Devices/Operating Systems/Browsers (tried all of these)
PC - Windows 10 in chrome regular, incognito, and in edge
MAC OS - Mojave latest in chrome regular, incognito, and in safari
I tried every combination of the above and below together combinatorically:
- cleared cookies (N/A for incognito)
- logged into hulu.com already/not logged into hulu.com already
And also combinatorically with these:
- two different internet connections/router/etc
My Question or Issue
Following the express instructions found in the terms for the promotion, extra troubleshooting documentation, etc, I did the following:
1. With a free Spotify account, sign up for the Spotify + Hulu (w/ads) deal with a working payment option.
2. Go to Spotify.com > Account > Services > click link to Activate Hulu.
3. At the next page, it asks you if you are new to Hulu or have an existing account.
Following all documentation, I opt for the existing account (bc I do have an eligible Hulu account, no add-ons, no premiums, no live tv, w/ads, no family, no student, whatever).
4. Submitting my credentials (verified they are correct and have been correct every time).
5. Observe resulting url the user is directed to.
If cookies have been cleared (aka user is not logged into hulu.com already):
Brings me to a "We've hit a snag" page, try again or tell Spotify
If the user is already logged in before the request from the widget is submitted:
Bad Gateway error from the nginx proxy/web server
Both of these request results are being served up by Hulu.
Now, hours later after a support person already told me that the way I should have done it to begin with was by canceling my hulu plan bc the widget expects there to be no hulu plan (how this makes any sense, I don't know, given all of the promotion documentation, the instructions to switch billing to Spotify after, etc)...
Hours later it finally worked. I can only assume that this is because something needed to be processed.
The issue resolved itself (see above), but not without causing a lot of wasted time for everyone...
This is a bug for the user experience. The user should never be hitting 100% bad gateways till caches do their write behinds or anything else is waiting to process. The user should be told that it may take up to 8 hours to take effect and to check back every 3 or something reasonable.
Also, I had a kind of strange experience with support when I reached out through chat. They should be recognizing bugs when a user is politely pointing out to them point blank that stuff isn't working and is documented to work that way, at the very least acknowledging and labeling their fix in their communication as a workaround. Being told to do X bc you should have done it all along, when it's obviously a workaround is sketchy (a really bad smell) and made me not want to do it for the side-effects it would have on my other accounts Spotify has no control over. All and language use pointed toward them legitimately thinking this was the way the software was designed to work (aka by design), so yeah, I didn't feel I could trust this person to know what kind of knock-on effects their recommendation was going to have on the hulu account, my spotify account, or the linking process. It was a good workaround rec, but typically CS should be equipped with some knowledge of how that's going to fall out for the customer.
If the support person was familiar with the actual promotion or had even ever done the flow once, they would have known this was an intended, supported part of the software+copy/documentation rollout for the promotion. And even if it wasn't intended, they could still escalate the issue to prevent further tickets and bad user experience.
I'm an ex-professional software tester around microservices, platforms, and world-wide distribution platforms and high scale, rapid game/software as a service experience that spans years. I'm also an engineer. If I'm this frustrated, imagine how frustrating this is for people who don't have all the knowledge to deduce that this could be a backend time-waiting-game. Hours could be wasted per person who hits this wasting your CS time, their personal time, causing service thrashing on hulu bc everyone's canceling their accounts at the same time when the promotion launches. I wrote this thorough report not bc I'm incensed, but bc I genuinely think most users don't have the background to articulate the technical or testing details in a way that is helpful and conveys impact of a seemingly minor detail. Canceling an account should never be a first line of defense "fix"