back to article Adobe warns it may face massive fines for subscription cancellation practices

Adobe has revealed it may have to fork out "significant monetary costs or penalties" as a result of a US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigation of its subscription cancellation practices. The graphics giant slipped the news into a filing that details its Q4 and FY 2023 results and other corporate events. Adobe's results …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    If I must deal with Adobe, I lay in a stock of bargepoles and long spoons: run in disposable VM on non daily-driver; IP address mask; volunteer no information; never sign up, let alone pay.

  2. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

    I'd love to know if they try and pull these subscription cancellation policies in the EU. If that blows up, I think I'm gonna need a bigger popcorn maker.

  3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    "Adobe doesn't think it was."

    It sounds as if it really does think that it was but is hoping it might get away with it and has its fingers crossed behind its back.

  4. my_ran_lost


    Oh how I hate adobe and their exploitative and shady business practices, I've managed to move away from 99% of my tool chain being on them.

    Just AE remains, one day I'll sit down and learn Blender and finally break the chains.

    1. TVU Silver badge

      Re: Finally

      "Just AE remains, one day I'll sit down and learn Blender and finally break the chains"

      DaVinci Resolve also has the advantage of a free version plus its multi-OS.

    2. ICL1900-G3

      Re: Finally

      Very happy with Affinity Photo, purchased, not rented. Every bit as good as Photoshop, with excellent support.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Finally

        "Very happy with Affinity Photo, purchased, not rented."

        The Photoshop/Lightroom combo for US$125/yr was a good deal over what I had paid for boxed software, but it's since doubled in price and the new features are mainly not that useful for me. I also keep my main production machine offline and Adobe forces me to expose that computer to the internet once a month or so when I'd rather not.

      2. Kobus Botes
        Thumb Up

        Re: Finally


        Since I foreswore all MS products about 20 years ago, I can fortunately not use any of Adobe's finest products.

        My weapons of choice are Ansel (a Darktable clone) and at times GIMP for stuff that I still have to figure out how to do in Ansel/DT.

        Parametric masks are killer in A/DT.

  5. David Austin

    Fuck Adobe

    I hate them on the quantum level, and deeply resent the fact they basically have a sizable amount of creatives held hostage at this point through their unfair subscriptions, Embrace extend extinguish company takeovers, and just generally being monumental dicks whenever they think they can get away with it.

  6. ScottishYorkshireMan

    Not a good experience

    To be honest, I am surprised their stuff is as popular as it is. It may just be people like to tell you they subscribe to Adobe Creative Cloud, like people like to tell you they have a Tesla or a BMW.

    My experience of them was generally unpleasant. I had a photo subscription lightroom and photoshop, however, a year last Sept, MS made some update to Windows that totally screwed up Adobes system, everytime the product launches it tries to connect to their servers. Well, it couldn't connect any more. Their support asked me to try another network, why that is a suggestion I don't know, but I did as they asked and it resulted the same fail to launch. They then wanted to connect to my machine, which I was very skeptical off, but I made it so only one machine was connected and let them connect up, no joy the tech support boy still couldn't solve it, and left it was my hardware/network that was at fault and they couldn't help me.

    So, I wanted to cancel 3 months early, except I couldn't as they wouldn't accept there was a problem with THEIR stuff. So, I had to pay their early termination. Which is shite. But there again, a shite company with shite practices thinks that as long as the billions role in, why worry about the odd calculation here and there. Problem is, any fines they get will result in increased subscriptions from their existing customers. Not me though.

    So, as far as I am concerned Adobe can fuck off, never again and now Luminar Neo gets my money.

    1. TVU Silver badge

      Re: Not a good experience

      Unlike Adobe, one of the great advantages of Luminar Neo is that you can own it outright albeit for a larger cost than the annual subscription.

      Personally, I detest Adobe's perma-rental way of doing things.

    2. Sub 20 Pilot

      Re: Not a good experience

      I don't touch their shite, I use a small paid-for pdf editor and a lot of other utilities as alternatives to their bloated crap.

      Also done the same with Autodesk, now refusing to pay well over a thousand pounds a year for a subscription model that changed things randomly to justify their fees and refused to work offline while I was away in foreign parts for weeks on end.

      I now use progeCAD and have paid £300 odd for a permanent license for 2 machines. If I want to update I can, if not, no problem. Loads in half the time, installs in minutes with a simple code as opposed to multi gigaabyte online hassling and hidden files that insist on checking your license before you opened it or tried to print from it and caused endless problems and expensive online connections from various parts of the world for no reason. Autodesk treated me like a criminal even though they had taken my money. I hope the fuckers die a painful death.

      Sooner these arsehole parasite mega corporations are told to fuck off by paying customers/ victims, the better it will be for us, the people they rely on.

      Only one reason I can't move from MS Windows - another parasitic shitbag - to Linux is my reliance on a number of small specialist structural and heatloss software which are windows only with no alternative. I count the days until I don't need them and can rid my machines of the MS shite.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Another type of massive fine

    Big Tech should pay massive fines for even an ATTEMPT to purchase a competitor. Figma in the Adobe's example. Instagram and Whatsapp in case of FB.

  8. James O'Shea

    Rental crap

    I used to be a Creative Suite user. I purchased the whole thing, at the 'education' price of $1000; it would have cost $2800 otherwise. Six months after I made the purchase, there was a major upgrade... which would have cost nearly another $1000. I skipped the upgrade. That was the last version prior to Creative Cloud. 'Upgrading' to CC would have been very expensive, so I didn't. I kept using CS until it was no longer supported by the OS... and then kept a machine using the last supported version of the OS, just to use CS. That machine has finally died. I have replaced CS with the Affinity series of products, plus one or two more to cover things that Affinity doesn't do (yet).

    I decline to rent software using a 'subscription' system. MS Office is either the standalone version or someone else pays the rental; I'm not paying that. Same for all other 'subscription' stuff. If there isn't a standalone or 3rd-party app which does the job, I do without it. So far there's always been a standalone or a 3rd-party.

  9. ecofeco Silver badge


    Well the deserved. It's the least the FCC could do.

    Now if we could find a way to make Adobe users realize they are chumps. Er, sorry, I meant marks. But alas, the world turns on people overpaying for bad products.

  10. nonoj

    another dissatisfied user

    I shifted from Adobe to Affinity a long time ago. First Affinity Photo then Designer and Publisher as they came out. DXO PhotoLab and Photo Mechanic replace enough of Adobe LR for my needs.

    Last two years I was invited to participate in a 1-month project by a client who insisted on InDesign for the final project. The first year I was able to subscribe for a single month without issue. The next year the subscription/cancellation process changed so much and customer service was so awful I wound up getting charged a full year of Creative Cloud for a single month of use. After multiple attempts to get the issue rectified I gave up, wrote up a complaint and a searing survey response. It’s been almost a year later have not received a response. I’m not holding my breath.

    If the FCC punishes Adobe for its cancellation processes, good. In the meantime anyone who is interested in finding out why I have nothing to do with Adobe will get an earful.

    PS: From a security standpoint, Adobe is a nightmare as well. I was able to shut down, literally, dozens of connections attempted by Adobe products that were attempted, literally, all day long whether I was using their applications or not. Denying all but 3 of those connections had no affect on Adobe apps… so why were all the other connections being made? Installation required unfettered access to my Mac Keychain and several undocumented entries were made to the Keychain. When i used Adobe’s uninstall app dozens of files and folders were left behind, even some apps that still loaded on reboot. I had to manually remove Adobe entries from Keychain, go into Terminal to manually get rid of hidden files. And every interaction with Adobe using a browser meant several persistent trackers dropped on my computer. All this is all the more reason to walk away from Adobe.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cancelled in November

    And they had the gall to charge me two months "cancellation fee". I purchased a perpetual license of DaVinci Resolve (Pro) about the same as what Adobe takes in one year. I found a lot of bugs in PremierePro - but the support ise useless (hung up when they asked me to re-install the OS); and there is no way to report bugs - just a user forum and a wishlist with 10,000's of posts. Resolve also works a lot better (tested free version), and does not have the hideous floating windiws and double (yes two!) scroll bars (one to scroll the content, one to scroll the window - to make the toolbar menu disappear). Adobe used to have great software in the 90s- no more.

  12. Bebu Silver badge

    Not a love here :)

    I believe adobe is dried mud, with a bit of straw and more than a soupçon of the brown stuff.

    Looks like Adobe has dispensed with the mud and straw and gone for lashings of crap.

    The only Adobe product I used was Acrobat Reader on Linux which would have been RHEL4 so yonks ago and not too impressed back then.

    Sounds like the whole offering is ghastly.

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