Wednesday, 18 December 2019 01:04

Weird News: A Wisconsin company stored millions of CD's for thousands of customers, and then ...

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Since 2010 the Madison based website Murfie has been an internet based business that digitizes your audio CD’s, vinyl and cassettes. You mail in your collection, Murfie rips them to the cloud and digitize your music for your listening pleasure. Then, for a monthly fee, Murfie storied the actual hard copies of your music collection. 

Okay. Seems like a decent idea. 

Except of course, after several years of business as usual, as of late November, the Murfie website has this message: 

“Murfie has ceased operations. The company's senior debt holders are working together to develop a process in which customer-owned physical media can be retrieved. If you are a customer with media at Murfie, you will be receiving information by email on how to arrange for the retrieval of your physical media. Thank you, once again.   --  The Murfie Team (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)”

Suddenly, thousands of people who were paying their monthly fee to Murfie’s all had the exact same question in mind, “Ummm … how the F am I going to get my CD’s / vinyl / cassettes back?” 

And there’s the rub. 

It sounds as if customers were blindsided with the news, too. Apparently, as late as November 17th, Murfie charged folks to their monthly membership and then, not even one week later “ceased operations.” Hence the message above. Seems shady to me. 

Now, Murfie does have one page still functioning, their “Terms of Service” page. It says: 

Every CD and vinyl record you store at Murfie HQ is your property. We take that very seriously. In the event Murfie goes out of business, you will get back every CD and vinyl record you own in your current collection.

If it's inside the 90-Day Guarantee period, we guarantee to pay all shipping and handling expenses required to return your collection. After this Guarantee expires, our regular shipping/handling costs would apply. See our Pricing page for current shipping rates.”

I should also note that the link to the “Pricing” page is broken. 

Millions of people’s CD’s have, mostly likely ... vanished. Or in the words of some of the comments, if this took place in Madison … perhaps we should all go dumpster diving in Madison and search for those missing million CD’s. 

In a long exchange of customers on the Sonos chat page, customers don’t even know who to complain to. The site is dead, which means no one at the site is responding … because it’s dead. The company didn’t even have a current CEO. 

And, uh-oh. I just found out that Murfie did try and get hold of customers to let them know the company was going away but they didn’t give them very much time to respond. An email was sent at the end of November telling customers Murfie was shutting down but his was only days after that Nov17th charging their monthly fee, and that customers should await instructions on how to get their stuff back. But, um … the email was sent over Black Friday weekend and gave the customer only until December 2nd (later extended to December 5th) to fill out a Google form and pay a fee to get your CD’s back. How much of a fee? Well, it was $100.00 plus $.45 per disc. Which, seems like a lot to me. 

From their email: 

"Unfortunately Murfie's financial situation precludes any ability to reimburse customers for unused portions of subscriptions or for any Murfie credits that may have accumulated.  Murfie' secured creditors  have joined together with a few former Murfie customers to informally aid customers seeking return of their CDs.  Since Murfie's debt obligations far exceed cash on hand, any return of customer media must be funded by the customers themselves." 

And then they tell customers that any and all CD's not picked up by the end of December will be ... recycled.  Ugh. That’s painful. And that, as they say … is probably that.