Latest MySky Correspondence

For a while, I had an email conversation going with SkyTV about the problems, and it did appear that things were progressing. Not any more. They seem to have given up, and have decided to treat me as someone completely unknown. My latest email:

> As the service is new, we are experiencing a few teething problems.

You may want to pass on the idea of quality control and pre-launch testing to your development teams. These are pretty simple concepts, and avoid widespread “teething problems” after product launch. You’ll find that a great many successful companies around the world use these simple ideas to deliver products that work as advertised.

> To date we do not have any problems with recordings.

This is a blatant lie. I know many people have complained to SkyTV about such problems. I have talked on the phone to a SkyTV representative who has admitted that people have such problems. I have email from SkyTV that admits there are such problems.

> If a recorded
> event is “cut” at the end, we suggest that the guard time be adjusted
> through the Active Menu, System Setup, Recordings Setup to the maximum
> time limit.

Do you think I am stupid? This is not the issue. If a recording is meant to be 60 minutes, plus a 2 minute pre and 5 minute post buffer, then it should be about 67 minutes long. When it is 45 minutes, there is a clear problem. This is 100% reproducible.

When a program records for 0 minutes, or displays a “FAILED”, that is clearly not an issue with the “guard time”, either.

> We appreciate your feedback and assure you our IT department are looking
> at resolving the issues as soon as we can.
> Should you have any queries, feel free to email me or call our My Sky
> Tech team on 0800 759 759.

So I am starting all over again? I have been communicating with SkyTV for nearly a month about these problems. It did appear that I was perhaps starting to get somewhere. What happened?

If your customer relations system is as poorly designed as the MySky service and you don’t keep any sort of customer communication history, I can forward you copies of previous conversation.

Sort this out now, before serious action is taken.


I’m getting pretty angry. Can you tell?

p.s. Where are all the media reporting how much of a failure MySky is? Are they that deep in Sky’s pocket?

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4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by John Porter on March 3, 2006 at 9:14 pm

    Tony, I can understand your frustrations, but being rude and abusive to their frontline staff is not likely to be helpful. Now if you could find the responsible manager…

    Do you have a test scenario where program truncation is 100% reproducible? Something like 45 mins instead of 67? I have noticed a bunch of oddities, but the only reliable one was losing the first minute of One News – hardly a showstopper.

  2. Sadly, that isn’t true (for the record, I have worked as a frontline customer support person, as a supervisor of those people, and as a manager employing those people).

    Generally, my system (which works fairly well) is that I start polite, friendly and fairly informal. When that fails, I move to polite and formal. When that fails (this is the stage I am at with SkyTV) I move to less polite and clearly aggrevated. Sadly, this is the stage where things seem to occur most readily – I expect this is because vocal complaints are dealt with more promptly to get them out of the way.

    When that fails, I write a formal complaint to management. This almost always gets a decent response, but is time consuming and means I have to go to the effort of printing something out, finding an envelope and stamp, and posting it. It would be nice if I didn’t have to go that far with SkyTV over this.

    BTW, I was not rude or abusive. I offered suggestions about how they could improve their processes, since they are clearly not good enough, pointed out where they lied (completely unacceptable), and told them that it needed to be fixed.

    I suppose you could consider the suggestions rude, but if they took them on board and implemented them, then things would improve. Constructive criticsm should not be considered rude, IMO. I can’t see anywhere I was “abusive”.

  3. Yes, I do have one 100% reproducable failure. Almost all the failures are like yours and seemingly at random (have you had any of the “FAILED” recordings, or ones that record 0 mnutes, or are they just too short?).

    Bones, on TV3 Wednesdays at 9:30, always records the final 45 minutes, missing the first 15 and has a status of “Part Rec: Clashed”. However, nothing clashes with it (I record CSI:NY before it, which can’t clash, since it finishes before it, and doesn’t have the missing 15 minutes, and Invasion on TV2 at 9:25pm. Two recordings are meant to be possible).

    I suppose that SkyTV would call this a problem with series link on the free-to-air channels. However, the programs that have a “FAILED” status, or the ones that record for 0 minutes, with no error message don’t seem to be related to series link. Unfortunately, those are the ones that aren’t easily reproduced.

  4. Posted by John Porter on March 4, 2006 at 7:21 pm

    I have not seen a FAILED one that I can recall, or 0 minutes.

    Sky told me there is a series link problem with free to air channels, but I have seen no evidence of that. The problem associated with series link where they come up ..searching is not on free-to-air channels, it is only on TV1, TV2 and the Sky Sport channels.

    Interesting that your scenario includes TV2 and another channel on Wednesday night. The one I had that had severe truncation and a “recording conflict” was also on Wednesday night. I was recording Lost and Invasion back-to-back, and South Park on C4 at 9:30. My best theory to date is that sometimes back-to-back recordings overlap, and that gets confused with the overlap times specified. In your case and mine, we can clearly see that it should be ok – I’m just trying to guess where the programming error is.

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