Rosetta Stone: a disappointing experience!

by Christine
(Belgium)

My story

I was very excited about leaning Chinese Mandarin with the Rosetta Stone product in 2006. I went to China for work and wanted to get a head start on the language. Although I was learning and repeating the material with focus and passion, I found that I often did not understand the meaning of what I was saying and had to get help from my Chinese friends. Eventually, I took private and university based courses in Beijing to learn the language and it worked much better for me. I came away feeling that perhaps this method did not work so well with as complex a language as Mandarin.

But I liked the approach and with the language basics under my belt, I recently decided to purchase a Rosetta Stone upgrade for levels 1 through 5 to review the material and practice my Chinese. I was especially enthused by the Studio learning experience and the opportunity to fine tune language skills with a native instructor.

Unfortunately, the headset sent to me never worked correctly. My first session, I had trouble hearing the teacher because of noise in the headset. US Customer Service agreed to replace the less than one month old headset but it did not arrive before I returned home to Europe.

So yesterday, I tried to attend a session without a headset after my first scheduled session earlier was canceled due to technical difficulties on the teacher's side- not using the headset caused a huge echo and I had to leave the session. When I contacted Customer Service to have another headset sent to me in Europe, they refused because the product was purchased in the US and now I had moved to Europe which was not in their local market. They told me to buy my own!!!!

My conclusions
I could not recommend Rosetta Stone for Mandarin:
- the Mandarin product is not enough to learn this language from scratch but it works well as a review and practice tool.
- The Studio is a great idea but in reality it falls short on its promise: last minute teacher cancelations, technical difficulties, bad quality head sets.
- There is NO of Global Customer Service commitment to making Rosetta Stone a good learning experience due to country centric policies.

It's when there is trouble that you can see the true mettle of a company. Not impressive so far!

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