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Old October 16th 2017, 01:30 AM
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Default Open Letter To Management & Fans Re Live Nation Merch Stores

After recent service I have felt the need to write this open letter about the band's merch stores to all Foo fans and Band Management. Maybe someone that can do something will see it, probably nothing will happen. But at least fans will get some info that may help them.

And for perspective I state them as someone that bought enough merchandise from the store in 2015 to get sent one of the 50 Saint Cecilia keys; my total spend over many store iterations would easily be over 20K.

I'm not going to get into specific events as that is pointless. What I'm going to state here are specific FACTUAL things that the stores do, and the way they run when certain things happen. These aspects I highlight range from (in my opinion) pretty bad to outright atrocious.

UK/EU Store:
When you purchase an item from the UK/EU store, VAT (Value Added Tax) is included in the advertised total. IF your order is shipping to a UK/EU address then that VAT will be payable to HM Revenue & Customs. If you DO NOT live in the UK/EU and are requesting shipping elsewhere in the world, then the goods are exempt from VAT as per law here:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/vat-how-...ly-of-services

"If the place of supply of your service is not in the EU you don’t have to charge EU VAT but you should include the sale in box 6 on your VAT Return."

All reputable online EU retailers immediately discount their final cart prices by the included VAT amount (20% on the UK/EU store).

The UK/EU store DOES NOT discount the non payable VAT. Instead it continues to charge the same VAT inclusive price to non EU shipping addresses, plus postage. Then it appears to quietly slip the 20% VAT into its pocket (because it does not have to pay it to HM Revenue & Customs it just becomes straight profit). I doubt this windfall is even ever shared with the Band, they probably dont even know all these fans are being royally (ha funny) fleeced.

So if you shop on the UK Store from outside of the EU, always remember that you are giving 20% of your total order price away to Live Nation Charity INC- arguably illegally.


US Store:
When you place an order for multiple items and it is accepted because all the stock was available, here is what can happen. (all factual actual cases of what has happened to me).

1) Items are actually later NOT available. This happens on a semi regular basis now (never used to). This indicates a very poor ability to truly manage stock levels.

2) Orders may take a very very long time to fulfill, even when all stock items originally advertised "will be available from" date have well and truly passed for all items in your order. This indicates either poor stock logistics, poor order management, or both.

3) When an item is NOT available from your order, your order will always be adjusted WITHOUT any notice to you as to what you would like to do (i.e. substitute another item, cancel the whole order etc). In today's online retail world this should be considered sub standard customer service, bordering on bad.

4) When your order is adjusted and items are removed you may get; an out of stock item notification and a refund notification, just an out of stock item notification, or just a refund notification. This indicates no real process control is in place and significantly reduces understanding and trust that what is being done is even going to happen either.

5) When pressed hard over such changes with no notice, the store MAY send you a stock email reply that contains a list of rote comments that have nothing to do with your query. This indicates a desperate team of people trying to say something to fob off a high volume of queries they can't or don't want to personally answer.

6) When pressed hard over such changes with no notice, the store MAY advise you that full order cancellation IS possible. But IF you are told this, you are only told this AFTER you ask, never BEFORE they take action. This just confirms the terrible process, where contact and the offer of cancellation should be made as soon as a stock issue is identified.

7) When advice is given by yourself in response to the possibility of a full cancellation, the store may not actually wait for your reply after making the offer, but instead may in fact just go ahead and complete fulfillment of the remainder of your order before even reading your response. This indicates the fulfillment team and the customer services team do not communicate with each other at all, or do so very badly.

8) When you have asked a question or action about your partial order and then find your request is never actioned, but rather the remainder of an order was instead actually processed (as in 7), your earlier response may still be replied to with an offer to cancel your order, even after the remainder of the order has been fulfilled and shipped!. This indicates utter confusion, or perhaps simply no attempt to even look at your order information before sending out a reply.

And finally - the worst...

9) When an item or items are removed from your order (with no contact), a refund WILL be processed for the ITEM value ONLY (in EVERY case). This is despite the fact that when you originally added items to your cart, every additional item added affected the shipping total (upwards). NO ATTEMPT is made to refund the equal portion of shipping that you have also already paid for, relevant to the removed items.

10) When pushed hard over not refunding prepaid shipping, the store may:
A) Agree to refund you some of the prepaid shipping
B) Send you a stock email asking if you want to cancel your order
C) Just go ahead and cancel your entire order so you get back all your shipping and all of everything paid and get no items at all. AND ignore all correspondence and offer no reply to further attempts to get any answers.

10C happened to me 2 weeks ago. Utterly Pissed Off is the only nice way to describe how it left me feeling.

No merchandise site can ever hope to do real volume sales like this and be perfect. But this is a long long way from not perfect.

The service issues I would class as pretty shitty to straight bad.

The two financial issues (one in each store), given by definition they are screwing over the band's most dedicated fans, well they have to be classed as outfight fucking scandalous.

I actually order enough I know from the changing order numbers over time the volume of orders that go through each store. I could run even the US one 10x better myself with just 5 people. And nobody would be ripped off.

So there you go - rant over.

Last edited by FooZealand : October 16th 2017 at 01:52 AM.
  #2  
Old October 16th 2017, 06:49 AM
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Default Re: Open Letter To Management & Fans Re Live Nation Merch Stores

Very naughty. The service is awful to non existant. People i know who have ordered from the store have not got their merch. They have had to make multiple phone calls as emails are ignored. When they speak to someone they are promised a call back the same day. No call so they had to contact LN again. Mate was lied to saying stuff had been sent, will send out more merch. Nothing.

Like i have said before when we noticed LN had taken over the Foo store to prepare for crappy service from my past experience with different artists they also run.
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  #3  
Old October 17th 2017, 09:30 AM
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Default Re: Open Letter To Management & Fans Re Live Nation Merch Stores

So here you go folks, their response I guess. No email, no advice on this whatsoever. Caught the Slater posters just as they went up on Friday here and

THIS IS HOW THEY TREAT ONE OF THEIR BIGGEST CUSTOMERS:

TODAY I'M GUILTY OF FRAUD!


http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~xphile/FRAUD.png

My relationship with this band is pretty much now fucked - who would/could ever shop with them after this? And how can I support a band that will allow this to happen after 22 years of support.

It's fucking criminal.
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Old October 17th 2017, 09:59 AM
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Default Re: Open Letter To Management & Fans Re Live Nation Merch Stores

That's disgusting behaviour, really the band/management need to get this sorted out asap.

Recently the Uk store has been somewhat ok with me, but have had issues with them before that.
  #5  
Old October 17th 2017, 02:47 PM
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Default Re: Open Letter To Management & Fans Re Live Nation Merch Stores

As much as you have spent on this band, their management really should find a way to make this right for you. Fingers crossed that they do! Sorry you had that happen to you.
  #6  
Old October 17th 2017, 03:58 PM
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Default Re: Open Letter To Management & Fans Re Live Nation Merch Stores

Is this something that you could snail mail to SAM? Just a suggestion
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Old October 17th 2017, 04:08 PM
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Default Re: Open Letter To Management & Fans Re Live Nation Merch Stores

Quote:
Originally Posted by DonnaInVA View Post
Is this something that you could snail mail to SAM? Just a suggestion
Might be an idea or email Sam so fooZ can attach that cancellation email?
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  #8  
Old October 17th 2017, 07:06 PM
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Default Re: Open Letter To Management & Fans Re Live Nation Merch Stores

Quote:
Originally Posted by FooZealand View Post
So if you shop on the UK Store from outside of the EU, always remember that you are giving 20% of your total order price away to Live Nation Charity INC- arguably illegally.
Sorry I think you're wrong on this one. There was a scandal recently where stores in airports were charging VAT in the manner you describe, where you were being charged VAT on items taken outside the EU. There are complicated factors such as having different prices for travel outside of EU, plus what items would attracted the discount and what wouldn't.

You have provided no evidence whatsoever that Live Nation (or whoever) aren't paying the VAT they charge you over to HMRC. You are speculating based on what the tax rules are, and if they are being applied in that manner.

There is nothing illegal whatsoever in charging VAT on all your UK based transactions.

HMRC will inspect the VAT records, and having undergone a HMRC inspection into our companies VAT (every three years..) they dig through EVERY invoice to ensure you aren't short changing them, they feel they have "failed" if you don't owe them money after the inspection - though last time I went through one they owed us!! Though on one occasion we owed them.. and it was a lot!

For all you know HMRC are being paid ALL the VAT (less input VAT) on your transactions.
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  #9  
Old October 17th 2017, 08:40 PM
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Default Re: Open Letter To Management & Fans Re Live Nation Merch Stores

Quote:
Originally Posted by evenflow47909 View Post
As much as you have spent on this band, their management really should find a way to make this right for you. Fingers crossed that they do! Sorry you had that happen to you.

No shit - since June this year alone JUST the US store. ALL with exactly the same details all the way on every order - address credit card blah blah - and the last one is fraud - no the last one is someone that decided hey these will sell in seconds regardless - but not to him!

https://i.imgur.com/69Nfl85.png

I have no way to contact Sam merch (I don't know email addresses). I have this board and the people on it and that's really it from here in NZ - I don't get to meet all the crew and make contacts etc.

I've thought about it over night - I simply can't order any more from the store. How can I - there is no way I'll know what they will or will not fulfill, or even if they will fill orders but never actually send the items and just say it's my fault it was lost in transit.

As a collector that now can't properly collect I'm totally fucked, it takes away half my enjoyment.

Once I add the huge amount of resentment I feel right now that this can ever even be allowed happen, I just want nothing more to do with any of it. I feel utterly betrayed and stabbed in the back.

So I'm out - Im done. I just can't be fucked trying to fight for something that should not only be easy, but should be outright fun - what the fuck is the point, and why the fuck should I have to? I will go focus on something new and hope that come February I can find enough excitement to actually go to the NZ concert.

I truly hope nobody else gets caught like this by these c@#ts at Live Nation.
  #10  
Old October 17th 2017, 08:53 PM
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Default Re: Open Letter To Management & Fans Re Live Nation Merch Stores

Quote:
Originally Posted by littledarkpoet View Post
Sorry I think you're wrong on this one.

For all you know HMRC are being paid ALL the VAT (less input VAT) on your transactions.
Only IF that WAS the case it would take 15 seconds to respond to my request for explanation by saying exactly that.

Their response: SILENCE

Ask yourself this - what kind of sales advantage does taking 20% off your effective retail price have to the volume of sales you might make.

Answer - it's fucking monumental. Amazon UK have built half their business out of that fact.

So if a large retail outlet like Live Nation arent doing it also, but are in fact needlessly charging VAT on Non UK customer orders and then paying it to the UK govt, and in so doing unnecessarily screwing BOTH those customers AND themselves... then they are the epitome of the definition of fucking idiots.

So they are that stupid that they can't do what's needed to make tens or hundreds of thousands more profit, AND they just cant be fucked replying to say so. OR they are ripping people off.

Some choice.
  #11  
Old October 18th 2017, 12:24 PM
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Default Re: Open Letter To Management & Fans Re Live Nation Merch Stores

There's a lot of moving pieces knowing what I know about some of this kind of thing, it's not Dave and his management dealing with these orders or even close. I also wouldn't assume anyone in their management has seen this. So before you get to upset, give it some time.



Quote:
Originally Posted by FooZealand View Post
So here you go folks, their response I guess. No email, no advice on this whatsoever. Caught the Slater posters just as they went up on Friday here and

THIS IS HOW THEY TREAT ONE OF THEIR BIGGEST CUSTOMERS:

TODAY I'M GUILTY OF FRAUD!


http://homepages.ihug.co.nz/~xphile/FRAUD.png

My relationship with this band is pretty much now fucked - who would/could ever shop with them after this? And how can I support a band that will allow this to happen after 22 years of support.

It's fucking criminal.
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  #12  
Old October 18th 2017, 01:40 PM
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Default Re: Open Letter To Management & Fans Re Live Nation Merch Stores

Quote:
Originally Posted by FooZealand View Post
Their response: SILENCE

Ask yourself this - what kind of sales advantage does taking 20% off your effective retail price have to the volume of sales you might make.

So they are that stupid that they can't do what's needed to make tens or hundreds of thousands more profit, AND they just cant be fucked replying to say so. OR they are ripping people off.
a) Do you think that most of the people that deal with the emails they receive understand your question about VAT? b) they don't have to answer the question - if you're being hardnosed about it, you're buying from a UK store and are given the costs before buying, whilst you could ask the question your items are sold under the terms of UK Law.

Yes in theory should they be disposed to they could not pay over the VAT on items shipped outside the EU. Yes it would increase the profits made.

I don't think I can state this further a business has no obligation to inform you regarding their tax affairs or business processes, they only have to conform to the law regarding them.

From what I can see the Foo UK store has given you the cost of your purchases, including VAT, and you have chosen to purchase, you haven't questioned before purchase if you can reclaim the VAT as its being shipped outside the EU, to which they could answer or not. You could then have made a somewhat informed decision, or accepted there wasn't an answer.

Whilst I sympathise with you on this, and cannot speak for why your order was cancelled, I don't believe that any laws have been broken.
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Old October 18th 2017, 06:46 PM
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Default Re: Open Letter To Management & Fans Re Live Nation Merch Stores

I kind of feel like you KNOW you have an outlet here and that would be me. It's pretty easy for me to contact management and let them know what's up. If you want to just cut to the specifics and what you ordered and what you need, I am sure that we can get it organized.

Management can't possible be aware of everything like they used to be they do know who to contact at the stores to make it right. It's not like it's a merch person in the back room at the SAM office.

So, please email me with the particulars and I can have them look into it. Pretty sure the fraud thing is a mistake, but again, it's up to you if you want me to ramp it up.

I am super busy at a real job work audit (and a very sick father) and I don't have time to cut and paste all the non essential info out of your posts again, if you can give me a readers digest version (to the point) I am happy to be your voice.

Thank you.

It would also be suggested that you try and remain pleasant in your email to me and then if you want to send a complaint about all the stuff you outlined I am happy to do that too. Management doesn't look here really since I manage it and Simon looks daily. He let me know this was going on.
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Old October 18th 2017, 10:24 PM
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Default Re: Open Letter To Management & Fans Re Live Nation Merch Stores

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jill View Post
I kind of feel like you KNOW you have an outlet here and that would be me. It's pretty easy for me to contact management and let them know what's up. If you want to just cut to the specifics and what you ordered and what you need, I am sure that we can get it organized.

Management can't possible be aware of everything like they used to be they do know who to contact at the stores to make it right. It's not like it's a merch person in the back room at the SAM office.

So, please email me with the particulars and I can have them look into it. Pretty sure the fraud thing is a mistake, but again, it's up to you if you want me to ramp it up.

I am super busy at a real job work audit (and a very sick father) and I don't have time to cut and paste all the non essential info out of your posts again, if you can give me a readers digest version (to the point) I am happy to be your voice.

Thank you.

It would also be suggested that you try and remain pleasant in your email to me and then if you want to send a complaint about all the stuff you outlined I am happy to do that too. Management doesn't look here really since I manage it and Simon looks daily. He let me know this was going on.
Thanks Jill. I do of course know you are here, but I did not want to presume this was appropriate to take up with you directly.

Additionally I believe the issues should be public and not just raised behind the scenes.

With that said I have said enough here, and the last thing I want to do is have this go anywhere near an argument with other fans either. So there will be no further discussion here by me.

I have sent you an email. The fraud issue is absolutely my biggest concern, and while that happened before I started this thread I did not know anything about it until AFTER I wrote the first post here, because I only found out about it by seeing the refund hit my credit card account days afterward.

Losing those foil posters is a huge bummer, but nothing compared to the fact I have now lost absolutely all trust in the store to process my orders or that it 100% feels like I am being directly targeted by staff at Live Nation. So those are the things I most want resolved / assurance over.

Last edited by FooZealand : October 18th 2017 at 10:26 PM.
  #15  
Old October 23rd 2017, 09:43 PM
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Default Re: Open Letter To Management & Fans Re Live Nation Merch Stores

I don't want to put Mike's business up here but we are working on this offline. Mike can share though.

If you have a store issue and are unable to resolve it (I'll ask for proof) then you can always email me with the particulars and I will be happy to be an intermediary on your behalf.
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