Cancelling my subscription helped resolve my latest Disney+ problem

On 18th May Disney+ launched in South Africa and it has taken all 139 days for me to reach point where I’d rather cope with the fear of missing out than deal with this service a second longer.

My main source of entertainment is a PC. It’s where I play games and consume 90 percent of the shows and movies I enjoy. The reason I opt to use a PC is simple – I like having options. Rather than being forced to use an app, I can use a website and customise that website using all manner of browser extensions or simply use an app when the web experience leaves much to be desired.

On Sunday I decided it was time to watch the latest episode of She-Hulk. I navigated to, clicked Log In, keyed in my mobile number and waited for the verification text.

And waited.

No verification text arrived. I tried to resend the code and the website kicked me back to the landing page. After trying again and requesting a call I was once again kicked to the landing page.

Eventually a code landed on my mobile and upon keying it in I was told to contact Hotstar support alongside the error code ERR_UM_093.

Upon trying this several times I gave up and watched YouTube instead, deciding to make Disney+ Monday’s battle.

After enquiring with Disney’s local representation all day and receiving promises of a call, I was eventually called at around 15:00 on Monday. I explained my issue and the support agent said I had to use Chrome to access the website.

My browser of choice is Brave, it’s a Chromium-based browser that has been customised to stop trackers, advertising and other nasty privacy averse practices. Until this point, I had no issue accessing Disney+ on Brave, but now there was a problem.

The principle of the matter

Now I could very easily switch over to using Chrome purely for Disney+, but why should I be forced to switch my entire workflow for one streaming service?

Upon learning that I had to use Chrome for Disney+ from the support agent I requested that my subscription be cancelled and refunded. I was promised by the support agent that I would be refunded, but my subscription remains active. Worse still, my subscription wasn’t cancelled and I had to manually go in to cancel recurring billing.

Upon further investigation I discovered that refunds are only applicable to Annual Disney+ subscriptions. I could fight this based on something a support agent said, but I’d rather just wipe my hands of this mess.

To be clear the issue is not resolved at the time of writing, but as trying to jump through hoops to watch She-Hulk is no longer a concern, my problem is resolved.

What aggravates the situation even more is that I doubt that this problem will be addressed with any sort of haste. South Africa was promised console apps for Disney+ one month after launch. While that app arrived for Xbox last week, PlayStation owners are still waiting. Worse still, the Microsoft Store is advertising Disney+ only, there isn’t a Disney+ app for Windows in South Africa.

This is where SA would put its Disney+ Microsoft app, if it had one.

Since its launch Disney+ has felt more and more like a cash grab in an emerging market than an attempt to enter it in any meaningful way. The awful Hotstar experience, lack of features such as adaptive aspect ratio and resolution woes simply aren’t good enough and I’m fed up.

Beyond that, ERR_UM_093 still has no meaning to me and it’s bizarre that Disney would create error codes but offers no way for the user to determine what that error code means.

The content on Disney+ also warrants a mention.

While it’s great to have access to the Marvel slate of films and shows and watching older animated movies was a fantastic nostalgia hit, it increasingly feels as if that’s all I’m paying for. New content drips into the platform with increasing irregularity and overall the issues have now outweighed the enjoyment I get from the platform.

My apathy toward Disney+ has reached critical levels. At this stage whether Disney fix the problems with the service in South Africa or not is none of my concern and I’d rather pay Netflix to watch Bright and only Bright for a year than give Disney one more month of my business.

For the fans of Disney+ I hope the issues get resolved, I, however, am over it.


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