In my last post I talked about a truly wonderful customer experience I had with Polyvinyl records. I have since made a second order and they continue to give a marvelous customer experience. They have won my heart.
However, I wanted to use this post to talk about the flip side of that coin, a company called MyPlay, which delivered the exactly wrong experience.
My order actually started off with Amazon, which is fine. They deliver fast and everything is generally well packed (which is key with vinyl). I can also easily download MP3’s of most of the vinyl I get from Amazon directly from them as part of the package.
However, Amazon usually offers a lower quality MP3 than most of the download services used by the labels themselves. So I tend to just find the download code included with almost all modern LP’s … except Pete Yorn’s “Music for the Morning After”, for which Columbia Records can burn in hell, but I digress…
Anywho… I put on a new copy of Sia’s “1000 Forms of Fear” and I am liking it. Great voice, great songs and arrangements. I am about two tracks in, when I decide to go download the MP3s.
After a bit of searching on the record sleeve (everyone prints this stuff in mouse type for unknown reasons), I find the download code, which was for the previously mentioned MyPlay website. I was able to go to the site and enter the download code, but this is where things pretty much came off the rails.
By default, the download code attempts to open a new downloader application written in Java. This is without question, the stupidest thing I have encountered in recent memory.
First off, if you don’t have the java plugin installed, you now have to go download it first. Not running the right version? Go download a new one. I actually went ahead and loaded Java, and still got the “missing plugin” error, so the coding is not first rate either. I would point out that at this point, the novice user has gone away.
Being made of stronger (though not necessarily brighter) stuff I tried a few other things (different browsers and such) and finally managed to get a message which basically said, “Hey, you seem to be having problems, would you like to download manually?”
Why yes I would. In fact I am wondering what in the name of Sweet Buttered Jesus possessed you to write a Java application to download files in a web browser. Web browsers have been downloading files since the Mosaic days. What massive improvements over “Click to Download” did you believe you could offer me? Perhaps a new toolbar for my browser? A new set of tracking cookies to monitor my shopping habits? A root kit?
MyPlay is beginning to remind me of that annoying guy that wanders up and pretends to be part of your group conversation, even though nobody in the group knows him. He doesn’t say anything beyond “Yeah” and “I know, right?”. He laughs too loudly and at the wrong times. He has inserted himself into your life and delivers nothing except and oxygen deficit and a general sense of creepiness from every female in your group.
Dimly I am aware that I am liking the Sia tracks playing now, a little bit less.
Clicking the “Manual Download” link leads to page where every track must be downloaded individually… at this point I am annoyed. So I begin clicking my way through the individual links only to find out that the first 10 tracks will download but the final two return “File Not Found” errors.
At this point the record is starting grate on me.
Next stop, the customer service form, where they have replicated the marvelous technology of the phone support tree. This is where you choose an option that almost, but doesn’t quite fit your issue, which leads to a new set of options that also don’t quite fit your issue, and then to a set of options that are so far removed from what you are looking for that you lose consciousness and begin bleeding from the ears.
At this point, I get up and take the record off, put it back in the sleeve and move it to the back of the pile. I am afraid if I continue to listen, the experience with MyPlay will actually lead me to hate this record.
I was actually prompted to look at some of the other artists listed with MyPlay (linked under the vomit inducing title of “Brand Directory”). These are people who’s records I will avoid. Seriously people, you will be judged by the company you keep. If your partners see you as Brands and not Bands, you are hanging out with parasites.
I need to wash the taste of this one out of my mouth. And so I pop open a new copy of Spoon’s “Ga Ga Ga” and out drops a simple download card from Merge Records that begins with “Dear Honored Listener.” Some people get it, and some people never will.