I'm writing to you to ask for your consideration and possibly some help. I've looked through my emails but figured this would be the best place to post. I come in a time of need.
I've been using Adobe Products for over 20 years. I've been a loyal servant never wavering in my support. I've promoted your products in my small and close nit community, in London, through constant support via word of mouth. I was trained to edit in Avid but always stayed loyal to Premiere. I remember way back when, in those very early days, delivering my first feature length TV documentary using Premiere on a Pentium 233 processor PC. Dumping 5 minute segments to tape and then compiling it all into a broadcast edit. Long and arduous but always, I stayed with Premiere. I've probably spent more late nights with Adobe, flitting between Premiere, After Effects and Photoshop, than I have with anyone or anything else in my life.
Fast forward some 20 years and there's an international pandemic. I'm stuck. Whilst the industry that I work in has changed I've stayed loyal, honing my skills whilst constantly adapting. One thing I had to adapt to was the Adobe Pricing Plan. I'd purchased fully licensed copies of After Effects, Photoshop and Premiere many times over the years and whilst I was somewhat peeved when things switched to a monthly pyment scheme I went along with it. Likewise, when things went from 32 to 64 bit and it meant upgrading whole new computers I went along with it. I saw the long term benefits. However, the pricing plan.... ah, I could never see the benefit for the customer but I held faith and went alomg with it. I remember estimating that I'd spent around £10,000 on Adobe Products that in the old days I owned. I realised that once the subscription schemes kicked in I'd be paying for products that I would never own. All well and good but alas, how long have I been paying the premium subscription fee? Five years? Seven years? Time sure does fly. As does the bank balance so if I add that up, at lets round it up to £50 a month, I have spent maybe £600 per year, no questions asked, payments always made, for lets say 5 years. That's a total of £3000. Add on top of that the previous £10,000 I spent and we're fast heading towards £15,000 invested in a company that I'm loyal to. However, this pandemic thing has brought some issues to light.
It was around February this year when my work started to get cancelled. Vey quickly I found myself losing a few hundred pounds a week. No worries. I'm very much a believer in whatever will be will be. Then around March time things got really serious really quickly. Almost all of my work was cancelled. Then April, nothing!
I'm a camera guy, for events. I shoot music and edit videos. I make big screen content. I do social media campaigns for a few companies. I try and keep my work loyal to the local and independent community. I', "that guy" that even at my age you might still find filming my friends gig for free, Or a family emebers fashion show. Then I go home and I edit it like I would for one of the main brands Ive worked for over the years. I do my best to always give it my all. I still, after all these years, for the most part find it exciting. While the business model is always changing I still believe in doing occassional freeby projects, where I can, in the hope of future work if something takes off. I'm the guy who will do as much to help when and where I can. Of course, I have learned there has to be a balance. I have to pay the bills. Adobe being one of them. Hence, if I'm working for a large company I will do my best to charge the going rate. I'f I'm editing form home that doesn't mean I'm just doing nothing. That means I will be starting my working day at 8am and I will be editing, with an hours break until 6pm. I will charge what I believe to be a fair rate.
So, I'm digressing....
April comes and really there's all but a few outstanding, long running projects to be completed. The small jobs I can finish to just get them finished and then that's that. No more work. Then I start to get the calls I was quietly dreading. The TV campaign that we were shooting in August, editing in September and going live in October.... cancelled. The events I was filming and editing highlights videos for.. the events I do every year, cancelled. Not rescheduled.. Cancelled! Completely put off until next year. It's really worrying. If I haven't lost enough work already the future is looking bleak for my industry. I don't believe it will be until at least 6 months when we can start doing such events again and with so many being entirely cancelled... damn, I used to do OK. Not great but OK but damn.. this years I might as well have just been a student again because it relaly looks like I'm going to be taking very very little if anything for the rest of the year.
So, with all the worrying aside, I am a creative and I find myself with some spare time on my hands. Wow. I can either sit aorund worrying or try and make the most of this time. My daughter has been asking me to setup a YouTube channel for her for months. She's off school. Now's the perfect time. I can update my showreel and incorporate some more video into my website. Long overdue and now seems the perfect time. Hey, I play synthesizers, I can make some music tutorials. My family have been asking me to transfer their VHS tapes for as lomg as I can remmeber. The perfect time to dig out the old VHS machine and hook it up to my Macbook Pro (paid for)... Etc. Etc. Ah... but now there seems to be something in the back of my mind...The reality I've been quietly preparing for.
You see... Alongside all of the above a lot of my clients aren't able to pay me for work I've completed. Cashflow has stopped. The emails are creeping in and I don't want to read them but I have to accept this. A client of ten years is stuck. They haven't been paid me for work I've done and they cant pay me at the moment. Now, do I be a dick about it and get angry with them? Or do I accept that "ya know, we've worked together for a long time and in this time of need the last thing I'm going to do is be a dick about things. Yes, I did the work for you and yes you owe me money but no, I'm not going to make you feel bad about things. I'm not going to say we are never working together again." It's moreso a case of you can tell who your friends are in a time of need and I suppport those who have supported me. We will find a way through this.
So, this is where I turn to you... where I turn to Adobe.
Adobe... I'm a creative and I use your products for both my work and my pleasure. My work has stopped. My incoming monies has stopped. I have rent to pay and a daughter to feed. I'm taking my car off the road and my landlord has shown me some real friendship in saying I'm a good tennant and not to worry if I cant make a payment. "We will work something out" is his attitude. I have money set aside for rent. I have money set aside for food. I don't have money set aside for prooducts that I pay monthly for but never own. Hence, I send you this mesaage, because now I find myself with such time on my hands to type such a message and ask...
Dearest Adobe... I can't afford almost £50 a month right now. I don't want to have to lose your products but if push comes to shove I'm afraid I have to put food on the table first. This is a real time of crisis and whilst most companies and clients and those within my essential network have been cool I need to ask you... is there anything I can do so that I can continue to use your products in this time of need? I don't mean a demo version where I can't save or export my work. I need full functionality.
I can suppply you wth many years of bank payments to show you I've never missed a payment. I can probably dig through some earlier emails and show that I did purchase After Effects and Premiere a few times over the years. What I can't do is continue to pay so much money for Premiere, After Effects and Photoshop. I know there are reduced packages but it seems they don't suit my needs and ultimately as much as I want to do my daughters YouTube and my family CHS tapes and a showreel etc etc I will do it without Adobe if I have to. I feel I'm making enough sacrifices at this time and ask if perhaps you can do something to allow me to continue to create in this time of need. Instead of cutting me off from your profucts. I've had to take what money I have in my current account and move it to my savings account so that I can stop monthly payments. At this stage every penny counts and today I saw the email that I knew would eventually come: My payment to Adobe has not been processed. And Adobe... I won't be processing any paymets to you for a while so... can we work something out?
I'm sure that within a few months this would have passed. I know there are free alternatives that I can start looking into and maybe now is the time for me to branch out but as I said at teh start of this message I've been loyal to Adobe for many years and ya know... I'd like to feel Adobe were loyal right back at me. Just for a moment. I want to reach out to you to see if we can find some common ground here.
In an ideal world, what I would love would be to carry on working with the products I have, as is. I don't need any updates. I'm just aksing for things to be put on hold for a few months so that I can get through this time. As soon as things get back to normal trust me my payments to you will be back to normal but I can't keep paying for products if I'm not earning money to pay for them. I know I'm asking a lot... but alas, I've given a lot over the years.
I remember at the start of this, not this epic letter, I mean the start of this pandemic and I read somewhere how companies will be remmembered for how they act in times of crisis like this. I really hope that my loyalty and my suppport, for your products, brand, company, will be in some way appreciated and I can look back, in years to come, and say to myself and others that "Adobe were cool in a time of need." Instead of... "Adobe just changed their business model from buying products to subscription based and eventually I simply couldn't continue. No pay until you own or anything like that. I simply put money into their account each month until I had nothing left and in a time of need they simply, silently, cut me off with a few automated messages saying my payment has failed. Not even a goodbye!
It's times like these when we realise those latent thoughts and feelings that as a freelancer we face. Ultimately I now realise that I have nothing tangiable to show for my comitment to Adobe over the years and within 30 days it looks like my time with Adobe could in essence be over.
As uch as the pandemic is scary and as much as isolation isn't brilliant it's not all bad. I'm staying positive and I am enjoying the creative time I have right now and ask is there anything we can do? I CAN'T continue with such payments. I'm not prepared to plumet myself into debt more than I have to. I have to say I can't make the monthly payments for a while... and I'll cut to the chase... any chace I can still use your products because I'd LOVE to continue to stay creatibe in this time. Creativity keep me sane. There are other things I can do but ya know... It'd be nice to know that I can still do what needs to be done, what I'm good at, instead of having to learn new software and the likes.
It also helps me, with my family, doing those little outsanding jobs and I'd really like to think.. in fact I hope... that perhaps you can dig deep into your hearts, like I have dug deep into my pockets over the years and look to supporting your loyal community by giving us some piece of mind that we can work together in a time when we really do need you.
A long term customer...
PS... If you have any jobs going I'd definitely be interested. Remote working only though... based in the UK. Premiere expert!
You will have to contact customer support.
If you are an individual subscriber and you are having financial issues because of the pandemic, Adobe may waive subscription fees for a couple of months. This is not an official policy and seems to be handled on an individual basis. There is no guarantee that your fees will be waived. You will have to talk to customer care directly and work something out with them. You must already be a subscriber; Adobe is not going to give free or reduced-cost access to all its programs to people who are not customers.
Be aware that because of the pandemic, wait times are far longer than usual due to reduced staff and higher demand. Please be patient with the people to whom you speak. Like you, they are feeling a great deal of stress. A little patience and understanding will go a long way to helping you in your particular situation.
This is a public forum, not Adobe support. Users, including the ACPs and MVPs, can't provide support for account, subscription, billing, download, or product activation issues. Support for those issues requires an Adobe employee.
Click the following to contact Adobe customer support staff for help:
You must be signed in with your Adobe ID and allow cookies in your web browser for this to work.
This is the link to the US website. If you are not in the US, the site should redirect to the page appropriate to the region associated with your ID.
Click the chat icon at the bottom right of the page to open a chat session. Typing AGENT into the chat window should connect you directly to a CSR rather than the AI.
If the CSR refers you to the forums, insist on speaking with a supervisor and keep moving up the chain until you get someone who knows what they are talking about.
You can also search for Adobe customer support using your favorite search engine. This will normally provide you with a regionally appropriate phone number that you can use.