Make your views known – politely, pertinently but firmly
Many people find it difficult to complain about piped music. But if you say nothing, pubs, shops, hotels and restaurants with piped music will have no idea how widespread or deeply felt dislike of piped music is, nor how much business they are probably losing.
Here are some suggestions for positive ways to make your views and feelings clear.
If piped music has been introduced recently, emphasise how much you enjoyed shopping/eating in the past without music. Ask why they have changed their policy.
If the music is switched off in a shop where it is usually played, tell the staff how pleasant the atmosphere is without the music. Ask them if the quiet is a new policy.
At the check-out don’t just complain bad-temperedly about the piped music. Instead, ask a general question, such as “Who chooses your music for you?” “Are you enjoying the music?” etc. It’s amazing how often assistants will start complaining about it, too. They have to listen to it all day long and are a captive audience, unlike passing shoppers.
Unless you are being served by the manager of a small business, the person dealing with you may have no control over the music, saying it is a “management decision”. It is far better to write to the Chief Executive Officer. This is usually the best way to get through the layers of middle management etc that try to silence protest.
A list of CEOs is available at http://www.ceoemail.com/
Emails are faster and easier than writing but some people think that an actual written letter (provided it is legible) has more impact.
IF booking a meal or hotel room, ask in advance if they play piped music. This helps emphasise the fact that background music is not universally loved. If they play it, ask how loud it is. If you find it a problem because of hearing difficulties, such as presbycusis or other health issues, make sure they know that this is why you object.
All members of Pipedown receive, as part of their membership, a wide range of comment cards which quote surveys showing how many people really hate piped music. These can be left in shops etc to express your views and demonstrate you are not a lone crank.
Finally, always praise businesses that don’t play music! Enough e-mails to the Chief Executive might dissuade yet another business from taking out a music licence.