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 music has been introduced recently, emphasise how much you have enjoyed shopping/eating in the past without the 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 much more pleasant the atmosphere is without the music. Ask them if it 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 shoppers.
Unless you are being served by the manager of a small business, the person dealing with you will probably have no control over the actual music. They usually say it is a “management decision”. It is far better to write to the Chief Executive Officer. This is 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 letter (provided it is legible) has more impact. If you can spare the time and effort , a posted letter still offers real benefits.
If you are 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 say they play it, ask how loud it is. If you find it a problem because of a hearing difficulty or health issue, make sure they know that this is the reason.
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, please make a point of praising businesses that don’t play music! Enough e-mails to the Chief Executive might dissuade yet another business from taking out a music licence.