Being a member of the media has a set number of luxuries. One of those being, working with Adobe and getting early access of products, and exclusive news. Thanks to Adobe, I used Creative Cloud for an entire year free by attending a media exclusive Adobe event back in the summer of 2013. However, since I've started paying for it a month ago, my frustrations have hit an all time high.
As you may remember, I put together a long piece following the announcement of Creative Cloud being pirated about how we shouldn't be pirating software that we rely so heavily on to help create our business and our art. I stand by my statement, and have no plans on pirating Adobe Photoshop CC. However, at this point, I don't know what I should do, as Adobe has taken my credit card information and hasn't made much of an effort to allow me to access the software.
The Events of June 24th/25th
On June 24th, my free one year of Creative Cloud had expired. This was fine, and at that point I was happy to pay the monthly subscription for software I rely so heavily on. 95% of my work is done on Lightroom and Photoshop, so I decided to take advantage of their $10/mo Photography Suite, as it is affordable and gives me access to just about everything I need within my workflow. I casually went to their website, clicked the “Renew Subscription” and found that I was charged $630.62 for an entire year of the Creative Cloud Suite. I wrote this off as my own mistake, and decided to casually submit a ticket to have my account refunded the $630 so that I could pay for the Photographers Suite instead.
Much to my surprise, the only way to truly get in touch with Adobe's customer support is through a chain of 140 character twitter messages with @AdobeCare. Reluctantly, I complied, and eventually was issued a refund - Something that would take 5-8 days to complete (It ended up taking 6 days) according to the Customer Service Rep I spoke with.
Money Spent - $630.62 | Software Access - 0%
From the moment I was told I'd receive a refund in 5-8 days, my account was inactive again and I was unable to use Photoshop or Lightroom. I asked them about this, and they told me I needed to just go ahead and purchase the photography plan and I'd be given access to my software. Since I was backlogged on work as is, I complied, and purchased a year of the Photography Suite for $9.99/mo, at a total of $126.02 (Taxes being the reason it's not a straight $119.88). This still didn’t give me access to the software for an entire 24 hours - which meant I had to expel my frustrations on social media.
Money Spent - $756.64 | Software Access - 0%
In the weeks following, I was refunded the $630.62 and given access to the software that I had purchased under the Photography Suite. However, there was one underlying problem - I was getting notifications each time I opened Photoshop or Lightroom that my subscription was about to expire, with a bright red lingering number counting down the daysof access to the work that needs to be done. However, naively as it may be, I assumed this was a glitch in the system, and figured Adobe would have it resolved before the looming countdown finished. What a foolish way of thinking that was.
The Lockout of July 16th
Eventually, on July 16th, the arbitrary countdown reached it zero mark, and I was locked out of the software I had paid for. Unfortunately, my deadlines for my photography work to be done no longer applied under Adobe's standards, and I was left out in the cold. Through typical practice, Adobe provided me with nothing but a Twitter handle - no phone number or email to get in touch with. So I tweeted, and I sat, and I waited. In previous attempts to contact Adobe through Twitter, I had tried being polite, and I had tried being angry, so my new approach was passive-aggressive.
Money Spent - $126.02 | Software Access - 0%
Eventually, Britt from @AdobeCare (who despite working for the company providing me with so much frustration, was very polite and helpful) was able to get this issue resolved, and I was given access to my software and services purchased. However, that didn't make the headaches disappear, and the access was only temporary.
Money Spent - $126.02 | Software Access - 100%
The Plague of This Morning
I'm saddened to report that this morning, my plague of Adobe came back. Upon opening Photoshop to catch up on retouching this morning, I was hit with another "00 Days Remaining" dialog, not giving me access to the software I own. At this point, I'm not sure how to approach it, as I've contacted @AdobeCare under 4 different occasions without much help other than a temporary fix to a long lingering problem.
Now I understand that I'm among the media, so following this post, Adobe will contact me and have this all resolved before dinner time. However, many other photographers would not have that luxury. So I'm here to apologize. I've ignored your problems and insight on Adobe's move to Creative Cloud, and was living blissfully under the sun of being among Adobe's media contacts, with plenty of people to contact if I had any problems. While I still don't condone the pirating of this software, as Adobe is a team of creatives all working to help create better products for us to use. However, today - for me - they've fallen short.
And Adobe, if you're listening, there has to be a better way. Don't get me wrong, I love the quick turnaround and updates of the Creative Cloud system, adding new features each month. But Twitter is your source for customer service? That won't work for most people, and will just feed the fuel of frustration. There has to be an easier system for you to connect with your customer base, especially following a complete redesign of business operations. I'll remain loyal, but I understand why others aren't at this point.
Money Spent - $126.02 | Software Access - 0%
Update - Money Spent - $126.02 | Software Access - 100%
As expected, Adobe has since contacted me personally and has helped me through the issues I was having to help me get my software up and running again. However, this doesn't change the fact that I've reached out multiple times prior to now about the issue without any resolve. However, I did want to quote the email sent to me, so that others can resolve their issues that might be having as well.
It appears that your computer still had information on it that you should have had a Creative Cloud subscription (which you’d been using for a year) and even though you had signed up for a new subscription, the computer was still looking for the old one. This is generally fixed by signing out and back into the Creative Cloud desktop app. How to do that is described here: http://helpx.adobe.com/creative-cloud/kb/sign-in-out-creative-cloud-desktop-app.html. If that does not resolve the issue, you can manually clear out these settings by following the steps in Solution 2 of this document: http://helpx.adobe.com/creative-cloud/kb/unknown-server-error-launching-cc.html. I haven’t yet checked to see what steps you’ve already taken to attempt to resolve this issue. If you like, I could call you to work through this directly. Simply provide the best phone number and time (including time zone to avoid confusion) to call.Second, I’d like to talk about available support channels. While Twitter is one way we communicate with customers, it is certainly not the only method. Here is a list of support channels, from least to most direct:
- Knowledge Base, Online Help documentation, and video tutorials: https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/topics.html (you can replace “photoshop” with the product you’d like information on).
- Adobe Forums: https://forums.adobe.com/welcome
- Social Media: Twitter (@AdobeCare, and each of the products has an @ handle, such as @Photoshop) and Facebook (for example https://www.facebook.com/Photoshop)
- Email: You can create a support case online - https://www.adobe.com/cfusion/support/index.cfm?event=portal
- Live Chat: You can access live chat support through the Contact Customer Care page by choosing your support needs and selecting the Chat option
- Phone: 1 (800) 833-6687The methods of contact are described here:
- General contact: http://www.adobe.com/company/contact.html
- Contact Customer Care (support): https://helpx.adobe.com/contact.html
- Contact options: https://helpx.adobe.com/contact/what-contact-options.html
- Use the Adobe Customer Support Portal: http://helpx.adobe.com/x-productkb/policy-pricing/customer-support-portal.html