- Reboot. Open package. Look for installation instructions (none). Open DVD case. Look for installation instructions (none). Pop the unnumbered DVD labeled “Application” into the drive. Wait for the autorun popup. Click Install. Watch progress bar. Wait one hour.
- Acrobat 8 failed to install. Cross fingers and try installing again. Wait another hour. Same failure.
- Call Adobe Technical Support at 9:01. Get right through. That Chris, he’s a helluva guy. Two hours on the phone with Chris because you cannot simply uninstall Acrobat like any normal program by clicking a button. No. After clicking the button, you have to dig through approximately seventy gazillion folders to delete individual files, some of which refuse to be deleted, even after rebooting in a special mode that’s supposed to let you; and then you have to dig through the registry, deleting many, many keys scattered throughout.
- Bye, Chris (11 a.m.). Try installing Creative Suite 3 again. One hour. Successful install.
- Start one of the updated applications. Check adobe.com for updates. Download and install updates. One hour and thirty-nine minutes.
- Call Adobe Customer Support and raise holy hell. Demand compensation in the form of free fonts or free software. Speak with three people who swear they can’t do that and a fourth who offers me a book on getting started with Adobe applications (after I told her I’ve been using their software for over twenty years) and then reconsiders when my pitch rises. She thinks maybe she can send me some fonts I want. Fifty-one minutes.
This is not the first time. It is, instead, fairly typical.
Most software companies take responsibility for their own errors and offer some sort of maintenance plan that, in exchange for a modest annual fee, entitles the customer to free updates. Adobe takes the approach that anything that goes wrong is the customer’s fault and if Adobe makes a mistake, the customer has to pay for it.
That’s not a long-term strategy for customer satisfaction.