Monday, January 19, 2015

$15 Worth of Customer Service

  I didn’t have a favorite toy when I was a kid but as a grown up my favorite toy is far and away my iPod. Forty years ago no one except science fiction writers could imagine a little computer that fits in the palm of a hand that could play let its owner listen to music, watch videos, send and receive messages, have video chats, display books, play chess against people from all over the world, check news weather and sports, trade stocks, and so much more. The reason I call my iPod a toy instead of a tool is that I used to do all these things before I had the iPod but now I can do them all from this tiny little device.

  My music app of choice on my iPod is the Rhapsody music player. I pay $15 a month to Rhapsody to be able to access their large library of songs. There are plenty of free music players but they all require me to either own the music I want to play or be connected to the Internet to play songs that I haven’t purchased while the Rhapsody app allows me to download music from their library and play it even when I’m off line as long as I occasionally connect to the internet and log in to the Rhapsody server. I have some playlists that I listen to time after time and sometimes I let the app spin out a playlist based on my listening history. There are times where I catch a group of songs that hit me just right and I have a super productive day of work which ends in what seems like an hour or my drive is over before I know it.

  On New Year’s Eve I was working and left a few minutes past my five o’clock quitting time and was having a great day listening to music from the Rhapsody app on my iPod. I was looking forward to a pleasant drive home listening to more music but when I got to my car the music stopped and the app was asking me for my password. I figured I hadn’t logged in for too long and went from my car back to the office lobby to access the company’s wireless internet and log in but the Rhapsody app kept telling me my password was invalid. Thinking I forgot the password, I went from the office lobby to my cubicle, turned on my computer, and went to the Rhapsody website to ask for a new password. After a few minutes I received an email with instructions on how to reset my password. I reset my password and once again tried to login to the Rhapsody app on my iPod and was once again told I had entered an invalid password. Then I went to my computer and tried to log into the Rhapsody website and I was again told that my password was invalid.

  At this point I started to suspect that Rhapsody was having a problem but since there was the off chance that maybe I didn’t enter the new password correctly I went through the process of resetting my password. I made sure I knew what my new password was but the app and website would still not recognize my password which confirmed my suspicions that there was a problem in Rhapsody-land.

It never hurts to ask...

  At this point it was 5:30 and I needed to start my hour long drive home. I left a note for Rhapsody customer service telling them I expected a free month’s service for my inconvenience and drove home without any music except for the radio. Normally I wouldn’t have been too bothered about Rhapsody’s temporary snafu but I had really enjoyed listening to music all afternoon and had a playlist all picked out for my drive home. I think what bothered me most was that if I had left a few minutes earlier or the problem had erupted a few minutes later I would have been safely offline listening to my downloaded music and totally unaware there was a problem at all. I got home around 6:30 and after taking Daisy and Baxter on a walk I got an email from Rhapsody letting me know that they knew about the problem was being worked on. I went on Rhapsody’s Facebook page and saw that many other people were having the same problem. I woke up the next morning and was able to log into the app and all was well.

  All was well except that I didn’t have my free month of service. So I replied to the previous night’s email from Rhapsody to let them know that I wanted a free month’s service. And they wrote back to let me know that they were going to give it to me. It was so easy I’m thinking I should have asked for two months but one month is pretty generous for a few hours of outage. When I have problems with Mediacom cable or Internet and I ask for some money back they will throw a dollar or two my way but never an entire month of service.

and it never hurts to ask again...

  The next day I got another email from Rhapsody asking them to rate their customer service. I was a pretty satisfied customer with my free month of service I not only gave them a big Siskel and Ebert ‘2 Thumbs Up’ I left them a positive review on the iTunes store. After all I really do like the Rhapsody app and definitely wanted to give them some positive feedback for giving me a free month of service.

A free month of service is worth a good review from me!

   Our Marshalltown Chess Club had been in some serious downtime with Christmas and New Year’s both on Thursday and the first meeting of 2015 had its attendance cut down by a snowstorm. Last Thursday we had our first real club in a month and I spent almost the entire two hours playing this game with Seth. The game was a lot like my experience with Rhapsody two weeks ago: OK at first, then not so good, but satisfying at the end.

pgn4web chessboards courtesy of