Why Adobe is Ticking Me Off Right Now

In twenty five years of customer service and management roles, I think I would be embarrassed if this is what my upper level management expected me to say in the face of a major customer service issue...

So, the story:
Last year, I bought a copy of Adobe CS5 Design Premium. It was installed on Lazarus.

Yes, the machine that has a replacement hard drive.

Stupid me, I've misplaced the discs. Mea culpa, I take full blame for that one, but knowing that Adobe now has CS6 out and will not allow for downloads or purchase (at a nominal fee) of replacement discs that are registered on their website, I bought another Creative Suite product.

Here's where the fun begins.

I bought a copy of CS5.5 Web Premium at the campus computer store last Tuesday. Saturday evening, I went to install it. Now, the way you activate a student copy is to first enter a 'coupon code', then you get to a registration screen to enter your information. I clicked 'submit' to enter the code, went to input my data in all the fields-but the drop down to fill in my state data wouldn't open.

I decided to continue on and filled in my school information, but again, there was no pull down for the state, so my school pulldown didn't populate, either. I put USF in manually and looked for a submit button.

There wasn't one. Okay, their site is borked. I decided to wait it out, even refreshed the page after an hour (after verifying that it wasn't locked on my side), reentered and got the same issue.

Hmmm, let's try another browser. Same problem.

Late that night, I try to enter the code and I got an error that the code was already redeemed. Okay, so their site was borked, it took my coupon code and ran with empty fields of data. I tried looking under the 'lost serial number' tab and all that comes up is that old copy of Design Premium.

Frustrated, I opened the 'contact us' form, filled out a summary of what happened and was a good little doo bee, waiting the 24 business hours for a response. When none was forthcoming on Tuesday morning, I filled out another 'contact us' form and waited.

I got no response. Not even a boilerplate message "we received your inquiry and will respond in X amount of days.' Nothing. Yesterday, wondering what the heck was going on, and trying that code once more, nothing was happening, so I called Adobe.

I had a phone conversation with a gentleman on the other side of the world and he was chipper and confident he would resolve my issue. He didn't. Instead, we
spent 45 minutes on the phone, he gave me two different serial numbers that did not work (I screen capped both) and put me on hold. He emailed me a link to my 'Adobe Case', and it was there that I found I already had an open case from Tuesday (so nice to contact me, Adobe)

I next had to provide photographs of my product open to show the discs, the actual coupon, my student identification and a copy of my receipt. I provided all-actually contacting the computer store for a duplicate copy first thing this morning, because the copy I had was just an exchange receipt from last Friday (I bought two items, one that was a wrong version of a different Adobe product)

As it got into the afternoon, I started a Chat session to check my progress, some of which you see above. Level Two is Adobe's highest level of customer support, and as I found out today, between the chat and phone conversations with three different people, Level Two support is completely, 100% offline. As in, they don't respond to phone calls, they do not handle customer emails.

After that chat session, I figured I'd call back the number I'd called yesterday, because surely this can't be right? A technology company that develops products for B2B and professionals (obviously, not just peons like me) has to have better protocols. Right?


Another 25 minutes on the phone, another suggestion to download the trial copy later, and I said to the supervisor "Your company fails to understand that if you were working with customers face to face and gave these answers, you would not have customers for very long." The supervisor agreed.

So my code went through with empty data fields, I provided proof that I purchased the product and attempted the redeem said code at the time they provided a serial number and yet, I need to wait another two to three business days while they 'research the issue'.


If I have an option of a product doing what I need and can choose between Adobe and a competitor, it's likely I will go with the competitor. Their customer service is horrible.


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