What’s happened to customer service? Adobe disappoints.

I am now on day 8 of an ongoing technical issue with Adobe.

I use Adobe Contribute. Or, should I say, I try to use Adobe Contribute. Contribute is a software platform that allows you to edit web pages from your browser without the need to know html. When it works, it’s a great program. I use it to make changes to a client’s website so they can review the pages before they are published.

Right now it’s not working.

No problem, I thought. Adobe is a company with the resources to provide appropriate technical support. So, I went to their Website and, like many companies, discovered that it’s far more difficult to find a phone number for a live person than it should be.

I know it’s more cost effective for them to send customers to technical support via an email submission form. I typed up my problem and sure enough, they got back to me in a few hours with a proposed solution. My real problem started when that suggestion didn’t work. I emailed them back and was promised that they’d have a new set of recommendations within 48 hours. That was on November 10th. Maybe they meant 48 days.

Now my issue is that I need that program to work. My client’s website is dynamic. They have new information that needs to be posted on a regular basis. After a few days I called Adobe again. This time I stuck it out. After being on hold for about 15 minutes I was connected to customer service. That person then transferred me to someone in technical support. Five more minutes of jarring on-hold music I reached a live person and explained my problem again. He didn’t know anything about Contribute. Five more minutes of on hold music and I got to another person in technical support. I explained my problem again. I was put on hold again. Seven minutes later I’m told that Contribute isn’t eligible for phone support and that I have to use the online submission form. Once again I explain that I’ve waited six days already and that I need some answers. Five more minutes on hold and then I’m promised that they will have an answer for me ASAP. The person on the other end of the phone in — maybe — India predicts an answer within 2 hours but certainly no more than 24 hours. Total time on the phone 32 minutes. Results? Nothing.

That was 2 1/2 days ago.

Yesterday I sent several emails and got no reply. I braved the phone system again yesterday afternoon. This time it took me only 8 minutes to reach my first live person. Once again I was transferred up and down the food chain and took a phone tour of several countries. Once again I’ve been promised that they will solve my problem and that this time they will call me. I just need to wait another 48 hours. No problem, I’ve just invested another 25 minutes or so on the phone. Total time talking to Adobe is now at about 55 minutes.

That’s not counting the time that I spent searching the user support forums or the time spent trying different solutions with my client’s IT director. It doesn’t include the time I spent rebuilding preferences, reinstalling the software or clearing the connections and installing new keys.

At this point I’m wondering if they simply don’t have anyone in the company who knows anything about Contribute. Is it possible that those people have vanished from the face of the earth?

Perhaps it’s time to learn DreamWeaver.

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