I've seen a lot of messages about the scams adobe pulls off with the exit fees. Just wanted to share my brief experience with that, in case it may help anyone.
In short, I got the InDesign free trial, did not realise that I'll start getting charged at the end of the trial, and didn't notice the charges for a few months. Fair enough, I could have been more carefull, no biggie. I go on their website to cancel the subscription to which I didn't give any explicit consent anyway, only to be hit by a warning that there's an early exit fee.
However, a quick live chat solved the issue. I made it clear that if I see any such charge on my card I will report it as fraud and take it to the authorities. Within 2 minutes the operator canceled the damn thing for free.
Point is, they know what they are doing is illegal (or at least in most countries; I am currently in the UK), so if you stand your ground and threat immediate with legal action, you'll save yourself a lot of frustration.
The main takeaway here is, if you can, avoid adobe like the plague.
You had to acknowledge that you had read and agreed to the subscription terms when you signed up for the trial.
The subscription terms are linked to on the page where you provide the billing information required before you can even begin the trial. The subscription terms clearly state that the subscription is started automatically unless you cancel it within a specified period of time. They also state that there is a cancellation fee if you cancel the subscription before it ends. They also state that the subscription automatically rolls over at the end of each contract year.
Adobe is hardly perpetrating a scam when they tell you, up front, that this is what will happen. More than likely the CSR canceled things without fee because they were tired of arguing with yet another person who couldn't be bothered to inform themselves of the subscription terms before clicking through everything in their hurry.
scam,,,,the only way to see it,,scam!!
Adobe updated the sign-up page a couple of years ago.
This isn't transparent. Consumers aren't used to the words "a fee" being used to describe $300 charges. No other major subscription service (YouTube, Netflix, Spotify) uses this practice.
Hotels spell out clearly how much a cancellation fee will be, if there is one. Airlines, car rentals typically are clear about it too. But this is Adobe not a hotel or car rental?
If a cancellation fee isn't specified, most people assume it's small.
It's reasonable to assume that most customers *do* agree to what they see written there. They are willing to be charged monthly if they forget to cancel. They'd probably be fine with a $20/30 "cancellation fee". They might think it's annoying, but they'd look back at your wording and say "ah, yes, I see."
People feel there's a bait-and-switch because you're using the term "cancellation fee" to indicate "$90-300 immediate charge". Based on the amount of people discussing this on a daily basis on the official forum, it's a common source of confusion and frustration.
Rather than trying to say "bUt It'S iN the T3rmS", try to get to the root of why your customers are confused, and resolve their confusion. If people are bringing up the same issue over and over, your terms aren't clear enough.
For example, include the chart from the article "cancellation details for common Adobe plans" directly on the page where people are agreeing to the terms. Or alter the wording to make it exactly clear what you mean by "fee".
Seems like a win-win to give customers a better understanding, billing departments fewer complaints, and PR with a better image. Accessible transparency is a great way to build trust and loyalty.
It's awesome that you're replying to this forum and trying to help customers yourself. I can see you're the kind of Adobe professional that wants users to get the most of this service, and to walk away satifised. (no sarcasm intended!)
There's not a lot people here can do, since none of us are Adobe employees. You can try contacting the company with your concerns. Maybe if enough people do, they'll listen some more. They did, after all, finally change the wording on the subscription page. Good luck.
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I understand what you feel and can empathize, but I would also like to add some points to what you said
Based on the points I present anyone can make a fair judgment on how things are and make an informed decision.
Appreciated the replies from both of you, however I'd like to clarify that I'm not complaining about the trial continuing into a subscription. While immoral and abusive of customer trust (as the purpose is obviously taking advantage of those who forget about it, such as myself), at the end of the day this practice is industry standard, and adobe is hardly the only company employing it.
Also, I'm not chasing any refund for the ammounts I have been charged as a result of adobe's anti-consumer practices. It's really not worth the effort.
However LinSims, can you please clarify where is the exit fee so "clearly"mentioned, as you stated? Because that "Cancel before 29 Sep to get a full refund and avoid a fee" very much sounds like the 'fee' refers to the first month's charge, I would never interpret that as refering to an "exit fee". The page linked under "Learn more" is equally ambiguous. And as sure as hell, I don't see anything, anywhere about a 50% of a full year's charge.
Manan Joshi the link you posted does indeed make it clear, however it is not present in the free trial signup flow. Or if it is, it's hidden somewhere, as I definitelly didn't stumble upon it, and I even tried just now to go through the first steps of that flow, just to look for it.
You know where I did find a mention of that 50% fee just now, though? In the automated email I received from adobe when signing up for the free trial, somewhere at the bottom, in a minuscule font, in a dark gray colour, on a slightly darker gray background. As "clearly" as it gets, no? This is precisely why in most countries, this stuff just does not fly, legally speaking.
And speaking of legality, while it will obviously differ from country to country, here are some excerpts from https://www.gov.uk/
"Don’t just accept the business can keep your deposit and advance payments or ask you to pay a cancellation charge if you cancel the contract. The business can only do this if the contract term is fair. A cancellation charge is not fair just because it’s in the contract you signed – it needs to be reasonable."
"If you cancel the contract, the business is generally only entitled to keep or receive an amount sufficient to cover their actual losses that directly result from your cancellation (eg costs already incurred or loss of profit).
Businesses must take reasonable steps to reduce their losses (eg by re-selling the goods or services). Cancellation charges must be a genuine estimate of the business’ direct loss."
Anyway, my post was not aimed at adobe community managers, nor employees. It was aimed at those users who may not be aware of their legal rights, as adobe is clearly doing its best to obscure them.
Or even simpler, just search for the term "scam" on these forums, you'll find a lot of people who have been making "fair judgements on how things are".
I never intended to fault you, also neither I nor LinSims are Adobe employees we too are users just like you. The only thing I tried to do is present some other facts as well. You are absolutely correct that there are lots of people who complain about such issues on a daily basis. What I meant is however unclear/obscure the terms might look, we as users overlook them at our own peril. Also, in my opinion, Adobe is aware of these issues and that is why I think such refunds are issued on a case by case basis. I agree lots of improvements are needed on these fronts and also hope that the people with power to make this happen would be working on them.
Andrei, believe me, we've mentioned more than once to the Adobe employees who run the ACP program that recruits users to help out around here that it would make life a lot simpler if Adobe would put "Subscriptions start automatically unless cancelled and there is a termination fee for early cancellation" on the trial sign-up/order page, but the PTB (who are above the employees we work with) apparently aren't interested in that.
The information is on the subscription terms page, not on the order page where they collect billing information. It is linked from the order page. You have to scroll down the subscriptions terms page to see the information specific to the plan you signed up for. I've highligted where the link is found on the order page in the first picture, and then the information about the subscription start, renewal, and cancellation fees in the second.
I can't address what is or is not legal in the UK. In the US, if you click "Agree", you've agreed to the terms even if you don't read them. Adobe gives you a lower price when you agree to a yearly subscription and feels it is fair to recoup the anticipated lost revenue if you cancel early. I'm not a lawyer or a business person, though, and the courts may or may not agree that the cancellation fee is reasonable. I think it's a bit high, myself, particularly if you cancel after only a couple of months. As Manan says, Adobe is aware enough about the issue that if you complain to them, they'll often (but no guarantee!) waive the fee. I just wish they'd put that information on the order page.
Thanks - I am feeling soooo scammed by Adobe, I'll give that a go - they just keep saying I'll have to pay fees and then try to offer me deals to sign up again for another year!