Struggling to buy music from U-MYX
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.
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:
firstname.lastname@example.org is already in use, please enter another email address
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
email@example.com is already in use, please enter another email address
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