I first discovered Photoshop in high school when my friend showed me a doctored photo he had created, and it was a life-changing moment. Photoshop took something supremely boring to me (taking photos) and turned it into something supremely interesting (modifying photos in unexpected ways). Photoshop has enabled me to make countless websites, turn designs into reality, and just generally do awesome things.
But I will not be buying another upgrade, because I am sick of Adobe and their bullshit. I have grown increasingly disenchanted with Adobe for several years, but the last straw for me was my recent attempt to update to Photoshop CS5.
I have purchased the CS3 Web Premium bundle and the CS4 Web Premium upgrade, but since I barely use anything except Photoshop anymore I decided this time around to upgrade Photoshop only. I went through the Adobe store checkout process, ordered my CD, and it arrived recently.
When I went to install it, however, I ran across a hitch: the installer wouldn’t accept my CS4 Web Premium registration number as my license to upgrade.
Turns out that Adobe only offers upgrades on single products if you have purchased a previous version of that single product in the past. You cannot upgrade a bundled copy of Photoshop. Of course, they don’t tell you this anywhere in the store that I noticed while checking out.
So I’m done. I had been planning to upgrade Photoshop to CS5, and then likely the whole bundle to CS6 when it came out. After this little stunt on Adobe’s part, though, I think I would rather make a public promise not to spend money on Adobe software anymore. Adobe is a classic example of a company who doesn’t give a shit about their existing users, and I am fed up with it. I will make do with Photoshop CS4 and let them go alienate someone else.
The classic Adobe experience for me was when I was upgrading CS4. I called their sales number because the web store was being wonky on me, and the guy I got into contact with was great. Wonderful speaking voice on the phone, extremely helpful, clear, and concise. It was a great experience. At the end of the call, he transferred me to their technical support (I had some account management issues that he was unable to deal with), and I spent a good 45 minutes wading through the classic outsourced tech support experience. Low speaking voice, heavy accent, apparent inability to understand my non-accented English, unhelpful, and ultimately did not do what they said that they would to help me. That dichotomy stuck with me as the perfect example of how Adobe approaches its customers. If you are a potential buyer, they will treat you great. After the fact? You should consider yourself lucky that Photoshop crashes every time you quit, and leave them the hell alone.
I have tried writing to Adobe. It doesn’t work. The only thing that I can do is vote with my feet.
Good-bye, Adobe. For a company that made software that really lit a creative fire under me years ago, you certainly turned into a disappointment.