Customer Service System down 6 hours a week?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by EricBergan, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. Aug 5, 2010 #1 of 30
    EricBergan

    EricBergan Mentor

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    My HR20-700 died, DirecTV shipped a replacement.

    I just called up to activate the replacement, and was told their customer account system goes down 9PM-3AM PDT every Wed for security updates, and they can't help me?

    Is this for real? I escalated through 3 levels, with the same story.

    I'm a retired CIO, and I would have been shot for taking our customer system down for 6 hours a week...

    Is this something new, or have others run into it?

    eric
     
  2. Aug 5, 2010 #2 of 30
    matt

    matt New Member

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    Yep, it happens.
     
  3. Aug 5, 2010 #3 of 30
    Justin85

    Justin85 Legend

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    EricBergan, I used to work in a DirecTV call center... I can assure you, you were not lied to, it does happen every week. You might not like it, but it was great for us in tech support! I think its database maintenance or something, but I have no idea why it has to happen every week. Does seem excessive.
     
  4. Aug 5, 2010 #4 of 30
    wingrider01

    wingrider01 Hall Of Fame

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    Then you would understand about maintenance windows for system validation, upgrades and zero day patches, either that or your people never did anything to the systems
     
  5. Aug 5, 2010 #5 of 30
    EricBergan

    EricBergan Mentor

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    Actually, you would switch to stand by systems, and it never was 6 hours of down time a week...

    eric
     
  6. Aug 5, 2010 #6 of 30
    JeffBowser

    JeffBowser blah blah blah

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    You never take everything down, and certainly not for 6 hours. If Visa, Mastercard, Walmart, etc.... did that, there'd be hell to pay. There is supposed to be multiple redundant systems, a 24x7 company should never shut itself down totally like that. Another example of DirecTV thumbing its nose at customers.

     
  7. Aug 5, 2010 #7 of 30
    LarryFlowers

    LarryFlowers New Member

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    I am not sure what your are saying...

    Lots of customer service departments for companies are open from 8AM ET to 9PM PT Monday thru Friday. Very Common.
     
  8. Aug 5, 2010 #8 of 30
    EricBergan

    EricBergan Mentor

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    Well, those departments don't advertise, like DirecTV does "Technical support is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week". Even their automated support systems were down, because they didn't have access to customer account info. (Wonder if that means customers couldn't buy new things from them during that time, as well?)

    Another difference is that DirecTV is in the consumer entertainment business, which I would think has a different peak business day (5pm-1am in each timezone?)

    I'd say industry practice would be that if you are going to have planned outages, you publish them, and if you have unplanned outages, you have a mechanism (phone message, web site) for letting customers know current status.

    eric
     
  9. Aug 5, 2010 #9 of 30
    dennisj00

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    Once I re-read the OP and realized the timeframe was Midnight - 6am Wednesday morning Eastern time, they've probably decided that this window is optimum for updates and maintenance rather than trying to maintain a 24x7 redundant system or rush partial updates in smaller windows through the week.

    Not the way I'd do it - budget permitting.
     
  10. BAHitman

    BAHitman Godfather

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    There are a number of activities that would go on during scheduled downtime...

    System updates, DB maintenance (defragmentation/compaction/backup)
    Disaster recovery tests
    power maintenance, etc...

    The last thing you want is someone not properly maintaining a system and have it go down. I used to work for a major computer manufacturer, and even they took the systems down once every 2 weeks for maintenance. try to access Chase credit card services web site Sunday at 2AM. Last time I tried that, I got told it was down for routine maintenance. So DirecTV does this on Wednesday night. this is likeley because that is the time when they get fewer calls than other times. This is most likeley the right time for them to do such things.
     
  11. billsharpe

    billsharpe Hall Of Fame

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    Not too many people run into this problem. Rather than escalating the problem, why not just wait until the next morning to activate your receiver?

    Life is too short to let the little things bother you. You should be enjoying your retirement...
     
  12. NewForceFiveFan

    NewForceFiveFan Legend

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    I wish the company I worked for would do their repairs, updates, upgrades to the systems during the overnight hours when no one is there and the systems are at minimal use. Even Ebay at it's height of popularity had mandatory scheduled wednesday overnight downtimes for system maintenance. It pissed off the sellers and bidders but it was necessary to overall the success of their business. It's a real PITA to have an IT guy interrupt you in the middle of an important project, rush through a mandatory zero day patch they just got handed by Corporate, and then watch it take down the entire system for days. A lot of the headaches around here could be solved just by having regularly scheduled overnight maintenance where the IT guys could take their time without rushing.
     
  13. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

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    But you can have the ability to take time to do it, and not have things go down if you engineer it right. I administer a Blackberry server. If I ever needed to take it down for a week for whatever reason, none of my users would even notice. The hot spare will take care of them.
     
  14. wingrider01

    wingrider01 Hall Of Fame

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    for a 7x24 operation true, but directv Customer service is not a 7x24 operation, thisis documented
     
  15. TBlazer07

    TBlazer07 Large Member

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    They should at least wait until midnight Pacific rather than midnight eastern. 9PM in California is kind of early to shut down systems. That's like lunch time there. This isn't a mom and pop operation we're talking about.
     
  16. mnassour

    mnassour Icon

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    Ummm...that means they don't come back up until 9:00 A.M. ET. That might be a problem...........
    :lol:
     
  17. EricBergan

    EricBergan Mentor

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    Apr 26, 2007
    On their contact us page, they document Technical Support is 24/7. But they also had no access to customer records.
     
  18. EricBergan

    EricBergan Mentor

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    Apr 26, 2007
    Yup, the problem is that 6 hour contiguous block of time. I'm really curious what takes that long on a repeating weekly basis. Not that I ever expect to actually find out...

    eric
     
  19. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

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    Activating a receiver and walking through a technical script are 2 different things.

    6 hours isn't really a large issue as customer service is only open for another hour and then after that I'm sure the volume for technical calls during the 5 hours is about nil.
     
  20. TBlazer07

    TBlazer07 Large Member

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    Was just talking about "closing" time ..... for the benefit of the left coast. Obviously the good coast would have to remain the same.
     

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