Adobe Rejects Refund Request From Last Month Because You Exceeded Their 30-Day Money Back Guarantee. What?

Edwards tried to cancel his pre-order for Photoshop Elements 6 a month before the software shipped, but was told that he would need to accept the shipment, destroy the CD, and fill out an affidavit attesting to the destruction. Edward did as he was told, which is reflected in Adobe’s notes, but they still rejected his request claiming that he “exceeded their 30 day money back trial guarantee.”

Edward writes:

You may find it difficult to believe that a software giant like Adobe Systems has a customer service department that has no authority to actually correct Adobe’s mistakes, but they do.

I PRE-ORDERED, Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac in early January of this year. It was scheduled to begin shipping on March 15th. I found a Nikon product which was so good I decided to purchase it and then tried to cancel my pre-order for the Adobe software. Their web site did not show a way to do this, it only spoke of returns for already delivered merchandise. When I called their customer service in the middle of February they said that their computer screens showed no way to cancel a pre-order as all they could do is authorize returns and that required a serial number from the actual product received. They said I could wait for the product to be released then send it back to them for a refund stating I did not want it. Mind you this was after explaining to a person who spoke fairly broken English the concept of a Pre-order as opposed to merchandise that actually shipped when it was ordered.

This seemed a ridiculous policy, so off went a letter to their headquarters stating that I wanted to cancel this pre-order and felt it was a poor business design NOT to be able to cancel items which are not yet available for sale/delivery online or through CS. No response, but March 15th passed and my credit card did not show a charge. Then on March 26th they shipped the unwanted Photoshop Elements 6 for Mac which was received on April 1st, and charged my card for it. Called their Customer Service department and they apologized for this as their corporate office had indeed made a decision on my letter and informed whomever actually handles their shipments NOT to ship me this item when it was released a month later. That quite apparently DID show up on their computer system. The representative was very apologetic for their error and clearly said it was their mistake and that I would get a refund. I was directed to destroy the software disk and Fax their downloadable “certificate of software destruction” then a refund would be issued within two weeks. I actually destroyed the software as instructed and Faxed in the affidavit as instructed.

Today I received an email from Adobe systems saying my request for a refund was denied as it exceeded their 30 day money back trial guarantee (mind you it was not delivered until April 1st). I again called their customer service department and they basically said they had no control over refunds/returns and again apologized for their error. The Indian CR said he would forward my circumstances for review but id not say by who. At first he said I should get a refund after that but then admitted that he/they have no control or direct contact with the department which actually issues refunds/makes refund decisions (surprise surprise surprise). He then apologized for previous representative instructions which caused me to destroy my software and for not getting a refund for doing so as instructed.

Dealing with Adobe is an exercise in international futility and an education in todays corporate reality for customer service. Possibly I would have done better just asking for their CS department to face east and pray with me for enlightenment

I am filing a better business bureau complaint as well as a claim with my credit card company. Actually I doubt that the BBB will have any impact as am sure that Adobe must be very active in that agency in their home town.

Just wanted to vent and show how Adobe’s contracting out the customer relations/support/and billing department to India makes life very very difficult for their customers. There is virtually no way to speak with anyone with the power to actually make decisions when problems arise. What the reps say things like, “I will get a refund as it was their mistake” or “I must destroy the software then send in the downloadable form and a refund will be issued within two weeks” those statement carry no real weight and they do not seem to be bound by their statements.

Weird, and this experience totally surprised me.

The situation is ludicrous but easy to fix. Call your credit card and file a chargeback. In the future, if you receive instructions to destroy anything, it’s always a good idea to make a video. You know, for your records.

(Photo: FHKE)