February 8, 2012 § Leave a Comment
Acoustic Sounds is an all encompassing company that specializes in the sale of vinyl albums, and a whole plethora of other music related services. I read on Facebook how they are celebrating their 25th anniversary this year. I have to say that I had a rather unpleasant experience with them late last year. While Christmas shopping I stumbled upon their site, and low and behold they had two albums on vinyl that I was looking to purchase, Foo Fighter’s The Colour And The Shape, and David Lee Roth’s Eat Em And Smile. So I placed my order, it totaled at the time $65.
What I found was that the company offers the worst customer service I have ever encountered in my close to 20 years of being an internet consumer. After making my purchase I was sent an e-mail stating that due to my geographic location I would have to pay what I feel to be an extremely high shipping fee, $43. To be honest why would I pay a shipping fee that cost more then each of the albums on their own? Now I have mention that I started buying vinyl for the first time in 20 years after picking up Angelus Apatrida’s Clockwork at a show late last year. The floodgates opened and I started purchasing all types of albums, Mastodon, Metallica, Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden, Jane’s Addiciton, etc. Albums or boxed sets that have recently come out, or been reissued, and that I would have never purchased on vinyl back in the day. These orders have come from Germany, Japan, the UK, and the US, no other site has charged me even half of that in shipping.
So I left several messages, (I actually have a Vonage number here in Spain, and left a New Jersey number for them to call), asking if someone could call me to further discuss the shipping costs. I heard nothing back from them. A few weeks later I received an e-mail from a customer service rep saying that unless I paid these fees, the order would be cancelled. So again, I wrote this person twice, and receive an e-mail stating that my order was canceled! I called again, left another message, and again no answer.
So what did I do? I ended up purchasing these two albums on another site that offered them at a lower cost, and what a novelty $5 shipping!
The music industry is in down turn, and although I’m sure Acoustic Sounds has their niche customers, and possibly received a swell in business these last few years due to vinyl becoming popular again, but why not respond? Sure, what I was purchasing wasn’t going to put anyone through college, or help someone with their early retirement, but I’m a customer none the less, one that purchased 45 vinyls in the last month and a half. If nothing else, please follow up with people when they have a question or a concern regarding the products or services you offer, they are keeping you in business, and allowing you to celebrate your 25th anniversary. Also, be more upfront with shipping costs when customers are making a purchase, don’t bamboozle people with an e-mail out of left field with additional costs. Had I of seen these charges I would not have wasted my time.
With so many music stores (yes I know, they’re more than a music store) going out of business, you would think that more would be done to care for the business Acoustic Sounds has. Unfortunately, a lot of companies don’t tend to worry about things until it is too late. In the meantime everything is peachy, or “eh it’s just one customer” or “who cares, he’s overseas”, or whatever excuse was used when they chose not to follow up with me. Unfortunately, a lot of these companies don’t wake up until the carpet has long been pulled out from under their feet, and at that time it was everyone’s fault but their own.