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Beware Adobe Stock’s Free Trial

Authored By: James LePage
Published On: July 20, 2020

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If you're a web designer being barraged with one of Adobe's many advertising campaigns for their product “Adobe Stock”, you should know what you're getting into before opting for a free trial.

You've probably seen one of their advertisements on Google, YouTube, Facebook, or any other major media platform. They have a “first month free” offering, where you can sign up and get 10 free images Stock images. If you're in the middle of a web design project that requires some stock images, this could seem like a good way to save money.

See the source image
Some of Adobe's ads. Get 10 Free Images is a common campaign.

Sign up, grab some images, and then get out. Right?

Here are the terms of the free trial:

You can easily cancel within the trial period. The plan will renew at around $29.00.

If you leave within that 30 day period, you're good to go. However, chances are you'll end up sticking around because the selection on the platform is actually pretty good.

Your plan will automatically renew using payment information on file, so you don't need to worry about entering any additional information. This definitely serves Adobe, as you're not truly engaged with the terms of the program.

If you read into it, you would get renewed at around $29.00. this is for an annual plan. What that means is that, while you can cancel, there's a big cancellation fee. Additionally, that $29.00 charge ends up being around $35 per month after fees and taxes are added.

Psst! Here's a tutorial on how to cancel the plan without paying the early termination fee!

There are many additional services out there that offer a much lower rate per image.

So if you don't cancel within the trial period, you're now stuck with the service that offers fairly high priced stock images (still, a good selection). All told, you'll end up spending around $350.00 for your Annual subscription to Adobe Stock.

Say you're 3 months in, and have no need for stock images in the foreseeable future. Or, you found a competing service that offers more value for your dollar.

Adobe slaps you with an early cancellation fee after never making ...
Here's a screenshot of a cancellation fee screen from Adobe (this isn't for Adobe Stock, hence the lower fee)

If you want to cancel your annual subscription, the cancellation fee is about $52.00. This is something that is not easy to find out when subscribing to the trial, or renewing into the paid subscription. Unfortunately, if you're seeing the pricing for the cancellation fee, you're probably looking at it from Step 2 in the cancellation page for Adobe Stock.

Now you're left with a predicament. Pay your balance up to the month, and then pay an additional $52 in cancellation fees. Or, pay $350.00 for the year and get around 120 stock photos.

Unfortunately this is a common issue. Just look at Reddit:

Again, if you're looking for a high quality selection of stock photos and willing to pay around $35 per month, then this should be fine. If you want to get out, you can simply wait until the end of the year, make use of the stock images that you have access to, and then leave when the plan is up.

However, if you were on the trial and it renewed into the subscription. You may want to cancel before the year is up.

Many people don't think about this before going for the free trial, and then renewing. this is just something that every web design agency considering an Adobe stock subscription should pay attention to.

Adobe has cancellation fees. You are entering into an annual contract, and this is something that you should be aware about before even thinking about the free trial.

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James LePage is the founder of Isotropic Design, a digital agency that builds WordPress websites. I read, write and design constantly!

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