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Brad

Mosaic Apology

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Mosaic Records sent the following email this afternoon:

First of all, we thank you for your support and belief in us. Without you, Mosaic would not have survived. We feel we owe you an explanation for what has happened given our sub-par customer service performance over the past 18 months. We take full responsibility for all the bumps in the road that delayed our new Woody Herman and Hank Mobley sets beyond reason. At the risk of boring you, here’s what happened.

2019 was the year that Murphy’s Law morphed into Mosaic’s Law. Everything that could go wrong did. We solicited advance orders on two sets that were to be shipped in 6 to 8 months at the latest.

        Our system of soliciting a set before investing in production was borne of necessity a few years ago when it became evident that in our shrinking universe one misstep in choice or judgment could set us on the short road to ruin. Pre-solicitation is our safety net that Mosaic would enable to continue on.

        Just 15 years ago, we had a staff of 12 and a facility that housed a warehouse, a loading dock and offices. We could make purchase orders, pay royalties and process orders from the same office. We could receive CDs, boxes and booklets and collate and ship our orders all over the world. Now we are in a much smaller office with a staff of 2 and our sets are collated and shipped from a fulfillment center upstate.

        In the fall of 2018, we announced our new Woody Herman set and then our Hank Mobley set was to follow in the summer. Our expectations and timelines were reasonable. Box sets are built in stages. They require legal licensing and research of discography, photography and source material. Those areas can be done simultaneously and usually take three months. The next phase is getting the studio work done and the masters to the pressing plant – a month or so if you’re lucky. Then comes the artwork stage: writers have to get their liner notes in on deadline, then notes, credits and photos have to go to the design house where the booklets, paper components for the CDs and outer boxes have to be created, approved and sent to the individual manufacturers of each. Then the printed elements must converge at the fulfillment house where sets are collated and orders filled.

        Doesn’t sound like splitting the atom, does it? Well, this past year was a tragedy of errors. Printing plants lost the files that they needed to print. CD paper components were sent to the wrong pressing plants. And the ones that did arrive at the right plant were printed to the wrong specs. Days, weeks, months went by with one apologetic email after another from frustrated people along the production line. The Labor Day came and went, followed by Canadian Thanksgiving, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Internet Monday, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and even Festivus.

        We even tried a couple of True Blue offers midyear for new Elemental and Verve-Impulse releases. But given Mosaic’s Law of 2019, the distributor ran out of product, leaving us waiting over two months for some of the titles. Then of course our computers aged out software-wise and we had to get used to new ones and set three dozen new passwords. I could go on….

        We thank you sincerely for all your support and understanding. Thanks to you we have our heads above water and our next offering will not be solicited until the set is in our warehouse and ready to ship.

- Michael

 

Edited by Brad

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I’m a bit surprised by this as I didn’t think any apology was necessary. After some of the crowdfunding debacles elsewhere Mosaic’s service can only be seen as exemplary 

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I'm a huge Mosaic fan, but there was a definite downshift in customer service and disappointing results. An explanation was welcome.

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It's strange in a way, because the two snafus I've had with Mosaic service (both corrected at Mosaic's expense) happened back in the day when it was a humming operation.  But there's been no problem  with my recent orders at all. Arrived in a timely way, and quite frankly the sets are now much better protected by bubble wrap.  So I agree with Clunky - no apology necessary, at least to me.  

Edited by John Tapscott

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Did you order the two most recent? That was where I and others I know have experienced numerous problems. Pre-orders ignored and more. . . .

It's a shame that they are such a small outfit now which is the main reason for issues. Sign of the times.

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I don't know; I do some huge projects, write 'em and master 'em and get 'em printed all by myself, and I seem to have less problems. In this day and age, even with the things that Mosaic does, which I imagine are more complex from a layout perspective, it's really not that hard to get it done. Yes, it takes time, but time, from the way they describe things, didn't seem to be the problem.

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1 hour ago, jazzbo said:

Did you order the two most recent? That was where I and others I know have experienced numerous problems. Pre-orders ignored and more. . . .

It's a shame that they are such a small outfit now which is the main reason for issues. Sign of the times.

Yes, the recent Herman which I pre-ordered along with the Savoy set which was still in print at that time (though running low I believe). They held the Savoy set and sent it along with the  Herman. Smooth as can be. No problems. No customs charges. Excellent. 

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I pre-ordered the Woody in 2018 at the time they were looking for a specific number of sets to make it viable.  That number might have been 1000.  I waited through all the delays and got this set - which I love - around the time it was released to about a month after it appeared the set was shipping.  I was/am okay with that, especially since I was not charged until it was shipped.

My wife Kelly ordered the Hank set in early December and I just received it a couple of days ago.  It would have been nice to receive it on Christmas as it was a Christmas gift.

I do see the need for an apology.  And I appreciate that one has been put forth.  I know that many on the board have been disappointed with the recent service and justifiably so.  Seems like some of the Mosaic mishaps during production were beyond Mosaic's control. But, they do need to step up on things like missing orders and such. And prompt shipment too.  I think those are things well within their control.

In the end, I'm happy they are still alive as a company.  Looking forward to the Bickert and Armstrong sets coming out in the future.  Would love to see the Chick Corea I suggested a few months back.

 

Edited by Ed Swinnich

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Then of course our computers aged out software-wise and we had to get used to new ones and set three dozen new passwords.

That was/is entirely preventable. Crashing, not necessarily. But "aging out", hell yeah. That's definitely preventable.

The rest, maybe not so much.

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