Paypal have a service called Paypal Gifts. In principle it is a fantastic option for that last minute gift. You have forgotten to buy your loved one a present so you opt for an instantly deliverable e-giftcard.

Problem 1. They are not instant. Admittedly Paypal do state that it may take up to 24 hours to deliver the gift card code. Why? Who knows. It certainly shouldn't but at least they are transparent.

Problem 2. They don't give you valid gift codes. Picture the scene. You hand over the print out of the iTunes/Spotify/Google play (etc) gift card that you have purchased for your child. They rush off to spend it. It doesn't work. It kinda ruins the gift if you can't use it. Yes - Paypal sent me a Spotify gift card after 5 hours that does not work.

Now admittedly it may not work because of a problem on the Service providers end. In this case Spotify. Fortunately Spotify's Twitter handle is @SpotifyCares. They will surely promptly resolve this issue. Nope.

Problem 3. Spotify do not care. I messaged @SpotifyCares on the 10th May. They asked me to send a screenshot of the email from Paypal, a screenshot of the gift code, and a screenshot of the error on the redemption page. I did promptly.

They told me that I couldn't use the code because I am American. I am not American. They told me it was a UK code. I am very much British, am living in the UK etc etc etc. They ignored me.

On the 11th they replied saying:

We understand the frustration. Our best tech folks are looking into this at the moment. We'll keep you updated /VP
Spotify do not care.

Problem 4: Spotify's 'best tech folks' are rubbish if they can't fix such a fundamental bug in 5 days (and counting). Spotify's customer service is appalling if they can't give me a working code or just give me the account credit (as I have requested) in 5 days (and counting).

Oh well. Spotify obviously sucks. I'll just get a refund from Paypal.

Problem 5: Paypal's customer service is no better. I requested a refund on the 11th. They havn't replied. It is a fairly simple case. I have contacted their @AskPaypal Twitter handle and whilst they have been more polite than Spotify's team and have 'apparently' escalated the case.. 5 days later.. nothing.

Nor do Paypal

So I've bought an 'instant' gift that 5 days later I can't use and neither Spotify or Paypal are competent enough or care enough to do anything about it.

If you want to buy a gift for someone don't use Paypal Gifts. Whilst Spotify is a great service it isn't a competently supported service so I'd suggest supporting a company that respects their customers.

I'll keep this updated if as/when either team gets around to caring.