I didn't want it at all! Anyway, I sucked it up, got on with the remainder of the year, because they wouldn't let me put the cancellation in early, had to do it X months before the end. Then life happened and I missed the deadline to cancel and got suckered for a second year!
Fuck Adobe and this practice is all I have to say, I stick strictly to Open Source options now. It may have been my fault for not reading the first time, but robbing me a second time by counting on me missing the cancellation because they wouldn't let me do it there and then is just scummy.
For a long time the local telephone company in British Columbia (Telus) was giving away "free" xboxes or 46 inch flat screen TVs if you locked yourself into a triple play service contract. Of course the buy-out price to end the contract early far exceeded the value of the product given out.
So for example a phone on a plan is fine as there's a capital good but a gym isn't.
1. adobe waives the cancellation fee for australian customers
2. adobe eliminates the discounted annual plan for australian customers
I really like the moves T-Mobile has done to change this. They very transparent that you are financing the phone on your monthly bill and then receiving monthly credit to off set the monthly payment.
If you sign a 2-3 year contract and want to break it before it ends, there will always be some kind of penalty.
The extra insult was they called it a "discount package" (50% off!), but it was already baked into all the advertised prices. In other words you pay double the listed price if you don't take the lock-in.
RAW Photo import and editing is currently limited in Krita, and you cannot export RAW formats.
But even professionals tend not to use destructive layer based editors like gimp/krita/photoshop/painter/paintshop pro etc and are instead using dedicated software like lightroom, rawtherapee and darkroom.
But if your output format is not RAW, then you have more than enough to edit "photos".
You have layers, masking, vectors and spatial bitmap editors. That's all any of these editors workflows have been since the 90's. Anything else is extra.
Put me in front of Photoshop on modern mac or IFX Amazon Paint on Irix and my workflow and (sloppy) output would be the same.
It's less about what features are technically supported and more about what workfkows the ux is built around, at least for me.
I am just an amateur though, so take my thoughts with a grain of salt.
For example, there is no printing support. Units everywhere (other than document creation) are in pixels and cannot be changed to millimeters, etc. Tools (like drawing a rectangle) operate on the current layer instead of creating a new one like Photoshop, which makes drawing annoying. Guides aren’t that fantastic to use. There’s a lot of areas that require polish in Krita.
Having to do this is a terrible felling and I feel like a bad person, but I at least put the cancellation fee I would have paid to good use by buying Affinity Designer.
Adobe hasn’t even sent an email saying yet charge failed and I have to update my payment method out anything else. It’s as if they are aware of how shady the cancellation fee is and won’t chase you down for it.
My wife was/is happy with the anniversary present.
I would very much encourage you to really look into this unwise practice. It's not a matter of if, but when, this will come to haunt you someday. You have a personal mobile device, use it for personal stuff. Use your corp provided devices for corp related stuff.
Stupidity for convenience :p
MDM may be as light as a single app with its own policies, or something as heavy as device configuration (for VPN, remote wipe, etc). Containerised app groups seem to be a good balance.
Adobe is in the same ring of trust as a random shady website and one ring above a Nigerian prince.
It depends on the company and sales contract, but as you signed up to an agreement for the subscription on these terms it's possible that Adobe would be able to sell the unpaid fees off to collection agencies.
In most EU countries when you want to take out a loan, the bank takes a look at your current status ( employment, expenses, family, etc.) and debt history stored by the central bank ( which is basically you had a loan of 10k for 5 years, don't own anything anymore) and judge based on that if you're credit worthy or not.
Let's look at it from a different perspective. If a coworker and I build a service in my garage from the ground up where I let users pay $100/mo month-to-month, $75/mo for a six month agreement, or $50/mo for a twelve month agreement, you're saying it's fine to agree to the twelve month term, get the 50% discount for a few months, and then cancel your card even though the only reason I offered such a steep discount in the first place is because you promised you'd pay me for twelve months?
I do not owe them the money yet they sold the debt. Nobody cares ... I now have a default on my credit reference.
The whole industry is crooked
You can make up any persona on the account and they wont know who to pursue.
The account name and address can really be anything... and this is also true for the CC on file.
But we are talking about really deceptive sales practices by Adobe. Fighting fire with fire in this instance seems particularly reasonable.
That aside, engaging this tactic on transactions with merchants with reasonable cancellation terms would be borderline fraud. If you use the services and they satisfied your needs, you really should be paying for them.
The consumer now has to worry not only about choosing a decent product, but also about ways the company could extract value from them without being transparent about that, or by hiding a clause in their TOS.
Could you imagine how much slower and inefficient the economic system would be if we were expected to read every TOS of every software we install and every single service we sign up for?
No, this is not fine. Do not accept bullshit terms meant to extract value from your pocket at no marginal cost for the business or no benefit to you as a consumer.
Everything they did was legal until this. If they won’t process it, send them a letter with your state attorney general’s consumer affairs (or, if you’re a business, commercial division) Cc’d. Address it to their general counsel. State you cancel your contract with them effective such and such date. Contract termination is quite strictly defined in law, for obvious reasons.
Not sure what one can really do about it.
I think also the whole "you'll need an army of lawyers" idea is probably born from confirmation bias (settled cases get NDAs). I wonder if we shouldn't require registering a settled case, if there was any court action (arranging a date, say) then settlement details would be published? I guess it might encourage frivolous suits.
How does this get settled in a non-broken/corrupt country? You lodge a complaint and the government launches a fleet of lawyers on your behalf? I'd be surprised if that's a routine response to consumer complaints anywhere.
Legislators ban scam in consumer protection law
Subsequent victims just get the credit card charges reversed, or a trivially easy court victory.
Important takeaway: only buy month to month plans when testing out services.
EDIT: I’m not a huge fan of subscription models in general. Software doesn’t need to change at the rate it is these days, but it does work wonders for the bottom lines of all these companies.
EDIT2: Monthly payments to open source software is a better investment because they actually need funding, and they aren’t paying shareholders profits.
Adobe deserves all the badwill they are getting in this thread, it’s 100% on them.
It does list the "Best Value" plan, but when you go to "Buy", it presents a shopping cart with the following text (no fine print, no other tricks), and even uses the word "commitment":
Annual plan, paid monthly: US$52.99/mo."
Even at that point, the above is in a drop-down, and you can change it to "Annual plan, pre-paid", or "Monthly plan".
They want to charge you as much as possible and get as much money from you as they possibly can, you want the opposite, the end result is something between the two, it's on them to reach there goal, so it's on you to take care of your own money and what you do with it.
Pay for movies, DRM breaks it
Pay for software, it's discontinued
At any rate, what's even worse for me is that you can't cancel in the last 3 months of the contract with ISPs which nobody tells you so it's even easier to get stuck with it for an extra year.
Which is ridiculous. It doesn't require 90 days to de-provision a circuit.
If you signed up for a yearly plan paid monthly, the cancellation fee is finishing your contract.
If you didn't want to agree to pay by the year maybe you shouldn't have signed up for a year of service?
When you click "See plans and pricing details" it gives you the Annual monthly and ACTUAL monthly prices. Pic: https://imgur.com/gxokkST
If you click Buy Now the ACTUAL monthly price is hidden from view in a drop-down. Pic: https://imgur.com/l05UZra
I don't know a claims court in the OECD that would rule in favour of Adobe here. Misrepresenting the monthly price up-front is false advertising.
This is a dark pattern, Adobe should be shamed.
I now live in the Netherlands. All prices are what you pay, _and_ the receipt breaks down how much of that goes to taxes, which I think is completely logical.
In the EU it's illegal to show prices ex VAT (or other components that might make up the final selling price) to non-business/commercial consumers.
I like the solution we have - price stickers have full price, and printed receipts carry tax breakdown.
By making tax as difficult as possible, they recruit supporters for their anti-tax stance, and they can claim they're delivering on their anti-tax policy by 'making the system collapse under its own weight' or 'making everyone aware of how much tax they're paying' and they can allow loopholes and fraud opportunities and they can collect donations from tax preparation companies.
Especially considering the fact that usually there are 2-3 rates tops, so one can easily remember that 5-10-20% of what they pay goes to the country coffers depending on the product being bought.
Regardless of the rounding method, the fair way is to sum up purchases and compute tax on the total, precisely to minimize the loss of precision on rounding.
Curiously, as far as I understand the Polish tax code (IANAL), the choice of the method to use is actually given to the vendor! The law recommends that you calculate the tax by multiplying the rate with the total taxable amount, but also allows the seller to choose to calculate per-item tax, and sum that. In both cases, mathematical rounding (half-up) is used.
But in practice, there's little to no difference unless you're doing a single purchase of a lot of items with weird pricing bias.
 - Dz.U.2020.0.106 t.j. - Ustawa z dnia 11 marca 2004 r. o podatku od towarów i usług, art. 106e., ust. 7.
 - ibid., ust. 10.
 - ibid., ust. 11.
Agreed! If they are actually rounding it will be a statistical wash.
> Regardless of the rounding method, the fair way is to sum up purchases and compute tax on the total, precisely to minimize the loss of precision on rounding.
Again, agreed, this is why we do it this way in the US.
> Curiously, as far as I understand the Polish tax code (IANAL), the choice of the method to use is actually given to the vendor! The law recommends that you calculate the tax by multiplying the rate with the total taxable amount, but also allows the seller to choose to calculate per-item tax, and sum that. In both cases, mathematical rounding (half-up) is used.
US tax code, at least as far as income taxes go, uses the same rounding method (nearest decimal) however sales tax is can be quite a bit more complicated .
Also somewhat related, we quote our fuel prices to 3 decimals.
 - https://blog.taxjar.com/rounding-issues-sales-tax-returns/
Does the sticker have to show all taxes or just the sales tax/GST/VAT? I know that pretty much every country in the world has an alcohol tax that is applied to things like wine. So should the sticker also include that?
In the USA they have a particular hatred of making tax easier to pay. There's a political affiliation whose goal is to make filing a tax return harder and more complicated to do so that people will complain more about it and hate the process. So that has created the tax return filing industry and associated lobby groups. So having sales tax need to be applied on top fits within this world view.
But yes I completely agree that the sticker price should include what you actually end up paying for that item. I also like it in some countries where there's a unit or weight cost with the item, so you can more easily compare different branded products. Though they usually make this number comically small on the price tag to make it harder to compare.
Which political affiliation and what gives you this idea?
One name that popped up after a quick search inside a long article was Grover Norquist. From his Wikipedia entry he is part of a political association which wants to prevent any rise in taxes. From another article I read long ago it was mentioned that this includes preventing automatic filing since the government could introduce new taxes without people knowing.
> In the USA they have a particular hatred of making tax easier to pay. There's a political affiliation whose goal is to make filing a tax return harder and more complicated to do so that people will complain more about it and hate the process. So that has created the tax return filing industry and associated lobby groups. So having sales tax need to be applied on top fits within this world view.
It's actually this:
> since the government could introduce new taxes without people knowing
Along with increasing gov size, increasing gov expense, and destroying another industry.
I'm all for increased competition in tax filing software, and you're starting to see open source competition here as well. But spreading opinion as fact, and in this case in particularly, is called "misinformation" or "fake news"
There are groups of people (political association) and vested interests (lobbyists) who want to make tax harder to pay than it needs to be so they can profit from it, either politically or financially.
In addition you need to manually calculate the sales tax for every different county in the USA on top of the sticker price. It has been suggested that this is enshrined in law and/or done by the stores themselves, but the net effect is that this sales tax is at the forefront of people's minds when going shopping.
Nearly all other countries have tax systems where the VAT/GST/Sales tax is already included in the sticker price, so you don't need to know which country has how much sales tax and manually add it on. Additionally lots of other countries have income tax systems where the authority already has all your information and can easily provide you a pre-filled tax return.
Given that the USA does not do these things and people actively block them, then my opinion is that the country as a whole has a hatred of making tax easier to pay. Most people may not want that, but they are either unwilling or unable to change it.
NOPE! That's the misinformation. They don't want to make it harder to tax, they want to make it harder for the gov to add taxes. That's it.
> In addition you need to manually calculate the sales tax for every different county in the USA on top of the sticker price. It has been suggested that this is enshrined in law and/or done by the stores themselves, but the net effect is that this sales tax is at the forefront of people's minds when going shopping.
It is enshrined in law in some states, not all. And again the reasoning is so that tax cannot be hidden. Not to make it more difficult.
> Nearly all other countries have tax systems where the VAT/GST/Sales tax is already included in the sticker price, so you don't need to know which country has how much sales tax and manually add it on. Additionally lots of other countries have income tax systems where the authority already has all your information and can easily provide you a pre-filled tax return.
I'll need some evidence of this, as this is not my experience having traveled to many different countries. Some do, not most.
> Given that the USA does not do these things and people actively block them, then my opinion is that the country as a whole has a hatred of making tax easier to pay. Most people may not want that, but they are either unwilling or unable to change it.
Again NOPE. It's a hatred of ever increasing taxes. The gov must prove it needs the money, not just have their hands in our checkbooks whenever they're dry.
So ultimately you have a different view on taxation, and that's fine. What's not fine is lying about why the other side is doing it. This is where that divide is coming from.
Yes, same packet of potato chips costs R20 at capital R25 at hill stations (but its MRP shows R25).
Where I live (Poland), prices on shelves are displayed in full (more than that, there's the price you'll pay for an item and price per unit of mass/volume, to enable comparisons), but on the receipt, there's always a per-product sales tax summary printed. So if I cared about sales tax revisions, I could easily notice it on the receipt. But most of the time, I just learn about revisions from a news article.
In places where including VAT/GST/BTW/whatever is normal, shops (usually targetting resellers or contractors etc) where a significant amount of people don't have to pay the tax, I think generally both prices are listed and it's required to be very clear about what's going on.
Oblig: sales/retail taxes in the US vary city-by-city. While just like the rest of the world: US companies put their MSRP on products - but it would be unfair to expect retailers to charge the MSRP and eat the tax themselves because some areas have zero sales tax but others have a 10% tax. That's bigger than the profit-margin on many items sold at retail - and the simplest solution is just to have everything understand that the price on a box is the pre-local-tax price. And everyone (most people? or just most people on HN...) know roughly what their local sales tax rates are anyway (mine's around 9%) and as everyone pays by card having exact change isn't an issue.
When items get individual prices, they are usually small sticker prices and effectively only in small shops or discount prices in bigger stores.
Maybe it's just not become an issue since the MSRP on most product packaging here is in £ or $ as they just reuse the UK or sometimes US packaging so it's clear that price is not aimed at Irish consumers.
It's about consumer protection. Buyers must know exactly how much they will need to pay to purchase an item BEFORE they pay. It would be unfair to expect consumers to calculate these things.
Not correct. The price on the 'Box' is the invitation to
treat . The price you pay in the UK is the verbal Offer at the checkout. They may/should sell it a the RRP, but it is not correct in law.
I disagree. If you want to sell something to a market then you should tailor your product to that market. That means doing some basic research about what the local taxes and laws are.
Ideally, the seller should list the price + tax if it is physically sold in a store. This should be fixed (along with the tips culture in US).
Online retailers still have this problem. Sales tax is literally based on the zip code you enter during the checkout page.
So how can this problem be solved? The only solution I see is a federally controlled fixed sales tax similar to EU. But, that would be unconstitutional in US. States hold the power and additional municipal taxes are at the county level.
I think you're trivializing the matter. I've had several conversations with Europeans about it and we eventually come to an understanding that its not easy. On surface, it sounds simple if we assume is a simple nation-wide VAT tax.
If the former, I already said:
> Ideally, the seller should list the price + tax if it is physically sold in a store. This should be fixed (along with the tips culture in US).
Living in couple of countries In EU and Asia, I can't imagine not knowing total price up front. It's pushing legislation problems on the end customer.
So, now, you have a new problem. Top counties with lowest sales tax in the US will massively attract more businesses forcing the rest of the counties to reduce their sales tax too.
The entire problem boils down to federal vs. local control. US is structured with a balance between local, state and federal powers.
The online retail problem is also trivially solved. If I got to the US version of any online shop as a EU resident I'm usually first greeted by a "which version do you want to browse" popup asking me if I really want the US version and not a different country. This affects the default language, currency and locale as well as pricing. There's no reason they couldn't ask for your zip code if they already have to do these calculations at checkout anyway.
The problem is that there's no reason US companies should do this because there's no competitive advantage in having transparent pricing. This would require legislation (probably at the federal level) but once there's regulations, you'd see these solutions pop up everywhere overnight.
It's funny to hear Americans lament about how it's hard to do business in the EU because of the many differences between countries and then turn around and use state or county differences as an excuse why it's "just too hard" to do what companies are doing in the EU. At this point I wonder if Californians are seeing the same "sorry, we can't figure out how to show you this website without harvesting your data" error pages on US news sites given how strict their new privacy laws are.
Can't you ask the zip code before checkout, a popup like "If you want to see the real price enter the zip code now"
On the physical store don't you have in US prices printed on paper stickers? Are prices printed on the bottles and boxes and all stores will have the exact same prices? So if this is something you never seen in US let me explain how is done, some products have a recommended price printed on them but shops can put their own larger or smaller price. You will see also labels with full prices s tricked through and discounted prices printed under.
I also seen shops rotating the prices daily, like if they have 2 products A and B , you have prices like
Monday A: 10$, B:20$
Tu: A:11 , B:19
We: A:12 , B:18
so on, I am surprised that the US does not use this scummy price rotating tactics. The "scam" is that the shop will put an ad on radio and say "bananas only X$" , next day the ad will say "milk only Y$" , and each time you will hear the ad you think "this shop has cheap products, I should buy from there" but when you visit the banana will be cheap but in that day mil is expensive, 3 days later will be reversed.
What? ISP and similar contracts in Germany almody work exactly like this but with 2 years minimum not 1 and no cancelation in the last 3 months of the period.
So in the case of $1000/mo rent, and a 1 month cancellation fee, the minimum total cost will be displayed as $2000. If it is the total remainder of the contract, then it will be displayed as $12000.
It's not that there's no consequences, it's that the consumer is clearly and without the need to navigate dark patterns made visible of those consequences.
I am not sure if apartment lease is a good example.
As a counter example, here are some shady practices and dark patterns in Australia (Internet Service Provider): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=haImi4cWau0
Regarding your linked youtube video (which as far as I can tell from skimming, is basically ranting about how ISPs penny-pinch on backhaul capacity and then fail to meet their advertised plan speeds during peak hours), I would encourage you to look at something closer to the present than from 4 years ago. All ISPs now report on minimum speeds during defined peak hours. I believe this is mandated by the ACCC. See the following URL:
A typical ISP plan choice page  lists the following information:
1) Monthly price (e.g. "$79/mo")
2) Minimum total cost of the contract (e.g. "$158 if cancelled within the first month")
3) Typical evening speed (e.g. "48 Mbit between 7pm and 11pm" on a 50Mbit plan), which will change depending on which address you enter and thus which technology option you get (namely, if you are on FTTN you will see lower typical speeds reported than a FTTH address, especially for higher speed plans)
This was introduced specifically in response to this issue, where peak-hours congestion was a common complaint amongst consumers.
ISPs are also increasingly publishing their CVC graphs for each point of interconnect. This lets you see a historical utilisation of the network.
: https://www.telstra.com.au/internet/nbn as an example
Further, if something is advertised as XX Eur/mo it's implied it's a month-by-month thing. Situations you described are very very clearly marked as being a contract with a start and an end date as well as a total including any and all fees as well as cancelation terms. You can't hide essential terms deep within a several page legalese document.
3 options, 1 yearly, 2nd yearly with monthly payment and third pure monthly. I did not have to read any long contracts to understand this.
If people don't do due diligence of 5 mins to find what is going on, it's on them..
Scammy companies shouldn't be protected, but if people don't bother to do the most basic due diligence before buying products, it's on them - like forget reading a terms of service. He doesn't even read the product name or description. Gets into a yearly contract for a cheaper price and then complains about the cancellation fees.
At some point either people have to take personal responsibility or should have other adults buy things for them if they don't know what they are doing.
To suggest they either deserve to be tricked or shouldn’t be able to buy things themselves is revolting.
It is a basic necessity for beneficial trade to occur that the terms are made clear, not just technically available, to the people potentially wanting to undertake that trade, before anything legally binding occurs. The issue is not that there are cancellation fees, it's that they are not made clear.
The exaggerated, but still representative, example might be the Earth demolition plans in Hitchhiker's Guide, which were "available for 50 years in the local planning office in Alpha Centauri." Totally fair, right? Anyone could have just gone there and read them.
Demanding "personal responsibility" as a solution to avoid bad deals is the same as accepting that it's OK for some people to be scammed. No one is perfectly on guard all the time. If it is permissible for companies to engage in scammy behaviour, and scammy behaviour increases profits, then in order to be competitive, companies will engage in scammy behaviour. So it will be everywhere. Since, as noted, individual humans aren't perfect all the time, eventually someone will get scammed.
The obvious, morally superior, and more economically beneficial solution is simply to not allow scamming to be profitable. That, among other things, means ruling in favour of the consumer when companies perform shady practices.
Postscript: People with this kind of "libertarian" stance really annoy me. To give the benefit of the doubt, I'll assume that "personal responsibility" isn't just thinly veiled personal exceptionalist elitism. If that's the case, the only reason you can even have these beliefs is because you take so much about the modern world for granted. There is a lot going on in order to create an environment where mutually beneficial trade can happen.
In the absence of strict, neutral enforcement of fair trading rules, people scam the shit out of each other. It's way easier, and more profitable, than actually creating something of value that people want to buy. The total effect of this, if it were allowed to occur, is that it creates an environment of distrust and uncertainty, which means mutually beneficial trades that would otherwise happen won't happen, making everyone poorer. Advocating for "personal responsibility" as a solution to avoiding scummy business practices is directly advocating for this situation.
Historically, before commercial law was explicitly codified, the means of ensuring that merchants were trustworthy was essentially reputation. The way this scaled was with merchant groups, where the reputation of one member going bad affected them all, so they all had incentive to police each other (or alternatively, collude). Plus the fact that people in general were much less dependent on markets for necessary goods, the labour force being mainly agricultural. However, this made opportunity for trade highly exclusive, and largely only available to the privileged ("merchant class").
I guess my question for you is, do you want to have to read every single EULA, thoroughly scan the terms of every transaction every time you buy something, and otherwise do a lot of work and research any time you have to make some vaguely commercial agreement to avoid getting into an agreement you, in retrospect, didn't want? If not, I suggest you carefully re-examine your beliefs and what they imply.
A final remark. The economics of scamming are highly asymmetrical. If individuals have to do a lot of due diligence even for routine transactions, that is a massive cost to that individual. In contrast, organisations willing to partake in scummy behaviour can spend almost endless resources optimising their ability to ensnare customers, because once the process is developed, the marginal cost is very low if not zero. So individuals cannot be expected to "keep up" in this environment.
By contrast, going to tmobile.de or blau.de, even without speaking German it's extremely clear that prices are based on 24-month contracts. Never is the monthly price mentioned without a clear label below it indicating 24 month terms. Blau even takes it a step further and places the text twice in the box, once in the UI and another time directly below the price.
I just checked and while they do only indicate "X €/month" on the product page, as soon as you enter the checkout process it says "yearly subscription, monthly payment - Y €/month" with the additional options "yearly subscription, advance payment - X €/year" and "monthly subscription - Z €/month". I'm not sure how they're getting away with the misleading prices on the product pages tho (usually there's at least an asterisk indicating this comes with additional conditions and obligations).
If there are no consequences for bailing out of a contract, it makes them rather pointless.
At least this is how I expect things to work here, in the UK.
Beyond that, a contract is a contract.
Berlin‘s public transport company has the exact condition in their terms of service.
(„ Zudem sei eine Kündigung für Abonnenten unattraktiv, da sich für die schon genutzten Monate nachträglich der Preis erhöhe, hieß es.“)
It‘s definitely not a scam or rip-off, just a case of someone not reading the contract before signing it.
1. No contract, pay monthly
2. Annual contract, pay monthly (cheaper than 1)
3. Annual contract, pay in one go (cheaper than 1 & 2)
You pick one of the three options and check out. Where exactly is the confusion?
It is only on subsequent screens that the bait and switch becomes visible. A customer should not have to pay attention at each screen to ensure such a bait and switch does not occur.
Phone plans for instance will have monthly with "minimum amount owed" underneath so even phone plans advertised for $20/mo will say something like "minimum owed $720" because people kept advertising shady 3-year contract plans with steep cancellation fees.
That's why this pricing feels dishonest, even if it's technically true. Other companies handle it much more fairly. If you want to subscribe to World of Warcraft, Blizzard makes it clear that it's $15 per month. With discounts offered if you pay for 6 months at a time. That type of pricing feels honest, with a reward for paying for multiple months. Makes the customer feel better than Adobe's presentation, even though it's essentially the same type of pricing scheme as Adobe.
In my experience, typical apartment leases are offered on a 12 month basis. Month to month is usually substantially more expensive.
If you break a 12 month lease early, you're legally on the hook for whatever the contract specifies (typically the entire year in my experience). Most landlords will "generously" agree to let you out of the lease for the equivalent of a couple monthly installments though (again, just my personal experience).
At the time I bought a house so I broke the lease to move in. Fortunately, the apartment rented within the month so I didn't owe additional fees.
Out of curiosity I googled "rent acceleration" and see it is a hot topic now - mostly with commercial real estate and businesses break their leases due to the impact of covid on them. See https://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/what-landlords-need-to-kno... for a summary. Also interesting is some US states make residential leases exempt from rent acceleration.
Several of my past leases specified that if broken I would be responsible for monthly rent on a prorated basis until a new tenant moved in.
For rent specifically, you can arrange to have a mutual agreement with the landlord if you for example find a new tenant, but by law the landlord does not have to accept anything.
Some contract also have punitive clauses in it, saying that you can break the contract at any point with 1 months notice, but you have to pay 3 months' worth of rent.
And even more so, I bet if you asked, they would give you a further discount for upfront payment (since it removes non-payment and early cancellation risk that’s priced in)
I guess I’m just unclear what you’re on about?
Not a lawyer, but come from a family of bankruptcy lawyers. If your landlord went bankrupt after you pre-paid, it could get dicey. It's a risk, and probably a low probability of downside, but I encourage people to do more research if interested.
And this is understandable for renting an apartment. The landlord might not be able to find a suitable replacement immediately. The same logic doesn’t apply to Adobe.
Where I live it it is illegal to display this without also including the total amount over the entire contract period.
That's scummy, and trying to apologize for such behaviour is scummy too.
If they want to honestly advertise that price then it needs to say “billed monthly with annual contract.”
But if those ways weren't good enough for Adobe and they wanted to have it both ways, advertise "cancel any time" and but still have "(you can do that, but then you have to pay in advance for the remainder of the year to do so)" or something like that in the fine print then they deserve all the hatred. And maybe even lawsuits for deliberately misleading labeling, but they probably have a legal team tweaking that communication in each jurisdiction to the exact shade of dark grey containing enough white for discouraging lawsuits.
And I suspect that the pattern/scheme doesn't pay for itself at all, that it's just the unfortunate outcome of a bad compromise between one group in the company advocating for honest monthly and another group advocating for honest annual.
IMO A less deceptive label would be $624, billed in monthly installments.
It's "clear enough" in the other. That is on the Buy Now page. The price is listed as annualized and the REAL monthly price is hidden from view under a drop-down. This is an acceptably deceptive UX practice for pricing. I can give some room for shitty tactics, this is it.
However - it's not clear at all in the first picture I shared. This is the first page and the main page people will see when deciding which product to purchase. This is the main one I have a problem with. If they said it was an annual price, that would be acceptable. But they don't.
The customer has already been paying more than they'd have paid if they went for a long duration contract.
Only explaining that in fine print once you get further along in the sign up process is the convoluted/dark pattern bit here.
If it looks dishonest it probably is. On this page https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/plans.html I see an entry for all apps. The description is like so.
It has a big old buy now option that you are obviously supposed to click in place of the small text that says see plan and pricing details.
When you click buy now you are taken to what ought to be familiar to most people as a shopping cart pattern. On the entire left side is just a spot to put your email and a button designed to draw your attention below it that says continue to payment. Most people are going to read it from top down and not glance much at the item they have put in their cart.
If they do they may notice a drop down in the description of the item in their cart with black on grey text that says annual plan, paid monthly in the description of the item you are already buying where people are much less likely to attend to this detail.
If they click the drop down they may note the options but more likely we are already passed this screen and onto the next one.
If you put a nonsense email in and click proceed to payment you will notice, you know or not, text in 6 point font at the bottom.
In light text that on a 24" 1080p screen is 9 pixels high or about 0.098 inches tall
> By clicking "Agree and subscribe," you agree
In bold same size it says
> You will be charged US$52.99 (plus tax) monthly and at the end of your one-year term, your subscription will automatically renew monthly until you cancel (price subject to change). No annual commitment required after the first year. Cancel anytime via Adobe Account or Customer Support.
Now again in light text it says
> Cancel before Apr 26, 2021 to get a full refund and avoid a fee
If you had no economic interest and your job was to be as informative as possible you would allow the user to click the product which would take you to a product page wherein it would list 3 options with separate descriptions where you would add the desired item to the cart. This means that you would affirmatively choose that option instead of having the default in a drop down positioned so many wouldn't attend to it at all and you wouldn't mention the fee in tiny font on the payment screen. It would be fully specified in body text with a check box saying something to the effect. I acknowledge that if I cancel before the one year term I will be charged a fee of up to n dollars. If you check it you would be able to add the item to your cart and pay for it secure in that everyone knew what they are buying.
It doesn't work like this because deceiving people is good for business.
I think it is a bit more nuanced than that. Business isn’t purely about making money, it is about exchange of value.
It doesn’t work like that because people don’t think Adobe products provide the value Adobe wants to charge for.
If adobe credibly believed that their annual plan for their products was worth what they’re charging, they would not hide the pricing.
So “it doesn’t work like this because deceiving people is good for” _accumulating capital_.
This is happening a lot.
The Burning Man organization used a dark pattern to attempt to withhold ticket refunds last year.
The burning man org made refunds something you had to request, then sign in, and opt out again in or lose all of it.
They increased the minimum amount you could donate during the refund period and said the money was to “save” the event.
Then they turned around and applied for the max PPP loans.  https://www.burn.life/blog/interview-with-the-ceo-of-burning...
WinRed, a political organization in support of the former president, used a series of increasingly deceptive interface patterns that have provably awful publicly disclosed refund rates. They also used increasingly deceptive interface methods and emotional statements to sell the idea.  https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/03/us/politics/trump-donatio...
If anything Adobe should be regarded for only using deceptive financial practices and not trying to sell some sad story if we don’t give it to them.
I am sure you can agree they didn't do their best in making the nature of the contract as clear as possible here.
It should be clearly stated next to that, and not in fine print or faded text or buried in a ToS.
False advertising at best.
It's not a subscription per month, and it's not marked as such.
Cancellation periods can be random and unattached to when you actually stopped using a service.
They are also advertising their Lightroom cloud storage as a backup, but it does not meet the Macquarie Dictionary (Australian English) definition for backup.
Reminds me of car advertising. They don't show the full price of the lease. They show the monthly payments
You could certainly argue that describing the plan as $x paid monthly is outright false, when it should be "12 monthly instalments of $x".
It's beautifully criminal in design.
Yes it's a bait and switch, and adobe deserve to be called out on the bait and switch but thats not what this thread is about, it's about someone signing up to (clear at time of purchase) annual billing and wanting to cancel early.
This is not 75th page on the user agreement, it's the first word in the product name he is trying to buy.
You click see more details, it lists all 3 options, you hit next and it keeps the 3 options in a condensed list, but respects your selection.
These are not necessarily mutually exclusive viewpoints.
Their own site literally calls it a cancellation fee in the linked screenshot. People in the comments here are giving them the benefit of the doubt on everything else, so give their UX designers some credit that they labeled their own fee correctly.
But this is kind of a pedantic argument though. One of the big practical issues I see here (aside from whether or not people know they're signing up for a yearly commitment) is that Adobe wants to have its cake and eat it too on what an early cancellation means.
Typically if you buy a year's worth of service for something, you will get access to the service until your payment period runs out. At least in my experience. If you buy a year's worth of Amazon Prime and cancel early, you'll still have access until that year ends.
With Adobe, that's not the case. You pay an early cancellation fee (50% of each remaining month), and you still immediately lose access as soon as you cancel.
Which is pretty crappy deceptive customer service. It's pretty clear that what they want is for customers to not cancel out of sunk cost fallacy because the user is scared to "waste" the extra fee. And then they're hoping that by the end of the year the user will forget to cancel again.
Compare that with a company like Amazon, which (despite its many faults aggressively pushing Prime) will even refund you your Amazon Prime subscription if you cancel before you use any of its benefits or order anything from the site. And I don't think that's exceptional, a lot of companies have much better cancellation policies than what Adobe offers. You don't have to go to bat for them, the CC subscription terms are unusually bad for a tech service subscription.
Although that shouldn't be held up as a positive either. Where I am, it's literally illegal for utility companies to offer discounts or any other type of benefit to customers who wish to cancel or move to another provider. They aren't even allowed to contact you unsolicited after you have requested to cancel the service, as it could be interpreted as attempting to offer enticement to continue. Ending a subscription to a service should not be a difficult thing.
But you're right, it's a mark of how bad Adobe's policies are that the things I'm thinking about Amazon are that at least I didn't have to get onto an online chat and argue with a representative for 30 minutes. Amazon didn't act betrayed and snap me with a punitive fee to punish me for my disloyalty.
I'm not necessarily saying that the average tech subscription process is handled well just that Adobe is noticeably worse.
If it were merely making you pay what they were contractually owed for the remaining months of your current year, you should retain access to the apps for those remaining months too.
Adobe is the one that wrote the contract, if they added cancellation fees that are honestly pretty unusual for the software service/subscription field, then that's on them. Their hands aren't tied by the contract, they wrote the contract. It's their choice to charge people money for a service they no longer have access to.
But whatever, I'll extend yet another olive branch. I'll pay for the remainder of the year as long as I can cancel auto-renew immediately and put down in writing that I will not be charged for the next year. Not too surprisingly, Adobe also doesn't allow its customers to do that, because of course it doesn't.
It's obtuse to argue that all of this is about fairness and not about taking advantage of customer mistakes to bleed them dry for a service they don't want anymore. But I suppose it's just in my contract that I have to argue with a representative at a specific date and time in order to signal that I don't want to renew for another year of service. Nothing Adobe can do about that. /s
That’s perfectly normal and also practised by other companies.
It's another mental obstacle for the customer to overcome on the sunken cost fallacy, it's slimey at best.
There is a doctrine of unconscionability in contract law that says just because you secure agreement to highly unfavorable terms doesn't mean the contract is beyond review of a court, if there is a significant asymmetry between the contract parties.
Maybe businesses are savvy enough to read the fine print, but I think many normal consumers don't understand that there is a fee to cancel, given that it is not prominently shown. You can't just bury meaningful parts of a contract into terms and conditions.
Right before hitting 'place order' there's a link to a pop-up modal with the cancellation terms.
> "Should you cancel after 14 days, you’ll be charged a lump sum amount of 50% of your remaining contract obligation and your service will continue until the end of that month’s billing period."
At no point is the total amount (aka, your contract obligation) displayed, just the monthly amount. I think it's deceptive, at best.
If you click the options you can see the prices. This is a common practice, I feel like there are people are really trying to make this a bigger deal than it is.
Either way, that still doesn't tell you explicitly what the cancellation fee would be.
In Australia there is a thing called a 'Critical Information Summary' required for phone/internet plans. This is an sample of one from an old plan with similar terms to Adobe's (monthly payment, 12 month contract): https://imgur.com/a/bBVuip2 . It states how much it'll cost if you stay for 12/24 months. It also states the maximum that'll you'll have to pay to cancel, and how the cancel fee decreases as you go.
This isn't hard... they could put it upfront, but they don't and it only benefits Adobe.
Also, you might want to check those prices in the screenshot you linked, none match the price you would actually pay over 12 months, or the minimum cancel fee.
I believe most product/services should not have late fees, or cancellation fees.
Every business I have ever worked at used them as steady income. In college I managed a mini storage. The owner told me he wanted me to go to a seminar. The whole seminar was about increasing late fees. Yes--literally tricks to getting tenants to forget the payment date. (If ever have to use a mini storage, prorate a month worth of rent so payment lands on the end of the month. When it lands, say on the 14th it's easy to forget.)
It sucks to be poor.
But being bit in the ass later because something has changed and you want out will hurt a smaller percentage of people than a large upfront fee that makes it unattainable for many. That denies many people opportunity in the name of protecting some portion of those people from potential negative consequences.
The "cancellation fee" is because you are breaking a contract which you agreed to in order to receive a discount. If you are actually given a meaningful choice (which I feel quite strongly that you are in this case) and you can't be bothered to understand such a basic aspect of the choice being made, then I have absolutely no sympathy for you.
For example, apartments are rented with an annual price and a monthly payment because a) both landlords and tenants have a lot of switchover costs, and b) tenants want to avoid landlords exploiting the pain of moving by jacking their rent up after a month.
But this is just exploitative marketing BS. When you sign up, Adobe is not buying a physical server that they have to depreciate and would sit empty when you quit. They did not buy extra buckets of pixels that will now sit unused in a warehouse. If a person stops using Photoshop, both the the provider expenses and the renter benefits cease immediately. There's no legitimate reason to charge people a cancellation fee here; it's pure exploitation of purchaser optimism and cognitive bias.
Exactly. And it’s perfectly legal and practiced by a lot of companies, even the public transport company in Berlin does that.
There seem to be a lot of people in this discussion on HN who seem very inexperienced in signing business contracts.
But that would also be the case for most of the general public, no? Are you suggesting that people should have experience in signing business contracts (and contracts with a predatory company, at that) before it's considered safe for them to buy software?
In my only experience with breaking a lease, my lawyer advised me to inform my landlord that I was aware of California state law, and then wait for them to negotiate. They initially counter-offered that I pay 2.5 months to break the lease, and ultimately agreed to 1 month. Probably harder to do during COVID, though, with such high vacancy rates.
AFAIK what you linked to only says a landlord is required to try to find a new renter. In SF that's probably easy to find but any many places it could easily be several months all of which you'd be required to keep paying.
Normally I'd have had a cordial discussion with my landlord, but in this case the landlord was a giant corporate REIT whose boilerplate lease was largely unenforceable (no doubt they know this, and have figured out that people assume leases are legally binding regardless of the terms).
In Oregon, USA, for example, early termination fees can’t be more than 1.5 months rent. In most US jurisdictions landlords are required to mitigate their losses by finding a new tenant. Few courts will let a landlord twiddle their thumbs and collect much more than a few months rent if a tenant leaves early.
As an aside, you (paxys) are all over this post's comments defending Adobe vigorously. Do you possibly work for them?
No, it’s the opposite of very clear? It’s very misleading. They are purposefully avoiding printing the full sum they expect you to pay, just listing monthly prices without mentioning the terms, and a big “buy now” button.
I understand that you should never take anything related to pricing at face value, and I would certainly double check what I get myself into before I sign up, but calling it “very clear” just doesn’t add up.
I don't give any business to companies that simply lie to me. Trust is important. Adobe clearly doesn't care about creating any trust with its users.
There exists very little actual effort to let users know inside this payment funnel that they are not just paying 10 euros, but 120 euros.
Surprising to see a company like Adobe operate on such terms, although it also applies to companies like Audi on their EV charge subscriptions for access to Ionity
Looks the same to me. Is it possible the law isn't what you think it is?
Pay monthly for monthly plans, and pay annually once for annual plans.
The way they show the prices is problematic. If 12 payments are expected, it should be reflected anywhere that price is shown. But I think it's fine if they are willing to offer a discount for agreeing to make 12 payments vs 1 payment.
Some things like apartment leases are not only in a different context, but it's done for a clear reason. Reserved instances on AWS I'm assuming has a similar purpose but it's also in a different context and it's hopefully made very clear to the user.
This is what you do when you rent a house, 1 year contract monthly payments.
Not sure if you’ve been with Adobe for any period of time and then left, it hasn’t been pretty on multiple products for me.
If you have an annual subscription and cancel it early, they will charge you the elapsed months accordingly to the monthly fee, not the yearly one and I had to pay 150 Euros for early contract termination.
So, how do they motivate people to buy the annual subscription when there is no monetary advantage for binding yourself yearly instead of monthly.
In Berlin, if you get an annual subscription instead of a monthly one, you will get two months for free.
And if you cancel early instead of waiting for the whole year, you pay the difference between the monthly and yearly subscription for the months already used.
I don't see anything scummy or illegal here.
Same in the UK - "it's discounted to 10 months cost"
After I was done, I cancelled the plan and Adobe mailed me something like „sad to see you go here‘s a free month“.
What I didn‘t know and did not see ond the sign-up page was that I actually signed up for a YEARLY plan and I had to pay a huge cancellation fee. There was no indiciation or mentioning of a yearly contract (ok, maybe sonewhere deep down and so small nobody can read it).
IMHO, I was tricked into this yearly plan and had to pay much money to get out. It was the day I swore never to pay for Adobe products again.
Yearly commitment. Longer term commitments give you benefits in a lot of places and have checks in place to prevent people from gaming the system. Not very hard to understand.
There are some exceptions where a fee is ok like when it's actually putting the business out financially, like Garmin & Iridium satellite service agreements, Garmin has little choice...but clearly not the case for Adobe
If you're not happy with a cancellation fee, that's what the monthly pricing is for—you pay more month to month but can cancel any time. It's a very normal trade-off. The only real alternatives Adobe has to a cancellation fee are to only offer monthly pricing or forbid cancelling an annual contact at all.
It isn't true that this is the only option. Instead of onerous lock-in like a gym membership they could have a sliding scale -- the longer you pay for it, the cheaper it gets. Their decision to go for annual lock-in is short term thinking.
This seems pretty fair to me, when you signed up for the contract, those purchases figure into their operations.
Reverse the paradigm, if they cancelled providing you these services, would you expect a refund, or would it be a money grab to expect to get your money back when they violated the terms of the agreement?
If a user signs up for a year contract, the business has certainty of future income. The business gives a discount for assurance of that future revenue.
If the user cancels early, the cost is the lose of that future revenue on the balance sheet - and this does influence the business.
You can't lose other people's money you never received.
They should think and act as building services to help the users, rather than extracting money. Even though part of a business is extracting money.
It's past time that consumers in the US realized their utter lack of power as individuals against corporations, and their collective might. The 'dark patterns' in online commerce, car loans, mobile payments etc are really 19th century business practices that shouldn't be accepted anymore.
I‘m pretty sure, it isn’t.
Go check the TOS of any public transport yearly subscription models and they will certainly have the exact same clause.
I had to pay a penalty fee for terminating my yearly public transport subscription in Berlin early.
One example of the consumer law being applied is in regard to drip pricing, which was commonly used by airlines and hotels:
Pricing rules, in this case Partial Pricing, are quite clear:
If you promote a price that is only part of the total price, the total price must also be displayed at least as prominently as the partial price. This means customers should be able to identify the total price in the advertisement at least as easily as prices for any component parts.
Also relevant: subscription traps:
I am unfamiliar with consumer protection in DE, and publicly owned services like the railways may have special pricing legislation, but new EU harmonized laws are being introduced for digital services:
Sadly, the EU system prevents any member state from having stronger protections.
For subscriptions there are already strong rules about clearly indicating the total price, and the amount that is fair for early termination:
This whole thing sounds a lot like a loan. If Adobe wants to provide a loan then they should be regulated like a bank.
Otherwise a monthly fee isn't a loan, and a monthly fee shouldn't have a cancellation fee.
You have to pay back the discount if you end up not using it for a year, as it should be.
Except... that you are.
> You're paying for something as you use it, and getting a discount because you agreed you'd use it for a year.
So... you're getting the use of something before you've paid for the full year. That's a loan.
Hmm, no, you're still not. You are paying for the months as you use them. You merely agreed you'd use the service for a certain amount of months in exchange for a discount.
Is paying rent on a year long contract is a loan? Is paying your monthly phone bill (which is on a 2 year contract) a loan? No. The phone company is not loaning you money. They're just providing the service at a certain rate contingent on an agreement to use it for a certain amount of time.
I don't think the way you are using the concept "loan" is how other people (and the dictionary) uses it. Agreeing to pay something in the future for services they will render in the future is not a loan.
If that were true then there wouldn't be a cancellation fee.
> You merely agreed you'd use the service for a certain amount of months in exchange for a discount.
That's disingenuous anti-consumer corporate bullshit.
> Is paying rent on a year long contract is a loan? Is paying your monthly phone bill (which is on a 2 year contract) a loan?
They both should be considered worse than loans. They're not only demanding that you pay all the money if you want out but they're also fully necessary in a modern tech society.
> Agreeing to pay something in the future for services they will render in the future is not a loan.
It is if you have to pay for those services even if you don't want them any more.
This isn't the gotcha you think it is. The cancellation fee does not cover the full amount owed for the remainder of the services, so clearly the existence of a (50%) cancellation fee indicates it is not a "loan" you are paying back. If it was a loan, you'd actually be on the hook for the whole thing.
> That's disingenuous anti-consumer corporate bullshit.
Could you elaborate? If you want an actual rolling monthly contract, that is an option too. The point of the yearly contract which you pay monthly is to allow for cheaper prices because you are guaranteeing a year of revenue. If you want maximum flexibility, pay monthly.
> They both should be considered worse than loans.
You realize contracts protect both sides, right? If you have a rolling monthly phone plan, the price can increase every month. If you agree to pay for a year, you get a locked-in price, the seller gets a guaranteed year of revenue, and everyone wins.
> It is if you have to pay for those services even if you don't want them any more.
As pointed out in point 1, you're not paying for the services so this argument is actually the opposite of what you want it to be.