Adobe Continues To Exploit UK & European Customers With CS Prices

Adobe announced its new slice of creative application bloatware this week, Adobe CS, and now the word on pricing shows the company is once again gouging UK and European customers on price, even while most UK journalists stay silent on the company’s seeming exploitation.

We’ve seen Adobe do this before. And while most Mac journalists seem unwilling – scared, perhaps? – to take the company on on price, so hats off to Mac User which disses the dirt on Adobe’s creative suite scam on UK prices…

“Adobe is charging US $2,599 — £1,692 — for the Master Collection containing all the new software, but UK buyers must pay £2,303, 36% more (all quoted prices are exclusive of any tax).

“Similarly a single copy of Photoshop CS5 costs $699 — £455 — in the US, but £548 in the UK, an increase of 20%.

“To upgrade from any CS 2,3,4 or 5 edition to the Master Collection US users must pay $1,299 — £845; UK users must pay £1,270 — 50% more,” the report explains.

It’s not just the UK, the discrepancy is even higher in other EU countries, MacUser informs.

Adobe says the cost of doing business in the UK is “significantly higher” in the UK and Europe than in the US. Maybe. So why not sell the applications as downloadable software packages as shareware authors do, and reduce distribution prices?

It’s only software after all. Empires can fall. They are nothing without customers. Even if the journalists who represent those customers are being insufficiently critical.

7 thoughts on “Adobe Continues To Exploit UK & European Customers With CS Prices

  1. John Lockwood

    Adobe has (falsely) claimed for years that the cost of doing business in the UK is significantly higher. This would be based presumably on claims that salaries, housing/office rents, taxes, etc. are higher.

    If this was so, every single US company would charge similar levels over the US price, clearly many (most) do not.

    As it happens, the price differential shown above is actually significantly lower than in the past, when some Creative Suite prices were 97% more expensive than the identical US version (both in English of course), this was comparing Adobe’s own US and UK webstores so they could not even blame resellers, and when EXCLUDING sales taxes. This is also despite the fact that the Pound is worth much less than in the past, based on Adobe’s history this should have been an excuse for a further level of price gouging.

    It should be noted that Adobe’s US headquarters are based in Palo Alto and the costs there are fully comparable with even London property costs. As Adobe UK are based up in Scotland where property and salaries are much lower than London, their argument is shown as the baseless lie it is. There is no way our friends north of the border are being paid more than Adobe staff in California. Remember also, that US employees typically have to pay a LOT for healthcare for their employees whereas in the UK employees have to rely on the NHS and other than the fat-cats at the top typically don’t get private healthcare.

    It literally is cheaper to fly to New York, buy Creative Suite, fly back, and pay all the VAT and customs duties. Adobe try and stop US resellers shipping to customers outside the US so they (Adobe) can keep on ripping off their customers.

    This behaviour only harms Adobe themselves.
    1. It encourages piracy
    2. It discourages customers from buying additional copies
    3. It encourages customers to skip upgrades (I skipped over CS3 for our company)
    4. It encourages grey-importing or ‘tourist shopping’

    I shall be skipping CS5.

  2. John Lockwood

    Oops, I meant US _employers_ have to pay a LOT for healthcare for their _employees_.

  3. Sue Denim

    Here’s some math: U.S. sales are probably 10 times UK sales, but UK sales have added taxes, costs, salaries all being amortized over a smaller market. To sell in the UK you have to have an expensive presence in the UK (sales, promotion, advertising, legal, support, govt. compliance, taxes, taxes, etc), with much lower sales covering them. Throw in costs to port (adding ‘u’s to things like Colour) and the related QA costs. Shipping, distribution, promotion. All your corporate costs are spread out over a smaller sales pool. All those are on top of the costs to do the U.S. version. It all adds up, and you pay the price.

    Instead of gouging, I suppose they could just release the U.S. only version, offer no support (or only U.S. support and hours), no promotion, etc., and make you buy them from overseas distribution — but I suspect that many people would complain about that as well.

  4. John Lockwood

    I am sorry Sue, but those excuses just don’t stand up. For the UK there is no localisation, I just double-checked and they have NOT translated color to colour, and even if they had, that would hardly justify hundreds of pounds of gouging.

    As to Adobe support, that is a joke I hope!

    Once again I remind you, Palo Alto costs are as high as London and far higher than Scotland.

    I have worked in distribution and retail in the past, one reason for ripoffs which does not apply to Adobe, is that often a US manufacturer will give an international distributor the same discount as a mere US retailer would get. The international distributor then has to add a markup to give to the international dealer, and the international dealer then marks up the price to sell to the international customer. On top of that the international distributor not the manufacturer is typically having to pay the advertising, support, etc. costs. It would be fairer if the manufacturer gave the distributor a bigger margin to recognise these extra costs.

  5. Sue Denim

    You miss the point: USA is a greater market, where they started and a price they have to pay. (They make Apps in the U.S. for the U.S. market). The UK localization and presence is a cost on top of that, that has to be added on top of the U.S. costs.

    As you said, distribution in the UK is on top of the U.S. costs as well. But Adobe has a direct presence — whether they have to give extra layers of distribution their cut, or they do it themselves, it is still an additional cost.

    Do you think the costs of the UK presence, including taxes, legal, support, localization, testing, marketing, distribution, taxes, regulation compliance, liability, staff, over a much smaller market (that has higher piracy) could add 20% to the cost of a product? I do. Adobe does. You don’t.

    Some call that gouging. But if the EU and UK had a less anti-business atmosphere, maybe Photoshop and other Apps would have been created there in the first place, and Americans would be complaining. So rather than vilifying Adobe, I’d be looking at Labour Party Polices over the last few decades.

  6. Jonny Post author

    Completely disagree. It’s gouging, Stop apologising for it, it is silly. if every shareware developer can manage a unified price, so can everyone else. So maybe the americans should pay more.

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