Back to previous post: I Can Has Cheezburger

Go to Making Light's front page.

Forward to next post: “No,” he said apartmently

Subscribe (via RSS) to this post's comment thread. (What does this mean? Here's a quick introduction.)

June 30, 2008

Consumer notes
Posted by Patrick at 11:15 AM * 48 comments

Rhapsody is easy to set up and easy to use, and (despite their recent troubles) arguably a good deal if you want to listen to an impressively large catalog of on-demand streaming music. But after several months, I realized that I simply wasn’t using it, so I decided to cancel.

Which is when I discovered that Rhapsody is one of those online services that’s deliberately engineered to be easy to sign up for, and difficult to leave. To start giving them $12.99 a month entails just a few mouse clicks. To stop involves phoning an 800 number, waiting in a queue while loud music is pumped over the phone, and eventually dealing with a script-driven humanoid who demands to know your reasons for canceling.

I know perfectly well why businesses do this sort of thing. I just won’t support them when they do. If I can possibly avoid it, I’ll never give Real Networks another dime.

Comments on Consumer notes:
#1 ::: Kelley Shimmin ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 12:13 PM:

I have been using Rhapsody for several years. A few Christmases ago I received a Rhapsody-To-Go compatible portable device and upgraded to that service. There've been a few glitches here and there, but I'm mostly very satisfied with the service. I am online at all times save when in a car, on a bicycle, at the gym, or outdoors, so even the $17.99 per month of the upgraded service saves me a goodly sum (and satisfies my need for entertainment during long car trips). I used to spend $50 on CDs each month, now I buy about three CDs a year, and those only if I know the artist personally or if they are not available on Rhapsody.

That said, for Rhapsody and pretty much any other service, I'd suspect the easiest way to cancel it is to change the credit card expiration date to one that's invalid and call it a day. I doubt I'll be unsubscribing anytime soon, but if I do that route should save me the 800 number hassle.

#2 ::: Christopher Turkel ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 12:29 PM:

Real Networks is still around??

#3 ::: Ulrika O'Brien ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 12:32 PM:

Thanks for the warning. I, too, deeply dislike business models that make it hard to stop being a customer. I think it's a stupid business practice anyway, because it has got to decrease your chances of return customers once they get free, but I also prefer not to give my business to those who practice it in the first place.

So. No Rhapsody. Easy peasy. Also, really liking MediaMonkey for handling music on my own computer, so no need to use RealPlayer there, either.

#4 ::: John ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 12:34 PM:

Wait, wait, you gave money to *Real*, voluntarily?

Eww.

Real have always been bad, bad, bad people.

#5 ::: Jim ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 12:35 PM:

You know who else does this? Consumer Reports. I wish I was kidding.

#6 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 12:39 PM:

When I was with eMusic, we had a "downloads per month" allowance, which didn't roll over into the next month. A bit sneaky, but not horrible.

Canceling was a bit tricky, as there was a "wait, don't go" page, but other than that, we were good about it compared to Real.

#7 ::: Daniel Klein ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 12:40 PM:

I wonder what the legal situation is here, re: simply instructing your bank to stop paying them. Could they sue you for breach of contract or whatever? Would they? (As in, would it make financial sense for them?)

Over here in Ireland, I hear that's how a lot of people get out of recurring payments for things they no longer need: they simply cancel the direct debit from their account. A friend of mine was a member of a gym here and theoretically signed a 12 month contract when he joined them; now, 7 months later, he moved and found a new gym closer to his new apartment. Instead of trying to get out of the old contract he simply told his bank to stop paying the monthly fees, and this seems to have worked well enough for him. Not knowing the first thing of the legal situation here, I guess the gym COULD sue him but that it doesn't make financial sense for them to sic the lawyers on someone for 250 euro bucks.

#8 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 01:02 PM:

I am a longtime, and very satisfied, emusic customer. They don't have the breadth of Amazon or iTMS, but they have a lot of stuff in several niches I'm interested in (jazz, American folk, British folk).

#9 ::: John ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 01:11 PM:

Warning: I are not a lawbeast.

However:

Daniel Kline@9: I wonder what the legal situation is here, re: simply instructing your bank to stop paying them.

Well, they're still going to provide the service, even though you're not using it. You're still going to have access to it - and they're not going to cut you off, just because you're not paying.

No, they'll let in run for a few months more, before they call you up and demand all the back pay at once. And when you refuse, they'll make back *most* of that "debt" by selling your account to a collection agency.

The collection agency will then hound you, and hound your bank, and screw up your credit rating, over the fees for the service you didn't want and didn't use.

And the company who screwed you in the first place is making a profit - they got a good percentage of your fees from the collections guys, and had to provide *zero* services for the months where you weren't paying them and weren't using it.

Basically, customers who just stop paying are *profitable*, and so scummy companies like Real *love* people who do it.

#10 ::: Paula Lieberman ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 01:31 PM:

#2 Christopher

Real Networks the last time I was paying attention was not only still around, it was busily expanding its scope. Anything that had a .rm or .ram file extension on it, involves Real Networks software. I was bemused/not impressed with how their system does authentication, requiring everything to go to one of their servers for authenticating streaming content (this was admittedly six years ago, though, but I doubt if they've changed their model all that much).

Real Networds had gone bigtime into the "cache server" market. The company I worked for from mid-2000 until being laid off as the company was heading into oblivion in 2002 (it was three years ahead of the market and the telecom & content delivery markets blew up between the Oaf letting Microsoft off the hook for predatory business practices and all the bungling and fear and wallet closing that accelerated after 9/1), implemented different content servers including Real Server licensed from RealNetworks, Windows Media Server, Internet Inform Server, Apache, Darwin Streaming Server, MySQL, and Microsoft's SQL Server.

Real I thought, again, had the dumbest authentication model procedure going....

#11 ::: Rob Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 02:06 PM:

I'm also happy with emusic since they also have a pretty good selection of indie rock, dub reggae, experimental music, and dance music. A browser's paradise, really.

#12 ::: John Chu ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 02:31 PM:

Coincidentally, Rhapsody now has a DRM-free store where you can actually buy MP3s (as opposed to rent them on subscription). I don't know what makes them more appealing than Amazon, iTunes or emusic for DRM-free MP3s though. I haven't gone to their website. If they make it that hard to stop being a customer of their subscription service though, I don't think I'd shop there for DRM-free MP3s at all.

That's probably not a big loss to them though. I still buy most of my music as CDs. I'm changing my mind about this though as more labels make their otherwise out of print back catalog available as MP3s.

BTW, is there some way to browse emusic without having to sign up with them first?

#13 ::: Rob Thornton ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 03:00 PM:

@ 12:

Yes, there a way to browse eMusic without becoming One of Us.

1. Click on the LOG IN link at the top right hand of the entry screen.

2. Select the Browse option in the top left-hand corner of the Login screen instead of entering a username and password.

3. Search away to your heart's content.

rob

#14 ::: Earl Cooley III ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 03:57 PM:

The last time I bought mp3s online was from Deutche Grammaphon's web shop, which includes downloadable editions of about 600 of the out of print CDs from their publication list. I got Schumann's Konzertstück for 4 Horns, Op. 86 for about the price of a fast-food lunch.

#15 ::: pixelfish ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 04:00 PM:

While we are complaining about ludicrous customer support, can I note that Sony wants me to pay thirty dollars for drivers for a digital video camera that is barely two years old--and they make no guarantees that the drivers are the ones I need AND they won't let me download them. I have to actually wait for the disc to arrive in the mail. (Also, apparently if you upgrade to Vista, you are completely SOL. Whee. I at least have Windows XP SP2 but man....every other company I know has supports their products much better. I even got drivers for my old WACOM about six years after purchase. Sony, on the other hand, wants to dick me around. And I'm just not in the mood.)

#16 ::: don delny ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 04:13 PM:

pixelfish, 15,

What kind of camera is it and what do the drivers do? I thought most DV cameras spoke to firewire?

#17 ::: DaveL ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 04:54 PM:

What the previous posters said. I remember dealing with RN business-to-business about ten years ago, and I would rather wrestle a shark. At least when a shark smiles you can tell what you're in for.

One of the many foci of corporate evil in the digital world.

#18 ::: Kelley Shimmin ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 05:00 PM:

I happen to know that if your credit card expires Rhapsody suspends your account and notifies you right away that your account is suspended and you can't use it until you pay up. This happened recently (my bank issued new debit cards and stopped clearing the old ones just shy of the expiration date) and that's what happened. I don't have an ongoing contract with them, so if they suspend service in response to non-payment it seems like there's a mutual stoppage there.

Netflix also did the same, except in their case I had their property in the form of DVDs, so provided I didn't send it back they could charge me for them, and they very subtly said as much. My gym froze my account and said I couldn't use it if I didn't fix things and then also said they'd terminate my account on a certain date if they hadn't heard back from me.

Having that happen was a nice little test of "What happens when you quit paying?" for all of those services. I'm actually kind of glad the bank stopped clearing the debit cards early otherwise I would have likely re-set the card data and missed this opportunity. I have a lot of subscription-type services and unless there's one I'm forgetting that is silently piling up fees to send to a collection agency, not a single service has proven itself unscrupulous in this one particular regard.

#19 ::: Nenya ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 05:28 PM:

Used to have RealPlayer on my computer back in the Neolithic, but soon decided it wasn't nearly as good as either QuickTime or even Windows Media Player. Can't recall exactly why--probably it made downloading music & video on my dial-up even slower than usual. So this just cinches it....

Have been listening to Pandora Radio lately. It's free; you don't get exactly the song you want when you ask for it, but instead enter a song you're interested in and it gives you a "channel" of similar music (which will sometimes eventually play the song you were thinking of). It's good if you want a particular style of music but don't have to have one specific song right now.

#20 ::: pixelfish ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 05:43 PM:

Don Delny@16: It's a HandyCam model DCR-HC32. We've had people digging up drivers that should work, but don't. (Or which keep asking for Macromedia Flash, when we already have it. Or which open weird streaming utilities that keep dropping frames but provide no solid file. Needless to say, it's a clusterf--k and Sony blithely sent me an email asking me if I want to participate in a customer survey after I told them they needed to provide drivers for their product. It's tone-deaf customer service, is what it is.)

#21 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 06:00 PM:

I buy all my music from Russia. Since I don't buy much music, a little money goes a long way at 10 or 15 cents a track.

#22 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 08:03 PM:

GEnie (remember them?) gave me the same run-around years ago, when I cancelled my account there. I resolved it by calling American Express and telling them what was happening, and to refuse any further charges from that source.

#23 ::: don delny ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 09:23 PM:

pixelfish, 20,

I see! I had something quite similar happen to me with my DCR-TRV25. Including running into the expensive dead end at Sony's site. I don't know if my situation is precisely like yours, and this will totally be a waste of time to read if you tried a firewire connection and this didn't work, but I offer a fix and an explanation:

A. a fix that might work:
1. Hook up a firewire cable to your computer
2. Open up Microsoft's Windows Movie Maker (Program Files -> Accessories)
3. Turn the camcorder to VCR mode, or Playback or whatever that's called on that model (I couldn't find a good image of that switch on your model online)
4. Pick "capture from a video device". If the camera is on, in VCR mode, etc, it may automagically dump you into the video capture wizard. Follow the prompts and you can pull the video off as an avi file that you can edit any program.

B. Why this might work:
I hit the same brick wall with the computer (WinXP service pack 2) wanting special magical drivers when I hooked up the camera using the USB drive. The USB spec requires the computer to know something about the device hooked to it to know what to do with the data, and uses the CPU to help process it/drag it over/download it. The Firewire spec requires that intelligence to be built into the chips that are in the firewire port, and can talk directly to the computer's memory.* As a result, it's much simpler to build firewire compatibility into an operating system without requiring additional drivers. (One driver to rule them all or somesuch.) Supposedly XP talks to firewire without the need for additional drivers. ("My first job was programming binary load-lifters; very similar to your vaporators in most respects")

As far as I can tell the Sony driver is one of those HP style crapware software blobs that includes some kind of primitive authoring/burning bundle. The 30$ fee is probably to cover licensing fees for whatever encoding format is in the bundle. Yes, stupid Intellectual Property laws strike again: the formats that video can be encoded in are all covered in patents.

According to this detailed review from Camcorder Info, the only access to firewire or usb is through the docking station that comes with it? (That's wierd!) Also, googling for "Sony Picture Package Software" leads to many very sad forum posts from people begging for a link to somewhere to download it from.**

If you don't have a firewire card for your computer, they are fairly inexpensive, around 15$ for an internal card, about 20$ for a laptop type PCMCIA card.

*this is probably not completely technically correct, but I figure if it's important, someone on here can correct me :)
**number 8 in a list of top ten signs that your company's customer service sucks.

#24 ::: Greg London ::: (view all by) ::: June 30, 2008, 10:25 PM:

I was able to subscribe to Rhapsody three months at a time for $24, so it breaks down to only $8 a month.

Right now, they have all the "Black Keys" albums that I want to listen to, so I'm happy.

#25 ::: Mary Dell ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2008, 12:23 AM:

You can check out any time you like...

Greg London @#24: for $18 or so a month, will they let you listen to the white keys too?

#26 ::: Lisa Spangenberg ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2008, 12:32 AM:

I am currently in this exact hell.

I've called twice, and gone through the drill, and yet--I still got billed.

Twice.

#27 ::: Marilee ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2008, 01:38 AM:

What I would worry about with just stopping payment is your credit reports.

#28 ::: Jason B ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2008, 01:15 PM:

I like Pandora a lot. If you don't keep entering new influences for your stations they can become a bit repetitive, but that's easily fixable.

Plus, it's free. And it encourages me to explore music I'm pretty sure I don't like but want to try anyway.

Just last month I confirmed that I absolutely can't stand Radiohead.

#29 ::: Josh Jasper ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2008, 03:57 PM:

Michael Roberts @ 21- Why not just bit torrent everything? The artists won't get paid either way. Plus you can have the moral high ground of not supporting the Russian Mob.

#30 ::: Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2008, 09:04 PM:

...supporting the Russian Mob.

To my knowledge, that point is under contention.

I bought an album from allofmp3 once. The actual artists weren't selling it at the time (out of stock, I think), and I couldn't find it via the BitTorrent network. I wasn't fond of the currency conversion charge, but I was very happy to finally have the album.

#31 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2008, 09:22 PM:

Nicole J. LeBouef-Little @ 30: Just to get technical, I think what they're contending about there is whether the credit card number goes to the mob, not whether the profits go to the mob.

#32 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2008, 09:23 PM:

Josh, if the Russian mob is providing a service I can use, I call that capitalism. I buy food from many places whose provenance funds bad people in the United States, and yet I continue to eat. I know for a fact that the gasoline I buy to take my kids to school goes to bastards who kill anybody in their way, and yet I still don't bicycle to school. And I don't believe the artists are getting what they deserve anyway, even if I pay far too much to the fat cats at the RIAA.

Not my problem, in other words. I can't worry about everybody.

I don't use BitTorrent for two reasons -- first, it would be difficult to manage behind the router firewall and I'm not that committed for my habit of roughly a track every two months.

Second, my wife isn't a US citizen and worries that if I do anything that even smacks of illegality, our family will be broken up -- since she's Hungarian, her attitude towards government is both more paranoid and (unfortunately) more accurate than my own.

And third (I'm not a good counter), BitTorrent only gives you what people are listening to this week, while I much prefer 80's Deutsche Neue Welle and stuff you can't get most places. If BitTorrent actually had something I liked that didn't take a huge amount of time to discover it, I might do that. The same actually applies of everything else I've tried, actually. The Russians do what I want them to do -- sell me music at a price I can take, in a very convenient format for my habits, that I can activate in about three seconds after I feel the urge for new music.

Moreover, when AllOfMp3.com morphed into Mp3Sparks.com, they transferred my balance. I think if they were the Russian mob, they'd have no real reason to do that. So I personally think that is FUD.

And my final point: I always have the moral high ground. Really. Always.

#33 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2008, 09:44 PM:

Michael Roberts @ 32: I'm with you. Capitalism, organized crime--what's the difference?

(I am almost certainly misrepresenting you to get a cheap laugh, so here's your pre-supplied retort:

(As Lenny Bruce once told an fan yelling "I'm with you, Lenny!" and trying to to be taken away with Lenny during an obscenity bust, "No, man, you are not with me!"

(You're welcome.)

#34 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2008, 09:52 PM:

John, har har. But I actually agree with your cheap laugh, in its essence.

And I still think that calling AllOfMp3.com the Russian mob is xenophobia. They certainly haven't stolen my credit card number. All they're doing is playing by the same rules the RIAA set up in Russia in the first place. The RIAA was happy enough to extract $3 a CD from dirt-poor Russians, and nobody bleated about the rights of the poor artists at that point. No, it was only when they realized that someone not a dirt-poor Russian might benefit, that they started shouting that it must be organized crime.

Because we all know that no foreigners are smart enough or capable enough to have a legitimate business that sucks less than their American competitors. Right?

I'm letting my BoingBoing bile spill over into this thread, aren't I? Sorry. People just persist in being wrong on the Internet. It's so inconsiderate.

#35 ::: ethan ::: (view all by) ::: July 01, 2008, 11:14 PM:

Michael #32: BitTorrent only gives you what people are listening to this week, while I much prefer 80's Deutsche Neue Welle and stuff you can't get most places.

I'm not by any means trying to convince you to use torrent, because really you can do whatever you want and it seems your system works well for you, but I find that it's pretty easy to find some relatively obscure stuff on Mininova and the Pirate Bay. I've gotten an amazing amount of forgotten Krautrock albums, and probably every single Canterbury scene album ever recorded, for instance. Oh, and the other day I finally found that Renderers record I've been looking for since it came out in 1998.

#36 ::: Lauren Uroff ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2008, 12:27 AM:

Classmates dot com does the same thing. I signed up when my terminally-ill mother wanted to find one old classmate. We found her three years ago. Every so often, I try to cancel.

This last time they actually had a "how to cancel" page. It had JAVA errors and didn't work.

The only on-line vendor I hate as much as classmates dot com is varsity books dot com. My son's school sets everything up through them. If I get started in time, I dump every ISBN and order through amazon. If it's too late, I have to order through them. Not once have they ever sent me an entire school year's order complete and within the shipping window they specified at checkout.

I hate them both.

#37 ::: Michael Roberts ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2008, 01:10 AM:

Ethan - the Russians, however, give me a similarity metric that works for me, and name things with actual names instead of that-one-album-posted-by-tha-sh1zzl3.rar when I don't want to figure out where I put 7zip last time I got it to open up a damn RAR.

Granted, MP3fiesta has a bad habit of misrepresenting which albums they actually have (and giving you something else by the same group instead), and MP3sparks doesn't update as often as it used to, but between them and GoldenMP3.ru, I'm set, and have been for years.

Although next time I'm looking for something Latin (which the Russians don't get very quickly -- although that's changing) I may just break down and take a look at Pirate Bay. Then again, for Latino stuff, given my utter lack of audiophility, an Audacity rip off Youtube is usually sufficient for me.

And *nobody* has Hungarian folk fusion but Youtube, anyway.

#38 ::: Scott Janssens ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2008, 12:21 PM:

I was a programmer at Real Networks for four years (I was employed by them while attending VP). At my exit interview I was asked what was the worst part of my time there. My answer was all the bad code/web design I was forced to implement by the dictates of the marketing department. They were clueless about web and software design. Any insult or negative comment about the software (most deserved) was always due to something the marketing department made us do. (With the exception of that god-awful downloader, that was the result of an aquisition and contract requirements.)

#39 ::: John A Arkansawyer ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2008, 02:25 PM:

Scott Janssens @ 38: I'm chuckling right now over a .tar.gz file I just unpacked in order to upgrade a Real server. The compression bought them about 200k of savings; the tarring cost them about 10k of that.

Who tars up a single file? I mean, really! But I'm not sure it can be blamed on marketing.

#40 ::: Scott Janssens ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2008, 02:54 PM:

John, I should have been more clear, I was mainly speaking of the time I worked there, which ended in 2004. In the mean time there have been lay-offs and defections. I can't vouch for the quality of staff there now (although it was excellent in the early part of the decade).

Perhaps most telling is that I haven't used a Real Networks product since I left.

#41 ::: Terry G. Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 02, 2008, 03:32 PM:

The day I quit using Rhapsody was the day I updated it and it quit working. (Until that day, I'd been happy enough with the service.)

To get it working properly again, the customer service advice I received was to add "doubleclick.com" to my Trusted Zone. I had no intention of giving that level of access to one of the biggest "let's track your every move on the internet" companies.

So, I quit the service, and that in itself was as difficult as all have desscribed here.

Never again...

#42 ::: Greg Ioannou ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2008, 08:23 AM:

I read a review recently that praised the Zune software. It said the program was well thought out and easy to use, and that it was a good choice for organizing a music collection, even if you don't have a Zune.

So I gave it a try. Easy to install. It quickly indexed my large collection of MP3s and organized them in a sensible, intuitive way. A great start.

Then I scrolled down to an album I want to hear and started to play it. Now this was an album I'd copied from the CD in my collection. (That's perfectly legal here in Canada.)

Instead of playing my album, Zune played me a 30-second clip from each cut, and offered me the opportunity to buy the album from Microsoft at 79 cents a track.

I then discovered that Zune uninstalls as easily as it installs.

#43 ::: Lee ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2008, 09:47 AM:

Greg, #42: It's perfectly legal in the USA too, no matter what the RIAA wants you to think.

#44 ::: Larry Brennan ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2008, 10:11 AM:

Greg @ 42 - I think you may have been in the Marketplace and not in your own collection. I've never had a problem with the Zune software not wanting to play music ripped from my own CDs, even when I've used other tools to do the ripping.

Another nice feature of the Zune software and device combo is that you can very easily put recorded off-the-air TV on the device without any additional software. Just try that with iTunes - you'll need to buy some third-party software to make it work.

FWIW, I don't mind having to call a phone number to cancel an online service. What I do mind is when companies make it very difficult to do (AOL of old comes to mind.)

#45 ::: Sebastian ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2008, 10:59 AM:

Larry Brennan @ 44: I'm not sure what the situation is like in Windows-land, but I've been using iSquint (http://www.isquint.org/) to convert movie files of all kinds (AVIs, MOVs, Youtube FLVs) for iPod viewing and I've yet to be disappointed. Though they plug VisualHub at you on the website, iSquint remains free and available for download.

#46 ::: Greg Ioannou ::: (view all by) ::: July 04, 2008, 11:01 AM:

Larry @ 44. Probably. I typed in the performer's name and was shown a batch of album covers. I clicked on the one I wanted. There was no indication that it was going to the store rather than to my own album.

So it is programmed to try to sell me albums I already own? Useful feature, that.


#47 ::: Shalanna Collins ::: (view all by) ::: July 06, 2008, 06:51 AM:

I discovered that Rhapsody was charging my credit card for that $12.99 (up from 9.99) a month, and the credit card was going overlimit. So I told the card not to accept charges from them. This didn't work. I called Wells Fargo Bank Customer Service and they suggested canceling that card and opening a new one (pretty drastic, but that's the solution they suggested.) I did that. Next month here came the charge from Rhapsody again. I called Wells Fargo. "Ma'am, that's the standard thing--those places that were charging regularly to your card can contact us and legally we have to give them your new card info." I was pretty steamed, as it had been a hassle. "I want these people gone," I said. The customer service rep put me on a three-way call to Rhapsody. Rhapsody has a special number for banks to call, so they answered shortly. The bank heard me tell them I wanted out, no matter what. The bank told them they could no longer charge. They asked whether I wanted to no longer be a member. I shouted assent. It still took them several questions more. The bank rep finally told them to undo my subscription. I watched carefully for the next month's statement: at last, no more Rhapsody.

The transaction should not have taken THAT kind of muscle. Rhapsody is evil.

(WF transferred my card balance . . . and then charged me ANOTHER MEMBER FEE FOR THIS YEAR because the card is "new." *aaarghh* Everything is evil.)

#48 ::: Tam ::: (view all by) ::: January 20, 2009, 06:49 PM:

I couldn't agree more. I found this post after running into this exact same problem today. I should have known better than to sign up once I saw they were related to Real.

Welcome to Making Light's comment section. The moderators are Avram Grumer, Teresa & Patrick Nielsen Hayden, and Abi Sutherland. Abi is the moderator most frequently onsite. She's also the kindest. Teresa is the theoretician. Are you feeling lucky?

Comments containing more than seven URLs will be held for approval. If you want to comment on a thread that's been closed, please post to the most recent "Open Thread" discussion.

You can subscribe (via RSS) to this particular comment thread. (If this option is baffling, here's a quick introduction.)

Post a comment.
(Real e-mail addresses and URLs only, please.)

HTML Tags:
<strong>Strong</strong> = Strong
<em>Emphasized</em> = Emphasized
<a href="http://www.url.com">Linked text</a> = Linked text

Spelling reference:
Tolkien. Minuscule. Gandhi. Millennium. Delany. Embarrassment. Publishers Weekly. Occurrence. Asimov. Weird. Connoisseur. Accommodate. Hierarchy. Deity. Etiquette. Pharaoh. Teresa. Its. Macdonald. Nielsen Hayden. It's. Fluorosphere. Barack. More here.















(You must preview before posting.)

Dire legal notice
Making Light copyright 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 by Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden. All rights reserved.