Edited to add: Well, that was unexpected. After I posted my rant, which was basically blowing off steam, I was contacted by email by someone from eMusic who refunded my money and explained that I had canceled my music account, but must have accidentally signed up for an Audiobooks account. I didn't think that there were two separate accounts, which was my mistake.
So essentially, in terms of customer service, I take it all back. Getting back to one guy blowing off steam on a blog is really going above and beyond, especially when I'd basically said I probably wasn't going to be an eMusic customer anyway. So instead I'll say that if, unlike me, you're more interested in a wider selection of less well-known bands and trying a bunch of stuff out rather than ala carte buying a handful of music each year, you might give eMusic a try. Because that's pretty good customer service right there.
Original post below:
Netflix, which I love, has advertising on their disc sleeves for various products and services. One of those, back in November, was for a free trial of EMusic. I'm pretty happy with iTunes, but these were DRM-free MP3s, and it had an interesting subscription/price structure that still allowed you to own your music, so I figured I'd give it a try.
I wound up picking up albums from Spoon, Gogol Bordello and Pain and an audiobook from James Ellroy, but I couldn't find most of what I was looking for, and I decided that the service just wasn't for me. I don't have time to discover new bands and new sounds while I'm paying for the time, which seems more like the focus of eMusic.
No harm, no foul. I was a member for about 20 minutes, I went and canceled the account. Wasn't really looking for the music I downloaded, but it was good, and it was free.
Then I go through my VISA statement today and discover that I was charged the $9.99, despite having canceled immediately. Not only that, I was charged $9.99 again a month later. Clearly, my "trial" subscription was still active. After being unable to find a customer service phone number (which you can find here, I guess I didn't look carefully enough) I went over and canceled my subscription again, and this time I saved the email with my cancellation. If I don't get charged again, I'll call it a learning experience, and I've still paid $20 for three albums, which is fair, even if I would rather have spent those $20 on iTunes for albums and audiobooks I really wanted.