A week ago I caved in to the whining of my family and signed on for the new Disney+ streaming TV service. During the sign up process I was given the option of choosing a monthly subscription plan or an annual subscription plan. I chose the annual plan as it worked out slightly cheaper over a 12 month period. From there I was taken into a one week trial mode.
Today, our 1 week trial finished and we were billed, not for the cheaper annual fee, but for the more expensive (per year) monthly fee. After looking online, it turns out this is a common occurrence for new subscribers to this new online service. Not happy with being charged for the more expensive plan, I attempted to contact Disney+ via their online chat option in the help section of their website.
The person I chatted with tried to tell me that I must have chosen the monthly plan by mistake, when I know I didn’t, and then said I could go into my account and change it from a monthly to a yearly plan. The only problem with this is that there is no option available to change the plan. The only options I have are to change my billing method or to cancel the subscription, which is also a common problem when you do a little Google digging concerning it all.
So the only advice they could give me was to cancel my subscription and start again. The only problem with this is, I’ll probably just end up on the monthly plan again with still no option to change to a yearly plan and I’ll be charged for a second month’s worth of access at the rate I didn’t want to pay.
The person I was speaking to said there was no way I could contact anyone who could access my account and change the plan for me. So I’m now stuck with the monthly plan, even though I’d made a conscious effort to weigh up the options being presented when I signed on for all of this, and decided that the annual plan was better for us, as it worked out cheaper in the long run.
So basically, customer service advice is completely pointless and they can’t do anything to help rectify the situation. I can’t cancel the thing because my family would disown me. Would it be worth mentioning this to our local consumer affairs or the ACCC? Feeling a bit ripped off at the moment.
I would first try to get to a supervisor. Failing that perhaps they have a ‘customer retention unit or complaints department’ that has more capability than the regular CSO.
On a related note you probably also found
That article includes some clues to alternatives that might be possible such as asking for two more free months while staying on the monthly for this year, and hoping they get their act together.
The web site looks pretty sad in how they shield themselves from their customers save for the phone and a feedback ‘Something is not right’ form. Might be worth asking for a real address to lodge a formal complaint as well as trying the latter.
You might also ask for some free months, cancel at the end, and start anew with the annual sans the new subscriber free month if that is an option?
If you have twitter they apparently have a twitter presence where you can make your issues known.
It is not obvious who if anyone has jurisdiction over such a farcical amateurish way to do business. As long as there is a ‘way through it’ ands one is not ripped off I doubt they are contravening any legislation, just doing bad business. With a company the size of Disney this might be a feature not a glitch to make it hard to change and thus expect some number of customers will just go with what they get rather than get it ‘fixed’ for those extra few revenue dollars per annum.
As it is a service the ACL should have some power in regards to the requirements and even to seeking compensation. So the ACCC is a place to start and if evidence is sufficient they might take action. In regards to the evidence if making a complaint perhaps including links to the web links about the issues everyone is having may increase the desire for the ACCC to get involved.
Taking a look at the visitor posts on the official Disney+ AU Facebook page, there are a lot of people unhappy with their billing situation and the lack of ways to get a solution. One woman had the opposite situation to me, and signed on for the $8.99 monthly subscription, only to be charged $89.99 for the yearly subscription. After speaking to one of the call centre people she was told she’d have to contact Google to get the problem sorted out, when Google has absolutely nothing to do with the Disney+ subscription, nor the billing details.
I signed up at around 3am when it wasn’t due to begin til 8:30 local. I paid for the year option using paypal and have had no issues. I’m in a Disney+ AU NZ Facebook group with just under 1000 people. 2 have mentioned they were charged twice, but it had something to do with some kind of Google promotion, presumably thru the play store.
It is notoriously hard to get any response from Disney when attempting to contact them. A US Disney office even gave me an address to write to the company’s Australian office (Buena Vista International). The letter got returned and after some online investigation found out their office had moved about a year earlier. It’s also been my experience that it’s a case of an online version of passing you between different departments when it comes to getting a response from them. I will say their US tv channel subsidiaries, freeform and hulu, are way better at responding on twitter than main Disney accounts, tho they can only refer you to Disney Corp.
Gawd! Glad I cancelled. Mind you I had subbed via itunes which I don’t usually do, and so when I did the cancellation I could see that the sub was for the annual. Mind you, I wont be paying annual in future, I’ll do a month every so often just to watch The Mandalorian. The rest I can ignore. Unless they get Agents of SHIELD which for some mad reason, I really like. go figure.
So, the ACCC has responded and basically said I need to see my local Dept of Fair Trading, or whatever they call themselves in Tassie. ACCC has made a note of my complaint, but won’t do anything unless they get lots of complaints about it, and they made it sound like I’m the only person who’s mentioned anything. Meanwhile, Disney+ is going out of its way to ignore all attempts to make contact apart from the useless online chat service which doesn’t have access to anyone’s accounts to look into things.
Did you try physical mail to the address ASIC provided, linked previously?
Address for service of documents:
c/- Ashurst Level 26 181 William St Melbourne VIC 3000
If the letter is not from the ATO, ACMA, or having a lawyers masthead atop page 1 it is probably recycling for them, and considering the evidence it would likely be a waste of postage, but since nothing else seems effective, why not have a go?
Make a complaint to your Fair Trading; state Fair Trading agencies have jurisdiction to enforce (<-funny concept, that) trading laws. Send a copy to the Address above.