Nearly 172 students in one of the history of rock ‘n’ roll classes at Sam Houston State University are out of luck after Rhapsody codes required by the course have failed to work and the company refuses to issue refunds.
After having issues with the codes all semester, assistant professor of music Alexis Valk sent an email out to students two weeks ago stating the company would not issue refunds despite the apparent need for compensation.
“First, there will be no refund for the Rhapsody portion of your packet,” Valk said in the email. “In the meanwhile, use YouTube to listen to your music. The music on the tests, hosted by Pearson, will play without a Rhapsody code number. This is a decision made by the two corporations involved. Apparently Rhapsody will not issue any refunds.”
Valk continued in the email informing those students who have previously purchased the packet that Pearson is aware of the situation and plans to send a new Rhapsody code “as soon as it is available.” In addition, despite the obvious problems with the packet, Valk advised students who have not yet purchased the packet to go ahead and buy them in hopes of the problem correcting itself.
“We have never had this problem before,” Valk said in the email. “It is very frustrating that the packet is flawed, as expensive as it is. Pearson has tried to deliver a better solution, but Rhapsody is blocking it. Regrettably, there is nothing else to do.”
Conner Graham, a sophomore and mass communications major is one of the many students in Valk’s class affected by the failing Rhapsody codes.
“I’m disappointed with how all of this went down,” Graham said. “We’ve had to use the Rhapsody free trial just to get a start on our assignments. When the trial expired, I was again out of luck. I’d love a refund.”
Senior English major Katarsha Walker made attempts to contact Pearson representative Janalyn West on Sept. 27 and has yet to receive any kind of response despite the fact that she threatened to contact the Better Business Bureau. The Houstonian also reached out to West and has yet to receive a response as well.
According to Walker, “they just don’t care.”
Freshman pre-medicine major Brenda Muema said she thinks as a result of the issues her class has experienced with Rhapsody, the course should be restructured for future classes.
“Rhapsody codes failing, well, it is unacceptable, especially for college students,” Muema said. “Due to the fact that we need the codes to do assignments online, we had a minor setback. Not to mention Rhapsody is a bit expensive for college students while Spotify is offering 50 percent off of the subscription because we are students. I think they should switch to Spotify instead of continuing with Rhapsody.”
Another student who received the short end of the stick by purchasing the Rhapsody code is freshman criminal justice major Isabel Garcia, who now believes that maybe the codes are not even a necessity for the class.
“It just seems to me that these failed Rhapsody codes are nothing but fluff to get students to pay more for what they require in class,” Garcia said. “Students do not need Rhapsody to access, nor listen to the online quizzes. If the codes do not work, and doesn’t affect our grades, then we should be issued a refund.”
In addition, Garcia further questioned the integrity of the “required” materials listed for the class suggesting that there are other options available to students which could be utilized for free.
“Rhapsody is helpful to listen to official songs that the class and the textbook refers to, but it isn’t in dire need since there are plenty of other free websites to listen to the material to gain better knowledge of jazz and rock ‘n’ roll,” Garcia said. “That being said, if students are not being issued a refund, then does it mean that we really do need these Rhapsody codes, or is Rhapsody just unwilling to refund our money? Midterms are here and it just makes sense to refund the money back to the students than creating this slower wait time for new codes.”
Angelica Cacered, sophomore and criminal justice and psychology double major said this problem affects her beyond just being able to complete classwork in a timely manner.
“They expect us to pay all this money for textbooks, codes and many more, but when it comes to a failure on their part they won’t give us a simple refund,” Cacered said. “We are all broke college students, they can’t keep doing this to us. That refund could buy me groceries, but now [it] looks like I’ll have to go without.”