Adobe January 24, 2013 at 8:14 am

Report your issues to Adobe or else!

A new Flash Player has come out and it is worse than before or perhaps the Adobe CS Suite is nuking itself randomly.  What do these issues both have in common you might ask?  The answer is that you’ve not told Adobe about your issues.  Or maybe you have…once…a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.  Either way, it is time to bring your issues to Adobe’s attention.  We can’t expect anything to get fixed unless we are willing to take a few moments to tell Adobe that we are having problems.  If you complain that Adobe’s products are getting worse and worse yet you have not told them about it, it is no better than expecting your spouse or significant other to read your mind.

Look at Acrobat 9 as a case study.  Acrobat 9 was awful when it came to deploying it on OS X.  You had to do all types of hacky things to get it to work without prompting the user for admin rights.  On top of that there was no good way to license it except for grabbing a copy of the licensing database…which if installed on a machine with a CS on it already, it would break the other products.  Now look at Acrobat X.  It is majorly improved…it is a proper Apple Package AND it has a licensing method that works.  Is it perfect?  No product is perfect, but it is so greatly improved over Acrobat 9 that I have to think they heard the complaints and addressed them.

Get on it!  Tell Adobe what your struggles have been with their products as of late.  I talked with Jody Rodgers and he provided links and information on how to best communicate your struggles.  The TLDR (Too Long, Didn’t Read) is as follows:

Follow Common Courtesy

  • Use your real name.  We are all professionals and this keeps us accountable.
  • Be specific about the issues you are having.  Think about how frustrating it is when an end user is vague when describing a problem to you.  Don’t do the same.
  • Make it clear how much the issue impacts your org.  If licensing blew up on all your CS installs, make it clear how many machines and how it has negatively impacted your people.
  • Don’t be a jerk.  You attract more bees with honey than with vinegar.  Be respectful and clear.  Leave out as much frustration-fueled talk as you can.  A little is ok, they can handle it.

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If you are interested in more details regarding submitting issues to Adobe, check them out here.

About Nate Walck

Nate is a Systems Reliability Engineer at Dropbox, Inc in San Francisco, CA. He runs afp548.com along with Sam Keeley and is one of the founding members of the ##osx-server IRC channel on freenode.net. He loves being involved in the Mac Admin community and using Open Source projects whenever possible, especially Munki, The Luggage and Puppet.

5 Comments

  • Done via Dear Adobe. Do they actually read that?

  • I don’t pile on if my problem is already documented, so Adobe rarely hears from me directly. Until there is a fix, I generally use the previous working version, which leads to the “tell them once” practice that Nate mentions. If they don’t fix a deployment issue in time for the beginning of an academic term, it could be months before I look at it again. In my labs, we’re still running CS5.5 even though we own CS6 licenses. Thus, they won’t hear me complain about the recent CS6 authorization bug because it didn’t affect me.

    The real question for me is: does Adobe as a company want us to pile on to show them that a reported problem is “real” or do they treat all detailed issue reports as important? Nate seems to be suggesting that the former is true.

  • A few years ago when we were faced with thousands of Mac users and no easy way to deploy CS to them, we followed this route. Polite, formal emails to Adobe to alert them about the time/effort wasted trying to deploy their very expensive software. Throw a number at them and make it clear that their software is even more expensive than the high initial cost. The emails were followed by conference calls, and eventually we got Jody (their Casper guy) and he initiated AAMEE.

    AAMEE has been a blessing, but it’s really a big huge roll of duct tape. The root of the issue was and continues to be the incapable/incompetent Installer Developer team at Adobe…the result of chasing profits and cutting costs. That translates in Adobe staffing up with cheap, offshore staff who sit comfortably thousands of miles away, never worrying about being accountable for the cr@p they deliver. They’re cheap, so Adobe is going to protect them. Ask Scott Forstall who ends up taking the blame… ;)

    Public lambasting, community revolt, that’s all effective, but it has to be balanced with those formal emails.

    Make sure you copy your Adobe rep, copy Jody Rodgers and Karl Gibson, and if possible copy Victoria Selwyn.

    Keep the pressure on…or Adobe will just ride out the storm. It’s gotta be a tsunami or nothing is going to change.

    Don

  • Good luck finding their email addreseses or phone numbers…

    http://www.adobe.com/leaders.html

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