MP3 Suite Responds to Scam Discussion

Thanks, Shop To It readers, for such a lively discussion on the Cheaper Alternatives to Internet Big Dogs blog entry earlier this week. People questioned my inclusion of MP3Suite.com as an alternative to iTunes. Some of you called it a scam and others wanted mention of the site removed. The discussion about the validity of the site is exactly what this blog is all about. Shop To It exists to help people make informed purchasing decisions, whether it be about the best toys to buy or how to renovate a bathroom with limited funds. And readers get informed through your comments about your own shopping experiences too, good and bad. And when you post questions, I seek answers. I contacted MP3Suite.com and directed them to the blog so they could read your comments firsthand. Heather Smith, a spokesperson for MP3Suite.com, addressed each of the concerns directly. Here are her responses on behalf of the company:

Comment: The site is a scam.
Smith: MP3 Suite is not a scam site. We are a software download that connects you to the world's largest network of online music, movies, games, etc. MP3 Suite allows you to find millions of titles in seconds.

Comment: MP3 Suite is just like Napster.
Smith: This is not true. Napster was found to be illegal because they housed music on their servers and allowed surfers to download with or without a license. MP3 Suite does not host any music on our servers; rather we provide software that allows you to access to connect with the world's largest network of online music. Napster was found to be illegal by the U.S. Supreme Court where the software MP3 Suites provides was found to be 100 percent legal by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Comment: The quality of the files is not good.
Smith: Because of the millions of files available on MP3 Suite, the quality of the files may vary. For this reason we provide a quality score using gold stars. The more stars shown, the better quality of the file. You will find the quality of a four-star file to be excellent.

Comment: The site doesn't refund your money.
Smith: MP3 Suite offers a 100 percent Satisfaction Guarantee, no questions asked. We do make this claim on our site and we live by it. However, we don't over-promote it because we have found people to take advantage of it by requesting a refund and still use the service. Our credit card processor is Clickbank and they require we offer an 8-week (56 days) money back guarantee. MP3 Suite has increased it to a 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Although this hurts our bottom line, we believe it is the right thing to do.

Comment: The Help section and FAQs don't work.
Smith: MP3 Suite provides excellent help tools within our member's area. The help tools give written explanations as well as screen shots to help even the most novice user to easily download, install and use MP3 Suite. There is a known broken link in MP3 Suite that does not connect a user from the help link in the player to our help pages. We are currently working to correct this issue and it will be available in the next release. This will be a free upgrade to our users through the member's area, and we have been responding to questions in the meantime.

Comment: There is no list of songs available on the MP3 Suite network.
Smith: The MP3 Suite home page has a list of some of the genres available through MP3 Suite. It also includes a search tool (upper right of page) that a person can use to determine if the song they are looking to find is available through MP3 Suite. (Our customer data has shown us that most customers prefer using a search tool to find a song rather than having a list of several pages that would include millions of songs to try and find a song.) With over 12 million songs to choose from, we found it would cumbersome to try and list them all.

Comment: MP3 Suite must not be relevant; they only have 478 Google hits.
Smith: I'm not sure where this number came from, but our records show we have well over 478 Google hits per day. With this said, we are not the size of iTunes and can only hope to be someday. But we are relevant and we do get significant traffic to our site.

Comment: MP3 Suite only takes PayPal.
Smith: We do take PayPal as well as Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, Diners Club, JCB or you can pay with an eCheck. Any of these payment methods are accepted but we are not limited to PayPal.

Any more questions about MP3Suite.com can be directed to their Customer Support at support@mp3suite.com.

So Shop To It readers, I ask you to please keep posting comments, questions, gripes, concerns and your doubts. Together we'll become better shoppers.

By Tania Anderson |  March 27, 2008; 12:03 AM ET General Interest
Previous: Cheaper Alternatives to Internet Big Dogs | Next: Tuesday Tips: Avoiding Scams

Comments

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So what about the use of CNN, CNet and NBC logos as having rated MP3Suite.com #1? I saw no evidence of this claim. Also, there is no good explanation of their service before you sign up/pay. Nowhere does it say it is a software download site. Instead, MP3Suite gives an impression it is a download site in the same vein as itunes or EMusic. It is seedy and fishy because of these instances of misleading or potentially false advertising. Why not be up front? My guess is because, as evidenced by the complaints on the original blog, far fewer people would sign up for such a service if they knew the real deal.
PS - using the search feature for songs only takes you to the Join Now page. It says results found for your song, but I used real and dummy bands and got the same result--the join page. This site, MP3Suite.com, is about one thing, getting your money. Tania, you let them off the hook with soft questions.

Posted by: SteveO | March 27, 2008 9:40 AM

I plan to avoid this site like the plague, but thanks for the update Tanya.

Posted by: Roya | March 27, 2008 11:07 AM

I agree with SteveO's question: Where is the evidence of their positive reviews?

Posted by: G.O. | March 27, 2008 11:18 AM

Have you discussed mp3suite with any of the Post's technology reporters or columnists?

Posted by: G.O. | March 27, 2008 11:22 AM

So if I understand MP3 Suite is not housing the music on their servers (their words) but giving you the software to download from someone else's computer a la BearShare, LimeWire & Kazaa? MP3 Suite doesn't claim their music has a license so therefore it must be unlicensed. The supreme court rules BitTorrent software legal only to trade files that were licensed i.e. public documents, bands that WANT to distribute via the internet. Any other purpose is still illegal.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2008 11:44 AM

There's value in hearing each other's opinions and shopping experiences. Has anyone ever actually used MP3 Suite?

Posted by: shopaholic | March 27, 2008 1:14 PM

The only info I was able to find via Google was a "review" from top-review.org/mp3-suite.htm, this site also "reviewed" 16 other scam websites including top-review.org/affiliate/underground-cash-secret.htm which has been pulled off the web, presumably by the host company. Also in their line is several bet the dealer type books, a weight loss book and something called the profit machine cbkprofitmachine.com/?hop=cbsecured . Yeah I totally convinced now. SCAM.

Posted by: CJ | March 27, 2008 1:18 PM

"Napster was found to be illegal by the U.S. Supreme Court where the software MP3 Suites provides was found to be 100 percent legal by the U.S. Supreme Court."

Napster was never even considered by the Supreme Court. The only "file sharing" case ever heard by the Supreme Court involved Streamcast and Grokster, and Napster is mentioned in that case when the Court talks about how Streamcast and Grokster positioned them to get Napster's customers after it was shut down.

The Supreme Court has NEVER found any software "100 percent legal."

Posted by: Lee Hollaar | March 27, 2008 2:49 PM

I really can't believe a blog affiliated with the Washington Post would leave this up so long.
For anyone who made the mistake of paying for MP3 Suite as my mother did, please note that initiating a claim via Paypal should get your money back. Clickbank responded promptly stating they would refund. We'll let you know when the refund actually arrives.

Shopaholic- My mother did pay for, download and use MP3 Suite, the experience she had with it was that all the songs she wanted were available to her, but when she followed the instructions for download, a message would pop up stating that no license could be found for the file and reminding the user that it was their responsibility to obey their local copyright laws. I do not doubt that *some* songs/files on MP3 Suite have licenses, but we're probably talking maybe .5% of what they claim to offer.

Posted by: Sarah | March 27, 2008 3:40 PM

Ok, I'm not all that tech savvy, I use iTunes and am fairly happy with it, I've only filled about 10% of my 80g iPod, but what's the point of MP3 Suite if you're able to find songs, but not able to download them? What do you do with them? Listen to them on your computer? Thanks to this blog, I will not be investing in this obvious scam.

Posted by: Anonymous | March 27, 2008 4:59 PM

Good blog! Thanks

Posted by: Kavita | March 28, 2008 4:42 AM

Oh, and did you notice that the rep from MP3 Suites can't tell the difference (or hopes that WE can't tell the difference) between a Google hit and a pageview?

Posted by: tia | April 1, 2008 5:55 PM

"MP3 Suite does not host any music on our servers; rather we provide software that allows you to access to connect with the world's largest network of online music"

Translation: Their "software" accesses the eDonkey/eMule network (which can be had for free elsewhere). 99% of the content on that network is ILLEGAL to download, as it is not licensed. MP3Suite does not provide ANY licesnes to the music.

Lets face facts here:

1) Tania got completely fooled, and didn't bother to have the site vetted.
2) Contacted the company to get some phony answers to cover herself and the Post.
3) Now she and the Post will forget this and hopes it quietly goes away.


Shame on you Washington Post!

Posted by: HankTheCat | April 2, 2008 2:43 AM

Thankyou blogers of the post for informing me about MP3suite I was at the final stage of entering a credit card number in a mater of a few seconds of reading a glosy review of it. And the articile was not very informative but your responces are provided me with much insight as to what this site is really all about.

Posted by: Kim | April 4, 2008 10:49 AM

I found a review of MP3 Suite at http://www.dm-reviews.com/mus_mp3suite.html, where it had scored pretty good scores 5 out of 5. I checked som of the other reviews and they seemed to be pretty objective. I haven't tried mp3 sute myself yet.

Posted by: Jennifer | April 7, 2008 5:23 PM

unfortunately,my stupidity and enthusiasm has lead me to buying one of their services... i should of reasearched more..
and all i can say on this site is that its a complete scam. It is completely a Limewire with their brandname on it. They say its 100% legal for files that are NOT copyrighted.Stated in the site: "In their site, it its stated MP3 Suite connects you to the worlds largest file sharing network but DOES NOT PERMIT THE DOWNLOAD OF ANY COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL"
so dont get tricked like me.. Stay out of it!

Posted by: dyny | April 10, 2008 10:33 PM

So glad I read this - I'm not very computer literate, so I thought this was a way to download music legally....but now I'll close the sign-up page (I was just abou to pay for mp3 suite). Thanks to all those who explained it in plain english.

Posted by: Bec | April 11, 2008 5:20 AM

stick to itunes people its legit and not a "point me to" bs site like this one is

Posted by: itunes guy | April 13, 2008 9:41 PM

thanks i was going to spend my hard earned money on mp3 suite but I now realize it's just like the crappy psp blender they take you to a list of files and torrents that you have to download additionally and stuff that you can find yourself. Thanks for the heads up. I'll stick to mp3 fiesta.

Posted by: adrian | April 19, 2008 1:23 PM

I relied on Tania's tacit endorsement and subscribed to mp3suite. Big mistake! I'm disappointed to find that I can't even rely on the Washington Post for accurate information.
There is no question that using this is copyright infringement. Contrary to their claims, they will never obtain licenses for most of the files they access. My experience has been that I cannot play the mp3 files I downloaded, the online support link included with the software doesn't connect, and the merchant did not respond to my email request for help.
Tania should be sacked!

Posted by: Greg | April 24, 2008 11:58 PM

I too was duped by their adertisement. Something that sounds tyoo good to be true usually is!!! I am trying to pursue the guarantee and get my money back I have e-mailed both the bank and the support. Any other suggestions???

Posted by: John | April 26, 2008 5:50 PM

Well I too, thought they we a good site to download music, movies, software.

I have been able to download music, but not software, instead I get z zip file that has a game or something. been trying to talk wth support for 3 days no success....should I tell the cr card company ive been scammed.

Posted by: Sondra | April 29, 2008 1:34 AM

This is a scam site.Your so called soft ware dose not work nor does your customer service.All I get is go to this site and when i put it in I get a NO URL site.Why wont you help? I paid in good faith

Posted by: mark | April 30, 2008 7:46 AM

there is the professional world of warcraft power leveling here. welcome.

Posted by: jimelyyes | May 8, 2008 4:12 AM

I wish I had started here, but like many of the respondents, I was duped, too. I took it on faith that a site which claims Mac compatibility IS Mac compatible, but MP3Suite is not. Reading the above complaints, it looks as though system compatibility is the least of my problems.

I've sent four email requests for help or a refund to support@mp3suite.com, but have received no replies. I'm about to send one more, along with a complaint to the Better Business Bureau.

DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY AT MP3SUITE.COM. IT IS A SCAM.

Posted by: J Duncan | May 9, 2008 2:38 PM

I also was looking for a quality site that I would be glad to pay for downloads as limewire has a ton of viruses floating around. There are a few sites that claim the same as this nonsense! Where is a legit site to get what you pay for? Has the music scene deteriorated this much? The internet is full of flashy websites that truly suck!

Posted by: mark | August 16, 2008 4:52 PM

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