Posted 08 June 2010 - 04:49 PM
Since it appears (although the guide stream still looks halted at around 24-36 hours or so), that the main screw up appears to be over for now.
Just about every CSR system that exists (except, of course...) has a 'we are experiencing heavy call volume, and it may take a while for a CSR to help you out' message that the call center heads can implement in an instant when they see that volume jumping toward the stratosphere (I've designed MANY such systems for the banking and securities industries), that seems beyond DirecTV's ability. As does hiring and running a decent software development team(s).
Okay, lets take it that the guide data was corrupted somehow that nailed millions (not thousands, as some have written here) of HR boxes, as many have pointed out, 'not the first time'. True, but this is the first time that multiple reboots (RBR's) were needed, as well as a significant percentage of full-power cycles.
If that is the case, then why oh why don't the simply put a 24 or 48 hour 'hold' on the guide data before pushing it 'out the door' to their customers, while feeding that data to a room full of 'test' HR's, then when an event like this occurs, the fault is 'trapped' in the 'sandbox'. When it happens, get your top s/w folks on it, and stop feeding the guide data out to the customers.
Pretty simple. Every time it happens to the HR's in the sandbox, you get another data point of what's going wrong. Will you ever get back in the situation of simply feeding the guide data 'raw' out to the customers? Probably not, especially since the company generating that is NOT under your direct control.
So, instead of having 14 days of guide data in your HR, you have 12-13. Big deal. Use events such as today's fun and games (that the customer would never have seen) to rake the guide provider (Tribune I presume) over the coals at the after-action meeting.
Don't know if it can be done, especially with stations (both local, network, and 'cable') changing their schedule's up and down without much thinking. Remember, most of their viewers don't have any kind of EPG, or really crude ones like on cable. I'll bet the majority rely on weekly guides from the local Sunday paper, or TVGuide.
Bottom line question: Could this have been prevented? (YES)
Better question: Will it be prevented from happening again? (Probably NOT)
And the Penultimate: If this was caused by some sort of Guide Data problem, is there a potential for someone to purposely introduce such a problem ON PURPOSE.
That's something to think about.