Audible is making some changes to its membership program and how it issues credits, which are used to buy audiobooks through the subscription service. Now, any credits earned through Audible will last up to one year, whereas previously they lasted only six months.
The change comes after a class-action lawsuit (and a couple of others) against the Amazon-owned audiobook publisher, which claimed that customers might not have realized that any membership credits they purchased, had been given as a gift, or that had hit a rollover limit would be lost. The suits also alleged that Audible wasn’t transparent about how it charged a customer’s card, by moving to a secondary card on file in the event that the primary one was declined. The lawsuits are in the process of being settled.
Audible sells audiobooks in a couple of ways. You can go over to the site and purchase an audiobook at the listed price without a membership, but you will likely pay quite a bit more. The company also sells a multi-tiered membership plan that issues said members credits on a monthly schedule.
Members get monthly credits, which they can exchange for books
“Gold Monthly” tier members pay $14.95 a month and get a single credit per month, while “Platinum Monthly” members pay $22.95 a month and get two credits, along with an additional discount on additional audiobooks and select original titles that the publisher offers each month. (There are also annual tiers that drop the individual price per credit a bit more.) Users can then exchange those credits for a single audiobook in the store.
Prior to April 1st, those credits would expire after six months, which became an issue if you didn’t immediately use your credits and let them stockpile, only to realize later that you’d wasted the money paying for Audible when the credits disappeared. Now, those credits will expire after a year, as will credits issued under an annual plan (where you buy 12 or 24 at once). Credits issued under the annual plans prior to April 1st, 2019 will expire after two years.
Members will see another change as well: they’ll get a monthly email statement listing the credits that they have, along with expiration dates. They can also use any unused credits to gift a book to a friend or family member, and can now place their membership on hold for anywhere between one to three months, up to once a year. The changes should make the company’s membership plans a bit more flexible, giving listeners more time to use the credits they paid for if their reading list is backed up.