Adobe Downloads Cost More Than Boxes – WTF?

I feel bad posting bad stuff about Adobe being as they’ve just launched 2 really cool things:

Buzzword.com is an amazing online word processor (the export functions are dead tight and you could almost survive without MS Word), and Photoshop Express (the free online Photoshop version) is pretty cool as well.

So those are good things. Here’s the bad thing…

I was looking to upgrade Photoshop Elements (on my MacBook I don’t need anything more powerful). When I got to the checkout of the UK online store I selected the ‘download’ option rather than the ‘ship me a box’ option AND THE PRICE WENT UP!

Getting the box sent costs £45…

Downloading it costs £47…

Why on earth would that ever make sense to anyone? It doesn’t make sense to a consumer. It doesn’t make sense to a business surely? And it certainly doesn’t make sense to the planet.

Unless the fundamental laws of atom shifting have changed while I wasn’t looking.

7 thoughts on “Adobe Downloads Cost More Than Boxes – WTF?”

  1. I think it’s something to do with the location of the servers and the amount of VAT you get charged in each country?

    Totally bizarre in this day and age, but then so is Adobe’s licensing strategy – the $US price of the software is much much less but UK people are not allowed to purchase it, even if we have a $US account and download the software online.

    According to Adobe, they provide more tech support per capita in the UK (or there are fewer people in the US to cope with any tech support queries) which makes the ‘R&D’ cost for Adobe software in the UK more expensive.

    If purchasing more than 3 products, it’s usually cheaper to fly to the US, buy the boxed product and fly it back, then call Adobe and tell them you’ve relocated to the UK… which means they’ll give you a new license code for the same software which makes it ‘legitimate’ for use in the UK – for free.

    I’ve argued with them long and hard about this and it’s still not funny.

  2. Just about any $US to £UK conversion equates to a rip off for UK users (even excluding VAT). Apple does the same thing. You’d think it’d be getting better with the $US tanking as it is…

  3. I was surprised by this one before but I think I read somewhere it is because the servers that host the downloads are in Ireland and so to purchase for download to the UK you have to pay Irish VAT (at 21%) rather than the UK’s 17.5%. Which I guess makes some sort of weird sense…

    …unlike the “same amount of pounds as dollars” stupidness between the UK and the US…

  4. surely in that case you’d be entitled to buy it from the US site in dollars and pay essentially half? Can’t be any different from buying it from Ireland..

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