Genie+ Ticket Add-On Eliminated at Disney World
Walt Disney World announced 2023 vacation packages, and with that, the end of the Genie+ ticket add-on. This post covers details about the length-of-stay prepaid Lightning Lane booking option, why it’s being eliminated, and other thoughts.
With the launch of new bookings, Walt Disney World is making an “adjustment” to how guests purchase Disney Genie+ service, which “remains popular and in high demand” amongst guests. Disney states that this is being done because the goal from the outset has been to “launch, learn and evolve” after seeing how guests are using this service.
To that end, starting June 8, 2022, the Disney Genie+ will only be offered for purchase through the My Disney Experience app on the day of your visit. There will no longer be an option to purchase this service pre-arrival as a ticket add-on for dates remaining in 2022 and in 2023.
This means that, moving forward, whether you have an Annual Pass, multi-day or 1-day ticket, you may only purchase Disney Genie+ service on the day of your visit via the My Disney Experience app, one day at a time, subject to availability. (This “subject to availability” verbiage also suggests Genie+ could sell out, which is not something we’ve seen happen previously.)
Walt Disney World states that its focused on delivering the best possible guest experience, and this adjustment will help manage the incredibly strong demand for Genie+ and Lightning Lanes.
If you’ve already purchased Walt Disney World park tickets that include Disney Genie+ service for dates later in 2022, don’t worry. You’ll still be able to use the service during your visit–nothing changes for you.
Moreover, this update is also only happening at Walt Disney World (the one in Florida) and will not affect sales of the Genie+ add-on at Disneyland Resort (the one in California). The paid FastPass services vary on each coast.
With this announcement, Walt Disney World has again reiterated that, on average, guests who purchase Disney Genie+ service will be able to enter 2-3 attractions or experiences each day using the Lightning Lane entrance when the first selection is made early in the day.
This is something we first covered last month, and it’s interesting to see Walt Disney World reiterate this stance even after this and other tweaks. (Read more in Genie+ Really is Paid FastPass+ at Walt Disney World.)
This might seem like a curious change, with Walt Disney World leaving money on the table by choosing not to lock guests into Genie+ for the duration of their trip. While that’s definitely true, it’s also a pragmatic and measured move.
As for the “why” of this, it more or less mirrors all of the recent decisions around Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes at Walt Disney World. If you’ve read commentary to our recent Genie+ posts, all of the following will sound familiar…
This move to eliminate the Genie+ ticket add-on comes after Walt Disney World moved Individual Lightning Lane attractions to Genie+. With that, Expedition Everest, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Frozen Ever After, Space Mountain, (plus Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure starting on May 31, 2022) are all included in the flat-rate Disney Genie+ service and will not be sold a la carte as Individual Lightning Lanes through at least August 7, 2022.
The reason those attractions were moved over to Genie+ was to add attraction capacity to the service. Stated differently, increase supply to help meet demand.
That change was made prior to the peak spring break season, back when crowds were once again starting to overwhelm the Genie+ system. As has been covered elsewhere, February was the busiest month in the last two years (at the time), and then March managed to top it and be even worse. April was on track to surpass March through the first two weeks, but falling crowds in the second half of the month brought its average down.
To make a long story short, the goal with moving an attraction from each park down to Genie+ was to avoid a repeat of the week before Thanksgiving, when Genie+ Collapsed in Crowds. Before these rides were moved over to the Genie+ service, many readers complained of limited ride reservation availability. (It has also happened since, but we’ve noticed overall “dissatisfaction rates” have ticked down slightly.)
Eliminating the Genie+ add-on will have a similar effect of rebalancing supply and demand. Except instead of increasing supply, as was the case with shifting Individual Lightning Lane attractions to the Genie+ service, this should reduce demand.
Rather than buying the Genie+ add-on for the duration of at trip as as a matter of convenience, guests will have to deliberately purchase Genie+ each day of their visit. The end result will be fewer people purchasing it, as many guests will realize they don’t want or need Genie+ (or both). Others will review their spending and decide it’s not a pragmatic purchase.
On a tangentially related note, this also explains why the Genie+ ticket add-on is not being eliminated at Disneyland Resort: because there’s no shortage of supply nor is demand for Genie+ as high as it is at Walt Disney World.
Disneyland is incredibly ride-dense, with more than enough capacity to accommodate everyone who wants to use the Genie+ service. (This is also why Genie+ is “easiest” to use at Magic Kingdom, despite that park probably having the most demand/sales of the service at Walt Disney World.)
It also helps that the California parks skew more towards locals, who are less inclined to purchase line-skipping access. They don’t have the same sense of urgency to experience attractions as tourists.
When this add-on was first announced, we called it a “savvy move” on Walt Disney World’s part because guests don’t know how many days they’ll want Genie+ before actually using it. Whether it’s a matter of overestimating its usefulness or peace of mind, there’s a high probability that consumers buying the Genie+ add-on will spend far more than those who would purchase it on a daily basis, even if they buy the Genie+ add-on option at a “discount.”
It’s like the Disney Dining Plan all over again! (That comparison wasn’t a joke–the idea is exactly the same behind the two product offerings.)
One of the things we’ve stressed in our Genie+ and Lightning Lane coverage is that it’s not necessary in every park or every day of your trip. Even as we’ve been more optimistic and positive about Genie+ than most readers, we’ve still cautioned against buying the length-of-stay add-on. It’s just not necessary for the vast majority of guests.
It’s one thing as a blogger trying to hack the system and test maximizing my ride count for the sake of research and putting together planning resources. I cannot fathom visiting Walt Disney World like a normal human and needing Genie+ for every single day of a week-long vacation. I’d maybe want it for 3 days–perhaps more during peak season just as a safety net.
Then again, I’m also someone who only leveraged the Disney Dining Plan for ‘bite-sized’ trips and would far prefer to simply pay out of pocket for food during longer vacations. Just like I’m not good enough at eating to maintain the value proposition for a longer visit, I’m not good enough at riding rides to utilize Genie+ for that long.
After a few too many sugary cupcakes, I hit a wall and crash into a food coma, tongue stained from artificial colors. Likewise, my body can only handle so many thrill rides in a week. (Perhaps this all says more about me getting old than anything else, but I digress.)
That more or less summarizes my perspective on the Genie+ ticket add-on being eliminated. It’s interesting and promising that Walt Disney World is willing to leave money on the table with the Genie+ service, and reducing demand is an unequivocal positive.
I’m sure that many Walt Disney World fans will nevertheless be upset about this, preferring the ease of pre-purchasing rather than having to buy Genie+ each day. This does add another layer of stress to the whole process–not only will you have to make ride reservations starting at 7 am, but you’ll need to purchase the service a few minutes before that.
It’s another friction point or potential error message during what’s already a stressful process. Those concerns are well-founded, and I’ve personally experienced them. What is less well-founded is the notion that you’ll have to stay up until midnight to purchase Genie+ and then get up early the next morning to make reservations.
This is driven by concerns that Genie+ will sell out before 7 am given the new “subject to availability” disclaimer. While that’s obviously possible, it seems highly unlikely. Walt Disney World isn’t going to go from unlimited Genie+ sales (and the accompanying revenue!) to significantly throttling sales. FOMO is a powerful motivator, but it seems highly unlikely that Genie+ will sell out before 7 am most days.
Remember, there’s a similar disclaimer for Park Hopping and that has only been limited once in the last 2 years–on the day of the 50th Anniversary in Magic Kingdom for a few hours. Pretty much everything is “subject to availability” but it that doesn’t mean it’s an actual issue or concern.
Personally, I always buy Genie+ on a daily basis, and have literally never done that. I buy Genie+ at ~6:50 am, customize my ride preferences, and then make my first Lightning Lane ride reservation at 7:00:00 am. I’m not worried in the least that this will force me to change my approach.
The good news is that anyone who feels really strongly about pre-purchasing can simply buy the Genie+ ticket add-on now before it stops being sold on June 8, 2022. Of course, this doesn’t help anyone planning to use Genie+ during a Walt Disney World in 2023, but a lot more is going to change with Genie+ and Lightning Lanes between now and then, so get comfortable with the system being tweaked.
On balance, my perspective is that eliminating the Genie+ ticket add-on is still unquestionably a net positive. By selling it for each individual day only, it will reduce the number of Genie+ daily users. It’s impossible to say by how many, but a reduction will definitely occur.
That means less competition for Slinky Dog Dash, Frozen Ever After, Jungle Cruise, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and the other most difficult Lightning Lanes. Every incremental improvement helps, and while we all might prefer a return to FastPass+, clearly that is not going to happen given the revenue-generating realities of Genie+ and Lightning Lanes.
For now, the best we can hope for is more tweaks that address the supply and demand imbalance and make the user experience less frustrating. With that said, this is still a matter of Disney (partially) “solving” a problem of its own creation. Probably shouldn’t pat them on the backs too much for improving their own unforced error. Beyond that, the company still needs to fix the foundational problems causing so many frustrations for guests–even months after its relax, Genie is still glitchy and unintuitive.
If you have more unanswered questions, see our Guide to Genie+ at Walt Disney World & Lightning Lane FAQ for all of the foundational need-to-know info about this replacement for free FastPass+. This whole system is confusing and convoluted, so you might have a question or two-dozen. That answers all of the most common ones we’ve been receiving from readers.
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What do you think of the Genie+ add-on being eliminated as a Walt Disney World ticket option? Disappointed that it’s happening, or do you see the upside from a lowered demand perspective? Will you be buying the Genie+ add-on while you still can, doing it day-by-day, or skipping Genie+ entirely? Any other considerations we failed to take into account or details we missed/got wrong? Any questions we can help you answer? Hearing your feedback–even when you disagree with us–is both interesting to us and helpful to other readers, so please share your thoughts below in the comments!
WDW better have their IT department making sure the system won’t crash now that NO ONE can buy in advance. Midnight and everyone will be jumping on. Only a matter of time until it is a limited number. Then again everyone jumping in at 7 am. It’s like buying concert tickets, so stressful. Just limit number of tickets and raise the price to make the lines shorter since this is essentially what is happening.
Hi, We have brought and paid for our holiday and disney tickets with the genie+ included for May 2023, is it known if Disney will be honoring the tickets with the genie+ as we paid extrra for these through our package holiday with Virgin in January this year?
We added Disney Genie+ when we purchased our tickets a few months ago. In the grand scheme of things it didn’t seem like lots more with a 10 night hotel stay and a 14 day ticket for the price of 7 day for us UK folk.
Reading the above now however, does this now mean that certain rides (Frozen Ever After, Seven Dwarves mine train etc) are being removed from Genie + and even though we’ve paid the extra, we won’t get lightning lane access for those anymore?
It’s got me thinking at time of purchase if this was already mentioned or if this is a new decision. I just assumed that Genie+ would give you access to all lightning lanes (2/3 a day) but of course the way Disney are going with things, I should have known you’d still need to pay a fortune to not have to queue for 3 hours.
Thanks for any clarity on this!
Visiting from the UK for 15 night used to be relaxing.
We did alternating days at a theme park and a water park the next to relax
60 days out we booked our ADR’s o the dining plan and 3 fast passes for each day.
We knew which park we were visiting, where we were having our table service credit meal and where and when are prioritized rides were.
It was just a case of picking rides with lower wait times on our way around the parks and choosing a quick service meal when needed.
Being confined to my electric wheelchair this saved battery power as there was no zig zagging around a park to get the best rides.
Now you can choose to get up early and hope you can get the rides with Genie+ (if it is available) and be prepared to spend all day on your phone, or pay extra to go on the top rides.
Dear old Walt will be turning in his grave when he hears parents tell their young children “Sorry you can’t go on that ride as daddy can’t afford it” and “sorry but you have to wait for over an hour as we are just a normal family and those lines are for those who pay extra”
Children just don’t understand these things
Sorry and sad but the Disney Magic bubble has burst
We bought it one day of a 6 day trip a week ago and thought it was a waste. Hands down the best value was late nights for deluxe resort guests. It was practically empty–running through the line to get back on a ride you could go on as much as you wanted. Some nights one adult stayed and put the kids to bed while the spouse rode all the rides the kids thought were too scary. Between that and rope drop we got to ride all the big rides many times. Would come back to the poly in the afternoon for naps or swimming when lines were long and things were hot. The one day we bought it it was stressful, confusing, and useless. The whole app is awful, if you ask me. Nothing flows or connects like you think it should. This was my first trip in 30 years and we may never go again, but if we did, we’d definitely plan around the crazy late resort guest hours.
With the removal of being able to select and pre-pay for Genie+ with WDW resort stays, all that means is that the same number of people, those same WDW resort guests, will be buying them at the same time that everyone else does now. There won’t be more ‘slots’ available, if anything, Disney is saying that there will be fewer overall. There will just be more competition to purchase Genie+ at the same time, undoubtedly meaning more app crashes, not more Genie+ available. Current ease of buying Genie+ same-day is no indicator of how easy it will be when no one staying ‘on campus’ has been able to get theirs until day-of either. Disney is setting themselves up for extreme resort guest satisfaction (or worse, a new class action) if their plan to throttle demand is to design the system to so that Genie+ availability could run out for people who have gone to the expense and trouble of traveling long distances to Disney and staying on-property.
Genie+ costs $15 per day per person. Disney has never guaranteed that you will be able to skip the lines at your most desired attractions with Genie+. Even if a guest purchases Genie+ when they book their vacation, they still cannot reserve their first LL until 7 a.m. the day of their visit. Disney even states on its website that most guests will get to skip the line on 2-3 attractions if they schedule the first one early in the day. Disney never guarantees that it will be for the attractions you most want to experience. There is no false advertising here. The truth is that only a minority of guests will be able to skip the line at the prime attractions. Demand simply greatly exceeds the supply for these attractions. At least all of the attractions have except for GOTG currently have a standby line so that you can wait in line for attractions that are really important to you.
Wow. I never said anything about the cost, false advertising, time of day or specific attractions. My comment was only about availability to purchase. I thought this forum seemed to be a reasonable place for people to post various reasonable points of view without the typical internet nastiness. Not so. Bye! I’ll be telling my friends to stay away too.
I think CRT missed the mark on what you were trying to say. We visited Disney end of April and stayed onsite. I agree that the G+ was not worth it. Even if I was able to secure a ride it was late afternoons or nights so for ME the overall inconvenience of it didn’t justified the charge.
When I brought my Genie+ I didn’t expect Disney to guarantee every ride on the list for G+ but Disney didn’t state on their website at my time of purchase that most guests will get to skip the line on 2-3 attractions if they schedule the first one early in the day.
My understanding is Disney just added that verbiage to the website concerning G+.
My wife & I have been going to WDW annually for the Halloween or Christmas party for 10+ years. We are definitely not rope drop people. While I am typically up before 7am, she prefers to sleep in. We have never had much luck with FastPass+ in the past, as most good ride reservations went very quickly 60 days out. However, Genie+ worked great for us last year. We would agree on our priority rides the evening before and I’d schedule the LLs and ILLs at 7am the next day while she slept in. That worked much better than the old system. We got to ride attractions we would never have been able to ride before with FP+. Even with FP+, you still had to be looking at your phone through the day to add additional rides.
We just got back from a trip a week ago and we liked Genie+ as our three kids have been spoiled by fastpass and are terrible at waiting in lines. We bought day to day because I wasn’t sure how we’d like it, my biggest regret was not purchasing for the entire trip. Our first two days I was able to buy Genie+ earlier than 7:00 and then book our first LL at 7:00. On days 3-6 the app would glitch (as the cast members I ended up talking to called it) and I couldn’t buy it. I’d have to wait until 7:00, then try to claim a genie+ time, it would tell me I didn’t have genie+ and then let me buy it. We were lucky it wasn’t super busy, because that process cost us precious moments and A LOT of stress (especially the first day when we didn’t know the work around). We didn’t buy our last day but otherwise it felt like a drop in the bucket to spend $75 a day when we’d spent quite a bit on the vacation overall. I’d hope they’d get the technology all working before changing things again.
It’s reassuring G+ will likely still be available early each day. How much will change before our trip in 5 months? Just don’t know.
Cost increase. Might go to $25 for G+, I’m betting at least $20 by Sept. We planned to buy G+ on 3 days of a 5 Day hopper ($48 each). Waiting until Oct could end up $60 or $75 each for 3 days. Instead of waiting as planned, decided to buy our tickets before June 8 with G+ added $80 to avoid paying similar for less days or potentially running into no availability due to cap.
Maybe add more shows with a line and viewing area for night events, even if some people find them useless. It’s nice to have a spot and could help distribution and flow.
ILL has a cap and sales open 7am onsite, park open otherwise. G+ may follow.
Just returned WDW with three adults and one infant. The actual process of reserving the rides through the app was not much of an issue but I will say that we were focused on the less popular rides because of the baby. We were able to get on the bulk of what we wanted. We were not able to score Jungle Cruise and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train was gone by 10am. With Epcot, we were able to ride Frozen but Remy was a no-go due to the ride being sold out. We also never rode Test Track because the ride was down for part of the day and Genie + was sold out for the other half of the day.
With an infant, it was fine but if you had an older crowd who really wanted to ride all of the rides…it would’ve been semi-disappointing. I spoke with a father with older kids who opted to not purchase Genie + for this family and he was really frustrated because all he did was stand in lines all day. We hardly waited in any lines. The system works but there is a bit of luck involved which I don’t particularly care for. If I’m spending that kind of money I want the opportunity for EVERYTHING not just the things that I happen to click on at the right time.
So we’re told Disney initially dropped Fast Pass because the first time non-planning visitor wasn’t happy. Did Genie+ and Lightning Lane make them happy? In 2023 there may be more Genie+ slots open to them when they become aware of the system but I would think the 7am blog reading eager beavers would continue to snap up the coveted HS and MK attractions. The parks are too crowded any way you look at it. Still haven’t returned. Thank you to those who report honestly on their vacation experiences.
You make a good point–I don’t think the current system is making anyone happy, aside from the subset of guests who really like hacking things and don’t mind paying extra. (That’s probably a very small group!)
I honestly can report that our trip april 19-27 was amazing and way less crowded than I expected, was probably our best trip ever. Genie plus also worked great for us following Toms tips. The only part I was diss appointed with was the deluxe after hours at MK april 20. Seemed more crowded than prior to extended hours and had long lines.
Question: Why not buy tickets for any day(s) this year, add on Genie + (if that’s a must have for someone), and then simply change the start dates to coincide with a trip in 2023 when that calendar becomes available? From what I understand, ticket dates can be changed (subject to reservation availability) and we’re on the hook for the price difference only (if such a difference exists).
No idea if a refund is offered if the days end up being cheaper than originally purchased, so that would be a gamble.
It has been quite some time since I have been back to Disney. I have been dying to buy life changes made it impossible till now. I have no idea how to use this genie thing and it causes me much anxiety. I will be purchasing it while I still can but only to magic kingdom and Hollywood studios. I read on this blog many times that the week before Thanksgiving was the best week to go. That crowds are lower.so that is when we are going. But today I read that last year was so busy the week before Thanksgiving that it crashed genie plus. How is that so when I read a dozen times to chose that week. Now I’m stressing. Was I wrong in picking then??? Thanks
For the last several months there’s been a surge of people taking vacations, whether it’s DVC owners needing to burn off points that they had to bank due to parks closing, people rescheduling trips due to the comfort levels/closures, or just the amount of entertainment offerings. Factor in that this was also the kick off of the 50th Celebration and that’s just an explosion in park capacity waiting to happen.
I wouldn’t discredit years of statistical research because of a surge in the past year, there were a lot of external factors that caused much higher than usual crowds for extended periods. You’ve done your due diligence researching to trying to pick a week where you believe the crowd levels will be manageable and you’ll have a great time. Don’t let the fear of a possibly higher than usual capacity cause you to worry about your trip.
That was the week OF Thanksgiving, which has traditionally been packed at the parks. If by the “Week before Thanksgiving” you’re talking about the full week between JERSEY WEEK and Thanksgiving week. that was relatively-to-much slower depending on who you ask and defintely a good combination of reasonable crowds and reasonable weather. While I personally preder the week after Thanksgiving, unless you plan on being at WDW the Monday before Thanksgiving your plans are really good!
This is a good thing because the non-castle parks require a different ride reservation scheme than the Magic Kingdom. Why, Epcot was designed so differently, around pavilions that may or may not have a major attraction with a line that WDW stopped selling individual ride tickets when it opened. One of many hacks added to Fastpass+ required guests to reserve two less popular attractions ahead of time in order to keep people from going after the major rides. (Of course, that wasn’t needed at the Magic Kingdom.) Since they’re moving to even more of a same day model, one thing to try might be to try and bring back tiers somehow, because one size never fit all.
We’re going to be back to the old A, B, C and E ticket system. Genie+ works at Disneyland because all of the rides are in only 2 parks. It just isn’t working in Disney World (except for MK). Everyone is going after the same 1 or 2 rides in each park, which will never work.
Just bought tickets for a 3 day visit in mid June a few days ago, and we bought genie+. I’m assuming day of, we can purchase the lightning lane individual passes for anything available.
Wish they just kept the Fast Pass system as is, charged for it, and took out the few rides to charge individual costs, instead of revamping the whole system.
Agree 100%. Wish we had fast pass plus and paid for it. They could use the pandemic as the excuse to charge to recoup losses. They really could make anything up and people would buy it even though they were upset with having to pay for what was once free.
FastPass+ was not working for many guests. That is why Disney is revamping its system. While many people were happy with FastPass+ and would be willing to pay for it, there are just as many who were not happy with it because they were never able to reserve the top attractions. I believe that we will eventually be back to a tiered pricing structure for the attractions, especially at Disney World where the attractions are more spread out across four parks.
Maybe I’m cynical, but to me this whole move of ‘same day requirements’ for Genie+ purchases is the first step towards moving to paid attraction access. AND it will allow them to change the prices day-of if they’re expecting busy days. I think someone at Disney noticed over the spring break weeks that Universal was charging $400-500 for their ‘quick queue’ add-on (that is IN ADDITION to the ticket they already purchased) and realized that they could be making more money on a system they need to limit anyway. I think seeing individual ride charges of up to $100 is not out of the question, or revamp the entire system where Genie+ is $100 a day on peak days to limit the number sold.
Is there a place on a website with an up to date list of all the rides in each park, and what methods you can use to ride them (Individual Lightning Lanes, Genie+, Stand By)?
So you head to Florida for a fun, relaxing vacation with your family. You better have your butt up with phone in hand at 7:00 am ready to join the competition to see if you can actually ride your favorites today. Make sure you’ve reserved a park admission. Disney has managed to remove all of the spontaneous joy in visiting. If I wanted regimentation, I could stay at work.
Elmo, I could not agree more!! When we first started going to WDW we did RD and had a touring plan etc. We get back home and felt tired. Then FP+ came out and everything changed. No longer did we HAVE to get up early, and on nights that we stayed out late we could actually sleep in a bit. This was when our WDW vacation felt like a more fun and relaxing vacation, no longer did we feel like we needed another vacation to recover from a WDW vacation. LOL Now it’s back to needing to get up early and to just TRY to get a few good rides reserved:( I have said this before, that I would have been much happier if they kept FP+ and just charged for it. Also why our last 3 trips have been to US:) Yes I know I am beating a dead horse. LOL
As someone who’s been going to Disney for years, the ‘sleeping in’ or ‘spontaneity factor’ was gone a long time ago. If you wanted to maximize your time, dollar and number of rides then you were there at rope drop, ready to run for fast pass tickets (back in the oooold days) or ready to walk quickly to your first ride of choice (with all your early fastpass+ reservations having been made long ago) then knock out that entire area while there were no lines. I didn’t mind then, but now the idea of needing to be at rope drop to possibly get reservations for the new ride you want to ride leaves me cold. Virtual queues sound fine in theory, but if you can’t get in the queue at all for a day you’ve paid for then the experience is broken, in my opinion. If I have to spend all day looking at my phone trying to figure out what we’re doing next then same thing–and now the idea that I’ll have to pay extra to ride something that was included just a year ago is also a bit annoying. I’m really expecting that they’ll start charging more for all of these things in the future, since that really is the best way to limit sales. Universal has done it for years with their fluctuating ‘quick queue’ pricing–that hit $400-500 over spring break (and that’s in addition to the ticket price) and were still selling out. I’ve not been to Disney parks in about 5 years now, and I just can’t see taking my family of five back while the parks are in this state. My kids LOVE amusement parks, but we’re planning trips to Hershey park, Six Flags and various other parks this summer, and it will cost a third of what a Disney trip would cost. It used to be that difference was worth it, but I have a hard time believing it is anymore.
I agree, we are morning people, but we make the most of our time in the parks, which oftentimes means late nights. I hated having to wake up and hop right on the phone! That and issues with buying it started my day on the wrong foot many mornings.