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An Open Letter to Rosetta Stone

Dear Rosetta Stone Ltd.,

On 1 August 2012 I purchased your product, TOTALe Online Arabic - 12 Month Plan, from your website.  As the confirmation email you sent to me, this is what I expected to get with my purchase:

What do you get with the TOTALe Online Access Only product?

  • Rosetta Course™ teaches you Arabic by intuitively associating sounds and images with new language meaning, without translations, grammar drills or memorization.
  • Rosetta Studio™ allows you to interact in live sessions with a Coach who is a native speaker to reinforce your learning as you complete each unit.
  • Rosetta World™ provides a fun online community where you can practice your new skills in interactive games and activities with other learners.
  • Rosetta Stone TOTALe Mobile Companion™ for your iPhone® or iPod Touch® serves as an additional way to practice on the go.
    Download the app from iTunes today.
  • Rosetta COURSe® for your iPad® provides you with a new way to engage in language discovery.
    Download the app from iTunes today.


And this is what I did receive initially, and I was quite happy with my purchase.  However, less than a week from my purchase, you updated the Rosetta COURSe for the iPad, and upon applying the update, I discovered that you had removed support for Arabic from this iPad product.  I immediately wrote to your customer service department asking for a date at which Arabic would be available again for the iPad, to which I received the following very non-committal reply that indicated it would be available sometime in the future:

Yes, Arabic and Farsi were previously available in TOTALe Course HD on iPad (v1.4.8).  With the release of Rosetta Course on iPad (v1.5.4), Arabic and Farsi are no longer available. We are striving to bring Arabic and Farsi to Rosetta Course on iPad in a future release.

We do not have any expected time for this yet. We actually waited to bring the application back quickly(We received many other learners contacting us as well on this.Hence we wanted to respond to all these email`s at a time once we have the update). However, it seems to take more time.

We would keep you posted once the application is back.

We apologize for the delay in replying to your email and apologize for the inconvenience this has caused.

Three months later, on November 17, Arabic was still not available on Rosetta COURSe on the iPad.  I wrote to you again, and not only did you not connect my follow-up to my original, your response indicated that you were not even working on re-adding this functionality.  The response:

The iPad app does not support Arabic. I will provide a language request on your behalf. 

This is unacceptable behavior, and has totally -- or, to use your own branding, TOTALe -- soured me on your product.  While it is true that I still have access to the other aspects of the product, the ability to use my iPad to access these language lessons while I am away from my home computer was one of the reasons I choose your product.  The advertisement of this feature, and then the removal of it, along with your customer service response, I consider unfair and deceptive.

As should be clear by now, I will not be recommending your product or service in the future.


Glen Engel-Cox

Reader Comments (3)

I'm in the same boat. Really want Arabic for ipad. For the price, Rosetta Stone should be churning out app updates like there's no tomorrow to please their customers. Their lack of response to you was utterly unprofessional.

20 Feb 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCar

Same here. I bought this three years ago and still no iPad version of Arabic. I stopped using it and stopped recommending it.

18 Jul 2014 | Unregistered CommenterRegina Joppert

Since I was using RS to try and learn Arabic for my life here in Riyadh, it turns out that not using it was for the best -- the version in RS is more "classical," and nothing like the Arabic spoken here. But the lack of the iPad version is still an annoyance, I agree.

18 Jul 2014 | Registered CommenterGlen Engel-Cox

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