Spotify unplugs customer support as complaints flood into Rogan controversy

Customers who logged into Spotify’s customer service “live” support chat were greeted by a robot instead of a live person on Thursday as the streaming service was inundated with complaints.

The Sweden-based streaming service found itself this week in the middle of a standoff between rock legend Neil Young and Joe Rogan, the host of The Joe Rogan Experience who has come under fire for his remarks about the COVID-19 vaccine.

The service sided with Rogan on Wednesday after Young issued an ultimatum telling Spotify it could have him or the popular podcast, but not both. Since then, Spotify users have taken to social media to announce that they are deleting their accounts.

Spotify’s page for users to contact customer support via live chat showed a message timestamped at 1:42 p.m. PT on Thursday, notifying users of a possible slow response.

“We are currently receiving many contacts, so we may be slow to respond,” the message read. He advised customers looking for faster help to search his support articles or visit his “community help” section.

The customer support live chat offered customers a bot that directed users to possible solutions to their problems. The bot would direct customers to a human if they got stuck, but offered no wait time.

An atmospheric view as Ed Sheeran and Spotify celebrate the launch of his album in New York. The streaming service has found itself in the middle of a misinformation controversy over a popular podcast and an ultimatum from a rock legend.
Theo Wargo/Getty Images

Newsweek has contacted Spotify for comment.

Young wrote to Spotify management on Monday saying he wanted all of his music removed from the platform due to what he called the misinformation Rogan was promoting on his podcast, which is available exclusively. on service.

“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading false information about vaccines – potentially causing the death of those who believe the misinformation is being spread by them,” the 76-year-old ‘Harvest Moon’ and ‘Heart of Gold’ singer wrote. .

A group of 270 doctors, nurses, scientists and educators sent an open letter to Spotify in late December asking it to stop Rogan from spreading false claims about COVID-19. The letter cited the massive reach of the business.

Spotify, which has 172 million subscribers, announced Wednesday that it is siding with Rogan, which has the service’s most-streamed podcast of 2021.

“With this comes a great responsibility to balance both listener safety and creator freedom. We have detailed content policies in place and have removed over 20,000 COVID-related podcast episodes since then. the onset of the pandemic,” a Spotify spokesperson said. The Hollywood Reporter Wednesday. “We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to see him again soon.”

Joseph P. Harris