August 30, 2009

Fixing Adobe’s broken customer service

The quality of Adobe customer service has really taken a dive lately (I know: I end up fielding/escalating a lot of cases that come in through blog comments). Now company VP Lambert Walsh has posted an open letter to customers (PDF), saying in part

Our customers have experienced a level of service that is inconsistent with what they expect and deserve. This is unacceptable and we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience caused. We are working diligently to resolve these issues.

Lambert provides a little background on what happened & offers some email addresses for getting help while the system gets fixed.

Posted by John Nack at 12:06 PM on August 30, 2009

Comments

  • John Hoffman — 12:29 PM on August 30, 2009

    Does Lambert’s letter mean that Adobe is outsourcing support for North American customers to outside of North America?
    I understand the need to keep costs to a minimum to stay competitive. On the other hand, if US employers keep exporting jobs in order to save money, there soon will be substantially fewer people in the US able to afford to buy their products.
    [Of course, if Adobe (or any other public company) doesn't keep taking steps to maximize its profits, its stock price will fall & its management (who report to the shareholders) will be summarily replaced by people willing to take the necessary steps.
    The cynic in me says that all these companies are just grandfalloons designs to let retirement funds park capital & turn it into slightly more capital on a predictable basis, with everything else just being an artifact or means to that end. I participate in this system as it lets me make good tools for a lot of people while providing for my family. And on it goes, this thing of ours.
    See also concentrated benefits vs. diffuse costs. --J.]

  • Armand — 12:52 PM on August 30, 2009

    It’s good that at least Adobe is aware that there is a problem.
    My experience with customer support via phone has been very negative (read: a waste of time; and I only had to deal with ‘simple’ issues related to sales). On the other hand I remember only good things about Macromedia…

  • Michael — 1:16 PM on August 30, 2009

    Corporations are supposed to maximize shareholder value. Nothing, however, requires that all of that value MUST come this quarter.
    Otherwise one could simply sell off everything, have one GREAT quarter, then cease to exist.
    Which in turn implies that companies need to examine those actions which, if taken now, will end up shooting themselves in the foot later on.
    Which means that I agree with Mr. Hoffman above. US corporations need to keep jobs in the US market. Especially if they intend for there to BE a US market of buyers for their goods.
    And stockholders, if they can’t figure it out on their own, need to be apprised of these facts.

  • Michael Tissington — 1:21 PM on August 30, 2009

    This is great news but I think it’s the tip of the iceburg. I have ALWAYS had BAD customer support from Adobe, if there were alternative great photo editing products from other companies I would have switched a long time ago.

  • Brian Johns — 1:29 PM on August 30, 2009

    Thanks of pointing this letter out. I haven’t had the need to contact Adobe customer support myself but I appreciate how large an undertaking it must be to overhaul an organization that large.
    In a related observation, I’m not meaning to be snarky but really – A 424 KB pdf to express 303 words (1,980 bytes) of content?
    [Yeah, I have no idea what that's about. --J.]

  • Tom — 1:43 PM on August 30, 2009

    “Adobe is in the process of transitioning to a new global service provider …”
    In other words, “Adobe is stabbing the American worker in the back and outsourcing this necessary evil of a task to some country where we can pay these guys 10 cents per hour. We’re still trying to teach ‘em enough English to read that ‘product support’ checklist ..”
    That about right?

  • ChrissyOne — 2:09 PM on August 30, 2009

    John, the cynic in you would be right. The problem is that support is still considered a cost center and not an integral part of development, so when it’s time to cut back, Support always suffers without any regard to how it affects customers or how their concerns are ever meaningfully communicated back to the company. This is disguised with terms like ‘prioritizing’, which really just means deciding who is important enough to get help, and invariably it leaves plenty of folks out in the cold who don’t rate highly enough in the cost-benefit model. It looks great on paper to make one huge account happy, and ‘prioritize’ away scores of single users, until those users fire up their web browsers and spread the word about how much they were valued by the company.
    The latest move to outsource more support has robbed Adobe of not only product expertise, but passionate folks who loved using the product as much (or more) than working on it. In their place are vendors who train minimally and who have no reason to put their names on the line for their work, and have little reason to care about fulfilling anything more than their time-clock requirements. It’s about costs. Whether the customer is actually happy at the end of the day never figures into the matrix, as long as the software makes more money than it costs to support. I have to wonder how long anyone thinks this can go on, or who actually might be thinking about it, aside from a handful of panicked, over-worked folks that are left to thanklessly bail the water out of the boat, and still end up getting the blame.

  • Murrey Walker — 2:09 PM on August 30, 2009

    Outsourcing Photoshop Tech Support to India is a BAD move.
    Friday, when I upgraded to Snow Leopard, I encountered a glitch in PShop (System plug-ins weren’t found). When I called support, it was answered by an Indian who spoke very poor English. When I could finally understand what he was saying, I asked him how long he had personally been using PhotoShop. Imagine my surprise when he said, “6 months”.
    After experiencing language barrier frustration, I was turned over to a second tier support lady. She had no idea what I was talking about.
    I ended the call by saying, “Perhaps, Snow Leopard is so new, it would be better if I waited”. She said that would be a good idea!
    AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

  • Ken — 2:44 PM on August 30, 2009

    Jack,
    At my age of 63, perhaps you and your wife while there is time for your family watch the documentary movie 2 million minutes http://www.2mminutes.com/.
    What adobe is doing (humbug) further supports anecdotal evidence supports this movie.
    While I do understand the actions Adobe is undertaking to keep Adobe a high value asset. My heart sinks more with the American public education system.
    I am sorry to see you guys do this, but I really do understand but it is painful to watch more high tech companies going east…
    Ken in Ky

  • Eric Peacock — 3:28 PM on August 30, 2009

    Makes me glad I didn’t get offered a higher tier Adobe tech support job back in ’97 (for the Photoshop team no less).
    By now I’d probably have been replaced by an outsourced call center.
    My personal experiences with any outsourced support cost both myself and the company a great deal more money than if someone who had the proper expertise had answered the phone.
    Seriously – as soon as a manager realized that the rep was going in circles and running up useless technician costs they dropped my nearly 15 years of business like a rock. It took them four weeks of repeating the same non-working steps and quite a few irate calls from me to realize this. I went elsewhere and was up and running under the same conditions in a fraction of the time. My takeaway is that if it was my business I would hesitate to put all my customer support eggs in a broken basket.
    Real problem solving can’t be scripted, it’s also worth every dime.

  • Mike Sullivan — 3:32 PM on August 30, 2009

    Maybe the demands on customer service would be lessened if Adobe had not moved its user-to-user forums to the totally inadequate Jive software platform. Many experienced and helpful users have either quit or cut back their participation because of the lousy platform.

  • James Sinks — 3:38 PM on August 30, 2009

    I know this is going to sound disrespectful, but is customer service actually going to improve any, or is it just moving to a cheaper country?
    I’ve only used Adobe support twice, and I was underwhelmed once (when reporting a serious, easily reproduced Bridge bug that would destroy large files), and completely blown off the second time. I have more bugs to report, but can’t see the point in doing so, given my past experience.

  • Jack Larson — 4:48 PM on August 30, 2009

    I am so grateful when I hear an American voice. For me, it is totally a matter of being able to communicate. Often I just have to hang up and seek help elsewhere.

  • ChrissyOne — 4:52 PM on August 30, 2009

    I don’t see how the experience can improve in the state it’s in. The remaining support staff can only just keep up with the dozens of products they’ve had piled on them, much less provide adequate, meaningful training for new agents, though they do a heroic job trying. Communication (both language and time-zone) obstacles compound the problem for all parties. How can it get better? Where is the foundation of product knowledge and (this almost sounds silly to say) passion for the product and pride of craftsmanship supposed to come from? I think we’re supposed to believe that it’s unnecessary, and support tasks can be handled by any entry-level semi-computer savvy person with a basic grip on English. But this begs the question – why not just tell the customer to find it themselves? The docs are online, and searching through docs is pretty much what the task has come down to. Adobe has very bright and clever customers who are crafty at solving problems in online forums, so why bother with a significantly less skilled abstraction layer?
    Well, because if you actually employ someone who understands a problem, then it can get solved. Or at least, it can get a decent work-around. Does a vendor have a vested interest in taking extra time to actually solve a problem? I don’t see that they do. So where is this supposed to come from?

  • Ad — 5:39 PM on August 30, 2009

    Did the vp misspell his own company’s name in the PDF, or is the email address really “adbehelp”?
    [The Adobe stock ticker symbol is "ADBE," so sometimes those letters are used as (very minor) shorthand, in the same way "MSFT" refers to Microsoft. --J.]
    It might be better all round if management was outsourced, and tech support kept at home.

  • Steven Alexander — 6:04 PM on August 30, 2009

    Interesting to see this posted. I over 40 minutes, mostly on hold, not getting my problem solved. I received the questionnaire asking for comments on Customer service and Adobe failed. This phone call was a follow-up to previous email attempts to resolve the same problem. Case #181142042 and/or 181056926.
    In the past the CS was spot on and very efficient. Too bad now.

  • Tarwin — 9:16 PM on August 30, 2009

    I really hope this does mean that support will be better in the future, though I was told that it would be better “in the next few months” as soon as CS4 came out (this was by the head of marketing Asia/Pacific) and have only had more trouble.
    I hope this means they will employ people who know what they’re talking about instead of just giving the “have you run the disk cleanup utility recently?” answer which I seem to get all other times that I don’t get the “do you have the latest drivers installed” answer.
    The support has been so bad for my CS4 experience (after buying CS3 and having no problems with the program) that I do not think I can possibly pay for the Adobe product again unless they’re is some kind of real change with the support. And I mean REAL change. I do not want to again waste days of my time trying to get the most basic of your products working (Photoshop) just to find out that “there’s a patch about to come out that will fix most of your problems”, and that answer only coming after I go to an Adobe official event and threaten to stand up and tell everyone “NOT TO BUY CS4″!
    I need assurance that I’m not wasting my money. I finally get to a point where I can afford to purchase Adobe’s software and the support is 10x slower and 100x less informed than you’d get if you didn’t buy the software (yes, pirate it). This is really unacceptable.
    I would really appreciate if it could be announced here (on this blog as I really can’t trust anything from the “official” Adobe channels anymore) when the “new customer support” has been fully implemented.

  • Andy Hale — 11:00 PM on August 30, 2009

    Wait, so Adobe hasn’t already outsourced customer support out of the US? My only calls have been largely license issues and I would be very hard pressed to believe I was speaking to someone remotely local.
    But seriously my biggest complaint is just that virtually every support person would do better to be able to think on their feet more and have the ability or freedom to gauge the customers knowledge then go from there in establishing next steps. Get away from the script and get to solving problems faster.

  • Gavin Seim — 11:03 PM on August 30, 2009

    First, props for admitting it. Adobe service was not perfect before, but really nosedived from the Macromedia acquisition on.
    I think the problems are pretty plain though. Adobe outsourced knowledgeable support for cheap overseas time wasting. I spent hours one the phone when CS3 came out, because my GoLive upgrade serial number I paid for didn’t work. Never did get the problem fixed and finally stopped using it.
    Because of Adobes poor registration system that makes paying customers go thru more hassle than pirates and poor service, I wasted my money on something Adobe did not back up.
    Support cost. I remember paying about $200 USD for a tear of premium tech support for the ENTIRE Creative Suite CS2. The next year, the same support for CS3 went up to $1600 USD.
    Again, glad Adobe is finally addressing, but lets not play games. They know exactly what they did and it was no oversight. Stop trying to cut corners while expecting customer to pay top dollar for the product. For what it costs support should be free.
    Keep up the good work John.
    Gav

  • jimhere — 5:54 AM on August 31, 2009

    I’m not sure how John Nack became the public face of Adobe, but maybe he needs a double salary now (“Lambert” is clearly a pseudonym for a fictional paper-clip-like help character).
    [Heh. If that were true, Lambert's letter would have been more elliptical, rambling, and digressive. --J.]
    Hopefully someday John can get back to the tools in PS, and not have to explian why Adobe does this or that.
    [Doing the one does help inform the other. --J.]

  • James Sinks — 6:37 AM on August 31, 2009

    Hi Chrissy, I’ve never used Adobe’s phone support, but their online support has been very disappointing…
    The bug I ran into would destroy any PSB file larger than 2GB if you tried to change the metadata and could be reproduced in about 30 seconds (maybe 90-120 seconds, if you had to make a dummy file), but support still told me to spend a hunk of my day reinstalling and reconfiguring CS4. It was only after I did an OS reinstall from bare metal and reproduced the bug from a fresh install, an updated install, and a customized updated install, with brand new dummy files and old work files that they decided to take me seriously and try to recreate it themselves. And sho’ nuff, they reproduced it in 30 seconds, told me it was a real bug, not operator error, closed my case, and told me that they didn’t know when or if they would fix it.
    It’s very frustrating since it’s not like I’m a clueless luser complaining that my Adobe is broken–I did rigorous testing on my own and gave support the exact conditions required to reproduce the bug in my very first email to them. Instead of taking 30 seconds to read my email and follow my instructions, they wasted hours of my time, wasted money paying a support guy to “handle” my case, and provided no actual solution (other than not using metadata and changing my workflow to avoid their sloppy bug).
    And of course, the second bug I reported hasn’t even gotten a response. Given how much Adobe’s Creative Suite products cost, that’s just unacceptable.
    Much like you, I’m worried that the only thing the move to Bangalore (or wherever) will do is make things even more difficult by adding a language barrier.

  • Katherine Mann — 7:26 AM on August 31, 2009

    Thanks for your honesty. I think that everyone who has had to deal with Adobe’s customer service truly understands how little Adobe cares about the individual customer.
    I have had a case open for two months. I have spent hours on the phone, been hung up on (a classic slamdown to shorten hold statistics) repeatedly after hours of waiting; I have talked to at least 10 agents who all agree that Adobe needs to provide me with the goods promised when I purchased my upgrade to Ps4; I have spoken with people who asked me basic questions about my problem for over twenty minutes and then informed me that I was talking to the wrong department; I have been connected to Level 2, which turned out to be a car dealership in Nevada; I have been assured that I would be contacted with 24 hours repeatedly and was never contacted at all.
    I love Adobe products (good thing as there are no alternatives) and I have been a loyal customer for fourteen years. That means nothing compared to the bottom line for shareholders. This sort of hubris will eventually effect the bottom line at Adobe. Shame.

  • Mark D Segal — 8:30 AM on August 31, 2009

    I read Mr. Walsh’s letter – twice – and unless there is a disconnect between my eyes and my brain, I didnt see the world “India” once. But even if I did, it wouldn’t have mattered because that’s not the real issue. These days companies are free to locate their operations wherever they perceive it in their best interest to do so. I’m not apologizing for the system, just remarking that this IS the system, and BTW those of us in the field of development economics look beyond the frontiers of North America to see merit in these business processes. Does anybody here know how much of Photoshop itself these days is actually designed where? My Toyota Sienna is manufactured in the USA to Japanese standards.
    And that gets us into the real issue: the real intent of the corporate mission statement, training and standards. Excellent support can be sourced from anywhere provided the people are well-enough trained in the language skills, the products, the computing environments and service protocols, and provided the service structure is properly tiered to give appropriate support from the correct level of intervention. But it takes time and money do this. The real test for Adobe will be whether it puts enough resources into whatever it arranges so that the results improve.
    Mark

  • William Chinn — 10:57 AM on August 31, 2009

    So what’s new? You mean you don’t use Scott Kelby (and crew) and google search for customer support? Ever since I made my first Customer Support call for an installation issue, I knew I needed someone else. And yes, its hurts to pay that additional cost but I haven’t hit my head on the keyboard nor wacom recently.

  • jeffrey Tranberry — 11:15 AM on August 31, 2009

    Katherine, send me your contact info @ jtranber @ adobe dot com so I can try and get your case into the right hands.

  • Carolyn Ann — 11:53 AM on August 31, 2009

    I read the letter. And I read it again. I then read it again. I thought about it. I read it again. I’m still not sure I want to understand what Mr Walsh was saying.
    That wasn’t a mea culpa. It was a form letter. The sort you send to big customers who need something to show the boss Adobe is paying attention.
    Here are the problems:
    1. It doesn’t mention the current problems.
    2. It doesn’t mention Snow Leopard.
    3. It makes a promise about future support – there is no mention of the problems people have voiced here.
    4. There’s nothing in there about how the current problems will be solved. We don’t want case numbers and phone numbers or email addresses – we’ve already voiced the complaint. ACT ON THAT INFORMATION, Adobe.
    5. Why should I care that bringing 800 new customer support agents is difficult. I know it is, and most us could probably guess that. It’s irrelevant. All this letter tells me is that Adobe can’t walk and chew gum at the same time.
    I don’t have any confidence Mr Walsh understands what the frustrations voiced herein are about! He seems to think that although Adobe’s customer support is lacking a little – it’s because they’re 800 support agents short. That might be the technical reason, but it is not the real reason. The real reason Adobe’s reputation is in tatters is because they don’t listen.
    Okay, to be fair – Adobe gives a really good impression of not listening.
    It would be really, really nice if someone in Adobe stood up and said “Okay, what are the problems?” And listened. And noted what was said. Everything from PSE/Mac not being a Mac app and not working with Snow Leopard to CS3 not working on Snow Leopard. They could summarize the discussion, and then tell us how, and an expectation of when, the problems will solved.
    Adobe has, frankly, gone from Mr Walsh’s “we wish we could do better” to “we have a corporate catastrophe on our hands”.
    In short: Adobe, DO BETTER.
    Carolyn Ann
    By the way, John: your summary of how capitalism works is slightly wrong. Shareholders have very limited rights in changing management; they can influence the selection of some directors, but that’s all. I believe Adobe is traded in the US, so the shareholders actually enjoy fewer rights than they would in Europe, for instance.
    Another PS: It takes a few goes for me to publish a comment. Is there something wrong with the blog software? (I use Snow Leopard and Safari 4.) I must admit – I do enjoy the irony!

  • ChrissyOne — 12:03 PM on August 31, 2009

    Noida, actually.
    Sadly, your case is representational of what’s happening. Since T1 agents aren’t expected to have anything more than basic computer skills, and no particular background with Adobe products, or any sort of graphic production apps at all, then every call on a given issue starts at step one. “Create a new user” “Reinstall” etc. These are dandy steps for general troubleshooting, but don’t really get the customer anywhere very fast. And they are not designed to. They are designed to move you through a queue.
    When a knowledgeable tech discovers a solution or a work-around for a problem, they actually remember it for next time. A good tech will even write a doc, even if it’s just internal, to share with other agents, so that the problem can be more quickly handled the next time around. A really good tech has a mental database of current issues and bugs, and can think creatively to provide the customer with helpful, constructive suggestions to overcome their problem.
    The problem is that this isn’t happening at Tier 1 any more. Vendor agent’s simply aren’t paid to do this. It’s also not happening much at Tier 2, which up until recently was a stellar part of the tech matrix, but most of them have also been outsourced. The last company employees left at Tier 3 have been pared down so far that they can’t possibly cope with what’s coming up from vendor agents.
    It all comes down to how the performance of phone agents is measured, and no where does the happiness of the customer enter into it. They are measured on call times, and how long a case spends in the queue, and if the case was closed. Not HOW it was closed, not by how many bugs were logged, or fixed, or worked around, or if subsequent cases were solved faster for having this knowledge. Their performance is charted by a company a world away, which is not inherently concerned with how well anybody likes Adobe at the end of the day. Adobe is just another one of their contracts.
    It’s evidently thought, by upper management, that good tech support is only a matter of being able to search for the right document, so you can hire just about anyone who can read to ask a few scripted questions, search the K-base, and provide results. This is where it all falls down, because there is almost no one left to even write good documents, or understand the issues, much less have a breadth of experience with a given product to figure out what your issue might be before sending you jumping through time-wasting hoops to get you out of their queue and make their personal numbers look good. AND IT TAKES MORE THAN GOOGLE SKILL TO BE A TECH. It takes creativity and understanding of the software, and maybe even a little interest in actually using it to boot.
    The worst part about this is that now (as always) the brunt of the work will fall on the few employees that are left the wrangle this rabid spastic beast, the same ones that shouted every step of the way that outsourcing was a bad idea. The email alias mentioned will probably just pipe these (rightly) angry customers into the Tier 3 queues, bypassing the whole system that was supposed to be such a big money-saver. Instead of holding vendor agents (or the managers who hired them) accountable for their failure, they are simply bypassed. Email cases will now fall directly into the laps of the tiny handful of folks with any real expertise left, until (when they inevitably fail to keep up) they too are let go in the name of cost savings.

  • Graham Sorenson — 12:34 PM on August 31, 2009

    Yes.. they are “transitioning to a new global service provider” which is in call center speak = going offshore.

  • Kristin — 1:21 PM on August 31, 2009

    I sure hope so!
    My HDD crashed and I had to re-install. I can’t active my CS4 DP because it says the serial is in use (I also have it installed on my Macbook Pro). I’ve tried calling “support” 4 times already and have given up each time after being on hold waiting for someone to pick up the phone and help! Again today, I’m sitting on hold as I type this (for over an hour now).
    The worst part is — ONCE I got through, but the guy helping me said they were having an issue with the activations servers and I’d have to call back later….which I’ve done over and over again…and still nothing…
    ,,,and still on hold…
    k.

  • Peter — 2:20 PM on August 31, 2009

    Oh, activation. There was another GREAT idea!

  • Michael Prescott — 2:37 PM on August 31, 2009

    I’ve been on hold for 1 hour and 47 minutes, so I can get permission to re-install CS4 Master Collection. I cross-graded from PC CS3 a few months ago and must always call support to re-install. Any chance I can get this problem fixed permanently. Any chance I can get email support on this by tomorrow? I can’t listen to this hold music another minute.

  • Jason — 8:41 PM on August 31, 2009

    At least Adobe steps up and admits when things may get a glitch here and there – case in point the letter and your post about CS3 on Snow Leopard.
    After Tom Hogarty stopped over to talk about LR, my perspective of Adobe changed significantly – friendly, open to new ideas, and willing to work with consumers when the conditions are right! We may have tough love for Adobe at times but it’s only because we love the product so darn much! LOL

  • PJ Bishop — 5:53 AM on September 01, 2009

    In ‘Open Letter to Adobe Customers’ from Lambert Walsh, Vice President of Technical Services. Mr. Walsh explains that customers’ recent (?) problems with Adobe’s customer service may be attributed to the transition the company has been making to a new ‘global service provider’ that includes bringing ‘more than 800 new agents onboard’. Mr. Walsh’s explanation fails to charm because the occurrence of such problems in a major transition was utterly predictable – it has been so since Neanderthal times – and because the frustration it visited on its customers by leaving leaving them uninformed, unacknowledged and out of the loop of even a general explanation makes it only too obvious that customer needs did not rate consideration in the company’s planning.

  • K — 1:41 PM on September 01, 2009

    First of all I would like to say that I used to work for Adobe in Holland for the technical support team.
    I was in a small team of around 7 we were the second line team where the phone agents could not fix the issue.
    We were all experts in what we did but let me tell you a few things.
    The out source company ‘ STREAM ‘ did not give a damn about Adobe and even lied about meeting targets etc.
    These things will make you sick.
    1: We were using machines that did not even meet the minimum requirements for CS4. We asked for the testing machines to be upgraded but it was not allowed. So while we were blaming your machines not been fast enough we were using machines that did not even have Open GL 2.0 ;)
    2: 8/10 of the people you spoke to on the phone knew nothing about anything (apart from speaking more than 1 language) they only had 4 weeks of training on around 70 Adobe products then were unleashed on the phone providing support for you.
    3: The amount of bugs in CS3 was shocking, classic example… Encore cs3 does NOT close discs. LOL it leaves them open. This was never fixed in an update and as soon as CS4 came out it was forgotten about.
    Adobe obviously got sick of this and dropped Stream in June and now out sources the support to another customer service company that probably does it cheap and is probably just as terrible.
    I’m sure I could go on …..

  • Jay Farrell — 3:59 PM on September 01, 2009

    The customer service and holding for hours with bad, distorted music, is plain horrid! The support email is a joke too, is there no one responsible I can get my platform change of CS4 taken care of with? This is F***king ridiculous, they replied with a closed case and saying they cannot find my order….pffft.

  • Mark Davis — 6:46 PM on September 01, 2009

    I totally agree! We’ve been trying to get a refund since December. I think we’ve talked to half the population of India so far with nada to show for it.

  • Mark Davis — 7:08 PM on September 01, 2009

    I totally agree with Katherine, especially her last paragraph! We’ve been trying to get a refund since December. We’ve emailed and faxed over and over and I think we’ve talked to half the population of India so far with nada to show for it. I’ve lost track of how many times we’ve been told to allow an additional 10 to 14 days and we will receive a refund.

  • Jim McKinley — 7:20 PM on September 01, 2009

    My saga with Adobe began in Jan of 09 with my request to have a cross platform upgrade of CS4 production suite from Win to Mac. Waited a month with no response and then all of a sudden my order was cancelled because my credit card was refused. I checked with the credit card issuer – it was not refused. Was assured repeatedly that my order was either approved/awaiting approval or on its way. All untrue. Finally reached someone who cared and had my product within three days (after waiting 3 months).
    Now I’m in the midst of upgrading my Acrobat Pro from win to mac. Same problems!
    First my case was closed after two weeks and no one knew or would tell me why. Order was finally shipped but they sent the wrong one. So I have just re-ordered (paid twice now) and will have to pray the right product has now been shipped and Adobe will refund my first payment after I ship the win version back. I really doubt that they will pay my shipping costs to return the win version and if I get the mac version and even a partial refund without screaming about being left on hold I will count my blessings. So sad.

  • jeffrey Tranberry — 8:12 PM on September 01, 2009

    Mark, send me your contact info @ jtranber @ adobe dot com so I can try and get your case into the right hands.

  • jeffrey Tranberry — 8:14 PM on September 01, 2009

    Kristen, if you don’t have your issue resolved yet, send me your contact info @ jtranber @ adobe dot com so I can try and get your case into the right hands.

  • Ruth Wicker — 7:01 AM on September 02, 2009

    I would just like to say that when I called Apple two weeks ago with an obscure problem involving contacts, a new iphone, and an old blackberry, the guy who helped me was a total doll. I hung up happy – no, ecstatic – with my service. Apple knocks one out of the park again.
    And then there is Adobe. Turning a whole generation of graphic designers into Indian-hating racists.
    Please Adobe, just invest in American customer support. Or Irish, or Scottish, or anyone who speaks English as a first language. PLEASE.

  • Murrey Walker — 9:01 AM on September 02, 2009

    Chrissie, your comments (The most germane I’ve read regarding customer service, period.), should be required reading for everyone in the “C” Suite!!!! Never, have I read something so succinct and on point.
    Attaboi (I would use attagirl or attaboy, but being politically correct, is so in vogue today. ;-)

  • Stewart Whaley — 11:32 AM on September 02, 2009

    I remember applying for a ‘support’ position a while ago. The thing I most remember was the person is charge of Flash Support – didn’t know Flash!

  • Rick — 6:47 PM on September 02, 2009

    The absolute worst times (of the way-too-big-a-portion-of-my-life spent with tech support) have occurred with Adobe over activation issues.
    Both times I’ve been accused of being a thief.
    Hard words for a long time Adobe customer who keeps paying for each upgrade.
    Your customers aren’t your enemies, err on their side.
    [Agreed, and I'm very sorry to hear about the hassle. --J.]

  • Tarwin — 11:00 PM on September 02, 2009

    I don’t think the issue should be a persons native language. This doesn’t make any difference to the kind of support you get. The best support (hardware / software) I ever got was from a middle aged Chinese guy who ran a small neighbourhood computer store (I’m in Australia, the generally spoken language is English). His English wasn’t so good but that’s not the skill I’m after – it’s KNOWLEDGE of the system.
    I think there’s also a big problem in that Adobe seems not to want to let people know that they (Adobe) know there’s a problem. Something to do with being liable or some such I’m guessing? If I could be told by support that they know there is a problem and it’s being fixed ASAP and will be in the next patch in X days (weeks) then at least I can work within that. I might be annoyed that things aren’t working for me 100% but at least I know I’ve been heard (or someone before me has) and that it WILL BE FIXED.
    Also, Adobe needs a callback service. An online one too. If there’s too many people on the phone then just put them in a callback queue so they don’t have to wait on the phone. 1 hour of waiting on the phone becomes 1 hour of productive work.
    Lastly. Remove DRM! If someone wants to copy the program they’ll do it. The more draconian DRM just makes it worse and worse for those of us who’ve paid you money! Let us install it on Mac / PC. Let us install it as many times as we want. Tell us this is for a single user (their work and laptop is fine) but don’t restrict the number of installs. When it comes to legitimate cases of “my system crashed” etc it just means we end up hating your service and find it’s easier to just pirate it than wait hours for our activation to be rest.

  • D — 12:35 AM on September 03, 2009

    This comment brought back some memories… I also used to work for Stream in the Adobe Technical Support department. I was first-line support for the UK (hopefully one of the 20% that knew what they were doing…), talking to customers and trying to solve their problems. This was about 1.5 years ago, so even before CS4 was released, but I still remember the awful mess that was Adobe’s support and knowledgebase systems.
    The fact of the matter is that most problems customers have can be solved easily with a couple of standard steps, or can at least be easily identified, but Adobe doesn’t release all of this information to the public, and when it does, it’s buried somewhere in an unreachable KB article.
    When I was around, customers were still getting free support for all issues, unless they were stupid enough to pay thousands of dollars for a “Support Pack” that they could have gotten for free… Later on Adobe started charging 40$ PER CASE (not including installation and activation issues). What an outrage… I guess it’s a good way to “maximize profits”: sell a problematic product, hide the articles that explain how to solve the problems, and then charge your customers for helping them with said problems.
    Not to mention the bad quality of the telephone lines or the systems we had to share when troubleshooting, or the managers who cared more about “meeting targets” than about providing proper service to the customers and proper training and compensation to the workers…
    I guess it’s no wonder I got the hell out of there after three months (including the 1-month training period).
    It’s also no wonder they lost that account.
    I just hope Adobe can find its senses and get a proper(!) CS/TS service provider. And remember, Adobe: You pay peanuts, you get monkeys.

  • D — 12:37 AM on September 03, 2009

    (This was supposed to be a comment to K’s comment above)

  • Michael Prescott — 12:46 PM on September 03, 2009

    To be fair, I am posting a follow-up comment to my previous. I waited 1 hour and 47 minutes on the phone for someone to answer at Adobe support and never received a reply. For years, I’ve had some problem or another with activation or invalid serial numbers, which have required that I ALWAYS call support to get Adobe products installed/re-installed. One time, I told support after all was resolved, I think this is a very bad customer experience. His reply, “Did you get your problem resolved?” Yes. “Well, it is a good customer experience.” I was floored. I asked, Do you really believe that having to call in order to install a product is a good customer experience. “Yes” I thought, if this is a “good” experience, thank goodness I wasn’t having bad experience. Anyhow, after several months, I’ve finally gotten the valid serial number I needed and should have gotten the first time I requested it after purchasing the Master Collection. The gentleman that helped me, that man that actually cared enough to do something about it, is named Henk Zeelenberg. I swear he was the nicest Adobe support person I’ve ever spoken with, and for the most part, he was able to take care of everything on his time, instead of mine, and conveniently and kindly communicated the progress via email. His responses were REAL, no canned/templated crap. And the solution was permanent. You can’t beat that. If anything, Adobe needs to take a look at customers like myself, support people like Henk, and our experience and the replicate that across the whole system.

  • Katherine Mann — 2:36 PM on September 03, 2009

    Today I heard from Helen Pethick, Head of Customer Service for North America. It took her a very short time to deal with the case once she became aware of it. I thank her.
    I thank also Jeff Tranberry of Adobe for his help. Also the patient and dedicated young lady from Head Office in San Jose who sent my case to the top.
    Thanks to John Nack for being honest and forthright in his opinion. And props to Adobe for being okay with it.
    I sincerely hope that the company can come to grips with the immense problem it has with customer service and the registration issues that people have. Good luck.
    Katherine Mann

  • Ben M — 7:47 AM on September 04, 2009

    I’m glad Adobe is acknowledging the problem but it doesn’t help me at all. I received shattered media and after waiting on hold for 1 hr 45 mins I was told they would expedite media for me.
    Then they called me last night and left a blank message for 10-15 seconds, so I called back and was on hold for 3 hrs (7PM EST to 10PM EST) and then I hung up figuring no one was answering calls. Then I called back this morning and waited 40 minutes. Got someone, had no clue, told me the order had not shipped and was going through normal shipping (5-10 business days) and then I asked for a manager and they transfer me to tech support. Tech support tells me options of switching to downloads and that anything that needed to change on the order required customer service. But I told them that took too long and then they transferred me to sales. Sales confirmed there was an order placed, but nothing regarding shipping method or when it would be shipping out.
    So then they told me that they would transfer me to another customer service “manager” and now I’ve been on hold for another 30 mins this morning. So in total, I have spent 6.5 hours in the last 2 days on hold with Adobe Customer Service. This is really inexcusable.
    And in case anyone was wondering I did try the adbecare@adobe.com email address and that seemed to do nothing. I really don’t think my problem warrants escalation to directors and vps like Alan Butler or Lambert Walsh, but I do expect it to be done in a timely manner and when I asked to be transferred I expect to go to the right person and I do expect someone to have an answer.

  • Susan Muthart — 5:40 PM on September 08, 2009

    As I write this, I just hung up after 75 MINUTES on hold with Adobe. This is followed by two hours on hold/on the line with them this morning, after which my cell phone died.
    I have NEVER, EVER been so frustrated and so disgusted in my life. I feel as though I am about to have a heart attack. My ordeal has been going on for one MONTH. I will try to recall the details as accurately as possible.
    I ordered my CS4 Design Premium Student Edition through JourneyEd.com, as I am a current college student.
    (I was required to provide academic proof to qualify for the student price.)On August 11th, I received email notification from JourneyEd that my order had shipped.It was when reviewing this email that I noticed I had inadvertantly ordered the MAC version of CS4, and not the Windows version that I needed. I immediately called JourneyEd and let them know of my problem. They told me I had two options: Wait for the program to arrive, send it back and order another one, OR I could simply do a platform exchange through Adobe when the software arrived. Since I needed the programs quickly, I thought it would be faster and easier to do the exchange through Adobe. BIGGEST MISTAKE OF MY LIFE. I’M NOT KIDDING.
    Again, my mind is jumbled, but I will try to recall the series of unfortunate events that I have had in dealing with Adobe. I first called them to make sure that if I opened the package, I could definitely do a platform exchange. After being on hold for nearly an hour, somebody told me that I would need to go to the support portal, create an Adobe ID and upload my proof of academic eligibility. Once I did that, Adobe would provide me with a serial #. I would need to go to http://www.myidentity.com (actual web address given to me by Adobe rep–I spelled it back to verify it) to retrieve the serial number, at which time I could call Adobe to activate it, or I could load it on my computer.
    I created a case which stated I would hear from them within 2 days. After one week of no response, I called again.
    This time, after 45 minutes on hold, the gentleman told me that my previous customer service rep had given me the wrong information and that it must have been because my previous rep from the Phillipines was new and they didn’t know anything–it was the reps from India who knew the right answers.
    Anyway, he gave me additional information to follow, including the correct web address: http://www.myidentit-e.com. I followed his instructions, which included entering my product code somewhere–I received an automated message that my product code was invalid. I wrote an email message to Adobe, and on 8/26, they got back to me with a remedy and I sent them my product code. On 8/30, they sent me an email letting me know that my request for a serial # was being processed. On 8/31, they emailed me to let me know that they required additional academic verification, which I provided them. On 9/1,they issued me a serial number via email (I thought my ordeal was finally coming to a close). I immediately wrote back to verify that I would be able to exchange platforms while going through the registraton processs–keep in mind that JourneyEd and two Adobe customer reps had told me this would be no problem. Adobe responded via email on 9/2, and I quote:
    “Thank you for your message. If you purchased the wrong platform you will need to return to your place of purchase for an exchange.
    Regards,
    Customer Service
    Identit-E, LLC”
    Needless to say, I was flabbergasted. I called JourneyEd back to let them know what Adobe had told me, and they put me into a supervisor voice mail.
    When the supervisor got back to me, she confirmed that I would need to go through Adobe, but she would try to find out what was going on. (This was Thursday, Sept 3rd).
    Adobe sent me this email on 9/7/09:
    “Thank you for contacting Adobe Customer Service last August 18.
    We understand that you wanted to swap platforms. We apologize for the
    misinformation but we do not need any academic verification for this.
    What we need from you before you set up a platform swap,is that you must
    consent to the following requirements:
    You must give up all licensing rights to the original platform or
    language version
    Go to the Adobe website to access the Letter of Software Destruction
    (LOD) (cross platform/cross language)
    You must complete all the information requested in the LOD to avoid
    shipping delays and send it to us via our web portal.
    You must pay for the shipping of a new product box
    Important: We must receive the completed and signed LOD before any
    order
    is placed.Upon submission of requirements please feel free to contact
    Adobe Customer Service at 800-833-6687, we are open 7 days a week
    from
    6am to 8pm (Pacific time)for a faster verification purposes.
    Please find below details for your customer ID and case transaction
    number:
    CUSTOMER ID:187757145
    CASE NUMBER:202362407″
    Accompanying this email was a note stating that “We believe your issue is resolved and have therefore closed your case #202362407″ –HA!
    So I immediately went to Adobe.com, downloaded and filled out a Letter of Software Destruction, and sent it back to them with a request that my new software be sent RUSH, and that I would pay for it. There were no other instructions on the email about what to do after I submitted the LOD.
    This is, and I quote, the reply I received:
    “09/07/200922:01:36
    Dear Susan,
    Thank you for contacting Adobe Customer Service.
    I see that you wanted to expedite the shipping for the exchange of the
    products. Do not worry since we have received the Letter of Software
    Destruction as instructed to you. Let me assist you with this. For us to
    be able to input the said information on the expedition and the payment
    nereded for the shipping, I advise you to call our sales department
    since they are the ones who will be giving you all the details and they
    have the option for the expedited shipping. Just make sure when you call
    them provide your case or customer ID so they will be able to pull up
    your information. Thank you for understanding.
    Here is the number for the sales department: 800-585-0774.
    Here is your case #: 202362407
    Your Adobe Customer ID: 187757145″
    Read that carefully.
    So, first thing Tuesday morning, the day after Labor Day, I call the number in the aabove email.
    I was on hold for 45 minutes, and then a gentleman answered who told me he could process my refund, but that he would have to transfer me to another number to process my order. He told me that Adobe would mail me a check withing 7-10 days. You can imagine that I am not very confident about that.
    So he gave me a transaction number for my refund and transferred me to someone who could take my order. I was on hold for an ADDITIONAL 52 minutes when my caller ID clicked in and let me know that the supervisor from JourneyEd was on the phone.
    I switched over to her, and she called Adobe with me on the line. After an incredibly frustrating time with an Adobe rep who did not understand what we were saying, and who furthermore was getting short with the supervisor from JourneyEd, the supervisor from JourneyEd got fed up and hung up!!!
    So basically, I was back to square one. To top it all off, my cell phone (I had been on hold, etc with Adobe for OVER TWO HOURS)died right while I was trying to get this resolved with JourneyEd.
    When I was able to check my voice mail later (this was actually this afternoon), JourneyEd informed me that she had gotten through to someone at Adobe who had told her that yes, I would need to order my Windows copy directly from Adobe (I was considering ordering it from JourneyEd and just praying that my refund from Adobe would arrive).
    So here I am–I called the number given to me for sales(1-888-649-2990) and was on hold for 75 minutes (the beginning of this story) before hanging up.
    I don’t know what to do. My classes started two weeks ago. I need my software. I have been patient and polite with everyone I have spoken to, but I really feel like I am at the end of my rope.
    I would just go ahead and order the non-student edition and get it over with, but I just got laid off and can not afford it at this time.
    On top of it all, my cell phone bill, which I normally only use 20% of my minutes, was WAY over due to all the hold time with Adobe and I was billed an extra $100!!!!
    I don’t know what to do. I am so frustrated. Any suggestions?

  • Joy — 10:58 AM on September 09, 2009

    Here I sit on the phone waiting for someone to come on at Adobe Customer Service. What a joke. It’s been 50minutes,othing compared to Sept. 3rd when I was on for OVER 7 hours and spoke to a person for maybe 20 minutes. When I finally got someone at customer service he said I had to talk to sales. I was switched to sales..had to wait 20 minutes to get sales and then was told no..I had to take care of this with customer service. I waited another hour on hold. Finally when someone picked up I asked for a supervisor. I was told his supervisor was busy on another call. I ended up going through the story all over again and I gave him my number incase we got disconnected. Finally, he said I think we have this resolved let me put you on hold one more time. Well…the music played on and on and the next thing I knew the music ended…I thought I would cry. I kept saying hello, hello…nothing. So I hestitantly hung up. Needless to say the customer service guy didNOT call me back.
    This is what my problem is:
    I ordered Adobe CS4 Upgrade on 8/12 for $599. While ordering I asked the saleman if it ever went on sale and he told me no. On 8/25 I got an email offering the CS4 Upgrade for $299!!!! I want a refund of $300!! HELP!!
    This is crazy! What do I do??

  • Mark — 8:53 AM on September 10, 2009

    I vote we hold a contest for the longest hold time. Yesterday, I was on hold for 4.5 hours before I had to leave for the day. Thus far, it’s been 90 minutes, so In theory I could shoot for 6 hours.
    I did see a 7 hours on here. Anyone for 8? 10? Winner gets fame, fortune and glory!

  • Jay — 4:59 PM on September 13, 2009

    John
    Something that would be really helpful:
    1. A page on adobe.com that lists each product and update and date of update in a table form (my updater is not working and it was a pain to figure out all the various updates, then click on link with a description and then click again to get to the download and then click again to start the download.)
    2. Make provide a delta update for each update – Acrobat was a pain to update as I had to go back and go through the above process for each little point update.
    Thanks

  • Ellen Wilson — 12:42 PM on September 15, 2009

    I had been a very satisfied Adobe/Macromedia customer for more than 15 years. That is no longer the case. Adobe equates to good support, decent support or even existant support. I will never recommend Adobe products again – and I am actively seeking replacements for my current apps.

  • AAAAANDRE — 6:51 PM on September 16, 2009

    Wow! I’ve been on hold (with cheesy flute music) for two days! I’ll have to try again tomorrow.

  • Cran — 9:49 PM on September 16, 2009

    I currently own Lightroom 1.4 and finally decided to do the upgrade to LR2. The page said “Need it fast?
    Skip the shipping and save money. Choose the Electronic Software Delivery (ESD) option when you purchase and start downloading your new software in minutes (see chart below).”
    Hoping to use it tonight I decided to do the electronic download instead of ordering the box. I paid via Paypal with an account fully funded
    I received an email about 10 minutes later saying “Thank you for visiting the Adobe Store. We are currently reviewing your order!
    You will receive an email within the next business day confirming the status of your order.
    Your credit card will not be charged until your order has been processed.”
    WTF needs to be reviewed??? Now I have to wait til tomorrow to see if the review is successful? (I had already done the 30 day trial a while back so I can’t start using it until i get the license).
    This is deceiving. You’d assume the ESD method would be instant.

  • Cran — 10:18 AM on September 17, 2009

    After calling the sales number (1800-585-0774) and being referred to another number 1-800-833-6687…I spent about 8 minutes on the phone with Kalash who asked for all my info (name, adobe id, email, address) and then proceeded to tell me that I shouldn’t have pressed “3″ because that was technical support and that he couldn’t help me. He said that he’d appreciate it if I pressed “1″ next time….he transferred me to another line where I waited about 10 minutes on hold.
    I then received an email from Adobe that my ordered had been “Shipped” and ready to download. *coincidence?* Wow…about 13 hours after I placed my ordered for the “instant” download.

  • Steve Miraglio — 7:27 AM on September 18, 2009

    Just tried to find out the status of my order. On hold today for 30 minutes no answer. Yesterday was on hold for over 45 minutes. Case number is #0202437549: X plat Upg Prices Override Rqd.

  • MHE — 2:02 PM on September 18, 2009

    Wow. I’ve been on hold for 4+ hours today to try to get my serial number re-activated. I had to hang up when my phone died yesterday after 3+ hours. At least all of the above reading has helped to pass the time!
    My mac old died and now I can’t use my CS3 on my new mac due to too many install attempts while trying to resurrect the old hard drive.
    I can’t afford to simply purchase the CS4 design premium upgrade to try and fix the problem. (Just had to finance the new mac.)
    Phoned sales on my other line while waiting. Funny, no wait!
    I’m a very patient person and I don’t think I’ve ever been this frustrated! I’m an unemployed art director and I need my CS3 apps to make a living. I paid good money for CS3 design premium and now Adobe is keeping me from my only source of income!
    Adobe just hung up on me (busy signal) after 4+ hours on hold… frustration and tears this time. I’m being held hostage by lack of customer support!
    Not even sure where to go from here.

  • Theo Meijer — 3:16 PM on September 22, 2009

    I need some help from you guys, anybody here who is an Adobe employee or tech support member or knowing somebody who is ??
    What is my problem:
    I have registered CS3 and Lightroom when living in The Netherlands.
    I moved to Curacao in May this year. (Netherlands Antilles)
    ADOBE cannot fix my change of address meaning they are NOT willing to
    let me upgrade CS and Lightroom.
    To-day I received a message telling me they are not supporting Curacao, therefore cannot sell me the upgrade, therefore cannot offer me a crossplatform. (I switched from pc to mac)
    IMHO this is ridiculous, any help would be appreciated.
    Theo

  • Toby — 1:25 PM on September 24, 2009

    Has anyone run into Error 150:30 after upgrading from CS3 to CS4 (Mac OS X Snow Leopard)? This error indicates a problem with the license and none of the Suite programs will launch … neither CS3 nor CS4 on my new iMac.
    The new iMac was “restored” using Time Machine from my old home base PowerBook. I have successfully upgraded to CS4 on my “road” MacBook Pro. This was also restored with Time Machine from the same PowerBook …all migrations were successful, including the CS3 Suite, which upgraded successfully.
    After spending an hour on hold, and a subsequent hour with Level 1 support, I was “kicked upstairs” to Level 2 in India (location confirmed on his email). Kalaish was very patient and helpful, and admitted that “the engineers are working on the problem.”
    Evidently, this Error 150:30 has hit a number of people, and Adobe has posted a repair script to download. The script did not work, nor did the 2Gb download of a “clean” CS3 Suite (dmg would not launch, but “the engineers are working on that,” too …problem with the ftp site, according to Kalaish.) The goal was to give me an “upgradeable” version.
    Final solution …they are shipping me a brand new CS4 Suite, and have emailed me a Serial Number for installation. I asked what will happen when I try to upgrade to CS5, since I will have two different serial numbers. He didn’t know. Guess I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it.
    My original Adobe registrations are so old that I cannot go back to the first installation …I have been “upgrading” for about 15 years. Perhaps the Suite they are shipping will give me a new platform for future upgrades …and perhaps not. If it is an “educational” version, it is probably not upgradeable. I think this is a Catch 22.

  • Toby — 8:55 PM on September 28, 2009

    Well ….my last comment is still the latest entry in this blog. The brand new CS4 Premium arrived FedEx. De-installed all previous versions of the Suite. Installation appeared to go smoothly …until I tried to launch. Same error. Another hour and a half with Adobe in India resulted in a promise to call me “in about 4 hours” …12 hours later …no call.
    If I did not have my MacBook to work on, I would have lost 2 clients …none of us can afford that in this day and age.
    Help, John …what should I do next?

  • jeffrey Tranberry — 8:06 AM on September 29, 2009

    Toby, send me an email with your contact info and I’ll have someone get in contact with you. jtranber at adobe (.) com

  • Stacey — 5:18 PM on October 05, 2009

    How do you actually get them to answer the phone? DO they? Is there anyone there or just hold music?

  • Toby DeVoss — 2:57 PM on October 06, 2009

    Thanks for the response Jeff. Sorry I did not get back to you sooner …had several crash jobs to get out.
    After twice promising me call backs, I’ve heard nothing. I would love to hear from Adobe …even just a courtesy call. But, I finally solved it.
    Solution: I backed up everything I had loaded on the new home iMac, erased the HD and reloaded Snow Leopard. Then, I “migrated” my Time Machine backup from the “road” MacBook Pro to the iMac. This included the CS4 upgrade.
    It worked …but it consumed many hours that were difficult to spare, and I am hugely disappointed in Adobe. I have been a loyal customer for almost 20 years, and frequently consult and give informal workshops. However, I have strongly cautioned several companies against upgrading until this is ironed out.
    Again, thanks for your efforts. I look forward to sharing this frustrating experience with them …hopefully it will help them improve their customer service.

  • jeffrey Tranberry — 7:20 PM on October 06, 2009

    Hey Toby. Did you email me? Sorry you didn’t get anywhere through normal customer support but I’m glad you found something that worked for you. If you have additional customer service needs contact me directly and I will get you into the right hands.

  • Toby DeVoss — 9:21 PM on October 06, 2009

    Couldn’t find your email …so I just replied to your comment here.
    Again …many thanks. Hopefully I won’t need any further assistance. I’ll be curious to see if I ever get my promised call.
    A serious suggestion for Adobe …it would not be difficult to set up a system for people with legitimate Case Numbers. It should be easy to have an automated system to route open cases past the new “on-holds” to the appropriate support level. If someone enters a bogus number they will get kicked back in line with everyone else.
    I was issued two Case Numbers …the first at Level 1 support, and the second when I reached Level 2. On subsequent calls I could never get back to Level 2 …that’s ridiculous.
    Best regards – Toby

  • jeffrey Tranberry — 7:45 AM on October 07, 2009

    Toby,
    I completely agree. If you’re struggling with getting through to the right level of support, the best option in the near term is to email your contact info and case information to adbecare@adobe.com (that’s not a typo. there’s no ‘o’ in adbe) or communicate with John or myself and we’ll get you in the right hands.

  • Steve — 12:38 PM on October 14, 2009

    Just wanted to let you know that the product was delivered and I received a resolution to the cross platform switch issue.
    This was the result of sending an e-mail to the adbecare address.

  • Jeffrey Tranberry — 12:50 PM on October 14, 2009

    Thanks for the update, Steve. Sorry you had a problem. For anyone else experiencing long wait times or can’t get their issues resolved via normal support: sending your contact info and a description of your issue along with any case # to adbecare at adobe dot com is your best bet.

  • Bryan Hix — 8:20 AM on October 27, 2009

    I was just on the phone for 67 minutes. Was disconnected 2 times. Called customer service to complain about customer service. It is truly astounding at how horrible it is. I thought HP was bad. I 100% agree that if there were another program, I would switch without a doubt. I might just switch anyway and make it work just out of spite with the wish that Adobe sales fall enough to garner some attention. There VP of Operations should be fired and possibly some other upper management for letting this happen. It is very simple, walk out their coporate office front door, grab a seat on a park bench, call customer service and take notes. Done. Then figure out who to start firing.

  • Nathan B — 6:16 PM on November 02, 2009

    Case # 181 221 586
    Attempted install gives me
    “an internal error occurred”.
    The tech? said just a minute and let me research this rare event. After 45 minutes on hold/speakerphone They hung up. This is only ONE of many attempts to get either tech help or CUSTOMER SERVICE for an RMA.

  • David H — 8:13 AM on November 08, 2009

    Nice to see that Adobe recognizes how absolutely horrible—no, nonexistent—its costumer service is. Any chance that anything will actually be done to improve it?
    I recently (about a month ago) sent 2 support requests through the Adobe site and both were completely ignored. No answer what so-ever. I eventually solved it myself with help from an online forum (not Adobe’s).
    I won’t even bother to waste my time trying anymore. Adobe’s support and CS is so poor that it is actually insulting to it’s customers.

  • Bryan Beatty — 8:31 AM on December 15, 2009

    Does Adobe really give refunds?? Refund for CS4 – 3 1/2 months of LIES
    Getting a refund from Adobe – what a joke. I am an IT manager for large corp and I will suffer with Open Source stuff moving forward rather than give them another cent – ever.
    I have called every month and been told the same thing – its been submitted and to check with your credit card co. or wait longer as it takes 3 billing cycles. I can’t believe that as I have found some users who have actually recieved prompt refunds under 30 days.
    I have found all sorts of complaints about Adobe refunds and none of it is making me happy. I have been on hold waiting for supervisor for 35 minutes this time.
    It’s almost funny how pathetic their customer service is. I guess they think they have the market cornered so do not care.
    Here are some links with more places to read/write complaints against Adobe.
    ————————————————————————————
    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/comput
    http://forums.adobe.com/thread/508738
    http://consumerist.com/2009/08/adobe-
    ————————————————————————————
    > 40 minutes on hold..
    > 45 mins on hold – person came back and offered a “call back” haha – that would happen.
    >sigh.. 53 mins on hold
    > 1 hr 10 mins on hold – I am getting a migraine…
    > 1 14 mins on hold – tech came back and said they had supervisor on line and put me back on hold… yay
    > 1 hr 45 mins – I am way sick – have to hang up..
    My next step is to find all these peoples email addresses and send them a bill for $215.42 and about 6 hours of hold time:
    Exe Shantanu Narayen [vcard] CEO/President Avail: Free Trial / Login 408-536-6000 408-536-6000
    Charles Geschke [vcard] Co-Chairman Avail: Free Trial / Login 408-536-6000 408-536-6000
    John Warnock [vcard] Co-Chairman Not Available 408-536-6000 408-536-6000
    Karen Cottle [vcard] SVP General Counsel Avail: Free Trial / Login 408-536-6000 408-536-6000
    Paul Weiskopf [vcard] SVP Corporate Development Avail: Free Trial / Login 408-536-6000 408-536-6000
    Rob Tarkoff [vcard] SVP Avail: Free Trial / Login 408-536-6000 408-536-6000
    Tec Gerri Martin-Flickinger [vcard] CIO Not Available 408-536-6000 408-536-6000
    Kevin Lynch [vcard] CTO/SVP Experience/Technology Avail: Free Trial / Login 408-536-6000 408-536-6000
    Tom Malloy [vcard] SVP/Chief Software Architect Avail: Free Trial / Login 408-536-6000 408-536-6000
    Digby Horner [vcard] EVP Engineering Technologies Group Not Available 408-536-6000 408-536-6000
    Sales Matthew Thompson [vcard] SVP Worldwide Field Operations Not Available 408-536-6000 408-536-6000
    Sales/PR Ann Lewnes [vcard] SVP Corporate Marketing/Communications Avail: Free Trial / Login 408-536-6000 408-536-6000
    HR Donna Morris [vcard] SVP HR Not Available 408-536-6000 408-536-6000
    Fin Mark Garrett [vcard] EVP/CFO Avail: Free Trial / Login 408-536-6000 408-536-6000
    IR Mike Saviage [vcard] VP Investor Relations Avail: Free Trial / Login 408-536-6000 408-536-6000
    R&D Naresh Gupta [vcard] Dir India Research/Development Avail: Free Trial / Login 408-536-6000 408-536-6000
    Here is my info:
    Return Number: MR00GJIHHIAB
    Original Order Number: AD002545933
    Request Date: 8/27/09
    Status: Pending Approval
    PRODUCT STATUS QTY ITEM PRICE TOTAL PRICE
    Adobe InDesign CS4
    Windows, English
    65024689 Pending Approval 1 US $199.00 US $199.00
    Tax: US $16.42
    Grand Total: US $215.42

  • Joel Glovier — 5:56 AM on December 24, 2009

    You know, one of the things I used to appreciate MOST about Adobe was the level of customer support for the average customer. As a Creative Suite customer from way back at CS(1) and purchasing every upgrade since, I have (Read “Was”) been extremely pleased with the level of no-pay tech support I have always received.
    So many times I called Adobe with an issue (literally I have a record of close to 20 case numbers) where I spoke with a tech person and they helped me resolve my issue personally. But not only did I get a resolution, I got somebody who seemed to know exactly what my issue was and how to resolve it, somebody who spoke my native language as a first language and there was no felt or implied communication barrier with this person – because they were American or at least a native English speaker.
    I even had times where the rep went above and beyond by giving me additional suggestions to increase performance or prevent issues from happening again.
    I ALWAYS made a point to tell them at the end of the call that one of the things I appreciated most about Adobe was their level of customer support and how far and beyond you are (were) than every other company I had ever dealt with, including: Best Buy, Verizon, Comcast, Nvidia, Symantec, Gateway, Microsoft, etc. etc.
    I’m sad to say that my most recent experience with Adobe’s customer support is no longer what I used to be so proud of. It was just as bad as every other Indian outsourced tech call center experience I’ve ever had, maybe worse.
    I’m very disappointed in these changes and have to say that next time it comes time to upgrade to CS5, I will think twice about spending the money, knowing now that the products I value so much have drastically lost a portion of their value with this change in the level of support Adobe is now offering.
    Sincerely,
    Joel Glovier

  • Anis Ahmed Chohan — 4:31 AM on December 30, 2009

    Hey Adobe Care,
    January 5th 2009 the day in which we brought 3 volume licensed keys from adobe, Adobe cs3/4 backwards compatible licenses we were told.
    This was false, only worked with CS4 after much irrelevant debugging of why they Weren’t working a smart guy just decoded the serial numbers 8 months later when We again called your service no idea why this wasn’t done early and we were told This serial number only works for adobe cs4.
    So we were given CS3 licenses to pair up with our CS4 licenses as promised, wait the Initial set of CS3 licenses do not work, they are invalid so after much more irrelevant Debugging of the situation with your customer support telephone portal 2 weeks ago We were provided with working CS3 keys, but o wait they are valid but we cannot activate Them unfortunately these keys we have activated them to many times according to your Clever support team. Wait they are not clever because these keys have never been activated We cannot activate them over the internet at all.
    So what does customer support do make me log over 15 hours of call time in less than 2 weeks With me trying to explain that I know how to install the software, I have explained telephone Activation works, we are using the correct media and we are able to install the software but it’s The internet activation fails every time and I refuse to call up adobe support just to get telephone Activation because it takes me over 2 hours to explain the case to the work experienced based Telephone support team and it’s just not practical in my work environment.
    I am sorry bit harsh on the kids if they were work experienced based support team I’m sure I would have solved this case By now. Rather incompetent at their jobs, especially a Lianna Condez who I would like to report as Absolutely rubbish at her job if that even is her real name.
    So back to the case where are we at currently I have apparently had my case risen to engineer level, I have no idea if they will ever contact me, no idea how to contact them, and no idea if they really Exist I am just supposed to believe adobe support even after all the rubbish I’ve been through.
    We have two serial numbers mac and windows based for 3 volume license users:
    These were given 2 weeks ago:
    1329-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx win
    1329-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx mac
    These were given 29/12/2009:
    1329-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx win
    1329-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx mac
    So we had new serial numbers given yesterday that give the same issue of too many activations, The clever customer support team thought wait hold on they may have incorrect serial numbers let’s give them New ones even after I told them these were a brand new pair of keys given 2 weeks ago because They didn’t work. Yet again another case of support ignoring what its customer says. Really has any Member of the support team ever installed adobe software?
    So after much irrelevant debugging with a so called Lianna Condez from uk Customer Services Support Team, she decided to hang up on me “WOW this is the best service ever” no really is this what my company Has paid so much money for?
    So what I need and would like to know?
    Most importantly: How are you going to actually resolve my issue?
    How are you going to improve the service?
    If this has been passed on to engineering then who do I contact to gain more information on what is being done I cannot sit in the blind as I have to report to my management team?
    Contact Information for the complaints department?
    What can you do to compensate my experience and wasted hours and waiting for a working piece of software for just under one year at current?
    Regards,
    Anis Ahmed Chohan
    So this is what i emailed adbecare email I will post the response.

  • Jon M. — 7:44 AM on February 04, 2010

    So I ordered the CS4 Design Premium from Adobe and in the ordering process I used my adobe account which has me as the billing address. Well, I used the Human Resources CC which has the HR reps name on it. So I fired up the ol’ Adobe chat window for Online Ordering questions and stated what I had mistakenly done. After “speaking” with the rep for about 10 min. they said I could not change the billing address name even though it was still pending, but told me they would have to cancel the order and have me order again. Ok no problem I thought, except I used my NAPP discount code for the 15% discount. When I went to go order again it stated I had already used the promo code. Arrgghhh! So I went onto chat again and stated my problem, and after another 20 min. this time I was told that I had to call the customer service line for security purposes. Sooooo, I called Customer Service and waited about 15 min with music (not bad if I was in an elevator). Then they kept me on the phone for 45 Min trying to “resolve” this issue. I was finally told that they would have to push this onto their Senior Customer Service reps as there was no policy concerning this and said they would respond WITHIN 24-48 HOURS. Plus to mention I received an email today stating my order had shipped! (how does this still happen on a canceled order?) It is 2 hours before the 48 hour mark and I am on the phone with another rep who I have been on with for almost 45 min. He tried to get me on the phoen with a Senior Supervisor (which I asked for) but like the other posts mentioned, they were all on the phones. He said he would transfer me to Sales and they could take care of it. (some more music as he has put me on hold for something, I couldn’t understand what he said, he doesn’t speak, he mumbles)
    This is just ridiculous. Can anyone out there please build their companies with excellent customer service first(we are your bread and butter)? He can’t get through to sales…. ho hum. I normally am not a complaining person…but this is AWFUL customer service. Someone please help ME! Adobe, can you please send me some asprin along with my order? Thank you.

  • Chad — 3:57 PM on March 23, 2010

    Customer Serivce for Adobe has not improved. Last week I was left with no other option but to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. My company has spent more than 11 HOURS on the phone with Adobe trying to reconcile problems and issue a credit.
    Lodge your complaints against Adobe:
    http://www.consumeraffairs.com/computers/adobe.html

  • vjsmith — 10:35 AM on May 03, 2010

    I am so frustrated. I had a simple question regarding trial software (which for some reason I couldn’t download using the link so I had to wait 2 weeks for the disk to be mailed). After waiting 25 minutes on hold, I spoke so to someon who apparently could NOT understand me. After another 20 minutes of me repeating my self and them mis-stating my issue (but encouraging me to purchase the software at the same time), I asked to speak to a supervisor.. to which his reply was..”they are not going to tell you anything differnt”.. SERIOUSLY?!? So, I told him what you are saying to me is that you can’t help, me, won’t let me speak to a supervisor and basically do NOT want my business. UGH!!

  • Dale Teuber — 6:35 AM on May 27, 2010

    Why does Adobe have to worry about customer service? From my knowledge of software available Adobe doesn’t have enough competition.
    I still use CS2 on my laptop. I had to reinstall it and some problem with the Adobe software wouldn’t let me register, so I could use it, over the internet. I called them to talk to someone and register it. First I got someone from some small tribe or somewhere in the middle of China who didn’t know what was going on. I wrote down a case number she gave me. I had to call back and got someone who tried hard to speak English. Before I think I was even able to explain I can’t register this do whatever simple button push, whatever, simple register. He told me I needed to buy some sort of time based service contract, maybe $35 an hour.
    They sent me a “your opinion” questions count email and I filled it out. I wasn’t to happy but I was honest. They had no response, maybe an apology. I don’t need an apology. I’ve been using Adobe products for 20 years. I just feel like they really don’t care. They have nothing to loose. They don’t see any competition in the near future.
    I may never update my laptop and I will be spending more time researching other programs that will meet my needs if I do need to upgrade.
    I was able to upgrade with Adobe the automated call center. If the guy who was to lazy to help why couldn’t he say “why don’t you call the Automated activation center”?
    To summarize, Adobe wishes to charge $35 to activate the software you bought from them so you can use it.

  • John Thompson — 6:33 AM on June 07, 2010

    Well it’s now June 2010 and there has been no improvement in Adobe’s customer service if my experience is anything to go by.
    I tried to make an online transaction to purchase three items of software, for download, last night and my credit card was refused.
    I rang customer services this morning and they told me there was a problem with my credit card. I contacted my bank and they confirmed that not only was there not a problem, but that no attempted transactions had been recorded.
    So I rang customer services again. This time I spent nearly half an hour trying to explain the problem to some poor half wit who barely understood English. Eventually he transferred me to sales, without explaining to them first what the problem was (after promising he would). They then quoted me a significantly higher price to take a payment over the telephone because their system would not allow a discount to be applied for a Lightroom/Photoshop combined purchase.
    Eventually (and we’re are talking 1hr 40 mins later), they managed to equal the price but only if I agreed to have boxed software sent to me.
    Absolutely ludicrous. And no one was prepare to accept or investigate why they couldn’t accept my credit card online (it worked fine for the phone transaction).
    It has made me seriously considering sourcing software alternatives to Adobe in the future. How many other customers are they turning off?

  • S Swan — 11:24 AM on June 22, 2010

    10 people to try and find out why I was being charged a recurring fee on my credit card and what it was for. Promised a call back within an hour but of course that has come and gone …

  • Uil Yoo — 8:35 AM on June 23, 2010

    I noticed that the letter by Lambert Walsh is no longer on the site. SJ was right about Adobe being lazy – not the Flash team but the customer support ‘team’!

  • Beverley A. White — 7:39 AM on September 14, 2010

    I need an email address to contact Adobe re my PSE 8 for my Mac computer….PLEASE HELP !

  • jfd9 — 5:39 PM on December 02, 2010

    I am aghast at what I am experiencing with Adobe.

    I am soooo going to short Adobe’s stock. There is no way a company can have customer service this poor and survive for long.

  • Russel Nelson — 8:34 AM on May 04, 2011

    I can not believe how such a software company could lose site of their customer. One of the most important items is communication. I have called customer suppoort a number of times only to not be helped correctly. I have been give email addresses that don’t work. My dilemma comes from buying the education version of the primear creative suite. The company I bought the software from sent me the software with a product number. I have followed directions but have never gotten a serial number for what ever reason. I am now trying to get my money back because of the many difficulties including not being able to use a software I bought with hard earned money. I have purchased educational software before as a suudent and teacher and never had these type of problems. Can anybody at Adobe help me please.
    Sincerely Russel Nelson russelnelson2001@yahoo.com

  • William Doe — 1:39 PM on May 09, 2011

    Hey, just call them – their queues aren’t that long, compared to… well… uhh.

    I’m on hold for them now, and it shows that current wait times are 286 minutes.

    Yeah, over 4 hours. Looks like they did just awesome at improving that experience, eh?

  • frustrated beyond belief — 5:06 PM on June 23, 2011

    customer service rating 0

    i am a teacher here in melbourne, i have just purchased the adobe cs 5.5 standard education edition, and all i want to do is register it and get my serial numbers and … well, you aren’t making it easy adobe!

    strangely you bother to print a whole new student/teacher insert even calling it a ‘coupon code’ for the australian market, yet you do not include the correct updated link for australian customers to register it!

    the australian code has 13 characters, from what i can gather after several emails and phone calls from rather uninspired and clueless procedure form readers america requires 14, and guess what i am not in america and you directed me to that site!

    when contacting adobe about the issue they say they can’t help as they are only able to o assistance to customers in north america, well is it not your product? could you at least not direct me to someone who can help me?

    you would think so wouldn’t you, but no i am directed to a uk site; note to all: australia is not a part of the uk;

    another day passes and still i cannot register my product nor find anyone to help, and after calling the number listed for adobe support in australia, (which funnily enough was off-shore somewhere with no understanding of my queries nor complaint)after explaining everything i required and the problems i had thus far encountered, all that was offered to me was a rather unhelpful suggestion to go to http://www.adobe.com

    so here i am exactly where i started several o, and still i sit here with a product i have paid for yet cannot use. *clap clap* adobe, i shall be returning the product today.

  • Andy — 11:31 PM on July 20, 2011

    OMG! I have been on the phone 3 times and chat twice. I get a differenr answer to my question/request every time, so i am none the wiser, frustrated, angry, disapointed, and cannot see any feedback/email that i can escalate too.

    Its VERY simple! I have Adobe Creative suite 5 web premium that i use on a PC. I bought a mac and want to work on both Mac and PC at the same time.

    When i origionaly bought this package i was told i could have it on up to 5 computers. I am willing to pay extra for a mac version as long as its reasonable and takes into account i have alreday paid for the software.

    I have been told,
    1) “yes you can do this but have to upgrade to 5.5 that will be $667 AUD, give me your credit card number”
    2) “No you cant do this, you have to buy a full new version, that will be $3000 AUD please just give me your credit card number”
    3) “I dont know, i will find out and send you an email” (Never got email, but at least they did not ask for credit card number)
    4) “why would you want a PC and mac at the same time? This is not Adobes problem and we cant help you, is there anything i can help you with?”
    5) My favorite one…..” You can run windows on your mac, i will sell you the mac version for $4000 AUD, can i have your credit card number?”

    For the love of god, Plesae can ANYONE in adobe give me the real answer to my question, and PLEASE fire all your customer service representatives, they are the worst on the planet, and the phone line quality is so bad that they cant haer me, i cant hear them and we have tyo shoult at each other. Its NUTS!

    Doe sanyone know the answer to my question?

    • Jeffrey Tranberry — 11:33 AM on July 21, 2011

      Hi Andy. Sorry you’re having trouble. I’m having someone from our Asia Pacific office follow up with you directly.

  • J — 3:52 AM on October 05, 2011

    @ Andy,

    Hi Andy, Creative Suites are Platform dependable and you cannot use Windows version on Mac. Since you’ve CS5 which is an older version, it cannot be converted to Mac as cross platform.

    Hence if you want to use a product on Mac, you can cross platform upgrade to CS5.5 where you need to pay for the upgrade version and NOT the full version(Cross platforms are done only to the current versions). However, even here, if you upgrade to Mac, you cannot use this CS5.5 on Windows.

    5 Computers!
    Who said that? Just to confirm, have you purchased a Volume Licensing product?

    If you’ve purchased a Retail/Education version, you can only activate a product on Maximum 2 computers where you cannot use both the computers at the same physical time.

    Cheers!

  • Monte Pulliam — 8:32 PM on October 06, 2011

    Dear;Adobe, Please fix.

    I continue to have a broken link message when I attempt to log-out of my Adobe account? This would not be the first time I’ve experienced this problem. Help please!
    Cordially,
    mo.p/ aka; jim allday

  • Monte Pulliam — 8:34 PM on October 06, 2011

    Broken link on my account log-out

  • John J McAssey — 6:41 AM on December 20, 2011

    How long is it going to take Adobe to fix its support organization in 2009 it was reported in an open letter as to how bad it is. IMO in 2011 its harder then ever to use or get and intelligent response from Adobe support. Adobe needs to stop it automatic closing of problem reports instead of fixing problems and staff its support organization with knowledgeable people in place of current incompetent staff.

    • Paul Sheehan — 12:44 PM on June 04, 2012

      When I spoke to them and asked for the guy in the letter, they told me he was no longer there and no one held his job and there was no counterpart job. Looks like the letter was a lie just to fool people in to thinking they were going to do something.

  • Dean — 9:41 AM on January 12, 2012

    It is still incredible that as of 2011 they still haven’t gotten it right. I have been talking to somebody in another country for 3 days trying to get a simple download. “Please wait for the download email”. Well guess what, I HAVE 3 EMAILS AND STILL NO @#$!& DOWNLOAD LINK!!! Our production is at a standstill because Adobe Support is NON EXISTENT.

    Google “adobe worst customer support” and you will get thousands of complaints from the Adobe forums themselves, miraculously blocked when you go to view after logging into your Adobe account.

  • Jack — 1:17 PM on February 19, 2012

    What more can I say after the above. I have called 20 numbers, one said I am adobe. Then he had no interest helping me with adobe. Sell me avg for 9 years. Not all, he gave me a virus which avg cought. (it says creat an association in the default programs control panel). Two wks in attempt. Nothing, help fm adobe (NO))!!!!!
    I’M pissed

  • Carrie — 7:01 PM on March 05, 2012

    Horrible. Enough to really make me take a look at some of the competition.

  • Robert Moore — 12:28 PM on June 03, 2012

    I would like to give you a recent, if not lengthy post of my most recent dealings with Adobe Support. The following is my service request to Adobe. Still no response from Adobe:

    First, I would like to present my case in this matter. On 05/14/2012 I attempted to order CS6 upgrade and Lightroom 4. At checkout, I received a notification there was a payment issue. I called the 800 number and was informed there was an issue with my card. I called my card/bank and was informed there was no issue. They confirmed the 8 (one dollar) pings to my card to confirm the validity of the card. I formed a three way conference call with Adobe Sales, my card representative, and myself. I was informed the order was accepted.
    The next day I received two e-mails cancelling my orders. I called sales 800 line again. On two occasions, after explaining my issue, I was disconnected. I finally asked for a supervisor. She told me her name was “Connie.” She found a third order in limbo. She said she reactivated the order. I ask her to e-mail me a confirmation. She said she did not have e-mail. I confronted her saying “you’re a tech company, everyone has an e-mail.” I then said if you are not allowed to use it to reply, just tell me, I understand that. “Connie” repeated that she had no e-mail. I asked for her employee ID number to be able to get back with her should there be another issue. She gave me one.
    I received another e-mail cancelling the order again on 05/16/2012. This time I called Adobe HQ to get assistance. Unbeknownst to me, they transferred me to India. Nikhil Gupta represented himself as a manager and agreed to work on my issue. After over an hour, he indicated the order would not go through and he “escalated” the matter to level 2. He confirmed “Connie’s” ID number was fictitious and she had e-mail. I asked him to call me the next day with a status update, even if it is unchanged. Gupta promised to call. He did not.
    The next day, I called the corporate offices again. I ask for him. I was informed they could not transfer me to the India facility. I told them they had the day before. The operator again indicated she could not make the transfer. I ask to speak to someone in sales or service at the corporate HQ. The operator indicated she could not put me through to anyone. She outright refused to attempt to connect me to anyone. Frustrated, I asked to be put anywhere to attempt to address my issue. I was reconnected to sales. I was connected to a supervisor named Tike. Tike was very professional and attempted to work on the problem. The call lasted over an hour. I finally just ask him to put the order through again. He did. He figured out the previous purchase attempts used varying versions of my address. These various versions were just different enough to the card’s billing address to cause the rejection of the payment. I asked Tike to follow up the next day. Unbelievably, he did as he promised. As of this writing, my order is still in progress. Tike volunteered to follow up on 05/21/2012. My only issue with Tike is that I ask him to update my complaint ticket. I can see it was updated, but I am unable to see what I asked him to write. I am not going to assume he did not do as I asked. He has been great thus far.
    I am very disappointed with Adobe in this matter. I have been lied to on numerous occasions. I have spent over 15 hour on the web site or with 800 calls. In my time alone, it has cost me more than I spent on the software. No one could make a decision. No one (except Tike) followed up as promised. No one has even attempted to do anything to make up for my time or frustration in this process. Gupta even just advised to download the trial version until someone could do something. He just did not want to deal with the issue. I fully intend to post this on every blog and review site I can. I doubt anyone at Adobe cares.
    Can Adobe do anything correct? I received this message on 05/19/2012. Note all the dates in the e-mail. When I went to FEDEX to track the order, they don’t even show the order in transit.

    DearRobert Moore,

    Thank you for your recent order. Today we shipped your order placed on05/17/2012. Please review the shipping information below. You can visit your carriers website to track your order.

    Carrier and tracking number:FEDEX927329776548133

    Shipping method:FEDEX HOME DELIVERY GROUND

    Estimated delivery date:05/18/2012
    Now it is 05/21/2012. Five days after complaint was filed. I was promised a response in 48 hours. Even Tike, the representative that seems to resolved the problem did not call back today as promised.
    Message announcing shipment indicated the products were shipped on 05/17/2012. FEDEX records show info sent to them on 05/18/2012. The actual pick-up occurred on 05/21/2012 (expected delivery from e-mail announcing shipment, 05/18/2012.)
    Adobe continues to display how horrible their customer service is.
    Online chat on 05/21/2012 trying to resolve this matter: Thank you for choosing Adobe. A representative will be with you shortly. Your estimated wait time is 0 minute(s) and 15 second(s) or longer as there are 1 customer(s) in line ahead of you.
    You are now chatting with Amodh.
    Amodh: Hello! Welcome to Adobe Customer Service.
    Amodh: Hi Rober.
    Amodh: May I please have your email address registered with Adobe while I review your request?
    Robert: rmoore9@nyc.rr.com
    Amodh: Thank you for the email address.
    Robert: scared yet?
    Amodh: Please give me 2 to 3 minutes while I go through the previous interaction.
    Robert: Still there?
    Amodh: Yes.
    Amodh: Could you please provide your queries in brief?
    Robert: On 05/14/2012 I attempted to order CS6 upgrade and Lightroom 4. At checkout, I received a notification there was a payment issue. I called the 800 number and was informed there was an issue with my card. I called my card/bank and was informed there was no issue. They confirmed the 8 (one dollar) pings to my card to confirm the validity of the card. I formed a three way conference call with Adobe Sales, my card representative, and myself. I was informed the order was accepted. The next day I received two e-mails cancelling my orders. I called sales 800 line again. On two occasions, after explaining my issue, I was disconnected. I finally asked for a supervisor. She told me her name was “Connie.” She found a third order in limbo. She said she reactivated the order. I ask her to e-mail me a confirmation. She said she did not have e-mail. I confronted her saying “you’re a tech company, everyone has an e-mail.” I then said if you are not allowed to use it to reply, just tell me, I understand that. “Connie” repeated that she had no e-mail. I asked for her employee ID number to be able to get back with her should there be another issue. She gave me one. I received another e-mail cancelling the order again on 05/16/2012. This time I called Adobe HQ to get assistance. Unbeknownst to me, they transferred me to India. Nikhil Gupta represented himself as a manager and agreed to work on my issue. After over an hour, he indicated the order would not go through and he “escalated” the matter to level 2. He confirmed “Connie’s” ID number was fictitious and she had e-mail. I asked him to call me the next day with a status update, even if it is unchanged. Gupta promised to call. He did not. The next day, I called the corporate offices again. I ask for him. I was informed they could not transfer me to the India facility. I told them they had the day before. The operator again indicated she could not make the transfer. I ask to speak to someone in sales or service at the corporate HQ. The operator indicated she could not put me through to anyone. She outright refused to attempt to connect me to anyone. Frustrated, I asked to be put anywhere to attempt to address my issue. I was reconnected to sales. I was connected to a supervisor named Tike. Tike was very professional and attempted to work on the problem. The call lasted over an hour. I finally just ask him to put the order through again. He did. He figured out the previous purchase attempts used varying versions of my address. These various versions were just different enough to the card’s billing address to cause the rejection of the payment. I asked Tike to follow up the next day. Unbelievably, he did as he promised. As of this writing, my order is still in progress. Tike volunteered to follow up on 05/21/2012. My only issue with Tike is that I ask him to update my complaint ticket. I can see it was updated, but I am unable to see what I asked him to write. I am not going to assume he did not do as I asked. He has been great thus far. I am very disappointed with Adobe in this matter. I have been lied to on numerous occasions. I have spent over 15 hour on the web site or with 800 calls. In my time alone, it has cost me more than I spent on the software. No one could make a decision. No one (except Tike) followed up as promised. No one has even attempted to do anything to make up for my time or frustration in this process. Gupta even just advised to download the trial version until someone could do something. He just did not want to deal with the issue. I fully intend to post this on every blog and review site I can. I doubt anyone at Adobe cares. Can Adobe do anything correct? I received this message on 05/19/2012. Note all the dates in the e-mail. When I went to FEDEX to track the order, they don’t even show the order in transit. DearRobert Moore, Thank you for your recent order. Today we shipped your order placed on05/17/2012. Please review the shipping information below. You can visit your carriers website to track your order. Carrier and tracking number:FEDEX927329776548133 Shipping method:FEDEX HOME DELIVERY GROUND Estimated delivery date:05/18/2012 Now it is 05/21/2012. Five days after complaint was filed. I was promised a response in 48 hours. Even Tike, the representative that seems to resolved the problem did not call back today as promised. Message announcing shipment indicated the products were shipped on 05/17/2012. FEDEX records show info sent to them on 05/18/2012. The actual pick-up occurred on 05/21/2012 (expected delivery from e-mail announcing shipment, 05/18/2012.) Adobe continues to display how horrible their customer service is.
    Amodh: Sorry for the wait. Please do stay online.
    Amodh: I understand you have not received the product. Is that correct?
    Robert: Yes. FEDEX says it is in shipment. Even if I receive the products in a day or two, this does not address the extemely rude service.
    Amodh: Thank you for the confirmation.
    Amodh: I will be glad to check and help you with this issue.
    Amodh: I certainly understand your situation.
    Amodh: I am sorry for the inconvenience caused to you.
    Robert: If you read the timeline, Adobe cannot figure out when things are shipped. i had to rely on FEDEX to have a shipment notification. Adobe sent incorrect shipping information.
    Amodh: You will receive the product within 2 to 3 business days.
    Amodh: Rober, In this case, I request you to please contact FEDEX HOME DELIVERY GROUND with your tracking number to receive the product.
    Robert: What about the promised response to the other customer service issues? Will anyone ever address those? Will anyone ever respond as promised? What about all the fustration I have gone through?
    Amodh: Rober,
    Amodh: “I can understand why you would feel that way.”
    Robert: I am tracking the shipment. That is not the issue. The issues are all of the problems I have experienced in this process.
    Amodh: I understand your frustration at having to make a second contact to take care of this issue.
    Amodh: Let me tell you that we value your time and business and I apologize that you had to contact us repeatedly in regards to this issue.
    Amodh: I certainly appreciate your time and patience in this process.
    Amodh: I’m happy to help. Is there anything else I can help you with?
    Robert: Second contact, read the timeline. This has been going on for eight days. Are able to do anything to address my past issues? Can you push this to a higher level? Are just going to tell me to go to FEDEX to know things Adobe should know?
    Amodh: I’ll be right with you.
    Amodh: I have noted your account regarding the problems you have experienced with this order. Customer satisfaction is our number one goal and we will make sure that such incidents and delays are not occurred again.
    Robert: What about correcting this? No one of any authority has addressed this. No one has gotten back on the original complaint. Adobe promised 48 hours response. This is what I want. I want someone to get back to me and explain this and do something to compensate me for all this time I have had to spent in this matter.
    Amodh: Is there anything else I can help you with?
    Amodh: Thank you for waiting. One moment please.
    Amodh: Thank you for waiting. One moment please.
    Amodh: Thank you for staying online.
    Robert: Still online.
    Amodh: I checked and see that our concern team is working on this case, they will get back to you once they resolved the issue.
    Amodh: I am sorry for the additional time taken to resolve the issue.
    Amodh: Is there anything else I can help you with?
    Robert: I take this last respoonse is that as of this moment, my case is no further along? This has not be reaised any higher? Am I correct?
    Amodh: No.
    Amodh: The case has been escalated to our higher level representative and they are working on the case.
    Robert: What level has it been raised too? Give me some details.
    Amodh: Our senior tier 2 are working on this case.
    Robert: In the previous communications, I was already at level two. Why is this any different?
    Amodh: Robert, I am sorry to inform that I will not be able to provide you more information since the case is in process.
    Robert: Who can? Will I be stuck here forever? It seems no one can get me above level two.
    Amodh: Yes.
    Robert: What does yes mean?
    Amodh: They are the higher level representative they are working on the case, I am sure you will get a response from our next level representative
    Robert: When?
    Amodh: I am sorry to inform that I do not have the exact date to inform you.
    Robert: We are already on day five after being promised 48 hours. This continues to get more and more frustrating
    Amodh: I certainly understand your situation however I request you to wait for 2 to 3 business days.
    Amodh: I’m happy to help. Is there anything else I can help you with?
    Amodh: Are we still connected?
    Amodh: Thank you for contacting Adobe. We are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. Goodbye!
    Thank you for chatting with us. Please click the “Close” button on the top right of the chat window to tell us how we did today.
    You are not currently connected to a chat representative.
    I was disconnected prior to being able to provide the final response below. I was technically HUNG UP on by the representative.
    Why can’t someone reach out to me tomorrow? Why should this continue to take two more days, two more days, two more days, etc.? Also, you can see when I am responding, it is rude to try to end this communication while I am still writing.

    • Paul Sheehan — 12:42 PM on June 04, 2012

      Robert, I got the same thing here. Hanging up on people is a staple of how they do business. I was lied to and put on hold for FOUR hours once! Then they hung up or Skype has a limit. I have spoken to a dozen reps and everyone of them has lied to me is some shape.

  • Paul Sheehan — 12:40 PM on June 04, 2012

    http://youtu.be/x4N_paxZ61Y

    A 9 min video about Adobe lies, abuse and general deception. Yes I kept notes and screen captures.

  • Jim Smith — 8:06 AM on June 19, 2012

    No improvement yet for ADOBE – I have the software disk and cover with serial number. I have sent a scan of both to the Adobe help desk for proof of ownership. I was told three times in the last three days that my case has been sent to another group and they will contact me in 24 hours. Ray and Lyle must sit together because the run around and BS, at my expense, is enough for me to never buy another Adobe product personally or for any corp. I work with. Stop hiring or out sourcing your customer services to third world minded people.

    [Update: Customer Service was able to take care of Jim. --J.]

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