Adobe says it has no plans to change the price of Creative Suite 3, despite the fact UK users are being charged up to double the US price.
Adobe's most comprehensive package, the Master Collection, costs $2,499 in the US, which is the currency equivalent to £1,255. But Adobe prices the Master Collection at £2,313.58 in the UK — a premium of over £1,000. UK customers are unable to buy software from Adobe's US site, meaning they must pay the higher sterling prices.
Craig Tegel, managing director for Northern Europe, attempted to justify the high price on a variety of grounds, including the current exchange rate between the UK and the US, and differences in the way the company was organised in the US and Europe. He said there had been "lots of discussion around the pricing" since the launch of Creative Suite 3 (CS3) in March.
Tegel said Adobe had to take into account the different strategies around the product in different locations. "If you look at Adobe Live [Adobe's annual customer event being held this week in London], we want to provide a two-day event free of charge around the world."
Adobe strove to offer the best support, and this was expensive too, he said. He pointed to the customer support centres in London, Dublin and Edinburgh. The "level of marketing and support and customer programs that we provide to the partner and the channel" were another cost, Tegel said. "All of that adds up to being the values we take into consideration when it comes to pricing the product."
Tegel denied that the pricing difference meant customers in the UK cost more to support than in the US. "I think it is universal, but the difference between the US and here is that we have multiple languages, multiple countries and we don't have the same economies of scale," he said. "They [US citizens] have one version of the product that is being distributed to everybody. In Europe we have eight languages," Tegel said.
A spokesperson for Adobe also tried to contradict what he said was "a perception" that Adobe was using the launch of CS3 to hike prices. "Series 3 is based on a whole suite of products, some of which were available on the old version of the products and some of which were not," said the spokesperson.
One disillusioned user is using Tony Blair's E-Petitions website to campaign for a narrowing of the price gap for software between the US and the UK.