Emusic - eMusic Scam

Posted on Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009 at 6:51am CST by 85c964ac

Company: Emusic

SA71 4HD, GB

Category: Online Shopping

eMusic took nearly 200 GBP from my Credit Card after I apparently signed up for a free trial way back in 2007 some time. At no point did they ever confirm by eMail that I was paying them a monthly fee. They never once contacted me over a 21 month period to make any offers, to remind me of my membership or to point out that I had not downloaded any songs and was not taking advantage of their service. When they increased the monthly fee from 8.99 to 10.99 a month they did not notify me. When I contacted them about all this they agreed to a 1 month refund. They would not refund the rest of the money despite the fact that I received no goods. They would not allow me to download the 600 songs for which I had unwittingly paid as that was supposed to happen on a monthly basis, not in one go when I realized what had happened. I contacted the Better Business Bureau who are currently pursuing them but it seems to no avail. The only contact eMusic provided me with was a monthly charge on my Credit Card statement. I know i should have picked it up ages ago but it passed me by - I order lots of CDs online and whenever I scanned my Credit Card statement I assumed eMusic was just a CD company. I did not notice the monthly repetition. Basically the free trial is a devious scam. Be very careful and keep a close eye on them. They clearly have the law on their side and are using it to trick people out of money by getting them to sign up and then by keeping absolutely quiet about their membership. This company is practicing the worst form of business in which the unwitting consumer is robbed within lawful boundaries. Other companies like LoveFilm in the UK keep me constantly reminded of my subscription by sending me regular emails stating that I should add films to my selection, that a new film has been sent. They never keep quiet about my direct debits. eMusic is not to be trusted with its free trial. The company is duplicitous and disingenuous, pretending that it is all perfectly acceptable and that it is the consumer's fault if they get charged via the free trial offer but don't realize it. This is the sort of business practice that has largely been eradicated within the UK and on the high street. Shameful and immoral really. I shall continue to attempt to get my money back. If I manage it I'll post another comment.


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77556aab, 2009-08-31, 10:20PM CDT

I have firsthand knowledge of the inner workings of the company known as eMusic.

eMusic functions largely as a "bait & switch" type of operation:

When customers sign up for a free trial, many of the popular artists advertised are not offered to the customer as a free trial. They do this through what is referred to as Royalty Bearing & Non-Royatly Bearing Credits (it is company policy to not even tell the customer those industry terms). The record labels (Sony) restricts what is free, however eMusic doesn't tell you about the restrictions until after you signed up and gave them your credit card information. eMusic has also advertised having an artist available, but when the customer signs up the artist is not available in their region.

eMusic is relying on you to forget about canceling your account. An estimated 60% of the accounts are "sleeper" accounts- meaning people don't know they have them and therefore do not use them. Up until the recent price increase eMusic was losing money on the downloads used because the royalties owed for the track exceeded the selling price. Only through sleeper accounts has eMusic managed to stay someone afloat (however in debt to its parent company) When the customer was about to unknowingly convert into a paid subscription eMusic made sure to get rid of the pop-up window because the company profits were down (The pop-up window lasted about 2 weeks anyway). The also have a new thing that is referred to as "sweetening the deal" (a term that cannot be used with customers) which is basically the customer agreeing to a paid subscription without them knowing that there is an agreement. There are many accounts of customers being signed up for 2 or more years unknowingly being charged monthly simply because it is the standard of the companies business practice.

When eMusic tells you that they can't refund you, it's because they don't want to refund you.

When eMusic tells you that your download credits do not roll over from one month to the next, it's because they prefer that you don't use the credit because then they have to pay the artist and labels.

The real contact info for eMusic customer service management and supervisor is the following and they do laugh when they take your money:

Iswarya CR- 2one2-20one-9276

Nathan Mares- 2one2-20one-9297 nmares at emusic dot com

Every business sets out to make profit, but there are ethical ways to do it, and there are deceptive ways do do it.

5429819e, 2009-12-12, 11:51AM CST

My daughter has just experienced this type of bad practice with emusic and fortunately for her i have spotted it and canceled her debit card but thanks for reminding everyone. TO everyone reading this a free trial is never accompanied by having to input your credit card details always remember that and you wont go wrong

Microsoft MVP consumer security

d13065d0, 2010-01-11, 12:06AM CST

Working on the same thing myself....I should know better. Luckily I went through PayPal and hopefully they will help me.

9ef50990, 2010-02-01, 11:04PM CST

emusic.com just hit my credit card (01-31-10) for 25 bucks and I have never heard of them until I saw the charge on my statement .. You cannot call them . I just reported then to the FTC in washington ,DC all you have to do is google emusic complaints and see thousands just like us that have been scammed

64c76397, 2010-04-06, 04:39PM CDT

Similar experience. I have never signed up with them, and they charged my card $95. My credit card company spotted it as a potential fraud (emusic's reputation preceeds them), and I got the charge reversed. Beware.

14729ea8, 2010-12-28, 01:57PM CST

Bummer about having missed this...however, I have to say that all companies that do trials like this (mail offers, etc.) always have that as the underlying "catch." You can get the free goods at no obligation. But you are also agreeing to a whatever term contract with them unless you cancel within such and such a time. I'm sorry that this happened to you, but at the same time, it could've been prevented had you paid closer attention. After having contacted them, the right thing for them to do would have been to allow you so many downloads you missed out on after not having been aware of your paid account. Especially after taking the time to point out what had happened. So, in that respect, that's bad business practice.

For example,a particular movie club has incredible offers on movies when you first sign up. You're obligated to buy two more movies within a certain timeframe. They also send you two movies every month if you don't cancel them online first. And once they send them (automatically mind you) you have to pay for them. It's just how they do things...bummer for us that don't stay on top of things like this. I'm only using this example because it's happened to me and cost me quite a bit of money for not having paid attention to the fine print.

Best of luck in the future.

2b42cc10, 2011-01-15, 12:06PM CST


I wish I would have look into them further before even looking at their site!

42c17204, 2011-01-28, 02:00AM CST

I was also scammed by emusic and would like to know how to resolve it. I had a free trial, and gave them a prepaid debit card with $1 so they would know that it's a real card. I knew I wasn't going to keep subscribing, so I used the free trial that came with my mp3 player, then cancelled on the same day that the free trial was supposed to end. They somehow got my pay pal account and charged it. It is -11.99 now, and I'm trying to resolve it. I hate to find these things at 2:30 am. No one is available to take phone calls. Their phone number is for Nebraska, and their offices are in Georgia, New York, and somewhere on the west coast. It is very hard to file a complaint to the BBB that way, but I will try until I get it filed. On paypal, it shows as Deborah Johnson. Then when I click on details, it says emusic. I hope that worthless skank and all of her co workers get conned like they are doing to me, and I would love to be the one conning them. They need to know how it feels.

f3c84482, 2011-01-29, 01:20PM CST

I was also scammed by Emusic, in fact I made sure at my best that I wouldnt be charged by Emusic because I was already suspicious of free trials. It turns out I failed to find something and for the past two months without me knowing it, untill now, I had been charged for a Music Fan membership of about 34 dollars for 2 months.. now why the hell would I have chosen such a bogus subscription on my own when they offer crap for music in the first place? I just wrote them a nasty complaint, Hope i didnt make anyone cry hehe. If they dont refund me I am going to report them as well, and I really do not want to have to get a new Debit card.

d5fd681d, 2011-02-09, 10:15AM CST

They refunded my paypal the $35. I thought I was purchasing 1 song, & didn't know I was being enrolled. I was charged $35 & called them a few min later complaining. They refunded my paypal, but I'm going to keep watch if they try to charge it again for any reason. Their phone # is 866-240-9271.

5891ae83, 2011-02-14, 08:57PM CST

Your warning came late for me also. I just found out that I have belonged to this club since 2008 at the tune of $14.95 a month. I contacted Emusic for refund and was told, sorry but your mistake. Please let me know if you found a recourse.

Lou Reyes

f4a04dc4, 2011-02-15, 07:47PM CST

This practice is hardly unique to emusic. XM got me with this last year amd Amazon and any number of other companies do the same thing. The lesson is to pay attention and not assume things. it's a drag to lose money but that does make this practice a scam.

8da1a0a8, 2011-02-27, 03:36AM CST

Looks like they reactivated the old scam method. I've been fished by them with "25 Free songs" advertisement. I canceled my account within ONE hour of the subscription and found out 2 months later that my account was still active and billing was going on!

Here is my blog about this eMusic scam:


I will keep you posted about it there.

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