Adobe’s hidden cancellation fee is unlawful, FTC suit says

To lock subscribers into recurring monthly payments, Adobe would typically pre-select by default its most popular “annual paid monthly” plan, the FTC alleged. That subscription option locked users into an annual plan despite paying month to month. If they canceled after a two-week period, they’d owe Adobe an early termination fee (ETF) that costs 50 percent of their remaining annual subscription. The “material terms” of this fee are hidden during enrollment, the FTC claimed, only appearing in “disclosures that are designed to go unnoticed and that most consumers never see.”

↫ Ashley Belanger at Ars Technica

There’s a sucker for every corporation, but I highly doubt there’s anyone out there who would consider this a fair business practice. This is so obviously designed to hide costs during sign-up, and then unveil them when the user considers quitting. If this is deemed legal or allowed, you can expect everyone to jump on this bandwagon to scam users out of their money.

It goes further than this, though. According to the FTC, Adobe knew this practice was shady, but continued it anyway because altering it would negatively affect the bottom line. The FTC is actually targeting two Adobe executives directly, which is always nice to hear – it’s usually management that pushes such illegal practices through, leaving the lower ranks little choice but to comply or lose their job.

Stuff like this is exactly why confidence in the major technology companies is at an all-time low.


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