Angry music fans who ordered signed copies of Busted’s latest chart-topping album say they’ve been left short-changed by record promoters.
The album, Half Way There, entered the UK chart at number two only days after its release two weeks ago.
But many fans who paid for limited edition copies were left disappointed after they were sent unsigned CDs instead. They claim the offer was a “gimmick” designed to drive up sales.
A message on Busted’s Facebook page said a thousand signed copies were being made available. It is the pop-punk’s band second album since they reformed three years ago.
But the online store handling the sale says it “temporarily” ran out of signed booklets, included in the CD packaging, which will be sent to customers at a later date.
Advertising sales co-ordinator Claire Wilkinson, 27, of Stoke, paid £7.99 for a signed copy of the CD which she could have bought for £4.99 elsewhere.
She is angry the webstore continued to take orders for the limited edition record even though it knew it could not meet initial demand.
She said: “I was happy to pay a bit extra because it was limited edition and signed. They should have put up an announcement saying ‘sorry, we’ve sold out, hope you enjoy the album either way’.
“I got a CD that wasn’t signed but there was no communication that it wouldn’t be or I had missed out. It actually says in handwritten note on the invoice that a signed booklet would be sent, which I think is misleading.
"The reason I bought it was because they said they had a thousand copies. I feel they are misleading people by saying you can buy limited edition ones and then they are exactly the same as the others.”
Other Busted fans have taken to Twitter to voice their anger. One said:: “Upset is an understatement.”
Another wrote: “Let’s face it it was a gimmick to get more albums sold. I love the guys but this is ridiculous. I wouldn’t have minded a delay in dispatch if it was made clearer when ordering that the albums weren’t signed.”
Burnley-based TM Stores said it had apologised to fans and included a message on confirmation order emails and invoices saying the signed booklets would be sent to them separately.
A spokesman said: “Anyone who has ordered a signed Busted CD from us will have signed Busted CD. We have not communicated anything inappropriately, we have not been misleading.
“We are selling products that the customer receives. The signed stock ran out and we thought the best thing to do is tell the customer the signed booklet will be sent separately.
"We’ve been an online retailer for 21 years and customer service is the most important thing for us, we take it very seriously.”
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