DirecTV not ready for college football season
Sun, Sep 2, 2007 08:54 PM
I thought my PHP/MySQL friends would get a kick out of another story of a company not being ready for technical demand. I live in Alabama (southeastern USA). For those that do not realize, we like our college football a lot (American football that is). University of Alabama football has a particularly large buzz this year due to the hiring of our new coach, Nick Saban. The first game of the year was this past Saturday. It was not on network or cable television since it was against a no name team. It was however available on Pay-Per-View for $29 or something (I don't even know, I just ordered it blind). Since getting tickets for me and my family was not really an option, I decided to just order the game and watch from the comfort of my home. Directv tells you (a lot) that the easiest way to order sports events is their web site. So, I tried logging in to my account at their web site. I tried for an hour. The authentication servers were down or something (it was like playing WoW). So, I ended up calling. Their automated systems tell me that the best way to order an event is online. Uh, tried that. So, I go through their automated system. After many odd beeps, it says to hold for a real live person! After holding for 20 minutes (I knew better than to hang up) I was greeted very nicely by a woman. She asked what she could do for me and I told her I wanted to order the Alabama game. Her reply? "I should have known!" Apparently, they had a whole bank of 100 people answering calls from our region of the country and still had their queue of 50 lines full since 6AM EDT. My call was at 6:30 PM EDT. Not only was directv.com not working, but their automated phone system could not deal with the volume. Hello?!? Its BAMA and its SABAN. You should have been ready. The lady on the phone was very nice and took care of me quickly. I feel for those folks in that call center. Their tech people, or more likely the people that should have informed the tech people and given them a budget, should have known this was coming for months.