Editorial: Adobe Needs To Improve Their Support

Posted on by Larry

[ This commentary was first posted in my weekly newsletter on July 7, 2014. It drew such a response that I am reposting it here to allow more comments. ]

I was planning to write an article on Adobe Media Encoder’s latest features for this week’s newsletter. I like AME more and more these days, however, for whatever reason, AME (2014) won’t launch on my iMac running OS X 10.9.4.

I uninstalled the application – twice, cleaned up my system with a Safe Boot and Repairing Permissions. I even spoke nicely to my computer. Na-da.

So, I went to Adobe’s website to get some technical help. THAT was a mistake! Adobe, you need to spend serious time getting your Support site in order!

It should not require a phone call to India, or calling in favors from a friend, to get a simple technical question answered. It is IMPOSSIBLE to find an answer on Adobe’s support web site – and, when I do, it is often out-of-date, covers the wrong subject and doesn’t solve my problem.

This is unacceptable.

Try this for yourself. Go to Adobe’s website. Click the Search button. Type “Adobe Media Encoder 2014 won’t launch.” What are the first five hits?

The FIRST hit is from 2009??? Really?!!

Adobe has received deservedly hard knocks over its phone-based support services. But, they also need to look seriously at improving support over the web. Every time I’ve tried to use their website for technical questions, I get nonsense in response.

(Yes, I could contact my friends at Adobe and get personal attention. But, that doesn’t fix the issue of a badly-designed and implemented tech support website.)

I solved my problem by reverting back to an earlier release of Adobe Media Encoder. Which means I can’t write about the new version for a while.

It is hard for professionals to take Adobe seriously when Adobe is not serious about support.

As always, I’m interested in your opinions.

Larry


9 Responses to Editorial: Adobe Needs To Improve Their Support

  1. Roger Hayes says:

    CHEERS to you Larry for your rant about Adobe’s support website!! I thought I was the only one who found it utterly useless when looking for an answer to a question or problem. And I totally agree, if they suck at phone support (which they do), then they need to at least get their act together with web based support. Hopefully your comments will reach some influential people at Adobe who are in a position to finally do something about it!

  2. Hi Larry,
    First of all, I apologize for the poor experience you had when searching for support at adobe.com. The site has undergone some pretty big changes very recently and we are still working on some of its functionality. I will be sure to look into this matter and hope to provide a better support experience in the future.

    In the mean time, a better place to get quick answers to technical questions is on our official forums. Here is the link to the Adobe Media Encoder forum: https://forums.adobe.com/community/ame

    From the Help menu in Premiere Pro, choose Help > Adobe Premiere Pro Support Center and you will reach this page, which provides a link to support (http://helpx.adobe.com/premiere-pro.html: scroll down a bit to see support options).

    You can also contact support directly: https://helpx.adobe.com/contact.html

    As to the resolution to your issue, I would suggest that you might so the following:

    Enter your User Libarary
    1. Go to Library > Application Support and rename your “Adobe” folder to “oldAdobe”

    2. Go back to your ~/library folder and look for the folder /Preferences and rename your “Adobe” folder to “oldAdobe”

    3. Try to run adobe premiere cc again, accept the terms and conditions again, if necessary.

    4. The application should launch.

    If this does not work:

    1. Try temporarily removing any third party plug-ins you are using form the plug-ins folder.

    2. After doing so, attempt to relaunch.

    3. If it does relaunch without the plug-ins, shut down AME.

    4. Place plug-ins back in the plug-ins folder.

    5. Attempt to launch AME once more.

    6. The application should launch.

    Of course, feel free to email me should you need continued support. Thanks again to alerting us to the adobe.com issue.

    Regards,
    Kevin Monahan
    Support Product Manager, DVA
    Adobe

    • Larry says:

      Kevin:

      Thanks for the quick reply.

      As you redesign the website, please add a button for the forums. Unless we are told by an insider like yourself, how are we supposed to know where to find them? And if the forums are the best place to go for support, seems logical to provide a link.

      Thanks,

      Larry

      P.S. And, Kevin, your workaround worked perfectly. Thanks!!

  3. Hi Larry,
    I totally agree with you. It shouldn’t be that frustrating. I’ll be talking about this with my team and see what we can do to get folks to the forums from adobe.com more easily.

    Thanks,
    Kevin Monahan
    Support Product Manager, DVA
    Adobe

  4. Hi Roger,
    I’m sorry you had a poor experience with tech support over the phone. Next time, please make sure to ask to be escalated to the “video queue” so that you can get to right people for your issue. A quick tip: if you call over the weekend or after hours, you won’t have access to our video queue agents, which are actually quite good at solving problems.

    Regards,
    Kevin Monahan
    Support Product Manager, DVA
    Adobe

  5. Steve Kahn says:

    Hi Larry,
    Lot’s of unhappiness with Adobe’s tech support. When the hold time is long, they suggest you leave your phone number to be called back. Never do that, because they won’t. They might call in a few days and say that they tried to reach you multiple times but you didn’t answer the phone. Pure nonsense.
    We’ve had the same problem with render errors for over a year. Trashing the prefs as they suggest doesn’t work. I have been creating new programs and importing the older program. It works for a while and then the same old problem. Not sure how to get to the video queue, but maybe that will help.
    Best,
    Steve

  6. Brian Klein says:

    I agree with your sentiments Larry, and I hope Kevin is able to take this feedback and make a much better support experience. I have a feeling the product teams are not happy with what Adobe corporate is doing with the support sites, and if they had been given ownership of support, it would be a much better experience. (I have no knowledge of how this actually works at Adobe, I’m just making an assumption.)

    For what it’s worth, Google seems to give me better results than Adobe’s site ever did. And when you Google, you get results from Adobe’s support sites, but also Creative Cow and many random blogs. So that’s what I have done when Adobe’s search engines have failed me.

  7. Alvaro Tobar says:

    Hi Larry,

    Sorry to learn about your annoying experience, I have been there, unfortunately. I notice that Adobe’s tech support’s people tend to use the expression “escalate the issue” when unable to resolve a case. To me it translates as “good luck with that, ’cause we are not calling back”. In at least one occasion I asked to speak with the engineer who was seeing the escalated issue, but no luck. They could not put me through.

    The list of options Kevin gives you is ridiculous. Temporarily remove all plugins, accept the terms and conditions again, if applicable, etc. Reinstall the OS too?

    I don’t mean to be a jackass, but this is insane. Did Adobe totally drop the ball? It sure looks like it. For an expert user like you Larry, the original troubleshooting you did should have worked, period.

  8. Hi Alvaro,
    If you are ever unable to get your case solved, please contact me. Leaving a case unresolved is unacceptable. I would not say this is a regular occurrence, at least, not to my knowledge. Typically, I am able to escalate issues to the next support level without any trouble.

    BTW, the set of troubleshooting steps I gave is for OS X and third party plug-in issues. These are not solely Adobe issues and I do not think they are ridiculous if they solved Larry’s issue.

    As far as Larry using search at Adobe.com, I am personally taking action and seeing to it that search results for support articles improve for all customers.

    Thanks for understanding,

    Kevin Monahan
    Support Product Manager, DVA
    Adobe

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