Friday, September 13, 2013

My Reply To @BTCare On The #VC019 Issue ...

Lots of unhappy subscribers...
Readers will be aware of my struggle over the dreaded BT Sport #VC019 error - which has stopped me watching BT Sport despite paying for the subscription.

Twitter followers will also be aware of my frustration over @BTCare's lukewarm response to this issue which affects thousands of users - who, of course, are still having their Direct Debits processed.

Here's my reply, today, to @BTCare's email :
Sirs, 
Regarding your email (attached) on the subject of the VC019 issue. 
"our services are tried and tested before it is introduced to the public" 
Clearly not *sufficiently* tested in this case. If I implemented a 'solution' that worked as intermittently as this, I would not get paid for my work. 
"like all technology there are faults." 
Not when implemented correctly. 
From your 'Help Page' : 
"The BT Sport online player will work on the following browsers:
For Windows PCs
> Internet Explorer 7 or above
> Firefox
> Chrome"
  
"Will work" ? I think for the sake of accuracy you should amend that to "probably will work". Your use of the word 'will' without provisos is extremely misleading, otherwise the forums would not be full of BT Sport subscribers who have Win7+ and MSIE7+ and a new install of Silverlight - and yet *still* have the VC019 error.
I have tried, already, the fixes you have mentioned on the help page that you directed to me. All of them, from No. 1 to No. 11. Some of them, if you are aware of the technology behind Silverlight, actually have no effect. In fact, I specifically stated that I had tried these 'fixes' in my original communication - so directing me to that page was rather pointless. Did you read my original communication at all before replying? 
"Silverlight isn’t a BT Product and we don’t support it. " 
No, you don't support it. But you chose it. In terms of support, even Microsoft have virtually abandoned it. This issue stems from your IT people's choice of a flaky system of media delivery. That responsibilty is yours and yours alone. 
Update on the users meeting that I mentioned in my communication: 
A number of us suffering from this issue - and still paying our subscriptions - held an online meeting on the evening of Wednesday the 9th. Amongst our number were both experienced coders, IT professionals with decades of experience, and legal advisors. 
Between us we were able, online, to get some laptops and desktop systems working, mainly using a combination of 'Update Time' fix and reinstalls. 
Our main complaints, as a subscriber group, are these, and we wish BT to urgently address these issues. 
1. The VC019 issue can be solved, in some cases, by extensive research into various fixes, attempting all the possible fixes until one works. This is well within the capabilities of those who are extremely IT-literate, but certainly, we would suggest, outside the general skill set of most BT Sports subscribers. BT needs to communicate these fixes to it's subscribers in a clear, concise manner, and, we would suggest, develop a simple downloadable tool to check which fixes have been applied and which can still be attempted. 
2, BT appears to be downplaying this issue. This is understandable, given the potential public relations issues so soon after launch. BT needs to display it's integrity and honesty by making a public statement in the form of a Press Release on the VC019 issue as part of it's solution. 
3. BT needs to consider rebating subscription fees to users who are still unable to view the services they have paid for - until a solution is implemented. 
Our group has also, as I mentioned before, taken advice on a possible legal action on behalf of all users suffering from this issue, yet still being charged for the service. We have been advised that our case is quite strong and we have legal professionals willing to provide their services. 
They advise, however, that we allow BT Sport additional time and further communications before proceding, and we will do so. 
We can also advise that we have had further communications with national print and broadcast media who have adopted, for now, a wait-and-see stance.
We would insist, therefore, that BT Sport address the three points above, and and we will allow sufficient time for this to take place, before we consider our next action. 
:: John D. P. O'Connell 
In short then:

BT Sport are continue to charge many subscribers for a service that does not work as advertised, as a direct result of poor implementation by BT Sport.

BT Sport are continuing to advertise in order to gain new subscribers despite being fully aware of this issue.

BT Sport are failing to fully address the VC019 issue for fear of poor public relations so soon after launch.

I'll keep you updated.