Foxtel denies IQ3 rushed to market

Foxtel-iQ3_Suggested_Mar2015_V1_AW4

Up to 30% of Foxtel IQ3 boxes that were distributed last week were issued with the wrong software on them, resulting in a wave of calls to the Foxtel Call Centre, but the Pay TV provider says the number of technical calls has now dropped off as they sort through individual cases.

Yesterday Fairfax suggested the IQ3 was rushed to market without adequate testing a day before Netflix’s launch.

Michael Ivanchenko, Foxtel Director of Product, denies the claim, saying some 2000 people had been using the box for up to 6 months.

“Obviously we’ve got issues with it, but it is in no way reflective of how the launch is going, nor is the inference that we’ve rushed it to market correct,” he said.

“We launched it last Monday and as with anything of this complexity we have had some teething issues of process and activation.”

Online forums attracted complaints over the iQ3 randomly reseting itself, recordings disappearing, remotes that stopped working, recordings unable to be deleted, channels switching randomly, content does not delete -and more.

Foxtel concedes the error was twofold, firstly with boxes issued with incorrect software, secondly with some technicians not activating the IQ3 software.

“We’ve had some boxes that have left the warehouse without having their software upgraded, realising that the software goes onto the boxes at manufacture and some of the boxes were manufactured early last year,” he said.

“Whatsmore some of the installation technicians working through and understanding the new processes for installing this new box haven’t quite got it right, which meant they’ve also left customers without having the correct set-up and the correct software.”

Without the right software activated, some IQ3s necessarily experienced problems, or fell short of their new features.

“(The manufacturer) has a responsibility in getting us the box in the correct format and we have a responsibility to ensure all the installations goes correctly. But the buck stops with us in making sure it gets rectified and sorted out,” says Ivanchenko.

“So understandably reaction on the first couple of days was vocal. Calls into our Call Centre were high. As we’ve identified and worked these issues one by one they’re getting sorted out. We’re now at the point where activations are going much more smoothly.”

Ivanchenko assures that correctly-activated IQ3s are up to scratch. Demand for the box, as a hybrid of IP and broadcast, remains high.

“There is clearly a pent-up demand. We got far more sales and upgrade requests than we were expecting,” he says.

“If somebody is still having issues we’re very happy to send a tech out at no charge and sort it out.”

22 Comments:

  1. themanfromoz

    How do we contact Michael Ivanchenko to complain?
    As a Foxtel customer of over 10 years this has been a joke.
    You should read the community forums …

    Sack Michael Ivanchenko
    Compensate customers
    Deliver a working product

  2. Hahaha I hope foxtel is going to change there name to Austar because this reminds me of ther mystar boxes worst box I have ever come across and you would think that I think it was back in 2010 or 2009 they announced that they were in the early stages of creating the iq3 then they merged with austar in may 2012 so fair enought they might of had to change a few things on the box to accomodate having to provide to all of Australia not just the cities but come on 3 years later and they had to rush it to the market to beat netflicks it’s just a joke

  3. It’s complete spin to suggest a few boxes weren’t updated. I had it for 24hrs. Apart from the usability being 1000 times worse than the IQ with its cumbersome menus it crashes every time you try to do something. Menus dont appear, the box lights up and keeps flashing, the remote has a delay, the record options don’t always work, the picture quality in recordings is poor…i had the updated software version and i had a long list of problems. I ended up demanding that my IQ2 be reactivated and I sent the IQ3 back. The whole thing needs a complete re-design. the menus are really bad. I don’t know why they didn’t just copy sky UK’s box. Even if they fix all the software glitches i still wont have it back. Its been designed to look like a streaming service to be used on a tablet and fails miserably at being a pay tv box being used on a Tv. The development team should be fired for this…

  4. themanfromoz

    I self-installed the iQ3 last Wednesday. Had the current software version. Activated OK.
    Problems from day 1.
    Programs not recording despite being scheduled.
    Box resetting at random intervals.
    Messages saying I had I had to upgrade to watch this channel .. despite being half-way through watching a movie.
    Lengthy lag between pressing remote bluetooth button and something happening (reverted to iQ2 remote).
    Couldn’t delete recorded programs.
    Tuners not working then working again.
    Not being able to resume viewing a program after stopping it (yes it was an iQ2 feature but Foxtel admitted they had stuffed this up).
    New release movies now delivered via internet and not cable (would severely impact people on limited internet connections – both speed and data.
    Even their ‘help’ is now downloaded via internet and not a dedicated channel.

    Complete disaster from a customer’s…

  5. The only issue I have is when you stop a program it doesn’t resume from the last viewing point you have to FF to the spot where you left it!!!

  6. Secret Squïrrel

    I think that Ivanchenko is being a little disingenuous with his dismissive remarks.

    There are way more problems with the iQ3 than simply having outdated software or it not being correctly activated by a technician. There are a whole raft of issues that remain even where the box has the correct software and is properly activated. Indeed, Foxtel have even acknowledged some of these and have advised via their community support forum that they are working on a solution.

    I think it’s pretty clear that Foxtel were under pressure from their customers (who they kept telling that the iQ3 would be ready soon) and from newly arrived streaming competitors Stan and especially Netlix. Either not enough testing was done or it was not done competently.

  7. I think i may have the old software as i have expereinced some of the problems but I think they may have gone away.

    Does the software auto update once its up and running and when needed like Apple TV would?

  8. Had one major issue ” no program information” was there from start, but then resolved after 2 days and remote did not work so replaced the dud Phillips supplied batteries with Duracell and all OK. Both these problems took, as mentioned, ages to resolve and the latter I thought of myself. But the main issue is the Phillipines call centre and spending so much time on the phone trying to communicate with staff that either had very little English or were obviously not experienced with the IQ3. This constant reference to trouble shooting manuals, checking with superiors and in one case trying to on sell without fixing my current problem was frustrating and very unprofessional . Ditch that call centre Foxtel and let’s speak to some Aussies! Apart from that the product looks contempary and once I get used to it I am sure I will like it.

  9. My IQ3 works fine. No issues at all. I understand some users are having problems with the box, but there are a number of users complaining because it doesn’t work the same way as the IQ2. Of course it doesn’t this is the IQ3.

  10. What does “some technicians not activating the IQ3 software” actually mean. Sounds like corporate or policiatl spin that you would hear on “Mad as Hell”.

    If the software wasn’t activated, the box wouldn’t work as it needs activated software to work.

    “Obviously we’ve got issues with it, but it is in no way reflective of how the launch is going”. Huh? The issues are reflective of how the launch is going.

    When the first iQ came out there were months of hard drive corruption and lost recordings and other major issues. You’d have thought Foxtel would have learnt from that debacle.

    And to suggest that launching the day before Netflix launched was not a spoiling tactic is laughable.

  11. I have the IQ3. I had the correct update from Day 1. After a torrent of bugs, frustration and wanting to throw the damn thing out the window, it has after a week of daily improvements settled itself into a really lovely unit and interface.

    Now I’ve probably just jinxed myself by saying that and will turn it on this morning to no sound or no picture.

    How 2000 test users can get it so, so wrong, is beyond me. These are people that clearly don’t watch enough television or know enough about checking every possible scenario.

    It is we first purchasers of the unit this week who have inadventently become the unpaid or unrewarded beta testers.

    My recommendation to anyone considering it is to wait a few months till all the kinks are ironed out. It really is a lovely unit…maybe.

    • In fact, I did jinx myself.

      Have woken to seeing the unit’s red recording light flash on and three hours later, the red light is still on.

      What’s the problem? Nothing is actually recording! I had nothing set in my timers for this time of the day! Have checked and triple checked, nothing is actually recording.

      So, hoping enough time passing would get the red light to turn itself off (which it hasn’t), I am now forced to do a soft system reset to see if that will fix it.

      Wish me luck. I think this box has an IQ of 3.

        • Hi David, I called them day 1 with issues and had activated correctly and had the right software update from the getgo. Thankfully my issues are tame in comparison to many users on the Foxtel forum – I’d have sent my box back and asked for my IQ2 back had I experienced some of the persistent issues other users have.

          • Even of the software is right a full system reset after that is needed in some cases. There is info at the Foxtel forums.

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