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.”