This is What Happens When You Try to Cancel an Adobe Creative Cloud Subscription

Adobe has gone from strength-to-strength financially since moving its software to a subscription-based service back in 2013, though there have been reports in the past of the company being reluctant to cancel users’ subscriptions. Now an alleged exchange between a web developer and an Adobe customer service rep is doing the rounds, highlighting the troubles some face when trying to do so.

The transcript of the web chat, first posted to GitHub, saw developer Rodrigo Deodoro trying to cancel his subscription before the Adobe employee tried to persuade him multiple times to keep it. While this would be expected, the employee then went on to attempt to strong-arm Deodoro into keeping his contract by wrongly informing him that he’d have to pay for a termination fee, despite Deodoro clearly outlining how this would not be the case. 

Chaitra: Hello! Welcome to Adobe Customer Service.

Me: Hello

Chaitra: Hi Devon

Chaitra: I understand that you wish to cancel your subscription, let me help you with that.

Chaitra: May I know the reason for cancellation please?

Me: I’m not using the software enough to justify the cost.

Chaitra: Thank you for the information.

Me: No problem!

Chaitra: I have checked and see that you have Creative Cloud membership (one-year) subscription, which was purchased on 18 Jun 2013.

Chaitra: Before you decide to cancel your subscription, let me give you an offer.

Chaitra: I can give you 1 month free subscription which will help you save a months subscription fee and next month of your membership will be free, with your annual commitment.

Chaitra: Will you be interested in 1 month free offer?

Me: No, I don’t think so, but thank you for the offer.

Me: Is that it?

Chaitra: If you wish I can provide you next 2 months free as an exception which would save next 2 months fee for you , If you are willing to continue and complete your current annual commitment.

Chaitra: Would you wish to continue with the subscription with 2 months free subscription?

Me: The only way I would consider keeping the service is if you could permanently lower the monthly cost. I’m not getting value out of my $50 monthly subscription and a free month or two won’t change that. I would keep the service if I could have access to all the apps for $20/month. Otherwise, I’d like to cancel.

Chaitra: If I change the plan to 29.99 USD, do you wish to continue with the subscription?

Me: No thank you. Please cancel it.

Chaitra: Before , I go ahead and cancel your subscription are you interested in photography so I can change your subscription to photography plan which is 9.99 USD per month which includes Lightroom and photoshop in it ?

Me: No thank you.

Chaitra: Devon, you have purchased a subscription with annual commitment, since you wish to cancel the subscription before the end of one year period, you will be billed 50% of your monthly rate for the remaining months in your annual commitment as early termination fee.

Chaitra: If you pay early termination fee, you will not be able to use the product, however If you continue with the subscription with 2 month free subscription you will be able to use the subscription and also get two months free subscription. In this case, I would suggest you to take an advantage of two months free subscription.

Chaitra: Are we still connected?

Me: I thought you said my subscription started in 2013? Why would I pay an early termination fee?

Chaitra: I see that you have change the plan on Jan 7, 2014.

Me: OK. So, one year from that date would have been January 7, 2015.

Chaitra: Yes.

Chaitra: you have renewed for the another year.

Me: How?

Chaitra: I would like to inform you that, all Adobe subscription renew automatically, if you don’t cancel the subscription in 12th month you will be moved to second year cycle. We have sent the notification email regarding the second year commitment for the subscription as we send a notification email for every renewal of the subscription.

Me: If that’s true, this is the 12th month of my subscription. Today would be the day it would renew. I want to cancel before that happens.

Chaitra: I checked and see that I your subscription billing date is today, that is 07 Jan 2016.

Chaitra: In this case, If O cancel the subscription also the subscription will reactivate.

Me: You’re telling me that if I cancel today, the subscription will automatically renew for another year even though it has been canceled?

Chaitra: Yes.

Me: That sounds like a bug in your billing software. I’m not responsible for that.

Chaitra: Since today is the billing date, the monthly billing has already been started and it is not possible to stop it

Me: Can you connect me with your supervisor?

Chaitra: Also once you get charged, the payment gets updated and it reactivate the service so that you can use it till the month.

Chaitra: I am canceling it now

The Adobe employee’s attempts to get Deodoro to keep his subscription only end when he asks to speak to the employee’s supervisor, following multiple false claims made by the employee pertaining to the lofty termination fee Deodoro was incorrectly told he would to pay.

Considering this termination fee was evaluated by the employee as 50% of each monthly bill until the end of the year, it seems that Adobe’s customer service department was knowingly trying to get Deodoro to pay a substantial fee in order to convince him to keep his subscription.

This is a shady tactic from Adobe, and one it’s imaginable has been encouraged by those in more senior positions within the company. Hopefully this exchange going public will see cause Adobe to reconsider its policies when it comes to handling subscription cancellations in the future.