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What’s Spotify’s latest ruse to sneakily upgrade you to a Family account?

Spotify Premium for Family
Family fee: Spotify's pushing people towards more expensive accounts

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I’m a big fan of Spotify, but not so impressed with the way the company treats paying subscribers.

Last year, I was offered a ‘free trial’ of Spotify’s Family account, which turned out to be about as ‘free’ as Nelson Mandela was in the 1980s.

Six months of sneaky extra charges racked up on my account – which were eventually refunded in the form of credit against my subscription when Spotify finally admitted it was in the wrong.

Now, Spotify is at it again, trying to bump my subscription from the £10 per month Premium to the £15 Premium for Family simply because my current credit card has expired.

Spotify Premium for Family: the sneaky upgrade

The card that was registered on my Spotify account was unexpectedly replaced before its expiry date by my credit-card provider, rendering it invalid.

Consequently, the Spotify app on my Android smartphone flashed up the following warning:

Naturally, I clicked the Add Payment Method button to update my card details and was taken to the following page:

As you can see, it’s trying to bump me up to a Premium for Family Account at precisely 50% more than I’m currently paying.

And in case you think that’s just an ad, here’s the bottom of that screen, where it confirms that you are indeed signing up for a Family account when you plug in your bank details. (See the Start My Premium For Family button at the bottom).

Just to make sure this wasn’t a one-off error or that I’d pressed an upgrade button by mistake, I left it a day, hard restarted the app and went through the process again and reached exactly the same screen.  There’s not even an option to reject the Family account and simply resubscribe to Premium as before.

To be fair to Spotify, I repeated the process on its iPad and Windows apps and these didn’t attempt to push me towards a sneaky upgrade.

Normally, I’d give the firm the benefit of the doubt, but given that it tried to bump me onto a Family account last year, my patience is starting to wear very thin indeed.

Now read this: Why is Alexa cutting off Spotify streams?

About the author

Barry Collins

Barry has scribbled about tech for almost 20 years for The Sunday Times, PC Pro, WebUser, Which? and many others. He was once Deputy Editor of Mail Online and remains in therapy to this day. Email Barry at barry@bigtechquestion.com.

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