REVERBNATION FALSELY ALLEGES “PERSISTENT ABUSIVE BEHAVIOUR” BY MENTAL HEALTH
Saturday 8th October 2011 (updated 10th Oct)
In April 2010, two MENTAL HEALTH tracks were published on Amazon, iTunes etc. This was done via a “One-Time Fee” paid for a Digital Distribution package sold by ReverbNation. The understanding was that the tracks would remain for sale for one year only, after which the deal would simply be allowed to lapse, with no strings attached.
That understanding was officially confirmed by ReverbNation as little as 11 months ago, when “OFFICIAL REP” Johnny advised the public / customers reading the ReverbNation Forum:
“You will not have to pay a takedown fee if you let the release distribution run out. However, you will have to pay a takedown if you remove it before the expiration date.”
The above sentiments were echoed in the Terms and Conditions in force back then:
“Term and Termination. The term of the Services provided (the "Term") shall commence on the Effective Date and shall continue until either: (i) terminated by you provided that you have paid all necessary fees including Take Down Fees; or (ii) terminated by us in the event that you have not made any payment when due. If you paid a One-Time Fee, then we may terminate the Services if you fail to pay a Renewal Fee when due.”
ReverbNation have since broken that agreement. At the end of the year, instead of removing MENTAL HEALTH’s tracks from sale, they instead removed money from a bank account without permission. They have since refused to refund the money without strings attached. Instead, they insist that the money will only be refunded if a “Takedown Fee” is paid – again, that runs counter to the above agreement. Painstaking efforts to reasonably explain the situation has just resulted in more prevarication from ReverbNation staff.
Recently, on 5th October 2011, ReverbNation forum deleted MENTAL HEALTH’s entire complaint thread – ‘"friendly reminder" that money is about to be taken without permission!’ - just hours after someone had left a supportive comment on it, voicing displeasure with ReverbNation's conduct. Approximately one day later, ReverbNation blocked MENTAL HEALTH from leaving further comments on the ReverbNation forum. It started with a pop-up message misleadingly suggesting the denial of access to be a technical problem...
... but then an attempt to enquire about the situation resulted in an instantaneous pop-up notice announcing the ban, and falsely alleging "persistent abusive behaviour".
All of this came out of the blue, without any warning from ReverbNation. These actions represent blatant censorship. The bright green banner "ReverbNation employees are here to help" is particularly ironic.
But it doesn’t end there. A couple of days ago – 5th October 2011 – a ReverbNation “OFFICIAL REP” stated:
“You were charged in 2010 when you added it, and in 2011 for the yearly renewal. It will charge again if you don't unsubscribe by the renewal date in 2012.”
Essentially, if their unwarranted “Takedown Fee” isn’t paid, ReverbNation will continue to milk the bank account on an annual basis. If denied access to that bank account, ReverbNation will keep any subsequent royalties earned by MENTAL HEALTH’s “Abandoned” tracks. i.e. ReverbNation will effectively be stealing the copyright on those tracks indefinitely.
Let’s not forget, all of the above is contrary to ReverbNation’s official public assurance that: “You will not have to pay a takedown fee if you let the release distribution run out.”
The taking and withholding of money, despite ReverbNation’s public assurance that it wouldn't happen, is tantamount to fraud.
ReverbNation’s allegation that MENTAL HEALTH has conducted “persistent abusive behavior” is utterly untrue. Despite the truly infuriating prevarication and intransigence of ReverbNation staff, the situation and arguments have been spelled out with great patience and diligence on two threads of their forum (one of which they themselves deleted without any warning).
On the other hand, ReverbNation has abused access to MENTAL HEALTH’s bank account!
The matter remains unresolved.
[A Google Cache copy of the deleted complaint thread – ‘"friendly reminder" that money is about to be taken without permission!’ – may be found here for a short while: http://tinyurl.com/65qzksg ]