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.
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.