I do some long distance driving, walking and hiking and I’ve dabbled with audio books so I’ve considered the various rental options out there. Most have monstrous DRM processes or file formats that don’t support iPods (strangely enough), but I found one called Simply Audiobooks which offered the rental of physical CDs on a model similar to Net Flix. For a similar fee they have an entry-level program that allows you unlimited rentals, one “book” at a time. I decided to give it a try and was initially optimistic, as they had a 2-5 day delivery period.

And then the days ticked by… 10 days after they claimed they’d shipped the disks, I called and was told to wait a bit longer. This is for a book that was listed available, I might add.

Finally, 13 days later, something arrived today. The shredded cover of a Simply Audiobooks package sans content or even packaging. Thank you Simply Audiobooks and thank you United States Postal Service. Simply Audiobooks’ customer service department was easy to reach, however, and although they did not offer to pro-rate my subscription (this was my first attempt to rent), they did not hassle me when I subsequently asked to cancel the service and requested a refund altogether. I found that a little odd (why not pro-rate and keep a customer?) but it concluded this experiment.

Would I recommend them? Not unless they speed up their service and use a more reliable shipper.