Why We Hate American Software Companies (Well, Adobe)

Actually, that’s a contentious one. We don’t really hate US software companies. Just some of them. Adobe in particular is winning no prizes for its pricing policy.

See the image below:

Adobe software is really expensive in the UK

Now, you may notice something… The purchase price of the UK software is, before taxes, £705 while the US software (presumably with taxes) is $999. I’m going to compare our tax free price with the US full price, simply because I can’t assume that the US price includes taxes – I just don’t know the US system that well.
Now if you’re not well up on exchange rates the figures may make the UK copy seem cheaper. But every one of our Great British Pounds will buy 2.03 of your now considerably Cheaper US Dollars.

So let’s work it out.

If bought in the US, the cost without taxes is:

US$999 = GB£492

If bought in the UK, the cost without taxes is:

GB£705 = US$1431

So there we go – we pay over 40% more to download Adobe Software in the UK than in the US. And pity us with our taxes – if you add VAT the price goes up to an equivalent of a whopping $1682. If there were shipping costs, or shop costs to take into account we could understand it. But this is software. It costs the same to deliver wherever the end user is if you’re using the Internet. While there are costs with accounting, they don’t add up to 40% extra.

The US economy isn’t doing that well, but do they really need to rape the wallets of overseas developers in order to improve the situation?

Oh, and I’ll leave it as an exercise to you to spot just how much of a rip-off the upgrade prices are. I wish I had a daughter just so I could forbid her from dating Adobe accountants and marketers.

  • An accountant 26 / May / 2011 at 12:50 pm

    Adobe is a US Company and should price in Dollars. If that does not work well for them then I will shed a tear. They account in dollars and so it will simplify everything. One product, one price. It is their duty as the US is a signatory to the World Trade Agreement. They are supposed to be on a level playing field for all customers.

  • Laura 25 / May / 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Hi, has anybody else tried using a “fake” US address and then buying the product in dollars for download to the EU?

  • Tony 17 / May / 2011 at 8:00 am

    One of the main reasons Adobe charge customers outside the US more for their software, is because they think they can get away with it. They know that as much as some of us grumble, most of us think there is little we can do about it.

    In the 21st century it makes no sense that I can’t download Adobe product for the same price as their customers in the US and while individually there probably isn’t much I can do, I wonder if collectively we could organise ourselves to get Adobe to take notice of us?

    For this reason there is a new Google Groups email list at http://groups.google.com/group/adobepricing the idea behind the group is to discuss ways to get Adobes attention and ultimately change what is an antiquated pricing policy.

    If there are enough of us we may be able to use our numbers to get Adobe’s attention by organising disruptive events such as calling Adobe support or sending an email to complain, although this would need a large number of us to be effective.

    If you think paying more for Adobe Software because you’re not living in the US is grossly unfair in a globalised world, please consider joining our group.

  • Russ 28 / Apr / 2011 at 1:49 pm

    We in Australia also have the same rip off pricing policy to contend with. Here is a copy of an email I sent to Adobe today.

    “First, finding how to contact Adobe by email is a friggin nightmare. For that, you suck.
    Second, the international pricing policy of Adobe is discriminatory and sucks.
    Third, I have worked out how to get your products at US Dollar prices anyway, and with your dollar so far down the shitter that you will need a mining licence to find it, I hope it hurts like hell that I figured it out.
    Fourth, if I had not worked out how to get around your stupid international “lockout” system, I wouldn’t buy your products – period.
    Fifth, the buying public have cottoned onto the global economy and have long since learned to treat your pricing practices with contempt. Just Google “Adobe price ripoff” for a selection of how much your company is hated.
    Sixth, your business model is doomed to fail. You cannot keep on brazenly ripping off customers and think that they will keep taking it up the anus. People will stay away in droves and the first sign of a competitors product that will do for them what they need will see them vanish from your books.
    Seventh, people HATE Indian call-centres, especially those that promise to look into your complaint and then do NOTHING.

    So, in conclusion, I am happily spreading the word by the Internet so that all and sundry can use my workaround to get your software at the fair price. May all those whom came up with this outrageous ripoff policy suffer from acute, chronic pain in their rear passage – just as they are trying to give to us (unsuccessfully suckers.)”

    My work around is simple. I Googled until I found a US address and telephone number (a restaurant in my case). Then I set up a Hotmail account. Then I logged into the US store for Adobe, set up an account using the bogus details and ordered the software. When it came time to pay for it I used a credit card because I know that Paypal will give away the fact that I’m outside the US. After this Adobe kindly sent me the serial numbers to the Hotmail account. I then downloaded a trial version from the Australian store and used the serial numbers to register it. No problems!

  • Tom Winn 2 / Nov / 2008 at 3:16 pm

    Here in the US tax is never included in the purchase price because it depends on what county and state you live in.

    Hopefully they’ve fixed their pricing for the CS4 release.

  • Jonathan Swift 28 / Jul / 2008 at 9:33 pm

    Step 1: Contact someone in the U.S.

    Step 2: Wire them some money.

    Step 3: Have them buy the software for you and mail it to you.

    Step 4: Save lots of money.

    It’s not that hard.