Posted in: Disney+, Opinion, TV, TV | Tagged: , ,

"I Am 50 This Month. So Why Does Disney+ Insist I Am Under 18?"

I have been one of the many, many subscribers to Disney+. In the UK, it is a little different than in the US, as it includes lots of adult shows on the Star network, films, and shows from Fox, including the likes of, well, Pam & Tommy. This is true in a number of other countries as well. Which can be quite a shock to Americans when they open their Disney+ account on holiday.

But it also means that, I guess, Disney+ has to be a little more careful when approving accounts than they might have to yesterday. But they can also be a little overcareful, to the point of intransigence. Which is how I discovered that, in the month of my 50th birthday, Disney+ flagged my email address as belonging to a minor, someone under the age of 18. Which, you know, really isn't the case. Indeed, since I set it up in 2004, the e-mail address itself is not under 18 anymore, let alone its owner. I mean I should be flattered, but I had other concerns, such as that night's episode of Andor.

A look at the Disney+ logo (Image: Disney)
A look at the Disney+ logo (Image: Disney)

So I thought chatting with Disney+ customer service would sort things out. They would ask for some kind of ID proving my age, such as the credit card used to pay for their service, my passport, or just look into my wrinkled-out eyes. No, apparently, once an e-mail address has been flagged as belonging to a minor, however, erroneously, they have no way of turning it back. It is stuck permanently – even if the wrongly supposed age of the e-mail's owner eventually is over 18. It will remain permanently flagged as an under-18 account for as many decades as Disney+ will be around. They told me, and I quote, "there's not much we can do." For "not much," read "nothing at all."

Disney PR press relations haven't responded to inquiries. But I have encountered a number of people who have had the same issue. And have found no way to get Disney to change their mind. They even looked at one person's Over 65 Freedom Pass for London buses but could not conclude that the owner was over 18.

What you can do, of course, is change the e-mail address related to the account, which I reluctantly did, as it is very inconvenient. But I now wonder how it will affect Marvel Unlimited going forward. Am I going to have to change that as well? They didn't know…

If anyone at Disney would like to have a word, feel free. It feels like this should be a simple problem to solve when the system makes a mistake. They just need to be able to imagine how…

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Rich JohnstonAbout Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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