Struggling to buy music from U-MYX

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 2 November 2006

I wanted to buy the U-MYX format of the new Depeche Mode singe, "Martyr". U-MYX is a digital download that includes software allowing you to make your own remixes of tracks. Whilst it isn't quite the same as getting all of the original tracks, as Peter Gabriel recently made available for his track "Shock The Monkey", it does provide a pretty simple interface for mixing and is good fun to play around with.

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Actually getting to purchase it though was another matter.

When I went to the U-MYX shop, I first of all tried to purchase as if I was a new customer. When I entered my email address and attempted to set a password, I got the following screen back:

martin.belam@currybet.net is already in use, please enter another email address
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Now, I've never bought any U-MYX product before, but they are part of the 7 Digital network, and obviously I must have purchased something from them before.

So I tried logging in with a selection of my usual passwords.

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That didn't get me anywhere, so next I used the link "I have forgotten my password!". The first thing I had to do was re-enter my email address, even though that data had already been entered on the form from which I had just come.

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Once I had done that, the message I received back was:

You currently have no password set. Please click here and choose the option "I have an SMS download code" to set a password using your existing PIN/SMS code

Well, at least that explained why I couldn't get my password right on the login screen - I didn't have one. So, I followed the instructions to "click here", and ended up here:

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Yes, the homepage of a completely different site to the one I was trying to log in to and make a purchase from. I'd been moved without warning from the U-MYX site to the 7 Digital site. To make matters worse, I was explicitly instructed:

choose the option "I have an SMS download code"

There is no such option on the 7 Digital homepage.

After hunting around for a while I eventually clicked on the tab "My Downloads" from the 7digital global navigation at the top of the page.

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By doing this I was directed to a login page, and at last found the required option.

And then I finally understood what they want me to do. In order to log in to the 7 Digital account registered with my email address, I need to supply them with the PIN number sent to my mobile phone by SMS in November 2003 when I bought Goldfrapp's "Twist" iSingle, which would have been my first purchase with them.

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Obviously, after three years, I don't still have that SMS on my phone, so I thought, oh well, I'll use my secondary Gmail address to set up a new account in order to make the purchase.

martin.belam@gmail.com is already in use, please enter another email address
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D'oh! I'd obviously resorted to that tactic the second time I ever tried to buy anything from the 7 Digital music network. Fortunately at this point one of my passwords was recognised against this email address, and I was able to return to the U-MYX site and complete my purchase. What an effort though.

The main thing it seems to me is that you shouldn't be able to reach a dead-end in the password recovery process. 7 Digital obviously have some other personal information stored alongside my currybet.net address - at the very least they have my email, the PIN number they sent me three years ago, and the number of the phone they sent it to. I couldn't understand why there wasn't an option to generate a new PIN code and send it to the phone. After all it is more likely, though not inevitable, that I'll have the same phone number as I did three years ago than that I will have kept an SMS download code for 3 years.

All of this was a shame, as I think the 7 Digital network has some really good products, but I ended up feeling thoroughly annoyed about the whole purchase process. The U-MYX software is a really interesting way of building up a mass of user-generated musical content around a single release, and is good fun - provided you can navigate your way through to actually purchasing it

3 Comments

Hi Martin,
Sorry you had a bit of a nightmare with this purchase process.

As you saw- its 7 Digital rather than U-MYX that run the digital store part of U-MYX.com - but we'll work with them to try and improve this process.

Glad you liked the U-MYX part of the process nonetheless.

Best

Olly

Hi Martin,

Iam Chris, the customer service manager for 7digital.

I read through the trouble you had purchasing the U-MYX file and felt an explanation was in order.

Your @currybet.net email address was used some time ago on our old system which you redeemed a PIN under. No password was set. Now after this amount of the time the system still has the same information but you are not able to access your account because you have no password and don’t have the PIN anymore . The only way to get round this was to email us and we set you a password which you can then change if needed.

The issue will only affect customers who purchased downloads from our old promotional system.

The system has been changed now so this will not incur any longer.

We look into link from ‘You currently have no password set. Please click here and choose the option "I have an SMS download code" to set a password using your existing PIN/SMS code’ and it is now redirecting customer back to the signing in page and not the 7digital.com homepage.

We are sorry for the hassle you went through to get your U-MYX download. If you need to contact us please go to the link below…

http://www.7digital.com/stores/support.aspx?shop=34

Thanks

Chris

Hi Chris, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Since writing this piece you'll see that Olly at U-MYX left a comment, and I also had someone from 7digital email me as well. I think that is really pro-active customer service, and I'm very impressed. Thank you for the explanation - I bought something else a few days ago via a 7digital store, and now I'm set up properly the 7digital part of the transaction was painless.

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