Caught in the Web: Courts Slam Adobe for Sneaky Subscription Tactics

A historic court case could be on the cards as the DOJ takes on one of the world’s biggest computer software firms in a fight over consumer rights. Here are the full details.

DOJ Slams Adobe with Massive Lawsuit

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The U.S. Department of Justice has just body slammed Adobe with a huge lawsuit, accusing the tech giant of trapping customers in long-term subscription plans with hidden fees and an insanely difficult cancellation process. 

Subscription Scam

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Filed on Monday, this lawsuit alleges that Adobe’s shady practices have left thousands of users stuck in unwanted subscriptions, unable to escape without forking out big money. 

Deceptive Annual Plans

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The DOJ is going after Adobe’s “Annual, Paid Monthly” (APM) plan, which is designed to lure customers in with its “affordable” $59.99 per month rate compared to the alternatives of $89.99 per month or $659.88 per year. 

Hidden Fees and Nasty Surprises

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But there’s a nasty surprise waiting – a steep early termination fee (ETF) that can run into the hundreds if you try to cancel early. According to the DOJ, Adobe hides this detail, only revealing it when customers try to cancel their subscriptions.

DOJ Exposes Adobe’s Fine Print Trickery

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“Adobe clearly discloses the ETF only when subscribers attempt to cancel… trapping consumers in subscriptions they no longer want,” the DOJ’s filing says. The DOJ is accusing Adobe of hiding these key details in fine print and hard-to-find hyperlinks – a violation of federal consumer protection laws.

The Cancellation Nightmare Begins

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According to the DOJ filing, it gets worse. The lawsuit claims that Adobe has made the cancellation process  “onerous and complicated,” AKA a total nightmare. 

Customer Frustration

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Many customers report getting stuck in an endless loop, constantly being asked to sign in without ever reaching the point where they can actually cancel their subscription.

Trapped in an Endless Loop

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One frustrated customer said, “Adobe literally will not let me cancel my subscription,” describing the experience as a “loop to continually sign in and cannot move forward to cancel.”

Adobe’s Market Dominance 

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Adobe is a massive player in the application development world, holding over 60% of the global market share and pulling in more than $19 billion last year. 

Adobe’s Golden Goose

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A huge 94% of that – about $18.28 billion – came from subscriptions. This lawsuit could put a huge dent in Adobe’s war chest if the DOJ’s allegations hold up in court.

FTC Chairperson Lina Khan Weighs In

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Lina Khan, the Chairperson of the Federal Trade Commission, didn’t hold back in her critique. “The FTC has taken action against Adobe and two executives for pushing people into subscriptions and then making it absurdly hard to cancel. Adobe ambushed users with hefty ‘early termination fees’ and threw up obstacles when people tried to cancel.”

Customer Service Runaround

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Khan added that Adobe’s customer service is part of the problem. “Some users who tried to cancel by contacting customer service would have their calls drop or disconnect and then have to re-explain everything all over again. Others would be stuck in an endless loop of transfers across various Adobe representatives.”

DOJ’s Demands More Than Just a Slap on the Wrist

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The DOJ is not just looking for a slap on the wrist – they’re out for blood. They want a permanent injunction to stop Adobe’s deceptive practices, refunds for customers, monetary penalties, and other relief. 

Charging Customers After “Cancellation”

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The lawsuit paints a picture of many frustrated customers who thought they had canceled their subscriptions, only to find out they were still being charged.

A History of Complaints Ignored

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Adobe’s subscription tactics have long been a thorn in customers’ sides. Despite numerous complaints, the DOJ says Adobe “has nevertheless persisted in its violative practices to the present day.”

Recent Controversies

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This lawsuit comes hot on the heels of another controversy involving Adobe. Just over a week ago, content creators were furious when Adobe updated its Terms of Use, giving the company access to any form of media uploaded to its programs. 

Adobe’s Hasty Retreat

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Adobe did later change their Terms of Use, but by then the damage was done.

The Legal Battle Ahead

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This legal showdown could spell big trouble for Adobe. The DOJ’s lawsuit is a threat to Adobe’s profitable subscription model, and Adobe are likely to fight back with their full legal force.

The Future of Adobe

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Everyone will be watching to see how Adobe reacts to these serious charges and what changes they might make, if any, to treat their customers better.

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The post Caught in the Web: Courts Slam Adobe for Sneaky Subscription Tactics first appeared on Liberty & Wealth.

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The content of this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute or replace professional financial advice.

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