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$4,400 for Neil Diamond’s Greatest Hits? U.K. Woman Learns Not to Download on Vacation

Neil Diamond
Mike Ehrmann, Getty Images

As the record business moved from physical product to downloads and streaming tracks, many artists have noticed a steep drop in the what fans are willing to pay for music. Neil Diamond, on the other hand, can rest easy knowing one woman was recently charged nearly $4,400 for his greatest hits.

The woman, a teacher named Katie Bryan, explained that she was on vacation in South Africa when she found herself in the mood for a little Neil. “It was a lunchtime get-together with my boyfriend’s family at a house where we were staying near the Kruger National Park,” Bryan recalled. “I’d had a bit of wine … but not too much. People were playing music through their iPads or on phones through an iPod dock. Someone had put on the Traveling Wilburys but I just fancied hearing some Neil Diamond.”

Looking back on her purchase, Bryan recalled “I don’t know why” she made that particular choice, because “He’s more my boyfriend’s musical taste and I’m more of a James Blunt fan.” Imagine her surprise, then, when on her next cell phone bill, she noticed that her download came with massive roaming charges attached. Adding insult to injury: “It wasn’t a particular song that I wanted to hear. I’m really not that big a Neil Diamond fan. And I’d already got his ‘Essential Neil Diamond’ CD at home, in my car.”

Fortunately, after she complained to the phone company, those roaming charges were knocked down to a more reasonable (although still pretty hefty for an album download) $670, and she walked away a little poorer, a little wiser, and with a digital download of ‘Sweet Caroline’ on her device. Still, she’s understandably annoyed. “Why such a massive difference in cost? In England you would just pay the album price,” she grumbled in conclusion. “I also feel it is morally wrong to be expected to pay this sort of money for a Neil Diamond album.”

Next: Neil Diamond Supports Boston

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