Readers Are Up in Arms as Scribd Fumbles the Changeover From Its Unlimited Service

Scribd quietly switched over to its new, more limited ebook subscription service this week with an update for its Android and iDevice apps, and readers aren’t too pleased with the way that Scribd has dropped the ball.

There are reports of users losing access to the ebooks they were reading, all downloaded content being deleted from the app, and of subscribers not getting the monthly credits they were promised.

Under the new system, subscribers get credits for three ebook loans and an audiobook loan each month. Last month’s announcement also implied that subscribers would get 3 additional credits, but several readers have taken to Mobileread Forums and the comment section of blogs to complain that the credits did not show up.

“Did anyone else get the “three additional monthly reads” promised in the email. I’ve just checked and my account shows only 3 monthly reads, I had assumed there would be 6 for the first month if I were getting three additional ones,” one wrote on MR, with several other subscribers chiming in.

Scribd’s customer service is disputing what the word “additional” meant in last month’s announcement, but I have to say that I reached the same conclusion as the subscribers, and that they are owed an extra three credits.

If you still have a Scribd membership, you should complain to Scribd CS and ask for the extra credits. a Couple subscribers have said that they got the.

Alas, there’s nothing to be done about the ebooks Scribd removed from accounts. While subscribers knew that they would lose access to some titles, more than a few are dismayed at just how many they lost. “I’ve been going mad with all of the changes. Lost well over 100 books that I was reading in the last 15 months. Most of those lost were read more than 60%,” one reported.

While Scribd had never promised to transfer all of the books a subscriber was reading from the unlimited service to the new service, readers are nevertheless dismayed.

There are similar reports on Twitter and at MobileRead forums, as well as one outlier report from a subscriber who says that everything was deleted from his Scribd app:

Bad news about the update though, they DELETED everyone’s offline data. Books, notes, personal documents, audiobooks, etc. They were changing to a ‘new business model’ and did not think through it professionally. The ‘fix’ also ensured that they removed any books customers had been reading under the previous ‘business model’. Not impressed at all. I suggest anyone thinking about updating to refrain if they want to keep their offline data. Deleting customer’s offline data without any notice is not okay. If it had been Amazon people would be seething. They even deleted offline audiobooks I had purchased with credits that were supposed to be there forever. I’m not the only one if you visit twitter, it was across the board. It was a nasty surprise to find myself at the airport without any of my offline data and no internet access. I cancelled. Loved them, told my friends and this is the result to longtime customers? The app update is no onwards movement. Somehow I see this not being published as Scribd is trying to keep this quiet. They tell people to email customer service when questioned publicly to be told tough and given the option to cancel their membership! This is not how you treat customers.

I have not found any similar reports anywhere, so I can’t tell whether this report is accurate, a fluke, or an exaggeration.

If you have a similar experience, we’d love to hear about it.

We’d also like to hear what you think of the 150,000 titles in the unlimited section, because the early reports are underwhelming.

So what do you think of the changes?

image by langsdalelibrary

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