What other backing track companies DON’T tell you

(The original version of this article was first published on the Mp3 Backing Trax website circa 2006 – 2012)

I lost a customer a few months ago…but I regained her custom again yesterday. Here’s what happened…

I received an email from one of my customers to say that although she loved our backing tracks she was a bit fed up having to wait a couple of minutes for an email to arrive in her inbox with the download links. She’d found another backing track website that was “easier” to order from.

With our competitors website, instead of making an order with us and waiting 2 or 3 minutes until the email with the download link arrived, our competitors website passed her DIRECTLY to their download area as soon as she made her order so there was no waiting a couple of minutes for an email with download links to arrive and no problems with emails getting caught up in spam folders.

She told me that they had a “better” system than us and that I should change our system to be more like theirs or else she’d stop buying from us and use our competitor instead.

I wished her well and waved her goodbye. I’d just lost a customer.

But 3 months later she returned with what can only be described as a horror story.

Her identity had been stolen, her card cloned, and the fraudsters caused so much damage to her credit rating she had to get new cards issued and go through a mountain of red-tape to get her identity and credibility re-instated. It’s still on-going, even 3 months after discovering her identity theft. And it all started because she used what she thought was an “easy” ordering system with our competitor.

In reality, the reason she could order so easily with our competitors system is that their system is less secure than ours. This led to her card details being compromised. By using our competitors website she saved a few seconds in the time it takes to get her backing track downloads but that few seconds ended up costing her more than 3 months of horrendous upheaval, changing her bank accounts, waiting for a new credit card to be issued, and all the other stuff that goes with it.

Here’s exactly how she ended up getting herself in to this situation…

As I said at the beginning of the article, she originally took her custom away from us because she said we asked for too much information when she fills out our order forms. On top of this, she also complained that she has to wait a few seconds or a few minutes for us to send her an email with the download links. She said that wasn’t good enough. She wanted to enter the minimal amount of information, and get her download immediately and doesn’t consider waiting a few seconds or minutes for her download email as being “immediate”.

I told her that, yes, sometimes it might seem like we’re asking for an awful
lot of information, but it’s to protect you every bit as much as us. You see, as a rule of thumb, the quicker the ordering system, and the less information they ask for, the more chance of card fraud. This is why we don’t operate systems like many other backing track companies whereby after the customer pays they are taken immediately to the download area. We prefer to email you the download links (which we do immediately by the way).

The reason we do it this way is simple. By emailing the download links to the customer, it checks that the customer has given a valid email address, not a false one.

Secondly, it gives the system time to check the card details the customer gave with their card issuer to make sure the transaction isn’t fraudulent. These checks only take a few seconds or minutes to do, but help protect you immensely.

The backing track companies who pass you directly to their download page immediately after you submit your card information are not making all these security checks.

When most people discover this, they take a different view of the “easy to order” websites…!

And I firmly believe it’s important that we do all these security checks.

Say, for example, you go to a restaurant or a shop and pay for your meal or purchases by credit card. The waiter or shop assistant could easily secretly make a note of your card number and its expiry date on a piece of scrap paper. That waiter or shop assistant could then go on a spending spree on the internet with your card details because most websites only check the card number and the expiry date of a card and when you buy things on the internet you don’t even need to have the physical card in your hand so a few numbers written on a piece of paper is all a fraudster needs!

Ironically the reason the fraudsters get away with this type of behaviour is because many companies try to make the buying process on their websites as “easy” as possible for their customers so they only ask for the card number and expiry date, nothing else.

If the odd fraudulent transaction slips through because of their poor security then they just swallow that loss and see it as “a normal cost of doing business”. They have no regard whatsoever for the person who’s card details were stolen and used. When the genuine card holder sees purchases on his statement that he didn’t make and complains to them, they refund the amount to him, take the hit, and accept that they’ve lost the goods (which by this time have been sent to the fraudster) and get on with business as usual.

But if these companies made better checks to their card security it would seriously reduce card fraud on the internet, and that’s something that would benefit us all.

Believe it or not there are courts in some parts of the world who refuse to prosecute online card fraudsters. This is because they believe that card fraud is totally preventable. Their way of thinking is that if a merchant has been a victim of a card fraud then they only have themselves to blame for not running better security in their business. Why should the courts spend public money helping internet merchants prosecute fraudsters who would never have been able to commit the fraud in the first place if they’d taken better care of their website security.

I’m not personally convinced that the courts have a valid argument there, after all a fraudster is a fraudster and if the courts are there to uphold the law, then that’s their job, no matter what the circumstances. Nevertheless it’s a widely held view and many authorities are not sympathetic when you’ve been a victim of card fraud.

Either way, the good thing is that we don’t have these kind of issues here at MP3 Backing Trax, because we run tighter security than any other backing track website I know of.

Yes, we do ask for quite a bit of information from you when you order – we ask for your name as it appears on the card, your full address and postcode etc, and we then check with your card issuer that the address is correct. We also log your IP address – the internet connection address of the computer you used to make your order – so if, for example, an order came in from someone using a computer with a Thailand IP address, but the credit card address was from a card issued in the USA, we’d immediately pick up on this and look a little more at the transaction before processing it.

It works very well and I’m happy to report that our incidences of fraudulent persons trying to buy our backing tracks with stolen card information is almost non-existent.

As an aside, there is one funny story I must share with you. It was a perfectly innocent incident a while back that got our system a little confused. A customer ordered backing tracks from us using his stage name instead of his real name…PLUS he ordered from where he was performing his summer season, not from his home!

The order came in from a customer called Les Christie from Spain. But when we checked his card details, the card was registered to Christopher Lesley from Yorkshire! The system also detected that he was ordering from Spain while using a card issued in the UK. No wonder the security system went in to red alert!

Things like this happen very infrequently so don’t really cause us or our customers any problems. I suppose the good thing is that at least you know that behind all the computers, servers, firewalls, fraud screening etc we have here, there is still a human person on hand reviewing every transaction to help protect you.

I’m well aware that buying backing tracks from other companies may seem a little easier than buying them from us because we do tend to ask you to “jump through a couple of extra hoops” before processing your order and getting your tracks to you. But, I firmly believe that the inconvenience is minimal and the increased security benefits to you, the customer, makes it all more than worthwhile.

Unfortunately many customers don’t see the benefits and just don’t understand why it takes us a few minutes to send them their backing track download when other companies they buy from have passed them through to their download areas in seconds. Hopefully this article explains why.

I’m sure there’s a few customers out there who probably think that we’re just a bit slow or inefficient. If only they knew what was going on behind the scenes here at MP3 Backing Trax! They have no idea of the exhaustive security measures we put every transaction through before passing it…

…and it’s all for your benefit.