Spotify and Spotty Service

Now I used to be a premium user of over two years with a family account for my partner of 10 years and myself until earlier in 2017, August actually, when Spotify asked me to provide my physical address to “prove”  my partner and I resided at the same address.  Now leaving aside how me and only me, providing my address proved anything, I considered it no more than data mining given that Spotify had happily collected my subscription for quite a while without such a need.

A protracted twitter session ensued some via direct messages, the gist being they could not justify why they actually wanted this information after two years not requiring it, and while I could easily prove that my partner and I live together I could see no reason why I needed to do so to a large internet based corporation whose business model is to some extent based on data collection. The result was I declined, and trotted off to Apple Music, again a family subscription which in all aspects of which I need music streaming seemed equal to Spotify and integrated nicely with iOS and our iPad first plans.

Fast forward to Christmas this year, my partner had signed back up for a Spotify free plan, as she felt some of the music discovery was better, especially as she has just resumed her Zumba teaching and needed new music.

Last week she received an e-mail from Spotify offering her a trial pro membership for 0.99 euros for three months followed by 6.99 euros a month thereafter, so I decided to have another look. On investigation I found a family subscription was down to 10.99 euros a month which seemed good so we decided to sign up (and keep Apple Music as well), well now the problems started.

When trying to sign up Spotify would not accept our debit card, the reason quoted was the card being used must be registered in the same country as the Spotify account, in our case the card is a UK one (where we bank) but currently live in Cyprus, so that was the first fail. I then tried Paypal which after all is an international payment system, again it failed.

I reached out to Spotify on Twitter and received a response along the lines of we have to do it this way to count the song plays in any one country for royalty payment purposes. Now I sort of understand that but still does not really account for why I could not use Paypal (or a UK debit card really) but anyway... The next bit was the epic fail, Spotify suggested I switch my account profile to the UK, which firstly blows the royalty payments bit out of the water as I am actually still in Cyprus whatever my account says, and secondly the offer quoted above was not available in the UK! On querying this Spotify asked if I was returning to the UK any time soon, irrelevant really and could not really provide any explanation about not accepting Paypal or what an offer was available in part of the EU but not another.

So pretty much an epic fail on Spotify’s side. There may be good reasons, I really can not see any given Spotify’s willingness to allow false regional song play figures by just changing your account country. Even if there is a logic behind it this seems a classic example of administration systems before customer service. Making a customer jump through hoops to suit your needs is fundamentally the wrong way, it should be the provider jumping through hoops to accommodate someone wanting to give them money.

So it’s goodbye Spotify and we are sticking with Apple Music, in fact its worse than that, my partner will continue to leach off Spotify’s free service discovering music and just adding it to her Apple Music playlists. A real double fail for Spotify when they actually could had my hard earned cash every month.