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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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