Yahoo! Music. Great Selection - Lousy Support!
Contributing Writer's Viewpoint - by graham
As a Roger's customer (Canadian Data Service provider) I receive the occasional promotional email. Sometimes I even read them. This spring Rogers offered a Yahoo! Music Unlimited trial, and so I did a little research against other online music services (notably Napster). Based on their larger song database I gave the Y! Music engine a whirl.
After reading some posts on the Internet about junkware installed by the Rogers package, I downloaded and installed directly from Yahoo. The process was trouble-free (and it's just as well, as you'll soon read about my multiple re-installs). My free month required me to submit credit card info, but I didn't mind, as I planned to continue my service if it was as good as promised.
I fell in love with the service. Anything recent was easy to find, and a lot of older stuff was also on file. I was humming along with local DRM copies of the stuff I'd listen to more than once (just to save bandwidth) and plenty of "tagged favorites". LAUNCHcast radio developed strong playlists for various themes, learning from my listening and ratings quite quickly. Sure, the odd Bon Jovi song crept in and had to be 'banned', but overall I was a happy camper.
When my free month was up I was happy to enter billing mode. At ten bucks I felt like I was getting great value - I was as giddy as a school girl with a My Little Pony collection.
Somewhere in month two I received a notification for Yahoo Music Engine upgrade to v1.1. I upgraded. From then on, none of my downloaded songs would play. I received a message saying I needed to be an Unlimited subscriber. The radio wouldn't play, saying I needed to be either a LAUNCHcast Plus or Yahoo! Music Unlimited customer.
Yahoo's phone support said I needed to email Yahoo Email support. They gave me the easy-to-remember email address "firstname.lastname@example.org". Two days later I received a message saying I needed to enable and then clear cookies in IE. I went a step further and uninstalled the music engine, cleared all caches and cookies, and reinstalled IE and then the engine. No luck. Future responses started coming from email@example.com. Hereafter the pattern of communications went like this:
- Told to reinstall the engine
- Did as told and responded not working
- Receive a message saying my case has been "escalated to a senior Care representative who specializes in resolving issues" and "the representative will respond to you within 24 hours"
- Wait 3 days
- Send another note, go to step 3.
In between each round of mailing and waiting, and trying to find the old engine, and trying various re-installs and cleaning outs, I would receive an invitation to provide feedback on the Customer Care. I filled them in diligently and accurately (though somewhat caustically) over a two-week period. As my paid month was ending, and having had only a few days of actual working service, I terminated my account with prejudice.
This experience left me with such a bad taste that I haven't joined another music subscription service. I played nice with DRM and found some albums to buy. Now I find other means to sample music. Argh.
Read more about Online Music in Canada at DigitalHomeCanada
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