In November 2015, this agent, Jason, unexpectedly announced that he wished to withdraw his representation from the band. Upon being requested feedback for the withdrawal, Jason cited an event that the band performed for his company in May 2014, citing:
"The client was extremely disappointed with the band. His words were that the musicians who turned up on the day were unhelpful, not very good and nothing like the music that was advertised. We found it difficult dealing with you - you would send a quote and then advise you needed a few days to confirm if you had the musicians. It appears you use a network of musicians which can lead to difficulties - as proved by the previous feedback. We weren't sure who we were booking either. This makes representing your bands frustrating."
Jo Mantini highlighted that this feedback correlated neither with the positive verbal feedback received from the client in May 2014, nor the lukewarm feedback received from the client in September 2014:
I thought their music was average and their attitude was less than helpful.
Therefore, it was difficult to establish the exact nature of the issue. Upon suggesting some possible resolutions and implementations, the agent responded saying he wasn't interested, citing his experience of Red & Black Music as a completely impersonal one, non-user friendly [spelling corrected]:
"I appreciate you are focussing on a remedy for this but it is not really of interest to us. Our experience of R&B music has been a completely impersonal one, non user-friendly and the below proves this further. The Entertainment business is about making people happy and being approachable, generous and flexible. As you know, we run an agency, too. If we get it wrong we say sorry to the client. We haven't the time to assist you with your 'implementations'. My suggestion would be to try and be a bit more people friendly."
Nevertheless, Jo Mantini took these lessons into account and implemented them in the 2016 Management Review. However, the exact nature of the client's complaint was neither clarified nor substantiated by concrete evidence. As such, their complaint remained as an unresolved query and an example of an unsubstantiated critique.
The band was fired from this agency because they'd been honest and up front enough to give a 'heads up' to the agent. Jason took advantage of this trust. Many agents require us to keep them informed of any issues/problems. This experience completely destroys our trust in sharing client critique with agents, whether it's substantiated or not (not substantiated, in this case). In future, any similar client critique will be resolved directly between the label and the client, regardless of the agent. In this way we can ensure situations are resolved more thoroughly in a way that doesn't affect our reputation, which we take very seriously. To this date, the label has been unable to establish the nature of the client's criticism on the grounds that the band received positive appraisal from the client on the event date. As such, the client critique has never been substantiated via concrete proof, other than through the allegations of the agent (which lack credibility).
See below for full correspondence.
Read More: Unresolved Queries #2: Reviews
Read More: Gig confirmation re: 08/09/2012 - Zee's departure
Here, Jason critiques the exact measures that were put in place following a negative client situation occurring on his previous booking (withdrawal of the lead vocalist).
Event Diary 16/11/2015
From: Jo Mantini
Re: Booking Confirmation | 20.05.14 #3
From: Jo Manti
Booking Confirmation | 20.05.14 #2
Booking Confirmation | 20.05.14 #1
From: Book Live Bands & Singers
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A category naming and shaming unreliable musicians to watch out for.
A category reporting unscrupulous venues and traders.
A category exploring the issues faced working via agents and promoters.