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Greg Low (The Bit Bucket: IDisposable)

Ramblings of Greg Low (SQL Server MVP, MCM and Microsoft RD) - SQL Down Under

An update on using Rosetta Stone: Studio now isn't very useful and is not great value as an add-on option

Published Wednesday, November 28, 2012 7:20 PM by Greg Low

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Don M said:


I, too, am very unhappy about the changes of Rosetta Studio. I just had to renew my subscription today, unaware of the change in the amount of times you can do a group session, and I have to say that I would NOT have renewed had I known of the changes...

The change from 50 minute to 25 minute sessions was bittersweet, but this new change from unlimited sessions to just TWO PER MONTH is downright ridiculous! After my current cycle is done, I will no longer be a customer of Rosetta Stone unless they change back to the previous format.

And the auto-renew thing is so incredibly sneaky... What's worse is that even if you sign up for 6-months for $75.00, when that cycle ends, it won't renew at the rate of $12.5/month, but it will go to $25/month!!! Soooo sneaky this Rosetta Stone...  

Incredibly unhappy. If anybody is reading this now and considering of Rosetta Stone, my verdict for you is NOT RECOMMENDABLE! Stay away!

December 12, 2012 2:33 PM

Greg Low said:

I got up at 5am today to attend their "chat" session where they wanted feedback about the Studio changes.

That was a complete waste of time. It was a session that just pushed the line that said the changes were to make it quicker for you to get access to the group sessions and to let you have two instead of one. But they are now much slower and you previously could have unlimited sessions, but could only prebook two.

In the "chat" session, they just avoided all the hard questions.

What's worse, is that they pretended to care. With any of the obvious things that could go wrong with this, they just said "just call us and we'll make it right". However, they don't publish a phone number. I've been to the support "chat" page. They could not answer the questions, said they'd escalated it and that someone would contact me within 24 to 48 hours, but of course no-one ever did do so.

I can only imagine that they've had some sort of change in the company and they've suddenly got very greedy. That's ok for those signing up now but for everyone that was signed up before and understood how it worked, the changes are quite appalling.

While I'd have recommended them in the past (with reservations), there's no way I could recommend their current program or the way that they do business now.

December 13, 2012 5:07 PM

Mike said:

I too got scammed.  Really, two 25 minute sessions a month for $25 with 3 other people, technical problems and static!  However, I complained and got a refund.  There is no way I'll ever buy Rosetta Stone again.  It's a massive waste of money.  Other programs can teach you just as much or more in less time, for less money and are more entertaining.  The only reason I had Rosetta Stone was for the studio sessions.

December 31, 2012 9:34 AM

Paul said:

I dumped the program too.  Too bad.  I really enjoyed learning Spanish with them.  I will miss it.

February 6, 2013 11:38 AM

Dave said:

I just finished all three levels of Korean that they offer.  I am also disappointed with the studio session changes however, with my three months of free online access, I appear to be limited to four 25 minute sessions per month, not two as other commenters have said.  Did RS change their policy?

I don't know.  More helpful than the Studio Sessions, I spend most of my online time with their Picari game playing solo which is their flashcard game; I find the game a great review tool and a great way to determine which words I've already forgotten.  I still like RS and would buy it again.  But I never enjoyed the studio sessions as much as others did.

March 18, 2013 10:17 PM

Ginny said:

I just finished my first Studio Session and I HATED it! The teacher (native Spanish speaking) seemed haughty and impatient, even to the point of embarrassing me in front of the other two students. I do enjoy the lessons but I'm never going to do the Studio Session thing again...just too much stress. Instead, I'll go to a nice authentic Mexican restaurant and chat it up with the waiters. Will probably learn more that way, anyway.  :)

January 30, 2014 4:43 PM

Greg Low said:

Yep, I decided to stop using Studio. It was no longer a good product.

In terms of the teachers though, I'd suggest trying again. With the Chinese ones, one or two were excellent, a few were ok, and some were not good. I recall the worst one looked like she really couldn't bother being there and was bored out of her brain. She was lounging all over the desk and her water bottle and basically just got the students to talk to each other only. I've seen that a few times.

But the worst part of the short sessions is there are frequent audio / video problems and too much of the 20 mins can just disappear.

And yes, Dave, after lots of complaints they changed to four per month but I also found it was very difficult to schedule them. I then tried purchasing a block of ten private ones but that was even harder to schedule. For example, no individual time slots were ever within the next two weeks, only group times.

January 30, 2014 5:44 PM

Diana Prihoda said:

I decided not to renew Studio for many of the reasons expressed by others.  When it came time for my live sessions I could only listen in and not access to join in.  I complained and they said it was my headset, they did not offer to send a new headset even though it was the one that came with the program.  I even had my Aunt who speaks Polish try the program and it would not recognize her speech. I had to purchase another headsedge on my own.  It still did not let me join in on the audio sessions for the instructor.  Also had trouble with the day to day lessons as the program would not recognize my voice.  I became very frustrated and just received a renewal notice which I am not going to do.  The cost is becoming prohibited for the results not be what was projected.  

I am trying to learn Polish to communicate with an uncle in Poland.  I now think the best thing for me is to make a visit to Poland and learn first hand.  Oh, how I regret not learning the language when my mother was alive.  She was fluent in writing and speaking the language.  And now it has become my greatest struggle.

May 28, 2014 5:32 PM

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