Tegan and Sara are pulling the plug on their Warner Records merchandise site, citing a "huge backlog" on orders that they claim is affecting all of the label's other artist stores, with no clear solution in sight.
The indie-rock sisters explained their decision to fans in identical posts on social media Thursday (Nov. 7), adding that they will soon launch their own independent merch store instead. Apparently, the backlog includes pre-orders of their ninth studio album, Hey, I'm Just Like You, which was released in September.
"Today we’ve asked Warner Records to shut down the Tegan and Sara online merchandise store," the post reads. "Their warehouse is experiencing a huge backlog that is affecting all Warner artist stores and there is no definitive answer about when remaining pre-orders will ship and this is just unacceptable to us. We have requested Warner not take any new orders for Tegan and Sara merchandise as we have lost faith in their warehouse’s ability to fulfill those orders in a timely manner."
Along with pre-orders of the much-hyped album — in which the duo re-imagine unreleased demos that they recorded as teenagers — fans could also previously purchase branded hoodies, T-shirts, a limited edition casette tape of the LP and more.
"We have spent our career laser focused on giving you the best quality products, at a fair price, with unique designs created in house by our art director Emy and so to have the Hey, I’m Just Like You pre-order get fumbled so badly pains us," the post continues. "The changes we are making will allow us to have much more control, so we can avoid situations like this happening ever again."
According to the post, Warner is offering customers who are still waiting for their Tegan and Sara merch orders a full refund by emailing their order number to email@example.com.
A spokesperson for Warner Music Group provided Billboard with the following statement: "We are taking these customer service issues very seriously and working with our pick, pack and ship provider Direct Shot, as well as other vendors, to resolve this situation."
It's not the first time the music industry has run into trouble with Direct Shot, the Indiana-based fulfillment house that Warner Music Group, Sony Music Entertainment and Universal Music Group all use. In July, a group of independent retailers sent an open letter to the three majors with a host of complaints about Direct Shot, claiming new release shipments don't arrive on time, arrive incomplete or are sent to the wrong stores altogether. Warner switched over to Direct Shot in April from its previous fulfillment house, Technicolor.
The Warner roster also includes artists like Green Day, Neil Young, Bebe Rexha, Earl Sweatshirt, Bryce Vine, Hobo Johnson and Wale — all of whom have active merch sites with the label, and have released new projects or singles recently. My Chemical Romance, which just announced a slate of reunion shows, also have a Warner merch site, although there aren't any products listed at time of publishing.