Thursday, February 28, 2013

Into The Void: How Not To Get A Black Sabbath Vinyl Box Set

So earlier this month, I thought I'd splurge and pick up the Black Sabbath Vinyl Box Set - y'know, because I really need it. Anyways, here's the link:

Reason I'm posting the link is that if you go to Amazon, you'd swear that it's an actual item. And going through, I thought I could save myself $100 compared to .com. You'd think.

So here's the whole story (pull up a chair):

On February 13, I placed the order. Later that night, I got the "your order has been shipped" e-mail. Wonderful. Wonderful because anytime I see that e-mail, the next day I get my item. Always. Never fails. But only when Amazon says they have it in stock at their warehouse, as this item is listed.

No Valentine's Day present for me. Or the next day. Or the next day. Now there was a lot of snowstorms on the planet so I gave a little grace period. Also what went through my mind is when I bought the Beatles box set that UPS left on the doorstep. Boy, that burns my ass when I think about that so I actually came to the conclusion that UPS drop it off on the porch again and some asshole stole it. But there was nothing to steal this time.

In the meantime, I'd hop on UPS' site, check the tracking number and all that would show up was "In transit".

Anyways, on the 21st, I e-mailed Amazon to tell them that I think my package is lost. In all honesty, they were the best.

Here's what I got as a reply (it's good to keep e-mails):
"I am sorry to hear that you have not received this order. The package appears to be lost.

Tracing a package is time-consuming and only occasionally successful. Because we want you to receive your order as soon as possible, we have found it more efficient to simply send a replacement order whenever a package is lost in shipping.

Therefore, I've placed a new order for the item and there will be no charge for this replacement."

Beautiful. Sure enough that night, I got my "your order has been shipped" e-mail. Oh boy.

Guess what never came.

I wrote them yesterday (27th) explaining the whole thing in case I got another person getting the e-mail. Here's what I got back:
"Thank you for writing to us at

I'm so sorry to hear you haven't received your replacement order either. Because we've tried sending you the The Vinyl Collection 1970-1978 twice without success, it's unlikely another replacement order will be delivered.

Instead, I have requested a refund of $338.89 to cover the cost of the original shipment. This refund should go through within 2-3 business days and will appear as a credit on your next credit card billing statement."

I'm still kinda bummed but I got my refund and it is balanced out by not having any problems with Amazon. They were, in short, the best.


So I'm wondering, does this box set even exist? Are there actually 2 box sets that are "in transit" somewhere? The Twilight Zone? Did Zeus come down from the clouds and steal it from the UPS truck? We'll never know.

What made me feel a whole lot better was reading the reviews from

"Just recieved the Black Sabbath Vinyl box set and it's damaged as I feared and expected. Amazon won't replace it , only refund because of lack of availablity."

"Mine also experienced the same issue. I can't get a replacement, and the price has gone up over $100 since I ordered it. They were damaged before they were shrink wrapped then shrink wrapped and shipped. I guess I am returning them and will be on the look out for another copy around $300. :( Going to check if the records are good tonight. "

"Same exact issue here. Packaging was fine, box containing the records as fine, album sleeves were all damaged. Scuffed and torn along the top edge. I also cannot get a replacement anywhere :( They are advertised on, but only for £100 more than the RRP I originally paid. :(

A "used-acceptable" one is advertised for £180, but small print says may be re-packaged, or packaging may be damaged. I wonder what will be wrong with that one, eh!

Terrible quality control and abysmal customer service has been my experience. To be clear, IT IS NOT shipping damage. IT IS NOT the fault of the retailer. Outer packaging "

Maybe something really is looking out for me.

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