Sunday, June 9, 2013

Maybe this is why Adobe is Losing its Loyal User Base...

UPDATE (yes, it's Monday!)

(Reading this part only makes sense if you read the part starting at "Confusion" first)
So after calling Adobe 3 times and programming my number in for them to call me back via their auto-return-your-call-so-you-don't-have-to-sit-on-hold-for-eternity feature, I think their phone system went berserk. Either that, or it doesn't like my magic jack phone number. In any case, the fourth time I called I decided to just sit on hold after it said "Hold times are 36 to 48 minutes". Oh well, the music was nice. NOT.

Finally I got a sweet voice on the other end. Explained the situation and within less than 3 minutes not only was I correctly signed up, confirmed that I had "real licences" and on top of that even got a better deal than expected - $19.95/mo for 12 months, instead of the advertised $29.95.

I also brought up the issue of their lame-ass chat (this was after we were all done of course, didn't want to booger up my chances). I was absolutely surprised to hear that they have heard that so many times, but Adobe won't do a damn thing about it. Turns out (no big surprise here) that on weekends, we actually chat with Adobe peeps in India. Of course seeing their chat names was my first clue. However, considering they are working for Adobe and were able to immediately tell me that I had "Volume License Numbers" either makes them pure liars or quite simply lazy asses that don't want to help at all. In either case, Adobe should take note and read just how bad their "offshore" subs really are!

Tell me again why American companies should dump the whole sending work offshore thing?


You bet! In the prior post I wrote a little about how bad Adobe is at explaining the logistics of the so-called "Creative Cloud". They neglected to explain or point out a few things in turn causing the deterrence or even scaring off potential customers that may or may not have been Adobe loyalists. I actually had a pretty positive attitude towards the whole concept, having pretty much understood it, until today.

Today was a special deal. I was literally going to use that "special" upgrade pricing to the "Cloud" as I am, and have been a legit owner of the Adobe Production Suite since CS4 all the way to today's CS6.... or so I thought.

Hell, I paid for my upgrades every year to the tune of $600 plus bucks and have receipts, transactions and serial numbers to prove it! I need to point out that I usually don't waste a lot of time dissing companies or really ever want to. But the incident today really got under my skin and made me wonder just how many others out there are getting the same lame results. If the answer is a lot, then it's no wonder that Adobe will and perhaps already is suffering from the backlash.

Adobe Disorganized and Inconsistent on their Offerings and Licensing

So I proceed to their "Creative Cloud" signup page thinking this should be a no-brainer. I registered each and every Adobe product and upgrade, so my account should be loaded with information. And... well, the only item it showed was Production Premium CS5.5 along with its license. Which according to the terms and conditions of the CC upgrade for such users as me, should qualify instantly for that $29.95/mo for a year deal.

I click okay after entering my credentials and the next thing Adobe's CC sign up mechanism does is show that it is researching my account for qualified product. It came back with "You do not have any products that qualify for this offer". WHAT? And in turn gives me a 30 day free trial instead. HELL NO! I shall not download, install or do anything at this point as I don't want to bugger up my existing CS6 install.

Customer DIS-service and Caveat Emptor

I figured at that moment that I will need to call Adobe on Monday (tomorrow) because they are only available on weekdays, and find out what the hell is going on? And why is my CS6 not listed under my account? And.... and.... and..  But my thoughts got interrupted when a button suddenly appeared that asked if I wanted to "chat" with a customer service representative now? So I thought to my self... do I really need to be typing all this now? I was concerned that it would be some neophyte rep that has no real answers anyway.... aw, what the heck... and then all hell broke loose. Unfortunately I was correct about the whole customer service neophyte thing. Just what I expected - a scripted no good for nothing portal of uselessness and more importantly; totally unhelpful! Oh but they did give me the phone number page to call tomorrow.

The Transcript

I am attaching the transcript of this most useless conversation, and most likely an hour of my life that I will never get back, to make a point. It shows first hand how useless and scripted these so-called customer service reps really are that Adobe seems to pride itself on. But  what's even worse? Have a look as the conversation progresses, at how lame sale tactics come into play as well as offerings that are nowhere to be found regarding the "Creative Cloud" for single user licenses. My guess is you will most likely also see just how annoyed I start getting after receiving lame-ass and totally useless repetitive boiler-plate responses. From what I know and to the best of my knowledge, I have been purchasing single user licenses since Production Suite CS4. After all, why would I buy a volume license when there is only me to use this stuff? All I can say is; "Adobe! Listen up! This is your front end and it looks really ugly from this side!" 

So here's the complete transcript as it went down today: I have blocked out the serial numbers as they are valid, just not in Adobe's eyes.... 

General Info
Chat start time
 Jun 9, 2013 5:22:40 PM EST
Chat end time
 Jun 9, 2013 6:13:55 PM EST
Duration (actual chatting time)

Chat Transcript
info: All representatives are actively assisting other customers. There are 1 customer(s) in line ahead of you. Thank you for your patience.
info: You are now chatting with Ramakant_Soni.
Ramakant_Soni: Thank you for contacting Adobe, this is Ramakant. Please give me a moment while I look into the details provided by you.
Ramakant_Soni: Could you please elaborate your issue?
Andy: My license is: xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx 
Andy: pro prem cs6
Andy: Production Premium CS6 - according to the terms of CC this shoudl qualify and it says it doesn't
Andy: I shoudl be able to get the 29.95/mo deal for a year'
Andy: Instead it set me up for the one month free.. bogus?
Ramakant_Soni: Ok
Andy: so now what?
Ramakant_Soni: As I understand correctly, you want get discount for buying to Creative Cloud upgrade from your CS6 product, is that correct?
Ramakant_Soni: *to get
Andy: Yes... what part don't you understand?????
Ramakant_Soni: Definitely I will assist you with this.
Ramakant_Soni: May I please have your email address registered with Adobe?
Ramakant_Soni: Thank you
Andy: and for some reason my serial number won't take on my account. I purchased this through
Ramakant_Soni: Ok
Ramakant_Soni: One moment while I look up your customer record.
Ramakant_Soni: As I can check in our record, it's a volume license product so I need to transfer this chat to our volume license department for the resolution. I request you to please be online while I am transferring this chat.
Andy: No it's not... it is a single license from - or is adobe and toolfarm a messed up situation?
Ramakant_Soni: Are you talking about the same license (xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx, provide by you above)?
Andy: yues
Andy: yes
Ramakant_Soni: I am sorry Andy, but this is not a retail license. It's a volume license.
Andy: acTUALLY - LOOKS LIKE i GOT IT FROM aDOBE DIRECT AS IT WAS an upgrade from CS 5.5---
Andy: and I have a CS 5.5 registered online with adobe.. which also qualifies... this is total BS
Ramakant_Soni: As I can check in our record, it's a volume license product so I need to transfer this chat to our volume license department for the resolution.
Andy: here is my CS 5.5 xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx
Andy: That's just bull
Ramakant_Soni: Andy, I would like to inform you both serial number is for volume license.
Ramakant_Soni: *numbers
Ramakant_Soni: *are
Andy: I spend a ton of money on adobe products and this is the service i get?????
Andy: Why would I have a volume license when I am a single user??????
Andy: And this is why people are pissed off about the whole cloud thing.... Adobe can't even keep their serial numbers and licensing straight... I will blog about this on the boards of the stock exchange for sure!
Ramakant_Soni: Andy, I am sorry for the inconvenience, but as I informed you these are volume volume licenses and for this issue I need to transfer this chat to our volume license team. Please let me transfer this chat for the resolution.
Andy: Then get a damn manager on the phone with me now!!!!!!
Andy: 520-xxx-xxxx (my number blocked from view) - I am going to raise holy hell on this issue!
Andy: I spent multiple tranges of 600 bucks a year to keep upgraded and you are telling me this was all bogus.. I smell a llawsuit coming
Ramakant_Soni: Andy, I am not denying for assistance. I just need to transfer this chat to our relevant team for your issue resolution.
Andy: Get going then... I don't want to have people be passing the buck..
Andy: This better be the final person i speak with
Ramakant_Soni: And I am sorry as we are from chat support so we can't contact you over the phone but you can contact to our voice support at Adobe Support and Customer Service 1800-833-6687 (Monday–Friday, 5am–7pm PST)
Andy: get lost - I want this done now.. not tomorrow or this week.. Adobe seems to think we have all the time in the world to fix their screwups
Ramakant_Soni: Ok
Ramakant_Soni: Let me transfer this chat for the resolution now.
Andy: I can't believe that this is happening... ADOBE !
Andy: I am losing faith really quickly here!
Ramakant_Soni: Andy, could you please let me assist yourself? I have informed you that I just need to a transfer this chat quickly for the resolution.
Andy: I'm waiting,,,,,,,,,,!!!!
Ramakant_Soni: Thank you
info: Please wait while I transfer the chat to the appropriate group.
info: You are now chatting with Gangmei.
Gangmei: Hello! Welcome to Adobe Customer Service.
Gangmei: Hi Andy.
Andy: yeah yeah... let me guess - I need to re-explain everything again?
Andy: well?
Gangmei: I understand that you are interested to purchase Adobe Creative Cloud for discounted price, am I correct ?
Andy: Oh my god - is this the way it's gonna go down... I will explain one more time... I own valid licenses of Adopbe Prod SUite from Cs4 thru Cs6 - all I wanted to do is sign up for the CC under the dela at 29.95/mo ... but it seems the licensing is totally screwed up!
Gangmei: Andy, the product serial number you have provided is for Volume Licensing Product. Please be informed the 29.99 plan is only for Retail version.
Gangmei: Existing CS3 and above customers who have previously purchased any Creative Suite software through a volume licensing program are eligible to buy at the special price of $39.99 per user per month through Aug/2013.
Andy: Okay what part don't you understand? I didn't buy a frickin volume licence - I am a single user and have only bought single user licenses and upgrades over the years!!!!!!!
Andy: If what you say is true - then why does my adobe account show my cs 5.5 license??????
Andy: but it won't accept my cs6
Gangmei: The product serial number you have provided is for Volume Licensing Product, the 29.99 doesn't qualify for volume licensing customers.
Andy: and why didn't your system pick up that license to start with!!!!
Andy: this is bullshit!
Andy: I am going to raise holy hell and blog about how screwed up Adobe really is when it comes to their licensing and tracking of customers!!!!!!
Andy: I shall also get toolfarm involved and see if they wish to reconsider even dealing with Adobe anymore!
Gangmei: Creative Cloud for teams is $69.99 per user per month (with an annual commitment). However, existing CS3 and above customers who have previously purchased any Creative Suite software through a volume licensing program are eligible to buy at the special price of $39.99 per user per month through Aug/2013.
Andy: This is probably and exactly why the public is so pissed at adobe about the whole cloud thing. STOP THE BS MESSAGING.. I hear you, but that doesn't answer my quesiton of the how the hell I have a volume license as a single user???????
Gangmei: Could you please provide your Retail version serial number so that I can confirm and help you?
Andy: cs 5.5 as per your site:
Andy: xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx purchased May 12th, 2011
Andy: CS6 upgrade purchased last April (2012) xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx
Andy: this was an upgrade through,
Andy: \!!!!!!
Andy: Get it??????
Andy: CS 6 was purchased and downloaded on May 8th of 2012
Gangmei: Yes, please be informed, both the serial number you have provided is for Volume Licensing Product and it doesn't qualify for 29.99. You can either purchase Individual Adobe Creative Cloud which is priced 49.99 or purchase a Creative Cloud for teams introductory price of $39.99 for existing CS3 and above customers, whether you own suites or point products.
Andy: and as said - I have owned since CS4
Gangmei: Please click here to view the information :
Andy: Boy are you not listening at all?????? what the hell is your problem and what part of I DONT OWN A VOLUME LICENSE don't you get?????
Andy: How can I own a volume license as a single user - tell me that would you?
Gangmei: Andy, I have checked with the serial number you have provided above and it has indicated as Volume Licensing Product which is business licensing product.
Andy: SO you are basically telling me that you only know how to read a script - don't really have any method of figuring things out and ADOBE can not track their crap properly? Is that it?
Andy: You can probably check till you're blue in the face.. so how does that help me??? Is Adobe really going down the tubes this severly????
Andy: Is there no reasonable person available that can think on their own and realize this may be a total screw up on the licensing side? Is Adobe that anti-customer service now?
Andy: Is the only answer a regurgitated scripted answer that you copy and paste?
Andy: Do Adobe reps not listen to details of information anymore - or basically just make it up in hopes that we simply give up and shove more money up Adobe's butt?
Gangmei: If you still have doubt, you can contact your reseller and then confirm with them whether it is for Retail version or Volume licensing product.
Gangmei: As an existing customer of Volume Licensing Product, you can purchase a Creative Cloud for teams introductory price of $39.99.
Gangmei: I can transfer this chat to sales team if you are interested to purchase a Creative Cloud for teams introductory price of $39.99.
Andy: This is the feeling I get... without a doubt.. you don't listen, you don't care and all you want to do is sell, sell sell even knowing you are trying to screww me!!!!
Gangmei: May I transfer this chat to sales team ?
Andy: Go away! I will file a complaint on Monday with corporate.. this is pure and utter bullshit!
Gangmei: I am sorry, you felt that way.
info: Your chat transcript will be sent to at the end of your chat.
Gangmei: I want to assure you that Adobe does care for it's customers.
Andy: Oh and by the way.. you better read the whole transcript... you will see how foolish your responses are - they will be posted on all social networks..
Andy: Really? You really expect me to believe that after your "canned" answers????
Andy: Nice try.. but when this hits the threads on the stock trading sites I think ADOBE will think again..
Gangmei: Andy, for more information, I would suggest you to contact our Sales Team so that you can get more information about the price for Adobe Creative Cloud.
Andy: How useful.. my god.
Gangmei: I will help you with a link to view phone number to contact our Sales Team via a phone.
Gangmei: Please click here to view the phone number to contact our sales team :
Andy: Why - they won't listen either as they are only interested in sales...oh no... perhaps I shall email this transcript to the CEO
Andy: Let's see how he looks at this
Andy: See ya later.. As I have to wait until Monday in any case, I shall make it a day of nailing Adobe.
Andy: Wish you the best... no go away.
info: Your chat transcript will be sent to at the end of your chat.

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