jump to navigation

Adobe Flex Builder purchase debacle February 25, 2008

Posted by spikew in Flex.

Wow. Adobe Flex Builder 3 went final today.  I’ve been on the beta for many months now and have liked it.  I immediately went to upgrade my copy Flex Builder 2, and what a disaster their online purchase experience is.  This is the first time I’ve purchased anything through the online store since Macromedia became Adobe.  Let me say the store merger hasn’t been kind.  Adobe creates great products, and having worked for Macromedia in the past, I know many of the engineering teams are top-notch.  But Adobe please, the let’s optimize the  purchasing system to let great products be exchanged for $$ more efficiently.

Here’s 2 hours of my life I’ll never get back…

Follow the link to upgrade my copy of Flex Builder.  99 bucks, what a deal!

Here’s my credit card… Purchased, downloaded serial numbers sent via email. Awesome. 

…Wait, now I see there’s a pro edition that wasn’t an option during my purchase.  I got standard. Crap I need pro for the charting. 

Let’s see how to call customer service to change.  The customer service links take me to a website.  Many of the links on the site are broken.


Lot’s of searching later, I have no luck finding a phone number, but their general FAQ says I can use their online system to return the product and buy the right one.

I try the return system, but it says I don’t have any products to return.  Jeez, well, maybe the system takes a while to see my purchase. 

I’ll just buy the right version anyway and work out returning the wrong version later.

Here’s my credit card… Purchased, downloaded serial numbers sent via email. Awesome.

Wait, my email doesn’t include the serial number, it says call customer service, but of course doesn’t include an number to call.  It does give me a link to contact customer service. Let’s try that.



Awesome, thanks for that.  Now I’m hosed. I already know you can’t find a phone number to call on their website. Let’s try some of the other links from the email.  Well the FAQ isn’t broken.  Ah, sweet, there’s a link to the customer service contact area. It even has a phone number!

Calling. Waiting.  Writing this blog post to focus my griping…

Waiting, Writing. Waiting, Writing.

Got a rep.  I explain the situation.  She gets it surprising well.  Needs to transfer me to the real customer service department. Gives me a direct phone# in case we’re disconnected (thank you!)

Waiting, writing.

Re-explain to everything to customer service.

“Sir, you have to wait 24 hours to cancel an order, you’ll need to call back to cancel”. Fine.  Let’s move onto the serial number for the pro edition I purchased.

“Sir, You should have received an email with your serial number”.

I got the email, but it said to contact customer service for the phone number.

“I need to create a case and may have to transfer you to the correct department.  Please wait 2-3 mins while I check on the Pro serial number.”

Waiting, writing.

“Sir, What browser are you using?” IE. What kind of Internet connection do you have? (what does that have to do with anything?)

“Sir did you get an error when checking out” No.

“Did you get an email with the serial number?” I as explained, the purchase completed, I got the serial number email, but the email says to contact customer service to get the serial number.

“Sir I need to create a case, please hold for 2-3 mins”

Waiting, Writing.

“Sir here is your case number.  You will be contacted within 48 hours about your issue.”. What the…I just need my serial number.

“Sir we don’t issue serial numbers, we are just customer service”.

OK fine whatever. Thanks.

To be continued…

Publish blog post.



1. Matt Chotin - February 25, 2008


We’re very sorry for all the hassles. We had a problem with the serial number system which is causing the delays for FB Pro. We’re hoping to have them worked out in the next few hours.

If you’re having problems with any notice that your trial is expired, please just make sure to remove the license.properties at:
Windows: %ALLUSERSPROFILE%\Application Data\Adobe\Flex\license.properties
Mac: /Library/Application Support/Adobe/Flex/license.properties

We should be able to have your serial number generated in the next 16 hours if all goes well.


2. spikew - February 25, 2008

Thanks for the update Matt.

I offer the following suggestions for Adobe:
– Make the availability of the pro-edition more obvious in the purchase workflow. It seems obvious now, but I completely missed the text about the pro edition my first time through. It needs to be part of the edition selection, not a blurb of text that gets lost in the noise of the page. BTW, I actually checked out some of the suggested additional purchases, had the Pro option been mentioned there I would have seen it.
– Fix the links in the serial# and receipt email to not be broken links.
– Make sure links from the purchase email take you to a place that includes a phone# to call if you need resolve issues with ordering.
– Put a note on your “software return” system saying that it takes up to 24 hours for purchases to appear in the list of software you can return.
– Run a link checker on the pages directly linked from the email to verify there are no broken links for at least 2 depth levels of web browsing. I hit a lot of broken links surfing from those links.
– If this issue is being hit by a lot of folks (which it may not be), notify your customer service team about known issues currently being worked on so they can tell customers something better than we’ll get back to you within 48 hrs. Especially on launch day.

3. Adobe Flex Builder 3 installation continued « Primordial - February 26, 2008

[…] So the Flex team has fixed the problem with Flex Builder Pro serial numbers that I wrote about yesterday. While I still haven’t heard back about the support ticket I opened yesterday, I was able to […]

4. lacerveseradelpedraforca.cat - May 26, 2013

Hi there, I check your new stuff regularly. Your writing style is witty, keep doing what you’re doing!

5. Kathryn - July 2, 2013

I’m curious to find out what blog system you happen to be working with? I’m
experiencing some small security problems
with my latest blog and I’d like to find something more safeguarded. Do you have any recommendations?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: