Offended by the F-word? Live in Maryland? Own an Evanescence CD purchased at your local Wal-Mart? You may be entitled to a refund.
In response to a civil suit filed by a Maryland couple, a judge has approved a deal enabling people who stopped in at the retailing giant last year to pick up the band's Anywhere but Home to get their money back.
After Trevin and Melanie Skeens of Brownsville, Maryland, allowed their daughter to purchase Evanescence's Anywhere but Home at their local Wal-Mart, they were startled to discover that the album contained explicit lyrics.
The shock factor came about because the CD was allegedly not packaged with a parental-advisory sticker that would have alerted the couple to stop their daughter from buying the album.
Furthermore, the Skeenses claimed they didn't expect any offensive lyrics from a CD purchased at Wal-Mart and that the chain violated its own explicit-music policy by stocking the disc in its stores at all.
The couple filed suit against Sony BMG Music Entertainment and the band's label, Wind-Up Records, for failing to adequately mark the discs and Wal-Mart for failing to appropriately censor the album.
BMG and Wind-Up Records agreed to offer up the refunds in exchange for dismissal of the claims filed against them by the Skeenses. The record company did not acknowledge any wrongdoing in the incident.
To claim a refund, individuals must be able to prove they purchased the album at a Maryland Wal-Mart before Jan. 1, 2005.
The Skeenses are still pursuing their suit against Wal-Mart Stores Inc., of Bentonville, Arkansas, claiming that the company deceived customers by selling the album minus a warning label.
Wal-Mart is usually vigilant when it comes to stocking material that may be disapproved of by its customers.
For example, Willie Nelson's latest album, Countryman, was forced to undergo a makeover in order to earn a spot on the retailer's shelves. The regular cover of the album features a marijuana leaf; the Wal-Mart version, a palm tree.
Last fall, the chain refused to stock George Carlin's book, When Will Jesus Bring the Pork Chops, deeming it unsuitable for the average Wal-Mart shopper.
The company also canceled its order for Jon Stewart's America (The Book): A Citizen's Guide to Democracy Inaction because one page featured a photo of nine naked bodies with the heads of the justices of the Supreme Court attached.
The retailer did agree to stock Pamela Anderson's racy tome, Star--but only after the publisher agreed to swap out a semi-nude cover photo of Anderson for a much tamer version.