Sunday, December 05, 2010

Adobe: What a load of old cobblers

I've just had an inordinately bad experience, and I'm trying to hold my temper, but it's hard.

I've been an Adobe Photoshop Elements (v2) user for years. That version has always just about done for me and I've avoided upgrading, but tonight decided the time had come to take the plunge to the latest version (v9), and so I navigated to the Adobe online store.

Yes I know I could have gone to Amazon, or somewhere else but the price difference wasn't that great and I get it right from the horses mouth so to speak.

No I must digress briefly here, and say that I've ranted about Adobe before - that was about the price differential between what US customers pay and European and specifically UK customers pay. Adobe put this down to the shifting exchange rate. I say "cobblers" (or words to that effect). Not a valid argument for online software purchase. It's entirely Adobe taking UK purchasers to the cleaners. Enough said.

Now I've made a few big online software purchases recently - MS Office for Mac, MS Office for Windows to name two, and several others to boot. In ALL cases, I've paid, downloaded installed, registered and just got on with it. How about with Adobe? Oh no........

First up, I paid. Fine - they took my cash sweet as a nut.

Click on the download link and get a cryptic message saying if I'm downloading with IE then blah, blah, blah, but if I'm using another browser I have to download something else first. I was in FireFox, and I didn't want to download something else first to enable me to make the download I wanted, so I switched to IE (yuk) and downloaded the 1.75 GB file to my desktop.

When it was downloaded I tried to launch it. Oops. Mistake. It's some odd compressed file that nothing on my Windows PC could read, so I then had to download some more software to extract the files (stuffit expander - or a choice of another couple of programs) to extract all the files, which I did and it duly did.

So, left with two folders. A Readme and an Program folder. Read the Readme ((briefly) as you do, nothing untoward in there, opened the program folder, double clicked the "setup.exe"..........and got an error message saying "Please install/uninstall the product setup.exe to the root folder". Click OK and the installer exits. D'oh!

A quick Google didn't find anything obvious so went to Adobe site and clicked Live Chat.

Within seconds, had Umer on the desktop offering to help. I explained the problem. The rest as they say is history. The full transcript of our chat is below.

Chat InformationThank you for choosing Adobe. A representative will be with you shortly. Your estimated wait time is 0 minute(s) and 30 second(s) or longer as there are 1 customer(s) in line ahead of you.

Chat InformationYou are now chatting with Umer.

Umer: Hello! Welcome to Adobe Customer Service.

Simon: Hi

Umer: Hi Simon

Umer: I am glad to help you.

Umer: As I understand, you are unable to install the software, correct?

Simon: That's right

Umer: Thank you.

Umer: Let me check the order number AD000726232UK

Umer: I see that you have placed the order on Dec. 05, 2010

Umer: Please be informed that it normally takes 24 to 48 hours to complete the order.

Simon: Why 24 hours? Yes - I have downloaded a 1.75GB file to my desktop. Expanded it into two folders - a read me and a APSE 9 with a setup file (amongst others). Launch the setup file and get the error message

Umer: You will be able to download and install the software 48 hours after placing the order.

Simon: I already have downloaded the software

Umer: I see that the the order is processed completely.

Umer: Please try to install the software after 48 hours.

Simon: Why can't I install it now? What's going to change in 24 hours?

Umer: The product will be ready to install in 48 hours.

Simon: I don't understand why, when I have a 1.75GB file sitting on my desktop I can't install it for 48 hours! That's ludicrous.

Umer: Simon, I see that this is a technical issue and I may not be of great help to you.

Simon: If I go to a store and buy the software on a CD/DVD would I have to wait 48 hours before I installed it? I think not.

Umer: I request you to call our Technical Support team on phone if you are unable to install the software after 48 hours of placing the order.

Simon: This is ridiculous. I'd like a refund please

Umer: Sure. We can help with this.

Umer: May I please have the product serial number?

Simon: Yes it's 1057-1717-6531-9470-5398-9279

Umer: Thank you.

Umer: In order to process your return, you must agree to delete the existing software from your computer and destroy any existing copies. You may not sell, transfer, give away, donate or otherwise distribute your existing Adobe product to anyone else. Do you agree?

Simon: Yes I do

Umer: Thank you.

Umer: You will receive the refund in 7 to 10 business days by the method of payment.

Simon: Thank you

Umer: You are welcome.

Simon: I'd be grateful if you could provide some feedback to your manager.

Umer: Sure.

Simon: I have bought online and downloaded several commercial software suites recently, and in all cases with this exception, the process has been flawless. Buy, download and install and I'm up and running straight away.

Umer: Let me help you with a link with more information on this.

Simon: The process for downloading this software (and I assume all other Adobe software) is convoluted, unclear and the idea of having to wait 48 hours after downloading before I can use it is completely ridiculous. Adobe have just lost a customer, and I will be looking elsewhere for my photo editing software.

Umer: Thank you for waiting. One moment please.

Simon: I appreciate your help in processing the return, but I'm unhappy with the process and feel aggrieved that it had to come to that.

Umer: Please click here

Umer: Is there anything else I can help you with?

Simon: OK. Thanks. Goodbye

Umer: Thank you for contacting Adobe. Goodbye!

Now don't get me wrong, I'm sure Umer is a nice person. But what's all this crap about having to wait 48 hours before installing software that I've just paid for and downloaded, and is sitting in a whacking great 1.75 gig file on my desktop? Excuse my French but that's just bloody ridiculous. What the hell is this, and how suddenly after 48 hours will a file decide it's OK to be installed?

I'm beginning to understand why Steve Jobs (head honcho at Apple) has a thing about Adobe.

It's worth googling Adobe and install - seems I'm not the only one.....

Any thoughts?

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