LOS ANGELES: Disney+ got off to a rocky start with widespread technical problems for the streaming service on launch day – and a week later, the company says it's still seeing a high level of incoming calls from users who are having problems.
Disney announced one day after the launch that more than 10 million people had signed up for Disney+ over the past few weeks, a surge that the media conglomerate blamed for the technical snafus. The issues included users being unable to log in to the service at all, or not being able to access specific content or features.
While industry analysts speculated that Disney would work quickly to rectify the issues after the gate-crashing launch, there are still lingering problems among those trying to access Disney+.
"At the moment we are receiving a high volume of customer cases," Disney+'s official Twitter account said in reply Nov 19 to one frustrated user, who complained that they still haven't been able to log in to their account seven days later.
In response to another user, Disney+ tweeted Tuesday afternoon that "right now there is an influx of calls as customers due to how recent our launch was". On Nov 19, Disney+ launched in Australia and New Zealand, after the initial launch last week in the US, Canada and the Netherlands.
The company is apologising to users who have contacted Disney+'s help team to report problems, and it has told many of them that, "We have been working around the clock to resolve any issues."
The Disney+ customer-support site says it's available for live support "24 hours a day seven days a week". But Disney has appeared unready to handle the flood of customer inquiries for Disney+: Its live-chat feature has informed users seeking help that wait times for an agent are longer than 30 minutes, with some users saying they waited for several hours without connecting with a rep.
"Disney making your local cable company customer support look good, which is hard to do," LightShed analyst Rich Greenfield tweeted Nov 18.
The problems that users had accessing Disney+ created "a dog-pile situation" leading to long waits for customer service and support, according to Abinash Tripathy, founder of customer-service platform startup Helpshift. "What you're seeing is a massive, traditional media company just not being prepared for this," Tripathy told Variety last week.
At launch, Disney+ includes nearly 500 movies and 7,500 TV episodes from Disney, Pixar, Marvel, Star Wars, National Geographic, and other brands, including originals like The Mandalorian, which data shows has piqued interest among viewers.
The streaming service includes 30 seasons of The Simpsons and is the exclusive streaming home for films released by the Walt Disney Studios in 2019 and beyond, including Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame, Aladdin, Toy Story 4, The Lion King, Maleficent: Mistress Of Evil, Frozen 2 and Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker.
Disney Plus lets users create up to 10 profiles and stream up to four devices at the same time. After a free seven-day trial, the service costs US$6.99 (RM29) per month (or US$69.99/RM291 per year). Disney also is offering a discounted bundle including Disney Plus, Hulu, and ESPN Plus for US$12.99 (RM54) monthly.
In addition, Disney has a deal with Verizon to give Verizon Wireless unlimited-plan customers one year of Disney+ for free, with the same offer for new Fios broadband and 5G home broadband subscribers. – Variety/Reuters
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