Cancelling Rhapsody

June 24, 2009

Design, Technology

I’ve been a long-time subscriber of Rhapsody’s music service (since 2005), but recently I decided to switch because of many little annoyances that finally made it almost unbearable to use. I may do a Rhapsody vs. Napster comparison at some point in the future, but today I thought I’d share my experience with trying to cancel my Rhapsody membership. What should have been a simple, two-step process ended up taking much longer than that and frustrating me even more than when I first decided to cancel.

The first thing I did was log into my account to see if there was a “Cancel Service” link. And, in fact, there was!

Cancel Membership link
Cancel Membership link

When I clicked that link, instead of being asked to confirm that I want to cancel and then cancelling my membership, there was actually a message saying that I need to call their phone service line.

Call to cancel
Call to cancel

So I picked up my phone and called only to reach an automated message that said the following:

You’ve arrived at Rhapsody Support to cancel your membership.

For your convenience, you may now cancel your membership via e-mail. Just type the following URL into your browser: service.real.com/rhapsody and select “Contact Support.”

Seriously? Why did I have to call to find out I can cancel by e-mail? And why didn’t that “Cancel Membership” link just go directly to that service URL?

Ok, so I typed in the URL, just as I was instructed, and a beautiful 1990-esque support page came up. After scanning it for a minute or so, I finally found a link that would allow me to cancel my membership.

Rhapsody support page
Rhapsody support page

I clicked that link and instead of being asked to confirm that I want to cancel my account and then cancelling my account… you know, like I expected the first link to do… it brought me to an even more incomprehensible page. It took me a while to finally see the link I was looking for. It was way at the bottom of the window, underneath all the other distracting and irrelevant text.

More support options
More support options

Hoping that I was reaching the end of my journey through “Cancel Account” links that don’t actually cancel my account, I clicked the “Click Here to Cancel” link. While I should have known better than to get my hopes up, I was still surprised at the generic support form that came up.

Generic support form
Generic support form

My question? I just want to cancel my account! I filled in the form to the best of my abilities, even stating my request in the form of a question.

Filled out support form
Filled out support form

… But when I clicked “Submit Question,” I got an error message saying that I needed to select a product first.

First error message
First error message

I should have noticed that, in fact, Product has a red asterisk next to it, indicating that it’s required. But for the life of me, I could not figure out a way to specify the product. It was just a label with an empty space next to it, followed by an icon I thought might offer some more information. With nothing else to do, I clicked the little “i” icon. This brought up a window listing out the various Real Networks products.

Product hierarchy
Product hierarchy

This looked promising, so I clicked on the first link (“Rhapsody”). This closed the dialog, which I took to be a good sign, and even though nothing showed up next to the Product label on the form, I thought maybe it just remembered my selection. I clicked “Submit Question” again.

… and got another error.

Second error message
Second error message

I tried clicking a few of the other options, including selecting the exact version of the client software I was using, the type of subscription plan I had, and even just random clicks, but nothing worked. Later, I noticed the error messages would differ: sometimes, it would ask for Product (see first error message), other times for Category (see second error message). Feeling like I’d uncovered some sort of clue, I tried clicking on two links in sequence (first Product, then Category), but it would still inevitably fail.

Since there appeared to be no way for me to submit this form, I decided to call that customer support line again. This time, I stayed on the line and talked to a customer service representative. After trying to convince me that I should talk to Rhapsody’s excellent customer support team about the many issues I’ve experienced, the rep was finally able to close my account. Phew.

I will e-mail this post to Rhapsody’s “excellent customer support team” so they will hopefully see how awful this cancelation process is currently. There is no excuse for making my last experience with their product this frustrating. I know they don’t want people to leave, but putting hurdles in the way is the worst path to take. Instead, they should offer incentives to stay or, you know, fix their product. I’ve waited long enough for the Rhapsody team to get their act together. Now it’s time to give Napster a go.

[Update: It turns out, that form which I can’t submit is the only way to email Rhapsody’s customer support. I guess I will just hope that someone from the Rhapsody team stumbles upon this blog post.]

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About Natasha Lloyd

Natasha is a professional train rider, an amateur photographer, an avid kayak paddler, a long-time cartoon watcher, and an Interaction Designer at SAP BusinessObjects. She currently lives in Massachusetts, on the outer outskirts of Boston.

View all posts by Natasha Lloyd

13 Responses to “Cancelling Rhapsody”

  1. krad Says:

    I just sent a request to cancel my account using this method shortly after this post. It worked great. Maybe your browser didn’t render the page correctly?

    I just wish I knew beforehand that email cancellation was available! Thanks for your blog post.

  2. Natasha Lloyd Says:

    @krad: Yeah, I thought it might be my browser too. But I was using Internet Explorer. If their site doesn’t support the most commonly used browser, then that’s just unacceptable. Although, judging by the site’s design, they probably only support IE5.

  3. krad Says:

    Very true. And it does look medieval and messy! I used Firefox, so if you’re really wanting to just get this done, you may want to try that.

    Less than an hour after I sent the email I received a nice reply from a lady saying it was canceled.

    It still irritates me they won’t let you cancel from the website without human intervention (like any decent place), though.

  4. Dave Says:

    Well, cancelling Napster is even more difficult than that. However, I agree that giving customers a hard time when they try to cancel doesn’t keep them from leaving. It only keeps them from coming back. Napster’s mobile service does not support my cell phone’s MP3 player so I tried Rhapsody and it is working great. I do think that Napster has more songs though. It just doesn’t help me if I can’t listen to them on my MP3 player.

  5. jordash Says:

    During the first online computer services REALNETWORK developed a reputation so sinister that most thought they would fail immediately.
    But through a series of name changes and other trickery, They seemed to hang on!
    When I signed up for Rhapsody, They had a different name than REAL!
    Then I found out they were both the same old REALNETWORK.
    Not building a Network based on HONESTY, TRUST, INTEGRITY and (EASY} to “SIGNUP” and same way to “CANCEL.
    When you signed on for any service, They would “PIGGYBACK” secretly REALNETWORK, then you would have to phone, hang on the line” to “CANCEL”.
    Then they moved the PHONES to “INDIA”.
    RHAPSODY was good!
    Until you needed to “Communicate”.
    You had to “CANCEL by “PHONE”
    It took me WKS to CANCEL”.
    A YR later, THEY SIGNED ME BACK UP Themselves”!
    THEY NEVER BELIEVED IN CO, CUSTOMER INTEGRITY!
    iF i COULD HAVE CANCELED ON LINE,
    I would likely still be a member for $9,95 a mo , But NO WAY”.

  6. Antny Says:

    Rhapsody customer support has never been good, and it is getting worse. I am still struggling with them two weeks after reporting a bug…their “fix” was to continually replicate the problem on my account after I had given them step-by-step instructions on how to duplicate it.

    I’ve been a customer for many years (too many!) but I won’t be for much longer. Until they start losing customers they won’t take any steps to address their failure to provide users with reasonable, logical and intelligent support.

  7. Ben Says:

    Yeah I just got off the phone with my bank. I just barely signed up a couple hours ago for a FREE trial, that Rhapsody charged me for instantly. Now they won’t let me cancel. I went through some of the same hurdles as you, but they led me in a circle around and around through the exact same pages over and over. It was impossible to do anything else. Also, their customer service line is only active during the hours I work. So, I called my bank and had them reverse the charges… Muahahahahaha! How do you like that, Rhapsody thieves?

  8. KAY HUTCHISON Says:

    I WANT TO CANCLE BUT CAN NOT GET NO REPLY. PLEASE CONTACT ME AT–KAYWIL@BELLSOUTH.NET

  9. Pedro Alkire Says:

    Between me and my husband we’ve owned extra MP3 gamers through the years than I can count, together with Sansas, iRivers, iPods (classic & touch), the Ibiza Rhapsody, etc. However, the previous few years I’ve settled down to at least one line of players. Why? As a result of I used to be completely happy to discover how properly-designed and fun to make use of the underappreciated (and extensively mocked) Zunes are.

  10. Frank Says:

    I too was a LONG time Rhapsody user but I just cancelled because of their catalog is shrinking daily. A lot of my Library is now unavailable including tracks I purchased. I have those backed up but it is still annoying.
    I was also unhappy with their Android app.
    Luckily cancelling was much easier than some of the earlier posts.
    I signed into my Account, Clicked ‘Edit’ next to my Service, and chose the Cancel Service Option. Apparently Rhapsody isn’t very interested in why I quit because their Feedback questions were not very applicable and there was no option to leave a message.

  11. Valery Camey Says:

    Nice info! Keep it flowing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Wes Raines Says:

    I have been trying for FIVE ( 5 ) months to rid myself of Rhapsody. I have spoken to at least half of the citizens of India in the process, which by the way, are extreemly hard to understand. I was redirected on many occasions to CALL a number which was an out right lie. Today, I have called nine times, filled out tons of info in email , and still no results. In fact, now I can’t sign into my account and THEY WON’T RESET MY PASSWORD ! Seems it’s time for a lawyer . Rhapsody, YOU SUCK NO END !!!

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