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Adobe Customer Service revamped?

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Clint Wardlow
Adobe Customer Service revamped?
on Jul 23, 2013 at 6:56:46 pm

I have been a Creative Cloud member for about 8 months. I am not sure I will keep up with it once my special rate is up. One thing that worries me is the number of horror stories I am reading about dealing with customer service -- which you have to do if you want to cancel. Hours wasted on hold or waiting for chat representatives? Constantly shuffled about, involving more hours wasted, and issues not being resolved.

It seems to me if you are offering CC as a subscription service, efficient and timely customer service would be a must (my dealings in the past with cable service goes against this wisdom --however even the worst I had to put up pales next to what I am hearing about Adobe). This seems especially true if you opt for a month-to-month rental. Hours spent dealing with customer service when you only have your hands on the product for a month seems like a deal breaker.

I am wondering if Adobe is taking any steps to improve its horrible customer service reputation? It seems like if they are moving to a subscription-only model this would be a given for it to succeed, especially for those who make their living with its products. I haven't heard much about any measures being taken to improve this epic chink in the CC model.

Or is the customer service better than the loud complaints being pasted all over the web indicate? Does anybody here have stories about quick and efficient dealings with customer service?


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Adobe Customer Service revamped?
on Jul 23, 2013 at 8:03:14 pm

I've been at it a few times. It really does feel pretty bargain basement - and it's also an amazing time sink. It can take the person on the other end an extremely long time to realise that you should maybe be talking to someone else.

From what I've seen the best route is to wail about it on the adobe forums or elsewhere until someone like Kevin Monaghan notices and takes pity on you.

On technical issues I'd nearly not bother - sure the cow or google can answer almost anything. It's licensing coming a cropper at a critical juncture - that scenario would run your blood cold.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Adobe Customer Service revamped?
on Jul 23, 2013 at 8:36:56 pm

Hi Aindreas,

[Aindreas Gallagher] "It can take the person on the other end an extremely long time to realise that you should maybe be talking to someone else."

You might try the chat feature for support. That way, you can get other things done while you are waiting to get your problem solved. The Download and Install forum is also an excellent resource too, as there are a lot of Adobe employees helping there.

http://forums.adobe.com/community/download_install_setup?view=discussions

[Aindreas Gallagher] "From what I've seen the best route is to wail about it on the adobe forums or elsewhere until someone like Kevin Monaghan notices and takes pity on you."

Well, my job is in support and to help users succeed at what they are trying to do. Thanks for recognizing that. Unfortunately, I'm only one dude, so I may not always be available to help users out. That's why I suggest Adobe Support chat or the Adobe forums, as most people reach for the phone first and don't think about possible support alternatives.

We do have support reps that specialize in video apps, but if you can't get your question answered over the phone, head to the Adobe forums. That's where I monitor support issues first and foremost.

Thanks,
Kevin

Kevin Monahan
Social Support Lead
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Systems, Inc.
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Adobe Customer Service revamped? - and then a merlot rant
on Jul 23, 2013 at 10:16:50 pm

[Kevin Monahan] "You might try the chat feature for support."

the last two times have been chat to be fair - and it is a background activity - but it can stretch on for a surprisingly long time - I was there attempting to verify whether and why my adobe direct CS6 upgrade purchase was volume license and why for an hour and three quarters with extended wait replies that finished with a recommendation that I go to sales.

I basically gave up after that.

it just felt extremely disjointed. it feels as though the people involved really have absolutely no intrinsic or even broad knowledge of adobe licensing or anything else specific to adobe.
You'd say it's kafkaesque, but it feels a bit more free form anarchic than that. just two people typing messages to each other.
It feels like a weird back end where its just yourself and whoever tapping away.

Which would be fine - but you guys are running a turn off the lights every thirty days rental service now?
As in - You can be a professional tools supplier selling hardware and software components to professionals - with limited support - (hello blackmagic),
or you can be some new age global software utility - a crowd who have opted to become a tool rental software utility charging every month of the year globally across multiple creative disciplines to the people who need those tools - (hello adobe gas supply).

british gas tends to be more on the ball than blackmagic.
Adobe will no doubt excel in their new, globally intimate month to month customer payment role.

but still - mind you, we do have this fine rich rented adobe software soil that we enact as tenants.
We do have to make money off it tho.
Do need to pay the rent. Lets scurry scurry scurry and suggest things to the go-wish box for better soil to till.

so OK -
to rant - they, adobe, are not actually software providers now.
they are claiming ongoing ownership over their toolset.

Sure - people have rented tools for absolutely ages - in extremis mind you - they rented their basic tools. In, say, really, really poor agrarian times.
it used to happen a long time ago. Or there was planned craft tools scarcity - guild style.

either way, a 21C software producer, parlaying a half monopoly, operating tool landlordism diktats in this fashion is exactly as cool an idea as it ever was.
Particularly given that we are visibly feeding back into the tool construction. It actually feels a little stunning that we are actually taking this on board now, for our own selected craft tools. that we suddenly never bought.

so hey - how did it so suddenly get this anachronistically weird?

super, super question caller, who knows; but it sure is fun being part of the adobe guild chisel renter's 16C time warp.

-

there's a decent argument to be made for proper senior creative UK/US peeps across the disciplines beginning an extremely public conversation around the critical tools involved in our various disciplines as regards to their exposure to adobe corporation.

- basic stuff like CMYK spaces, vector tools, DTP, image adjustment (forget editing) etc etc.

either this is all fine, or it really actually is not.












http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Adobe Customer Service revamped? - and then a merlot rant
on Jul 24, 2013 at 2:01:24 pm

yes. yes I think that could be characterised as a merlot fuelled rant alright. yep.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Kevin Monahan
Re: Adobe Customer Service revamped?
on Jul 23, 2013 at 8:28:15 pm

[Clint Wardlow] "One thing that worries me is the number of horror stories I am reading about dealing with customer service -- which you have to do if you want to cancel."

When you have thousands of customers, you're bound to only hear the bad and never the good. There is some confusion regarding canceling a subscription, and we're working on it to make it easier for customers. If you ever have trouble with any support issue, please let me know and I'll do my best to escalate your case.

[Clint Wardlow] "I am wondering if Adobe is taking any steps to improve its horrible customer service reputation?"

Yes, we know about the reputation. And it's tough to show that we're actually improving customer service as time goes by, but yes, we are improving. My manager has also shown some impressive figures to me: we are improving customer support in many areas. We have a lot more reps in the forums and on chat now, so we feel that is an enhancement, as well.

Again, if you ever have any issues with support, please let me know about them. I can help.

Cheers,
Kevin

Kevin Monahan
Social Support Lead
Adobe After Effects
Adobe Premiere Pro
Adobe Systems, Inc.
Follow Me on Twitter!


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Clint Wardlow
Re: Adobe Customer Service revamped?
on Jul 23, 2013 at 9:11:37 pm

Thanks for the response Kevin. The main reason I brought this up is because as someone who also works in IT, a big part of what I do is deal with our various subscription venders over technical issues that often need to be fixed.

I am not really as curious about how things stand now but more towards how customer service will evolve as services like Adobe Anywhere or other cloud-based service products become wide spread with Adobe's customer base.

Once a company moves towards using cloud services many IT issues arise (I don't know how many times the odd Java update has dinged me in the past). Also getting cloud services to work through complex firewalls like a Cisco or a Watchguard can be chore in itself. Quick and efficient interaction with multiple vendors is a must (sometimes just to determine which vendor is at fault for the break or if it is some obscure setting within the LAN or WAN that is the culprit).

I am sure that the bigger businesses will probably have a johnny-on-the-spot Adobe customer rep to expedite matters. However as products like Anywhere or Sync become more prevalent, I am sure IT issues relating to them will increase exponentially. Going through the customer service web page just doesn't seem geared towards subscription-service kind of issues.

I am glad you guys are making an effort. And rest assured, if I myself ever have any issues, I will play the Creative Cow card and ask for your help. Thanks again.


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Todd Kopriva
Re: Adobe Customer Service revamped?
on Jul 24, 2013 at 3:27:21 am

One important distinction is between Customer Service and Technical Support.

If you're talking with someone about your Creative Cloud subscription payment, you should be talking with someone in Customer Service.

If you're talking with someone about a rendering issue in After Effects, you should be talking with someone in Technical Support.

For the professional video applications, especially, this distinction is crucial.

In general, issues should be routed to the right folks when you initiate contact with Adobe (http://www.adobe.com/support/contact), but, if you are talking with someone about an Adobe professional video technical issue and you think that matters are confused because the person that you are talking to doesn't know that area, don't hesitate to explicitly ask to have your issue routed to the pro video Technical Support folks.

All that said, Kevin does a good job of spanning both worlds, helping people out with customer service issues despite being on the video technical support side of things.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Peter Wiley
Re: Adobe Customer Service revamped?
on Jul 24, 2013 at 5:46:44 pm

From the customer's point of view there is no difference between Technical Support and Customer Service.

Executive Producer
Arbour Media LLC


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Todd Kopriva
Re: Adobe Customer Service revamped?
on Jul 24, 2013 at 6:59:37 pm

> From the customer's point of view there is no difference between Technical Support and Customer Service.


I understand that.

My point was to give you a tip for helping to navigate if you do find yourself having a poor experience.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Adobe Customer Service revamped?
on Jul 24, 2013 at 11:53:43 pm

[Todd Kopriva] "If you're talking with someone about your Creative Cloud subscription payment, you should be talking with someone in Customer Service.

If you're talking with someone about a rendering issue in After Effects, you should be talking with someone in Technical Support.

For the professional video applications, especially, this distinction is crucial.
"


no one is thinking that todd - the general conception is that you have a completely meaningless dime store backend.
no one in their right mind would approach adobe for technical issues. Its really funny that you think anyone would.

it's the fact that the company can't competently manage basic customer software licensing concerns - that's a valid area of concern.

Given you have decided to be month to month landlords with a completely flakey service backend.

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Paul King
Re: Adobe Customer Service revamped?
on Jul 25, 2013 at 2:57:00 pm

Yes get rid of the resellers and leave it to the end users to work out how to deal with Adobe.

We'll laugh about all this when Adobe are long gone.



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Paul King
Re: Adobe Customer Service revamped?
on Jul 25, 2013 at 2:52:46 pm

We never had these issues before.

We sold Adobe software, we supported Adobe software.
I never once had a customer call Adobe for an issue.

Seems like Adobe is treating customers the same as they treated resellers - like sh1t!

You're talking the money, do the service. "We're improving" means you should me discounting the product until you get it right.

At least Adobe are consistent, the customer service team now match the development team.



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Billy Payn
Re: Adobe Customer Service revamped?
on Jul 24, 2013 at 10:19:08 pm

I hope it's been revamped, my experience with calling customer services the last time was the worst. On upgrading from CS5 to 6, the website told me that the transaction had failed and that I'd have to phone and upgrade. I did this then got two invoices, boxes with discs in and two entries on my credit card statement - I'd been charged twice.
Trying to get the reps at Customer Services to understand was like trying to teach a Chinaman French, using only Russian. I spent hours on the phone multiple times trying to sort it out and got nowhere.
It was like talking to a robot that was reading from a script which said one of these answers will fix any problem.
I hung on to the phone several times for up to half an hour to speak to a senior supervisor only for the line to go dead. I hated that week, Adobe and the idea of calling them again but needed to get it sorted out. I'd been charged twice. I wasted hours and hours and hours.
In the end, so angry I called up Adobe head office in London and asked to speak to the managing director, intending to be rude. Instead I got through to a very helpful girl in the Customer service section who sorted out my problem in less than 5 minutes.
I told her I was going to post her name and number on the forums as there were a lot of people who I was sure would like to talk to her as well, and her reply was 'please don't' They know their Customer Service is non existent, after all, there was no service, and given a choice of similar software from another vendor I would be an ex- customer like a shot. I believe she was embarassed by it.
The mindset that takes a customer service department of a large organisation and puts it in a country where language and cultural differences make it impossible to get a satisfactory answer in a lot of situations and think that people will put up with it, is the same mindset that would make a move like making a cloud subscription the only route to upgrading to newer versions of their software in the face of and despite massive opposition from their users.
These are decisions based on short horizon bottom line, taken by people who think that their near monopoly makes them indestructable.
Attractive as a proposition?
From the tone of the above, I guess you can pretty much work out the answer.



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Aindreas Gallagher
Re: Adobe Customer Service revamped?
on Jul 24, 2013 at 11:44:04 pm

that made a ton more sense than my diatribe, but there is a lot of incredible refusal out there to accept some stuff, say: #postchat #teamadobe -

non-merlot bachelder rant: adobe customer support is now near a meaningless garbage filter... and the company board that set up that bargain basement meaningless process of engaging with people who have no clue under god what you are talking about, is the exact same company board that decided to give up trying to sell software tools to professional customers?
and instead opted to try being a steady state landlord? And then sold a great deal of their stock?

how cool does that sound?
how is there not more of a smell coming off this to shareholders?
or the broad adobe user base?

some really knowledgeable people on here have said that adobe has been one of the smartest software companies of the last thirty years.

does this still look like a smart company? does this feel like a company making strides into the future?
By deciding to stop trying to sell anything and forming a retreat to a landlord position for old critical assets? by running quite the cruddiest back end?
no one running dreamweaver or fireworks (r.ip.) or imageready (r.i.p.) or edge animate is locked into this rental room adobe have created.
they have only succeeded in locking in their oldest customers across their oldest software.

does any of that at all, from board down, sound like a company in a good place.

doesn't it feel even a little end stage?

via richard ward: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rentier_capitalism

http://vimeo.com/user1590967/videos http://www.ogallchoir.net promo producer/editor.grading/motion graphics


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Ridley Walker
Re: Adobe Customer Service revamped?
on Jul 25, 2013 at 2:05:15 pm

[Aindreas Gallagher] "doesn't it feel even a little end stage?
"


Speculation in some quarters is that Adobe management has realized it cannot expect continued growth (revenue) from software sales.

Faced with maturing software and customers that aren't compelled to upgrade each cycle, converting to renting SaaS will maintain a steady revenue stream and keep shareholders happy.


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Shawn Miller
Re: Adobe Customer Service revamped?
on Jul 25, 2013 at 12:16:06 am

[Billy Payn] "Trying to get the reps at Customer Services to understand was like trying to teach a Chinaman French using only Russian."

Wow... seriously?

Shawn



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