A growing number of Taylor Swift fans gripe that they’ve been “scammed” by the pop star’s online merchandise store — with many pointing the finger at her record label Universal Music Group over chronic mismanagement of the site.
Store.TaylorSwift.com — which sells gifts, CDs and vinyl, as well as T-shirts and sweaters from her record-breaking Eras Tour — has been dogged with complaints on social media of goods that have arrived either late, or damaged, or not at all.
The Post spoke with multiple customers who claim they waited months for goods from the site — which promises many items “ship in 1 week” — with little to no response from UMG’s customer service. Ditto for requests for a refund.
Grace Green, a 32-year-old Swiftie living in Arizona who has been a fan since Swift’s debut album came out in 2006, placed orders for 22 items on the site last year, collectively totaling $1,044.75, she told The Post.
Green defended the splurge as “a desperate, mad attempt to get everything at once,” noting that products across the site quickly sell out.
“Your adrenaline races, your palms sweat, you add an item to the cart and by the time you click ‘check out,’ the site tells you that the item is no longer in stock.”
What’s even worse, however, is when “the items don’t arrive in time, or they arrive broken or in tatters,” according to Green, who shared pictures of a “1989” cardigan that arrived with yarn that had already come loose.
A tide of customer complaints has inspired an X account with nearly 2,000 followers, @TayMerchProbs. It recently published results of a poll on Swift’s “Lover” snow globes, which retail for $70. Of those surveyed, 60% said they “still haven’t received” them while another roughly 25% said they came either “broken” or “dinged up.”
Jacqueline Jordan, a 39-year-old Swift fan, told The Post she launched the X account last month to “hold UMG accountable for their actions and activate change” after she “read horror stories of UMG via Reddit and ultimately fell victim.”
Jordan said she ordered a “1989” cardigan back in November. It didn’t show up until this month after she emailed UMG’s fulfillment center, Artist Endeavor.
“Why the heck are they using a ‘small business’ to manage logistics for the world’s largest artist out of one small warehouse?” Jordan said of Artist Endeavor. “My guess is because UMG is too cheap to do the right the thing.”
Despite all the rancor directed at UMG, a spokesperson for the record label declined to comment. Swift’s publicist, Tree Paine, also declined to comment. Instead, they directed queries to a spokesperson for Bravado, UMG’s official merchandise subsidiary.
“We have a global network of different suppliers and fulfillment centers. Ultimately, these all fall under the direction of Bravado because we are responsible for all order fulfillment,” the spokesperson said, noting that “a combination of massive, unprecedented consumer demand and seasonal shipping issues” caused severe delays.
The spokesperson added that Bravado will issue a full refund on items that were listed to ship by Dec. 15 and which didn’t make it in time for Christmas and ship those items for free.
“This is unacceptable and we are truly sorry,” the Bravado spokesperson added. “Please allow 7-10 business days for the refund transaction to process. You should have received a separate email with tracking information and will begin seeing movement after Dec. 26.”
When asked about customers on social media still reportedly awaiting merchandise, Bravado’s spokesperson responded: “Anyone who still has outstanding orders, should reach out directly to customer service, so that we can prioritize their order fulfillment.”
Representatives from Artist Endeavor did not immediately respond to The Post’s request for comment.
“I call BS,” Jordan said when asked about Bravado claims of “unprecedented demand” and “seasonal shipping issues”.
“The situation with UMG is Ticketmaster 2.0 if not worse,” Jordan added, referring to when Ticketmaster cancelled the general public sale of Swift’s Eras Tour tickets after seeing “historically unprecedented” demand at presale events, sparking website outages and hours-long waits — only for fans to log off empty-handed.
Jordan also cited similar complaints about UMG dating back to at least 2019, including a post on Twitter about Ariana Grande’s official merchandise site experiencing severe shipping delays.
In 2021, related complaints surfaced about Billie Eilish’s UMG merchandise. “Did anyone else order @billieeilish @Spotify happier than ever merch and then it just never came? i got one email about the delay last month but haven’t heard anything since…” a user wrote at the time.
Jordan took to LinkedIn in hopes of receiving her order, and messaged UMG executive Victor Thomas.
Thomas, the vice president of fan services and e-commerce at UMG, had given Jordan his email, promising in his LinkedIn message, which seen by The Post, that the company was “working VERY closely with out logistics partners to get everyone’s order fulfilled.”
When Jordan emailed Thomas, she received a response saying that he was no longer employed at the company.
Another X user by the name of Pamela shared earlier this month: “My order was originally placed in November, lost in the mail, I was ignored for a month, promised the refund & reshipment, ghosted for two more weeks, and then the story changed again today. Who will hold Universal Music Group accountable?”
“Sounds like @UMG is using deceptive business practices & taking advantage of long time customers. This is unacceptable, widespread, & shady,” she added.
Meanwhile, a 25-year-old customer from Indiana named Elizabeth said she placed an order around $300 on Nov. 16 and has yet to receive it.
“It’s still in the ‘label created’ phase and I have emailed her store twice asking about it and haven’t heard a word back,” she told The Post.
Green said that she thinks the matter needs to be taken more seriously, and “UMG needs to be investigated by the FTC.”
“Taylor Swift is the biggest pop star on earth right now, and if UMG cannot anticipate that popularity bleeding into merch sales, or they are not using best practices, … then they need to be investigated.”
“At this point, I would love to see a class action lawsuit for anybody who purchased Taylor Swift merchandise under the UMG label, and I would love to get a settlement check at this point,” Green added.
A representative for the Federal Trade Commission — which enforces federal consumer protection laws that prevent fraud, deception and unfair business practices, per its website — said that “because
FTC investigations are non-public, we can neither confirm nor deny the existence of any particular investigation.”