Again, I’m going to preface this by saying that I don’t believe that this is the band’s fault. They signed a contract with Live Nation in the good faith that Live Nation would take care of the band’s business. Unfortunately, it seems as though there are too many cogs in Live Nation’s machine for them to adequately look after bands and their fans, leaving the fans to suffer as they fruitlessly pursue already-paid-for items and/or answers.
In the wake of the issues with tickets to the US shows, stories of problems with the UK store have also started to appear. Trying to become the world’s biggest live entertainment company has caused Live Nation to forget about one of the most important parts of its business: The fans.
Live Nation have contracted the Foo Fighters UK store to Warwick based BackstreetMerch, a company that handles the merchandising for a wide variety of bands and brands. Foo Fighters fans aren’t the only ones with complaints and the company’s Trust Pilot page lists them as “Bad” with several pages of negative reviews.
Complaints from fans include not receiving orders, receiving only partial orders, or having difficulties making returns or getting exchanges. Another big complaint is the sheer lack of communication that fans are facing. From no purchasing or shipping confirmations to phones and emails going unanswered. If fans did get a reply, they were often told that a previously in-stock item was now out of stock or that the item had to be custom created when it had originally been advertised as in-stock (Interestingly, many items on the company’s own website are listed as custom orders which allows them to say that it will take several weeks to fulfill an order.).
In the instance of the Concrete and Gold pre-order bundles many didn’t arrive until weeks after the original release date of the album. The super deluxe bundle, which was priced at £150 (not including shipping and handling), was missing the personalised flight bag. Fans were promised a little extra surprise to make up for their wait, a surprise that some people didn’t receive and whose emails chasing it up were ignored.
Other bundles that were ordered with the expectation of arriving on or before the album’s release date of 15th September didn’t arrive until weeks or months afterwards. Often it took several futile efforts at contacting the company to even get acknowledgement that these had shipped. Other people just hoped that their ordered items would hopefully arrive.
My own experiences include a pre-order which should have shipped in early June. When I hadn’t heard anything by July, I sent them an email asking whether the item was going to be mailed. Only then did a shipping confirmation appear in my inbox and the item thankfully arrived two days later. It was the same case with my pre-ordered bundle. A week after the release of the album, I hadn’t heard anything from the merchandising team so sent an email. Again, a shipping confirmation suddenly materialised and, nearly two weeks after the release, everything safely arrived.
I’ve been lucky. Some peoples stories are far, far worse and have put them on the brink of walking away from the band they love. As one Trust Pilot reviewer, “if you want to ruin your band’s reputation, this is the company to use”.
If you’re waiting on orders from BackstreetMerch, there are a number of ways to contact them.
E-mail them at firstname.lastname@example.org . If you have your order number, include that. If you don’t, include your full name and shipping address and they’ll be able to trace your order through that.
Their phone number is: 01926 839777
Alternatively, some people have had success with contacting them through social media. They can be found at:
Alternatively, you can direct your complaints to Live Nation. You can contact them by going to their Customer Service page and clicking the “Contact Us” tab. If you’re in the US (or using the US store), Live Nation’s contact details can be found here.
What have your experiences with the store been like? Please feel free to use the comments section to let us know.