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Maybe you want to try out a product for a little while before you make a long-term decision. So, you sign up for a monthly subscription plan. Everything is fine until you want to cancel and it turns out to be a yearly subscription with monthly payments. Surprise! That’s what the FTC says happened to people who signed up for monthly subscriptions with Adobe.

When people signed up on Adobe’s website for access to its software, the FTC says Adobe pre-selected the option for its “annual paid monthly” plan that put subscribers on the hook for a whole year of payments, paid in monthly increments — a fact that Adobe failed to explain or properly disclose. The lawsuit says Adobe used similar tactics when people signed up for a free trial and didn’t cancel before the trial ended. Adobe automatically placed them on the “annual paid monthly” plan without making it clear they were entering a one-year contract.

When people tried to cancel before the year was up, they had to pay a hefty early termination fee (which was hidden during the signup process). The fee, along with other hurdles Adobe uses in its cancellation processes, made it difficult to cancel the subscription. Some subscribers who had contacted customer service even thought they had successfully canceled, only to find out later that Adobe was still charging them.

When you’re thinking about a subscription:

  • See what others are saying online. Search for the company’s name and the word “subscription” plus words like “complaint,” “problem,” “cancel,” and “fee” to see if people are having trouble with their subscription.
  • Check the terms and conditions for free trial offers. If the subscription includes auto-renewals, you’ll be charged unless you cancel before the end of the free trial period.

The law says businesses have to give you a simple way to cancel a paid subscription with automatic billing. If you have trouble canceling a subscription service:

Cancel subscriptions

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June 17, 2024

Thank you!

Dennis (Skip) …
June 17, 2024

This is really excellent info.

Rezella McDonald
June 17, 2024

This is happened to me excatly. I ended up having to pay $215.90 in February.

Tim C
June 18, 2024

In reply to by Rezella McDonald

This will certainly result in a class action lawsuit so watch out for an email notification! Unfortunately, you'll likely only get a fraction of your money back and it'll take a couple of years for it to make it's way through the system.

Hank Rodgers
June 17, 2024

Thank you for the excellent work you are doing; and, yes, the automatic charging of bank accounts and credit cards for hard to cancel "subscription" services are a growing problem. We must think too of the problem for heirs trying to cancel subscriptions for deceased relatives.

June 17, 2024


June 17, 2024

This is something I have been looking for regarding a monthly subscription that is hard to cancel.

June 17, 2024

Home delivery for prescriptions.
I opted into this, and when an order came up missing, I then tried to opt out, this situation is totally still going on.
The home delivery system for pharmacy is: in my opinion, messed up!
Finally exhausted trying to cancel because, they keep texting me and emails never stop, even if you call them, it never stops.

Wellington Sun
June 17, 2024

The FTC should enforce consumer protection laws on the books. Can it in this case?

Charlene Cole
June 17, 2024

Thank you so much. I subscribed in 2021. You are absolutely necessary. Thanks for all you do. IRS agent told me my account was sold on black web. Canon sold me via Walmart, an pixma MG 3620 printer that cannot be used with any newer Apple IOS. Mine is 17.5.1, iPhone 13.
There was no way to know except to buy it

Mickie Lewis
June 17, 2024

I just spent an afternoon on the phone with Adobe after they were double billing me for a high end monthly/yearly subscription that I never signed up for and was noted in their accounts as "never used." The Adobe policy is "they will only go back six months" on billing issues; I received some of my money back but since they were pulling from my PayPal account, funds were taken from almost all my credit cards for close to two years. $34 a month with double billing for close to two years is no small chunk of change that they won't refund to my credit cards. On top of the financial loss, this is Adobe...everyone uses them. They are supposed to be a trusted company. In the past, there were certain companies that a consumer knew they could trust, and it was shocking when there was a diversion from the trusted practices, ex. Wells Fargo. These days I'm shocked when I hear you can trust anyone...any vendor or retailer. At what point do we create a true checks and balances holding companies accountable for this "integrity theft." That's what this is...integrity is defined as telling the truth when no one is looking. When a consumer sits at their computer alone and signs up for a product and isn't told the entire truth or the "extra" truths are on a separate page connected to a tiny link at the bottom of the site, this is integrity theft. It's your word against theirs and no one is really looking at specifics. When will this be confronted and then addressed? I work with clients every day that pay huge fines, receive felony charges and go to jail for much, much less. Maybe Adobe's executives need to lose a weekend to a cement cell and baloney sandwiches; maybe if we begin to hold the people accountable for the decisions made in companies, we might see a return to decency, integrity and respect for the consumer and truth in advertising. This is just one person's opinion, but it is worth consideration...Thank you, FTC, for validating my concerns over a company that I wish I never had to use again but have to use almost every day. Best, Mickie Lewis

Doreen Burkey
June 20, 2024

In reply to by Mickie Lewis

Mickie, I definitely feel your pain! As an aside, PayPal is another one to be extremely careful with. I see more and more things available with a PayPal account. IMO, it is much easier to deal with one reputable credit card. Then you can have all of your transactions in one place. It has been my experience in the past that PayPal has too many hoops to jump through in order to resolve a charge done through them.

June 21, 2024

In reply to by Doreen Burkey

Yes, and the problem is people use PayPal like a bank. It's not. Don't leave money in there. It is not protected afaik. Not like a real bank, anyway. It's for transactions only in my mind. If I have to, one and done. No recurring.

June 17, 2024

Thank you for helping us fight those big corporations,

June 17, 2024

Great information!!
Thank you FTC

Kelly Musick
June 17, 2024

I think I fell prey to this. Is there a class action suit regarding this unfair practice of Adobe? If so, where do I get information about joining it?


June 20, 2024

In reply to by Kelly Musick

Ditto. Would like to know what action is being taken since Adobe pulled a fast one. Adobe also included an early cancellation fee too.

Olive D
June 18, 2024

Thank you for this valuable research and good news!
It's horrible that a well-known company would resort to this sort of trickery.
We're encouraged to read all the terms and conditions, but companies tend to bury things in fine print, and it becomes overwhelming. You'd think one could trust an established company like Adobe, but then this news underlines that no company can truly be trusted. I'm glad that the FTC is being more aggressive on behalf of all consumers.

Yvette Norris
June 18, 2024

I signed up for a free trial and canceled within the indicated time frame, then was charged a cancellation fee. Waiting to see if another charge appears on my bank account.

Lil Knapp
June 18, 2024

Thank you.. very informative!

Pete Hague
June 18, 2024

Exactly what happened, plus this year I thought I was paying for Adobe Pro, getting basic adobe.

Sonja Fischer
June 18, 2024

Thank you. I was told 3 free months and was charged the same month. It is scandalous.

June 18, 2024

It happened to me. Now I'm on the hook until Feb 2025 @$19.99/mo. Canceling now (Jun 24) would cost me an early cancellation fee of $69.99 in July. I called to cancel my annual subscription at the end of the term in Feb 2025, and was told that I would get a notice by email in Jan 2025 that I should cancel or renew. Do you believe them? I don't. It's now on my own calendar to contact Adobe to cancel. I feel ashamed at 63 years old to have been talen like this. Shame on you too, Adobe!

Joni Germaine
June 25, 2024

In reply to by TruthInAdvertising

If you HAVE to pay that " cancelation fee" , just do so and get out of it completely now. Otherwise you are paying a ton more if you wait till the end. That 69.99 fee is for nothing for 4 months, yes but if you wait through till Feb. of 25, you will be paying double that. Yes, it's unfair but it will save you half again If you just end it with them now.

Mary Dianna Di…
June 18, 2024

This behavior has become more and more aggravating and you are constantly auditing. It is illegal and now credit cards do not always wish to back it up. Grear

Anne Knape
June 20, 2024

Yes! Thank you! This is unethical and I’m so thankful that it’s being investigated and Adobe has to answer for their deceitful business practices.

Tim Kunze
June 20, 2024

I have fallen into that trap! I signed up for a seven-day free trial. A day or two before the end of the trial, I went online to cancel and was told that, if I wanted more time to decide, I could sign up for a month-to-month plan and cancel at the end of the month if I no longer wished to subscribe. NO MENTION of a penalty if I did so. Now, I've come to the end of the one-month and signed in to to cancel and was informed that I would be charged $109.95 as a fee for doing so. I have one day remaining on my month. Adobe's salesmen make used car dealers look like saints!!! Please add me to any lawsuit being pursued against Adobe.

Lisa Lee
June 20, 2024

Thank you

June 20, 2024

I have experienced this as an admin for my customer's Adobe accounts. Adobe makes it impossible to cancel a business account online or remove licenses for users that have left the company. You have to call Adobe to cancel which takes additional time and they will stall you and try to sell you a new subscription even though you have told them that you need to cancel the account for very clear and obvious reasons, i.e. the company is closing. I am grateful for this news and hope that it prompts Adobe to make changes.

June 20, 2024

They have been doing this for decades. This happened to me about 12 years ago. I had been a loyal customer since the early 1990s but no longer use Adobe products because the issue made me so mad.

Gordon Schmidt
June 21, 2024

Thanks. I was about to sign up, now I will be sure to check the correct box!

June 24, 2024

Excellent work! Thank you for taking the time to defend innocent people!

Karl M
June 24, 2024

Too clever for their own good Adobe crooks playing gotcha with customers just because they think ethics only apply when they are legal statutes. This speaks volumes about their lack of character. Some people will do anything for a buck.

June 24, 2024

Thank you.

July 01, 2024

Remeber folks, there is no free lunch. Nothing is free. Look at coupons, FB posts, etc. If there is anything that is offered for free it is a catch to get your information or scam you. THERE IS NOTHING FREE! Businesses exist to make money. You are the mark. if you can't figure out how they make money, YOU are the product! Time to wake up! Honest people are easily deceived. Approach anything from a business as a method for them to make money. NOTHING IS FREE!

Michelle Judd
June 25, 2024

Same thing happened to me! I tried to cancel, and they told me I was not able to. So, I am paying a monthly fee for something I don't even use anymore.

Jonathan D Knaier
June 26, 2024

This happened to me and my bank only refunded one of their fraudulent charges. Trial membership cancelled and then charges months later.

Susan A Beckett
July 10, 2024

I want in on the class action lawsuit. I am seriously displeased with Adobe, I have been struggling with them for over a year. The company makes it impossible to cancel!!!