D.I.Y.

Sonicbids Rushes To Repair Damage As Users Exit

sonicbidsUPDATE: Sonicbids users continue to express concern and even outrage after a rocky relaunch of the EPK and music opportunity site left many account assets unusable or seemingly deleted.  (See comments below and add your own experience.)  Sonicbids is aggressively trying to repair the problems, issuing multiple fixes daily – 11 on Tuesday alone. But they may come too late for many users who some sources say are abandoning the service en mass.

More on the original story plus user comments:

In early December, just a month after founder Panos Pany's exit, Sonicbids sent an email to users announcing the relaunch of their music gig and opportunity platform. The site went offline temporarily on Sunday, December 8th with the promise of a reboot that would include an "enhanced user experience with new tools and some awesome advancements to your EPK and the find gigs page".  But instead what followed has been a strady stream of complaints from users and mea culpa's from the Sonicbids team. 

More than two week's after the relaunch,  basic Sonicbids functions seem to be unusable for many paying suscribers:

  • Rick Stone AGAIN, WHERE is out calendar DATA????? I had YEARS of history there and you took it down without warning. I've been paying you for this service, and to be honest, it's the only part of Sonicbids I really used. My numerous inquiries to your tech support go unanswered. WHEN (if ever) will we get our data back?
     
  •  Rick Stone Well, 8 days have gone by since my conversations with Sonicbids tech support and unfortunately since then NO action. The data is apparently there, but the calendar widget is still broken and no way to retrieve our gig details. This SUCKS!

Other users just want a return to the old Sonicbids that was working for them:

  •  Bob Crain No No No don't you get it you can't fix it what you are proposing to send to buyers will not get past the first opening with all the photos and songs swirling around like a kaleidoscope. Stop trying to fix it and reinstall the old system that brought up a nice 1 Page with enough information and easily navigated….aren't you reading this stuff. I know no one is home at chat and you are not answering help emails as I have tried every day since the 12th. I expect a full credit of fees from the 12th until this mess is sorted or we all leave because it doesn't work and never will.
Still others, just want help:

 
Sonicbids staffers have responded to the stream of negative complaints with small fixes and workarounds – at least 20 since December 9th – and even more apologies. But the company has stopped short of admitting that they pushed a new product out well before it was ready and caused a great deal of turmoil for paying users.
  •  Blu Hopkins What is this new crap? I'm dumping you guys after many years as a customer. I can't spend valuable time trying to figure out your obscure ridiculous system after the easy to negotiate setup you had previously. I suspect you'll be losing lots of subscribers as soon as they've spent a few hours trying to figure the new garbage out and give up in disgust.
     
     
  •  Fatimah Eye'z Verrell you ruined my christmas!

 What were your experiences afer the Sonicbids relaunch?

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13 Comments

  1. It’s about time someone in the media picked up this story! What a gigantic technological fail!!!! I agree with many of the comments – cut your loss’s and just restore the old system. Try again next year after you – I don’t know – test the new system before taking it live????

  2. I hope they die a quick death. I never found them to be of much use, and the “pay to have an opportunity to maybe have your EPK looked at for a gig” is such a waste of money. I found better results just cold calling venues and booking my own gigs…

  3. Do you guys see any value in having a website or an EPK as an artist?
    Outside of paying for the “chance” for you to get a gig, would you guys pay a limited amount for an EPK or website?

  4. Your web site is your hub, You control it and what users see there. There are many services like Bandzoogle, that allow you to create a good one for $10 a month or so.

  5. I had a Sonicbids EPK for the last 9 or 10 years. I used it mainly because it was a nice clean printable format that was easy to email to presenters and I liked the calendar (which I had embedded all over the place). In the beginning, they let you upload the calendar as a CSV so I would keep a record of everything on my local computer, but then they dumped that and only let us update our gigs by manually entering them on their system. Since entering data twice in different locations is generally always a bad idea (too easy to forget which is the most recent version) I started using the Sonicbids calendar as a repository for ALL the information about my gigs (sidemen, venue addresses, etc.) Now all this data is gone. PLUS, despite what Sonicbids has told people, NOBODY that I know EVER got an email saying that this change was going to happen. I’m definitely done with them at this point and just want my data back. Now looking for a better calendar system for the website since the one they’re now providing is unusable. Lots of complaints about Sonicbids over the years. Here’s a page full of links of dissatisfied users: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sonicbids-Sucks/1386495674933662

  6. Rick’s comment sums it up very well. I’ve used SonicBids since at least 2007 — mainly for their calendar, which I’d embedded in my website… and the occasional contest/gig entry where the venue only accepted entries via SonicBids.
    They did NOT notify me about impending changes, and it sounds like they didn’t e-mail anyone. Their arrogance is mind-boggling. NO apologies! Just endless streams of new “fixes.” The amount of fixes they’ve had to make (and some of these “fixes” are still broken) simply verifies that this new system wasn’t ready to be taken live yet. They ignore comments from people asking for refunds. There has never been even an offer of a refund for at least the month of December.
    And maybe they really had no idea just how many of their customers were dependent upon the calendar feature — which is now completely useless, years of history wiped out and what remains is incomplete and inaccurate. If SonicBids had any sense of integrity and professionalism, the first thing they’d do is fix the damn calendar application before they lose all their customers!!
    I deleted all my data out of my SonicBids account, then followed their published steps to cancel my account. It says they’ve cancelled my account but that I can renew it at any time… and it’s still visible to anyone who knows the address, so how, exactly, is my account cancelled?? I want some major news organization to find this and expose SonicBids for the idiots and criminals that they are.

  7. I totally concur with what Rick Stone and Sue Fink have reported. Our band had more than 400 gigs in the calendar section – over at least a five year time frame. All of that is GONE. All our press coverage, reviews, etc., GONE. Photos I uploaded and updated, GONE. The band’s updated bio, talking points, elevator pitch, stage plot, band member info, contact info, GONE.
    I’ve read that the info is still there – somewhere – but I’m damned if I can figure out where.
    I’ve read posts from numerous Sonicbids artists who say they’ve emailed and messaged and posted and asked and inquired and begged and pleaded for help, heck – for ANY response at all, and there’s nothing. All I got back was what appeared to be an automated response saying they’ve received my email. Well, isn’t THAT nice! NOTHING since. Nothing that is helpful in any way. I’m considering consulting my attorney next. After all, we ARE, all of us, paying customers – we pay a subscription fee and I’m sure we’re still getting billed for it, and we now have NOTHING in terms of any EPK – anything usable, anything AT ALL. So I’m wondering what we’re still paying for. And why. AND where the refund is.
    When I think of the hours and hours and hours and hours I’ve spent inputting and updating and uploading, it makes me dizzy. Now if I’m willing to continue (which I seriously doubt at this point), I have to reconstruct the whole damn thing from scratch. I even started at one point. I found that the new and “improved” system would not even let me input the name of our front man, Michael Gossard. As soon as I typed in “Michael,” a drop-down list appeared of all the Michaels in the western world, none of them mine of course. There was no way even to type in the name.
    INCREDIBLY frustrating! I want my money back. I want ALL my data back. And I think I also want OUT.

  8. Yes to both. I have my own website that I run, and I have my own EPK downloadable from there (plus pics, MP3s to listen to, videos to watch, and sales for my books & music). I do pay yearly for the website, and bought good website software, as I find it much better than the free stuff out there.

  9. “Sonicbids sent an email to users announcing the relaunch of their music gig and opportunity platform.”
    Nope, this is an outright lie. NOBODY that I’ve talked with ever received an email about the update. I’ve been a paying member for over 10 years and I NEVER got an email about the updage.
    “More than two week’s after the relaunch, basic Sonicbids functions seem to be unusable for many paying suscribers:”
    Let’s update that. It’s now been a FULL MONTH since the relaunch and the service is STILL unusable. They trashed the calendar and still haven’t restored our gig details. I had had 10 years of gig history in their system and to be honest, it was the ONLY reason that I was using it.
    I’ve moved my calendar to another system (but am really pissed about losing my gig history) and I guess I should remove the link to the EPK from my website because it’s really an embarrassment. Their old format was simple, clean and printable. This new thing is terrible and looks like it’s trying to be a MySpace page. Definitely not something worth paying for (I know HTML and WordPress and could design a better EPK than this in an afternoon).

  10. I did get a response from them regarding the historic data. They went on about the mountain of data that they have to restore and they plan to do it, but it’s a lot of work and it’s going to take a while for them to get it right.
    Since my day job is in building database-backed web applications, I think I do understand what they’re facing, but I can’t sympathize. They brought this on themselves.

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