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  • The sad state of support

    Posted on September 3rd, 2021 at 21:52 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    So the other day Xfinity updated their streaming app on the various Roku devices I have in the house. One day the devices allowed me to watch Comcast TV on them the next they didn’t. This is an app that allows you to see the entire Comcast TV line up that you are subscribed for on any roku streaming device. It’s handy that you don’t have to have an Xfinity device but can use these lesser expensive Roku streaming devices to watch TV in bedrooms and other locations.  I realized that it was broken on my older Roku 4K streaming devices but still worked on my newer ones (Express models).  I could tell that the application had been updated on 8/30 so I was pretty sure that the issue was not me, but them, or rather more specifically THE SOFTWARE UPDATE THEY HAD ROLLED OUT. Over the last three days I have ….

    Tweeted at xfinity support

    Posted in their community forums

    Texted Xfinity support

    Called Xfinity support

    Rebooted my modem three times… maybe four… I’ve lost count…

    Uninstalled and reinstalled the Xfinity streaming app three times (and then had to reactive the app on the devices where it was working)

    Called into support and apologized for being terse while explaining that I had tweeted/texted/posted/called/rebooted/uninstalled without fixing anything and every time that they did a “diagnostic routine” that would take about an hour and at the end of the hour it should fix the issue, and oh by the way are you having issues with any other issue, your Internet works?  “Um yes, everything else works just fine, truly it’s just this app on these older Roku devices and trust me I’m really positive the issue is not with my Internet connection it’s with the software update you pushed out”.

    Mind you I’ve also tried to urge them to review their own support forums where there are other folks complaining about this issue and narrowing it down for you that it’s not impacting the streaming stick or the express device or the newer Roku Ultra LT that one guy just bought (yesterday to fix the issue), it’s JUST on the OLDER Roku premier/ultra devices that are a few years old.

    Oh and if you try to say that “oh the software is in beta and we’re making upgrades to it to make it better for our customers”… uh folks, it’s been in beta for over four years.

    At one point in time they brought on a senior support technician that sounded like my Grandmother – I’m guessing they figured I wouldn’t yell at my Grandmother so they assigned her to calm me down.  I finally got to a level of a support personnel that acknowledged that the issue was with their software (duh) and that a software fix would be rolled out around 4 am pacific time tomorrow.  I urged/joked with the support personnel to document/acknowledge that this was an issue in their support forums and “not be like Microsoft and actually acknowledge the bug”.  He chuckled. Clearly he knew exactly what I was talking about.

    If I were more paranoid, I would also say that AT&T/Direct TV was intercepting my cell phone calls when I was on the phone with Comcast because I got a call yesterday advertising the advantages of DirectTV and there were several ads on TV tonight about switching over.  I was starting to get tempted.

    One little “we know, we’re working on it” would solve so many issues in customer support. Telling your first line support personnel on the phone system so that the customer doesn’t have to talk to untold number of support personnel over the last three days would be so much better. The folks on the support lines get raised voices and stern remarks of “I’ve done that already, trust me the problem is with the software” when they don’t deserve it because information about known issues isn’t getting down to where it’s needed. I see this (obviously) at Comcast/Xfinity. I see this at Microsoft as well. This isn’t good support folks. There is a disconnect between the folks who know there is a bug and the front line people who deal with customers. I see this with many firms and not just these two.  Especially these days as we go more and more (or rather forced more and more) to the cloud, dear Vendors, you need to communicate better to your support folks so that they don’t get a stern voice like mine.

    Do better vendors. Your support personnel don’t deserve that stern voice on that phone call, your customers deserve better support as well.