DStv In Another Subscription Scandal After Charging Customers For Disney+ Without Permission

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DStv has incorrectly charged numerous customers for Disney+ subscriptions without them requesting to have the service added to their accounts.

Thanks to a partnership with the Walt Disney Company, the MultiChoice-owned service allows subscribers to bolt on a Disney+ subscription to their monthly bills rather than paying for it separately.

It offers similar options for other video streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, BritBox, and its own Showmax. These are supposed to be optional and only added to customer accounts on request.

However, a MyBroadband reader said DStv automatically added Disney+ to his wife’s DStv bill in December 2023. She only learnt of the addition after noticing her bill was higher than usual.

He complained that they had never requested this package and already had a standalone Disney+ subscription for their household that was not linked to the DStv account.

“We never received a call from DStv to opt-in for a second subscription. We did not make any calls or requests through the application to activate a Disney subscription via DStv,” the reader said.

The reader provided the screenshots below to show the R139 monthly fee for Disney+ added to his wife’s DStv account.

Screenshot showing charges for Disney+ subscription, deducated on 1 January 2024.

After following up with a DStv support agent, the customer’s wife managed to get the subscription cancelled, and an amount of R130 was credited to her account.

DStv deducted R9 from the credit as a pro-rata amount for the three days in the month before the subscription was cancelled, despite the customer not requesting the subscription.

We found numerous DStv customers complaining about the same problem in posts on X/Twitter over the past few days.

“Please explain why my aunt was charged for a Disney Plus subscription she never signed up for?” one user asked.

“So Disney+ automatically adds itself to your account, and now you have to pay for something you weren’t using just like that,” a second said.

“Watch out folks, DStv pulled a scummy move, check your accounts,” a third said. “They whacked on a Disney+ subscription claim SMSs were sent [out]. Surely, this should be an opt-in, not an opt-out?”

A fourth user alleged that an agent told him the company had an internal sales competition and some agents “just added Disney+ subscriptions to client accounts without their knowledge or approval”.

“I trust, DStv, that the agent who shared this detail with me will not be ‘disciplined’ for doing so,” he added.


DStv’s previous automatic Disney+ sign-ups were a different matter

This is not the first time that DStv customers have been signed up to Disney+ automatically.

In September 2022 and September 2023, several subscribers were surprised when they received SMS messages informing them about the move.

However, in these past cases, the sign-ups did not incur any fees as they were part of limited-period free trials.

MultiChoice said customers effectively gave permission for this when they signed up for its DStv Rewards programme.

“This is one of the benefits that form part of our DStv Rewards and has been communicated to customers as early as 13 September 2023,” MultiChoice said.

However, MultiChoice assured customers that the 3-month free subscription service would automatically be discontinued, and customers wouldn’t be billed once the period had passed.

“Customers who wish to continue viewing Disney+ will need to either opt-in or reactivate the product on self-service,” MultiChoice said.

MyBroadband asked MultiChoice for comment on the complaints, and the company confirmed “some” customers were erroneously billed after the free period ended.

“We’ve promptly initiated reversals, crediting their DStv accounts with the amount,” MultiChoice said.

“We apologise for the inconvenience caused and would like to assure our customers that we are committed to resolving this matter with urgency.”



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