When retailer refunds go unrequited

One year of waiting for an elusive refund from Adobe drives reader to Gripe Line for help

After reading "Simple problem leads to another Adobe headache" here at the Gripe Line, Roland wondered whether I could help him resolve a lingering refund issue he was having with Adobe.

"My wife, who runs an online store, bought Adobe's Dreamweaver for $221.86," he says. "But a couple of days later, she decided she wanted the complete Adobe Creative Suite Premium, so she bought that in a local store. She wasn't worried about the duplicate purchase -- Dreamweaver is included in the suite -- because Adobe offered a refund program."

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After Roland's wife made her purchase, she sent all the necessary paperwork to Adobe to get a refund for the copy of Dreamweaver she no longer needed. She was told it would take one to two billing cycles for the money to appear in her account.

Two months later, there was still no refund, so Roland took up the task of chasing down his wife's money for her. The first step was a call to Adobe to get a status update on her money. Customer service assured him everything was fine with his paperwork and that the couple could expect the refund in three or four weeks. But again, two months went by and no money, so Roland called again.

This time, the estimate before the refund check would arrive was four to six weeks. Roland felt his patience was being tested, but he waited three months before taking up the chore of chasing down his wife's $221.86 refund again. This time -- short on patience -- Roland sent an email to customer service and called, asking for a supervisor in the hope that either effort would land in the hands of someone who could help. The supervisor apologized for the excessive delay and -- making a claim that was now starting to sound frustratingly familiar -- told him his refund check would arrive within four to six weeks.

At this point, Roland was having a hard time staying calm.

"Almost one year has passed since my wife bought the software," Roland wrote in his note to the Gripe Line. "We are still waiting for our refund.

"So I wondered if there might be another way to get this done," he says. "Do you know someone at Adobe who is able to solve this problem so that we will receive the refund check?"

It seems that I do. I forwarded Roland's letter to Adobe and heard back quickly that Adobe was looking into it. This week, I learned that a computer glitch had caused the payment to remain forever in "pending" mode, but that problem has been fixed. Roland and his wife now have their money back.

Got gripes? Send them to christina_tynan-wood@infoworld.com.

This story, "When retailer refunds go unrequited," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Read more of Christina Tynan-Wood's Gripe Line blog at InfoWorld.com.

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