I Wish Adobe Would Die – Or Adobe’s Customer Service Motto, We’re not happy till you’re not happy

Update So Adobe got wind of this little blog post and got in touch. Greatly reduced cost on the upgrade to CS5. You can read my thoughts on it here.

Recently I made the switch to a fully OS X environment. For a few months now I’ve been doing all my design work on PC and all of my development on my Hackintosh. This was mainly because the Hackintosh was under powered for design work and I already owned CS4 on PC.

When I went to make the change to fully OS X I contacted Adobe support to confirm the rumour that you could switch over your valid license to a new platform. On Adobe’s live chat they were helpful and said it would be no problem just call a number on their contact page.

Trusting support to know what they were talking about I confidently set my budget and bought a new 13″ MacBook Pro then got in touch with Adobe to transfer platforms.

Well, it turns out that support lied to me. Now they don’t like that word since it implies deceit but the truth is that support told me something that wasn’t true. When you tell someone something that isn’t true it’s called lying no matter what verbiage you use to pretty it up a bit and make yourself look good. At least that’s what you teach kids. Adobe will only convert platforms if you’re on the current version which happens to be CS5 not CS4 of course they would be happy to upgrade me into software that offers no features that I need.

While I’d love to be able to switch away from Adobe software to a company that actually values it’s customers business the unfortunate fact is that Adobe software is a standard. If you’re trading files with other designers you need to have Photoshop InDesign and Illustrator. Secure in this knowledge Adobe is free to treat their clients like crap. It’s not like you can really go anywhere.

So while I’ve been forced to upgrade to CS5 so I can continue working I’m also waiting for someone to come along that lets me get out of dealing with Adobe in any fashion. I’m waiting for software to come along (and an open standard for swapping files) that lets me kill off this craptacular beast.

The fact of the matter is that Adobe doesn’t care and won’t care about how it treats it’s paying customers until its bottom line is affected. I’m hoping that this little rant can help affect its bottom line.

If you’ve got suggestions to get me out of the Adobe environment for good I’m all ears.

Don’t Force Your Website to Fail

failed business man stapled to wall
failed business man stapled to wall

Most companies today realize they need a presence on the web. In most industries now if you don’t have a web presence of some sort you won’t have a business for long. I know one company that stocks lots of rare items for their brick and motar store because on the web it sells across Canada and the US thus making it worth stocking. The problem I see with a number of business’s that get into the web is that they force their website to fail.

No the management doesn’t sit in the office and say “Let’s start a website and make sure it tanks and costs us needless money.” But they do sit there and decide to only go half way with solutions that rely on going all the way.

The Fail

The biggest example I have worked with is a great retail store that I did a bunch of SEO work for. We were ranked 1 or 2 on the search engines for some very generic search terms. When you searched for manufacturers of goods we carried we were ranked just below the manufacturer. We were the first place you could actually buy the product.

The problem is that the web store had a huge limiting factor that meant despite all of the good SEO work they only saw a maximum of 20 orders completed in the busy months. I happend to also know that competitors were seeing ten times those web purchases without the good SEO during the slow months.

The reality was that it didn’t matter how good the SEO was for the company. With no way to let customer purchase online it was a waste of their money. Eventually I told them that. We talked about the limiting factors of the web store and came up with a range of options to help fix or totally fix the problem (ranging from 2,000 to 20,000 in price on a monthly in store sales of 250,000 in busy months) and they just simply weren’t willing to let their website succeed.

The Conclusion

It’s all well and good to want a web presence but if you are going to jump into the web be willing to jump in with both feet. Don’t start a project only to do it half way and force the first half to fail. The conclusion to the above story is that they got me to stop working on SEO and now they’re on page 10 and still have a mostly non-functional online store.