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Originally posted December 10 2005 at 21:12 under General. 0 Comments. Trackbacks Disabled. Last modified: 24 March 2006 at 01:01

More Broken Telewest

Not so long ago I gave a write up of the experience which is using Telewest TV based email. Turns out that on reflection it itsn’t just the email interface which is broken.

Anybody who knows me knows I’m a bit of a football fan, and I follow Newcastle United. Today we beat Arsenal, but that’s not the point. The point is that the game was shown on “Pay Per View” television. That means you don’t need a Sky Sports subscription to view it but buy that single match for a one time fee. That’s supposed to be an easy thing to do…just point the TV remote and press a couple of buttons. Being much more familiar with Sky I can say that on that platform it is a simple thing. Just go to the channel the PPV even is on and it’s all very obvious. Not with Telewest though. They recently updated their interface bit for “Teleport TV” (basically on demand viewing of selected past programming—mainly from the BBC). Anyway, to order PPV football you have to go view there interface, starting at the “home screen”. Telewest home screen screenshot. That screen bares some study. There’s an awful lot of Teleport Something options (TV, movies, replay, life) but there’s also Freetime (and Email—you might think Freetime meant Games if that weren’t also an option), not to mention simple old News and Info and in this context maybe even the TV Guide (or is it in fact a Service I want?) It took three attempts to find the right section (It’s Today’s Events under Teleport Life should you need to know). That’s just broken. To cap it all on ordering it told me to enjoy the movie (and dumped me back to the order screen with no real indication that I’d already ordered that event). This is not good user experience.

(As an almost aside I should probably relate the wonderful customer service they provided the other morning. Awoke to find both cable TV and the internet connection out of action. As they come in on the same cable it was fairly obvious there was a fault somewhere on that. It also seemed likely this was going to be some “exchange” issue rather than an isolated thing with just us but they were phoned anyway just to be sure. Having went through the standard questions and having turned both TV box and modem off so they “could send them a signal”—to the kit that I’ve just powered down?—they stated that they didn’t think there were any problems in that postcode area and they’ll get onto engineering. Almost half an hour on hold later some—probably quite harassed—engineer comes on to report that actually there’s a major fault in the area, and they’re working on it. Fair enough, but how come the first point of contact don’t know about major faults and could therefore save half an hour of everyone’s time?)

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This Crazy Fool

Dr Ian Scott
Croydon (and Gateshead), United Kingdom
Bullding Services Engineer (EngDesign), PhD in Physics (University of York), football fanatic (Newcastle United), open source enthusiast (mainly Mozilla)

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