The ATM Didn’t Work, and Neither Did The Bargain Basement DJ!

It worked yesterday! The Automatic Teller Machine ranks as one of man’s greatest inventions since the wheel, except when it doesn’t work. Then it’s more of a wheel chock.

Greatest invention since the wheel - when it works!

Greatest invention since the wheel - when it works!

I was trying to use the drive-through ATM machine at my local branch bank, but it would not allow me to transfer funds between checking and savings accounts.

I knew that a call to the Customer Service line would connect me with someone in Mumbai or Bangolore who could speak perfect English, but didn’t understand a word of it, and it would only result in frustration. I knew it was likely to be simple to correct, if I could just speak with the right person. Plus in this age of electronic transactions, I still like the honesty and fellowship of doing business face-to-face.

So I decided to go inside and see the Business Banking manager. He was a professional looking young man named Jeff Burgess, and I felt assured he was that “right person” who could fix my account access issues.

As he explained how the bank’s system conversion had disabled some customer account links, he looked at my information screen, and asked “What IS The Party Machine?”

Resisting temptation to answer with an old vaudeville punchline, I told him I was a Wedding DJ and MC, and the Party Machine was one of the oldest mobile entertainment businesses in North Texas, founded in 1976.

Jeff slammed his fist on the desk, and said, “Man, I wish I had known about you six months ago!”

“Why, did you see a bad cheesy DJ somewhere?” I asked him.

“No! He was such a bad DJ, he never showed up at all, and it was our wedding!” was Jeff’s response.

I felt sickened to hear this. The most important celebration of their lives, ruined by a no-show DJ. You can never get that back.

The no-show problem is so widespread that the American DJ Association has developed the Get A DJ Fast Hotline! Toll-free 1-888-723-5776

The no-show problem is so widespread that the American DJ Association has developed the Get A DJ Fast Hotline! Toll-free 1-888-723-5776

This was totally unheard of just a few years ago. Sadly, it has become quite commonplace now. Whatever happened to ethics, and doing business by The Golden Rule? I blame this disgusting lapse on aggressive Internet marketing tactics.

Most front-page hits on a Google search for DJs, are not even for DJ services. They are list-sellers and brokerage agencies, many of which do nothing but accept online and telephone bookings, and then try to sell the contract to the lowest bidder. They are typically out of state, don’t own any assets, and don’t employ any DJs. They lure people in with cheap prices: “$595 for 4 hours of professional DJ service!” And sadly, many people with tight budgets or hurried schedules, will be taken in by these snake-oil peddlers.

The list-seller takes a credit card deposit and an e-contract, and then tries to sell the contract to a beginner DJ in that market, at an even lower price. Often the DJ wanna-be is hired by the contract seller for as little as $300.

What DJ will work for $300? You can’t even rent pro audio equipment for $300! Well, nobody with experience will work for a loss, which leaves nothing but inexperienced hobby DJs, mostly young kids with worn-out pawn shop gear. Few of them will fall for it more than a couple of times before they realize they are worth a lot more. So they bail out of the $300 gig because someone else will pay them $500 on the spot. When they gain a bit of experience and lose their naiveté, they will not work for less than the average market rate.

Typical price based broker's advertising. Avoid anyone who markets talent-based services like a Ronco Veg-O-Matic. This is NOT a professional, and often leads to disastrous results.

Typical price based broker's advertising. Avoid anyone who markets talent-based services like a Ronco Veg-O-Matic. This is NOT a professional, and often leads to disastrous results.

Which leads to lots of no-show DJs. Actually, since they don’t DJ, they are just simply no-shows! A real DJ is a professional, and cheap fast-buck artists are giving the profession a bad reputation, just like a crooked lawyer, a dishonest car salesman, or a book-cooking accountant harms the image of those noble professions.

Professionals in the wedding business charge a high enough fee to earn a living at their craft, and deposits of up to 50% are common to retain the services of wedding vendors. These amounts show up as Liabilities on the books of a legitimate business, because it is income that is un-earned until fulfillment of the full contract. With more to lose, a vendor with a 50% retainer has more incentive to fulfill their contract obligations. People who take a 50% deposit, and take the time to get to know you, always show up! And these legitimate vendors never take your order over the Internet without any human contact.

So what happened to Mr and Mrs Jeff Burgess? They had to file suit in Small Claims Court to recover the $100 deposit they paid with their credit card. The list-seller company only had $100 to lose, and were counting on most people being unwilling to sue over a paltry hundred bucks.

I was so angered by this shyster non-DJ ruining a wedding, and so incensed at the damage they are doing, that I had to call Jeff at the bank and ask who the company was. He told me, and I am publishing it here for all our clients to see: A-Sensory Sound. Do a Google search for “A Sensory Sound complaints” for some extended reading material. While I would not speak ill of a legitimate competitor or bear false witness, I have no reservations about telling the truth to expose a fraud, to protect people from being cheated.

As my Mama used to say, “Any deal that looks too good to be true, probably is.” My Mama was a lot like Forrest Gump’s.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: