Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by HominyRhodes, Sep 20, 2017.
We truly are a weird lot on this forum, aren't we?
Get stuck in. I sat there moping for days with a damaged box sitting unloved in the corner of the room last week, while arguments raged but ultimately you have to get the damn thing open ...and take it from me you will enjoy it. I sort of lucked out in the end but I'm not going to rub that in, as I'm with all of the people who are still suffering. I'm still coming back here to hopefully get people through the pain. Don't sit there missing out, because you will have a big smile on your face when you hear the music. Yes, the bumped corners may be irritating you at the moment but ultimately it is the music that we all subscribed to and it is magnificent. Who would have thought that I would, after avoiding this period for so many years, would be singing its praises now? But that is the way it is. Great band, great performances and ultimately, whether you go with the subject matter or not, they are good songs too.
As I write I have finally got round to listening to San Diego. I'm on track 2 and it is a little more confined than some of the other later performances but nonetheless it is great. And it is a sort of missing link when we have 1980 and 81 shows to savour in the main box, so it is an enjoyable listen.
Go for it. Turn up the volume and let Bob and co. soak away all those frustrations. Really, do it now! I didn't and I was only prolonging the irritation and anger. You can't go back and do anything about that now, so enjoy it. You will honestly.
Just curious, Tom (and CONGRATS on your new box set ) -- did anyone from Sandbag ever respond to your detailed, and extraordinarily polite email, which you shared with us? I sent them a short, blunt message yesterday morning, but they never replied.
Just finished listening to San Diego. Wow. Hang in there everyone.
Yes, I got a response. I don't want to read it today though. I want to actually enjoy the set for a few hours.
Understandable. Glad you're enjoying it.
I did actually just read the response now, and they were very polite, and I thanked them and told them I consider the matter closed. They said they're unhappy with the shipping themselves, and they refunded my fee. They also said "the artist" was adamant that nothing shipped before release date -- I guess that's possible (not Dylan himself, but the organization that makes those decisions), but I also find it hard to believe, considering that stores had it in stock and some people got their deluxe packages on 11/03. Amazon people too.
Big projects like this hit specific shipping/delivery targets all the time -- it's pretty rudimentary logistics.
And if there's no urgency to hitting the release date, why bother having a preorder for fans at all? (I'm afraid I know the an$$wer, but I also don't want to be that cynical about the Dylan organization, considering how generous this set is artistically).
I guess that I'm in the purgatory between the shipping thread and the Big Boy thread. My box is at the house but I'm not home from Norway until Friday so I suppose I'll just drift in and out of each thread like a wandering, lost, soul.
It might be different circumstances. But I can't help but compare this to the recent Hüsker Dü set from Numero.
In that case, they made free downloads available immediately upon purchase. There were some complications, but they mostly got sorted out in a few days. And, as I recall, NPR had the full set available for streaming almost immediately.
A couple months later, they began shipping. Fans didn't all get their sets simultaneously, but as far as I know, most EVERYONE got them (in most cases, days or weeks) before the official retail release date.
That seems to contrast greatly with the experience many people on this thread have experienced.
There might yet be some unfortunate Dylan AND Hüsker Dü fans who were screwed both times.
Numero is also pretty lax about release dates as it is--I've bought stuff from them at their pop-ups and the Chicago outlet store weeks before the album was listed as coming out. It's happened a lot, actually. Also love what they do with digital downloads for purchases from their site.
I might have been stacking the deck by offering this as an example, but I think it offers a concrete example that things don't have to be the way some artists/labels suggest it must be done.
Their answer to you suggests to me that they never even initiated shipment. I doubt they would be so ready to give a refund after it has supposedly been en route for 8 days. It is hard to comprehend that the most serious fans got shafted so terribly.
Agreed - it certainly doesn't have to be this way at all!!!
Another thing that I have been thinking about is that Sony itself isn't doing too well financially (last time I was in NYC, I found the Sony US headquarters had moved - looks like they sold their NYC building). No idea how this effects the mood of people working at Sony and how that trickles down to individual artist releases, like Bob Dylan though.
Anyway, just checked my tracking number, and nothing has been updated since Houston....
And to think I pre-ordered this set the day it was announced. Sigh.
Ah, if only there were more people like you in this world, Tom, I think we'd all be better off. You make me feel like a demanding, ill-tempered ingrate, in comparison to your calm, reasonable, level-headedness. Truly admirable, and I'm happy that you're ready to move on to greener pastures now. We'll meet you over there in the Greatest Thread On Earth shortly.
From reading your summary of the Sandbag response, however, it's clear that they view the shipping refunds they've been issuing as their final act of contrition, even though it's clearly untrue that the box sets were under embargo, and couldn't be 'shipped' until Friday, Nov. 3rd, since it seems that most of the folks who paid the top-rate expedited fees did get their packages on that same date (in the USA, at least). For those of us who opted for USPS Priority Mail, our orders weren't shipped until the following Tuesday, which is when we should have actually been RECEIVING them, and that proves that some hogwash is still being served up among this cabal of 'shipping partners' and 'fulfillment' subcontractors, and that still galls me to no end.
(Trying to emulate you, Tom, trying to let it go, honest I am... )
Really, I think the question now will be: Hey, Sony -- what's up with you? Are you gonna get our tracking info (as proof of the perfidy) and mailing addresses from Sandbag, and send us a little something, ya know, for our trouble? Refunds? JWH sessions / live-concert-of-our-choice on CDs? A three-day pass to the Tulsa Archives with full access to the session tapes?
After all, Sony/bobdylan.com were the ones who did lead us down the ...
primrose path: n. A course of action that seems easy and appropriate but can actually end in calamity.
And the day it was released, the Russian website operated by Putin's buddies to trash American copyrights was uploading both the box and San Diego. They did not get their copy through Houston.
Still in Houston limbo too, but Amazon Italy WAS able to get me the vinyl box set today, before the U.S. box. Funny, really.
Wow, Italy, that is ironic. The vinyl is supposed to be good, too, congrats.
You cancelled the CD set on your credit card, right? Have they said you have to return it, if it ever actually shows up at your door?
No word from the a$$hats at Sandbag. Bank of America will go after them for the $185. As far as I'm concerned I have never received what I paid for.
And the vinyl box was only around $45, so a good deal.
It's not that I'm not still upset... I fully support those of you who take this as far as you see fit. I hope I haven't undermined your efforts by stepping away now that I have the set. They screwed up big time, and they need to make it right.
Either way, I'm glad you see my temperament as some sort of model for healthy living. It makes me laugh, which distracts me from the darkness and emptiness for a few seconds.
I'm still left out in the cold on this thing. I'm in GA now, away from the FL address I had it mailed to on the assumption that by selecting USPS Priority Mail I'd get it in 2-3 days or at least 8 days which is when I had to depart.
I have twice asked them what they could do for me in this regard, and twice offered the idea that they could send me a new box set by two-day mail to my GA address so that the one sent to FL could be returned. They went on radio silence for three days, then when they did reply this morning they flat out IGNORED anything I asked them about alternate possibilities for my order. All they said was:
I can confirm that this order is due for delivery today.
USPS.com® - USPS Tracking® Results
Alex, on behalf of the Customer Service team."
That's it. Well, according to my folks back in Florida, the item has not arrived yet today. These people are liars, hoping to beat out the clock on the presumption that I'll finally get this set in the mail and go away. No. You simply cannot treat people this way. You cannot employ bait and switch tactics on people that lead to real inconvenience, nor can you flat out ignore people when you're in a customer service posture. I'm contacting my credit card company and discussing options with them.
I got a notice from the USPS yesterday that there was a slow train coming............ up around the bend of my walkway to the mailbox (by 8PM tonight) and it arrived several hours early. Now do I open it or slide it onto the shelf alongside the other unopened BS boxes 8 and 10 along with the Original Mono releases? Well, at least I'll have something new to talk with my therapist other than the World War that just passed through my brain...........
"Kind regards"?!? How about "We're sending you a full refund, and then we're shutting down our business, for good."
I finally sent an email to Sandbag and DHL and submitted it as feedback to Sony:
Sony, Sandbag, and DHL:
I have no doubt that your three companies have been getting negative feedback from customers who purchased Bob Dylan's "Trouble No More" Box Set (the "Box"). For reasons only it can provide, Sony decided to partner with two incompetent companies to ship and deliver orders for the Box. And as should have been expected, the whole process has turned into (and continues to be) a ****show for hundreds (if not thousands) of customers. The Box was released on November 3, but there are many people who placed their orders back in September who still have not received their copies!
(Please note that I submitted previous feedback about this to Sony via its website on November 8. Sony stated: "We will get in touch with you shortly", but I have not heard even one peep. Perhaps someone at Sony will at least acknowledge receipt of this email.)
September 20 was the first day people could order the Box and - as a fan of both Dylan's gospel period and of the Bootleg Series in general - I ordered right away. I chose to order the Box through bobdylan.com because of the bonus offer of a 2-disc concert from 1979. My confirmation (from a sandbaguk.com account) of my purchase (Order # BDUDS1179) noted charges of US$174.98 for the Box and US$15.52 for shipping (to Ontario, Canada) for a total of US$190.50.
The first problem was that there was no mention of the bonus concert on my order. I clicked a link in the confirmation and was directed to Sandbag's website. I asked about the inclusion of the bonus concert and was told it would be included, despite no mention of it on my confirmation. (I have read that it was mentioned on some people's confirmations. Why could these not be consistent?)
On October 31, I received an email from Sandbag, stating that the Box was "EN ROUTE TO DHL ECOMMERCE DISTRIBUTION CENTER". I received a DHL tracking number so I could follow the delivery process. Even though the Box was shipped from one US location to another US location, nothing happened for NINE DAYS. How is it possible that it took more than nine days for DHL to receive the Box? From what I have read online (specifically at this message board: Bob Dylan: Bootleg Series Vol 13 Trouble No More -- Pricing & Shipping Thread ), where many fans have shared their horrible (and, in many cases, on-going) experiences), it appears one of two things happened. Either Sandbag lied about when the packages were initially shipped out or DHL received the packages and did absolutely nothing for several days. Either possibility is a disgrace - and reason enough for Sony to never work with these two companies again.
Interestingly, the tracking page was updated, noting DHL's receipt of the Box, on the same day I complained to Sandbag about why nothing had happened for nine days. Was this a coincidence? Also note (from the attached screenshot of my tracking page) that it took DHL 31 hours to process my package. Again, this is a disgrace and completely unprofessional and unacceptable.
Once the Box was in Canada, DHL apparently washed its hands of the matter, turning it over to Canada Post. (Despite someone being home on November 10 and the fact that I live in an apartment building with an open office where packages can be left, the delivery person made no attempt to deliver the Box. He simply stuck a "could not deliver" sticker on the apartment building's door and left. He also back-dated the slip, making it look like he had tried to deliver it on November 9. According to DHL's tracking, however, my package was still in Illinois on that date.)
When I went to pick up the Box at the local post office on November 11, I was shocked to learn that I had to pay an additional $38.96 in "duties and taxes". There was never any indication from either Sony or Sandbag that I would have to pay additional shipping charges beyond the $15.52 that I was charged when I ordered the Box. A few weeks ago, I received some CDs from Numero Group in Illinois and there was no duties or taxes on that package. So why was I charged nearly $40 for a package with similar goods (CDs) being shipped from the same state (Illinois)? No one can give me a proper answer. Perhaps this is simply yet another way for Sandbag and DHL (and Sony, since it is ultimately responsible for the companies it subcontracts to) to gouge its customers for more money.
So ... Sony treated its loyal customers like **** by both not sending out pre-ordered boxes first and then engaging two unprofessional companies to assist it. From reading other peoples' stories, it is clear that Sandbag decided, without informing its customers, that it would ship many (if not most) of the boxes using a cheaper, slower method - thereby increasing its profits by cheating its (and Sony's) customers. And DHL (about whom I have never heard anything positive and actually assumed was out of business) may have sat on hundreds of packages for days without processing them and then - once complaints started rolling in - took an excessive amount of time to do its job.
As I said above, I am a huge fan of the Bootleg Series. I have bought each volume, except for the wildly overpriced 1965-66 set. Sony assumes that Dylan's biggest fans will put up with any kind of crap in order to get more music. That is a gross miscalculation. Thinking about my experience and reading about other customers' nightmares, it becomes crystal clear why more and more people are downloading music illegally. As long as Sony treats its customers in the worst way possible, it will drive potential customers (and their wallets) far far away.
I will be extremely hesitant to purchase anything in the future from Sony - and if Sony uses either Sandbag or DHL again, I will definitely NOT purchase anything.
Sandbag told me on November 9 that it would refund my initial shipping charge of $15.52. However, I have yet to see the refund on my credit card statement.
I believe DHL should reimburse me for the unexpected charge of $38.96. (The shipping label on the Box says it originated from DHL in Canada, so there should be no import fees - and there are no other labels (from the US, for example) on the outside of the package.)
Sony should make things right with Dylan's loyal fans by offering some sort of special compensation. (Perhaps by emailing download links to additional gospel concerts.)
I've said this before, but I was very excited about doing two broadcasts where I would have been able to include the entire set as publicity for Dylan's local concert this week. That whole idea is dead. No other station would ever have done that anywhere. My motivation to do anything like that is completely gone. I will actually be surprised if the order ever comes. I'm sticking with it for the San Diego, for now at least.
Ooo wee! New fun! I should add that never, literally never, in my years of living at my current home has my post man done ANYTHING with a package other than ring bell and leave it at my door. (And I average at least one such package a week, it's not a rare occurance.)
Today, finally the official tracking tells me something new: that a "delivery attempt was made, notice left" at a time this afternoon when I was home. While it is possible, but highly unlikely, that I did not hear a knock or ring, that a "notice was left" is pure lie, neither at mail box nor at door.
Big, big sigh.
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