Free Option is Best

While I was listening to my fun new-to-me podcast BookRiot, I heard an ad for Scribd, a service that allows for unlimited audiobook streaming for only $8 a month. I listen to a LOT of audiobooks, and the library has been slow in getting me titles lately, so I figured I’d give the one month free trial a shot.

I was so excited by the possibilities. I put many books in my queue and downloaded one to my phone that I’d been wanting to “read” for quite a while. That’s when I noticed an issue – the player would go for 30 seconds and then skip to the next chapter. Not good. I contacted tech support. Evidently it was a known issue, and I was told that in a month or so a new version would come out that should fix the problem.

“Can I postpone my free month until then so I can actually use it?”

“No. Our system is not set up that way.”

When I logged back in a week later, I found out that the pricing model changed. Starting this month instead of unlimited books for $8 a month, it would be one book for $8 a month. That’s a HUGE difference. I felt betrayed by BookRiot that they would endorse a bait and switch tactic like that. In their next episode they did talk about the new terms and how it was still unlimited on the ebook side, which I would never use. I submitted my cancellation that day.

Last year I did the three-month free trial of Audible – which is how I “read” The Martian. That was also one book a month. It is $9 a month, but their selection basically includes every audiobook on the planet. Why would someone choose a small number of titles to save only $1? Better yet, why do the deal at all? That seemed too expensive for only one book.

Last week I was on my library‘s website looking for The Westing Game.

The Westing Game

I’d borrowed the audiobook from the branch, but it was too scratched to listen to. What I found when I went back on for another copy was that they had an electronic version available using a different audio player/phone app. In the past I wasn’t able to use the service since my phone was lacking in memory, but now it works perfectly and is free.

[By the way, The Westing Game is a wonderful, fun mystery where very few characters are what they seem. I highly recommend it!]

I’m now listing to my second title, The Bone Clocks (by the same author as Cloud Atlas), and it is made all the sweeter by the fact that it works and the paid subscription service doesn’t.

I love it when free is better!

Anyone else have phone app trouble, or is it that the universe is simply out to get me? or What are you reading now?

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