Upon contacting support, the only remedy they offer as for now is to subscribe to You Tube music (higher price and no lifetime guarantee) and are 'investigating' while of course they hadnt provided any solution.
* you did not get ANY information about this cancellation, up to the moment people starting flooging their support which was yesterday :)
* at that moment, you probably got two cancellation mails without any usefull info
* this is Google problem/action (not known atm), not your bank or CC
Additional info v2:
* Google did NOT try to do monhtly charges for the service on the usual date, bank/CC confirms NOT a single charge attempt until, YTM resubsbription on support request.
* The problem affects probably (?) subscribers with renewal dates between April 1st and 12th (incl.) as on 13th Google noticed problems and stopped "auto-cancel-feature".
Additional info v3:
* Looks like that only some subscribers (Europeans for sure) were affected by it, so smaller impact, maybe related to country of subscriber (unknown atm)
* It was probably part of the glitched (?) and multi-steps transition of google music to youtube music services (speculation atm)
it's kinda shitty of them to cancel it, but not like the situations where people have tried to buy "lifetime" subscriptions to some SaaS product by paying a large up-front cost, and then having it cancelled.
Sounds like a lifetime guarantee to me.
typically, purchasing something with a lifetime guarantee requires an up-front payment to secure the lifetime guarantee. it seemed like some people here might have been under the assumption that was the situation with google music. i just wanted to make it clear what the actual situation is.
Unless I missed some big news, Google hasn't been bought out or gone bankrupt. Those aren't relevant here. If a company offers a lifetime guarantee then it should honor that for the lifetime of the company. Google have chosen not to bother honoring the promise they made in the past, and they should be held to account for that.
If you run a business and you choose to make a lifetime offer you don't get to take that back just because you don't want to do it any more.
Tell that to Oregon Scientific, which cancelled the "lifetime" weather updates to my weather device.
Tell that Flightradar 24, which disabled the app I paid for, and the only way to get the functionality back is to download its new app and pay for a subscription. If it was disclosed at the time of purchase that I could be cut of at any time, I wouldn't have bought it.
Two stories. There are millions more on the internet.
I believe that XM radio did something similarly slimy to people who purchased a "lifetime" subscription when the service was starting up and it needed cash.
And didn't a bunch of people get their e-books deleted when Microsoft decided to shut down its e-book service? You think you're buying a lifetime of reading, only to find out you were just renting the books.
How anyone could give google a nickle at this point with their 0 customer support is beyond me.
The exception would be if somebody paid a "lifetime guarantee fee" initially to get that promise of service.
I imagine Google will not go further than giving a gift card to those users and call it a day.
> Basically if the company stops charging you, they don't owe you anything
No. If they refund the money you paid, or whatever they can convince a judge is the value of the lifetime guarantee (the difference between TYM and GPM prices forever, converted to Net Present Value), they don't owe you anything.
The only right thing to do is to refund all past customer payments, or refund the "value of the lifetime guarantee" (with treble damages for willfully violating the contract?), and add a "lifetime guarantee fee" in future contracts with clear wording to avoud the problem in the future.
A good example of this is the story of the small number of ticket American Airlines sold in the late 80s/early 90s which offered unlimited first-class air travel anywhere in the world for life.
They eventually had to resort buying them back from those customers for rather more than had originally been paid for the tickets.
Is it you, the customer? The offering company, or the 'lifetime of the offer' - which can be any number, as here.
Unless expressly stated, it’s the lifetime of the product or offering, not the buyer’s lifetime.
Buy a non-stick frying pan with a “lifetime” guarantee on the coating. 3 years.
But it is always a gamble, yes.
Even Google would not silently cancel a paying customer's subscription without some communication.
I received an update from our specialist. To set your expectation, we understand that you want to keep the old pricing for your membership. However, as per our specialist they no longer have a link that you can regain the promotion pricing. To compensate this, we'll grant you a 3 months free time for your membership.
I of course rejected their "offer" and asked to reinstate things as they were before their mistake, I'm now waiting for their response.
As someone wrote, this might be dark pattern of 'how-to-get-rid-of-lifetimes'. I'm really disgusted by Google.
Anyone can help on this?
Perhaps the Google Music consumers can perform the overwhelming "mass arbitration" denial-of-service against Google that was on the front-page a few days ago?
That said, if they already stopped cancelling customers yesterday (my $7.99/mo is still active) as another commenter said, it sounds like a glitch that they'll aim to fix, so a class action would be premature. Some customers have even reported ad-hoc fixes.
They've always been bad about communicating externally in a usefully sensitive way, even when they really need to. This is unfortunately no exception.
(Disclosure: I used to work for Google until about 5 years ago, but I have no inside info on this incident and certainly am not speaking for them now.)
Can someone eli5 for me?
It's not necessarily bad but given that there's usually one party deciding which arbitration provider to use and might even pay the bills and since those providers are a profit seeking organization at the end of the day, it's questionable if they're truly impartial. There's some research that they overwhelmingly decide for the big corp side of disputes but I'm to lazy to look it up and I'm also not sure if that's conclusive in any way (maybe the corp's position really is better?)
When used responsibly, it's great.
It's bad when a corporation requires arbitration (at the arbiter they choose -- which is a conflict of interest) and bans using the public government court system, as part of the terms of service of the product.
You have plenty of arbitration in the EU. It involves a "third party" (supposedly outside of the control of either party involved) which resolves the dispute between the two parties according to the law en possibly some other set of rules which both parties agreed to before entering into a contract. This avoids going to the judiciary and is usually a lot cheaper for the customer as well as the loser of the proceedings. The disadvantage is, that in some cases the use of such arbitration voids legal (civil) cases to be made (e.g. agree to arbitrage, you cannot sue).
Some arbitration is set up by law (enacted by law), some is set up by special interest groups to avoid differences between companies within the same line of work and some are set up by companies themselves. In the EU it is mostly the first two.
My personal opinion is to avoid them like the plague unless you have no way to go to court (e.g. no money) as they rarely have solid arguments and rule in favor of the companies way more often than not.
As far as I am aware you are always allowed to reject arbitration in the EU and go to court, though that might be more difficult and expensive and not always wise. Contact a lawyer beforehand would be my advise, most EU countries have some form of basic (free/cheap) legal assistance.
See https://ec.europa.eu/info/live-work-travel-eu/consumers/reso... for instance
edit: list of all commissions is here and https://ec.europa.eu/consumers/odr/main/?event=main.adr.show... and is about 450 items long
edit2: As far as I know, force arbitration is generally considered "unfair" but this differs per country and might not be applicable in all circumstances. Some explanation: https://www.hausfeld.com/news-press/mandatory-arbitration-in...
Arbiteration thankfully isn't a thing outside of US much. I would love to see what would happen if you took them to small claims court in UK for instance.
In this case it seems that Google's promise was only never to raise the price.
That might sound misleading because consumers are not used to have a company cancel on them (they want to get paid, right?) but that's always a contractual possibility.
That’s not the case, and it needn’t be the case. In common law jurisdictions courts rarely order specific performance. So for perpetual contracts, which do exist, a party would just need to pay expectation damages to the other party to end the contract.
On the consumer side perpetual contracts are unfair, and subscription consumer contracts essentially always include termination clauses on both sides.
In the end this usually means having to give reasonable notice, which can also be an implied term.
Now, if you consider commercial contracts in general that's different.
> All subscription contracts provide that they can be cancelled by either parties with reasonable notice
Apparently no notice was given. Either way, this seems to me like it's a bug rather than a contract issue
If I recall correctly, I did run into an issue in the past where it was incorrectly cancelled, and I had no trouble getting it restored at the same price by contacting support, but that was a long time ago, so it's hard to remember. And I'm pretty sure it was partially an issue on my end--my bank was declining the charge or something. When the charge finally went through, it was $9.99 instead of $7.99. I think. My memory is terrible.
You could class action them
What if the offer is appealing at the time and you can cancel whenever you want.
This isn't the case. From the link:
- "So I've managed to rectify the issue and they've renewed my Google Play/YouTube Premium subscription for 9.99USD a month (slight increase from the 9.99AUD I was paying, but hey, still a discount)."
- "I got my subscription reactivated through chat this morning at my original rate."
- "I had no choice but to use the link to get YouTube Premium subscription at my original price 7.99."
2. Did you have the original grandfather plan of Google Music?
3. Besides, YTM does not have guarantee of lifetime price.
3. The modern public terms don't seem relevant here. YTM also doesn't have a $7.99/month plan, yet that's what's being offered to you. Is there any compelling evidence that accepting Google's purchase links means surrendering your lifetime price guarantee?
"Oops, we had a technical problem and now your lifetime option is gone. Unfortunately we have no way to create new lifetime subscriptions, because of technical changes. As a goodwill gesture, here's a free year on $some_other_yearly_service. Whatchagonnado, sue us for a few pennies? lolmao"
Repeat a few times until everyone gets the memo or resource usage from that category goes under "acceptable" levels of waste.
Are courts ever gonna learn how to deal with these huge corporations? They probably think it's cheaper to pay the fines than to obey the law and do the right thing.
Another Google "oops"
All in all while it was a bit of a pain I don't think any malice was meant in this. I'm betting they had just set the end of the renewals on the subscription to April 2020 and figured if the service is still going they would update the end date.
But there's nothing in the thread about any lifetime guarantee, and Googling I can't find any reference either.
Does anyone have actual evidence that Google explicitly made a lifetime price guarantee? It just seems... unusual, not something subscription services generally do.
Also, this seems like more of a bug affecting some users, as opposed to intended policy. I mean, when Google cancels things, it usually provides months/years of advance notice with lots of e-mails.
So I'm hesitant to jump in with my pitchfork here...
Early adopters were promised a fixed, permanently rebated price for signing up.
I remember. I was one who took the offer (but later cancelled for other reasons).
I'm actually really curious to see the exact wording and fine print/TOS. Just because that's such a rare thing to do, above all by a large company, and I'm surprised it would have passed legal review, but the devil is often in the details.
If they shutdown Play Music, it might look similar to the end of Google Reader in 2013. They might be looking to get people off the service until they announce it.
You can buy dozens of different shampoo brands (because you like the bottle of this or the smell of that) and in the end your money will end up flowing to the same company; but $deity forbid that I could get two same-but-different services from the same company if they can avoid it. I mean, I get the operational savings etc etc, but if they are both profitable, why go through the pain and suffering of killing one?
Then you turn to another niche (like IM) and it's the opposite attitude.
Google's commercial strategies are pretty nonsensical.
They’ve semi-threatened it will be killed off sooner or later anyway, so I wouldn’t be surprised.
1. Create something new in a given category and hype it up.
2. If it fails to catch on massively, neglect it. Make only minor changes, while competitors are continuously improving their offerings.
3. Leave that old service to rot until you decide to shut it down. Meanwhile, start over from step 1 with different branding.
I can't say this is a poor strategy for a company like Google.
E.g. MSN Music/Zune Marketplace/XBox Music/Microsoft Store/Groove Music
If not, is there any other free service where I could upload my MP3 collection to, with an app for mobile which would sync the data between mobile devices?
On Youtube Google nags me since months (a year?) to switch to Youtube Music but I get less service there. I fear the moment I hastily tap to try and loose Google Music.
Put it on an old computer / raspberry pi in a closet, or on a cloud VM. Domain name is <=$12/yr and many providers let you do DDNS via their API.
By the way, no landing page for the moment, I just bought the domain yesterday(musicbucket.cloud)
Not free, but Apple Music allows you to do that. I believe Spotify has that feature as well.
I have two different and excellent apps on iOS but there are Android apps too.
I would not hold your breath for this. The holdover MP3 collector is such a small minority that no mainstream company is going to consider them from here on out.
> is there any other free service where I could upload my MP3 collection to
If there was, why would you waste your time? Either it's not going to be free or it's going to disappear.
GPM was nice in that it merged the cloud music with your own collection, but I'm pretty resigned to the fact that I'm going to lose that functionality when they finally shut it down.
For Spotify, Google, Amazon, Apple, etc. that's not a problem.
Are people going to cancel their accounts because they can't listen to a very small subset of music? Probably but it's going to be a tiny minority of users that's inconsequential to their bottom line.
There had been murmurs for a long time of Google Play Music going away, so I moved off ASAP. Looks like that was a good call.
Because voting with your wallet works.
fyi nobody is complaining about this on the youtubemusic reddit which is the one of the first places I think we would hear about it if this issue was widespread BUT maybe its regional and hasn't hit the usa users yet.
The death of Google Music is long awaited and feared. Once it does die it'll be like the death of Google Reader 2.0. People are just getting twitchy with any little mistake Google makes.
Honestly, I'll be pretty bummed if they increase the prices. I stopped using youtube music / google play music awhile back as they ruined the experience for me there but have kept it for the ad free youtube.
There is also a googleplaymusic reddit which seems to be a more obvious place for google play music users.
Very strangely authoritarian wording, too:
"It comes down to preference, but soon, you'll have no other choice but switching"
"Unfortunately, the equation isn't that simple here because YouTube Music will replace Google Play Music one day. You have to accept YouTube Music's quirks if you currently use and love Play Music, or you have to switch to another platform altogether."
Honestly I've been thinking about moving to spotify, but the youtube ad-free premium has kept me on google play music because it's just not worth it to switch. But Google Play Music has not been updated in what feels like ages. And the iOS client is terrible (I only switched in the last 6 months).
Seems like they're getting ready to pull the plug. I subscribed in Oct 2016, and over that time I've saved $2/mo on equivalent music subscriptions and had youtube premium included (yeah yeah I know adblock or pihole or nextdns negates the value, but it's nice to be able to use the youtube client on my phone without needing to set up those solutions). Net value has been $83 though I've paid for it with a drastically sub par music experience (sharing is pointless, can't see what my friends listen to, playlist management is terrible).
I've been a subscriber since 2016 as well and this is as well as music uploads is what has kept me on Google Play music. YouTube music has this functionality now, but it still lacks a proper library feature as well as a migration option for existing library's and uploads.
Spotify just does everything so much better, so I'm so close to moving.
There's even smaller stuff like artists I like uploading playlists of music they like.
I do miss a lot of the uploading features GPM had, and they seem to have slightly more things then Spotify.
No ad free Youtube on chromecast kinda sucks too.
This is out of your control.
Yes, it's possible (and organizations with specialized needs do) keep running 15 year old software and hardware without changing anything. But, for ordinary people, that app you bought is going to break at some point in the absence of updates. Of course, it's a bigger problem with SaaS and you have less control over it but licensed software is not immune.
"we initially made a higher priced plan to get more from our customers for the same, since we'd have supported all our customers anyway since broken or dated software would have put us out of business. But now that we're commercially stable, it's time to moralize about how unfair a burden our voluntarily offerings on the market are to ourselves!"
Subscriptions and lifetime subscriptions don't play well together.
I do have an anecdote that disproves my theory, however. My grandmother used to be an AT&T telephone operator, before they were broken up. As a retiree, she has "free lifetime AT&T", which they have been honoring even as the new company is not the company she retired from. She literally dials 0 and asks the person to connect her call for her. It costs her nothing.
He still gets his copy delivered every fortnight.
Currently getting really tired of google play music but I really dislike what Spotify is doing with postcasts so it feels like I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place on android.
Then later I'll scrape those photos for text.
But I did make that python program to take photos. 64 images to scrape one day. I'm not too concerned of the difficulty of OCR, there's gotta be some libraries for it, especially on black and white text from a web page.
(I did OCR with cellphone pictures and it worked)
(Don't take this too seriously, especially not from me.)
On one hand, yes as a company I imagine you sneak some sneaky verbiage in the ToS so that you can't back yourself into a corner you can't get out of, but offering a lifetime subscription and it just being canceled - I just can't trust Google anymore to keep services up they "promise" will be there.
It's - Apple, Samsung, Google
Well, I had moved on to Spotify anyway.
This is one of the movies I had bought. I could again "buy" it. Wonder who will fall for that for the second time... https://play.google.com/store/movies/details/Kong_Skull_Isla...
The music is also there but it just switches your user so you have to re-login with the correct user after going to the music menu...
It's sort of nuts to think anything Google does is going to be around in 5 years.
I called a co-worker, and the number looked like a normal US number... Nope, it was a Canadian number, and AT&T charged me like $60 for a 30 minute call. Fuck that, it's the same country code.
So I made the switch to Google Fi.
I called Google Fi in advance, and asked how it would work with my Google Voice number.
The support person said, "Yeah, you can't have the two kinds of Google numbers on the same email, but just make a new Google account and set you Google Fi number up under there, then forward your Google Voice number like you've been doing."
I do that.
Mind you my whole family is on the plan, Mom, Dad, sister... and it's a big deal to switch.
After the SIM cards were sent, I go to set my Google Voice number to forward. And it doesn't work. It tells me I can't forward a Google Voice number to a Google Fi phone. WTF.
Then Covid hits.
All of my work and emergency contact numnbers are routed through my Google Voice number, which I can inexplicably no longer forward to my phone.
Google support lines are just playing recordings, "Not available."
Live chat... oof, 40 minutes to have what should have been a 2 minute conversation. And it's either a bot, or someone just copying a script. It was horrible. And I had to try like 4 times. Hours wasted.
Email support was worse. Nobody pays attention to context. Like they just go until they see a keyword they recognize and paste in a response template.
I've got Google Voice to forward to my emails... so all my calls and texts were still sort of coming in. But I wanted to get it sorted with Google.
I spell out a plan, email and ask them if it'll work.
They say over email it will.
I'm going to just drop my cell phone number and just use my Google Voice number on my cell. Easier than trying to update every place that had the old number. Oof. Then I'll switch the ownership from my Fake Google account to my Real Google account and turn off the Fake Google account line.
Plan was signed off on by Google staff. Cool, I feel like it'll work.
I get the new sim card, and it sort of works... except the fake Google account I used to set up the plan in the first place has to stay the owner. I can't change my real Google account to the owner on the family plan, I can't change anyone to the owner on the family plan. So I'm stuck paying for an extra line.
Google's solution... "Just drop the family plan." No joke. Just kick everyone off onto their own plan, problem solved. I got 3 email templates telling me to do this -- that's how they want me to change the owner of the family plan.
Oof. None of this will will kill me, and I'm glad they are keeping their employees safe... but none of this experience will ever put me in a spot to use Google again if I can avoid it. Their support is worse than any I've ever experienced.
Response times suck, lack of training for their staff, lack of intelligence around how to solve problems... it just feels like I'm talking to bots whose first language wasn't English.
Anyway totally frustrating experience, and it makes no sense. Why can't I forward a Google Voice number to a Google Fi phone? Shit like that is beyond me. And even with limiting product design, why wasn't Google Staff trained on that so they could give me proper advice when I first called?
I was a huge Google Fiber fan, and I wanted to like Google Fi... but man... it's been such a hassle. I've got a 100+ response email thread now and it's all just missing the context copy / paste talk, or them ignoring the question and answering something else, or contradicting advice one person to the next. Oof.
I don't mind a price change, the government printed a lot of money. But I have hundreds of songs in a playlist.