Friday, September 07, 2007

Frightenly poor service from NTL

I just had my UPC DVR installed today and had to comment.

NTL's installer was 2 hours late and then disappeared for another hour because he showed up at my door and did not have the box. While he was gone (without telling us he was leaving) , NTL told me he was not qualified to do the install, the sales person had scheduled the wrong installer, and I would have to wait 24 hours more...

This was just before the installer showed up again and performed the install. Somebody had their head up a very dark place!

With regards to the box itself, this is, at best, a poorly designed, haphazard, crippled toy of a DVR. (The company should not even be allowed to use the term DVR for such a box)

The lack of recording a series is pitiful. This is a basic function of process and parse the schedule. My NTL installer told me it was because SKY owns the copyright for this feature..I presume he made that up.

The volume control on my remote does not function ... nor the mute ... this post implies it must know about the TV...but there is no manual with the device and I haen't found the user guide on the website that is mentioned.

The on/off button for on and the UPC button for on is STUPID...the symbol on the top button is the internationally recognized symbol for ON and OFF in a single button. The failure to put page up and down functions in other pieces of the navigation software is AMATEURISH, the use of the STOP button to unmark a show for recording is POOR DESIGN and the remote is UNCOMFORTABLE to hold, particularly if you have arthritis. The wasp shape of the TIVOs and the Logitech Harmony were chosen for a reason.

The Back button is OK, but why not make it sizable like the OK button?

The menu system seems to have been designed by a team of chimps...there is no logic to it, no usability and only one accessibility feature...sort of. The help button accesses one screen with a short description of four buttons.The preferences and settings could all be collected in a single screen. The three clicks to find your recorded progremmes.

Sorry for the harsh review, but I own 3 TIVOs in the US and they set a very high bar of quality. Any professional software development team could have done better than the mish mash of functions and features offered by this box.

NTL needs to be seriously educated in the meaning of quality and the customer support people need ot stop making up stories to cover for their installers. Actually, they probably just need to go out of business and be replaced entirely.