GIFT CARD FAILURE

GIFT CARD FAILURE

KossB

Multiple users are now reporting that gift card PIN codes are simply not working.

 

I reported this issue here in the community on April 16, after I was unable to resolve the problem through Twitter with @SpotifyCares. Here is a link to my post from April 16:

https://community.spotify.com/t5/Subscriptions/Gift-card-not-working-Customer-Support-Failure/m-p/47...

@sebbsher reported the same problem today, in a new thread:

https://community.spotify.com/t5/Subscriptions/Gift-Cards-Codes-are-failing/td-p/4739259

He said he bought twelve cards and none of them are working.

Other users are reporting the same issue in a different thread, in Spanish. This thread began on March 24, and has reports from three different users:

https://community.spotify.com/t5/Subscriptions/Compre-una-tarjeta-de-regalo-y-no-funciona/td-p/47114...

Spotify needs to wake up and acknowledge that this is an ongoing issue, and take immediate steps to resolve it. And for God's sake, moderators should stop copying and pasting links to the standard help pages, because those steps do not resolve this problem.

 

Reply
17 Replies

KossB

I have an educated guess about what is causing this mess...

 

The problem is the Hulu offer.

 

Spotify Premium with Hulu included rolled out as a promotion around the end of March, and that's when users started reporting problems with gift card codes not working.

 

Section 4 of the terms and conditions for gift cards (https://www.spotify.com/us/legal/gift-card/) says:

 

Gift Cards, eGift Cards and other currency-denominated Cards cannot be redeemed for discounted or group subscriptions (such as student discounts, trial offers, Premium for families, or offers combining Premium with other companies’ products or services).

 

Based on this language, Spotify gift cards cannot be used for Spotify Premium with Hulu.

 

I am attempting to use a gift card with a regular Spotify Premium account. The Hulu offer has not been activated. However, in the subscription panel of the account, the account type is identified as Spotify Premium with Hulu. And there is no way to downgrade the account to Spotify Premium without Hulu.

 

So my theory is that all gift cards are not working right now, because they will not work on Spotify Premium with Hulu accounts, and...

 

All "regular" Spotify Premium accounts were automatically classified as Spotify Premium with Hulu when the promo rolled out.

 

This is a textbook example of the law of unintended consequences.

 

When they rolled out the promo, they automatically designated all regular accounts as Spotify Premium with Hulu, without realizing that they were effectively eliminating the only type of account that can use a gift card.

 

Brilliant.

 

Luan

Hey, @KossB 

Welcome to Spotify Community and thanks for posting!

These issues have been reported to Mods and they'll analyze the cases with the Customer Support. 

They'll search for a solution for the occurring and constant issues with Gift Cards that are being reported here in Community and other support channels.

 

If you need more info or have any other questions, let me know! I'd love to help!

Best Regards,
hezorg 

LuanSpotify Star
Help others find this answer and click "Accept as Solution".
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Note: I'm not a Spotify employee.

KossB

My reply to this thread has been labeled as spam and has been deleted.

 

It appears that the community moderators don't like it when someone calls attention to the fact that @SpotifyCares is not doing their job.

Peter

Hey @KossB.

 

Thanks for reaching out to us about this - we'll be happy to help you out.

 

Firstly, apologies for the confusion: it seems like someone tried to remove the duplicate posts in the thread and instead accidentally marked the thread as spam. We've fixed this now - rest assured that we want to help you resolve this.

 

Could you make sure that the country in which you bought the gift card is the same as the country your account is set to? If that's all in order, then could you check you've entered a postcode in your account details page here? That is a common reason why users are often unable to redeem their gift cards.

 

Let us know how it goes! We'll be here in case you need further help with this 😉

KossB

@Peter

Thank you for your reply. The gift card was purchased in the USA, and in my account profile, the country is set to USA. I am logged in on a desktop PC in the USA (Win 7 Pro, Firefox 66.0.3). I am not using a VPN.

I cannot find a field anywhere in the account profile to enter a postcode (or ZIP code, as they are called in the USA). Can you provide a specific path to this field?

When I go to the Edit profile, the only fields that I see are e-mail address, password, gender, date of birth, country, and mobile phone.

KossB

Adding two more recent messages from users who are unable to use their gift card codes:

 

https://community.spotify.com/t5/Subscriptions/Spotify-Gift-Card-not-working/td-p/4739478

 

https://community.spotify.com/t5/Subscriptions/AYUDAAAA/td-p/4739052

 

Spotify has not acknowledged that this is a problem. They are still troubleshooting individual cases instead of recognizing that this is a systemic issue.

 

#GiftCardFailure #SpotifyInDenial

david1234508934

Just to chime in, I have a ticket open right now for this exact same issue. Quite frankly, this is unacceptable - I shelled out $100 for a gift card that I can't even use (nor return because the PIN is showing).

 

I love Spotify, but the customer service solution of waiting for the account to expire and then loading the gift card is 1) incredibly inconvenient, and 2) might not even work given some of the other comments here about how all accounts are designated this way. Not to mention I was looking to purchase another year or two so I can "set it and forget it".

 

This very much should be escalated to the product team and management to create a resolution ASAP and to also offer some sort of credit to the customers affected and spending time trying to resolve and escalate this.

 

EDIT: BTW, I have CONFIRMED with customer service that this is 100% because of Hulu, and the ONLY option they are offering is to let the account expire and only then can you add a gift card (TBD if it'll allow you to add more than one).

david1234508934

@Peter please see my reply below explaining how I am also experiencing this issue and would like your support escalating. Sorry about not knowing how to properly tag / post on here.

KossB

The proposed solution of waiting for the account to expire will not work. Once the current Premium subscription expires, the account will revert to a free account.

Multiple users have reported that gift cards are not working at this time to upgrade free accounts to premium.

As an experiment, if you create a new free account, you will quickly discover that even if you want to use a credit card, it is impossible to upgrade to Premium without also adding Hulu. Even if you do not activate the Hulu service, once you upgrade, the account type becomes Premium with Hulu, and that account type will not allow you to apply a gift card.

The basic problem appears to be that Premium without Hulu is no longer available as an account type, unless you use the prepaid option called SafePayCard.

When they rolled out the Huly promotion, someone in Marketing decided that it would be a great idea to just have all Premium accounts include Hulu. There is no extra charge, so what difference does it make?

They completely forgot that a bundled account cannot use gift cards.

Spotify is currently selling gift cards through major retailers that cannot be used. This is outright fraud.

#GiftCardFailure #SpotifyInDenial #Litigation

KossB

The support reps at @SpotifyCares will not be able to resolve this. They are getting conflicting messages from their team leaders, managers, and tech support teams. Spotify broke their subscription system when the rolled out the Hulu offer.

Until the directors of their marketing and IT departments and talk about this, gift cards are not going to work.

Someone in their IT deparment will eventually explain it to their marketing department, saying something like this:

1. When you rolled out the Hulu offer, you eliminated the standalone Premium account, and redefined all Premium accounts as Premium with Hulu--even if the user has chosen not to activate the Hulu option.

2. Gift cards cannot be used on any Hulu account that is bundled with service from another company. Therefore, gift cards will no longer work on any Premium account, because all Premium accounts are now bundled with Hulu--even if the user has not actually activated Hulu yet.

3. A free account cannot be upgraded to Premium without Hulu, because you decided to eliminate that type of account. Any upgrade from a free account must be to Premium with Hulu, or to Family, or to Student.

4. Therefore, a gift card cannot be used to upgrade from free to Premium, becuase gift cards cannot be used for Premium with Hulu, and "regular" Premium without Hulu is no longer available as an account type.

5. Gift cards have never been permissible on family or student accounts. That has always been in the terms and conditions for gift cards, even before the Hulu rollout.

6. Consequently, there are no Spotify accounts that are eligible for payment with a gift card. All of the account types are accounts that do not qualify for gift cards.

 

Right now Spotify hasn't even acknowledged the problem. Their customer care reps are simply repeating nonsense flowing downward, from team leaders and managers who are clueless.

 

Until they recognize the problem, there will not be a solution. The support reps will continue to apologize, and offer suggestions, but there will not be a solution.

 

Great news! Spotify now includes Hulu at no extra cost!

 

But if you buy a gift card, you'll never be able to use it, because we no longer offer any accounts that are eligible for payment with a gift card. Sorry about your luck.

 

#GiftCardFraud

david1234508934

I've made an attempt to escalate the issue and will update if I get a response.

KossB

If my interpretation of what happened is correct, there are only two ways to fix this:

 

(1) Rewrite a large chunk of code to make it possible to have "regular" Premium accounts without Hulu, or

(2) Change their "business rules" to allow gift cards to be used on a Premium account that is bundled with Hulu.

But the first step is to recognize the problem. And they have not done that. They're still coming up with bogus "solutions," like waiting for the account to expire, which will NOT work.

There is absolutely no reasonable explanation as to why a gift card cannot be used to upgrade a free account, right now, to Premium without Hulu. But that option is not available, and as a result gift cards are not working.

 

Spotify is part of a corporate culture that cannot admit that they made a mistake. Right now their IT department is probably insisting that nothing is wrong. We did exactly what you asked us to do, they're saying. We converted all Premium accounts to Premium with Hulu, and Premium without Hulu is no longer available as an account type. Everything is working as planned. Gift cards cannot be used on accounts with bundled services, and you did not ask us to change anything about how gift cards work. So what are you complaining about? Everything is working as designed. This is not a bug. It's a feature.

 

#GiftCardFailure #SpotifyInDenial

KossB

UPDATE:

They resolved the problem with my gift card. But the resolution was rather specific to the facts and circumstances of my case, and what they did may not work, or may not happen, for other people experiencing gift card failures.

To understand what they did, you need to understand what I did, and the exact sequence of events.

First, on March 15, I bought a $30 gift card for my 81-year old father. I put it in a drawer until his birthday. He has never used Spotify, and he did not have an account.

Then, on April 13, I helped him create a new account. This was a free Spotify account. Immediately after we set up the account, we tried to add the gift card at www.spotify.com/redeem. And it failed with a generic error message: "Oops, something went wrong. Try again or get help."

After extensive messaging on Twitter, @SpotifyCares failed to resolve the problem. I was asked to try it again in 24 hours. It failed again. I was asked to try it again in seven days. That was ridiculous. Exasperated, and wanting my dad to have the ad-free premium experience, I activated a 30-day premium trial on his account using a credit card. Because it was a trial, the card was not actually charged. The trial began on 04/15 and the card was set to be charged on 05/15. It was at this point that the account became a Premium with Hulu account, even though we never activated Hulu or accepted the terms. In the account panel, the account type was Premium with Hulu.

Even after waiting another seven days, the gift card continued to fail with the same error message.

Today, after extensive messaging on Twitter, the rep suggested that he could fully cancel the Premium with Hulu trial, reverting the account to a free account, and that the gift card would then work. I was skeptical. But I agreed. Keep in mind that the credit card had not actually been charged yet. And he did not simply cancel the auto-renewal. He did an early termination of the 30-day free trial, meaning that we lost the remaining time on the free trial (from now until 05/15). The rep promised to add an additional month to make up for this after the issue was resolved.

And this did indeed fix the problem. After the account reverted to free, the gift card code finally worked. And the rep did indeed add another month. So the account is now paid up until 09/02/19. It is in fact a "standard" Premium account, without Hulu, and there is no credit card on file for autorenewal.

 

The takeaway is this:

Allowing  your account to expire and revert to a free account may resolve this issue and allow you to redeem a gift card.

 

You can escalate the issue through Twitter and ask them to do an early termination and convert your account to free right now, and that may allow you to add the gift card immediately. But you'll lose any time you have already paid for. Whether they will credit you for this by adding more time on the back end is probably going to be a case-by-case decision.

 

You may have to just wait for the account expire into a free account. To achieve that, you will have to cancel your subscription autorenewal. And hopefully you can add the gift card the day after the current subscription ends.

 

 

KossB

TL;DR:

I stand by my original claim. If your account type is Premium with Hulu, you cannot add a gift card. Gift cards cannot be used for this type of account. If you allow your subscription to expire, and allow the account to revert to Spotify Free, then you may be able to add a gift card to upgrade the account to Premium without Hulu.

It remains unexplained why my gift card could not be redeemed on the newly created free account two weeks ago.

Peter

Hey @KossB,

 

Thanks for getting back to us and for providing us with extensive feedback on your issue - we're glad to hear that it was ultimately resolved and that you were able to apply the gift card to your grandad's account.

 

We aren't aware of a wider issue with US users trying to redeem gift cards with regular Premium - or, as you rightly said, Premium + Hulu subscriptions, but bear in mind that, while US accounts on Premium are Hulu-enabled, you have to manually activate it via your account overview page here under Services.

 

We will make sure to pass on your feedback and keep an eye out for similar cases - feel free to link us to such cases if you spot them.

 

Thanks again - let us know if you have any other questions regarding this.

JS2814

I just removed Hulu from my subscription and tried to use my gift card, it did not work. This issus needs to be escalated.

Peter

Hey @JS2814,

 

Thanks for posting about this.

 

We suggest that you and indeed anyone else who is experiencing this issue cancel your subscription and wait for your Spotify account to revert to free before applying the gift card as a temporary workaround.

 

Let us know if you're still having trouble! We'll be here if you need any further help with this.

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