I had a surprisingly large number of responses from my previous posting about learning Chinese. An update for those considering Rosetta Stone (www.rosettastone.com) for Chinese, Spanish or any other language that they offer:
I had to renew my "Studio" subscription today and it's now a much worse deal than it was.
It's now $75 for 6 months for Studio sessions.
- Online classes used to be 45 mins. Recently they reduced them to 20 mins. Given how often people have connection issues, etc. that 20 mins can disappear very quickly.
- They've also reduced the number you can attend. You used to be able to have 2 scheduled at any point in time. Now they limit you to 2 "group sessions" per month during the period. (You can pay for additional private sessions).
The combination of these two changes now makes it much less useful. Two x 20 min sessions per month is an almost meaningless amount of practice.
They also now automatically change you to auto-renew when you subscribe. They tell you where to remove this auto-renewal but the first 4 or 5 times that I went into that screen, no such option appeared. Later, an option did appear and I used it.
Overall, things just aren't what they used to be at Rosetta Stone. It's now pretty hard to recommend the Studio option where it was a no-brainer before.
FURTHER UPDATE: <sigh>
Even after I renewed, I could not even connect to their "new" service. Although the system processed the renewal, it still tells me it's expired. My online chat person "Siva S" tells me that the problem is that I've purchased all 5 levels of the program. I can't wait till they explain to me how making an extra purchase from them stops me from logging on. Siva told me that they had "renewed" the program. I'd have to speak to Customer Care; they aren't available and then disconnected himself. Impressive (not).
Their website is now full of issues too. It insists that my billing address is in the USA, even though it pretends to accept changes to it.
Overall, it's gone from something that could be recommended (with some limitations) to now being an app to avoid. That's a pity as I liked much of it before.