CNBC Plus Sucks

I never ever thought I would be one of those bloggers who wrote a post with the word "sucks" in the title.  I am not sure why but I just didn’t think I would get so upset about something that it would drive me to blog such an entry. I have my easygoing side I suppose but I have limits and some things apparently are important to me.

Case in point is having a service I pay for, work properly. CNBC Plus has been a faithful companion of mine for about a year. I use the service to stream CNBC to my computers so I can keep up with the latest events.

Although the service is limited by working only with Internet Explorer, I like it and use it daily. It even has a feature which allows you to add clips to your playlist. You can add and delete content from the list in fact and then watch your clips in whichever order you like.

The problem I have is with the playlist feature. You see, it is slow — painfully slow to add individual clips to your playlist. In fact, the person who designed this interface is likely an enemy of the company because it is about as bad as an interface can be. It takes way too long to delete clips and an individual program is made up of a number of clips which on TV would be surrounded by commercials.

About January or so of this year, the playlist feature went from poor to whatever is worse than poor. You see it not only takes too long to navigate to each clip and wipe it out (once watched) but the browser now hangs when you delete a clip, meaning you have to refresh the screen and wait about ten-fifteen seconds for the screen to redraw and then you have to click on My Playlist and then you must find your clip and then you curse CNBC, delete and repeat.

I did send an email to the support team about this matter and received the following response precisely three months ago:


Dear CNBC Viewer,

Thank you for your submission to the CNBC Customer Care Team.

Our Technical Team is aware of this issue and would resolve it as soon as possible. However we have forwarded your concern to ensure your voice is heard.

If this note did not provide you with the information you requested please respond to this message and provide as much additional information as possible. We will make every effort to provide a response within 24 hours.


Name Withheld
Customer Care


I sent another email about this matter recently and received a similar response.

Now I happen to like CNBC a great deal and I am not a fan of criticizing products I use almost daily. But therein lies my point. If I love and identify with a brand and its online arm stinks bad enough, I am now in a situation where the entire brand is tarnished in my eyes.

You see what is happening here? As companies expand into different channels and distribute content online, via social networks, Twitter accounts and blogs, a bad experience in any one area can change the opinion of the brand. Of course the opposite can be true as well.

In this case, I could care less how good the newscasters are if the programmers make it impossible to watch the service in the manner in which I have grown accustomed.

Likewise, if a company sends an executive to give a speech at a trade show or conference and the presentation is bad… The company’s brand suffers.

So the lessen for content providers is to have a Steve Jobs-like passion for the user experiance and for CNBC, the lesson is start firing people. If you aren’t sure how how to fire, perhaps you may need to get Neutron Jack Welch — the company’s ex-CEO, back as a consultant.

  • Anonymous
    June 1, 2009 at 5:06 pm

    Agreed, this service sucks bigtime. Constant run arounds about fixing the feed. Buffer delays – complete feed drops – video / audio sync problems. And “Customer Care” DOESN’T. One of the first things out of their mouth when I contacted them “Would you like me to cancel your account?” NO !!! Fix your crap so it runs right !!!!

  • brian benko
    February 16, 2010 at 9:23 am

    CNBC Sucks big time. I have to keep a Windows Laptop next to my monitors so I can watch the damn show via Internet Explorer because I don’t want to install any windows crap on my mac. The fact that they don’t run on Firefox is bullshit. They don’t give a shit about anyone or the country. They only care about revenue. Just like Fox News.
    The problem is this: There is no other player in this space so we have no choice outside of newspapers and blogs.
    Who is the idiot running this online wing of CNBC? His or her name needs to get plastered across Twitter as being a person to never hire unless you want your brand to be ruined.
    No service. Horrible delivery. Delays. One browser. How many more mistakes that can this department make?

  • Manny Ramirez
    April 7, 2010 at 2:13 pm

    I agree CNBC Plus service is subpar. The only thing worse is their customer service. I have been emailing them for days now and keep getting these cookie cutter responses that ask me the same questions over and over again. I just got another message that says they resolved the issue but nothing actually changed. I still can login and see the player but the feed never starts. I am using internet explorer 8.
    It truly amazes me that a large corporation like CNBC has such a pathetic online service that only serves to tarnish their name…..
    sorry just venting now 🙂

  • Rich Tehrani
    April 7, 2010 at 2:57 pm

    I continue to be a huge CNBC fan but their online service still leaves much to be desired.

  • Wayne Bangert
    April 15, 2010 at 5:18 pm

    I am not a blogger but my CNBC just stopped working 2 days ago and I can not get a response from the customer service department. Seems like some one else could pick up the feed and do a better job.

  • Steve
    May 12, 2010 at 10:54 pm

    I am so grateful for the post on here. I was about to sign up and remember during my search I saw this link. So here I am, and unfortunately it looks like I won’t be getting CNBC Plus.

  • anonymous
    May 13, 2010 at 6:14 am

    Yeah – it’s a really neat idea. Honestly, I’d love to see it work – but the customer service is terrible and the service itself is marginable at best, but usually pretty much unusable.

  • Tom Beno
    July 13, 2010 at 10:30 am

    Now thats interesting.
    I’ve been using their service for almost a year. I have had some technical issues in the past and had to deal with outsourced customer service that I couldn’t understand.
    I upgrade to IE 8, had a problem with Plus, but I called the service line, got a live person, who clearly spoke english as his native language and I was up and going in about 10 minutes. The dude was awesome.

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