Datz Music Store fail to answer questions, still have your money
Yesterday we told you about the Datz Music Lounge, an all-you-can-eat online music subscription costing £100 for 12 months. Except instead of allowing you to download tracks from world-famous artists, most of the popular material has disappeared from the store in the past week, leaving nothing much but dregs and karaoke tunes.
Sometimes we report on a story like this once and let it go, but we don't feel we can do that here. Given the enormous amount of press Datz received at launch last year, and given that the likes of Sainsbury's have been a high-profile supplier of the product, it's likely that thousands of consumers have paid up to £100 to subscribe to a service that simply isn't there.
As we've tried to find answers, we've began unpicking the story of Datz, and it's rather interesting:
There are two sites - the Datz Music Lounge and Datz.com - an online music store where you pay-per-track. This was the first of the Datz companies; it was registered as a limited company in March 2007 and launched the following October, but owned and managed by Comment Retail Services Ltd. Datz Music Lounge was launched last October by the MD of both Comment and Datz Ltd, Michael Richardson.
At the end of last year, Woolworths went into administration, and several of their suppliers hit the wall as a result. Comment Retail Services Ltd was one of them - they went into administration in November, barely a month after the Datz Music Store launched. Comment were based in the same offices as the address currently held by Datz - Unipart House on Garsington Road, Cowley.
Of course it'd be easy to draw conclusions based on these facts, but we'd rather hear an explanation from Datz themselves. That has proved far easier said that done - we already know that Datz is refusing to answer customer emails, and we've tried to contact them again on both their corporate and technical numbers without success. We've also called Unipart House reception - according to the receptionist, there are staff working in the Datz office, yet nobody will answer the phone when put through. We were given a direct landline - 01865 383316 - and nobody answers that number either. We've called Datz's PR agency XL Communications twice and emailed - they should be managing this situation on behalf of their client, but they won't returned our messages. Datz's digital music distributor 24-7 Entertainment also refused to comment.
In the meantime, not only are Datz potentially sitting on hundreds of thousands of pounds of customer subscriptions, and not only are they failing to supply the service as sold, but they are still selling it: their product is still available in Sainsbury's stores across the country, and Datz are still taking payments for orders through their own website:
We've now contacted Sainsbury's and asked for a statement on the matter. Until then, unless somebody at Datz or their PR company wants to do their customers the courtesy of explaining what's going on, we'll keep asking questions.