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Adobe is being sued for making it too hard to cancel subscriptions

The United States Department of Justice (DoJ) has filed a lawsuit against Adobe. The San Jose-based tech company allegedly is giving customers a hard time to cancel their subscriptions.

“For years, Adobe has harmed consumers by enrolling them in its default, most lucrative subscription plan without clearly disclosing important plan terms,” it says in the lawsuit.

According to the DoJ, Adobe has failed to properly inform customers that if they subscribe for their services for a year, they also agree to pay a termination fee if they end their subscription early, costing them hundreds of dollars.

During enrollment, Adobe hides these terms in the fine prints and behind optional textboxes and hyperlinks. These disclosures therefore go unnoticed intentionally. When customers decide to cancel their plan, Adobe handles them with a complicated cancellation process. The company also threatens them by charging high cancellation fees, which are up to 50 percent of the remaining payments.

Through these practices Adobe has violated federal laws designed to protect consumers, the DoJ argues. The department is therefore seeking “injunctive relief, civil penalties, equitable monetary relief, as well as other relief”.

Dana Rao, General Counsel and Chief Trust Officer (CTO) at Adobe, opposes the claims.

“Subscription services are convenient, flexible and cost effective to allow users to choose the plan that best fits their needs, timeline and budget. We are transparent with the terms and conditions of our subscription agreements and have a simple cancellation process,” he says in a statement to press agency Reuters.

According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), subscription fees account for 95 percent of Adobe’s revenues. The antitrust and consumer protection agency filed a similar lawsuit against the tech company last year. The FTC concluded that Adobe knowingly complicated the subscription termination process.

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