If you’re an Audiobook listener, there’s no doubt in my mind that you’re subscribed to Audible. It’s the biggest retailer and provider of audiobooks around the world. And I don’t see that changing anytime soon. However, there are a few companies out there taking on the mountainous task of competing.
One of these such services is Scribd.
Scribd –often called the Netflix of Books–is trying to bridge the gap between eBooks and audiobooks. Whereas Amazon has these two divided between Audible and Kindle Unlimited, Scribd provides a massive library for readers and listeners all in one place. Sounds pretty amazing. But is Scribd all that it’s really cracked up to be?
We’ll discuss what we like and don’t like in this Scribd review and let you know if the service is really worth it.
As I mentioned earlier, Scribd is an online library that combines both audiobooks and eBooks. And they also claim to give unlimited rentals. This means that once you’re done with one book, you can check out another! And unlimited rentals isn’t just for eBooks either, but audiobooks as well. However, Scribd’s concept of unlimited* is a bit skewed. Like Barry Bonds and Pete Rose, there’s a little asterisk that’s affecting something that could be great.
Scribd also allows you to upload your own documents. It’s not a full-fledged self-publishing platform, but if you’re trying to quickly get your work out into the world…You have that ability.
One of the biggest turnoffs about Amazon’s Audible is the cost. After your free books are claimed, you’ll end up spending around $15 a month on a single audiobook. And to be honest, that might seem like a bit much.
But Scribd comes in at a very competitive $8.99/month–and that includes audiobooks and eBooks!
The service is also a recurring service with the ability to cancel whenever you wish. Or so it seems at first. More on that later. But at first glance, Scribd seems like a great option for the cost–especially those of you who consume more than one book a month.
If you haven’t noticed by now, there are some things that I don’t like about Scribd.
For you bookworms out there, Scribd’s unlimited access may prove to fall a bit short. And that’s because Scribd will throttle the content they provide to you. Your first book should come through no problem. It’s the subsequent books that cause an issue. You’ll notice that you’ll start losing books from the “Big 5” publishing houses (Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, Hachette, HarperCollins, and Macmillan). And while that’ll help to give Indie and Self-Publishers a chance, there’s a possibility that you won’t be able to access your favorite author or a new release.
In my eyes, a company is only as good as their support team. And you’ll find so many more negative reports about support for their service than positive. Scribd support works through a ticket system. There’s no way to actually communicate with a representative or team member. And hey, I get it. A ticket system does work on occasion. Take a look at essentially every MMORPG out there. But you have to be timely and effective. There are many reports of customers needing weeks on end just to get a simple single issue resolved.
Now, this particular issue is the one I’ve really got beef with. And it’s a deal breaker for me. Unsubscribing from Scribd is a nightmare. With no real support system or way to really reach out, canceling your subscription becomes next to impossible. It’s almost as if Scribd is trying to trap you within their platform. And at $9 a month at that! This is an absolute deal breaker for me.
In all reality, one report of credit card fraud is bad enough. But everywhere you look, it’s one case after another. You’ll find troves of unhappy customers being charged for opt-in they’ve never heard of. It’s almost as if once Scribd gets your information they take whatever liberties they want. And there’s absolutely no way I can recommend this service with issues like this.
After wading through a sea of negativity, the answer is a resounding NO.
The biggest problem any business will face with its customers is trust issues. And right now…I have zero faith in Scribd. The company has been around since 2009, and there’s still these types of problems ongoing. It seems as if Scribd doesn’t care about its customers or is just a scam to start with. And in either situation, I urge you to stay clear.
If you are looking for a legitimate audiobook/eBook platform, I still recommend Audible and Kindle Unlimited. Yes, they’re a bit more expensive. But at least it’s coming from a trusted source with a credible reputation.