Costs, Payment, Security, Delivery Times, Privacy and Returns
Some have programme notes in English, French and German, some have variations, or longer notes in English only.
Follow the 'More Details' link of the individual CD for details.
In UK shops these CDs are 'full price', which is about £14.50 per CD ($18.70, €16.96 as at July 2016). The price on this site is £11.99 ($15.47, €14.03 approx - when you check your shopping basket, the approximate rate of the day is shown).
For the Britten Metamorphoses CD the price is £13.50 ($17.41, €15.79 approx), and for the Han de Vries box of 11 CDs and 2 DVDs it is £50 ($64.50, €58.50 approx).
The UK price has not changed since Oboe Classics was founded in 2002 (though exchange rates go up and down).
The only other cost is Postage and Packing (last increased in 2012), which is as follows:
UK: One CD £1.50, two or more CDs £2.50.
Europe: One CD £3, two or more CDs £4.50.
World: One CD £4, two or more CDs £6.50.
However, orders totalling more than £55 ($71 or €59 approx) are post free, worldwide
If you live outside the European Community, there is the theoretical possibility that you could be charged import duty in your country. However, out of more than two thousand orders I have only heard of this happening once, to Canada (I now split large Canadian orders into smaller units).
US orders - and some of them have been very big - have never been charged.
However, if you know that your country has a habit of charging for everthing, let me know and I'll describe the CD(s) as a gift.
Occasionally there will be a price reduction involving a 'promotional code'. This is normally associated with an Ad in a magazine, and is typed into the shopping cart before checking out.
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As you browse the site, if you want to buy a CD, click 'Add to basket'. You will first be asked whether you are in the UK or not - to calculate postage - and then taken to a basket (a shopping cart) run by Roman Cart (www.roman.co.uk). You can adjust the Quantity of CDs, and then continue shopping (back to the Catalogue) or check out.
When you are ready to go, click 'Check/checkout' from the Catalogue or 'Checkout' from the basket, and Roman Cart will take your address details. You can send the CD(s) to someone else if you want, and there is space for a message. At the bottom of this screen you select to pay by Credit/Debit card or a PayPal account.
The system then passes to PayPal, and you will see a screen something like this. The layout shows that PayPal wants you to use its own system, but the credit/debit card button is below. Occasionally, if you have a PayPal account, PayPal won't show the credit/debit card option; if you want to use it, go back and put in a different email address.
Give the details (PayPal insists on wanting a phone number, which I have never found necessary). When you're happy that all is in order, make the payment. PayPal will send you a confirmation email, and so will Roman Cart. I also get one, from which I send the CD(s).
If this sounds complicated, it isn't really, and usually the CD(s) are sent within 24 hours. If for any reason any delay is expected (because of holidays, for example) there will be a message to that effect on the Home Page of the site. There have been no errors so far. The payment will show up on your Card bill as 'OB CLASSICS'. In general I have found PayPal to be simple, reliable, and secure, but if you have any kind of problem, email firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll find a way to fix it.
If you opt to pay by UK cheque, you will be asked to send a cheque to 'Oboe Classics' at 9 Beversbrook Road, London N19 4QG, and the CD(s) will be sent when the cheque is received. (You will still get a confirmation email from Roman Cart.)
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In spite of stories in the media, buying over the web is much safer than using a credit card in a shop, restaurant, or (especially) garage. Perhaps the most unsettling aspect of security is the Spam emails many of us get, inviting us to update our account details. If you have a PayPal account, you will know never to respond to such emails, however persuasive.
If, in spite of these reassurances, the worst should ever happen to you, your credit card company will reimburse you for any money used fraudulantly from your account. If you think Oboe Classics has made a mistake, or your order doesn't arrive, tell us and we'll see what we can do. Our address is 9 Beversbrook Road, London N19 4QG, UK, telephone number is +44 (0)20 7263 4027, email address is email@example.com.
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DELIVERY TIMES AND RELIABILITY
Worldwide, the CDs are sent airmail as a small packet. I have been pleasantly surprised at the reliability and speed of the world's postal services. One American buyer was amazed when their CD arrived two days after ordering it, but they were lucky - five days is a more typical time to the USA. Even Australia can be five days. Unfortunately Europe doesn't seem to be much faster, perhaps because the package still has to go through the same number of stages, even if the flight time is shorter.
In the UK they are sent second class, but my feedback indicates that they usually arrive the following day.
However, the Post Offices of the world don't guarantee delivery times, and there is always the possibility that the CDs may get held up somewhere in the system, which means waiting to see if they have been lost, or merely delayed. This can be a nuisance, but out of more than a thousand packages sent out since 2002, only two have failed to arrive - one to Poland and the other to another part of London, about five miles away! (I replaced them.)
The CDs are sent in bags padded with bubblewrap, which is normally enough to protect them from the stresses and strains of the journey. However, there are some kinds of mishandling they can't withstand, and the CD jewel case may crack. If this is a problem for you, again, I will replace the product.
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PRIVACY, RETURNS etc
When you place an order, I retain your name, address, email address, and what you ordered. If you want that information deleted let me know and I will do so.
Once or twice a year I may send an email with news of new CDs, special offers etc. There is always a way of opting out, but if you wish to do so immediately, again, let me know.
If a CD is physically damaged, or doesn't work, I will replace it. If you just don't like the music, and can make out a case that the sound clips on the website misled you as to what you were buying - well, give it a try!
In all these cases my name is Jeremy Polmear, address Oboe Classics, 9 Beversbrook Road, London N19 4QG, UK; telephone number +44 (0)20 7263 4027; email address firstname.lastname@example.org.