Wednesday, November 20, 2019

How to Switch Disney+ Plans

Last week, I reviewed my first 24 hour impressions with the new Disney+ service.

During the free trial, I decided this is pretty good and worth keeping. Then I had to decide if I wanted to commit to a full year and save a few bucks or pay monthly. After a long deliberation, I decided to go for the 12-month $69.99 plan!

Little did I know it was going to be impossible to switch my payment plan from monthly to annual (and vice versa) during the free 7-day trial after I had selected monthly $6.99 plan at sign-up. I was not thinking about the 12-month option at such an early stage in the purchase consideration cycle and thought there would be a simple toggle in my account later that I could just switch plan options easily. WRONG!

I tried from a web browser, mobile app on Android and iOS, iPad, and via Roku on my TV. From the Account page, it would show my "Monthly" plan section under Subscription, but no way to change it. And I wasn't interested in switching to the Disney+/ESPN+/Hulu bundle!

Account page's Subscription section
Clicking on Billing details was my only option from this screen and that only offered 2 options:
  • Switch to Disney bundle, like on previous screen, or
  • Cancel Subscription
Billing Details page

I also tried to search in the Disney+ Help section. Nada! I tried to initiate a live chat with Disney+, but after waiting in the queue for over 1 hour, I gave up. So I tried to call them and the IVR warned me the average wait time would be about 90 mins!

Horrible customer service experience so far! I get it's due to its popularity, but it also speaks to perhaps Disney wasn't quite ready for launch and did not fully anticipate all customer needs.

Then I did what any sensible, desperate consumer would do -- Google it! Surprisingly, I couldn't find anything either in Google or YouTube.

Anyways, I finally figured out a solution and thought I would share it to save others the same headache. Here's how to switch your Disney+ plan:

  1. Cancel your free trial before the period ends and your credit card is charged based on the existing payment plan shown in your Account
  2. Wait until your service is actually cancelled
  3. Disney+ will email you a "We are sorry to see you go" email when they cut you off with a "Restart Subscription" link
  4. Click on the email link to reactivate your account
  5. You will get a Welcome Back! screen that let's you switch plans!

Switching Disney+ Plans During Re-activation
From what I can tell, the same steps are required to switch your plan not just during the free trial, but also when you're a paying customer because the Account page looks the same as above now that I'm a subscriber. Disney+ says any changes to your account won't take effect until the end of the current billing cycle and they do not offer partial refunds. That likely explains why they never thought through this use case very well. #FAIL

Hope that helps!


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