Adobe Needs To Do Better On Account Management

Image: Adobe

Like many people, I've had an account with Adobe for many years. That account has been used for downloading free software, a Creative Cloud subscription and for using the company's cloud services. I don't use the software anymore and have no use for their online services - which is more about my needs than a statement about their service quality.

But when I decided to delete my account this week I hit an unexpected hurdle. There's no option for a user to delete their own account.

After I logged into my account, I went to the account management menu and searched far and wide for options to delete my account completely from Adobe's systems. And while there were options for changing subscription options, there was no way to actually eradicate myself from their systems.

After spending half an hour on what ought to have been a five-minute job, I fired off a tweet to Adobe.

Adobe's support team messaged me back several hours later asking me to direct message my email address to them so they could remove the account for me. I did that and received a message back a little while later saying they had completed the task.

It's a little thing but disempowering users from being able to fully manage their accounts, including deleting their account, is a bad look and poor customer service. It reflects a lack of confidence, I think, in being able to retain customers purely on the quality of their products.

While Adobe hasn't been subject to a major data breach for over four years, new data breach laws around the world put the onus on businesses to protect customer data. And the easiest data to protect is the data you don't have. If users can easily delete their accounts from unwanted services then they are actually helping to reduce the impact, and therefore risks, associated with a breach.

And it's good customer service.


    "Deactivating" is not the same as deleting. I bet they still keep your data.

      It's almost a certainty that any account data in backups is not deleted, and is therefore open to "re-examination" at a future date, particularly by future owners of the service.

    I've hit a few places like this, and generally change all my details then set the email to a disposable account.

    I've had accounts that I've simply closed in the past, only to find that the company had been onsold and old accounts "accidentally" reopened.

    Last year when my work decided to pay for my CC instead of me funding it directly I cancelled my account with Adobe.

    I wanted my credit card information removed so it couldn't be part of a data breach. I spent a month trying to get it removed (no option to do it myself) including multiple contacts by phone and on chat (chat logs saved).

    Not only could they not achieve this monumental feat of deleting my credit card information they actually charged me for a month even AFTER I had cancelled my account and I had to apply to get a refund.

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