Return To Sender: BMG Music Has Been Discontinued

If you’re a BMG Music Service member you won’t be for much longer — the service is being discontinued as of June 30th, 2009.

Here’s the email they sent out:

Dear xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx,

We’d like to tell you about some upcoming changes to your membership.

BMG Music Service is being discontinued as of June 30, 2009.
That doesn’t mean your music savings are coming to an end. Your savings can continue with our other service, yourmusic.com, where shipping is always free and there are no automatic shipments.

Here’s some important information regarding your current account:

You will receive one more Featured Selection Announcement email from us.
You will still be able to shop at bmgmusic.com through May 31, 2009.

We have discontinued our Music Points program, effective January 31, 2009. You will be able to redeem your outstanding music points through April 30, 2009.

You’ll have through May 31, 2009 to redeem certificates or free CDs you’ve earned.

Remember, you can still shop online at bmgmusic.com and take advantage of our great selection and prices until May 31, 2009. Please make sure you have signed up to receive emails from us so you don’t miss out on special offers and important updates. Click here to sign up.

If you have any questions, you can call us at our Customer Service #: 1-888-443-8264 or email us at cs1@bmgmusicservice.com.

Sincerely,
The Membership Office

(Thanks, easy mac!)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Onion_Volcano says:

    I’ll try not to shed any tears.

  2. idip says:

    Thank goodness! I’m getting tired of all the emails about featured selections and super featured selections!

    I’ve had to Return to Sender so many of those damn CD’s because they auto ship. I fulfilled their 1 CD purchase but have yet to use any of the 8 “Free” CD’s that cost $5.00 each to ship, which takes just about 4-8 weeks.

    Sigh…

    • corellia40 says:

      @idip:

      This – “Thank goodness! I’m getting tired of all the emails about featured selections and super featured selections!”

      That was my exact sentiment when I read this. The fun part is, I canceled my membership ages ago (mostly because the selection is terrible) and they still send me these emails. I gave up on unsubscribing. At least they don’t ship me any selections.

      • Keavy_Rain says:

        @corellia40: Last time I used any of these services was when I was in high school and bought CD’s from Target.

        Junior year my girlfriend introduced me to a local, independent record store that sold used CD’s and I’ve never looked back.

        Nothing like getting a CD two weeks after release for $8 because someone else hated it.

  3. Diet-Orange-Soda says:

    Is this service like Columbia House where they force you to reply lest they bombard you with $20 Goo Goo Dolls CDs?

    • MissPeacock says:

      @Diet-Orange-Soda: I was a member of Columbia House way back when and I remember they had an option where you wouldn’t be automatically sent anything every month. You just had to make X number of purchases per year. At the time, I really enjoyed it and got some neat stuff.

      • drjayphd says:

        @MissPeacock: BMG had the same option on their site, only you didn’t have to buy anything. Mayhaps they made it too easy?

      • Ragman says:

        @MissPeacock: You can opt out of the monthly selection without having to buy anything. I did that years ago. I’m still in BMG, even though I haven’t bought anything in the past few years.

  4. Daniel Dlugos says:

    This is a nice burden off of my back. I haven’t ordered anything from them in over 5 years, but keep having to decline my featured selection. It finally made itself onto my to do list to cancel this membership, but I see they are doing it for me. Great, another satisfied customer :)

  5. Raekwon says:

    I left this program long ago and did try out that yourmusic thing for a while. It was good but the selection wasn’t great. They also raised their price on me so I canceled. Unfortunately they don’t understand the checkbox that says to stop sending me emails.

  6. bohemian says:

    I didn’t know these record clubs still existed.

  7. bagumpity says:

    Send any FIFTEEN of the corporations listed below to bankruptcy court, and we’ll send one more each month for as long as you’re a member!

  8. techstar25 says:

    yourmusic.com is actually a better service. Unfortunately, it’s the same (limited) inventory as BMG but membership is a little more flexible. It’s really easy to join when they have a cd you want, and then just quit after getting it.

  9. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:

    How quaint, getting physical CDs sent through the physical mail. That’s like getting vinly record delivered by pony express.

  10. gttim says:

    Man, I hate to see them go out. They and my alumni association are the only ones who can find me after all my moves. Those SOBs always know where I live! They should be in the detective business instead.

    I learned that if you quit sending back the card, back when they still used cards, and then sent back the CD multiple times, they would just quit sending you anything automatically. Then you didn’t have to worry about it anymore and could just order what you wanted.

    I have not ordered anything from their website in years, however. No selection at all.

  11. Tightlines says:

    But where will I buy all of those hard-to-find Mariah Carey records?

  12. geekgrrl77 says:

    Wow, I didn’t know BMG was still around! As a kid I joined to get a bunch of free cassette tapes, and then my parents had to intervene and cancel my membership when I started getting more shipments and started to get billed for them.

    They probably ran out of 9 year old kids that things aren’t really “free”! Or digital music has just claimed another victim.

    • spoco says:

      @geekgrrl77: I too was a BMGer at 10 years old. My parents were none too happy with the way it came out. I did get some kickass Boyz II Men CDs. Motownphilly back again ….

    • varro says:

      @geekgrrl77: They weren’t free – you could clearly see that you could get 9 or 11 or 13 records (vinyl records back in the day – get off my lawn!) by just taping a penny to the “tape penny here” spot.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Too bad! I always thought the government should tap into BMG and Columbia House to track the illegal immigrant population. Their ability to hunt down and annoy people is impressive.

  14. Cocoa Vanilla says:

    Music clubs had a place. Back 20 or 30 years ago.

    • Omir The Storyteller says:

      @Cocoa Vanilla: Yeah, when I saw this I was thinking that I had been a member of both Columbia House and BMG, back when BMG was still the RCA Record Club. In fact I remember when RCA/BMG was clearing out their vinyl inventory and I got a pretty sweet deal on some of what they had left.

    • Ragman says:

      @Cocoa Vanilla: They were great for updating from cassette to cd in the 90′s. I’d wait for the $1.99 sales coupons and get a dozen or two where the cost per cd worked out to <$5.

      Quitting and rejoining (or just threatening to quit) the clubs was a good way to clean up by getting the sign up deals all over again.

  15. magstheaxe says:

    I didn’t know these record clubs were still around! I got ripped off by Columbia House back when I was in college–taped the penny to the card so I could get 11 cassette tapes (or whatever the offer was) and never received them. I refused to pay my bill until I got my records, and from then on it was just one long pissing match until I finally got fed up and paid them off.

    Which is why I always have a big grin on my face whenever I hear how unauthorized file sharing is taking down the RIAA and its associated cronies.

    • Anonymous says:

      @magstheaxe: Wow. I’d forgotten about how the record clubs of yesteryear used to prey on the youts of the day, threatening lawsuits if they didn’t pay up or fulfill their contract all the while ignoring the fact that those under legal age cannot enter into contracts.

  16. hamburglar says:

    I fulfilled my membership agreement years ago, and after I got them to stop sending me stuff through the mail, I kept my membership for the occasional 50-75% off sales on boxed sets and “deluxe” reissues. Eventually, as the writing on the wall became clearer, I figured I’d just wait them out and see when they eventually closed shop. Receiving that email yesterday gave me a strange sense of victory.

  17. IT-Chick says:

    That is very true about getting them to stop sending CDs. I was in BMG for a while and I am SOOOO bad at checking my mail and returning the cards. I would return a bunch of CDs at a time.
    After the 5th one I got an angry letter that I was single handedly raising their costs and they stopped sending me CDs automatically.
    Wait, did I personally cause their demise? Damn those restocking fees claim another victim!

  18. Cheng-Jih Chen says:

    A long, long time ago, when I was a wet-behind-the-ears database administrator, I was tasked to feed data into BMG’s fancy new website, which my then employer developed and ran for them. Every week, we’d get some sort of file by FTP, and we’d massage the data before feeding it into a giant, monolithic, poorly commented Perl script that some developer had written during a two week Jolt-cola fueled coding spree.

    The whole site was so that BMG members could select which albums they wanted mailed to them. The “shopping cart” consisted of a bunch of hidden HTML fields that got populated as the user moved through the site: no database back end for us (I don’t remember, but possibly the site’s pages were generated statically by the giant perl script) (note that I was a DBA, and yet this website didn’t have a DB behind it)! Luckily, we didn’t have to deal with real monetary transactions, as the user was already a BMG member, and BMG would do the billing on shipment, or whatever they happened to do.

    Occasionally, something would break, and we’d usually have to hunt through the various files to find the missing quote mark or some illegal punctuation. On bad weeks, a developer (the original programmer had long since left) would have to wade through the Perl to figure out what was wrong.

    Sometime after I left the company, BMG put up a new site, I believe through a different development house.

    Good times, good times.

  19. failurate says:

    They were self defeating.
    They made all the music you would actually want to purchase ineligible for any of their promotions.

  20. MameDennis says:

    I figured their days were numbered when even *I* stopped ordering from them.

  21. djanes1 says:

    I always thought their “12 for 1″ deal was pretty good, even with the inflated shipping fees. But the regular prices after that were never good enough to stay. Through my life I’ve probably had 3 or 4 memberships with them.

  22. fatcop says:

    I was never with BMG, but Columbia House for several years in the early-mid 90′s. I’d say that easily 25% of my CD collection is still from them.

    When you’re a high school kid, living in the sticks, and you don’t like the country music that is sold locally, CH was a god-send.

    What white 14 year old kid likes stuff like Taj Mahal, Louis Armstrong, The Beatles, Billie Holliday, Fats Domino, and old radio show compilations? This one did.

  23. tenners says:

    I used to work for a company that was owned by BMG and we were able to get an employee discount with the music service – any CD I want for $5 and free shipping. BMG sold my company nine years ago, but never canceled my membership. I don’t even work for that company anymore, but am still able to purchase the $5 CD’s.

  24. Omir The Storyteller says:

    I hadn’t thought about BMG or Columbia House for a long time. Of course it’s been a long time since either one carried much of what I want to listen to that I don’t already have.

  25. kwsventures says:

    Couldn’t they get a taxpayer funded welfare bailout check to stay in business?

  26. jeffbone says:

    I finally figured out how to get them to stop pestering me — I moved overseas. To quote (from somewhat rusty memory, this was some years ago) their letter dropping me:

    “We find that overseas shipments, even through the APO system, have a high occurrence of misdelivery, therefore we are terminating your membership as of [whatever date it was back in 2000 or so].”

    Good riddance to bad rubbish, IMNSHO.

  27. trixare4kids says:

    Am I the only one who feels this way? Maybe it’s because I’m old now (I’m about to turn 40) — but I really, really like having a physical representation of my music. I like having the CD’s, the cases, the covers, the lyrics. Yes, I rip them and stick ‘em in a file someplace, but I still like having the CD itself. I like being able to physically look at my CD’s to decide what I’m going to listen to. I keep them categorized and alphabetized using my own strange system, so I instantly know how to find something.

    I think it’s because I’m a visual person? For example, I keep my files and supplies all on my desk. I need things in the open. If it’s stuck away in a drawer, I seem to “forget” about it. I like having things out in the open where I can see them. I do this at home too, I keep lots of stuff on the counters (though organized).

    I think it’s the same reason I likely will never be an E-reader/kindle person. I do so love the feel, smell, texture and weight of books. I like having them on my shelf. What you’ve read is a part of who you are, I guess.

    But on topic: I used BMG back in the early 90′s for a few years. I liked it because there WERE some good deals.

    The real reason I used it, though, was that I didn’t have to face the snotty, judgmental, more emo/hip/cool/whatever than thou teenager at Rasputin’s or Ameoba music stores when presenting my CD’s for purchase. Yes, I’m buying this Patsy Cline CD, you don’t have to listen to it so knock that sneer off your face or I’ll do it for you.

    Now I use Amazon, and yeah, I still by CD’s. Call me crazy.

    • MagicJewball says:

      @trixare4kids: As someone who works at a record label, I’d say, yes, yes you are.

      But no, actually, for all the bells being tolled for the CD, it still sells fairly well. And I felt like you do until recently, but I live in a NY apartment and am running out of room. But the sound quality of a CD vs. what you buy on iTunes or Amazon is huge.

    • djmichaelangelo says:

      @trixare4kids:

      you’re not crazy at all – I’m a big remix fan and dance music collector, and I will ALWAYS prefer a physical CD single or album to a digital release or mp3….I might have 2,000 remixes of Madonna’s latest single, but when she releases a CD maxi-single in stores, I’ll buy it. Well, maybe not at the store but at least on Shamazon or somewhere online. No shoddy mp3 of dubious quality will ever replace a pure digital release. Shoot, I even miss the days of spinning vinyl in the club – sounds so much better than CD even. Getting back on topic, I was a member of BMG Music too, got like 8 CD’s for a penny (except back in those days it was actually vinyl LP’s or cassettes – ugh, I’m dating myself) and was pretty happy with the service. This news comes as no surprise to me, I mean you can go online to eBay or Amazon and get a used CD album for a few bucks (or a penny sometimes!) so I don’t see how BMG or Columbia House could compete with that.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Ahhh BMG… I spent most of teens and twenties signing up with them, getting my 4 free CDs and then never buying anything ever again. A couple hundred return to senders later and I always walking away with free CD’s because they never went after me. There are no collections on my credit, nothing. I must’ve gotten like 400 free CDs from them over the years.

  29. tundey says:

    I am still a BMG customer and am sorry to see them go.

    Regarding the auto send thing, I usually just went to their site and claim to be on a 10-week vacation. That put a stop to the auto send.

  30. Yamunation says:

    I didn’t realize they were still around!

  31. yagisencho says:

    I think I had five or six subscriptions with BMG over the years, though none since the early 00s. Every couple of years, I’d take advantage of the 12-for-1 offer, grabbing a bunch of compilation CDs or ones from popular artists who I didn’t follow closely. After fulfilling the contract, I figured I spent $8-10 per CD. Now that Amazon offers DRM-less MP3s albums for the same price (or less), there’s just no business model CD clubs.

    • dohtem says:

      @yagisencho: Amazon’s MP3 store is damn good.

      I also follow their twitter feed for cheapo daily deals.
      [twitter.com]

    • trujunglist says:

      @yagisencho:

      The best thing about BMG was the sign up a friend feature. I had a lot of friends. A LOT of friends. They later changed the system around to prevent your friends from getting their CDs so easily (and therefore preventing you from getting your free 5 CDs or whatever it was).

  32. golddog says:

    Kinda a moot point now, but with both BMG and CH, you could call them and tell them to put you on “The Negative Option”, which would default your account to not sending out the selection of the month on autopilot. Handy advice if you’re living in 1993 :-)

  33. trujunglist says:

    Wow, I didn’t know BMG still existed. Back in the day I created my collection from them, all for like pennies per CD. But you had to know how to play it, otherwise you’d end up paying money for really bad CDs. I think they later changed the system to prevent people from making off so easily, but by that time I’d already canceled because I had the entire catalog. For like $15. Total. Poor BMG, now I feel kind of bad that I did that. Oh well.

  34. Anonymous says:

    about 20 years ago, they had a deal. buy 3 at regular prices, and get 2 free, and 2 free every year you stay in the club. although i’ve spent next to nothing since then, i keep getting my 2 annual freebies, and their scheduling was off too, so i often got them sooner than a year, sometimes every 8 months or so. i just got 2 at the end of last year, and last week i got the going out of business email, and they said to hurry and order my 2 freebies, again :)

  35. SunsetKid says:

    Many years ago I asked them to discontinue automatic shipments and let me order when I wanted to. They agreed and over the years I have bought a fair amount from them. In the past year or so their selections have been limited and my only order was from my bonus points.

  36. dvdchris says:

    I used them off and on until a couple years ago, when I found I could just buy used CDs on Amazon for less than what the shipping cost on all the ‘free’ ones you could get.
    That, and BMG is one of the key companies behind the RIAA and their tactics. After reading of too many instances of them suing 7 year old girls, grandmas, and dead people, I quit the service and sent them an email.
    “I will never again knowingly support RIAA member companies.
    Go to hell.”

  37. rlee says:

    Color me confused. I’ve been an online-only member for years, and had no trouble switching to only-send-me-what-I-request once my initial purchase obligations had been met. I didn’t buy very often, but I’ll be very sorry to see them go.

  38. Anonymous says:

    I’ve been a member for years and years … but have to admit I haven’t bought much lately. I do think their new service is more in tune with what I want, and it should work well for them, assuming they broaden their selection and have CDs people actually want. The only problem I had with them all the years I was a member was their “telemarketing calls.” I got so sick of them calling me and trying to sell me stuff! I finally wrote them a semi-nasty letter, asking them to please remove me from that list, and I never got another call from them.

  39. Anonymous says:

    I was a member since it was “RCA Music Service” in the early 80′s and back then you could get vinyl or cassette. At some point, I joined their “2 Free For Life” program, which entitled me to 2 free albums (at the time, either vinyl or cassette, later CD) every year I was an active member.

    When the “end of BMG” notice came, I filled out my remaining “2 Free For Life” cards and sent them in, a full month and a half in advance of the drop-dead date. I also included a printed document that had the same information on it. All was sent from the counter of my local post office, because I figured the letter was overweight, which it was. That was on May 12. Since I had not seen anything, I decided to contact BMG Music Service to see what the holdup is.

    Imagine my surprise when their Bonnie Chiffer of Customer Service, claimed to have never received the order. That’s pretty convenient of BMG to have lost it, rather than uphold their contract.

  40. Anonymous says:

    I was a member since BMG was RCA Music Service in the early 80′s and back then you could get vinyl or cassette. I signed up for their “2 Free For Life” program, which entitled me to 2 free albums (at the time, either vinyl or cassette, later CD) every year I was an active member. When the “end of BMG” notice came, I filled out my remaining “2 Free For Life” cards and sent them in, a full month and a half in advance of the drop-dead date. I also included a printed document that had the same information on it. All was sent from the counter of my local post office, because I figured the letter was overweight, which it was. That was on May 12. Since I had not seen anything, I decided to contact BMG Music Service to see what the holdup is. Imagine my surprise when their Bonnie Chiffer and Diana Rogers of Customer Service claimed to have never received the order. That’s pretty convenient of BMG to have lost the letter, rather than honor their contract.

    More people are posting on Rolling Stone’s site:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2009/03/10/12-for-one-cd-deals-no-more-bmg-music-service-ends-in-june/?rand=49920

  41. Anonymous says:

    I was a member since BMG was RCA Music Service in the early 80′s and back then you could get vinyl or cassette. I signed up for their “2 Free For Life” program, which entitled me to 2 free albums (at the time, either vinyl or cassette, later CD) every year I was an active member. When the “end of BMG” notice came, I filled out my remaining “2 Free For Life” cards and sent them in, a full month in advance of the drop-dead date. I also included a printed document that had the same information on it. All was sent from the counter of my local post office, because I figured the letter was overweight, which it was. That was on May 12. Since I had not seen anything, I decided to contact BMG Music Service to see what the holdup is. Imagine my surprise when their Bonnie Chiffer, Diana Rogers, and Parker Simpson of Customer Service claimed to have never received the order. That’s pretty convenient of BMG to have lost the letter, rather than honor their contract.

    More and more people are posting this same thing on Rolling Stone’s website:

    http://www.rollingstone.com/rockdaily/index.php/2009/03/10/12-for-one-cd-deals-no-more-bmg-music-service-ends-in-june/?rand=49920