So here we are – Adobe has officially made their Photoshop Photography Program available for purchase online. If you already own Photoshop CS3 or higher you are eligible for a Creative Cloud membership for just $9.99/month that includes Photoshop CC, Lightroom 5, 20GB of online storage, access to creative cloud training resources, and ongoing upgrades and discounts.
But wait till you read the fine print!
In addition Adobe has promised that the $9.99 is “not an introductory price. It is the price for those of you who sign up by December 31, 2013.” (You can read that quote from Adobe here).
Photoshop fan-boys have been rejoicing and dancing in the streets for this, and everyone in the Photography community is expecting to get Photoshop and Lightroom Creative Cloud subscriptions for just $9.99 per month for as long as they maintain their membership. Below is an answer from their FAQ here.
Note how clearly they state that, “this price is not a special introductory price for your first year only; it is the standard price for this level of membership. But if you cancel your membership in the future, you will not be able to re-join at this special price.”
So it is a lock, right? I get Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5 for life for $9.99 as long as I maintain my membership.
But wait, there’s more…
In my email inbox today I find these 2 emails. Note the highlighted areas.
Let us take a look at this in detail.
As Adobe clearly states above, “all for US$9.99/month for as long as you continue your membership.”
But taking a look at the fine print under Renewal it clearly states, “After the first 12 months, we will automatically renew your contract based on the current price of the offering.”
Whoa wait a second. That seems to completely contradict their first statement. Where is my $9.99/month for as long as I continue my membership??
Let us take a look at the other email I received today. I received this other email because I subscribed to the single app Photoshop for $9.99 for the first year under their initial CC plan offerings before they announced the Photoshop Photography Plan.
How nice – they automatically upgraded me to the Photoshop Photography Program.
They even remind me that, “Your current membership price of US$9.99/month is not changing, and it’s no longer for your first year only – it’s now your standard price going forward.*”
But then in the fine print, it says, “At the end of your current 12-month contract, you will automatically be renewed based on the then-current price of this offering.”
Again Adobe claims a price of $9.99/month as long as I continue my membership, but then adds that after a year I will be renewed based on the current price.
How can they do that?
I wondered the same thing, so I called Adobe. The first time I called it said I had a wait time of 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes before I could speak to someone. Wow!
I called back, tried different extensions, and after a 13 minute wait I got ahold of a sales rep for the Creative Cloud. I asked him first what happens to my subscription after one year because it seems like it should stay at $9.99 but also looks like it will change.
His response was, “yes that is the price for the year and we don’t know what it will be in the future.”
When I asked how can they say the price will stay the same, yet change he said he needed to put me on hold and go get the answers. I hung up after waiting 30 minutes for him to return to the conversation.
So what does this mean?
Note the key wording above from the FAQ on Photoshop Photography Program where it says, “the standard price for this level of membership.”
This has to be key for Adobe. “This level of membership” includes Lightroom 5 and Photoshop CC. Come next year, do they keep this level of membership (Photoshop CC and Lightroom 5) and add a new level of membership for newer products, say Photoshop CC2 and Lightroom 6 for $19.99/month?
That is probably my guess – if you want to continue at $9.99 you will be stuck with old software and they will come out with a new CC yearly contract plan for more money and for the current versions – again purely a guess but I can’t see any other way in this.
Yet another reason why I can’t stand what Adobe is doing with the Creative Cloud subscription and why I continue to not recommend the Creative Cloud for most photographers.
What do you think? Is Adobe screwing us photographers yet again? Does anyone really trust Adobe anymore?
Sound off in the comments below.