Ted, I’m hugely confused

You would think that buying things would be easy. I have money, with which I wish to part, you have a product, which you wish to sell. A match made in heaven right?

Apparently not. Last week, having scrimped and saved for a long time, we initiated an order for Adobe’s Creative Suite 4 Design Premium. As CS4 is so hugely expensive (€1999 ex vat), it exceeded the limit on our business credit card so I rang to place the order having found out that they do accept wire transfer. Much confusion ensued with the sales person assuming that I wanted to place a volume license order, and me having to explain that we only needed a single license, followed by her saying “Oh, if you can just give me your credit card details” and me then having to once again explain why we couldn’t order with credit card. This went on for a while until eventually it all became clear.

Finally, after a bit more confusion about what country we were resident in, the order was placed and we received a wire transfer payment request for €1923 inclusive of vat. I was somewhat baffled. This seems to have been some magical number that doesn’t equate to their advertised price for CS4 design premium, no matter what way I look at it. It’s not the US$ price (which equates to roughly €1300 – a disparity that causes me much irritation), and it’s not the ‘design standard’ price (as we initially feared). It’s just somewhere in between.

Still, I’m not going to complain if I actually get it cheaper than it’s meant to be.

Anyway, the fun really started when 4 days had passed since we made the wire transfer payment and absolutely no word was forthcoming from Adobe. We rang our bank to make sure the payment had definitely left. We rang their bank to make sure the payment had definitely been received (which it had), and then proceeded with phone calls to Adobe to find out the status of the order. This is where things started going wrong. Every person we spoke to had a conflicting version of what was going on. Most said either “that order number isn’t on our system”, or “that’s not even the correct format for an order number”, which didn’t exactly fill us with confidence. There then followed a multitude of phone calls trying to find out what the hell was going on with various customer service people stating we clearly didn’t make an order or telling us it was impossible because our email address is registered in the US. This, coupled with an annoying frequency of dropped calls whilst on hold, got me quite close to becoming seriously annoyed – with me needing to point out to the customer service agent that we’ve paid for something as instructed by Adobe with an Adobe order ID andno one can actually tell me what the hell is going on?!

Finally I managed to get back through to the original sales rep that I placed the order with, who, thankfully actually had the order details (why no one else could bring this information up I don’t know) and once I had explained the situation to her managed to handle everything quickly and calmly and we had our receipt of payment within 6 hours.

There’s still a few things I’m confused about, but at least the order seems to have gone through and we should receive a download link soon and then all will be well with the world (actually, I am assuming the worst and clearly we’re going to have all sorts of hassle with this in the future – I daren’t even imagine what confusion could occur with an upgrade process).