Appalling Service from Adobe

Story of the Old Acrobat

acrobat-iconThis post is not specifically photography related, but as I use Adobe products in photography I think it’s relevant, and it sure has soured my impression of Adobe. Like many I use Adobe Acrobat; the free Acrobat reader to view PDF files but I also own a copy of Acrobat Standard for creating my own PDF documents. It’s quite an old version I must admit, Version 8.0 in fact, which harks back to 2007. I’ve this version used it quite successfully on my desktop PC since 2008. The PC originally came with Vista, but soon afterwards upgraded to Windows 7, and used Acrobat 8 without any major issues.

Old Software, New PC

Internet Connection Not Detected – error code 159:41

I’ve just replaced my PC , which came with (at my choosing) the same Windows 7 Professional 64-bit OS.  I’d planned to install my Adobe Acrobat 8.0. It worked fine on the old PC, so I had no reason to think it wouldn’t work on my new PC with the same OS. Well, just how wrong could I be and several hours were wasted trying to get the dam thing working without any success; no thanks to Adobe!

Lack of Activity

Activation of Adobe products by phone is no longer supported

The software requires an activation code, typically accomplished via the internet. However, I should have realised something was up when I got the message “Internet Connection Not Detected, Error code 159:41“. Of course I spent ages messing around to see if there were any  problems with my internet connection, but everything else connected worked just fine. I tried all the usual stuff, turning off the firewall and anti-virus, but still got the same response.

I checked and see that this is a technical issue, you will have to contact our technical support team to resolve this issue

There’s is an option however, to Activate by phone, so I thought I try that, only to be given the recorded message “activation of Adobe products by phone is no longer supported, please visit for further assistance“. I tried, but that page is utterly useless and you just find yourself going around in circles getting nowhere. I eventually found a link to a Chat window with a support agent, but after repeatedly been told to click the “Try Again” box in the install procedure, I received  the following reply: “I checked and see that this is a technical issue, you will have to contact our technical support team to resolve this issue“. What .. I thought I was talking to technical support!

Another Useless Web Page

Unfortunately, I was then directed to another useless web page ( where I was told I could contact technical support. It contains plenty of telephone numbers, but no mention of one for technical support! Luckily I viewed the page whilst still on the chat window, so I demanded the number for UK technical support before my support agent vanished into cyberspace. Call 0207 365 0735 for UK technical support. I tried it, it’s for everything. Several automated submenus later I finally got to talk to a heavily accented agent who eventually said ” Your product is no longer supported by Adobe” and simply refused to go any further.  I actually own this product but Adobe now REFUSE to let me activate it. And advice offered from Adobe .. buy the latest version; apologies .. none.

Your product is no longer supported by Adobe


Adobe make some terrific products, but with this sort of attitude it’s no wonder their software is some of the most bootlegged around. Whilst I can understand (but do not agree with) them not wanting to support legacy products, preventing us from using them is simply wrong. Will I be buying Adobe Acrobat XI .. not a cat in hells chance I’m afraid. Shame on you Adobe!

Postscript: I’m currently using Nuance (Scansoft) PDF Create Version 8 which is OK, but not ideal. If anyone can suggest a better alternative please do.

One comment

  • Frank

    I get the same activation error that you describe and have found nothing that fixes it permanently. Doing the following will give you temporary use of Acrobat Pro 8. Repeat as needed.

    Rename the following folder. (e.g. FLEXnetOLD) This will give you the ability to undo this fix, just in case. Make sure Acrobat is closed and no other Adobe products are running or you will be blocked.


    When you next start Acrobat, the program will recreate the FLEXnet folder and the two files in it. The effect of this is to reset the activation clock for 30 days. In the future just delete the FLEXnet folder to reset, as needed. I keep a shortcut to the folder on my desktop to make it even simpler.

    Adobe products are great but dealing with the company is frustrating and useless. Very much like Intuit in that regard. Good Luck!

    November 17, 2015

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