Storms in Adobe's Creative Cloud

ccIt’s been a hell of a year for Adobe. In May it announced that it was phasing out disc versions of Creative Suite, pushing its millions of users to its annual-fee Creative Cloud platform, starting in June. Said users did not take that news well, or quietly. On Oct. 3rd, things went from bad to worse when the company’s user data was hacked, releasing the personal information and payment details of an estimated 38 million people.

Now, hundreds of users have begun to complain that they’re encountering problems paying for their Creative Cloud subscription, resulting in threats of license termination. The UK’s PC Pro sums the problem up nicely:

“Anyone who has subsequently registered a new credit card with Adobe – either because of the breach or because it has expired – is now unable to process their monthly payments, according to the reports.”

Adobe has since acknowledged the problem, blamed it on a server error, and fixed it for some users. Naturally this has given people already upset with Adobe’s press ganging of users into Creative Cloud more fuel to stoke their anger.

It’s a sad state of affairs all around. While many wish the company had alerted users to the security breach earlier than they did, it’s not really fair to blame them for the cyber attack, nor the subsequent problems that have arisen since. The fact remains that pretty much anybody with enough knowledge who wants to break into a computer system can, regardless of the security in place to slow them down. And those break-ins have consequences.

What Adobe is responsible for is its handling of the situation. Like the roll-out of Creative Cloud earlier this year, public communications from the company concerning the cyberattack have been virtually devoid of sympathy for the trouble its actions and reactions have caused those  who’ve loyally used their products for years, and who depend on them to put food on the table.

Just think for a moment of the panic a user feels receiving a wrongful CC termination notice. They’ve followed the rules, done everything right, and then get hit with this. Perhaps there is still some way to backup their CC files before they’re kicked off the service, but really how on earth would they know considering how complicated Adobe’s software has become this year?

Yes, it’s been a hell of a year for Adobe. It’s been a hell of a year for its users, too. Perhaps 2014 will be the year when the former moves toward treating its users less like employees and more like clients.

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