Steve seems to think Adobe is a dinosaur for pushing Flash. He doesn't want it on the iPhone, and I believe is going to stop shipping it on Macs. Originally I thought maybe Steve was out in left field for going after Adobe & Flash. After all I have used a lot of Flash in my websites that have slideshows.
I am certainly not a Flash developer, I just happen to use Rapidweaver which is a great little web design program for the Mac. It allows you to easily make use of Flash for slideshows. I regular use these slideshows. They are a great way to show off properties that I am promoting as a Realtor® here on North Carolina's Southern Outer Banks.
I even went so far as to install Flash on my Droid to see how it worked on movies that I have built as an option into my new business project. The Flash actually worked, but it seemed to take some of the speed away from my Droid so I removed it.
While all this was raising doubt in my mind about Flash, and maybe moving me towards agreeing with Steve for the first time in a while, I finally came to the conclusion that I needed to go back to using Dreamweaver by Adobe for my web development.
So as I wrote in most recent Applepeels post, Will Adobe do the right thing?, I went to Adobe's website where I learned that my full copy of Dreamweaver MX2004 was not eligible for a web downloadable upgrade.
Twenty-five years in the technology business gave me some hope that there might be a manual update or some solution short of paying full price for a product that I had bought and upgraded a number of times over the years starting long before Adobe bought Dreamweaver from Macromind.
In fact I think that I upgraded Dreamweaver MX2004 at least once after buying it but I have moved and cleaned out my computer closet so my MX2004 was the last serial number I could find, and it was scribbled on a piece of paper. I forget which Apple OS upgrade killed that version of Dreamweaver.
With that thought in mind, I engaged an Adobe Online Store person in a chat. You might a hard time reading these but click on them to give it a try.
And so begins the saga that has leads me to believe that even if Steve is wrong about Adobe's Flash, Adobe is doomed. In a fast moving world, they are a company where clearly the left hand not only doesn't know what the right hand is doing, but they don't even care.
After Adobe collected my money on November 3 for a non-working upgrade of Dreamweaver, I spent a lot of time on the line with Adobe Support. The support person finally assured me that this would be resolved in 48 hrs and that the second tier support people would have a workaround for me. Of course in the meantime, I had software from Adobe that would not work, and Adobe had my $214. I was walked through filing a support issue and got a case number.
When I did not hear from Adobe 48 hours later on Friday, I called once again on Saturday, and after a considerable wait and another full explanation, I was assured once again that second tier escalation would come up with a work around for me in 24 hrs probably and at the worst I would have an answer in 48 hrs or by Monday.
Of course I did not hear anything in 48 hrs., and I was busy selling a home in Emerald Isle, NC. But I was surprised to finallly see a note from Adobe support on Tuesday morning just 24 hours shot of when I bought my useless software.
We believe your issue is resolved and have therefore closed your case..
I went to the Adobe Support Portal and found that they were offering me a not so generous 20% off of the full version of Dreamweaver. Since I was busy and past experience had shown that anything involving Adobe was not going to be quick, I put off the call until Thursday afternoon. I was pretty unimpressed with their offer since I had gotten an email that morning from Adobe promising 10% off a number of Adobe products if I bought them before the end of November.
At this point, it is probably worth mentioning that this situation had moved to the point of not being about the money. It was the principle of the thing. An Adobe representative told me something, and I wanted the company to stand behind it. I am a longtime Photoshop user along with being a Dreamweaver user for years, so I felt that I deservered a little bit of respect.
Of course my principles were tempered somewhat by wanting to move forward on my project which I had built with a demo version of Dreamweaver. So Thursday afternoon, I called Adobe expecting that I would pay them the $104 plus taxes (the difference between what I had already paid and the discounted full version), get my serial number, and be on my way with my web development.
I called the Adobe Sales folks and gave them my case number, and the rep came back and said that he was ready to bill me and ship me my product. I asked him for the total, and instead of being $104 plus taxes it was $319 plus taxes, and he said I could not have a downloadable full version, I had to wait for the shipment of a box containing Dreamweaver.
I asked him where my credit was, and he informed me that he wasn't authorized to do that. I asked him why I could not get an online version and serial number, and he had no explaination other than he could not do it.
His only suggestion was that I talk to Adobe Customer Support and see if they could help. Obviously this is beginning to sound like a continuous loop. Well I spent another hour or so talking to them only to find out that the only way to get my money back was to do an electronic return of a product which of course is a product that I have never been able to use. I told him that I wanted my money back instantly just like they had charged my credit card.
He informed me that was impossible and that it would take 7-10 business days to process my return of a product that is impossible for me to use. I had my wife check our AmEx account this morning, there is no credit from Adobe, and of course I am not surprised.
At Apple we used to worry about integrating stores and online stores, but it seems Adobe hasn't figured out how to even make the online stuff work with its own online people.
I have never seen more people in one company that could do nothing to resolve a customer's issue.
If ever I have seen company that has dug themselves into a hole, it would be Adobe. They have very expensive software in a world headed in the other direction. If they think their products are so good that they can get away with horrendous customer service, then the folks at the helm of Adobe have not been watching the computer industry very closely over the last few years.
I doubt that I am going to pay money for a full version of Dreamweaver, but I am going to get my money back even if I have to call a lawyer.
I am going to try some other products to see if I can replace Dreamweaver.
I am putting Adobe on my list of businesses that are so clueless that using their products is hazardous to your mental health. And if Flash works anything like the sales process at Adobe, I might have to side with Steve on this one.
Perhaps for more than one reason Adobe is truly a dinosaur in a world that is changing far more rapidly than they are.
Update- Saturday afternoon 6:20 PM Eastern Time. I had another online chat with Adobe this afternoon.
I don't think that I made any progress with them. You can judge for yourself from the copy and pasted conversation that I put on the web. I edited out my account number, order number, and my ecommerce email address. It somewhat entertaining, but it is amazing how useless their support people are. I think this is the four or fifth one that has tortured me.
I took the advice of several folks and turned the issue over to American Express. They immediately told me that I was no longer responsible for the charge pending their investigation, and they would remove it from our account eventhough it had closed for the month.
What a difference in dealing with the two customer support teams.
I still have Freeway Pro on my system. I will try it and another recommendation that I have received. Adobe products will never darken my hard drive again. In my wanderings I found one customer support rating for Adobe of 2.8 out of 10. My rating would of Adobe would be even lower.
I also found a customer service ranking website where Adobe is ranked 242 out of 325 companies with a ranking. From their scores it looks like they are headed to the bottom.
On issue resolution they get a 1.6 out of 10. Their overall score is 27 out of 200 and their rating is "terrible."
Late Saturday night update.
l have downloaded a trial Freeway Pro 5.5 and found that I can upgrade from the version that I bought in 2007 for $99. I plan to give it a shot today. I also downloaded trial versions of the image editing program and vector drawing program. They are certainly reasonably priced and at first glance look like a good way to rid myself of Adobe.
In spite of the tribulations with Adobe, it was still a beautiful November afternoon on NC's Crystal Coast.