by Alex Montana
(Sacramento, CA USA)
Rosetta Stone company and Rosetta Stone Spanish (Latin America version):
The Rosetta Stone as a company is very poorly managed and both sales and customer service are extremely poor and information they have provided have consistently been incorrect. Do not expect to receive your product in a reasonable amount of time especially if you pay for expedited delivery such as 2 day delivery. Also, do not believe the arrival date given to you by the sales staff which appear to be an outsource telephone service. Purchasing online would seem to be a better bet but we have had orders we made online cancelled and no delivery without any information about why this occurred from Rosetta Stone customer service. To receive the product it is possible to go to a retail outlet (check their website for outlets) and buy the package but they usual do not have the advanced courses only intro levels such as 1-3.
If you order online or by phone your credit card is billed immediately which is typical for anything these days. If they cancel the order they take several weeks to refund your money and our bank was not happy with their refund process since it showed we had a lower bank balance which was not trivial at $770 plus for the product.
Purchasing the language package from a local retailer
may result in your having CDs that were several years old and do not have the updates and corrections.
The Spanish version we initially used from Rosetta Stone was pretty basic probably good for someone with not language skills at all. We had hoped to benefit from the advanced (4-5) sections and the reading and writing but these were very basic. Considering the amount of time involved our staff compared several alternative ways to learn Spanish. The best way was of course to do 1-2 weeks of immersion at a language school in Guatemala, Colombia, or Peru. The Rosetta Stone claim to a different philosophical method of learning is not accurate but it is an improvement over the old repetition tapes.
We are actively using other software to gauge which approach is best for our needs which is to prepare people with limited to medium level language skills before they travel to work with foreign colleagues in Latin America. At this time we won't make a review statement of the other language programs since we have several people working with them and their input would be needed but there are other products that are at least equal and possibly better in some respects to Rosetta Stone. Rosetta Stone has just done a much better job at advertising. We won't be purchasing their products in the future.