Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The eMail said "Calling all Bands, Artists and Musicians!..."

"...Your time has come. Opportunity is knocking... don't pass it up! Go to ***********.com and sign up for a one-year FREE membership and start building your profile."

Okay. So, obviously being incapable of learning from past mistakes, I took the bait. Here's what followed:

----- Original Message -----
From: Me
To: Them
Sent: Monday, March 09, 2009 10:50 PM
Subject: Re: Calling all bands

> I've signed up and went through the motions not once but twice and still
> haven't received my confirmation/activation eMail. Now I'm starting to worry
> this might have been some kind of scam to gather personal information.
> What gives?

To their credit, I got a fairly quick response... from the Memberships Director personally with instructions on what I should try. Upon responding things still didn't work, I got this:

----- Original Message -----
From: JR
To: LN
Sent: Tuesday, March 10, 2009 6:38 PM
Subject: try now...

Hi Luc,

I've reset your account,

Your login username is: **************
password: *************** (case sensitive)

When you log into your account, please update your Profile information. Go ahead and upload photos and images. If you have songs recorded, I encourage you to submit them to our ***** Radio. Don't forget post events, and jobs, etc. But most of all, please stay connected with us.

Because of what happened I've given you 2 years Free membership. I apologize and thank you for registering and for your patience.


Memberships Director

Okay so a free membership's not bad. Trouble is, that's when the real trouble started...

Thanks JR,

There seems to be a problem with your login page. Once the proper username and password are entered it redirects you to a second login page that looks and acts just like a Password Recovery page (see screen print below). Ignoring this and entering the proper username and password a second time does prove successful, if somewhat perplexing.

Travelling further into your site, I am instructed to read through and fill out legal agreements to accompany the music I send you. Understanding that not all musicians hold university degrees I can forgive the odd grammatical error. However, when the legal agreement you expect me to sign looks and reads no better than a loosely and hastily cut & pasted eMail, or the jumbled thoughts on so many blogs, then you have a real problem.

I'm sure your heart is in the right place and I love getting in on the ground floor on these types of things but there is no ground floor. You have a website that was launched before it was tested and legal agreements that frankly don't do much to reassure my music would be in good hands. On the web, one strike and you're out. I gave you three: registration, login & legalese.

My advice, which is literally worth less than the paper it may or may not be printed on:
  1. Stop sending out eMails to musicians.
  2. Retain a lawyer. If you have one, fire him/her and get your money back.
  3. Ask your new lawyer, preferably one well versed in the music industry, to write up new agreements.
  4. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one cannot be appointed to you so get someone who knows spelling and grammar at or above an 8th grade level.
  5. Hire a webmaster. If you have one... threaten to take away their triple mocha latte if they don't get the site working properly.
As for client support, you get full marks for well-written, timely eMails and that personal touch.

I wish you every success with your venture. As of right now, I am in no way compelled to create a profile on your site, let alone upload music.

I will be removing all direct links and names and will blog this on indiediy.blogspot.com. I'd be happy to track the progress you're making in rectifying these issues. Please feel free to write a comment or two. If you comment, you may be letting the reader know who you are and what company you're with.



And that's where we stand today.

Many of these places are well-intentioned. They have as many dreams and aspirations as us musicians do. Many of them are musicians.

We should all just get together and jam. Forget this tangled web.

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