Thinking About Ordering Vinyl From CDJapan?

I spent over $100 — not including shipping — ordering two Ryuichi Sakamoto LPs and two seven-inch singles from CDJapan.

The Bernie Grundman remaster of “Left Handed Dream” — US$34, plus overseas shipping — had a significant defect. The first song wouldn’t track during the last half of the song. The stylus on my cartridge actually bounced a 1/4-inch off the playing surface and continued to do so for 10 seconds, and the last half of the song was unplayable. I considered recording a video of the bouncing cartridge and sending it to CDJapan’s customer-service email address, but feared the defect was destroying my stylus.

I contacted CDJapan about the issue.

Their reply?

About the manufacture defective you mentioned, we haven’t got the issue from any other customers who purchased this LP.

And also we checked Sony Music website, they do not announce any defective for this LP.

We also checked the review in Amazon, there is only one comment, but he didn’t mention about the defective, he says the sound is very nice.

I’m touched by the fact that Sony couldn’t be bothered to acknowledge a problem with an expensive LP on its site. Shocking. Similarly, the fact that the only Amazon review claims the sound is “very nice” is consoling, as well.

I recommend that no one buy anything — especially vinyl — from CDJapan if this is what passes for their customer service.


Update [December 20, 2109]:

After I contacted CDJapan and informed them their reply was inadequate, I didn’t hear from them for two days. Finally they sent an email replying they were crediting my account (not refunding my money, or sending a replacement) for the defective LP.

I had also pointed out to their customer service rep that CDJapan needs to improve their packaging for shipping LPs. The two albums and two 7″ were loosely packed in bubblerwap, the placed in a carton that was twice as big as necessary, with no padding. When the package arrived, the contents were shaking loosely in the box. This issue wasn’t adequately addressed by CDJapan, other than the statement “we are relieved to hear that none of them [were] damaged.” This, alone, would make me reluctant to even consider ordering vinyl from CDJapan in the future.

Update [December 28, 2019]:

I was contacted by someone who stated they were “the A&R at Sony Music Direct Japan.” Evidently they noticed me ranting about the issue on Twitter. More news about this soon (most likely by way of me posting again on Twitter about it).

Update [January 14, 2020]

Sony Music Direct Japan has resolved the issue to my satisfaction, as has CDJapan. Thanks to both.

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