Why is Adobe trending on Twitter? Software company facing cancellation fee backlash

Users of the software claim to feel 'trapped' by high fees

In this photo taken on April 16, 2020, a general view shows the Indian office of US multinational computer software company Adobe in Bangalore. - Coronavirus is permanently shaking up the global outsourcing industry as lockdowns from Bangalore to Manila prompt firms to "reshore" jobs and, with AI, to move further away from needing humans at all. (Photo by Manjunath Kiran / AFP) / To go with 'INDIA-HEALTH-VIRUS-COMPUTERS-BUSINESS' by Ammu Kannampilly, with Cecil MORELLA in Manila
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American software company Adobe is trending on Twitter after a user shared his frustration over an unusually high cancellation fee when trying to cancel his subscription to the platform.

The user shared a screenshot that showed he was being charged a cancellation fee of A$291.45 ($222) for ending his subscription early. The tweet drew a lot of attention with others users also claiming to feel trapped with such an expensive fee.

However, this isn't the first instance where someone has taken to Twitter to express their distain over the difficult process. Last year a woman named Tanya Janca also shared her experiences while trying to cancel her monthly subscription to Adobe Acrobat Pro.

She had been charged $119 through a $14.99 a month subscription after not realising she had been on an auto-renewal system. When she tried to cancel after only having used the service once, she was told she would have to pay $30. She says when she tried to cancel the automatic renewal, there was no online option to do so.

Instead, she chatted with customer service, where she was told  that her only option was to pay to end her subscription early or wait until her subscription period officially ended and then cancel.

Instead, Janca took to Twitter where she complained to her 32,000-plus followers about what had transpired. Her tweet was noticed by someone at Adobe and she got her subscription cancelled without having to incur a fee.

"This solves this for me personally, but not other users," she tweeted after the issue was resolved.

Is Adobe’s subscription cancellation fee legal?

Despite the high fee for early cancellation, some users have pointed out that it is actually mentioned in Adobe’s terms of service agreement when a user agrees to purchase a subscription.

Under the “cancellation terms” on Adobe's website, they state that a user is free to cancel their subscription anytime via the Adobe Account page or by contacting Customer Support and a full refund will be process if it's within a two-week window.

“If you cancel within 14 days of your initial order, you’ll be fully refunded. Should you cancel after 14 days, your payment is non-refundable, and your service will continue until the end of that month’s billing period,” states the Adobe website.

However, it's the annual contract that seems to be causing the most backlash as it they appear to have the highest fees. Under an annual subscription that's paid monthly, Adobe states that if a user cancels within 14 days of their initial order, they will be fully refunded.

However, if they try to cancel after that period, they’ll be charged a lump sum amount of 50 per cent of their remaining contract obligation and that the subscription will continue under the end of that month’s billing period.

For those who pre-pay for the entire year, the same terms apply within the 14-day window. But it is stated that if a user wants to cancel after that time frame, “payment is non-refundable and your service will continue until the end of your contracted term.”