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best/worst customer service from a distro/label?


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Some of you might think this will be petty so I'll start with that.

 

Qrates.

 

I'll keep the artist's name out of it since none of this is their fault. I crowdfunded 2 records that both hit the goal of 200 pressed. First of all, Qrates refuses to combine shipping. Both are completed and in-hand and have been for about a month. The artist got their copies a month before anyone who crowdfunded it. They did not care about shipping to customers whatsoever. It took them a month of having it in hand to finally ship one of the two to me. No idea when the other will ship. Since both are done and in hand, I emailed again asking #1 what's up with the month long delay even though the artist got their copies and #2 can they please combine shipping. They charged $10 priority shipping for both. A huge waste of money for the customer imo. Their response: we're dispatching soon and no they can't combine shipping (they can but they don't want to).

 

Here's the part that frustrated me the most: they shipped it media mail. For $10 domestic AND advertising as priority! I checked my receipt and it says "Shipping Method Priority shipping from Michigan/US (With tracking)." I sent another email asking for a refund due to the error in shipping method. Their response was "Sorry for the confusion because as a friendly reminder, we only have two types of shipping option, first is the Standard shipping with no Tracking and the other is called Priority shipping which is with Tracking details, but uses USPS media Mail."

 

That's literally not what I paid for and not what was advertised. And if they're saying it has priority as a timeliness issue to ship sooner, well clearly it's not because they waited a month to ship them after being in hand.

 

I'm curious what you all think if you can please be serious in replies. Am I out of line for wanting a refund for $10 for media mail that was advertised as priority shipping?

 

We're talking $3.82 for media mail and maybe $1-2 for the mailer, tape and label. So if they're pocketing an extra $4 per record, we're talking over $1,000 being pocketed for the copies they're mailing on their own. That's just for 2 records, not to mention all the other artists they work with.

 

Whenever they ship the second record and if it comes as media mail as well I'm thinking I'll file a credit card dispute. Either way, I think it's bad business.

Edited by N8TRU
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That’s obnoxious.  At the post office, you can literally ship something Priority.  It’s called Priority.  And it’s way pricier than Media Mail. You don’t get to rename something “Qrates Priority” when it’s lowkey Media Mail.  Media Mail is quite literally the cheapest possible shipping option for records and it has tracking baked in by default – what is their “Standard”, I wonder?  Because based off your post above, it sounds like they’re suggesting tracking does not come with whatever they’re calling “Standard”.  Which is completely bogus.

Like you said, it’s “only” a $4-5 difference to raise a fuss over, so I’m sure they’re banking on the majority of folks to simply not care enough to make a scene.  But as you pointed out, that really adds up over time and volume.

These days, I see more and more labels charge $5-9 for their version of Media Mail, which is definitely questionable (on the $9 end) but at least they’re transparent about calling it what it is.  Pretty shitty of Qrates to forgo that.

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On 6/29/2022 at 11:33 AM, Derek™ said:

That’s obnoxious.  At the post office, you can literally ship something Priority.  It’s called Priority.  And it’s way pricier than Media Mail. You don’t get to rename something “Qrates Priority” when it’s lowkey Media Mail.  Media Mail is quite literally the cheapest possible shipping option for records and it has tracking baked in by default – what is their “Standard”, I wonder?  Because based off your post above, it sounds like they’re suggesting tracking does not come with whatever they’re calling “Standard”.  Which is completely bogus.

Like you said, it’s “only” a $4-5 difference to raise a fuss over, so I’m sure they’re banking on the majority of folks to simply not care enough to make a scene.  But as you pointed out, that really adds up over time and volume.

These days, I see more and more labels charge $5-9 for their version of Media Mail, which is definitely questionable (on the $9 end) but at least they’re transparent about calling it what it is.  Pretty shitty of Qrates to forgo that.

Is this how you talk about vinyl? I want to be more like you.

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Vinyl itself?  I suspect not.  Unless you count announcing when it sells out or inquiring about press sizes – I think he lives for that.  But I also think that may have something to do with his miserable gig at his local Urban Outfitters.  I guess he does have a penchant for shit-tier pop-punk from the early 2000s though, if you wanted to count that.  But I’d assume he streams all of it, and just buys records to display like Funko Pops.  Doubt he owns a turntable.

Anyway.  Did you want to actually try contributing to the discussion?  Your boy N8TRU has stood up for you in several discussions over the last few months.  He asked a genuine question above.  The least you could do is weigh in on it instead of going off the deep end.

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  • 3 weeks later...

An update on Qrates:

I went through the process again with them when they shipped the second record as media mail. Same customer service rep, same reply that their priority uses media mail. This time I decided to reply back and kindly let them know if I didn't receive a refund towards shipping costs I would be filing a credit card dispute due to false advertising.

 

Their response: "As a gesture of goodwill, we'll proceed with the partial and just to confirm you're requesting for a refund for 4 USD? Once we process this, please be advised that our Priority shipping is using Media Mail, to avoid confusion moving forward."

 

Additionally I can confirm my credit card company sided with me for the dispute I placed. I don't really know any other details other than their brief letter stating I would be receiving a permanent credit for the amount I disputed.

 

End story: if you pay for something specific, you shouldn't be given less than what is paid for and documented. It's in their own writing on the receipt. All they have to do is stop calling it priority shipping and call it what it is: media mail. Or just call it shipping. I'm not going to lecture grown adults running their own business because in my opinion that would be rude. They just need to correct their wording and stop misleading customers.

Edited by N8TRU
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hassle Records. Jesus. The only moniker that might be more fitting is Take Your Money and Ghost You Records.

I pre-ordered the limited version of the new Petrol Girls record from them back in March. I saw the retail version on shelves right around its release date in June. I gave them a month and sent a polite email inquiring about the status of the order. After a week, no response, so I sent a second polite email. *crickets* I found a different email address on their site and tried that one. Once, twice, no response. I saw yet another email address on their parent label's Discogs page and gave that a shot. Success! But then I looked closer at the response and it looks like something someone typed up in Mandarin and then ran through Google translate. To wit:

 

"In response to your concerns, we have had a little trouble with our fulfilment partner in the US. For some reason, they were having difficulty ingesting US orders such as yourselves, but this issue has now been resolved. I have been assured that they will be shipping these orders imminently, so you can expect to receive your order very shortly."

 

That was over a month ago. I reached out again last week just to see if anyone had any more info or if it was possible to get a refund, but I'm not getting any response whatsoever. I don't know how they are for you fine folks in the UK, but if you reside in the states I'd recommend staying far away from these pricks.

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7 hours ago, harr0397 said:

Hassle Records. Jesus. The only moniker that might be more fitting is Take Your Money and Ghost You Records.

I pre-ordered the limited version of the new Petrol Girls record from them back in March. I saw the retail version on shelves right around its release date in June. I gave them a month and sent a polite email inquiring about the status of the order. After a week, no response, so I sent a second polite email. *crickets* I found a different email address on their site and tried that one. Once, twice, no response. I saw yet another email address on their parent label's Discogs page and gave that a shot. Success! But then I looked closer at the response and it looks like something someone typed up in Mandarin and then ran through Google translate. To wit:

 

"In response to your concerns, we have had a little trouble with our fulfilment partner in the US. For some reason, they were having difficulty ingesting US orders such as yourselves, but this issue has now been resolved. I have been assured that they will be shipping these orders imminently, so you can expect to receive your order very shortly."

 

That was over a month ago. I reached out again last week just to see if anyone had any more info or if it was possible to get a refund, but I'm not getting any response whatsoever. I don't know how they are for you fine folks in the UK, but if you reside in the states I'd recommend staying far away from these pricks.

The label name fits apparently. That PG record is sick so that's a shame. Have you hit up the band? Maybe they have a better contact they can give you or they can contact someone. The band seems active on social media.

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Yeah, that's my option of last resort, but I can't think of anything else to do at this point. I don't understand why labels can't just briefly respond. I'm not going to get bent out of shape if an order gets overlooked or their count ends up short. Mistakes happen. Just refund my money and move on. It's the silence that angers me.

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Don’t have a conclusion on In The Red Records yet, but right now I feel pretty meh about them. I moved back in January. Since I have a spreadsheet of all my orders, it made it quite easy to go back and request every label to update my address. Basically everyone did it within a reasonable time (~1 week).
 

The hardest one was for the Linda Linda’s EP. First email was in January. Second in March to a different email. Messaged them on IG and they gave me another email, so sent a Third 5 days later to a third email. Then they sent out a general “hey this is finally shipping soon” email so I messaged IG again and they gave me a fourth email. Sent to that and got a response back in a few days saying they had updated it and records were supposed to go out in a week.
 

Didn’t think about it today, but never got my record. Sent another email to follow up. We’ll see whether they care I guess.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 4 months later...

I just got a package with four records from Cruz del Sur in Italy. It arrived in about a week, via DHL, at a reasonable cost. They used a Whiplash-like rectangular mailer. Every single record came in a poly-lined inner and was carefully removed from the cover while leaving the shrink intact. I didn't ask for it, they just did it. All of the records arrived in mint shape and look beautiful. Can't wait to spin them later.

 

Total support to the maniacs at Cruz del Sur!  \m/

 

 

Edited by ParallelofDeath
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