21 Replies Latest reply on Oct 5, 2017 5:33 PM by michaelw47219526

    Customer Complaint


      I am one angry, upset, frustrated, mad and disappointed customer here.  The customer service provided by Adobe is completely useless.  It became no surprise to me when I did some research in terms of customer service over the internet.  There are just more angry customers than happy customers in Adobe.  I purchased Acrobat Pro XI and was trying to update and encountered error 1328.  The update seems to rollback automatically.  From one of the forum response, it appears that the serial number might be invalid.  I began to think that's impossible as the box is retail sealed with genuine sticker on the bottom.  Like many of you, I search for contact, no phone number or any kind, just chat option out there.  The representative said the serial number is not working one, talk to reseller or eBay about it,  very very "responsible way" to reply.  


      As eBay or the reseller did not make the product/serial number, of course they did not know why the serial number is cancelled.  Upon searching the internet for quite a bit, I finally got a phone number and called Adobe Customer Care, the other representative said "yes, it(serial number) is cancelled" and I began to ask why?  The representative put me on hold for a bit to look up the information regarding the serial number.  She came back in 2 mins saying there is no explanation and she cannot explain why it was cancelled.  She kept on emphasizing that eBay is not a authorized reseller and nothing can be done.  I emphasized that if the serial number is cancelled or revoked there must be reason to it.  She said there isn't any explanation or reason why it is cancelled.  She told me to scan the genuine sticker and serial number on the box and said will try to escalate to upper level.  The next response was " As you have purchased the product from Ebay and Ebay is not an Authorized reseller for Adobe products. So we would like to  request you to contact Ebay for this issue."  The case closed after that with noway to add new comments unless you called it again, extremely not user friendly.  My concern was not addressed at all. So I made another phone call, the other representative was reading the same script again, there is no reason, no explanation, and we Adobe have no idea, but the serial number is cancelled. 


      I became extremely furious as no reason was given to me why the key was cancelled.  I told them no customer on earth would accept such explanation.  The explanation (no explanation) is simply to deny all responsibility.  I said very clearly to them that as they are the software manufacturer for Acrobat and the serial number came from them, they should have an accurate record of what happened.  I asked could it be that the key used multiple times? stolen copy? pirated? fake counterfeit? They said they do not know.  The representative appears to be in repeat mode and at the end he gave up and passed to supervisor who was also a repeat of the representative.  The supervisor cannot convince me at all and he also gave up and after a long long silent, suddenly another person picked up which is the manager of the supervisor.  The manager is also on repeat mode and I said I need to complain this issue and wish to know the department or person who can solve my issue.  He said there is no such place in Adobe. (he did not lie)  I said Adobe being one of the biggest software developer in the world and there isnt anywhere that I can write or talk to?  He said nope.  He told me to go to the Adobe website to complain, he told the supervisor to tell me piracy.adobe.com/, it ended up it is and incorrect URL and he told me to try again and later he realized it is a wrong address.  He was trying to direct me to Pirated software | Adobe Anti-piracy to report the reseller.  The manager thinks I am stupid and doesnt know what purpose does it serve.  I asked whether my is pirated and he said he don't have any information about it.  I told him that I want to escalate my complaint and not report others.  At the end he said sorry Adobe brought so much trouble but he cannot do anything.  He told me to buy a new serial number at Adobe.com and see if the senior level could offer any discount.  2 or 3 days later he said senior level would give 15% discount back if I purchased at Adobe.com. 


      Not only is time consuming to talk to these guys, no solution is given basically.  They are not giving me the answer I want.  I mean I spent hundreds already and I wouldn't mind paying but at least give me a reasonable answer.  I replied saying 1)15% is useless given the USD dollars is so high right now ( I am in Canada) 2) the discount is equivalent to some authorized reseller's price so basically there is no discount 3) I demand an answer for my concern


      In the end, Adobe just failed my expectation or "exceeded" my expectation.  I believe the copy I possessed is a genuine copy.  If it is a genuine copy at the minimum I should be able to use it or get it replaced for a fee.  If my copy ends up is a counterfeit or fake copy, I wouldn't even dare to ask for 1% discount.  The case is automatically closed but and the manager who emailed me obviously is not replying my email at all and pretending the case is solved.  This is indeed not a responsible way to deal with the public.  I might be one small potato out there but everyone out there could have their enterprises or business one day.  The way how to deal with individuals would not make your business sustainable.       


      You guys are big out there but even monopolies like Microsoft would not act like that.  This is madness.




        • 1. Re: Customer Complaint
          Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee



          I am very sorry to hear of your experiences both with your unsuccessful attempt to update Acrobat Pro XI and the difficulty you have experienced trying to get a straight answer as to what the problem is. I do understand your being angry, upset, frustrated, and disappointed.


          Please understand that these forums are not Adobe Support. The vast majority of the participants here are end users themselves volunteering their personal time to assist other users. Occasionally, Adobe employees do monitor these forums although in many cases (mine included), they are also not part of Adobe Support.


          Based upon your multiple references to “eBay or the reseller” I will assume for the time being that you bought your copy of Acrobat from a reseller offering the product via eBay. Over the years, regrettably, eBay has been the source of a tremendous amount of pirated software not only of Adobe, but also Microsoft, Corel, AutoDesk, etc. products as well. By “pirated” I include a number of scams. These include simply doing an amateur DVD copy and providing a serial number that already had been used by others. In some cases, “cracked” software is offered. In more sophisticated scams, the reseller obtains a serial number for an enterprise license designed for use only within a company and attempts to “unbundle” that enterprise license by selling media and that serial number to persons who are not authorized to use it (i.e., they aren't part of the organization to which the license was sold for in-organization use). If Adobe detects that such serial numbers are being activated where not expected, that could lead Adobe to invalidating the serial number, possibly after you have successfully installed and activated the software. Other such enterprise licenses may be part of a TLA, a “term licensing agreement” for which the original license and the serial number expires after a pre-defined term if the license isn't extended by the enterprise originally purchasing the license. Clearly, a scammer who obtains (possibly stealing) such a TLA-based serial number is not going to renew such a licensing agreement with Adobe. And if you used a TLA-based serial number, when it expires, you can expect that the software will not update (or possibly even work) beyond that expiration date. Another possibility is resale of stolen software; a software vendor is perfectly within its prerogative to invalidate serial numbers and activations for copies of software packages that were physically stolen from the authorized retail channel.


          In the past, most pirated software offered on eBay (and similar venues) was clearly suspicious in terms of packaging or lack thereof. In recent years though, clever scammers go to great lengths to counterfeit the packaging and media such that it looks genuine. They offer a price that isn't “too good to be true” such that it is obvious that something isn't kosher with the goods. For example, Acrobat XI Pro is currently offered on Adobe's website for US$449. There are “sellers” on eBay currently offering what purports to be Acrobat XI Pro for US$399, a reasonable discount that would not readily raise your suspicions. However, since neither eBay nor the majority of these resellers are authorized resellers of Adobe products, you really have no way of knowing what is actually in what looks like genuine packaging. (Also note that a number of eBay resellers are explicitly offering educational versions of Adobe software without disclosing that in order to actually use the software - assuming that it is indeed genuine - that the purchaser must provide Adobe with current credentials proving eligibility to use an educational version of the software!) Thus, licensing software from any source that is not an authorized reseller is at best a dicey proposition! Buyer beware!


          A further note. Adobe does not invalidate serial numbers simply on the basis of resale by unauthorized resellers. Thus, if true “genuine” product is offered by unauthorized product and the product wasn't involved in any product theft, Adobe fully supports full registration and use of the product.


          Adobe's customer support agents will not give specific reasons for why a serial number is cancelled. First of all, such agents and their management do not themselves have that information. More importantly, providing such information in general would or could assist software pirates in perfecting workarounds to the system.


          OK, what can you do now?


          Since the software was apparently not purchased either directly through Adobe or via an authorized reseller, you should contact eBay and directly complain to them providing specifics in terms of the transaction. If that reseller is still active with eBay, they may be able to get a refund for you.


          And yes, you should report both eBay and the reseller to Adobe. You were directed to a web form at Report form. Alternatively or even in addition, send a detailed e-mail to <piracy@adobe.com> including detailed information about the reseller, the transaction, the packaging, and the serial number. I you really believe that you have “genuine” goods that were mistakenly identified otherwise by Adobe, please put that in your e-mail as well. I can personally assure you that such e-mail goes directly to Adobe's legal department and is taken very seriously.


          I don't know what else you expect that Adobe can or should do for you. If you buy what is purported to be (and indeed looks like) a genuine Rolex watch at a big discount from some guy on a street corner in Kowloon, do you expect Rolex to replace the watch or refund what you paid for it if it falls apart within the first day you have it? I don't think so. This is a similar situation. eBay is absolutely not, by reputation, a trusted venue for software licensing.


          I wish you the best of luck in trying to get satisfaction out of eBay—hopefully a refund and again, I am very sorry about the situation you found yourself in.


                    - Dov

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Customer Complaint
            ErictheV Level 1

            Hi Dov,  Thank you for your reply.  This post appeared right here for a reason: there is no other place where consumer can go.  Adobe simply is not open to customers when it comes to complaint.  I am not the only one who posted their customer experience.  You suggested some possible reasons why the serial number is invalidated or cancelled, but none of them is confirmed in my case.  My point here is that Adobe cannot give straight answer about why the serial number is cancelled.  This is major as matter like should be logged in the system.  "The serial number is cancelled because it has been cancelled" is not a valid explanation. In addition, you mentioned " providing such information in general would or could assist software pirates in perfecting workarounds to the system." is not a responsible answer either.  Nobody is asking for a detailed 50 pages report on what happened to the serial number.    I provided copy of the serial number and the copy of the "genuine sticker".  However, Adobe did not tell me whether it is genuine, pirated or counterfeit product.  If you guys don’t provide an answer, are you expecting the consumers to hack in the system and found out ourselves.  This is certainly not legal and beyond our ability.  I don't like your Kowloon Rolex watch analogy here.  I have no idea why you made specific reference to a location in China (Hong Kong, Kowloon).  I believe you are just making example here but others could perceive this as a racist comment. Now, let's carry on using your Rolex example, if the watch is indeed a fake one and it stopped working, and if one were to send in for repair, do you think Rolex can tell whether the watch is genuine or not?  Or are you expecting Rolex will say something like "because you did not buy from our authorized dealer so we cannot tell whether it is genuine or not?" And keep in mind that even if i were to send the Rolex for repair, and even if it were indeed a geniune one, repair will not be free.  This is not my intention here.  It sounded like as if you think we consumer want everything for free.  Adobe said even genuine serial number can become invalidated too.  Can genuine product be repaired or replaced for a fee?  I don't know.  That's up to you guys to decide.   Well, perhaps I am hoping Adobe could tell me that this is a counterfeit or some sort so I can walk away.

            A better analogy here would be: a police come into my house and seize my property saying it does not belong to me without providing any reason.  The only thing you guys said is the serial number has been cancelled. 

            As I mentioned previously, I provided scanned copy of my serial number and the sticker and was asking if Adobe can verify it, but nobody can tell whether it is genuine or not.  It appears that the sticker serves no purpose here. Is it real or not? or does it matter?  Sticker could be real and the product can be fake.  I can see that this is matter is going in circles. 

            I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to reply.  However, I don't think anyone in Adobe would be able to address my concern.  Happy new year, Eric

            Date: Wed, 31 Dec 2014 15:04:29 -0800

            • 3. Re: Customer Complaint
              Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

              I sent you a direct e-mail wrt/ this matter and hopefully I can further assist you outside of this forum.


                        - Dov

              • 4. Re: Customer Complaint
                Bill@VT Level 7

                To address some of your comments in short. I just could not resist the MS comment that they would not act like that. From the experience I have had and seen from others, MS has just as bad customer support. However, that was not your original question before you took off on the other comments.


                You mentioned error 1328. The list of update errors state:


                1328: Error applying patch to [filename]. It's likely that something else updated the file, and the patch can't modify it. For more information, contact your patch vendor.

                Solution: A file has changed or is missing. Uninstall and reinstall the program


                I would suggest trying to do a repair (from the help menu). Then do updates. During the process, disable anti-virus. It may not work. However, the S/N came into play and may have been related to the reinstall. If that is the case, my suggestion won't help.

                • 5. Re: Customer Complaint
                  ProDesignTools MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                  The fakes have gotten very real-looking now, it can be pretty deceiving and hard to tell the difference:


                  Genuine vs. Counterfeit: Box - Bottom


                  Because of all the scams and bogus copies out there, Adobe has never recognized purchases off of eBay as valid:


                  Adobe help: Invalid proof of purchase


                  So even if you think a transaction is "good," Adobe is not obliged to provide support.  And because it's unauthorized and from an unknown source, you also risk malware, viruses, etc.


                  All in all, the takeaway is never try to buy Adobe software from eBay, no matter the price, offer, or situation.

                  • 6. Re: Customer Complaint
                    ErictheV Level 1

                    Thank you so much for all you guys' replies.  ProDesignTools, your reply is the most useful one.  Why? Because I am only asking Adobe from the beginning whether I bought a counterfeit and if not, what happened to the serial number.   My complaint isn't really about refund or exchange (in the case of counterfeit product). 


                    I still hate Adobe because I still think their customer service stinks.  After days of calling and circling,  they could have just direct me to the above links to determine if is a counterfeit one before talking about eBay.  I think they are just not trained to deal with this kind of stuff.


                    Thanks again! and Happy new year all!





                    • 7. Re: Customer Complaint
                      ProDesignTools MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                      Sure Eric, glad to help!  My guess is the specific reason why (any serial number is invalidated) is not specified in Adobe's database; just whether it's "good" or not.  So the customer service reps probably don't have the means to tell you why, when, or how.  But that's something that could be helpful for them to have and add, because unfortunate scams like happen all the time on places like eBay, Craigslist, and Amazon Marketplace.


                      Anyway, sorry for your difficulties - but hope 2015 is a better one for you in terms of software!

                      • 8. Re: Customer Complaint

                        Those who have had the misfortune to end up empty handed after the purchase (and successful use!) of Adobe software need to put our heads together, especially if customer service is not going to help educate us as to what to look for or watch out for.


                        I, for one, would like to get a handle on the common denominators that come into play in cases where a software key activates initially only to fail down the line. By chance, ErictheV, did you contact Adobe in a prior support chat or call and respond to the question "Where did you purchase the product?" I have noted that in support and chat incidences this is one of the first questions you will be asked. If you buy from ANY non-authorized source — from which non-Creative Cloud legacy software is increasingly comes — you will not be eligible for any support whatsoever, and that may very well extend to remaining mum on any and all serial inquiries. If, in fact, this is the case, we should be able to infer as much if others contribute to this discussion to say "Yes Adobe knew where I bought it before I was permitted to ask my question about the validity of my serial key" or "No, Adobe did not ask where I purchased the product [or my source was authorized!] and they still couldn't give me an explanation for why my key no longer works."


                        My working theory is that if you call for installation or registration assistance, and you should admit to any non-valid source, your key will be flagged for subsequent deactivation. (To be clear, I don't work for Adobe but I'd be willing to bet money on it.) There are too many people who have been rudely awakened to the reality that their so-called perpetual licenses are not at all "perpetual". With online activation having been an installation requirement for years now, this kind of error — presumably a fake key succeeding in allowing the software to install — should be very, very rare. On the one hand, if you were the victim of "cracked" software, the software itself would be modified in such a way that the activation process would be redirected and Adobe would never really license check your product at all, in which case Adobe would NEVER have associated a valid key with your Adobe ID (because although you installed it, it never transmitted, and it won't appear as software registered there). If, on the other hand, your counterfeit software consisted of genuine Adobe software paired to a fake serial number, the serial number, IMHO, should NOT work. I can see fake serial scams working in the days before Adobe used online activation but now that they transmit everything at installation to their registry servers and basically re-validate the key anytime you patch or update your software, I can't see how an invalid serial could succeed to begin with. (For the sake of disclosure, I am not a software programmer, either. I am merely deducing my way to a plausible explanation.)


                        I happen to know for a fact that Adobe customer service agents can identify serial number origin. I once had a serial number that I could not register and the first question by chat and subsequently phone was "Where did you purchase this software?" I said it was a gift (true, fortunately! ;0). That allowed me to pass to the next level of verification. At that point, I was told the reason for the registration error.


                        Now here's the irksome thing: The "add product" option under one's Adobe ID could have been designed to access to the same database the customer care rep was able to access when inputting the serial key. And yet all I got from the Adobe website validator was an unhelpful, non-specific error. I visited the online support pages for activation/registration support and there was a chart indicating that if you receive "invalid serial" you should contact customer service. Clicking the link in that chart did nothing whatsoever to bring up an option to contact customer service by phone or email. I ended up traveling in circles through online support documents on this website until I gave up and Googled Adobe's contact information. Once on the line, I had to use the wrong option in the voice menu to speak to a representative about my attempt to understand why my product had not appeared after I installed it in my list of registered products. Why did I have to choose the wrong telephone menu option? Because if you call Adobe customer service, you get Option 1 (Creative Cloud) and Option 2 (terminated call for all non-supported [perpetual license] products) and no "0" for an operator! In all, I spent well over an hour in effort to reach someone who could answer a YES/NO question about serial validity.


                        My working theory is this: Had I stated that the product was from any non-authorized vendor, I suspect I would have been met with a very generic, nonspecific response not unlike the one described by the OP. The sad part is, there are some of us who are sincerely trying to do the right thing (vet our software), and yet even those of us who have purchased through authorized sources, if we hold a license to a legacy (non-CC) product, are basically unsupported at this time (per the call termination that will occur if you call for such support). After over an hour wait on the phone, speaking to a live person took entry into the wrong support department (CC) AND I was chided by the Adobe customer support rep for having done so, since I was calling about a pre-CC product! Honestly, if Adobe is going to continue yanking serial keys well after the fact, they really ought to add a "press 3" for registration support! Instead of a dedicated serial support option, Adobe literally hangs up on you following a terse automated explanation. All this begs the question: Adobe, if YOU have washed your hands of all prior versions of your products — having left even legitimate holders of your software in a support lurch — how serious are you about stamping down on the counterfeit problem?*


                        From what I gather, Adobe has their most incomplete database, ironically, verifying serial numbers at installation. After all, how could a fake serial number pass an online verification check, unless the online verification process was spotty? I can INFER that Adobe's installation process does not verify against a complete database because if it did we would not see the phenomena of users who have successfully run an Adobe product for weeks or even years, only for that key to be declared invalid at a later date. The very fact that keys are being withdrawn and software remotely deactivated, suggests that Adobe's online verification servers are not all the efficient. Cloud or no cloud, Adobe should fix this so that fewer customers of legacy products and physical (perpetual license) software are "burned" long after they've passed the opportunity to get their money back from counterfeit product sellers.


                        I can, infer, likewise, that what Adobe can access internally to verify licensing questions is more complete, and therefore there is NO excuse for Adobe to provide no information in the event a key is invalidated after the fact. In my experience, if you call the customer service line they can tell you what type of license you have, whether it was previously registered, etc. By contrast, you won't get much in the way of an explanation if you attempt to input a serial under "add product" (Other Products & Plans) and it doesn't "take". Why the total disconnect between the three verification methods: activation at installation, manual addition of a key under one's account, and phone in? If Adobe doesn't want people to overwhelm their phone lines, why not allow the WEBSITE to provide more specific information? The key validation process upon attempting to manually register a product could include the following:


                        • "Error. This key is already in use. Perhaps you have exceeded the installation limit. Click "here" to deactivate previously installed copies."
                        • "Error. You may not register a volume license key under this Adobe ID account. Please contact systems administrator for assistance."
                        • "Error. This key does not appear in our registration database. Please verify that you have typed the number correctly. If it continues to fail, you may have obtained this product through an authorized venue. See our counterfeit FAQ 'here' for additional assistance or call (xxx) xxx-xxxx."


                        My feeling is that Adobe could have worked to improve their online activation process so that they are no longer victim of serial keys they later claim should have never worked to begin with. Though not illegal, repossessing a software key after initially allowing it to work is a bad PR move, and will only disgruntle their users. I'm sure someone at Adobe would argue that if those of us who have "burned" are unable to get our money back (or our software working), we'll learn a hard, costly lesson about why we need the Creative Cloud. But my feeling is that jading users will disenfranchise them, and the CC won't be the safe haven but the exit point. In the end, this will certainly shave away Adobe's many non-professional and low-volume users, but that will leave fewer people with the requisite skills to begin creating content that will provide return on investment (for Adobe and product user alike). Adobe, as far as I'm concerned, has tried to solve one problem (piracy) by backing themselves into a corner (Creative Cloud). Yes, it will work for businesses and users that make their entire living using Adobe's products. But it it's also driving the very problem the CC was no doubt going to solve: too many people running too many illegitimate (and possibly  malicious) copies of Adobe software (or perhaps I should say, "fauxware"). 


                        In conclusion, I would like others who have had a similar experience with a WORKING serial key suddenly invalidated to report the sequence of events. If Adobe should be found to be inactivating serial keys for users who still possess proof-of-purchase from an authorized source, it suggests that Adobe is either A) Not maintaining accurate registries, or B) yanking perpetual license users' chains to scare them into abandoning the product and joining the CC. "A" would be dubious enough. But "B" would be downright illegal (repossessing valid keys for the purpose of forcing users to abandon non-CC products). Look, I believe like everyone here that Adobe makes top-notch software. What's not clear, and needs to be clear, is if these "invalid keys" were ever legitimate to begin with, or if they were invalidated after the fact because Adobe did not authorize the vendor (not because the software itself was suspect). Why does that matter? Because it's entirely within reason for Adobe to reject fake software and fake software keys (although as I argue above I see no reasonable explanation for why Adobe can't do so in a more timely manner, as opposed to "deciding" that it isn't a legit key months or even years after their online activation process let it pass at installation!) It is, on the flip side, entirely illegal for Adobe to be yanking valid keys from valid software sales strictly on the basis that the seller was not authorized (Ebay, Amazon Marketplace, etc.). The most a manufacturer of a TV, appliance or any other product can do if a customer purchases through non-authorized sources is to deny support (or in this case upgrade). But a manufacturer can't come to your home and "repossess" your Sony TV because you bought it new in a box from Ebay. The same applies here. In the OP's case, the fact that Adobe provided no reason for the "repossession" infers that they have something to hide. Something to hide would be, "Yes we can see that your serial key is valid, but we don't recognize Ebay as a valid point of sale so we're deactivating your copy remotely." That is why, in closing, I am asking users who have had this experience to think about the sequence of events: Did you have an installation problem subsequent (or before) Adobe may have been informed in some form or fashion that you obtained the software through a non-authorized vendor?


                        * As an aside to Adobe: People still want access to physical media and/or perpetual licensing solutions. Not every Adobe user, after all, is a business owner or high-volume self-employed proprietor that can justify current version costs, Creative Cloud or otherwise. Plus, Adobe's CC diminishes the "step-up market" in which newbies and nonprofessionals learn the ropes and, if they go pro, make the leap to a current version. Unfortunately, I suspect the "big squeeze" — herding users into the Creative Cloud — is going to perpetuate, not diminish, the counterfeit problem.

                        • 9. Re: Customer Complaint
                          Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee



                          A few simple comments on your highly speculative post:


                          (1)     Adobe still offers perpetual licensing of Acrobat products.


                          (2)     Adobe never yanks a license of a legitimate copy of its software (i.e., repossess) based on where you purchased it either when contacting Adobe or otherwise! Thus, if you have a shrink-wrapped copy of Acrobat that was initially sold to an authorized reseller and that was subsequently resold on eBay (simply as an example), you will never have any issues in terms of whether such product can be activated or not. Adobe even fully supports personal resale of software licenses (other than certain demonstration and educational versions) assuming that the seller and purchaser register this transaction (See Transfer an Adobe product license). On the other hand, handling of issues such as defective media (bad DVD, etc.) are handled via the “channel.” Thus if you purchased a boxed copy of Acrobat from Adobe's website, Adobe Customer Support would assist with issues of defective media. Otherwise, such support is handled through our authorized resellers. That is where you can get into a problem if you don't buy through an authorized reseller directly. (By the way, this is no different than if you buy a “new” Nikon digital SLR from someone on Craig's list and find problems out of the box – Nikon will refer you to your dealer.)


                          (3)     You bring up the issue of what appears to be legitimate software with a serial number that at least initially installs and activates but subsequently is “yanked.” This situation typically occurs when someone counterfeits the physical packaging and media (not that hard to do) and provides a serial number that was typically part of a enterprise license covering many users in a single organization and/or especially such a license with a defined term. Enterprise licenses are not sold for subsequent unbundling and resale as individual licenses. But some unscrupulous individuals do attempt to do this. When such attempts are detected, the serial number is indeed invalidated. Similarly, if an enterprise fixed term license runs out, the serial number and/or the activations are terminated. This situation is much more common than you might believe. And part of the problem is that the counterfeiters are often offering software at what appears to be a reasonable but not a too-good-to-believe discount and thus their “product” seems credible.


                          (4)     Adobe is not trying to hide anything, but obviously if there is an issue with a serial number and Adobe is trying to investigate what is going on, it is not going to tip its hand about what it knows or doesn't know. And quite frankly, the customer service agents absolutely do not have the information as to why a particular serial number is invalid.


                          (5)     I am very sorry that you believe that there is some type of conspiracy against our customers.


                                    - Dov

                          • 10. Re: Customer Complaint
                            Sal 1 Level 1

                            I would love to see Adobe providing some sort of solution for finding fake or counterfeit adobe serial keys, by providing a site where you can type the serial number before using it and get instant reply if that key is genuine or not. in this way you can return the software back to the seller regardless if adobe authorised or not.  

                            • 11. Re: Customer Complaint
                              Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                              As convenient and friendly as that sounds for someone who has purchased product from a non authorized dealer source, there is a major downside to this type of solution.


                              Providing a portal where one submits a serial number and you would get an instant OK or not would lead the unscrupulous to bombard such a portal with serial numbers until they find one or more that are valid. Thus, this type of solution is not going to happen. Sorry!


                              As we have indicated in this long thread, license your software either directly with Adobe or with authorized Adobe resellers and the issue of whether the serial numbers are valid becomes a non-issue.


                                        - Dov

                              1 person found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: Customer Complaint
                                Sal 1 Level 1

                                Very interesting!!!

                                if I deactivate my Adobe product I can't give it free or sell it on Ebay just because I am not Adobe Authorised. Is that what you mean? thanks for your reply.

                                • 13. Re: Customer Complaint

                                  Sal 1 wrote:


                                  Very interesting!!!

                                  if I deactivate my Adobe product I can't give it free or sell it on Ebay just because I am not Adobe Authorised. Is that what you mean? thanks for your reply.

                                  That's exactly what they mean.  You could have bought your Adobe product directly from Adobe, but the moment you try to sell it Ebay, your license becomes invalid and non-transferable.

                                  • 14. Re: Customer Complaint

                                    This is an old thread, but I'm going to share my experience here. I purchased a copy of CS6 in Nov 2012. A physical copy came to my door (the vendor had listed itself as an official dealer for Adobe products so I purchased with confidence. My package came, I installed and punched in the serial and everything worked fine…for 4 years. A few months ago I got a notice my software was now a "trial version". I had no idea why that was and I had misplaced the box.


                                    Unable to resolve the issue online I dug really deep and found the box. The joy I had. Punched in the serial number and "serial revoked" I called an agent and they informed me I had been sold a counterfeit piece of software. 4 years after I had installed it…so how the hell can I go after them? I'm up crap's creek and out $1200 for a program I paid (the wrong people apparently) to use.


                                    Clearly i'm upset as to get access to my files/projects I'm going to have to subscribe on top of the $1200 purchase….


                                    Frankly the handling of the this type of thing (piracy) is the worst I've seen. "Nope nothing we can do"…well you could have better anti piracy sftwar to combat this problem…leaving consumers completely screwed. If adobe had of identified the errant serial sooner (120 days or at least within a year) I MIGHT have been able to get my money back. Can't do anything for 4 years.

                                    Seriously unhappy about this right now.

                                    • 15. Re: Customer Complaint
                                      ProDesignTools MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                      Hi Mark, sorry to hear that. Did you recognize the name of the individual vendor who originally sold the fake product to you?


                                      Was it a familiar, well-established, and trusted or household name – a reputable company that's been around awhile and is not going anywhere?


                                      Or, did you confirm or check with Adobe that the source was 'authorized,' as was claimed – before sending $1,200?


                                      If not, then it's just asking for trouble, to be honest. Very sorry about that.


                                      ProDesignTools wrote:


                                      All in all, the takeaway is never try to buy Adobe software from eBay, no matter the price, offer, or situation.

                                      • 16. Re: Customer Complaint
                                        markh1108 Level 1

                                        Hi, silly as it sounds i didn't do any follow up. It had a high rating and was second or third on the Google search. Said certified vendor of Adobe, Avid and other computer parts.


                                        The fact it took 4 years to be found out doesn't help either. Even one year I could have gotten a charge back from my credit card but 4 years is an eternity.


                                        Lesson learned unfortunately. I've got CS3 on an old Mac that I pulled from storage so I could continue my workflow. But I won't be upgrading again with Adobe anytime soon. Not that it's your fault, but the whole experience has left a sour taste in my mouth and I'm a little bitter to be honest.


                                        Can't justify spending that kind of money for a product I mentally already purchased. If I do I will go directly through Adobe.


                                        Part of what gave me some confidence was buying a hard copy of product and not just a download...but they are good at faking obviously.


                                        Anyway thanks for getting back to me.



                                        Sent from my iPhone

                                        • 17. Re: Customer Complaint
                                          Dov Isaacs Adobe Employee

                                          Ted Watts wrote:


                                          Sal 1 wrote:


                                          Very interesting!!!

                                          if I deactivate my Adobe product I can't give it free or sell it on Ebay just because I am not Adobe Authorised. Is that what you mean? thanks for your reply.

                                          That's exactly what they mean. You could have bought your Adobe product directly from Adobe, but the moment you try to sell it Ebay, your license becomes invalid and non-transferable.


                                          Sorry that I didn't catch this one before but no, that isn't exactly what we mean at all!


                                          Adobe actually has a very liberal policy with regards to transferring licenses. The only restrictions are that (1) you can't transfer the highly-discounted academic licenses, OEM product licenses, or attempt to “unbundle” suites or volume licenses, (2) if you transfer a license, you give up all rights to use of that license including upgrading from that license, (3) you fill out the appropriate paperwork with Adobe transferring the license to whoever you are gifting or selling the license to. For details on license transfers including restrictions and how to properly accomplish same, see <Transfer an Adobe product license>. And no, Adobe doesn't charge you to transfer a license.


                                          That having been said, if we detect persons or organizations fraudulently selling licenses to Adobe software, yes, we will shut down the serial numbers involved and when and where appropriate or possible pursue legal remedies.


                                          With regards to eBay, there is a tremendous amount of illicit sales of pirated or improperly licensed software in that venue. Unless you are dealing with a vendor who will go through the full process of transferring a license through Adobe and/or providing a warranty on the software not being illicit, don't buy from any source that is not an authorized dealer.


                                                    - Dov

                                          • 18. Re: Customer Complaint
                                            gener7 Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                            Thanks Dov,


                                            I just had to explain to someone why their "volume" CS3 license was not valid and why that is not Adobe's fault.


                                            I think you did a fine job of explaining the situation far clearly than I could, so this goes in my references.



                                            • 19. Re: Customer Complaint

                                              My Photoshop and Premiere Elements 13 (Academic version), downloaded directly from Adobe in December 2014 (and since re-downloaded) and still registered as mine (with the serial numbers) on my Adobe ID account, is labelled counterfeit when I try to install it on my new computer. This is after signing it out on the previous computer.


                                              I went to Chat as instructed and got no help there from the two rather impolite respondents, beyond being told to upgrade to version 15 and/or go to this Forum for advice.


                                              This is disgraceful and probably illegal. I will be happy to supply further details to you in the hope that you can sort this out. Otherwise, I will have to avoid buying any Adobe products in future and make sure that others are warned about this apparently recurring problem.


                                              Professor Geoffrey BENJAMIN, Singapore

                                              • 20. Re: Customer Complaint

                                                @adobe Where can I complain? I am an incredibly furious customer. I've spent several hours trying to solve an issue. Did the chat thing and got transferred from one group to another without any answers. This is unacceptable! Nothing got solved and I cannot work due to this issue. APPALLING

                                                • 21. Re: Customer Complaint

                                                  Adobe Acrobat dc pro 2015 is one of the worst products I have ever had. when I look for support adobe go out of there way to piss off their customers. you have no real support systems in place. I have spent more time fixing issues with abode acrobat than any other program ever. I will not be ever but another program from you ever again and you can bet that I will never ever recommend it your products to anyone.


                                                  Adobe acrobat has stopped printing again this the 17 time in 2 years that I have waste time and monies. your offer no real service in fact you do you upmost to ensure customer pay but are never seen or heard off again, you do your best that there in customer service and your also do your best to ensure customer become even more frustrated when basic support is need.


                                                  One extremely piss off customer