So here is my story. I've been a Spotify premium subscriber since January 2013. Took advantage of the student discount sometime in early 2014. Been pretty happy with it all, as I mostly listen to music on my phone as I commute to and from school. I really liked the service. So much, in fact, that I brought it up to my mom and she bought me a $10 gift card for a stocking stuffer this past Christmas.
So I applied the card to my account. Nowhere on the card does it say that it is meant to be for one month of premium service and nowhere on the card does it say that this will stop recurring payments to be made. Fast forward to February 6th, 2015 and I see that my premium service has expired. So I try to sign back up and it wants me to pay $9.99 per month to resubscribe. That's not right, I've been paying $4.99 per month. So I try to go through the student sign up again, but it just redirects me back to my account and wants me to pay $9.99 per month again.
So I contacted Spotify and they quickly replied. They said that I can't sign up for the student because that only applies to "active recurring subscriptions" (which is crap if they realized that I had been up through yesterday, thus why I am contacting them). But they tried to do some workarounds to get things to work for me.
We went through an exchange of emails in about an hours time. Nine exchanges within an hour, which is pretty impressive if you ask me.
So I sent Valentina the information and she replied and complimented me on my quick response:
However, this was not the case, as when I tried to sign back up, it still showed $9.99 per month. So I let them know, this time getting Sergio (these names are great, BTW). I want to note that Valentina went on lunch, so she is either in the Eastern Time Zone (same as me) or somewhere to the west). Regardless, the time difference is minimal and it's not like they are on the other side of the world.
So now I'm not sure what Sergio did that was new that was or was not already done before, but same result on my side. So I sent another message and got this response.
At this point, I thought maybe I really do need to sign up/renew in order to get the discount. After all, I paid the full premium for a year before I found out about the student discount, so maybe being actively subscribed had something to do with it. So I signed up thinking some miracle was going to happen and my account would reflect $4.99 per month.
If there is one thing Sergio did right here, it was cancelling my payment. But what I thought was key here was seeing the manual verification link. I opened it up and it was verifying that I was a college student and had a proper email account. I thought we had finally hit the jackpot, because I remember doing this when I was able to sign up as a student subscriber and what I was expecting to see when I when through the spotify.com/student/ page. Alas, here it was and it even verified me!!
So I clicked the "click here" and it transferred me back to my subscription page. Hoping this would solve the issue of resubscribing as a student, I see that it wants me to subscribe, once again, at $9.99 per month. So I reply to Sergio:
Now, if you notice the times in the top-right of each of these email images, this all takes place within about an hour, for which I am greatful because how often does customer service get to your issues so quickly when they are all done online. But here's the thing. After this email, I haven't heard back from anybody on their staff. So I just sent a message at 3:12, about 45 minutes after Sergio's last response, making sure I didn't get lost in the ether somehow.
It is now 5:07 on a Friday and I haven't heard back. Longest lunch ever?
I'm not going to sign up for $9.99 a month and wait to get this thing ironed out, because I have a feeling my problem is not unique. I'm sure I'm not the first college student who was auto-paying who received a gift card to apply to their account. These gift cards are regularly sold at electronics store and even supermarkets.
What is unclear about their gift cards is this:
1)The denominations that they choose to sell their cards in reflect SOMEWHAT what the cost would be for 1 month, 3 months, and 6 months at $10, $30, and $60, respectively. I say somewhat because their pricing is not a whole dollar amount. What you are essentially getting is months, not dollar amounts. So that $10 gift card my mom got me for Christmas amounts to 1 month of premium service, not two months of student subscription and change. It should be noted that nowhere on the gift card does it make this distinction. It's not a dollar amount you are given, it is time of which the purchaser of the card would not have any idea unless they were privy to the pricing structure of Spotify to begin with. My 61 year old mother had no clue what the pricing structure was and had minimal knowledge of what Spotify even was (going strong with a flip phone for four years now).
2) Applying a gift card stops any autopayment you had going. These gift cards cannot be used as a credit to your account. They are essentially a change is service. Once I applied the gift card, it kicked me off of the student subscription and gave me a subscription at the full rate. And since it was a gift card, it has no autopayment features because the amount was depleated. Therefore, because my mom got me a gift card because she knew I like my Spotify service, she paid double what I was paying for a month and I get the honor of not being able to get a student subscription and having to pay double from here on out (unless they do actually find a solution for my situation, which I'm not very hopeful of at this point).
So overall, here is what my 2015 may look like. Given that my mom got me a gift card that covered January 2015, that month is free for me, but each month after would be $9.99 per month, so ~$110 for the year. If my mom had not given me a gift card, I would have paid $4.99 per month for the year, or ~$60. So how is getting a $10 gift card a $50 penalty on my end? Fix my issue, Spotify!