customers may still buy the software because they need it, and there is no competition, but that doesn't mean that they don't hate Adobe, and wouldn't gladly switch to another product if one were available. It's like America buying oil from Saudi Arabia - they hate the Saudi regime (as they should) but they do business with them because they need the oil and can't get it from anyone else.

I haven't decided whether or not I'll upgrade to CS6. I'd like to, and I can afford it, but I think that buying it at the Australian price would be like paying off an extortionist. It just doesn't feel like an ethical thing to do. I think the best course would be for everyone outside the US to boycott Adobe's products, unless they absolutely need them for business purposes.

If the OP is interesting in pushing the issue above, a well written letter to federal authorities as well as consumer protection groups with access to TV and news media in AU might help. Iíve seen some cases where a vendor will back off from this kind of gouging, as a result of comments from the public or government sources.

As an aside, Adobe offers phenomenal discounts for a number of sources, such as educational, governmental, and charitable non-profits as well. This is done largely to encourage people to buy. As an aside, if any of the readers is a member of one of the groups above, or knows of a group that is non-profit, run, donít walk, to a resource called TechSoup.org as they have some of the best prices to be found on a wide variety of both HW and SW.

Anywho, if not just Joe or Jane citizen but also news media and federal officials start making note of price gouging in a public way about retail or upgrade pricing offered by Adobe, often times the vendor will either make a special offer to the complaining party, or make a bigger show of it and offer a promotion to bury the complaints. But again, it takes a well written letter - or two or three, sent to several people inside and outside of the company, along with the willingness to be patient, to achieve this kind of goal.

In the end, vendors such as Adobe want consumers to quietly go along. It is when consumers protest and it start to making the news that changes come.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2012, 01:03:41 PM »
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Your point being?

My point being that this has been discussed ad nauseam every upgrade cycle and sporadically in-between.

And time and again, some kind and patient people would try to explain, in vain, how gravity works, and time and again bitchers and moaners would continue complaining why they can't reach the sky when they jump up.

I understand that you guys are "down under," but I didn't know that everything else there is upside down!? You guys stop education at the fifth-grade level? No one teaches Econ 101 there? I mean, even if everything is down under, upside down, inside out, reverse and opposite, 101 remains 101 even if you read it backwards, no? No one teaches basic economic laws? Or you were too busy surfing? You know, laws like demand and supply, if nothing else? Let alone the rest of the stuff, like income elasticity of demand, market size, group purchasing power, various fiscal and monetary systems, market segmentation and price discrimination, etc... Oh, and don't get me started on cherry picking: why is it that you people complain only about things that are cheaper here, never about stuff that is more expensive (health care, education, retirement, etc.)

No one mentioned that companies exist to maximize profit? And as much as we would want them to work for the world peace and universal love, that is not how the world works. I understand bitching and moaning about "evil corporations" and "greedy management", or any other combination of those four words. I understand. That is why we have hearts. But we also have another organ, though rarely used, a.k.a. brain, to tell us it has to be that way, up to a point. It has become equally boring paraphrasing Churchill: capitalism is the worst of systems, except for all the others.

There is one intelligent statement in you diatribe though: it is true that the only way to influence pricing policies is to vote with your wallets. Boycotts work. Especially combined with PR campaigns. So stop buying Adobe products. Companies will charge, and rightly so, as much as they can get away. Well, do not let them get away with  it... stop buying. That is called demand, and companies understand changes in demand. But looks like you guys were quite ready to fork out whatever the price has been all this time. In other words, Adobe knows there is sufficient demand at that price in your market. Why would they change it then?

So, stop buying. Contrary to the popular belief, there is a competition and it is actually free: Gimp. Not at the same level, I hear you say, mate? Well, gee... let me see: you want the best product the humanity has come up with, but you do not want to pay the premium? Or, you do want to pay it, but the same premium for the market of 20+ millions as for the market of 300+ millions? It sucks, bro! Oopps, scratch that, let me rephrase: it sucks, mate!

As for charging Americans more, believe me, Adobe would if they could. They actually just did, effectively, by reducing upgrade cycle from the last three generations to the last one.

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michswiss
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« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2012, 07:40:35 PM »
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Pixelmator for the win...  $50AUD if I remember correctly.  Has enough layer-type stuff so that I can do the occasional composite or painting work.

I won't buy any Adobe products, mainly due to the pricing differential.  I have also all but eliminated usage of Flash on my machine.  And no, I don't think cost-base differentials between the Australian market and U.S. adequately explains the pricing delta.

Without completely diving down the rabbit hole of the old "Tyranny of Distance" debate, Apple and Nikon (my two big spend vendors) have both been slowly adjusting pricing of their hardware products in-line with the U.S.   They aren't completely there yet, but it has been improving.  My upcoming D800 purchase will be the first body I've bought in AU. $3,450AUD is very reasonable given GST compared to U.S. pricing of just under $3,000USD.

Adobe's differential is probably the worst of the current big-ticket lot.  If I absolutely had to have CS6 or Photoshop, I have a few avenues to purchase via educational discounts in the U.S., UK and AU.  But as it stands right now, they won't be getting any of my money.
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« Reply #24 on: May 13, 2012, 07:54:54 PM »
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Chris - I've discussed the issue with two senior product managers.  They obviously didn't agree to give me a discount or change policy, but they are aware of the issue and have agreed to raise it with the appropriate area/management.  My suggestion is that they more cases they know of, the better.  I'm a single voice, having more helps to make the point more clearly.
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KLaban
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« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2012, 02:23:23 AM »
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A group I belong to representing hundreds of professional photographers approached Adobe with concerns over their pricing policy. They gave us time to present our case, listened intently, made encouraging noises and then did nothing.
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stamper
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« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2012, 02:52:57 AM »
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Could it be that the "true" price is the one one that is charged to oversee customers and US customers get a discounted one?
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Rob C
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« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2012, 03:41:14 AM »
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Could it be that the "true" price is the one one that is charged to oversee customers and US customers get a discounted one?



Geez! I see that the Rangers debacle is having a terrible effect on the nation's thought process: alernatives are being discovered for the first time!

;-)

Rob C
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tom b
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« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2012, 04:05:48 AM »
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Adobe is very nice to NSW teachers. I got the Adobe Master Collection CS5 (19 applications) for approximately Au$100. It is only licensed while you are teaching.

Cheers,
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Chris Pollock
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« Reply #29 on: May 14, 2012, 05:07:50 AM »
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And time and again, some kind and patient people would try to explain, in vain, how gravity works, and time and again bitchers and moaners would continue complaining why they can't reach the sky when they jump up.
So you think it's an unalterable law of the universe that you should be able to pay a cheap price, and people in the rest of the world should pay a higher price for exactly the same product?

I understand that you guys are "down under," but I didn't know that everything else there is upside down!? You guys stop education at the fifth-grade level? No one teaches Econ 101 there? I mean, even if everything is down under, upside down, inside out, reverse and opposite, 101 remains 101 even if you read it backwards, no? No one teaches basic economic laws? Or you were too busy surfing? You know, laws like demand and supply, if nothing else? Let alone the rest of the stuff, like income elasticity of demand, market size, group purchasing power, various fiscal and monetary systems, market segmentation and price discrimination, etc... Oh, and don't get me started on cherry picking: why is it that you people complain only about things that are cheaper here, never about stuff that is more expensive (health care, education, retirement, etc.)
If you're hoping that your infantile anti-Australian rant is going to provoke me into making anti-American remarks in response, I'm afraid I have to dissappoint you. I've known a lot of Americans over the years, and have found the great majority of them to be likeable people. I have nothing against American companies either; I purchase from many American online stores, and have never had a bad experience with them. My gripe is purely with Adobe (or more specifically whoever in that vast company decides on their pricing policies) and other companies that practice price discrimination without economic justification.

Your lecture on economics is just a fancy way of saying "Adobe charge you more because they can.", which is what I said myself earlier. Your talk about living costs is irrelevant nonsense - you may as well argue that Adobe should vary their price according to the customer's salary. Is that standard practice in a capitalist economy?

No one mentioned that companies exist to maximize profit?
Why do you write this as if it represents some kind of insight? I said basically the same thing myself.

Well, gee... let me see: you want the best product the humanity has come up with, but you do not want to pay the premium? Or, you do want to pay it, but the same premium for the market of 20+ millions as for the market of 300+ millions?
The Internet is a single market. I have a Visa card, which is exactly as good as the one an American would use. All Adobe have to do is accept my money and email me a serial number. They choose not to do so, because they want to charge me more because of where I live. I'll pay the same price that you pay, but I'm not going to pay more - well, actually I would be willing to pay maybe 15-20% more to cover our consumption tax and Adobe's Sydney office (even though I've never had occasion to deal with them) but certainly not the 70% premium that they currently charge.
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Chris Pollock
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« Reply #30 on: May 14, 2012, 05:14:37 AM »
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Chris - I've discussed the issue with two senior product managers.  They obviously didn't agree to give me a discount or change policy, but they are aware of the issue and have agreed to raise it with the appropriate area/management.  My suggestion is that they more cases they know of, the better.  I'm a single voice, having more helps to make the point more clearly.
Thanks for the information. I suppose it's not impossible that Adobe will reconsider if enough people make a fuss, but I'm not too hopeful. My own feeling is that they won't care about complaints as long as people keep buying their software.

If I were the manager of a medium-sized company looking to upgrade hundreds of licenses I'd definitely try negotiating, but I'm just an amateur photographer with a single copy of Photoshop CS5, so my bargaining power is effectively nil. It wouldn't be worth a manager's time to talk to me.Sad
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 05:52:14 AM by Chris Pollock » Logged
Chris Pollock
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« Reply #31 on: May 14, 2012, 06:01:55 AM »
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Could it be that the "true" price is the one one that is charged to oversee customers and US customers get a discounted one?
Considering that the British, Japanese, and Australian prices are similar, and the US prices a lot cheaper, I'd say you're probably right. My choice of subject for this thread was definitely too harsh - I should have titled it "Why does Adobe give American customers a special discount?"

Are Americans just better at complaining? Are they more tight-fisted? Is Adobe more fearful of angering a well-armed population?

(The above comment wasn't meant to be taken too seriously.)
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Farmer
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« Reply #32 on: May 14, 2012, 06:26:31 AM »
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At the end of the day, Chris, the people who works for companies are just that - people.  People can be influenced by all manner of things, including simple, honest dialogue.  Most people working in companies actually enjoy engaging with the people who use their products, or so I've found, so long as you have something worthwhile to say (it doesn't have to be praise, just considered and relevant).

I'm not saying you shouldn't post about it, but I am saying you need to do more than just post about it and beware of cutting off your nose to spite your face - CS6 is pretty damn good.  I understand as an amateur it's expensive, but in the grand scheme of things at a little over a dollar a day, if you want to use the professional grade product, it's not horrendous.  I'd like to see it somewhere closer to AUD250- which I think would more accurately reflect the local costs (plus GST) but I say that without any inside knowledge as to Adobe's specific local costs, so I know that I could be very wrong.  I look at it in terms of whether the price being offered to me is acceptable, not whether someone else can get it cheaper, as my primary focus.
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Chris Pollock
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« Reply #33 on: May 14, 2012, 07:35:57 AM »
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I'm not saying you shouldn't post about it, but I am saying you need to do more than just post about it and beware of cutting off your nose to spite your face - CS6 is pretty damn good.  I understand as an amateur it's expensive, but in the grand scheme of things at a little over a dollar a day, if you want to use the professional grade product, it's not horrendous.
You certainly make a valid point - I've known of people spending more than the upgrade cost on a single wild night on the town. From a purely logical standpoint it would make sense for me to just buy the upgrade and forget about it, rather than lose sleep over a relatively minor cost.

I'd like to see it somewhere closer to AUD250- which I think would more accurately reflect the local costs (plus GST) but I say that without any inside knowledge as to Adobe's specific local costs, so I know that I could be very wrong.
Yes, I'd pay $250 without too much complaint. I'll accept that having a local office gives some benefit, even if they're of less use to an amateur such as myself. I take back my earlier suggestion (made when I was in a bad mood) that Adobe close the Australian office to save money.

I paid $269.00 for the CS4 upgrade in 2008, and $307.00 for the CS5 upgrade in 2010. With the Australian dollar being weaker at the time, the prices didn't seem so bad. With the Australian dollar now at or above parity with the US, I thought it was reasonable to expect a price cut. Instead I was asked to pay even more, which made me understandably angry.

I look at it in terms of whether the price being offered to me is acceptable, not whether someone else can get it cheaper, as my primary focus.
I'm no psychologist, but I think it's safe to say that knowing that other people are allowed to buy something more cheaply lowers people's perception of its value. In the age of the Internet, people can instantly see what a product costs in other countries, and will naturally be less inclined to buy it if they think they're being ripped-off. Business models based on price discrimination will therefore, I hope, become less viable.

The problem is that Photoshop is so superior to the alternatives that it gives Adobe a virtual monopoly. Hopefully this will also change in the future as other products (Gimp perhaps?) catch up.
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Ben Rubinstein
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« Reply #34 on: May 14, 2012, 09:10:40 AM »
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Adobe could do with some competition desperately.
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Rob C
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« Reply #35 on: May 14, 2012, 01:01:55 PM »
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But it isn't only Photoshop that's over-priced (my opinion on price). Look at Nikon and its NX2: it cost me over a hundred quid for the thing, which serves me for nothing beyond getting a NEF into a Photoshop or Tiff file. I think it should come as an essential part of the body kit when you buy a Nikon camera. Now don't tell me Nikon uses it to subsidise the D800 or whatever!

Photoshop price? I think that starting from zero, a state of absolute PS virginity (strange, I find that an increasingly attractive word) where one has no Photoshop at all, a good/reasonable price would be in the region of three hundred pounds sterling or thereabouts. That's a bit high, too, but considering it will last for most of one's digital photographic life, not a bad investment. (PS6 will probably do that for me, though it would be nice to have something newer if only for bragging rights!) As most people keep saying, Photopshop offers so much and they are right, but so much is also way too much for many such as I, where PS6 works pretty well for 99% of what I need; it would just be pleasant having something that allowed quicker (easier?) ways of getting, sometimes, from A to B and, on occasion, to straighten those verticals a wee bit!

Rob C
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KLaban
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« Reply #36 on: May 14, 2012, 01:40:06 PM »
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Rob, why do you need Photoshop?

Unlike Photoshop, Lightroom is specifically designed for photographers and offers just about anything you could need. Brilliant program for less than a hundred quid.

Most photographers I know ditched Photoshop for Lightroom ages ago.

Keith
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Justinr
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« Reply #37 on: May 14, 2012, 02:33:28 PM »
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Adobe could do with some competition desperately.

Now here's a thing that puzzles me. Microsoft no doubt have the money and the expertise to do an MS version of Photoshop. Give them a year and I'm sure they could cook up something pretty much as useful. Likewise I don't doubt that Adobe could create an operating system to rival Windows if they put their mind to it and yet it doesn't happen. In fact I'd go so far to say that MS have deliberately backed off trampling all over Adobe's garden for when I traded up to V4 of Expression Web it felt like a long hike back into history with it being so slow, cumbersome and just fiddly to use. Adobe creative suite however power's on with never a glance at it's supposed rival.

You don't think our man Bill enjoyed an agreeable lunch with the head honchos of Adobe at some point do you? I mean such a thing would never happen in the competition driven world of US commerce, surely every right thinking, freedom loving, gun toting US citizen would object to the formation of monopolies in this fashion, unless of course they were sold the product cheap to shut them up.
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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #38 on: May 14, 2012, 03:07:57 PM »
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Could it be that the "true" price is the one one that is charged to oversee customers and US customers get a discounted one?

And what that "true" price would be (it is funny that even you put it in quotation marks)? How do you arrive at one? Labor value plus some acceptable (to you) profit you reluctantly agree to grant to the greedy capitalist bastards?
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Slobodan

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Slobodan Blagojevic
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« Reply #39 on: May 14, 2012, 03:16:55 PM »
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... If you're hoping that your infantile anti-Australian rant is going to provoke me into making anti-American remarks in response, I'm afraid I have to dissappoint you...

Funny, that comes from a guy who starts a thread how an American company hates non-Americans.
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