Surgical Joke

It all started when I was reading Steel Druhm’s most excellent Death Angel review on Angry Metal Guy (check out Dave’s take too). I came across a post in the comments section by none other than long time Metal-Fi’er Jay Alan Goodwin explaining his plight. You see, he pre-ordered the vinyl edition of their latest effort, The Dream Calls For Blood, via Nuclear Blast’s webstore, but had yet to receive it despite the fact that the record had been released.

I’ll let Jay explain:

Unfortunately for me I’ve had no opportunity to listen to this album yet even though I preordered and paid for the vinyl. Nuclear Blast hasn’t even shipped it yet. It took me two emails to even get a lame answer why. Apparently I wasn’t one of the special “people who ordered other stuff from them otherwise mine would have shipped right away.” …so no order updates or bothering to tell me that stuff wasn’t in stock when I placed the order, no download code, and no ethical business practices.

NB actually told Jay to his face that his order was less of a priority because in effect, he didn’t buy enough! Now, I realize that this could be related to the way their order fulfillment system works in order to reduce shipping costs by grouping items together on larger orders, but regardless, it’s absolutely unacceptable and borderline preposterous. What happened to the “orders will be processed in the order in which they were received” legalese that is pretty much the golden standard everywhere?

For the record (pun intended), based on Jay’s invoice, it seems his wax was being dropped shipped directly from Germany which caused the delay. But wait it gets better:

What’s even more ridiculous is that I just checked Amazon and the back cover of the vinyl LP has all of the tracks listed on Side A and Side B and specifically as a 1-disc vinyl release. Yet the preorder falsely advertises it even now as a 2 LP release (which normally improves the sound quality considerably.) They charge a 2LP price and cheap out and put it on one…all the while lying to purchasers. This has to be the most unscrupulous label I’ve ever dealt with.

So not only do we have a complete customer relationship and supply chain management fail, but the product itself was falsely advertised too. Nice.

Jay’s experience though is pretty much inline with my own. Allow me to elaborate:

Despite my frustration with NB milking Surgical Steel for all its worth by implementing the Roy G. Biv release model (seriously, the amount of colors to choose from was staggering), I took the plunge and became one of the 750 lucky individuals who pre-ordered the Super Deluxe Surgical Kit, limited to 750 copies.

Well on September 5th, I received this:

Due to a manufacturing delay we will be unable to ship the Carcass “Surgical Steel (Super Deluxe Surgical Kit)” on time for arrival by street date.  These box sets are manufactured in Europe and due to delays at our supplier we will not receive the box sets until approximately Sept. 27th.  We will ship your entire order including the box set as soon as we receive them.  We apologize for the delay since we know how anxious you are to receive this great new album.  So that you don’t miss out on hearing the album on street date, we will email you a link to an exclusive FREE digital download of the album on the US street date of Sept. 17th.

Alright, a free digital download of an album that had already leaked over a month ago, but hey, I would at least be able to listen to the record on release day. In case you are wondering, 320k CBR MP3’s. Sigh.

September 27th then came and went and I still didn’t have my first aid kit. Shock.

On the 30th, I received this:

Thank you for being patient during the postponement of the Carcass Surgical Steel Deluxe Surgical Kit. We regret that this has occurred but the reason is manufacturing delays that are beyond our control.  The kits are being manufactured in Europe and our manufacturer is doing everything they can to assemble them as soon as possible.  We expect them to ship to us by the end of this week and barring any delays at Customs we should receive them in our warehouse by October 11th.  We will ship them out as soon as possible once they reach our warehouse.  As a sign of our appreciation for your patience we will be including an exclusive gift from Nuclear Blast and Carcass in your order.

A free gift, you don’t say? Now that’s class. After not delivering (pun intended again, I’m on fire!) on their promise twice, NB decides to do the right thing and go the extra mile to ensure my complete satisfaction. Jay Alan Goodwin be damned!

Well a month later it finally did arrive. And what was my free gift you ask?

A signed poster by the band? This was my first guess, but alas, no. A coupon for a free CD? Crazy talk. They threw in the limited edition cassette? That would have been cute, and I would have certainly offered it to Angry Metal Guy as a token of my appreciation for his kind words over the last few months. Maybe they realized how idiotic it is to include a crappy picture vinyl in a collectible boxset and decided to include the full 2xLP 180g vinyl pressing as a bonus? Nonsense.

They knew exactly what a collector yearns for when they open up a set of this magnitude: A patch, a matching sticker, and the coup de grâce, a certificate of authenticity (COA).

You can stop laughing now.

The patch and the sticker are in itself ludicrous, but the COA just takes the cake. Because you know, it’s to protect me from all of those Carcass boxset forgeries that have been recently flooding the market of late. Thanks NB!

Look, before you start calling me an ungrateful prick, bare in mind that I did not ask for a free gift. If the boxset would have just arrived as is, that would have been fine, and I would have chalked the whole experience up to poor label management. But they offered me a free “gift” as a token of their appreciation for my loyalty and patience only to insult me with it. Heck man, I would have taken free shipping on my next order, but a sticker, matching patch, and COA…WTF?!

Good thing I’ve got that certificate if I ever try to sell this thing on Pawn Stars.