Dislaimer: I don’t normally rant, but here goes…

For the past few years, I’ve skipped the Kindle vs. Nook debate because, when I needed an eBook, I’ve opted for a more open format—ePub. Many of the ePub books I’ve purchased are locked down with Adobe DRM (Digital Editions). What this basically means is that in order to read the book you have to activate your device with an Adobe ID. While it’s locked down, it still allows you the freedom to read on almost any device you choose besides Amazon’s Kindle. The format has been adopted by Sony, Google, many textbook publishers, independent eBook retailers, and libraries who allow you to check out eBooks for free using Overdrive Media Console. When I fist began reading eBooks, the major competitors Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Sony only had their dedicated readers—no mobile version and no decent desktop client. I dealt with the DRM because I never felt as though I had to buy a specific device, I like electronics switch/upgrade often, and I like to support independent eBook retailers.

Over the years, I’ve had two iPads, a Sony Reader, Kindle, Nook, Sony Tablet S, two Android phones, a Symbian phone, two iPhones, and multiple computers. (I know, my carbon footprint is something I’m working on). Most recently, I tried to activate Overdrive Media Console on my iPad 2, when I received the message that I have exceeded the number of activations (Adobe allows 5). I thought this would be an easy fix: Deactivate my Adobe ID from all devices and start over. Even the notoriously proprietary and restrictive Apple, Inc. allows you to do this in iTunes very easily.

Alas, there is no such simple procedure with Adobe Digital Editions. And, apparently, the technical support folks over at Adobe aren’t empowered to help either. I’ve called twice, and have two outstanding web tickets. The phone calls led me from one person to another, to another, to the senior staff, to level 2—all of which said, “We can’t normally do this (they’re talking about resetting the number of activations on an Adobe ID), so please hold as we are going to have to escalate this.” After multiple phone calls and web tickets, I finally got a response. The response was weak, but I finally got one (I’ve included it below).

I’ve finally given up. It just doesn’t seem worth it. I guess now I’m going to have to make a choice built on platforms rather than content. What a shame. Thanks Adobe.

Below is the email I received from Adobe after asking for support several times over the past few months. With each phone call, they’ve asked for my Adobe ID, email address, operating system, a complete description of the issue, and other verifying questions multiple times. I’ve provided that information both verbally and in writing on multiple occasions. Notice what they ask for in their emailed response.