Saturday, June 28, 2008

Adobe sucks

Let's say you walk into a store and you go to purchase a $100+ item. This item comes with one free bonus item that gets shipped later that the item you are buying is supposed to be used with. During checkout, the clerk sneaks in and scans an identical item through and you swipe your card and pay and go home without realizing what happened (let's say something distracted you). Both items are in tightly sealed containers. You get home and you realize that you bought two items. What would you do? Well, you would immediately return to the store with your receipt and ask for a refund for one of the items. Let's say you take both items back just to prove that you haven't used either one. The receipt also contains the exact date and time of purchase (well within 24 hours). The clerk can see that both items are sealed, have never been used, that the product they are supposed to be used with hasn't been delivered yet, and that the product is being returned within 24 hours of purchase. The sales clerk simply refers you to a support clerk since sales clerks don't handle refunds. So you go over to the support clerk and retell your story. Next, the support clerk proceeds to state that they don't handle refunds directly and that you have to go to a specific website URL, fill out a form, and fax that form to prove your identity and that the form will take two to four business weeks to process before you can get your refund. All the while, the support clerk can clearly see the proof in front of them.

You would be furious. You would then demand to see the manager. However, first the support clerk attempts to pass you off to their supervisor - who says the exact same thing. You would then repeat your demand to see the manager to the supervisor. In this case, however, the store manager proceeds to say the same thing despite hearing the exact same story and seeing the same exact proof sitting right in front of them. You would become irate. Some of you would then proceed to pummel both clerks, the supervisor, AND the manager, making sure all of them discovered how to make holes in the wall with their head.

This story fairly accurately describes my experience with the Adobe Online Store and associated personnel. NEVER, EVER buy directly from them or their online store. The experience is miserable. You'll regret it.

I don't know how their site could be so badly programmed to sell a person two licenses when the person clearly only wants one, but it is. The employees at Adobe are blockheads and the store is a horribly written piece of software. Everyone involved in this mess should be fired immediately. I'm slightly surprised that someone hasn't "gone postal". I'm also still waiting for the day when someone in the military who operates a tank decides to go AWOL and level a large corporation's headquarters for having lousy customer service.

The document that you have to fill out and send in is here.

Then you have to wait two to four WEEKS to get your refund. Meanwhile, Adobe is multiplying floating money that rightfully belongs to you. And who knows how many other people they are doing this to. Tens of thousands? Millions? What they are doing is immoral and probably illegal.

How hard is it to revoke a software activation license that HAS CLEARLY NOT BEEN USED and refund the money? Adobe HQ's official response to this is: "You could be using a 30 day trial with the activation key on a non-Internet connected computer." Uh. That doesn't make a single darn bit of sense. If the activation code was being used with a 30 day trial and the trial expired and you tried to activate using the rejected activation code/license, then the application says "rejected" and you simply...USE THE OTHER ACTIVATION LICENSE! Duh! So, how hard is it REALLY to revoke a license...it takes five seconds, if even that. Click a couple times and, POOF!, rejected. Activation systems use backend SQL databases - and rejecting a license is as simple as one UPDATE SQL query. Anyone who says otherwise is lying through their teeth.

This brings me to an important message about customer service:

THE CUSTOMER IS ALWAYS RIGHT! ALWAYS!

I'm the customer. I'm right. Adobe, you are wrong. Period. All I'm asking for is a little common sense to be applied to their refund policy - I asked numerous times to think logically and simply refund the money and they continued to be blockheads. They have the number of times I downloaded the product in front of them (zero). They have the number of times I logged in to download the product in front of them (zero). They have the number of times both serial numbers have been activated in front of them (zero). They even have the dates and times of when I purchased the item and when I requested the refund (within 12 ridiculously short hours of each other!). Any reasonable business that wanted to stay in business for very long would see all of this proof and refund my money right away. Not Adobe. All of this I pointed out, but they continued to spout the same nonsense about filling out that document and that it would take 2-4 business WEEKS to refund my money. Everyone involved in creating this policy and those who interacted with me at Adobe HQ and Adobe Lame-o Indian Support should be fired immediately for not using their brains for their job. Common sense says I should have been immediately refunded my money with no questions asked and no jumping through hoops.

I should have even been allowed to request a refund right from within the website (not that I can tell, I haven't ever logged in) with a hyperlink that says "request refund" for any licenses with zero activations. The result is that it instantly rejects the license so it can't be used and puts the refund request in a queue and sends an e-mail to the purchaser. If I didn't intend to refund my money, guess what? I can simply go purchase the product again or, even simpler, cancel the refund request within 24 hours, which would instantly unreject the license and remove it from the refund queue. If it is activated, THEN AND ONLY THEN should I have to go through the process of filling out and sending in the "Letter of Software Destruction" (LSD?) form. The sort of programming I just described is incredibly easy to do and yet apparently no one at Adobe has any level of intelligence to figure this out on their own.

All I'm asking for is service with a smile.