I love Spotify, which puts pretty much every song ever published in the palm of my hand. Today, for my brother’s birthday, I decided to give him the gift of a six month subscription to the service.
Thirty minutes later, I ended up giving him iTunes credit instead.
After signing into Spotify’s web site, I typed a ton of info into the gift certificate form and clicked “Continue.” My browser’s progress bar chugged and chugged … and then the form re-appeared — minus all the information I’d just typed in.
So I filled out the form a second time and clicked “Continue” again. This time, Spotify told me my card couldn’t be charged at this time … and dumped me back at the blank form.
I filled out the form a third time, using the very same credit card Spotify uses to charge me for my premium membership, and clicked “Continue” yet again … was rejected again … and dumped, once again, at the blanked-out form.
So I filled out the form a fourth time … selected PayPal as the payment method … and clicked “Continue” one last time. Guess how my fourth effort turned out? Yep. Back to that blank form.
(Meantime: over at iTunes, I used the same credit card to make an instant, frictionless purchase of iTunes credit. The entire transaction took me less than two minutes.)
I use Spotify almost every single day. As subscription services go, it’s a miracle. I’ve been an evangelist for the product, encouraging a number of friends to pony up the ten bucks a month required for a premium subscription. But I gotta say, after such a frustrating experience, I’m re-evaluating my own allegiance to Spotify, debating a switch to their free product, and shopping for alternatives.
How much money are they losing, I wonder, by making it so hard for enthusiastic members to give the gift of Spotify to other potential subscribers? Worse, how much money (and goodwill) are they losing by putting in place a check-out experience so egregious, it turns eager customer evangelists into nay-sayers?