For now, Netflix is not picking up the phone when customers call for help.
The company says it currently is providing only live chat and online support globally, citing the surge in support requests and given that customer-service agents working from home.
“The COVID-19 crisis has meant that thousands of our customer support agents are unable to work, or are now having to work from home,” Netflix says in a message on its website. “So our wait times are higher than normal. We’re working hard to provide the best support we can under the circumstances, and apologize for the delays you are experiencing.”
According to Netflix, by shifting to chat instead of phone support, agents are able to help more people while working from home. “We know this is less convenient for some members, but we will be able to help more people more quickly this way,” the company says.
Netflix said it also is reducing support hours, which will vary depending on country and “as we experiment with what works best given the current crisis.”
Netflix, of course, isn’t alone in having to adapt after getting a crush of support calls coupled with staffing disruptions.
Roku, for example, also has shut down its phone support and is providing only email and online help-center support during the COVID-19 outbreak, per its support site.
Hulu is no longer offering 24-hour phone support, scaling back customer-support hours to 4 a.m.-8 p.m. PT daily (effective as of March 22).
Hulu’s telephone help line is allowing callers to schedule a callback time from a support rep. “We are experiencing unusually high call volume,” the recorded message on Hulu’s helpline says. The Disney-controlled streamer also is directing customers to its online Help Center and online chat support.
Meanwhile, Disney Plus’ help site currently displays a message that says, “We are currently experiencing longer than normal wait times on our live chat, but an agent will assist you as soon as possible.” According to the site, Disney Plus subscribers can still call for phone support adding, “or while you wait, check out our Help Center for more information on all things Disney+. Thank you for your patience.”