November 15, 2019

How Broken is Disney+?

Reports are coming in that Disney's new streaming service, Disney+, is full of bugs and error messages.

Disney+ launched Nov. 12, and the media company is already boasting that they have over 10 million sign-ups. Predictably, the streaming service had a bit of a rough start this week under such huge user demand. Multiple outlets reported bugs, crashes, and angry subscribers.

Sarah Perez over at TechCrunch wrote that "thousands of problems" have been reported, with most tied to streaming or log-in issues.

Disney even had to issue the following apology this week:

Catie Keck over at Gizmodo went over some of the more egregious issues in a review posted yesterday, going as far as calling the service "embarrassing," "messy," and "unreliable."

Users were upset at Disney+ crashes
Credit: Disney/Marvel

Keck acknowledges that the content itself is impressive (The Mandalorian, anyone?) but the site itself is hard to use, and customer service is basically impossible to reach.

Keck summarizes how things went the day the service went live:

The morning of the launch, Disney+ repeatedly crashed for many users attempting to access the service. It crashed on the web. It crashed on phones. It crashed on Xbox, Roku, PS4, and seemingly all other devices. It crashed everywhere!

According to a Reddit megathread on the service's issues, subscribers are still reporting the same issues as recently as this very hour. Password resets aren't working.  The app itself isn't even appearing in some platforms' stores.

And the issues are inconsistent across platforms and services. Sometimes the stream will pull up on mobile data, but not on WiFi, for instance. You can watch something on a tablet but not a television. And you might start one day with access and get booted the next. At least one user says they were watching one day, but the next morning they were told their account had somehow expired.

Disney+ error message
Credit: Catie Keck/Disney

And if what users are saying is accurate, don't even try to reach customer service about these problems. Keck writes about her own experience:

When I attempted to contact Disney+ customer service on Tuesday with a question about billing, I was disconnected from the call twice. The third time I called, I waited on hold for 37 minutes before finally hanging up. A support chat box that I accessed on the Disney+ website told me my wait time was less than 30 minutes to be connected with a representative. I eventually closed the window after about 40 minutes passed without a word from the company.

Multiple outlets also report that the site itself is buggy and poorly coded.

The search function on the website is so unwieldy and its menu so confusing that at least one website has created a guide for how to even find content on Disney+.

Interestingly, Keck also says that you get some pretty wild results if you search for "bitch."

Based on a tip from a reader, Gizmodo learned that searching the term “bitch” on the platform not only returns multiple women-led titles but also a National Geographic documentary about Princess Diana.

As of press time, Disney has not commented on this particular bug.

When it comes to curation, Keck points out that Disney does not give users the option to indicate whether they like or dislike the content. (Netflix gives you a thumbs up or down option to influence its algorithm.) This might be because, as I wrote earlier this week, Disney might just not care what you like.

What seems obvious from multiple reviews and user reactions so far is that Disney, for whatever reason, rushed out a product that was not fully tested and that the company was not prepared to support. With its nearly endless resources, users can expect that the problems will eventually be ironed out -- by why didn't Disney do that in the first place?

Have you had any issues with Disney+ so far? Let us know in the comments!

Take a look at some more of our Disney+ coverage

Do you think Disney has a dangerous monopoly? Or do you not care about all the companies Disney owns? What about the changes made to movies now streaming on Disney+, or the planned remakes of Fox films? Maybe all you're interested in is what you can watch on Disney+, and that's fine too.     

Your Comment

8 Comments

I had issues on the first day but none the subsequent days. I was underwhelmed by the first two episodes of The Mandalorian, and overall the offerings are mostly kid fare, so I canceled my subscription.

November 15, 2019 at 9:23PM

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Batutta
291

is this your pacemaker that's not working ? your electricity ? your water supply ? something vaguely bordering on mildly important ?
are you people stupid ? cancel. repeat. cancel.

November 15, 2019 at 9:28PM

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stephen knifton
owner / creative director
477

Also, Disney jacked the price of Hulu up $10 without telling anyone. I wont touch anything Disney anyways so it doesn't hurt me.

November 15, 2019 at 11:01PM

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Vincent Gortho
none
859

If you have kids..

This service absolutely dwarfs the offerings from other streaming services many times over.

The classics, and I mean the animated stuff from the 50's and 60's looks stunning. The lost artistry of classical animation gets a chance to be relived by a younger generation.

My girls could not take their eyes off Peter Pan (released1953ish), Nowhere else will you get such an extensive library of family friendly content.

Given that an annual subscription costs the same as 3 bluerays, I'd say Disney's value proposition is fair and overdue.

Works flawlessly on my xbox.

November 16, 2019 at 1:53AM, Edited November 16, 1:53AM

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Andrew Kierans
Digital Cinema Technician
266

So, DisneyPlus should have prepared better I guess. I am a little angry, cause it's not launched in my country, and there are still no dates confirmed :( luckily, i've found this article on reddit https://vpnpro.com/guides-and-tutorials/how-to-watch-disney-plus/ , and at least i can get a vpn and watch it.

November 21, 2019 at 2:16AM

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I had the free trial for 2 days before cancelling. We watched the first two episodes of Mandalorian then learned that I would be “fed” the other episodes when Disney decided it was OK for me to watch. We were able to add the app on our Roku and use our Roku Acct to sign up for the free trial, which was easy and painless (as was cancelling). Managing your subscriptions through Roku is great. Once we recieved an error message while trying to watch but it worked upon a second attempt. After the first two episodes of Mandalorian, I began looking at what else was available. I was excited about Pixar, Marvel, and Disney, then realized I already have most of Marvel on Blu-ray, as well as Pixar, and not really interested in reliving my animated youth with Disney. So, we cancelled our trial. I don’t think Netflix has much to worry about anytime soon. Let’s hope Apple can learn from this.

November 21, 2019 at 2:50PM

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Hulu stinks. Canceled it long ago

November 21, 2019 at 5:42PM

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Everyone has an opinion just like other things. Mine is problem FREE. From 6am on I had no problems. Search worked fine. No problem finding what I wanted, and why would anyone even search for the term " bitch" on Disney+? I love the shows I grew up with. Anyone that would expect a product to hit today without any problems is an idiot. I am more than satisfied with Disney+.

November 22, 2019 at 6:27AM

1
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Robin Turner
Owner of Darkthorn Media
8