I recently had a sudden need to listen to a song from my youth that was stuck in my head (Room 512 by The Wonderstuff), as usual my first port of call was Google which quickly led me to Amazon.co.uk (which unfortunately told me I couldn’t download from them because I’m a U.S. user – I’m not and was sat in Newcastle at the time), I then went to the Amazon.com website where I was told I couldn’t download it because I was a UK user) so I finally settled on a lesser known option – Sainsbury’s Entertainment (www.sainsburysentertainment.co.uk).
I found the song immediately, selected it, went through a very painful process of entering all the usual information (including a delivery address for a download?) and finally got to the point where I was ready to download my song.
At this stage, I noticed the distinct lack of a download link next to the purchase in my account – at this point I was told that in order to download one MP3, I would need to install the ‘Sainsbury’s Music Download Manager’ – why I hear you ask? Well that’s a very good question and one I asked Sainsbury’s by email:
I have just purchased a song from your website but am now being told to download it (a simple MP3 file) I need to install your download manager – this is completely unnecessary.
If you could please either send me a direct download link or refund my order, it would be much appreciated.
They responded with a rather unhelpful generic message:
Go to http://www.sainsburysentertainment.co.uk:80/
Login to your Account
In your Order History, view the item and click on ‘Download’
This will open the Download Manager and start the download or will take you through the Download Manager installation
What I find interesting here is that not only does this not answer my query (it’s clearly a canned response) but the information is incorrect. There is no ‘Download’ link on my order history page, there is a status that says Ready for Download but it’s not a link and clicking on it does nothing. I responded:
I’m guessing you didn’t actually read my email – I don’t want to (and shouldn’t have to) install Sainsbury’s software on my PC to get to the MP3 I have purchased.
I’ve logged in and can’t see any form of download link anyway – the only link I see is to the dreaded ‘Sainsbury’s Music Download Manager’.
At this point I didn’t hear anything for a few days so I sent a follow up email and received the following response (from a chap called Philip White):
Thank you for your email regarding your download. I am sorry you are having difficulty with this. I understand how frustrating this must be for you.
We work hard to provide excellent service for all our customers. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention. This will need to be looked in to with our developers.
Thank you for taking the time to contact us and we look forward to hearing from you soon.
I’m not really sure why they are looking forward to hearing from me soon (I mean aside from that fact that I’m probably a right pain in the a*se) as I haven’t been asked to do anything, haven’t been told that someone will get back to me or any sort of idea of what will happen next.
Whether you agree with the idea of having to install a download manager or not, it’s clearly a bad idea because:
- Some people wont have administrative rights on their PC to install software
- I might be making the purchase from a device that doesn’t support the software (a tablet PC, smart phone, Linux based machine, Apple, etc.)
- Installing the software may be beyond the technical abilities of some users.
It’s a shame as if I’d had a really good experience, Sainsbury’s could have become my ‘go to’ place for digital music purchasing.