If you signed up to Jay-Z’s music streaming service Tidal and then promptly cancelled it after the free-month trial (which this reporter did) then check your bank balance. Some ex-Tidal users have been re-activated without their permission and charged the price of its premium tier ($20).
Tidal re-launched last year with Jay-Z at the helm, the streaming site was originally owned by a Swedish company Aspiro and was purchased by Jay-Z in January for an estimated $US 56 million. The draw card was that Tidal paid the musicians fairly, by charging its users substantially more than other streaming sites like Spotify and Apple Music.
Tidal also had “window” rights to new releases of musicians latest tunes including Beyonce, Madonna, Daft Punk, Deadmau5, Arcade Fire and Calvin Harris. This would mean Tidal users would have first access to music before any other streaming site. The website also offers exclusive music from artists, including studio sessions and b-sides.
This approach backfired for Tidal, when it launched it only briefly cracked the US iPhone top 20 download chart and now it’s flunked out of the Top 700 chart.
The mistake has been quickly rectified but some have attacked the company for trying to sneakily bring people back to Tidal, especially because those affected have been offered three months of Tidal Premium for free. Ex-Tidal users have also been offered a refund, the email from Tidal reads:
We are sorry to inform you that due to an error, you have been billed $19.99 for a TIDAL subscription.
We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience, and have already refunded the amount to your account. However, it can take from 2-5 business days to show up on your credit card statement.
In addition to the full refund, we have also given you free access to TIDAL Premium for the next three months as a compensation. Your TIDAL account is now active, and you can log in with your existing email@example.com and password.
Again, we apologize for this, and appreciate your patience and understanding.
Since cancelling my account with Tidal I’ve received 13 emails from the streaming site encouraging me to come back to the site: