ANATOMY OF A RIP-OFF? OR DID SOMETHING GET LOST IN TRANSLATION? A.K.A. I'LL MEET YOU BY THE SWINGS AFTER SCHOOL!

First of all, let me say that I think one and all will agree: no one likes being ripped off. There are a lot of things we haven’t experienced in life and a lot of things we never will experience, but I don’t think anyone wakes up in the morning and thinks to themselves, “Shit, today would be an awesome day to get my ass taken to the cleaners!” Or, to bring things down to the situation at hand, “Fuck, I really feel like paying for goods and services that I know I’m never going to see.” Secondly, one will occasionally stumble across a less-than-reputable individual in the world of extreme music mail order and labels. However, I like to think that the numbers of scammers in our little corner of the musical world are miniscule and don’t amount so much to “rip-off artist” as they do “someone who has no business sense, bit off more they could chew and refuses to admit it.” Or “lazy.” Seriously though, when you think of ripping people off to make money, what comes to mind are Ponzi Schemes, casino or bank heists, even robbing gas stations, not withholding the profit margin from the sales of $10 CDs.

At the same time, I’m sure anybody who’s ordered merch online, won an eBay auction or has heard “the cheque is in the mail,” has stories of shit just not showing up. Whether it’s because of a less-than-honest person at the place of origin or the questionable competence of the various postal departments your goods travel through, packages get lost, stolen, opened, destroyed, delivery men get lazy, etc and stuff disappears.

On a personal note, who remembers the band Thought Industry? Back in the mid-90s, after the release of their first two albums, Songs for Insects and Mods Carve the Pig: Assassins, Toads and God’s Flesh, I was what you’d call a fanboy. To wit, I ended up buying a bunch of stuff via mail order directly from the band including demos, stickers and shirts. While I’ll never know what the hell kind of black postal hole existed between the band’s home base in Kalamazoo, MI and Toronto, but I’d say maybe half of the packages sent by then-drummer Dustin Donaldson actually made it to me. At the time, Dustin and I were familiar enough that I could call him up and ask what the heck was going on, to which he usually replied, “I sent that like two months ago.” I recall opening one of the parcels he sent that actually made it to me and a little note falling out when I unfolded the long sleeve shirt I purchased: “Dear Mr. Postman, this is the third time I’ve sent this shirt to my friend at this address. Stop stealing our shit!”

Once in a while, we do get heads-ups sent to us about “rip offs” which, more often than not, turn out to be a matter of shit getting lost and/or one person not working as rigorously as the other person thinks they should to rectify the issue or general apathy and someone’s inability to be accountable. The particular back-and-forth below, however, between Zbyszek at hellshop.eu and Crin at Godreah screams hilarity; that is, if you can follow what the hell is going on. Part of the fun here is trying to decode just what the hell the Polish-to-English translation program that Zbyszek ran his angry communiqués through spit out. He’s obviously very passionate about his metal and his work and Crin – who’s been doing Godreah as a zine, distro and label for a long fucking time – well, I don't know what the hell he's doing either, but chances are at some point he's probably taking the piss out of a situation he has little control over. I’ve dealt with Crin and Godreah personally in the past and can say with a fair amount of confidence that he’s not a nefarious character. He’s a bit of an oddball, yes, and he obviously has a sense of humour and, after reading this exchange, someone who has a lot more patience than I.

Enjoy!

---------- Forwarded message ---------- From: Date: 2012/1/18 Subject: official statement - warning RIP-OFF To: "Admin - hellshop.eu"

first of all - sorry for wastage Your time...

Official Statement about thief called C. Hawkes or godreah (full address below)

Three month ago we sent him parcel with 15 CDS / number of letter: RR462866581PL

Hi got our stuff and NEVER send own part of trade to us, NEVER! Never send us number of parcel! Instead of this important things we got his "FUCK OFF"! (check our correspondence below)

In January I promised him that I'm wait only till of this month and after that I will make "advertisement" about this intolerable wangle... He was afraid and quickly send many slander lies to many people (also our friends and trade partners)... All of them was shocked becasue is very easy to get stuff, to sent "fuck off" against and after that spread lies!!! Watch out! If this person will write to you and you will decide to trade NEVER send them stuff as first!

Our stuff cadged and NEVER send promosed stuff: C. Hawkes or godreah email address: [REDACTED] home address: [REDACTED]

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- hellshop is official and legally working shop and worldwide distribution. all working in hellshop people are in undergrond and metal scene since 1990. we work with many bands, many labels and true people of underground! -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

if you not boring of this RIP-OFF problem you can read our correspondence

in November I got ----- Original Message -----

From: godreah To: [EMAIL REDACTED] Sent: Sunday, November 20, 2011 12:32 PM Subject: Re: are you interested in trade?

your cd's are on the way. post can be shit slow sometimes let me know when they arrive

i have your pack ok..

regards

crin

in December was still BIG NOTHING ----- Original Message -----

From: godreah To: [EMAIL REDACTED] Sent: Sunday, December 11, 2011 2:40 PM Subject: Re: are you interested in trade?

this number is now lost and i am at the mercy of the postal men. of course i can send you another pack if you have no got the first one it is a very great shame

crin

On 07/12/2011 08:24, [EMAIL REDACTED] wrote:

meantime I got a few parcels all trade was made after your last email (about sending) I you hope sent parcel as registered and you will find nember asap

zbyszek

Hails i don't understand why you have not received your package yet? i shall look for the number as this moment i cannot trace it on my files. all i know is i definitely posted it.

crin

No parcels, no numbers of letter and long wainting for any answer when I lost my patient he saw other possibility... when will send me fuck off I will forget about my stuff NO WAY!!!!

----- Original Message -----

From: godreah To: [EMAIL REDACTED] Sent: Friday, December 23, 2011 6:11 PM Subject: Re: are you interested in trade?

if you call me a liar one more time i will tell you to fuck off.

i fo not lie and i am very offended by your words

you insult me

On 23/12/2011 10:02, [EMAIL REDACTED] wrote:

is December 23th AND I STILL DIDNT GOT PARCEL FROM YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Im patient but I think that it is big lie if you dont have stuff for me just send my back

I don't like to got "fuck off" agains my stuff and I think nobody likes it

its easy to get CDs and be insult when I need me stuff back but I living too many years and I started to trade when was no internet and I will spread information worldwide about any rip-off

www.hellshop.eu www.godreahrecords.com

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