Verizon customers were supposed to get a year of Disney+ for free, but it would seem that some people are actually being charged for Disney+ in a roundabout way.
A $49.99 generic charge for ‘Verizon media and apps’ is reportedly showing up on some Verizon customer’s bills, and many suspected it was to pay for Disney+ under a different name.
While we were made aware of the issue a couple of days ago, there was no verification.
But now there is.
David Weissmann, a Public Relations Manager for Verizon, has confirmed that there was a billing error that caused many Verizon customers to be charged for ‘media and apps’ that is awfully similar in price to the Disney+ early bird annual offer.
“We’ve identified a billing error where some wireless customers may see a line item for Media & Apps reflected on their bill,” David Weissmann, a Verizon spokesperson, said. “This amount is not being charged to the customer’s bill total. No customer action is needed; we are working to remove the incorrect line item.”
It’s not uncommon for wireless bills to see dubious hidden charges as companies (both providers and third parties) try to sneak in a little extra revenue. These “Phantom Charges” are, unfortunately, pretty common and consumers need to be extra vigilant in checking their bills each month to make sure everything is accurate.
Disney Plus has been off to a rocky start from a PR point of view.
This ‘billing error’ is the latest in a series of rough patches that Disney has encountered while trying to get its fledgling streaming service off the ground.
At launch, the Disney+ website was down for many people, causing much embarrassment on social media.
Not long after that, Disney+ user data was being sold on the Dark Web.
And despite promising that the Disney (and Fox) Vault would always be open on Disney+, movies such as Home Alone and Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides are already being pulled from the platform.
Verizon is Incredibly Important to Disney Plus
As the streaming wars heat up, Disney really can’t afford to have negative PR associated with their Verizon Disney+ deal, as the company is banking heavily on those numbers to get a head start over looming competitors HBO Max (Universal) and Peacock (NBC).
Disney+ reportedly may have as many as 25 million subscribers by the end of the first quarter, and it’s a safe wager that many of those are getting Disney Plus for ‘free’ via the Verizon deal.
Just make sure that your Disney+ subscription is actually free, and that you’re not paying for it under a different line item.
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.