Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Baseball fans need DirecTV... to work

The fallout from yesterday's DirecTV debacle continues to, well, fall. Like SkyLab.

A Google News search shows well over 120 news items on the subject, with the AP picking up the story late yesterday afternoon. The Portsmouth Herald did a nice story on it today: DirecTV Fails Sox Fans in Opener on page 1. And notably, Seth Mnookin, author of the excellent book Feeding the Monster, blogged about his consternation: DirecTV, How Do I Hate Thee? Let me count the ways.

Meanwhile, the PR geniuses at DirecTV are taking a hide-and-see approach to their problem. They haven't fessed up to what exactly happened, and that lack of transparency gives one pause. In the Boston Herald's piece Viewers Strike Out as DirecTV Goes on DL, the company "wouldn’t say how many customers missed the game, how many complained (we’re guessing many) and what exactly went wrong."

In this piece on, you can see the company taking the word obtuse to new levels.

BTW, I find it interesting to note that DirecTV (NYSE: DTV) launched a new bird over the Pacific on the 20th, and that the company CEO sold 25,000 shares of stock on Monday.

Further adding to the company's problems, if you look at the blog postings and comments, far too many customers reported that the customer service people working the phones were not helpful and "rude."

Finally, they are being coy about how they might compensate subscribers for the "inconvenience." Note: My bill says it cost $23 for NESN this month. Ahem.

For counterpoint on how to handle a technical glitch that impacts the customer experience, NetFlix confessed to me today that they had a delay in their shipping (which I didn't even notice) and proactively took 10% off my next bill, with me having to do absolutely nothing.

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