Big Thumbs Up For Audible

Here at the Consumerist, we don’t merely like to crush our enemies and hear the lamentation of their women. We also get a thrill at the occasional email when a company does something right.

Companies like Audible, that excellent online books-on-mp3 retailer. We got a great email from BG, who was a big Audible fan, and after Audible’s most recent fuck-up, an even bigger one.

Not only does Audible follow-up the resolutions of its customers, but when it fucks up, it profusely apologizes and happily gives its subscribers oodles of free content. Way to be human, Audible. BG’s email, after the jump.

I’m an avid iPodder with a predilection for talk radio and audiobooks, and was thrilled to have Audible.com recommended to me a couple years ago. Their introductory membership put a couple free books in my hands, and I’ve since spent a nice chunk of cash there buying books and re-upping my yearly subscription to “This American Life.” In addition to the books and radio shows (“The Splendid Table” = overrated, “Fresh Air” = fawning yet periodically terrific), I’ve also had a couple of good experiences with their customer service line. In one instance, I was chasing a promotion for which I hadn’t received my bonus (iTunes gift cert), and a quick and helpful call with a tech was chased by another call from the Service Manager making sure I was satisfied with the resolution.

Nice to see that they’re not just clearing tickets and moving on at the Help Desk.

Anyway, my “TAL” episodes are delivered to my online queue at Audible every week, and I’m notified via email that the new one has arrived. Today I open my inbox and find nearly 200 emails notifying me that different episodes are in my library. Sure enough, I get in there and see almost four full years of “TAL” episodes to iTunes. Naturally, I pull them all down and promise to donate $5 to the local NPR next time they’re running a pledge drive.

I called Audible, and got through to a rep within 30 seconds. They acknowledged the issue, said it was due to a tech “dropping those episodes into the wrong folder,” promised I wouldn’t be charged, and profusely apologized for the inconvenience. I told him that if they keep screwing up like this, they’re going to have me around for a long time.

So, I got something for nothing, an acknowledgement from a company that they had screwed up, and an apology to boot.
Plus, I didn’t have to wade through a phone queue, sit on hold for half an hour, or talk to someone pounding Red Bull trying to stay awake on the graveyard shift from Hyderabad.

In short, every time I deal with these people I come away feeling awfully good about being a customer of theirs.

Thanks, and try “Kitchen Confidential” read by the author. Very entertaining.

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. John Stracke says:

    Correction: they don’t sell books on MP3; they use a proprietary format, with DRM.

  2. Have to concur. Audible has fantastic customer service. Always prompt, polite and helpful. Their policy appears to be “If the customer is even vaguely annoyed, give ‘em a free book credit.” Since 2003, every issue I’ve ever had with these guys, simple or not, has been thoroughly addressed.

    John is right — they’re using DRM, not MP3. Though, in their defense, the DRM is pretty flexible and hasn’t once inconvenienced me in three years as a customer.

  3. cooper says:

    damn, i have a TAL subscription but all i saw were 4 extra episodes… none of which i could download. boo. that show is like crack.

  4. LaneNangerini says:

    I’d say their support staff have gone downhill since this story. I’ve been wasting almost 2 week of my life with “jonathan p”, trying to get some of the tracks I paid for to play. He doesn’t bother to read emails, just keeps throwing out “solutions” that have nothing to do with the problem at hand.