Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Post #496, wherein I sing the praises of an independent record company that shall remain nameless

A couple of months ago, a new album was released by one of Wife's favourite artists. Being a diamond geezer, I preordered the CD version so that she would have it as soon as humanly possible after the release date. In the event, all things being equal, she received it on or even before the release date. So that was nice.

She listened to the record, which was a compilation of previously unreleased recordings and long-since-unavailable B-sides and the like. She liked it, just as she likes everything by this artist. All good, right? Well yes, up to a point.

A couple of weeks ago, a young chap on my blogroll asked several bloggers for recommendations of songs to go on a CD he was making on the theme of relationships. One of the people to put forth suggestions was a young woman. And one of her song choices was a track by this aforementioned artist. But Wife didn't recognize the name of this track, so she did a little research online.

It turns out that the track is on the vinyl version of the album I bought her a couple of months back, but it's not on the CD. And the problems don't end there, dear reader (and you truly are dear if you've got this far through this insanely anonymous post). In total, there were five songs on the vinyl version that weren't on the CD.

The record company in question put together a double-LP or single CD, the latter able to hold fewer tracks. But as an incentive to buy the vinyl, purchasers are told they will get a one-time-only download of their tracks to save them the hassle of ripping them to their computer, I guess.

Being a proactive kind of guy, I wrote to the record company, explaining how I felt a bit duped. That I'd paid my money and got fewer tracks than someone who paid the same price for an outdated, inferior format. This was Friday last week. On Monday, I received a reply, along with an access code for the download of the whole album, including those five extra tracks.

While I maintain that anyone who has paid the purchase price should be eligible for all the tracks on the album, I still applaud this record company for its excellent customer service. And this is not the first time they have obliged me with free music.

A few months back, this same artist released a free download on iTunes. But only on the US version of iTunes. UK users were not given access for licensing reasons. I e-mailed the company then to ask if it would be released over here; by return e-mail I was sent an mp3 of the song. I think that's fucking cool, don't you?


Blogger Tanya said...

Not every day you come across customer service that is just that: customer service.

06 December, 2006 11:22  
Anonymous cappy said...

well done them. and well done you for not just sitting there and taking it!
mind, i scream at the telly every time they advertise wellers new album as "having all his singles, from his entire career"
er, no. the cd in fact contains 23 tracks from the jam, style council and as a solo artist.
if you require ALL you need to buy the four disc box set, which does indeed contain all 67 (yes thats correct) of his uk single releases.
i, of course, bought it. and then had to try and explain to wifey why, as "you already own them all anyway!"
yes, but not in a box set....etc.
top post as always.
sorry for rambling!

06 December, 2006 12:01  
Blogger a.c.t said...

That is pretty damn cool and good on you for doing something about it. These record companies know how much they rip people off - someone there must've been feeling guilty.

06 December, 2006 12:20  
Blogger Sheamus the... said...

I didnt exactly know where you we going and was feeling a bit lost but I stuck with it and I have been satisfied. Your right...that is awesome.

06 December, 2006 15:06  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Tanya: I know. It makes me happy. And Red, too, since she received the tracks as a result.

Cappy: I have no problem with the premise, but I think they could also say to CD buyers that we have the downloads too. Two reasons: (1) Because we should get the same treatment since we've paid the same amount of money; (2) It's cheaper for the company, since downloads have no real inherent cost to them, whereas an extra CD would have. Makes sense all ways round, no? Girls just don't understand boys' need to buy every version of everything that their fave artists release, do they?!

ACT: Of course they said it's not their intention to dupe people, but what is it exactly? We would have been completely in the dark had it not been for our blog friends! The point is the vinyl buyer pays £10 and gets 20 tracks, so why can't the CD buyer get 20 tracks, too? See my comment to Cappy above for sound business reasons.

Shea: Thanks for sticking with! I'm glad the payoff was worth it.

06 December, 2006 15:43  
Blogger mister anchovy said...

every now and then, when you least expect it, you run into people with a good attitude.....enjoy it.

07 December, 2006 01:49  
Blogger * (asterisk) said...

Mr A: You're so right. It's really nice when it happens, too.

07 December, 2006 09:46  

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