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Failed and frustrated by Amazon: Does anyone know why I can’t upgrade my Amazon Cloud Player to premium?

I spend a lot of money with Amazon. Hundreds of pounds a month, if not more. That’s because wherever possible, I direct as much of my spend through the company.

I routinely work hard to radically simplify my life and remove as much complexity as possible. Amazon fits perfectly. For example, the moment I think I might need a pair of shoelaces — bam — I’ve pulled out the Amazon app and ordered them in 10 seconds. JOB DONE. Are nappy supplies running low at home? Bam! JOB DONE!

It’s simply genius. I don’t bother waiting until we do a “weekly shop”. Indeed I’m trying hard to remove that concept from our family life. I readily will walk around Tesco (or similar) and avoid purchasing most things that I can get on Amazon.

I think it’s the predictability I like the most. Amazon Prime’s free next day delivery is simply marvellous. Stuff arrives when they say it will, all the time, guaranteed. Everything we’re buying for Christmas is coming from Amazon with, I think, zero exceptions this year.

So I’m a fan.

And I had to raise my eyebrows when I discovered recently that Amazon launched their Cloud Player music offering. Indeed I remember reading Lucy Kinder’s post about this in The Telegraph a few months ago.

Cloud Player is Amazon’s answer to iTunes Match: That is, the ability to take a whole load of your music and store it in the cloud. Once it’s there than you can get it easily from anywhere. One of the seriously exciting points about this is that I could finally free myself from the grips of Apple. The Cloud Player is obviously available on the web but I was also impressed with the fact there’s a dedicated iPhone app.

I download 200-odd songs from my iTunes Match account, setup the Apple Cloud Player account and proceeded to do the import. It was seamless. My music was uploaded and available to play immediately.

I was so delighted that I checked out the cost to upgrade to the full 250,000 song premium account. Answer? $24.99 a year. Or, £21.99 in the UK according to The Telegraph. That will do.

The next step was to set my primary machine to downloading my full music catalogue from iTunes Match. This completed overnight so I was ready to dump them all up into Amazon.

When I tried to upgrade though I got this error message:

This payment instrument cannot be used to buy Cloud Drive Subscription. Please change the card and try again.

I tried another card. Same error.

I emailed support.

Amazon are famed for their support so I felt content that I’d get this issue resolved shortly.

The next morning I received this reply:

Hello Ewan,

I’m sorry to hear that you had issues when attempting to subscribe to Cloud Player Premium on Amazon.com.

To remedy this I have applied a free one year subscription of Cloud Player Premium to your account on Amazon.com. This may take 3 to 4 days to process.

Noel D

That wasn’t quite what I had intended. However it is typical of Amazon’s excellent customer support. I thought, “Brilliant” and, smiling, proceeded to wait a few days.

10 days later, nothing had happened on my account so I tried buying the premium option again. Nada, same error. I emailed support once more and got this reply next day:

Hello,

I’m sorry for the inconvenience caused to you in this regard.

At this time, Amazon Cloud Player on Amazon.com is only available to U.S. customers. To sign up for an Amazon Cloud Player account from Amazon.com, you must generally have a U.S. billing address and a payment method issued by a bank located in the U.S. If you are using a gift card, you must be physically located in the U.S.

We value our international customers. I appreciate your thoughts and have forwarded your feedback to the Amazon Cloud Player development team.

Thanks for your interest in Amazon Cloud Player. We look forward to seeing you again soon.

Arun

Soooo. I’m not sure what to think.

It looks like Amazon Cloud Player is a UK service.

Who?

What?

Being frustrated by Amazon is a rather disconcerting experience.

Does anyone have some suggestions or can anyone add any clarity?

Update: I don’t have any specific clarity on this except to say that after a few chats with Amazon’s support team via their PR, the issue is fixed. Perhaps my account was “set” incorrectly or something. They reset everything and I was able to successfully upgrade in British pounds!

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