Audible UltimateListener membership

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Jim Reese

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Audible's NEW UltimateListener program

In response to customer feedback, Audible has implemented a new subscription plan. It's call the UltimateListener plan. You have to already be a member of their BasicListener or PremiumListener plan in order to upgrade to the new plan. Details are nowhere to be found on their website, but only accessible with a direct link provided via email from Audible. You also have to be signed into your Audible account with your browser, so the link won't work for anyone not already an Audible member (which is why I don't provide the link).

This new plan costs $119.95 annually, which maintains the same price/book rate as the current PremiumListener plan. For me, this is a much better alternative, as it gives me much more flexibility by letting me focus on content without having to worry about required downloads each month.

Also, if you took advantage of their free Otis player with the 1-year membership agreement, upgrading to the UltimateListener plan before reaching the 1 year point cancels the remaining months of your agreement, and the Otis player is yours to keep. It just doesn't get much better than this, folks!

Here are some details of the new UltimateListener plan, as described in the email sent informing me of the new program:

In response to survey and email feedback from our customers, we have worked with our content partners to construct a new annual membership plan called UltimateListener. This new membership plan allows you greater flexibility as to when you choose you audio programs and how many audio programs you select at a time. Highlights include:
  • UltimateListeners receive 12 audiobook credits valid for 24 months
  • No monthly "use it or lose it" requirement
  • Receive 20% off additional audiobook purchases, and 50% off all subscription purchases
  • You may renew the UltimateListener plan as often as you like
If you think UltimateListener might fit your listening habits better than your current plan, go to our website for more details. You can change over to UltimateListener status today, replacing your existing AudibleListener plan. Any AudibleListener book and subscription credits you currently have will remain in your account.
 
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robert

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Details on Ultimate Listener Plan Subscrition and Renewal Updated 5-4-04

THIS PLAN IS NO LONGER AVAILABLE FROM AUDIBLE(Dec, '05). For current plans current members sign in or go to audible.com home (and on most pages)>Account Details>Sign in process>Change Membership Plan for . Others should go to Audible.com and search for plan details.


More than two books a months at a cost of $10 each

Choosing payment methods on each book -- use book credit or 20% off.

Buying books that require more than two credits

Renewing when the 12 books credits are used up (say at 6, 10, 12, 14, 24 etc. months).

No expiration of book credits each month. Less pressure.

Backlogging books so that when you get an unexpected bad book that you have a "library" to chose from

Two years to use the entire 12 book credits

Alternative of discount of 20%, so that buying a $12 - $13 book can be bought for around $10 without using up a credit. (Save book credit for more expensive books)

50% discount on subscriptions.


Those of you grandfathered in at $13.95 per month for two books, just go away and not confuse the rest of us less fortunate (are you rubbing it in?). However, agree with problem of abridged books -- I have regretted every time that I have purchased an abridged book.
______________________________________________

Response from Audible Customer Service on UL Renewal and Referrrals with UL:


"Response (Kathy) 02/20/2004 11:11 AM
Dear Robert,

Does the sentence: "The plan renews itself in a year but credits remain in for two years." mean that Audible will require another $120 on the November '04 anniversary date of my Ultimate Listener Plan

Yes. Each year you will be charged $119 and receive another 12 books and have another 2 years to use the book credits. For instance, if you purchase the UL plan on 1/1/03 you will be charged another $119 and get another 12 books with 2 years to use those 12 books on 1/1/04.

can I pay another $120 anytime during the two years to renew

You can call us at any time to renew. Most people want more than 12 books per year and call us 2 or 3 times in the year so that we can add another 12 books to their account at $119.

For example, I have two book credits left and a Nov 6 anniversary date. If I did not use any further book credits until 2005, would you require me to pay $120 on my November 6 anniversary date?

Yes. You would be charged another $119 on the anniversary date. Of course, if you do not want this to happen you would call us and we would cancel the UL plan and you would still keep the credits that you paid for until the 2 year period is up and then the credits would expire.


what would be the best way to refer someone to Audible who would like the Ultimate Listener Plan?

Customers must call us if they want this plan as it is not offered on the website. They do not have to purchase a different plan first. They can sign up for the first time with the UL plan by calling us at the number below."
_______________________________________________

Added 3-18-04:
Renewing UL on date other than Anniversary Date of Plan:

Early Renewal. If you use up your credits before the first annual anniversary and contact Audible to get 12 new book credits, they will want to renew on the same day of the month as your annual anniversary date/day or on the first day of the next month, if that is earlier.
If you are out of credits and want to have a book credit to download prior to your anniversary date/day, Audible will cancel your existing 'used-up' UL plan and begin a new one. I did this with on-line help. No problem, but took a little longer than a plain renewal on an anniversary date.

_______________________________________________

Added 5-4-04
Converting to UL After signing up with an Otis or iPod Promotion response by Audible Customer Service:
Response (Erik) 05/01/2004 11:55 AM
"Dear Robert,.

If a customer signs up with a free otis it comes with a 1 year commitment. However if the customer wants to switch to the Ultimate Listener plan it will void out the commitment. When a customer receives a $100 off promotion it also comes with a 1 year commitment, but you cannot switch to the Ultimate Listener until 6 months of the commitment has been fulfilled.


... if you need further assistance please call our Customer Service group at 1-888-283-5051, or from overseas by calling 1-973-837-2700 to resolve your issue. You can also visit our Help Center and "Find an Answer", or enter our Live Chat for online assistance. Our hours of operation are Monday thru Friday, 9 am to 9 pm, and Saturday 10 am to 4 pm Eastern Time.


Sincerely,
Erik
Audible Customer Support"

From my experience and posts in threads, I think emailing or on-line customer service would be as good as a call.
 
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kvoyager

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All one has to do to sign up for the Audible Ultimate Listener plan is to call Audible's customer service and ask for the plan specifically. The customer service rep will be all to change your subscription plan.
 

gshipley

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Is this a good deal?

I just don't see this as being a good deal. I currently pay 13.95 each month and I get two book selections.


This works out to be 167.40 a year but I get 24 audio books.

My Plan = 6.97 per book
Ultimate Plan = 10.00 per book


I have been a member for several years so this may be grandfather type plan or something-- not sure. It used to be 12.95 a month but they raised it a few months ago.


Grant
 

kvoyager

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The only real advantages is that you get 50% off all preodicals and discounts on any additional books you buy outside of your plan.
 

bsoplinger

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gshipley, you're grandfathered. I pay 14.95/mo for 2 books. If someone were to go today, they'd pay 19.95/mo instead. The difference between the UL plan and the monthly subscription: With UL you pay up front and have 2 years to get the books, with a subscription, you pay each month and have a use it or loose it credit for 2 books in that month, but you can quit before a year's up. So if you're unsure, do the monthly thing for a few months, then go with the UL if you find there's plenty of titles you want.

Me? I'm debating dropping my subscription. I have all the unabridged SF titles they offer and am not interested in abridged selections, those I can listen to for free from my Library, as I sure wouldn't want to own half (or less) of a book. Once I peruse their history section and find what few titles interest me, they'll be out of content. And they really don't seem to be adding content particularly quickly, which is unfortunate. Then again, if they add a 'new' title, I'm sure almost all the purchases of that title are folks with subscriptions, which means they don't make nearly the profit the price of the title implies. On the other hand, without new content, they'll never keep customers.
 

gshipley

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New Content

Yes, that must be it. I am grandfathered in.


I find they add new content every month that I want to listen to. Granted, I listen to bestsellers and classics. I currently have 10 selections on my wish list and then what do they do? Release The Dark Tower Series!!!! I do find they are missing some of my favorite authors though (Clive Cussler).



I have been a VERY happy audible subscriber for many years and love the service.
 

dordale

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Grant--

Like me, you must be a long time audible customer. I also get two books a month for $13.95, so the ultimate listener plan really isn't advantageous to me.

New customers signing up for one of audible's monthly plans get two books for $19.95. This is roughly equal to 12 books for $119.95. The advantage to the UltimateListener Plan is that you don't have time limits on your purchase. If you find three or four books the first month, you can buy them, and then save your credits for a few months until you see something else that sounds good.

dordale :)

***Sorry--I got into the discussion late...after posting, I noticed that this has already been discussed :rolleyes:
 

sparkyewu

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uhhhh

Even at 19 bucks a month i still get 2 books a month over 12 a year.. hmmm :)

I usually have my books picked out within hours of my credits appearing on the site.
 

dordale

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Sparkyewu--

Look at it this way-- you get two books a month for 19.95 or about $10 per book. Under the Ultimate Listener Plan, a subscriber gets 12 books for $119 or about $10 per book. So the cost of the books is about the same under either plan. Some people prefer the flexibility of the Ultimate Listener Plan...you're not tied in to monthly purchases, but can purchase books at your leisure (as long as you do it within the two year period).

dordale :)
 

Jim Reese

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Robert, sounds like more of an issue with their subscription software than from a customer service standpoint. I can't imagine a company turning away a customer willing to hand over $120 now just because of some silly rule about renewal dates. Perhaps the only way around the software-imposed restriction is to cancel and rejoin with the same plan.

In any case, I've always found Audible customer service to be very helpful and willing to work with me, whatever my problem or concern might be.

My UltimateListener renewal doesn't come around until December, but I've already marked my calendar so it doesn't sneak up on me.
 

generic_eric

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Audible.com looks enticing. Has anyone here used the Burn to CD "format?" What file type does it burn to the cd as? Thanks
 

Jim Reese

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Burning an audiobook to CD will give varying degrees of sound quality. Format 1 files will sound the worst, with Format 4 files sounding the best. The format you choose will depend on your connection speed, available hard drive space, listening device (iPod, Otis, etc), and personal preference. Always go with the highest quality file, if you can.

Burning the title to CD creates an AIFF file on the CD, which is the standard audio file for CD audio. A 1 hour title will always be the same size AIFF file on the CD, with sound quality dependant on the format you chose to download. Just remember, regardless of which format you choose, you will only get 75-80 minutes of audio on the CD, so a 20 hour audiobook will require about 16 CDs. For this reason it's a great deal more convenient if you have a portable player that's capable of playing Audible content.
 
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sbc44

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I just spoke with a customer service rep via "live assistance" and was refused ultimate listener membership because I had not yet fulfilled my 12-month premium listener membership agreement (got the free otis).

I was under the impression that upgrading to the ultimate listener plan would fulfill the obligation.

Anyone else had this problem? If so, what can I do ?

Thanks!
 

GearHead

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sbc44 said:
I just spoke with a customer service rep via "live assistance" and was refused ultimate listener membership because I had not yet fulfilled my 12-month premium listener membership agreement (got the free otis).

I was under the impression that upgrading to the ultimate listener plan would fulfill the obligation.

Anyone else had this problem? If so, what can I do ?

Thanks!
I suggest you try again with a different customer service rep until you find a cooperative one. It shouldn't take more than a call or two.
 

sbc44

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Ok, i just called back and spoke to someone else and it worked! Only took about 5 minutes.

This deal is so much better [read: flexible] than the other listener plans. I can understand why they're not advertising the deal though.

I seriously wish I had gotten the $100 iPod credit though instead of that Otis (which I have absolutely no use for now).

Oh well, thanks alot guys for your help!
 

kschonha

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I just called today (4/28) and switched my membership to the "Ultimate Listener" level.

If anyone has been considering making the change, the rep told me there is currently a sale going on (until 5/5) offering the "Ultimate" membership for $99 instead of $120.
 

gargoyle

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Switch to UL after $100 off promotion?

Has anyone been able to switch their account to the Ultimate Listener plan after receiving the $100 off promotion?

I just tried with two different cust service reps and was told they couldn't do it. Now if I had gotten the free OTIS through them they said they would be able to switch me to UL...as it was I would need to complete at least 6 months of my current plan before I would be eligible to switch.

Anyone else? I was wondering if those of you that did switch had gotten this promotion or the OTIS or something else...

Thanks.
 

sbc44

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that's weird... i would think you would be more likely to get the membership WITHOUT having the free OTIS than with it...

The first customer service rep i spoke with told me that was the reason i could NOT get the membership, then the second put it through.

I'd just keep trying if i were you... that just doesn't make much sense.
 
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