Just when it looked like things were starting to look up a bit for Tidal… this happens.
Over the weekend, Tidal got a massive increase in new downloads on iOS thanks largely to the fact that it’s the only place where you can stream Kanye West’s new album The Life of Pablo. Some old-fashioned people who still like owning music tried to buy the album to add to their collections, and that’s where the trouble began. It seems that even though West has decided to temporarily pull sales of the album from Tidal, people who buy it are getting charged on their credit cards anyway without getting any of the music they paid for in return.
Per TechCrunch, complaints from people who have tried buying the album from Tidal have blown up across Twitter and there’s a popular thread on Reddit right now talking about the same problems. Essentially, Tidal is accepting customers’ money even though it isn’t giving them the album in return or even offering an explanation for when their copy of the album will be available.
Even worse, some users are reporting that they’re being charged multiple times when they try to buy the album and that Tidal is tacking on a mysterious $1 fee that isn’t being explained to users.
In response, Tidal has tried to work with some customers one-on-one to get their situations resolved via direct messages on Twitter. However, the company doesn’t seem to realize that it has a widespread, systemic problem on its hands that is going to do a lot of damage to its already-less-than-stellar brand.
To be fair, this also may not entirely be Tidal’s fault since West first announced that he would sell the album through Tidal this weekend before apparently changing his mind. No matter how you slice it, though, this isn’t a good look for Jay Z’s music streaming service.