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FTC targets Adobe for deceiving consumers about early termination fees


The US Federal Trade Commission is taking action against creative software giant Adobe after alleging the company has employed deceptive pricing schemes to trap customers into subscriptions.

In December, Adobe told investors on its quarterly financial call that the FTC believed Adobe had been violating the Restore Online Shoppers’ Confidence Act. The company noted that it had been cooperating with the government agency since June 2022, and, at the time, believed that its practices complied with the law.

Now, a federal court complaint filed by the Department of Justice charges that Adobe had steered customers toward an “annual, paid monthly” subscription plan, without disclosing the hidden fees for canceling early.

When a customer decided they no longer needed or could not afford their Creative Cloud subscription, they would be charged 50% of the remaining subscription if they attempted to cancel.

Additionally, it was not always easy to figure out where or how one could cancel their subscription in the first place. To cancel, customers would often have to reach out to customer service.

Worse still, many customers were told their subscription had been canceled, only to discover that Adobe was still charging them.

The FTC has included a helpful blog to explain the situation, as well as offering suggestions for how to avoid predatory billing practices. It wisely suggests that before you sign up for any subscription, research others’ experiences attempting to cancel the service.

It also suggests ensuring you make note of when a free trial ends so you can avoid a surprise bill.

In the event that you find yourself facing difficulty when it comes to canceling a subscription, the FTC directs consumers to dispute unauthorized credit charges with their debit or credit card company. Consumers are also encouraged to report the incidents at

The FTC has been pushing to make it easier for consumers to cancel subscriptions anywhere on the web, easing the burden on customers who may not wish to use a service anymore. This proposed “click to cancel” rule aims to make it as easy to cancel a subscription as it is to sign up for one.

Similarly, the FTC sued Amazon in June 2023 for tricking customers into signing up for Prime, only to make it exceedingly difficult to cancel those subscriptions when no longer wanted.

This is not the first time AppleInsider has discussed Adobe’s predatory billing practices, either. In fact, we pointed it out in our piece that details the Adobe Creative Cloud pricing tiers.