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Regarding Tech Support

818 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  David MacLeod
While reading these forums I get really bemused/confused/amzed by some of the responses that people seem to get from tech support at DirectTV.
When I worked in support with Adobe Systems, if a customer called in with an issue it would be logged in a database.
If many customers called in with an issue they would continue to be logged and the issue would be flagged for a closer look.
Consequently if further users called in with the same issue the CSR could check the database to see if it had been a previously reported issue and log it.
They should then gather technical info, what channels, what software, etc were being used at the time the problem occurred. This type of info is usually invaluable to engineering in order to identify and find a solution.

Now, my point with DirectTV is that some CSR's plead ignorance on issues like Blank/Grey Recordings, Playlists being deleted, Tuner 2 losing signal etc. stating that it's not a known issue. And that's simply NOT TRUE!

So...is there anyone in the know could tell me.
Are they ignorant? Lying? Fobbing people off to keep the call short? Does Directv not have a proper tech support system in place?

I mean..what gives?

Just color me bemused and irritated.

Flame off!
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Adobe is (was? is?) an industry-leading software company. Obviously, supporting that software is a very high priority, as it is among the only direct interaction they will have with their users, and if they don't provide it, people will buy something else (too much competition).

DirecTV has a lot more to support, and there's a whole lot more to go wrong. Adobe might release 2 dozen pieces of software a year, where DirecTV releases 2 dozen receiver submodels per year, plus has to do software, plus has to deal with the individual installed hardware (dish, switch, cabling), which is unique to each customer, plus interface with hundreds of TV channels/networks, plus downloadable content, plus "interactive" features, and on and on. And they have to make sure that their ancient receivers from 14 years ago still work.

And DirecTV doesn't think like an IT company, so they don't spend the kind of development money on support systems that an IT company does, and they aren't as good at it anyway. Having been at three big companies in Tech Support/Help Desk departments, and involved with the development of the support systems for them (using Vantive, Remedy, and Siebel), I can assure you that it takes 4 times longer than you would think, costs more, and never has enough money spent on maintenance.

And with the amount of call center employment churn, most CSRs just don't have a lot of experience.

In all those ways, DirecTV is just like every other non-IT company (and like many IT companies as well) in not putting enough importance on support systems. And if you could ask a company officer about it, they would tell you "we're working on it" and "we know we need to do better", but, bottom line, "we're obviously helping enough people that we continue to grow at a good rate every month." As long as that's true, they'll choose "good enough" because it looks cheaper on the books.
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Good answer...but on the question of it being a known issue I believe it could just be a quick database check and then tell the customer it's being worked on.
Thanks for the thoughts though.

Oh yes ...Vantive........
Hotscot said:
So...is there anyone in the know could tell me.
Are they ignorant? Lying? Fobbing people off to keep the call short? Does Directv not have a proper tech support system in place?

I mean..what gives?
I'll share what I know.

Despite what seems readily apparent and 'known' here in these forums, that doesnt really mean its recognized to D* as a known issue.

The type of database you describe works great in movies but not in real life. Millions of customers means billions of records and you dont use that database for that purpose.

D* is like any major company, there is a front line and thats the CSR. They are given access to a lot of information and are given a tiny amount of time to deal with all of a customers needs. If they cant fix it then pass it up the tree. A tech at each deeper level will have more information and knowledge. If its a really common problem the CSR will know, like the h20-600 recall, they get informed. The deeper your get or the more complex the issue the more likely you will get to someone who is in the know. This is done to prevent a $14/hr tech from having to explain to people how to reboot their DVR.

The CSR do not know about "Blank/Grey Recordings, Playlists being deleted, Tuner 2 losing signal etc." untill D* tells them its an issue.

I appreciate your analogy with Adobe however the flip can be true. The company I work for makes just under $1b/year has over 14,000 employees in more than 40 states. The volume of our Adobe licensing is in the high 6 digits. Imagine my shock as a software develeoper when I contacted Adobe to let them know of an issue with Distiller clearing path setting from ram after it exited and they told me, sorry but you must be mistaken. Despite my having plenty of emperical data and test code to show them just that. They turned their back on me. So I made it my mission to minimize our companies user of Adobe products. Within a month I had saved us over 500 Acrobat Distiller licenses by incorporating FOSS software in our products. I continue to this day working to this goal.

I spoke with my companies wallet, and if D* is really that bad thats what consumers should do too. D* is not perfect, but like anything worthwhile a little due diligence is good for you.

BTW the reason you see such a high complaint to compliment ratio here is people seek places like this to vent and find answers. If I have no problem I dont post. D* monitors these boards, and despite that they still havent seen enough black/grey recording issues to escalate it to an issue everyone knows about. or perhaps since they dont have an answer to the problem they dont see the cost benefit to teaching a CSR to recognize a problem there is just no fix for yet.
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Wow you people are way over my head on this issue :eek2: So all I will say is while D* isn't perfect it is my pick of the best system of what is available for TV in my area :) And I agree the Forum serves as a rant/answer/general information place and is VERY useful to people. This Forum is the best for Sat. information of all kinds period :sunsmile: However, at times that does slant what D* is really like because if you just read the Forum what you mostly see are posts about what is wrong. Because sadly most people don't post about all the things that D* does right :(
I talked to my buddyt hat works at D*, he has been there for more then 2.5yrs, but "Blank/Grey Recordings (known issue, can be a couple of things. reset then if that doesn't work, the chances are there was a issue while recording, in the case of hr**, if the resolution changes when the recording starts, thne you have a grey screen if your doesn't support that res.), Playlists being deleted (rare, maybe like 1 or 2 calls every month or so less then .25% may have this), Tuner 2 losing signal (common, but can be easly fixed)"

But D* tech support is the best but far, never had a bad one. they have always helped and suggested some things and never had a problem, beside when the r15 first came out, reformated it and then not had a issue since.
DirecTV releases 2 dozen receiver submodels per year
huh ?? 24 submodels a year?
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