December 4, 2014 – by Per Christensson
In 2012, I wrote an article titled, "Adobe: Down Two Strikes." I had two back-to-back frustrating experiences with Adobe, and was on the verge of moving away from Adobe products completely. I toughed it out for two more years, but last week I noticed my Creative Cloud subscription had increased from $20 to $50 per month without any notification from Adobe. That's 150% more than I was paying before. Three strikes. I canceled my Adobe Creative Cloud membership.
$50/mo is a reasonable price if you use most of the Creative Cloud apps. I only use three: Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and Acrobat, but it doesn't matter – I still have to pay $50/mo. Adobe offers individual application pricing of $20/mo per app, but based on that model, I would pay $60/mo for three apps. It's pretty clear Adobe doesn't want anyone using the individual app option.
I make a lot of decisions based on principle and canceling my Creative Cloud subscription was one of them. While I can afford $50/mo, I feel it's too much to pay for three apps, some of which I don't even use that often. I'm frustrated that Adobe doesn't offer industry-specific packages like they used to with Creative Suite. Remember the CS Web, Design, and Production options for web, print, and video? Now Adobe forces everyone to get the equivalent of the old Master Collection.
What annoys me is that Adobe markets Creative Cloud like it's such a good deal since you get so much for only $50/mo. I know a lot of people in the digital content creation industry and not one of them uses all the Creative Cloud apps or even most of them. The value of Creative Cloud is only as good as how many apps you use. For me, three apps for fifty dollars a month is not a good value.
To be fair, Adobe has added several services to Creative Cloud, which provides extra value to CC members. For example, Creative Cloud provides online file storage, extra fonts, and a new library option to store commonly used assets and settings. As a Creative Cloud member, you also get access to several mobile apps. The problem is I don't use most of these features, so they don't provide extra value to me.
I've used Adobe products for almost 15 years, and I'm a pretty loyal person, so there was an emotional hurdle in canceling my Creative Cloud subscription. That hurdle became a lot lower when I realized how difficult it was to cancel my membership. There is no cancel option online. You either need to cancel via phone or an online chat session. When I tried to cancel on November 28, it was outside of phone hours so I had to use chat. When I tried the online chat option, which is "available 24/7," I got a message saying "Chat is not not available." Fortunately, I was able to reach someone via chat on November 29, the day before my subscription renewed. By the time he finally canceled my membership, my nostalgic feelings had dissipated and I simply felt relieved.
Since I'm no longer a Creative Cloud member, I need to find a replacement for Dreamweaver so I can continue my web updates. I'm excited to try Panic Coda and possibly a few other options. I actually like my old version of Acrobat more than the Creative Cloud version, so I should be OK using that for awhile. The biggest challenge is replacing Photoshop, which is simply the best app of its kind. Fortunately, Adobe offers Photoshop for only $10/mo, which is a reasonable price. Maybe I'll decide to go that route in the future. But for now, Adobe, I just need some space.