• Report: #1028024

Complaint Review: Ourstage.com

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  • Submitted: Wed, March 13, 2013
  • Updated: Wed, March 13, 2013

  • Reported By: TickedOffMusician — Huntersville North Carolina United States of America
Ourstage.com
321 Billerica Rd Chelmsford, Massachusetts United States of America

Ourstage.com Ourstage Fraud, Breach of Trust, Failure to pay Grand Prizes as promised, Chelmsford, Massachusetts

*Author of original report: Dear Ben Campbell - CEO - Ourstage.com

*Consumer Comment: Also waiting for prize fulfillment from ourstage

*UPDATE Employee: OurStage Responds

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Be careful if you enter your intellectual property into Ourstage's "competitions". I won their "Grand Prize" back in August 2011 and still have yet to receive my check 19 months later. Numerous emails between myself and "Heather-Prizing Coordinator" resulted in being told the company was basically broke and cannot pay their prizes at this time, but will honor their prizes... eventually.

They basically use your material to build up content on their site and use it freely and welch on their promise to pay you your prize if you win their contest. Also beware, when you win, they have you send in your 10-99 tax information for "taxation on your winnings" so they have your identity information as well as your intellectual property. And then they let you go pound sand.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/13/2013 09:12 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Ourstagecom/Chelmsford-Massachusetts-01824/Ourstagecom-Ourstage-Fraud-Breach-of-Trust-Failure-to-pay-Grand-Prizes-as-promised-Che-1028024. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
1Author 2Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Dear Ben Campbell - CEO - Ourstage.com

AUTHOR: TickedOffMusician - ()

To address Ben Campbell-CEO of Ourstage.com...

First, let me say thank you for finally honoring my prize and sending my check. I appreciate it. I would like to address several statements in your response, however.

You said, "  I discovered that we tried to reach you for several months in a row back in 2011 and were unsuccessful in getting a reply from you (which happens from time to time on a site with over 200,000 artists).  I understand that you surfaced a few months ago and, rightly, are anxious to claim your prize. " 

That is simply not true. I have been a CMA Touring Artist for several years, have a heavy internet presence, and have several numbers and email addresses listed for my agents and management. No attempt was ever made to any of these entities to contact me or notify me of any prize won. ( I found out by running a random image search of myself on Google and found a pic with $1000 beside my face posted on your site. ) That is when I "resurfaced"and contacted Ourstage to inquire about the image.

Next...You said,"My team tells me that we have been trying to get the required govt information to get you paid.  I appreciate that you are frustrated at having to provide a W-9 form to us.  However, we simply must comply with government regulations regarding paying prizes - and the feds require that we collect this information so that the tax man can know who won what."

I, like Last Minute, sent my information immediately back in October 2011, within hours of finding out I won. I went straight to the UPS Store, notarized the proper paperwork requested by email, and overnighted it to Ourstage.  I have numerous emails (that I will gladly post if you'd like) to show that your Prizing Coordinator "Heather" has had that information since October 12, 2011. She confirmed they had received it and would be sending my check asap. Sounds like your "team" is having a serious honesty problem, with you and the Artists you work with. 

I apologize if you find this distressing, but I will not allow you to be mislead to think this situation arose from a lack of initiative or professionalism on my part. I am on top of my business at all times, take my work seriously, and I wasted no time getting you the information requested. No, sir, this situation arose from your "team's" lip service and "check's in the mail" attitude to the tune of 6 months. I tried to get "Heather" to return my phone calls so we could discuss the issue privately...all I received were more emails putting me off and making excuses for non-payment. You guys claim you are a "Start-Up" Company...Respectfully, that is a cop-out. You have been in business for almost 7 years, being founded in 2006. Here's a thought....How about "Stop having contests until  you can afford to pay the prizes you promise in a timely fashion"? You guys are still running contests with $100 prizes etc.! It is dishonest, misleading to say the least. And, in my humble opinion, it breaches the trust the Artists show by sending in their work and borders on piracy of intellectual property.

Again, while I appreciate you honoring my prize, I still have a bad taste in my mouth regarding the way this was handled and the non-transparent, "pass-the-buck" attitude your company exhibits. Good luck, TJ and "Last Minute". And to you, Ben Campbell, good luck with your "Start-Up" venture.


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#2 Consumer Comment

Also waiting for prize fulfillment from ourstage

AUTHOR: Last Minute - ()

I noticed this report and my band Last Minute won 3 grand prizes on ourstage, 1 for Dec. 2012 and 2 for Jan. 2013.  Here is the email my band "Last Minute"  recieved on Mar. 1, 2013 from ourstage.com regarding our prize fulfillment:


Hello,
If you are receiving this message, you are one of the OurStage artist winners awaiting fulfillment of your prize. Please accept our sincere apology for the delay in getting you the prize that you worked hard in good faith to earn.
As you may have gathered from our prior email, we've been going through the classic startup growing pains and times have been very tight for the last few quarters. We've been trying our best to do more with fewer people and to keep as many of the services you've grown accustomed to as possible until we can reach profitability as a business. We are bummed that you've been affected by some of our challenges. Please know that we're racing to get past this tight period as fast as possible.
But rest assured that we are still here. We are optimistic about the future, and, most importantly, we are committed to getting caught up with awarding artist prizes as soon as possible.
We hope that you will understand, but of course we respect that you may be upset and dissatisfied. We feel the same, and we're doing everything we can to get past this tight time and to get back to timely prize fulfillment for everyone. For now, we must ask for your continued patience.
Thank you, sincerely, for your understanding and for being part of the OurStage community,

The OurStage team
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

So when is it that ourstage is going to start awarding the prize money that they owe to hard working bands like mine that have entered and won your contest in good faith?  We sent ourstage all of the required contest elgibility information and forms requested the first week of Jan. 2013.  So until you honor your end of the deal ourstage we will be upset and dissatisfied. 
Sincerly,
TJ Beyer and the members of the band Last Minute.
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#3 UPDATE Employee

OurStage Responds

AUTHOR: OurStage CEO - (United States of America)

Dear Grand Prize winner,   I was genuinely distressed to hear of your challenges in getting paid.  Your post has only limited information regarding your identity - but I was able to go back to our records of the Aug 2011 competition and I found that indeed one (and only one) of the grand prize winners that month remains unpaid as of today.  When I asked the team why this is the case, I discovered that we tried to reach you for several months in a row back in 2011 and were unsuccessful in getting a reply from you (which happens from time to time on a site with over 200,000 artists).  I understand that you surfaced a few months ago and, rightly, are anxious to claim your prize.  My team tells me that we have been trying to get the required govt information to get you paid.  I appreciate that you are frustrated at having to provide a W-9 form to us.  However, we simply must comply with government regulations regarding paying prizes - and the feds require that we collect this information so that the tax man can know who won what.  Our director of finance has already cut your grand prize check.  It is sitting on his desk and waiting to send to you by fedex tonight - if we can get the w-9 form we sent filled out and back from you.  Our team is trying to reach you right now to get this information.  Please accept my apology for the delay.  It is highly unusual and I'm very sorry you had a bad experience.  We've been helping artists get recognized, make money, and launch their careers for 6 years now and we really do care about every one of you.  Best regards,  Ben Campbell,  CEO of OurStage.com
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