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I wanted to test out Playster. Here are my results:

I got into the 30-day free trial, and was so disappointed with the user experience I was out less than 30 minutes later.

In that time:

  • I had trouble logging into the iPhone app using Facebook, despite having signed up to the service using Facebook on my MacBook
  • I clicked over the to "Games" catalog for the heck of it, and found there were maybe ten games total in their catalog, all of which were obscure, unheard of titles along the lines of iPhone games, and all of which were PC only. There are numerous genre and category tabs to click on, but they're all empty.
  • I clicked on an audiobook, and was able to play audiobooks in the browser version of the site. On the iPhone app, though, I could search for and open an audiobook, but got an error any time I tried to play one, telling me that the server couldn't be reached.
  • Since I'm an author, I searched for my own books in their book library. I know for certain I have books in that catalog, so I was surprised to find that searching my name brought up only three books. To find the rest, I had to search for the book titles themselves. Also, if I dropped the "Kevin" from my search, and only searched for "Tumlinson," I got a DIFFERENT set of results, still only with three or four titles.
  • When I approached customer support via their live chat tool (which, I will admit, worked perfectly and was actually a decent experience), the support person I talked to told me there were upgrades in progress. I asked her when the upgrades started, but it took asking three times before she finally said the upgrades had started a few weeks ago. Weeks.
  • I decided to cancel my membership. For the record, that's a free trial of about 30 minutes, tops, most of which time was spent trying to get the service to actually work. When I canceled, they had an abandonment screen that offered me three months for just 99 cents, which I declined. But it does show that they have an attrition and abandonment issue.

Verdict: Not impressed. Not mad at 'em, but definitely not impressed. The one thing I really cared about most was the unlimited audiobook library, and I wouldn't even pay the lower rate for just that, given that it doesn't work on my iPhone, apparently.

AUTHORS: If you are listing your books on Playster, consider checking to see if you get similar results when searching by author or title. If you do, and if you happen to be distributing via D2D, reach out to let our Support team know about your issue. We need to know if this impacts all of our authors, so we can take it to them.

Also, share this as broadly as you like.I have no designs on ruining their business or anything hateful like that, but I would like to hear from authors and customers associated with the service.


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Kevin Tumlinson is the author of numerous novels, novellas, and non-fiction books, and the host of the Wordslinger Podcast. Try three of his best books for free when you download his starter library at kevintumlinson.com/starterlibrary.
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