DOJ Sues Adobe Over Alleged Misleading Subscription Practices

Apple has decided to end its Apple Pay Later service and is now integrating with Affirm to streamline installment loan services. This move aims to provide users with a more seamless experience in managing installment payments.

With Affirm’s established platform, Apple users will benefit from transparent and flexible payment options, avoiding some of the pitfalls that have emerged with other subscription models.

Adobe offers its Creative Cloud products on a subscription basis, predominantly using annual contracts disguised as monthly payments. Customers who sign up for what they believe is a monthly plan often find themselves locked into a year-long contract with steep penalties for early cancellation.

This setup leads to confusion and unexpected costs for many users who initially think they can cancel their subscription at any time without significant financial consequences.

DOJ Sues Adobe Over Alleged Misleading Subscription Practices
DOJ Sues Adobe Over Alleged Misleading Subscription Practices

If customers wish to cancel their Adobe subscription before the end of the annual contract, they must pay 50 percent of the remaining contract value, even though the service ends immediately.

While Adobe does offer a month-to-month subscription option, it is significantly more expensive than the monthly cost of the annual contract. This pricing structure and the lack of clarity regarding the differences between subscription plans contribute to customer dissatisfaction.

The Department of Justice (DoJ) has filed a complaint against Adobe, alleging that the company’s subscription practices violate the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act (ROSCA).

Adobe is accused of using fine print and inconspicuous hyperlinks to obscure critical information about the Early Termination Fee from consumers. This tactic has reportedly led to Adobe profiting substantially from hidden fees while misleading consumers about the true costs associated with their subscriptions.

The DoJ’s complaint also highlights that Adobe has not provided a straightforward way for customers to cancel their subscriptions. Instead, the cancellation process is described as convoluted and filled with unnecessary steps, delays, and unsolicited offers, making it difficult for subscribers to terminate their service.

The lawsuit seeks consumer redress, monetary civil penalties, and a permanent injunction to prevent Adobe from using such practices in the future, aiming to ensure transparency and fairness in subscription services.

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