Monday, September 27, 2010

How Not To Do Business

It's tough enough to try to work with a major record label if you're an artist, but if you're a producer, engineer, studio, or anyone providing services to a label, it can be completely maddening.

For instance, it used to take 60 days to get paid after you turned in your invoice, which seemed like an eternity. Then the majors lengthened it to 90 days, which is totally unreasonable. Now the norm is more like 120 days (4 months) or more, which is outrageous. But you have to draw the line when they ask for sensitive personal information, and then negligently share it with the outside world.

The following is an email I received from famed producer/engineer Ken Scott (The Beatles, David Bowie, Jeff Beck, Missing Persons, among many others) regarding trying to get paid for a Supertramp DVD mix from Universal Music.
"Some information for you to use however you see fit, whether that be with your friend or in your blog or not at all.
I am in the middle of a battle with the accounting department of Universal Music, which you might or might not know is now based in India. Yes, they've outsourced it. 
The battle started initially because of slow payment through their incredibly ridiculous Uniport payment website. That is nothing compared to what is now happening. Uniport is a supposed "secure" website and so there is a certain feeling of safety when one HAS to insert full bank details, routing and account numbers, the usual. BUT when they start to send out ones full banking information via completely unsecure email I get very worried. 
I have raised my concerns several times, the last to which I received the following: 
"Just would like to inform you, your below bank details are completely safe as we are care taker for your account and we did not mark any outside people. We did mark only Jack as he is your label (provide good and services for you). If payment got rejected then we need to inform to you and label as well." 
Of course this email once again contained all my banking information.
What has brought me to "spread the word" is that subsequent to my concerns, they are still sending emails containing my information, just not copying them to me. The fact that a major company like Universal would make you give them your most valuable information, if you want to get paid that is, and then float ones most private information for any cyber criminal to obtain and use should be brought into the open so they are forced to change this completely negligent, bordering on criminal, practise.
As I said, use it however you see fit. Quote me if necessary."
If anyone connected to UMG sees this and can help Ken, let me know.
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Willem said...

Poor man. They should really look after him first, cause not everyone can do what he can. He's got so much experience and talent. Universal is shooting itself in the foot here.

Didn't he do that gorgeous sounding drum sample library for Sonic Reality?

Anonymous said...

the uniport system is a total pain in the bum…!
it's really just not rock n roll



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