Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

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Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by Lance » Wed Apr 07, 2021 12:00 pm

I see that Brian/maestrob already mentioned about the cancellation of orders. I received the same cancellation notice that the credit card did not go through even though my AMEX account shows it was approved. Apparently it will not be actually charged until the item is sent.

I did some checking on Import CDs and there have been many comments that their service is deplorable. They are, apparently not an approved BBB business showing Itaska, Illinois. No phone number is listed on their site, however I called one for ImportCDs in Kentucky who said much of the material ordered is still on backorder.

So, the three items I ordered:
• Artur Rodzinski set (ordered long ago in 2020!)
• Eugene Ormandy set we've all talked about
• Arthur Grumiaux, which looks like it's thrown out the window [canceled]
____on which a 10% discount was also placed

Thus, I question the integrity of ImportCDs, and indication that sometimes the best (lowest) price is cause for concern of actually receiving the merchandise. I fully expect that all the items above will be canceled. This is a huge disappointment for me, and I suspect, many others.
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
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maestrob
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by maestrob » Wed Apr 07, 2021 1:46 pm

Interesting report, Lance.

Although I was able to rebook my order, it's worth noting that importcds.com does sell many items through amazon, and I have bought lots of single discs from them this way in the past. Still, I was troubled by this strange partial cancellation of my order.

I've had to follow up with amazon on orders that have been lost in the mail and paid by my credit card, but nothing quite like this has happened with them. Amazon has always issued credit quickly in those cases, once they've been notified of a problem. I'm still waiting for a single Bach CD from Presto that I ordered in January, and two more from February that I have been charged for as well, although I can listen to them online with their "My Library" app. Still, it's a pain to have to constantly check on all these backorders, isn't it?

To date, although various charges have appeared in the pending column of my credit card, no money has been deducted from my account. I certainly would not use a debit card with them, however, as many folks do.

I suspect that they didn't want to ship the Grumiaux and Ansermet boxes because the price was discounted 10%, but can't prove that, obviously.

I agree that my experience with importcds.com doesn't quite pass the smell test.

I will keep checking and post here as things develop.

maestrob
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by maestrob » Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:21 pm

So here's an update for today.

I just checked on the importcds website and discovered that they no longer carry the Grumiaux box. The item is simply no longer listed.

I also found out that amazon is now offering the same item for more than $50 less, shipped from England for $160 with international shipping included (Of course U. S. taxes are charged.).

I tried to cancel the order on the importcds website, but when I clicked on the "cancel" button, it took me to my account page without doing what I had requested. This is very strange.

So I called importcds to cancel yesterday's order and was told by "Jake" that he would cancel the order and send me an email.

No problem.

The Ormandy Legacy Box is supposed to be available tomorrow. I'll let you all know if it ships. I'll keep you posted on the Rodzinski Box as well.

barney
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by barney » Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:21 pm

maestrob wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 2:21 pm
So here's an update for today.

I just checked on the importcds website and discovered that they no longer carry the Grumiaux box. The item is simply no longer listed.

I also found out that amazon is now offering the same item for more than $50 less, shipped from England for $160 with international shipping included (Of course U. S. taxes are charged.).

I tried to cancel the order on the importcds website, but when I clicked on the "cancel" button, it took me to my account page without doing what I had requested. This is very strange.

So I called importcds to cancel yesterday's order and was told by "Jake" that he would cancel the order and send me an email.

No problem.

The Ormandy Legacy Box is supposed to be available tomorrow. I'll let you all know if it ships. I'll keep you posted on the Rodzinski Box as well.
thanks for the info on the Grumiaux. I will try to order it, but we have problems with shipping to Australia by Amazon. I was going to order it on Import CDs before the warning on this thread.

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by barney » Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:25 pm

Nope. Amazon US doesn't list it at all, Amazon UK says it has two for sale at 210 pounds, which is about $A400 and beyond what I can justify.

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by Lance » Fri Apr 09, 2021 12:47 am

I checked my AMEX account and there WAS a charge assessed, probably for the Ormandy boxed set. The first charge was probably to see if that would go through, but now it has actually happened. I really wanted the Grumiaux box very much, but as many of us have a considerable part of his output already, and they don't keep making it available, I shan't feel too badly. Grumiaux was, however, one of my favs among violinists. I'm afraid Import CDs is losing a lot of customers along the way with the manner in which they operate. Please continue to keep me posted.
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
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barney
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by barney » Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:55 am

Success, via the Belgian music store La Boite a Musique
132 euros plus 30 euros shipping. Very happy indeed with that price.

maestrob
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by maestrob » Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:36 am

barney wrote:
Thu Apr 08, 2021 6:25 pm
Nope. Amazon US doesn't list it at all, Amazon UK says it has two for sale at 210 pounds, which is about $A400 and beyond what I can justify.
Wow! Barney, I can't imagine why Amazon.uk would quote you 210 pounds and then be marketing the same box here through amazon U. S. for $160!

That's really bizarre! :roll:

I haven't received a notice that it has shipped yet, so we'll see.

No word yet this morning on my backorder of the Ormandy & Rodzinski boxes from importcds. Interestingly, there has been no indication on their website that my re-order for the Grumiaux box has been canceled, in spite of what I was told by "Jake" yesterday. No changes to my credit card yet either. Stay tuned...

maestrob
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by maestrob » Fri Apr 09, 2021 8:41 am

barney wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:55 am
Success, via the Belgian music store La Boite a Musique
132 euros plus 30 euros shipping. Very happy indeed with that price.
That's more like it! :wink:

For those who might be interested, here's the link to the same box on amazon USA:

https://www.amazon.com/Arthur-Grumiaux- ... 3&sr=8-1

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maestrob
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by maestrob » Fri Apr 09, 2021 9:20 am

OK.

I just got an email from my credit card that a charge has been put through by importcds for $212. I think it's safe to assume that this is for the Ormandy Legacy box.

Let's hope it doesn't get canceled the way the Grumiaux box was.

barney
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by barney » Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:43 pm

Amazon US won't post to Australia, and Amazon Australia, of course, doesn't have it. Very annoying.

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by barney » Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:46 pm

No, just checked and now Amazon Australia has it. Didn't when I searched a week ago. $236 Australian with free postage (that's $180 US). The 162 Euros I spent is $250. Not so thrilled now. :?
Against that, at least I know it is definitely coming. I rang the shop in Brussels and they had Grumiaux boxes in the store. That may be worth noting, Brian.

maestrob
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by maestrob » Sat Apr 10, 2021 8:58 am

Well, I got the same idiotic email from importcds this morning cancelling my order for the Ormandy box as I got for the Grumiaux box earlier. Here is the gist of it:
Thank you for your recent order. All orders are subject to credit approval. Unfortunately, we were unable to obtain approval for these backordered items and have cancelled them.
So now I have been lied to twice, since my credit card did approve the amount yesterday. I called and spoke to somebody who insisted that they were right and told me in no uncertain terms that they would not ship any items to me, including the Rodzinski and the Ormandy boxes, not to mention the Grumiaux.

This, in spite of the fact that the Ormandy Box is listed on their website as "In Stock!"

So, to put it mildly, I'm done with importcds.com.

I don't like being lied to.

Since amazon's price is still too high ($285.00), I found the Ormandy box through google at DeepDiscount CDs for $202.00: plus tax & shipping, that came out to $243.47. Still too high.

We'll see if they deliver. The amount has been approved by my credit card, but something weird happened there as well.

When I clicked to submit the order, a red pop-up appeared saying that, for some unknown reason, they were unable to process the order. I tried another card: same result. So, I tried Paypal, and even Paypal would not approve the order unless I gave them my credit card number! So, I did so, and finally the amount was approved.

An incredibly frustrating morning, to be sure.

Will keep you posted about what happens next.

maestrob
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by maestrob » Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:01 am

barney wrote:
Fri Apr 09, 2021 7:46 pm
No, just checked and now Amazon Australia has it. Didn't when I searched a week ago. $236 Australian with free postage (that's $180 US). The 162 Euros I spent is $250. Not so thrilled now. :?
Against that, at least I know it is definitely coming. I rang the shop in Brussels and they had Grumiaux boxes in the store. That may be worth noting, Brian.
Thanks Barney. I did order the Grumiaux box from amazon yesterday for about $160. It hasn't shipped yet, but I'm now confident that it will eventually arrive at my front desk.

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by Lance » Sat Apr 10, 2021 4:10 pm

I have been informed by Import CDs that the Ormandy boxed set WAS shipped, and amount was approved through my AMEX card. I don't know what happened with Brian/maestrob, but obviously something has gone awry. I have also lost my confidence with this source and regardless of price, will not be doing direct business with them again. They apparently shipped the Ormandy set priority so it should be here early next week. As for Grumiaux, I, too, ordered the set from Amazon/USA at a decent price, much lower than any other place shows it. I now eagerly await the Rodzinski set which is "supposed" to be coming from Import CDs. I'm not holding my breath for that. No doubt they are being hit hard by customers who are very concerned about their orders not to mention the lies about credit cards not going through.
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
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CharmNewton
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by CharmNewton » Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:35 pm

To those who have purchased the Grumiaux box (or already have it), be sure to check Discs 44 and 45. The discs contain Beethoven's Violin Concerto and both Violin Romances. Disc 44 should contain the recordings conducted by Galliera (Concerto) and Haitink (Romances) while Disc 45 should have recordings conducted by Colin Davis (Concerto) and De Waart (Romances)

A reviewer on Amazon.com reported in his set that the discs as the same, although the jackets are printed correctly. The track timings on the Decca web site reports for these discs are identical, an obvious mistake, but perhaps an indication that this problem may affect the entire run. Just a heads up.

I can't speak to the problems being encountered pre-ordering box sets. I pre-ordered the Eschenbach set "Piano Lessons" from ImportCDs only to see the release date pass with no shipment and no contact whatsoever. I assumed this was a case where the number of pre-orders surpassed the supply received from their distributor and my order went on the back order pile. My card wasn't charged (the original charge was actually removed), so I decided just to wait. A few weeks later I was notified that the item was shipped to me and arrived about 3 days later. The original lack of communication was troublesome. No email was sent explaining why my order was not shipped on the original date and I'm leery of using them as a pre-order site in the future (I pre-ordered the new Previn set from Amazon.com and noticed they are showing it as unavailable which may also be their way of cutting off pre-orders that they can't fulfill). I'm crossing my fingers the set will be sent on schedule--Warner has been good at getting sets out on time.

That something is wrong at Sony Classical with box sets is clear as the release is frequently postponed--the Rodzinski set was originally due out in October last year. It's due again for release on April 23rd. Third release date a charm? I hope so.

John

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by Lance » Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:51 pm

Do you think Decca will offer buyers the proper disc to make amends for this production problem? No doubt, if they do, you will have to write to receive the proper disc. Maybe, too, this is an unrecoverable error like "errata" when you buy a book. It's too late to fix?
CharmNewton wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:35 pm
To those who have purchased the Grumiaux box (or already have it), be sure to check Discs 44 and 45. The discs contain Beethoven's Violin Concerto and both Violin Romances. Disc 44 should contain the recordings conducted by Galliera (Concerto) and Haitink (Romances) while Disc 45 should have recordings conducted by Colin Davis (Concerto) and De Waart (Romances)

A reviewer on Amazon.com reported in his set that the discs as the same, although the jackets are printed correctly. The track timings on the Decca web site reports for these discs are identical, an obvious mistake, but perhaps an indication that this problem may affect the entire run. Just a heads up. [truncated post]
John
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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mikealdren
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by mikealdren » Sun Apr 11, 2021 2:28 am

CharmNewton wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:35 pm
To those who have purchased the Grumiaux box (or already have it), be sure to check Discs 44 and 45. The discs contain Beethoven's Violin Concerto and both Violin Romances. Disc 44 should contain the recordings conducted by Galliera (Concerto) and Haitink (Romances) while Disc 45 should have recordings conducted by Colin Davis (Concerto) and De Waart (Romances)John
I hadn't listened to these yet, yes they are the same CDs (both Galliera/Haitink), very sloppy of Decca, I guess I'll have to write to them.
There was a similar issue with the RCA Toscanini editions, 2 copies of an Eroica recording. They provided free replacements.
thanks
Mike

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by barney » Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:38 am

Do ImportCDs have a feedback section where you can record your dissatisfaction? I imagine that people so incompetent take care not to have one.

maestrob
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by maestrob » Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:39 am

barney wrote:
Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:38 am
Do ImportCDs have a feedback section where you can record your dissatisfaction? I imagine that people so incompetent take care not to have one.
Indeed they do, and I wrote them when my first order was cancelled. Here's the answer I got a few days later, which made no sense to me, as the two items were PRE-ORDERED, so they had an obligation, in my view, to fulfill my order:

Thank you for contacting ImportCDs!



Hello


The item was cancelled because it has been unavailable for an extended period of time.
When placing orders with credit card you are not being charged until the item is shipped, therefore, you would not be charged for a cancelled item.

Again, thank you for writing ImportCDs. We appreciate your business.



Best regards,

MJ – ImportCDs Customer Service Support

help@importcds.com

http://www.importcds.com

Now, since yesterday, I've discovered through some judicious googling that DeepDiscoutCDs has recently been taken over by the same company that owns importcds.com.

That little gem of information has confirmed my suspicions, as the two websites look very similar. Also, Deep Discount rejected my credit card twice and pushed me to use Paypal, which I did. After I signed off here, I received a very odd phone call from Paypal with a message that asked me to contact them and read back to their operator an immensely long confirmation number which did not fit on my answering machine. I plan on contacting them later, but am losing hope about this transaction for the Ormandy box. I'll post the results of that call later when I make it.

This is all really too much hassle, and I have no intention of repeating the process in future.

Here is the text of the complaint I made this morning on their website:
You have now canceled every item on this pre-order. In my view, since this was a pre-order, you had every obligation to fulfill it in a timely manner. Instead, you made a dumb excuse that "the item has been unavailable for a long time" to quote your recent response about the Grumiaux box. This is nonsensical, and your inability to keep your promises has led me to the conclusion that you are unreliable. Thus I will no longer do business with you.
I'll let you know if I receive any reply.

CharmNewton
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by CharmNewton » Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:02 am

Lance wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:51 pm
Do you think Decca will offer buyers the proper disc to make amends for this production problem? No doubt, if they do, you will have to write to receive the proper disc. Maybe, too, this is an unrecoverable error like "errata" when you buy a book. It's too late to fix?
CharmNewton wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:35 pm
To those who have purchased the Grumiaux box (or already have it), be sure to check Discs 44 and 45. The discs contain Beethoven's Violin Concerto and both Violin Romances. Disc 44 should contain the recordings conducted by Galliera (Concerto) and Haitink (Romances) while Disc 45 should have recordings conducted by Colin Davis (Concerto) and De Waart (Romances)

A reviewer on Amazon.com reported in his set that the discs as the same, although the jackets are printed correctly. The track timings on the Decca web site reports for these discs are identical, an obvious mistake, but perhaps an indication that this problem may affect the entire run. Just a heads up. [truncated post]
John
Decca should both replace the disc and fix the problem. Whether they will is another matter. The recent DG box of Complete Boston Symphony recordings (also Universal), was the 98% complete as two entire Ozawa CDs were inadvertently omitted (Franck D minor Symphony and a Shostakovich disc with the Violin Concerto No. 2 and his arrangement of the Schumann Cello Concerto for violin, both with Gidon Kremer as soloist). DG acknowledged the error in an email and then wrote back later to say they would not send the missing discs to complete the set. However, they did include both discs in the 8-CD Ozawa/Boston Symphony sampler that was issued a bit later along with other conductor samplers, giving one the choice of purchasing the missing discs (along with proper sleeves) if one didn't already have them.

I'd write to Decca to see how they handle the mistake. Given the myriad of production details that go into compiling a set like this one, I'm surprised that there aren't more and even more egregious errors. From archival retrieval of information (dependent on the data entry quality of their databases), to selection of the tapes to use for mastering (I see that the stereo version of both the Beethoven and Brahms Violin Concerti with Van Beinum remain lost as both are listed as being in Mono--what happened to the tapes used for the Philips Classettes?), to the actual manufacturing of the discs and book there looks to be a lot of room for error. Grumiaux's recordings were made 35+ years ago so there must be staff working on the project who have no connection to the originals. But by-and-large the effort and technology used to create these mega-sets works very well. But when mistakes are made, they should be corrected.

John

CharmNewton
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by CharmNewton » Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:22 am

maestrob wrote:
Sun Apr 11, 2021 7:39 am
barney wrote:
Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:38 am
Do ImportCDs have a feedback section where you can record your dissatisfaction? I imagine that people so incompetent take care not to have one.
Indeed they do, and I wrote them when my first order was cancelled. Here's the answer I got a few days later, which made no sense to me, as the two items were PRE-ORDERED, so they had an obligation, in my view, to fulfill my order:

Thank you for contacting ImportCDs!



Hello


The item was cancelled because it has been unavailable for an extended period of time.
When placing orders with credit card you are not being charged until the item is shipped, therefore, you would not be charged for a cancelled item.

Again, thank you for writing ImportCDs. We appreciate your business.



Best regards,

MJ – ImportCDs Customer Service Support

help@importcds.com

http://www.importcds.com

Now, since yesterday, I've discovered through some judicious googling that DeepDiscoutCDs has recently been taken over by the same company that owns importcds.com.

That little gem of information has confirmed my suspicions, as the two websites look very similar. Also, Deep Discount rejected my credit card twice and pushed me to use Paypal, which I did. After I signed off here, I received a very odd phone call from Paypal with a message that asked me to contact them and read back to their operator an immensely long confirmation number which did not fit on my answering machine. I plan on contacting them later, but am losing hope about this transaction for the Ormandy box. I'll post the results of that call later when I make it.

This is all really too much hassle, and I have no intention of repeating the process in future.

Here is the text of the complaint I made this morning on their website:
You have now canceled every item on this pre-order. In my view, since this was a pre-order, you had every obligation to fulfill it in a timely manner. Instead, you made a dumb excuse that "the item has been unavailable for a long time" to quote your recent response about the Grumiaux box. This is nonsensical, and your inability to keep your promises has led me to the conclusion that you are unreliable. Thus I will no longer do business with you.
I'll let you know if I receive any reply.
I believe they also own BlowItOuttaHere.com as well.

Another large seller operating out of Kentucky is ClassicalMusicSuperstore, which I believe is owned by Naxos. On Amazon.com and eBay.com, they are a discount seller but far pricier (with less selection) on the actual web site so I would never buy direct from them.

If you haven't done so, you might check your credit card online with the issuing bank. Perhaps all these purchase gyrations are triggering something on the bank's end.

John

maestrob
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by maestrob » Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:45 am

John:

Thanks for the tip, but I called my bank several days ago and they assured me that the trouble was not with them, as they have approved all transactions without a problem. I know that this is true because each transaction amount was shown quite clearly in the pending column on my online statement. None of the charges have made it down to the paid column yet. This is definitely importcds fault.

Just for the record, I received another call from Paypal after I posted early this morning, and was able to contact them and confirm my transaction with Deep Discount. So we'll know soon enough if they will honor their commitment to ship the Ormandy Box or not.

That said, I noticed today that Deep Discount has no way to cancel an order once it's made, no phone number, and no way to phone customer service at all on their website, although an email can be sent. Remarkable.

Stay tuned.

CharmNewton
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by CharmNewton » Sun Apr 11, 2021 11:56 am

I certainly will stay tuned.

It's been a long time since the major classical labels produced CDs in the U.S. As the problems we're seeing right now seem to be with pre-orders of large box sets there seems to be issues in the supply chain. Might be a good time to return to making CDs on this side of the pond.

I wonder if the Europeans are limiting the supply to the U.S. due to the strength of the Euro and (especially) the Pound vis-à-vis the dollar. It might be cheaper for Europeans to buy from the U.S and pay the VAT (which serves as an import tariff as well as an export subsidy) than buy local. It doesn't surprise me that the sets are popular as they represent tremendous value on terrific recordings.

Good luck. I hope all the trouble doubles the enjoyment.

John

barney
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by barney » Sun Apr 11, 2021 6:15 pm

maestrob wrote:
Sun Apr 11, 2021 10:45 am
John:

Thanks for the tip, but I called my bank several days ago and they assured me that the trouble was not with them, as they have approved all transactions without a problem. I know that this is true because each transaction amount was shown quite clearly in the pending column on my online statement. None of the charges have made it down to the paid column yet. This is definitely importcds fault.

Just for the record, I received another call from Paypal after I posted early this morning, and was able to contact them and confirm my transaction with Deep Discount. So we'll know soon enough if they will honor their commitment to ship the Ormandy Box or not.

That said, I noticed today that Deep Discount has no way to cancel an order once it's made, no phone number, and no way to phone customer service at all on their website, although an email can be sent. Remarkable.

Stay tuned.
It all sounds very dodgy to me, Brian. Make sure they haven't stolen the title deeds to your apartment!

mikealdren
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by mikealdren » Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:46 am

I spoke to Universal this morning and they are aware of the Grumiaux box duplicate CD problem and were helpful. They have yet to decide whether to send out replacements directly or via the retailer, in my case Amazon.

maestrob
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by maestrob » Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:15 am

mikealdren wrote:
Mon Apr 12, 2021 3:46 am
I spoke to Universal this morning and they are aware of the Grumiaux box duplicate CD problem and were helpful. They have yet to decide whether to send out replacements directly or via the retailer, in my case Amazon.
Thank-you Mike for that information. Would you be kind and post the phone number for Universal so we can call about the same issue? Many thanks.

maestrob
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by maestrob » Mon Apr 12, 2021 7:20 am

So I woke up to good news from Deep Discount, This morning I had an email from them confirming shipment of the Ormandy box, priced at $208.00 plus tax & shipping.

So let's see what condition it is in when it arrives.

And Barney, the stock certificate for the shares I own in our co-op are tucked away quite safely! :wink:

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by Lance » Sat Apr 17, 2021 2:07 am

Right now I'm a little peeved with Rarewaves Imports. Having ordered two items from them, they arrived in the same package and I was assessed $3.99 for each ITEM. No doubt both items would have been covered by one $3.99 fee. A suggestion that if you know each item is assessed a postage fee from a supplier, you are better off to order each item a day a part or so. A muilti-CD set, when traveling with a single CD, would fair better through the mails than getting them tightly packed together. It is not the cost that allows me to write this but the manner in which some sellers misuse their customers. Some sellers even give you discounts and free postage when you order more than one CD or set at a time. Nuff said.
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by maestrob » Sat Apr 17, 2021 7:48 am

Lance wrote:
Sat Apr 17, 2021 2:07 am
Right now I'm a little peeved with Rarewaves Imports. Having ordered two items from them, they arrived in the same package and I was assessed $3.99 for each ITEM. No doubt both items would have been covered by one $3.99 fee. A suggestion that if you know each item is assessed a postage fee from a supplier, you are better off to order each item a day a part or so. A muilti-CD set, when traveling with a single CD, would fair better through the mails than getting them tightly packed together. It is not the cost that allows me to write this but the manner in which some sellers misuse their customers. Some sellers even give you discounts and free postage when you order more than one CD or set at a time. Nuff said.
Agree about this, Lance. I've had that experience occasionally from several amazon third party sellers.

I've also had the experience of about 3-4 small packages being lost in the mail each year, and have learned that it pays to check the "My Orders" section of amazon, because you are billed once the item ships, even if you don't receive it. I'm glad to say that Amazon has promptly and without fuss always refunded me for any item that I claim has been lost in transition, thus saving me a few $$ here and there.

Perhaps because I'm so careful, various suppliers have recently cancelled a few orders due to the condition of the item or when they found that the item was erroneously listed as "in stock," so I'm glad of that also.

In spite of Amazon being a near-monopoly that sometimes charges too much for hard to find items, I'm generally pleased with how they do business. Not happy with how they overprice and corner the market on popular new issues, however. Charging $24.99+ $3.99 shipping for a $16.00 CD, all while buying all available stock from the manufacturer, is abusive, I maintain.

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by Lance » Sat Apr 24, 2021 1:53 am

John, PIANO LESSONS with Eschenbach arrived on April 23rd, 2021 via Amazon. My first disc to hear was the first volume (Disc 4) of Czerny. Eschenbach pulls it off stunningly! This is a lovely set. I see much of it was recorded in Spain and they are older Eschenbach recordings. Processing was excellent. I thought to myself: I could have (maybe) been a concert pianist if I could play just the Czerny discs alone! On the other hand, someone has to appreciate the music/artists.

At the same, time, the GRUMIAUX box arrived ... in perfect condition, also from Amazon who seemed to have the best price. I'll check on those discs to see if their error is corrected.
CharmNewton wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:35 pm
[...]
I can't speak to the problems being encountered pre-ordering box sets. I pre-ordered the Eschenbach set "Piano Lessons" from ImportCDs only to see the release date pass with no shipment and no contact whatsoever. I assumed this was a case where the number of pre-orders surpassed the supply received from their distributor and my order went on the back order pile. My card wasn't charged (the original charge was actually removed), so I decided just to wait. A few weeks later I was notified that the item was shipped to me and arrived about 3 days later.
[...]
John
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by CharmNewton » Sat Apr 24, 2021 11:08 pm

Lance wrote:
Sat Apr 24, 2021 1:53 am
John, PIANO LESSONS with Eschenbach arrived on April 23rd, 2021 via Amazon. My first disc to hear was the first volume (Disc 4) of Czerny. Eschenbach pulls it off stunningly! This is a lovely set. I see much of it was recorded in Spain and they are older Eschenbach recordings. Processing was excellent. I thought to myself: I could have (maybe) been a concert pianist if I could play just the Czerny discs alone! On the other hand, someone has to appreciate the music/artists.

At the same, time, the GRUMIAUX box arrived ... in perfect condition, also from Amazon who seemed to have the best price. I'll check on those discs to see if their error is corrected.
I had no idea those discs even existed until I saw them listed as single (out-of-print) CDs on the cdJapan.co.jp web site. I was able to locate third-party listings on Amazon.com once I knew what I was looking for, but not everything was available and some of the discs were very pricey. But I thought, what a wonderful idea for a world-class pianist to play student repertoire and provide examples of (especially) proper tempo and phrasing. I've found when I play myself my tempi are always slower than they sound to my ear and inside my head, like I'm listening to my idea of how I sound rather than how I sound (my teacher said I also composed when I played notes other than those written on the page). :-)

I believe those were meant for the Japanese market, but they could have been issued in Europe back in the day. Never issued in the U.S. though. Philippe Entremont also recorded some of this repertoire for the Japanese market around the same time as Eschenbach and his recordings are also lovely. These are all re-issued in the recent Sony box of his Complete Solo Recordings for Columbia and Epic. BTW, if you have that set, or the earlier issue on CD of his recording of Ravel's solo piano works have a listen to his recording of Gaspard de la nuit--stunning. And everyone keeps talking about Argerich--Entremont's finger work is breathtaking. He has spoken of the disciplined approach he learned from Marguerite Long and it has served him well and at 85 he plays better than he did in the 1950s.

Now, if only Alice Sara Ott would record Chopin, Grieg and other composers on her restored upright piano. I heard her play a Chopin Waltz in A minor on a German television program that was so intimate and expressive due to the sound produced by her piano. Her commercial recording, and other YouTube recordings made on a grand piano cannot create that sense of intimacy. I think there is a market for classic piano works played by a world class artist on a piano like many people have in their home, but that restored upright seems to have been forgotten after the Chopin Project CD. Well, I can dream...

John

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by maestrob » Sun Apr 25, 2021 8:24 am

Philippe Entremont also recorded some of this repertoire for the Japanese market around the same time as Eschenbach and his recordings are also lovely. These are all re-issued in the recent Sony box of his Complete Solo Recordings for Columbia and Epic. BTW, if you have that set, or the earlier issue on CD of his recording of Ravel's solo piano works have a listen to his recording of Gaspard de la nuit--stunning. And everyone keeps talking about Argerich--Entremont's finger work is breathtaking. He has spoken of the disciplined approach he learned from Marguerite Long and it has served him well and at 85 he plays better than he did in the 1950s.
John, we've strayed a bit from the topic of this thread, but I just wanted to let you know that I do have Entremont's underappreciated Ravel on Sony CDs and agree with you totally. I compare those two discs favorably with Perlemuter's sets (Vox mono & Nimbus stereo) as well as Argerich, Lortie and Bavouzet.

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by Lance » Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:10 pm

I also want to credit John [CharmNewton] for bringing up these "Piano Lessons" CDs. Prior to John's mentioning this, I knew nothing about them, so John H., a hearty handshake [or elbow bump] to you! I am enjoying this set enormously.
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by Lance » Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:54 pm

John/CharmNewton, I just checked the timing on Discs 44/45 and the timing is identical on both discs. So that is at least one flaw in this set. I have so many of Grumiaux' individual CDs that I may have the material. In any event, to have the proper set 100%, I hope Decca will allow buyers to request the proper discs.
Lance wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:51 pm
Do you think Decca will offer buyers the proper disc to make amends for this production problem? No doubt, if they do, you will have to write to receive the proper disc. Maybe, too, this is an unrecoverable error like "errata" when you buy a book. It's too late to fix? Do we know WHICH disc, 44 or 45, has the proper contents?
CharmNewton wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:35 pm
To those who have purchased the Grumiaux box (or already have it), be sure to check Discs 44 and 45. The discs contain Beethoven's Violin Concerto and both Violin Romances. Disc 44 should contain the recordings conducted by Galliera (Concerto) and Haitink (Romances) while Disc 45 should have recordings conducted by Colin Davis (Concerto) and De Waart (Romances)

A reviewer on Amazon.com reported in his set that the discs as the same, although the jackets are printed correctly. The track timings on the Decca web site reports for these discs are identical, an obvious mistake, but perhaps an indication that this problem may affect the entire run. Just a heads up. [truncated post]
John
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by maestrob » Thu Apr 29, 2021 11:11 am

Lance wrote:
Sun Apr 25, 2021 10:54 pm
John/CharmNewton, I just checked the timing on Discs 44/45 and the timing is identical on both discs. So that is at least one flaw in this set. I have so many of Grumiaux' individual CDs that I may have the material. In any event, to have the proper set 100%, I hope Decca will allow buyers to request the proper discs.
Lance wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 11:51 pm
Do you think Decca will offer buyers the proper disc to make amends for this production problem? No doubt, if they do, you will have to write to receive the proper disc. Maybe, too, this is an unrecoverable error like "errata" when you buy a book. It's too late to fix? Do we know WHICH disc, 44 or 45, has the proper contents?
CharmNewton wrote:
Sat Apr 10, 2021 9:35 pm
To those who have purchased the Grumiaux box (or already have it), be sure to check Discs 44 and 45. The discs contain Beethoven's Violin Concerto and both Violin Romances. Disc 44 should contain the recordings conducted by Galliera (Concerto) and Haitink (Romances) while Disc 45 should have recordings conducted by Colin Davis (Concerto) and De Waart (Romances)

A reviewer on Amazon.com reported in his set that the discs as the same, although the jackets are printed correctly. The track timings on the Decca web site reports for these discs are identical, an obvious mistake, but perhaps an indication that this problem may affect the entire run. Just a heads up. [truncated post]
John

Lance, I just checked my Grumiaux box and have the same problem with discs 44 & 45. The timing on both is 57:04, which is the correct timing for the Galliera recording with the Philharmonia and the Romances with Haitink/Concertgebouw.

The correct timing for the Colin Davis/Concertgebouw account coupled with De Waart in the Romances is actually 56:54, according to a review on amazon that I spotted this morning.

Perhaps someone can post about how to contact Universal to resolve this situation so we can both get replacement CDs.

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by mikealdren » Thu Apr 29, 2021 3:05 pm

I rang the UK phone number for Universal and they sent me an Email address to which I sent my details for a replacement CD.
The address was: mk.customerservices@umusic.com

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by Lance » Thu Apr 29, 2021 4:45 pm

Well thank you for that Mike. I have sent an e-mail to the address you indicated and hopefully the replacement disc will arrive in perfect shape.
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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by maestrob » Fri Apr 30, 2021 9:16 am

Second the motion, Mike. Many thanks.

Now, let's see what happens.

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by Lance » Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:36 pm

I received a very kind response from someone named "Jon," who said Decca was very much aware of the problem and are considering how to make it right with buyers. He said he would keep me up to date. No doubt this will be a "big thing" for Decca/Universal to fix as the sales for this item must be spectacular across the whole globe. Right from the beginning of my collecting days of LPs, Grumiaux was a "must have." It seems he remains in the memory of others.
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by maestrob » Sat May 01, 2021 7:44 am

I sent an email yesterday afternoon, but have not yet received a Reply. I suspect that Decca has been overwhelmed with emails about this very issue and will get back to me ASAP.

I will post the text of whatever they send me when it arrives.

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by CharmNewton » Sun May 02, 2021 11:01 pm

The takeaway for me from the poor service and confusion others have experienced indealing with ImportCDs is to avoid using them as a pre-order source, and I won't pre-orders from anyone from here on out.

I had pre-ordered the Previn Complete Warner Recordings box back on March 13th from Amazon.com. At that time the pre-release date was set for April 23rd. I received an email from Amazon that shipment of my order would be delayed with the new window being May 5th through May 10th. As of today, the item still had not shipped nor do they state if they have any copies in stock or when they might be expected to arrive.

I also noticed that ImportCDs was offering the set as a 3rd party seller for about $175 + 3.99 for shipping, about $20 less than Amazon would charge me. The ImportCDs store on eBay even had a better deal, as the price was slightly less and shipping was free. And if I bought 3 sale items, I'd also get 10% off my order. They also stated they had more than 10 copies in stock.

I canceled the Amazon order and placed my order with ImportCDs. My experience with them for in-stock items has been excellent. They ship promptly and pack well and the order usually arrive in less than a week traveling to Oregon (kudos to USPS as well). And I hope they pack this order well. :-)

I still believe that the American market is experiencing some sort of supply-chain problem with European suppliers. Perhaps it is simple incompetence on the part of the Europeans. For example, meeting the needs of the American market with the recent Ormandy box seems like a no-brainer on this side of the pond, given his immense popularity in the U.S. (I imagine Ormandy outsold Szell and possibly outsold Bernstein), but Sony's communication of details surrounding this set was extremely poor and their constant changing of release dates for numerous important collections hasn't helped either. The lack of a big Ormandy stereo box after all these years is astounding (they haven't issued one for Doris Day either, who until recently was the greatest selling female artist in history).

So for now, no more pre-orders for me.

John

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by maestrob » Mon May 03, 2021 8:05 am

I do see your point, John, and am tending to agree. The Previn box is up next for me as well, but after being canceled TWICE by importcds, along with repeated problems using my credit card that gives me a 2% automatic rebate (something that doesn't happen with Amazon), I'll not be giving them another chance.

Please keep us posted about the status of your order.

In checking on Google, I notice that a company called Popmarket has the Previn box listed at $167 with free shipping. Has anyone ever done business with them?

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by CharmNewton » Mon May 03, 2021 3:27 pm

maestrob wrote:
Mon May 03, 2021 8:05 am
I do see your point, John, and am tending to agree. The Previn box is up next for me as well, but after being canceled TWICE by importcds, along with repeated problems using my credit card that gives me a 2% automatic rebate (something that doesn't happen with Amazon), I'll not be giving them another chance.

Please keep us posted about the status of your order.

In checking on Google, I notice that a company called Popmarket has the Previn box listed at $167 with free shipping. Has anyone ever done business with them?
I've received emails that the Brautigam Beethoven Piano Sonata cycle (BIS SACD) and the Gundula Janowitz tribute box (DG) have shipped and am awaiting word on the Previn, which they said they had in stock (more than 10 copies). The price differential from Amazon and the 10% discount essentially makes the Janowitz collection free. It was one I regretted not getting earlier and was surprised to see it, but it may have been recently issued again. I'll post when I hear word about the Previn set as well.

John

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by maestrob » Tue May 04, 2021 7:38 am

Lance wrote:
Fri Apr 30, 2021 4:36 pm
I received a very kind response from someone named "Jon," who said Decca was very much aware of the problem and are considering how to make it right with buyers. He said he would keep me up to date. No doubt this will be a "big thing" for Decca/Universal to fix as the sales for this item must be spectacular across the whole globe. Right from the beginning of my collecting days of LPs, Grumiaux was a "must have." It seems he remains in the memory of others.
Good morning, Lance. :D

You'll be happy to know that I just got an email response in my inbox this morning, also from "Jon Moyes." Here's the complete text below:

Hello Brian,



Thanks for your email and I am very sorry about this.



Decca are aware of the problem and are currently discussing a process going forward in order to rectify for customers. I will come back to you as soon as we hear more from Decca on how they propose to resolve this



Many thanks,

Jon Moyes

Customer Services Manager



Universal Music Operations

Building 5

Caldecotte Lake Drive

Milton Keynes

MK7 8LE



Customer Services: +44 (0) 330 587 6630

Orderdesk: +44 (0) 330 587 6633

I'm glad to hear that they are being responsible about this, and will await further contact. At least they have my information on file now.

I'm so very glad to have this beautiful, classy box, with its hardcover cocktail table size book. I know it will take me years to hear everything properly, but the investment is well worth the return.

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by maestrob » Tue May 04, 2021 12:55 pm

Just letting everyone know that the order I made yesterday from Popup CDs for the Andre Previn Warner box has just been shipped.

If it arrives in good condition with quality protective shipping, I'll be ordering from them again.

It may be worth noting that their website's opening page bears a resemblance to both importcds.com and DeepDiscount, including the offer of a 10% discount to new customers that didn't work! I still put through the order, as the price was still better than elsewhere, but either the 10% offer is a scam or their software is defective, as were the other sites.

Still, for 95 CDs, $167.00 (plus tax with free shipping) is a good deal in my book.

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by barney » Fri May 07, 2021 8:46 am

As I also posted in the Grumiaux thread - but it has been much discussed here too - my Grumiaux box has arrrived safely from Belgium. It has been opened reverently, but nothing yet has gone into the cD player. Don't know where to start - perhaps with the Davis Beethoven concerto.

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by maestrob » Fri May 07, 2021 9:21 am

barney wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 8:46 am
As I also posted in the Grumiaux thread - but it has been much discussed here too - my Grumiaux box has arrived safely from Belgium. It has been opened reverently, but nothing yet has gone into the CD player. Don't know where to start - perhaps with the Davis Beethoven concerto.
Congratulations, Barney!

Do share your pleasure with us as you explore the contents.

I must say that I was very impressed with the beautifully bound hard-cover book that came with the set. This was a truly classy effort, unlike the Brendel box, which had a paper-bound booklet and a rather ordinary packaging that seems rather bare-bones, at least to me.

Incidentally, I still haven't received the Previn Box which was shipped on Monday. Perhaps it will arrive today.

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by mikealdren » Fri May 07, 2021 9:50 am

Start with anything you haven't heard before, you can hardly go wrong and it would be great to pick something at random rather than something you would naturally listen to anyway.

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Re: Is Import CDs on the up-and-up?

Post by barney » Fri May 07, 2021 5:31 pm

mikealdren wrote:
Fri May 07, 2021 9:50 am
Start with anything you haven't heard before, you can hardly go wrong and it would be great to pick something at random rather than something you would naturally listen to anyway.
Very good point. I already have about 50 of the CDs, but that still leaves plenty not yet heard. This afternoon, Melbourne time, is my opportunity! I shall follow your advice, Mike.

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