Two good to be true?
October 5, 2000 7:41 AM   Subscribe

Two good to be true? 12 CDs for the price of one. I thought the Napster-obsessed Major Labels didn't like free music. Perhaps there's a nasty surprise in store when the service charges arrive.
posted by Cobbler (12 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Err.. these have been around for a long long time now. Long before Napster.
posted by jbeaumont at 7:50 AM on October 5, 2000

It's not the service charges, it's the non-responding that'll kill ya... This is exactly the same thing as the "record clubs" of old - they send you a flyer once a month and you have x days to respond. If you don't, they send you "this month's selection" and charge it to your credit card. You can return it - at your expense - but they've had the use of your money in their bank accounts until they feel like refunding it. Careful shopping for CDs on sale will get you approximately the same deal, without having to worry about sending in the stupid response card.
posted by m.polo at 7:52 AM on October 5, 2000

and here's a funny thing abou those record club cd's.. they are not the same cd's that you buy in the store. while this won't make much difference to the 'average' cd buyer, it does make a small difference if you ever try to sell them at a used record store. if you have bought any cd's from a record club, look closely at the cd back and the cd itself. it will have a small stamp that says "bmg' or "crc" if you bought it though bmg or columbia records, respectively. I believe it works this way: the clubs license the music from the record label and print their own cd's... they just look pretty much exactly like the major-label cd's. this is how they give them away cheaply. And I think they are somewhat lesser quality... they are worth less (to the knowing eye) when you try to buy or sell them in a used cd marketplace. Please correct if i'm wrong.
posted by bison at 8:01 AM on October 5, 2000

>Perhaps there's a nasty surprise in store (snip)

Yeah, it's called 95% of the CD's offered are the Greatest Hits of the Best Of Classic Hits Collection.

At least 12 of them for a penny was fair market value.

>they are not the same cd's that you buy in the store (snip)

TRUE. I got the "Best of Dire Straits". Money for Nothing was mysteriously missing a verse. Care to guess which one?

Mysteriously still, the missing verse was included on the lyrics page. Some censorship you got there, Ferd.
posted by ethmar at 8:08 AM on October 5, 2000

Cobbler, are you aware that the URL you provided logs me into your account? I was able to figure out where you live.
posted by parrots at 8:26 AM on October 5, 2000

looks like someone logged him out
(it was working a second ago)
posted by pnevares at 9:10 AM on October 5, 2000

If I recall correctly, there was one verse of that song that was in the album version of the song, but not in the single. Songs are often made shorter for radio singles. It seems to be a pretty standard practice, and cries of censorship hardly seem justified.
posted by Aaaugh! at 9:11 AM on October 5, 2000

Hmmm, more research is needed.

However I was warned by other ex-Columbia House members that CH in fact does censor some of their CD's. I found it interesting that if in fact the second verse was censored, they didn't remove it from the lyric sheet as well.

And I personally can't recall NOT hearing the missing second verse in any other format, radio or otherwise. The long intro is usually the only thing that gets cut short.
posted by ethmar at 9:20 AM on October 5, 2000

Parrot, thanks for the heads up. It wasn't my account, however - somebody forwarded me the URL. Whoops.
posted by Cobbler at 9:57 AM on October 5, 2000

How to win with BMG:

1. Get the 12 for 1 deal.
2. Use the website to find CDs you want (don't limit yourself to the ads or the catalog).
3. Wait and buy your "one" CD when they're offering a buy 1, get 2 free deal.
4. Never buy anything else at full price, or half-price, or any other price than "free" (which is really about $3 in shipping and handling).
5. Use the website to easily refuse your "monthly selection".
6. Don't give them your credit card, so they can't charge you for stuff you didn't explicitly order.
7. If you forget to refuse an order and they mail it to you, simply write "Refused: Return to Sender" on the box and stick it back in the mail (before you open it!) and you'll need no postage and owe nothing.
8. Once you've fulfilled your obligation - bought your one full-price CD (and 2 more free ones if you wait for their buy 1 get 2 free sale) - quit the club. They will almost immediately ask you to rejoin.
9. Repeat until you own everything you want in their catalog.
10. For extra bonus, get a friend to do it with you, and refer each other, getting an extra 4 "free" ($3) CDs each time you do (that is, one joins, then refers the other, the first quits and the second refers him to re-join).

Not counting any referals you might make, you end up getting 14 cds for about $4 per CD (when you count the shipping and handling and the price of the one full price CD), which is the best deal I know if, assuming they have CDs you want. Their Classical selection is pretty good and Jazz is not bad.

posted by straight at 12:03 PM on October 5, 2000

Even better: after you've ordered your one requisite CD, call BMG and ask for their "positive option." Once it goes into effect, you no longer have to return any cards. The mailings keep coming, but the only time you get CDs is when you order them. For some strange reason, they don't like to publicize this...
posted by Aaaugh! at 12:29 PM on October 5, 2000

Cobbler, are you aware that the URL you provided logs me into your account?

Yeah, well, Broadvision sucks.
posted by baylink at 5:50 PM on October 5, 2000

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