11/09/2009 11:24:00 am

Audible

Posted by Tom French |

Warning: long and probably dull account of consumer woe ahead

I am a member of Audible.com. It's an audiobook website. They charge me $16-$20 a month (depending on the exchange rate) to download one audiobook a month.

Unfortunately I slowed down in my audiobook listening. It was because I bought a 22-hour history of the American Civil War, and I struggled to get through it, so I didn't buy new books till I finished that one. But I never finished it, and the credits just stacked up.

Anyway, being on the poorer side this year, I thought, I should cancel my membership, but every time I went to cancel my membership they'd say "If you cancel you'll lose all your credits." And I thought, "I paid for them, I don't want to lose them."

So I thought up a cunning plan. My debit card expired last month. So I decided to keep money out of my account around billing time last month, and then the credit card would expire, and I wouldn't have to keep buying credits, I wouldn't have to cancel my membership, and I could use my remaining credits to buy books, and then cancel.

Well the plan worked until money went into my account about a week after the billing day, and bam, they took it. "Fair enough" I thought, "I am still a member." But my card expired so they weren't going be doing that again.

Then I checked my bank account today, and they still took money out, with my expired card! I don't know how that's possible!

So I just went and bought 6 audiobooks with my credits, and they'll just sit there till I download them. Then I went to cancel my membership.

I clicked the tiny, hidden link "Cancel my membership". They asked why, I said I was too poor. Then on the next screen they said "We're sorry to see you go, please accept $20 credit from us to thank you for being a member." So I took it. I thought it was just a parting gift, and when I came back, I could use it if I wanted it. But no, turns out, when you click that you're opting out of cancelling your membership. Sneaky buggers. So I was still a member.

I went back to try and cancel my membership again, quite happy to sacrifice my $20 credit, and there was nothing to click anymore, it had changed to an international phone number to call to cancel my membership. Sneaky, sneaky buggers.

So now I have $20 credit, an expired debit card, 6 books waiting to be downloaded and a continuing membership to Audible.com.

I will sort things out one day, but first I should go get dressed.

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