Rhapsody: Not Music to My Ears

You would think I’d know better than to mess with anything related to Real.

So if you didn’t know, Rhapsody (the music subscription service by Real), Verizon, and URGE (Microsoft’s music store) have merged recently (read more here). Well, I’ve always had issues with RealPlayer—it’s buggy, slow, and a resource hog—but I figured I’d give the Rhapsody store a spin.

They were offering a free 30-day trial on their site. You sign up, give them your payment information, and you have 30 days to cancel before you get charged the $15/month. Okay, sure, I’ve done this before plenty of times with other services, why not? So I sign up, and download the software.


Okay, not the nicest looking player, tried too hard on the shiny, glossy effect. Sorry guys, Apple does it better. Anyway, so I go in and download a few albums, then go listen to some radio stations, and it’s all pretty cool. However, I have an iPod, and subscription tracks aren’t supported on it. I knew that going in, of course, but after giving it some thought and realizing I really don’t download that much music, I figured it wasn’t worth continuing with, and so I went to go cancel my subscription.

Yeah, this was the fun part.

So I log on to the website, and go to My Account. I hunt through a few menus on there until I find a button that says “Cancel Subscription”. Great! One click, and I’ll be done, right? If only.

So I click “Cancel Subscription”, and I’m greeted with this lovely screen:

To cancel your subscription, please call us at 1-866-597-5465.
Thank you,
Real Customer Support

Wait, what? Why do I have to ca—ah, forget it, it’s no big deal. So I give them a call, and am again greeted with one of the most bizarre, but not completely unexpected, messages on a support line. “Due to an extremely high number of calls (let’s not forget this is a Sunday afternoon), wait times may be as long as ten minutes. You might want to try calling back some other time.”

What happened to “Your call is very important to us; Please continue to hold”?

So I set my phone on Speakerphone, and listen to the crappy elevator music for the next EIGHT MINUTES. Finally, someone from India picks up, and asks for my email address. Two minutes later, I’m finished repeating myself for the tenth time, and he gets my name, and all that information. Then he puts me on hold again. More elevator music.

He comes back, and the dialogue goes something like this:

CSR: “So how are you doing this morning?”

Me: “Fine I guess, I just need to cancel my account.”

CSR: “Can I ask why you wish to cancel?”

Me: “I just don’t have any plans to use it”

CSR: “Well, what features was it that you were needing?”

Me: “I – nothing, I just don’t want to use it”

CSR: “Did it not work correctly? Was there something we can help with?”

Me: “NO. I just need to cancel my account.”

CSR: “So, were you just not happy with the software, or was there any other issues with it?”

Me: *sigh* “No, just cancel my account.”

CSR: “Okay, give me just a couple of minutes here…Okay, I have cancelled your subscription, but it will not expire until Oct. 10. Were you happy with your call experience today?”

Me: “Well, no, not really. I’d much rather I could do this online, since I can easily sign up online, but yeah, sure, it’s fine now.”

CSR: (insert generic conclusive greeting)

Why do they have to make it so dang difficult to cancel with them anyway? I sent them an email afterwards, after I hunted it down off the website (conveniently hidden away off of the main page), basically comparing them to AOL. Meh, I guess just take it as a heads-up, and don’t bother with their software unless you plan to stick with it.

Total Call Time: 15m 28s.


12 Responses to “Rhapsody: Not Music to My Ears”

  1. 1 Joe S.
    October 2, 2007 at 8:51 PM

    Funny how you never here about this stuff from the tech press…but lately all you here is Apple evil…makes you wonder what the agenda is.

  2. 2 Kevin
    October 2, 2007 at 9:11 PM

    I’m a huge fan of Apple stuff, actually. I hear complaints about iPods a lot, but I’ve had my nano for over a year now, and it still works great. I’ve put it through heck, too, dropped it on cement a few times…I probably wouldn’t buy a Mac though. Too expensive (even though they’re great computers), and not compatible with nearly as much software.

    Eh, controversy sells, I guess.

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. 3 Joe S.
    October 4, 2007 at 8:40 PM

    Actually, if you add up feature for feature the price is about the same. I’ve been using both for years & have never had a problem finding software that was needed for the Mac. Unless of course you are a gamer. The price thing & software thing is more of a myth than it ever was. Actually, you can run Windows or Linux alongside of OSX on the Mac. So you pretty much have access to just about any software title out there. Since OSX is Unix based & will be certified Unix with the release of Leopard you have access to Unix software also (with a little work). Cheers.

  4. 4 Kevin
    October 4, 2007 at 9:13 PM

    I don’t know, I can throw together a PC equivalent or better than a Mac for less in almost any instance. Macs are really nice though, I especially like the displays, I got to use one for a few the other day, my teacher’s computer, and I couldn’t believe how much of a difference there was between her monitor and mine. Also, the Mac interface has some quirks I’m not fond of (read: not used to ;) ), but I’d probably be fine with if I was more familiar with it.

    And yeah, I’m not much of a gamer on PCs (because I have a crappy graphics card, mostly), so it’s probably not so much of a big deal, but one thing that definitely keeps me away is that my Adobe Creative Suite CS2 is the PC version, and I sure as heck am not buying that again! :)

  5. 5 Joe S.
    October 6, 2007 at 8:57 AM

    Talk to Adobe about cross grading.

  6. 6 Kevin
    October 7, 2007 at 8:40 AM

    They’ll do that?

  7. 7 Joe S.
    October 9, 2007 at 9:13 PM

    I’ve heard that they do…you may have to be insistent. Look at it from their point of view. Does adobe really care what hardware you are using when it comes to sales? They still make the same amount of money either way.

  8. 8 Joe S.
    October 9, 2007 at 9:20 PM

    Kevin I just found this article apparently the answer is Yes…here are the details.


    The only problem that you may have is if you have a large investment in Windows Postscript fonts. The Mac has no issues with Windows truetype fonts (as truetype was an Apple tech.)

  9. 9 Kevin
    October 9, 2007 at 9:59 PM

    Nice! Yeah, I guess that makes sense, either way you’ve still only got one license. Come to think of it, you could also just download all the trial products, and enter your license, couldn’t you?

    And no, I don’t really have any font investments period, other than stuff that’s come with instructional DVDs, and those that come with Windows to start with. ;)

  10. 10 Joe S.
    October 12, 2007 at 11:53 PM

    I’m not sure about the trial products. You might want to post on that site & ask. Also if you are a student here is a way to pay a lot less for apps.


    Check out the prices on the creative suite. They are full applications & can be upgraded in the future without issues.

  11. 11 Joe S.
    October 12, 2007 at 11:56 PM

    Apple also offers student discounts.

  12. 12 Kevin
    October 13, 2007 at 6:59 AM

    Hadn’t seen that particular site, but yes, I got my CS2 suite for $400 from academicsuperstore.com. It rocks being a student. ;)

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