Adobe’s Creative cloud annual subscriptions do not allow annual plan subscribers to turn off auto-renewal for their annual subscriptions, instead forcing users to manually cancel the subscriptions within the ~ 14 day period each year that the subscription can be canceled without paying a fee.
Adobe appears to indicate this within their subscription terms, but many customers still report being misled into believing that they would be able to cancel their subscriptions more easily. The Adobe annual contract terms state:
“You can cancel your subscription anytime via your Adobe Account page or by contacting Customer Support*. If you cancel within 14 days of your initial order, you’ll be fully refunded. Should you cancel after 14 days, you’ll be charged a lump sum amount of 50% of your remaining contract obligation and your service will continue until the end of that month’s billing period.”
Further, Adobe does not disclose this honorous cancellation policy on its checkout page. As such, Adobe violates CA BUS & PROF § 17602(a)(1):
“It shall be unlawful for any business…to…fail to present the automatic renewal offer terms or continuous service offer terms in a clear and conspicuous manner before the subscription or purchasing agreement is fulfilled and in visual proximity, or, in the case of an offer conveyed by voice, in temporal proximity, to the request for consent to the offer.”
As a result, customers find it exceedingly difficult to cancel the Adobe membership without paying a large fee to cancel, which was not disclosed conspicuously at the time of purchase.
A similar class action lawsuit was filed against Trustpilot in 2021, alleging that Trustpilot subjected its subscribers to deceptive business practices by sending auto-enroll emails that went to subscribers’ spam boxes, such that they would not be read until subscribers were charged.
The New York Times was also subject to a class action for violating California’s automatic renewal law by, among other things, making subscriptions exceedingly difficult to cancel. The case settled for $5.5M, with an attorney fee award of $1.25M.
Adobe’s terms of service contain an arbitration provision.