US sues Adobe for ‘deceiving’ subscriptions that are too hard to cancel | The Justice Department alleges that Adobe hid early cancellation fees and trapped consumers in pricey subscriptions

submitted by ForgottenFlux

www.theverge.com/2024/6/17/24180196/adobe-us-ft…

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82 Comments

edwardbear

My prayers are heard. I hope you burn in the lowest circles of hell, Adobe.

athairmor

I assumed their HQ was moved there long ago.

ironhydroxide

Yup. Though many people call it "Utah"

ripcord

Is this a random Utah slam, or did they move something to Utah? As far as I know they're still in San Jose

glitches_brew

They're in Utah.

ripcord

They have a campus in Utah but their headquarters is in San Jose.

answersplease77 , edited

these cocksuckers were charging my 70-yr-old computer-illetrate mom nearly $80 a month because "she wanted to be able to open pdf on her laptop", and then once I found out and tried to cancel this pro subscription which she had, they forced us to pay a $200 cancelation fee which amounts to 50% of the remaining months until the end of the year. Adobe came pre installed and all she did was click on yes, yes, yes after the triall period finished. It's a predetory behavior from a scummy company. I will never forgive them for this.

ripcord

How did it get her credit card info if she only clicked "yes" boxes? Or was it linked to some other payment system that was set up on her system somehow (MS or Apple App Store or something)?

answersplease77

she told my sister who is also very stupid when it comes to computers to put it. I wish I was making this up

Potatos_are_not_friends

People on Lemmy, who kinda are on the upper echelons of technical aptitude, forget that the average user is really fucking dumb. Work a stint in level 1 IT and you will get the absolute wildest head smacking issues ever.

And companies capitalize on that by making it incredibly easy to give them money.

answersplease77

My sister who is stupid with computers is a successful consultant with phd in her field lol.

I'm not exaggerating to say 90% of people in the world treat PCs as non-intresting tools do their job. They have privacy-nightmare settings on their phones and never change the default apps or settings on their PC. That's how tech companies earn their billions

xavier666

Adobe is worse than scammers. Scammers at least have the self realization that they are scamming. Adobe will steal your money and huff on the fumes that they are providing a valuable service by letting people open PDFs.

I recently downloaded their PDF reader (because it's the only app which allows for digitally signing a document with a visible cryptographic signature) and it's 400 MB in size. In no world should a PDF reader be that large.

AeroLemming

Firefox can open PDFs and I'm not sure about the desktop versions, but the Android version is 117MB.

xavier666 , edited

There are hundreds of Windows and Linux apps which can open PDF, but so far only Adobe's version is the only one which can attach a digital signature. I normally use Zathura on Linux which is like a 5 MB maybe. It's tiny, very configurable and JUST a pdf reader.

JonEFive

There's a reason scam artists target the elderly. If a box on the computer screen says "put payment info here" then who are they to argue with the box?

xavier666

TRUST THE BOX!

bean , edited

That is peak shittiness. Thank goodness your Mum has you to advocate, and I shudder to think of how many others don't and were shafted or continue to be shafted.

Their competition for PDF Reader; Foxit, jacked their prices up considerably this last year too. It used to be an affordable alternative. They too got greedy (I assume since Adobe was getting away with it!) and have lost a considerable amount of customers in both the consumer end-users and the business side.

PDF becomes increasingly more used and 'standard' with the fracturing of ability to edit them or do 'advanced' tasks like merging multiple PDFs.

There are some alternatives which are free but also either Freemium or just plain questionable in their usage. I don't want to trust some random company and I don't want to be nickel and dimed for basic features like merge.

I spent a long time testing and trying tools. Sadly nothing as comprehensive as what Acrobat offers, but not an option at their pricing. Same with Foxit. I use PDFsam for some basic merge stuff. An interesting project is also Stirling PDF. but pdfsam is like Freemium and Stirling I'm pretty requires docker and it's also not in all languages.

phoenixz

I know it sucks for the call center personnel to have to listen to people yelling at them, but I've had multiple of such companies that were so shitty that the only way to get anything fixed was to keep making people cry until finally someone would push you to a supervisor. Well at enough of them and they will either fix the issue or push you through to their supervisors who will do anything to stop the yelling.

I got to the point where I'll just make then cry because it's the only option left to get any normal responsible behavior from companies. I'll have to call 20 times perhaps but that's what I'll do then

bean

You must be fun at parties.

phoenixz

I am, actually!

datavoid

Somewhere on my PC I have a several page long rant about how many government websites in Canada require you to pay for an Adobe subscription in order to sign an "official" PDF.

Why the hell isn't there a better option for filling out legally required, government mandated forms than giving a private corporation money? This bothers me so fucking much.

palordrolap

Feeling daring? If you have to buy the software anyway, invoice the government department the price of the software.

SkaveRat

My mom worked in accounting for the local government. You'd be surprised how many invoices are getting paid without double checking

dan

You can't fill it out with Firefox? I think pdf.js (which Firefox uses) supports PDF forms.

datavoid

Nope, I've tried every other option I could think of. All the browsers, a few websites, ms office products, non ms office products, some graphic design tools.. to Adobe's credit they did a great job making sure people had to pay

dan , edited

Ahh, it's probably using some proprietary features that only exist in Adobe products.

I'm not sure if they still sell it, but Adobe used to have a suite of form tools where the person filling out the form had to use Adobe Acrobat (it used some non-standard PDF form features), and the company collecting the form responses had to use software built on top of Adobe ColdFusion (which costs thousands of dollars per server). They really tried to lock people in to their form ecosystem.

GreatAlbatross

What's even more crazy, is Adobe has a system called something like "docusign", where you can just fill the document in in-browser.

I'm fortunate that I haven't yet hit a form I couldn't just edit in GIMP!

Septimaeus , edited

I’m curious about this. If demonstrable, it seems many Canadians could sue.

What is the typical user workflow? For example: 1. An embedded Adobe applet (e.g. fill, sign, and submit on the government website) 2. Token-based API (e.g. redirect or spawn child window/tab, user fills and signs on adobe site, user returned to government site) 3. Something else (e.g. upload button with server-side validation for digital signing)

Edit: looked into this a bit. Did you receive an error message like the following?

This document does not allow you to save any changes you have made to it unless you are using Adobe Acrobat Standard DC or Adobe Acrobat Pro DC

(Regardless it’s totally shitty that government websites recommend a specific company’s software, especially Adobe. I’m just trying to figure out if they actually force citizens to pay a private company.)

Restaldt

Hell yeah.

Fuck adobe.

I submitted a complaint about this exact thing to one of the government sites so im going to pretend I had a part in this

uis

Good, good.

Dragomus

Cancelation fees (and steep ones at that) on digital goods/"services" ... shows how far things sunk towards the lower hells.

Incogknighto

It should seriously be illegal. I can't believe companies are able to get away with this. If you don't have the money to cancel, you're just locked in

lps

I saw this coming, with no easy way to cancel the monthly subscription and decided to pay with a prepaid credit card instead...glad I did, it saved me from getting robbed.

realharo

There used to be a "loophole", where if you changed to a different plan, it restarted the 7 day period during which you could cancel with no fee. Not sure if they ever changed that though.

Rekorse

Thats how I got out of it without having to pay the hundreds of dollars in cancelation fees. I was fuming at the time too, and that was maybe close to 5 years ago now.

DragonTypeWyvern

Funnily enough, I just had to sign up for the trial for reasons and made sure to cancel immediately after I was done. I was worried I'd just forget and pay for a month or something.

LCP

Apparently it still works. Came across a Short talking about it.

samokosik

Yeah, each time I "subscribe" for sth I use a prepaid card. Once the transaction is made, it destroys itself.

Lucidlethargy

Good. FUCK Adobe. I genuinely hope the entire company fails.

Jaybob32

I decided to try out the new version about a year ago. I had a monthly charge of about $26 I think it was. After about 3-4 months and not really using it, I cancelled a few days before it would renew for another month. $50 early cancellation fee? Wtf do you need to cancel a few mins before or it's early cancellation? Adobe fucking sucks ass.

JJROKCZ

That’s the trick, it’s always early cancellation, there is no allowed time to stop sending them money.

Modva

Nestle and Adobe, on my special list.

Jackcooper

HP

uis

Nah, they are kids in sandbox compared to Apple

Jesus

It’s so refreshing to actually have my tax dollars starting to fund consumer protection again.

If Trump gets in office again, it’s back to backsliding. Because apparently consumer protection is “big government” or some such shit.

SorryQuick

It’s probably just your tax pennies unfortunately, your tax dollars are still going to the army and such.

Jesus

I’ll take it over what the previous guy did.

kescusay

I remember when Adobe was a cool company that built art tools. Now it seems like the art tools are an afterthought, tacked onto a money-siphoning scheme.

CurlyWurlies4All

Did they ever? They bought PageMaker in 1994 and Photoshop in 1995. They bought Macromedia in 2006, GoLive, Live motion, Typekit, Behance... Is there anything they've ever bought they haven't slowly ruined with financialisation or just outright shuttering what would have been competition?

kescusay

That's a good point. I gotta be honest, I'd forgotten that Adobe bought Photoshop.

CurlyWurlies4All

Yeah they're kind of the ultimate monopolization machine

foggy

Over the barrel, please.

WhiskyTangoFoxtrot

Adobe's name is mud these days.

Guadin

I've been on the verge of cancelling my subscription for multiple times now. But everytime I try an alternative it's missing something (for instance capture one mobile does not do masks/layers...), and so I keep shipping shitloads of money to a company which has dickass privacy rules and extorts you out of money.

disguy_ovahea

I’m a big fan of Affinity Photo and Illustrator. I switched when Adobe went to the subscription model. It’s very similar, and they have full tutorials on Vimeo for anything that works differently. It’s definitely worth the $20.

thejml

As a “prosumer” photographer (I do semi-pro landscape photography mostly, with a little astrophotography as a hobby when the sky is clear enough), I’ve been really happy with Affinity Photo over the Adobe suite. Definitely recommend. I just hope they keep their quality up since being bought out.

Scotty_Trees

Who did they get bought out from?

thejml

They were independent as Serif, but Canva bought them earlier this year: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serif_Europe

nnullzz

I switched to the Affinity suite today after almost 20 years of using Adobe products. After the trial I realized that I actually enjoyed the layout of the tools and the familiarity between photoshop and illustrator. Their InDesign alternative (Publisher 2) is pretty nice too. It really helps that they’re giving 50% off right now. (Smart marketing btw)

Only thing I’m struggling with finding a replacement for is after effects. I already made the switch to DaVinci for video so motion graphics is the only hole left to fill and then I’m free from Adobe.

Guadin

That looks great. It's mostly a Photoshop replacement right? I'm also looking for something to replace Lightroom, with the same amount of functions on desktop as on iPad. Any recommendations?

Delta , edited

I think Affinity Photo is their lightroom replacement: https://affinity.serif.com/en-us/photo/

Edit: I don’t think there’s a mobile version

Guadin

With mobile I also meant iPad so they're good on that. To me "Photo" has a lot of Photoshop abilities (drawing, pencils, etc.) while it lacks, or seems to lack, some Lightroom functions (categorizing, overview of photos, ratings, etc.). But maybe I haven't looked at it good enough. It's certainly a good option to replace photoshop for me, because I don't use most functions of photoshop.

disguy_ovahea , edited

It works great on iPad, but it doesn’t store and organize.

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/affinity-photo-2-for-ipad/id1616823773

Incogknighto

I've heard darktable is good. Haven't used it myself

Queue

It doesn't help Adobe has software patents for their products, so anyone who makes a similar program has to either live in a country that doesn't recognize the "right" to claim you invented math, or be risk being sued.

Squiddly

That's why I'm a pirate matey

Tippon

Depending on what you're doing, Krita is worth a look. I gave it a go for cropping and lightly editing some photos recently, and then tried their version of the clone stamp tool. It's hidden under the brushes presets, but worked better than the Photoshop tool 👍

einlander

Just know that Canva bought Affinity.

Nikls94

Isn‘t there the possibility to use multiple Apps to mimic what Adobe does?

MigratingtoLemmy

Time to pay for cracks

penquin

Any corporation that does should just go bankrupt. Seriously, will you live fine without them? Of course. Will society continue to exist? Of course. Fuck these fucking scums.

Dizzy Devil Ducky

I'm calling it now:

In other news Adobe forced to pay 0.001% if what they earn every day from subscriptions and still find loopholes allowing them to continue business as usual, with the US government sticking their thumbs up their ass because they can't make an example of Adobe too soon or the bribes.... I mean donations from lobbyists representing large companies will dry up.

JimVanDeventer

This is beside the point, but it might help some people in the short term: I was able to switch my subscription plan without penalty and then cancel immediately without the cancellation fee. Maybe that still works.

miridius

Great, now do Amazon

TheFeatureCreature

This gives warm and fuzzy feelings.

samokosik

let's fucking goo

Cyrus Draegur

Ha good fucking luck charging an early cancellation fee to the VIRTUAL CARD I GENERATED AND DESTROYED THE MOMENT I DECIDED TO STOP PUTTING UP WITH YOUR SHITTY "SERVICE"! FUCK you, Adobe. You get NOTHING from me.

uis

Did EU bite USA?

TankovayaDiviziya

This is why you could and should never be lazy to search how to cancel subscription.

Veraxus

Do SiriusXM next.