6 Replies Latest reply on Sep 17, 2016 6:06 PM by Steve Werner

    Adobe "technical support" chat -- a real concern


      I am concerned that Adobe's "technical support" may have a criminal content.  I know of no other way to bring this issue to visibility because Adobe apparently allows no means of complaining about what happened.  They have no telephone support, and I can't find any means of filing a complaint.


      My final attempt at getting a InDesign CS4 technical issue resolved ended with a tech support person (screen name: Gaurav Sharma) requesting and gaining access to my computer.  I allowed this because I've had this type of service from other vendors (MS, HP, etc.) and never had a problem.  In this case the Adobe tech person basically froze my ability to communicate with him.  And as soon as he (she?) gained access they started searching on financial account names.  Immediately, my bank, PayPal, and ISP names appeared on a search screen.


      I had taken the expedience to remove all folders containing sensitive info from the computer beforehand, and also emptied the trash, so that access to this info could only be obtained by someone adept at getting at deleted info.  Hopefully the individual did not have time to obtain an real info.  I did a force quit and rebooted the machine.  Immediately afterward, I changed all account PW's.  A day later I received an "issue resolved" notification from Adobe and sent them an excoriating review, my only means of getting someone to pay attention, until this post.


      But this is only the climax of a truly horrible five-day experience with Adobe's chat support.  The previous four days I spent hours with trying to get someone on the chat line to act as though there was a live, human brain at the other end.  It was a never-ending futile attempt at "pin the tail on the donkey."  It was absurd.  All in all, I spent perhaps seven pointless hours trying to get a tech support person to understand  that I couldn't re-install my InDesign CS4 because I couldn't get past the Installer's request that, in addition to the InDesign serial number, it was also requesting a serial number from a previous version of PageMaker.  I don't have PageMaker, and my copy of InDesign CS4 has been legally registered with Adobe since 2009.


      For the record, here's a chronology of the events.

      1.  While working on a residential home purchase agreement, my InDesign suddenly froze up and I got an Error: 148:3 upon reboot.  I'd never seen that before.  I couldn't get past it, so I figured that a clean re-install would solve the problem.

      2.  I un-installed InDesign CS4, and inserted the disk in and started re-installing.  All went well.  I input the InDesign Serial number, OK.

      3.  THEN it asked for a serial number from a version of PageMaker.  I used to have PageMaker decades ago but I haven't used it for like ten years.  So of course I couldn't get past that window.  Not knowing what to do, I contacted Adobe's technical support chat.  I figured it would be an easy ten-minute repair.  Little did I know...

      4.  The first "tech support" person spent two hours with me trying to figure out that I wasn't trying to register a copy of PageMaker.  I ended up copy/pasting my previous replies because it was so inane: "no, I'm not trying to register a copy of PageMaker, the InDesign installer is requesting that I input a PageMaker serial number in, after I put in my valid InDesign serial number.  THAT's what the problem is.  Eventually I just broke the connection because it seemed like I was dealing with a robot, not a person.  Of course, I received a "problem resolved" email from Adobe the next day.  Interestiing, if you click on the "problem not resolved" link, it takes you to their generic support page which allows no way to send them that information.

      5.  I tried again the next day.  Thinking I might get either a real human or perhaps not a ten-year-old being directed by expert screens, I kept reiterating my mantra from above, and beseeching them to please have me contact someone higher up, or give me a telephone number, or ANY means of contacting someone who could understand the simple problem I was having.  No luck.  Eventually, I just broke off contact again because after a couple hours of brainless circles, I simply capitulated.

      6.  Two days later, I tried again and kept insisting to the tech person that I would not give up until they had either handed me over to someone who could understand the question or provide me with a telephone or email link.  And after another couple hours, that delivered me to Sra Gaurav Sharma, who as I mentioned at the beginning of this missive, immediately set about trying to obtain my personal financial information.

        • 1. Re: Adobe "technical support" chat -- a real concern
          Derek Cross Adobe Community Professional

          This is a user-to-user forum for technical issues with InDesign. InDesign CS4 is a very old version and, if you're a professional, it would be wise to upgrade to the latest version, InDesign CC2015.4

          • 2. Re: Adobe "technical support" chat -- a real concern
            Peter Spier Most Valuable Participant (Moderator)

            I'm sorry you had such a bad experience. I'm not sure why, if you really were at Adobe Support, this would have happened. The automatic response from all official Adobe help agents is that they no longer offer telephone or chat support for CS4 and you would need to ask your question here on the forum.


            Had you done that, it would indeed have taken one of our volunteers about 10 minutes to explain to you that you have an upgrade installer and would need either the serial number or a physical disk from the qualifying product (apparently Pagemaker, in this case), and thta if you had registered your copy of Pagemaker you could retrieve the serial number online by logging into your Adobe.com account using the ID you used when you registered (typically your email). Once logged in, choose manage Account, then My Products.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Adobe "technical support" chat -- a real concern
              Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              FYI: I'm not Adobe Staff but have access to them to some degree through working as a moderator and Adobe Community Professional.


              In our Moderators forum, we're asking Adobe Staff to investigate the way the Support Staff handled this case.


              We'll pass along anything we find out.

              2 people found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Adobe "technical support" chat -- a real concern
                Eugene Tyson Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                Well done Steve. I'm gravely concerned after reading this. I'm not a mod, but I was just about to escalate this case to whoever I could.


                To the OP - if you think there was a criminal act then contact your local law enforcement department.


                This is the first time in 20 years doing this that I've heard something like this!

                • 5. Re: Adobe "technical support" chat -- a real concern
                  georgen52659257 Level 1

                  I'd like to thank those who have responded to this discussion.  I think that it is important enough to cause concern.  BTW, my available time right now is limited.  As mentioned early on, the "Purchase Agreement" I was working on is in relation to selling our house and we have been frantically busy the past week or so.  So if I don't timely respond to additional queries, that is almost certainly the reason.


                  When I allowed my screen to be taken over by "Gaurav Sharma", he installed Adobe Connect on my machine.  Then after that, I was unable to communicate with him.  As previously mentioned, I twice saw titles of several of my financial institutions on "search" boxes.  I kept trying to type in "What are you doing?" but there was no communication allowed.  For about ten minutes, apparently nothing was going on: the mouse arrow was centered in the middle of the screen.  Eventually I became so concerned I just turned off the computer.  I still don't know what he was doing.


                  And in response to Peter Spieler: yes, I understand now.  I will never ever venture into that tech support chat again.  It was beyond belief.


                  I'll address the actual re-install of my CS4 on the other topic I initiated.

                  • 6. Re: Adobe "technical support" chat -- a real concern
                    Steve Werner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    We may have to wait until a weekday before we can get the staff we work with to help. They're on a Monday thru Friday schedule.