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Ask Slashdot: How Long Do We Give an Online Service To Fix Issues? 113

Posted by Soulskill
from the as-long-as-it-takes-to-write-an-angry-email dept.
ncc189 writes "The Funimation Roku channel has been basically unusable during primetime for about a month now. With very little feedback from the company and no improvements to the service at all, I canceled my account. My question to Slashdot users is: how long do you give a service to fix issues before you cancel the service, and how much leeway do you give the service's representatives in communicating issue with us? It seems to me that a few days is more than enough in the internet age; 3+ weeks is beyond reason. How long do you think is fair for services like this?"
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Ask Slashdot: How Long Do We Give an Online Service To Fix Issues?

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  • by ajyasgar (2449448) on Saturday February 02, 2013 @02:44PM (#42772341)
    Is the "online service" Oracle?
    • Re:That depends (Score:5, Interesting)

      by girlintraining (1395911) on Saturday February 02, 2013 @07:44PM (#42774273)

      Is the "online service" Oracle?

      No. It's just a collection of badly translated and hacked up anime that makes the fans cry everytime the logo "Funimation" splashes across the screen. There's websites dedicated to warning fans of what their next production will be, so they can snap up the fansubs before they vanish from the ethers.

      Hearing Funimation is picking up your favorite anime is to an anime geek hearing that JJ Abrams is going to direct the next Star Wars. It's a KHAAAAAAAAAN! moment. Oh, and apologies to Star Trek fans... he got to you too. :(

  • More anime than what Funimation has on Netflix perhaps? Now you've given them free advertising, and I might just go sign up.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Want Anime? Go check out crunchyroll.

      • by gravis777 (123605)

        Crunchyroll is the latest anime from Japan, subtitled. Funimation has a larger selection, especially of older anime, and most of their stuff is available either dubbed or subbed. I am normally a subbed person, but I must admit that Funimation has made an art out of dubbing Anime, many times with the English dub actually being better than the Japanese original soundtrack.

    • by ddxexex (1664191)

      Probably not. Funimation puts lots of their stuff on different outlets (Netflix,Youtube, Hulu, etc.), but I usually notice that the things other sites are a subset of what they have on their own site.
      For the shows Funimation doesn't license, Crunchyroll has a good selection in the states (and actually has some stuff for Europeans to watch). Seeing as you probably already watched most of the (worthwhile) Funimation shows, CR will probably keep you busy for a while, if you don't mind that it's subbed.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        What do you mean "mind if it's subbed?" that's the preferred format.

        Ever notice how anime has different voice actors in every show and for every character, while dubbed shows use like 3 voice actors for every show? Nobody in their right mind would watched dubbed anime unless they are illiterate.

        Cruchyroll's just fine the way it is. There's also Crackle for some dubbed/subbed shows if you don't mind that.

      • by Ark42 (522144)

        I'm not going to pay money for subtitles. I prefer dubs, and I can already tell there are too many little kids posting in this thread below from the looks of it. Anybody who thinks dubs vs subs is anything more than personal preference and opinions needs to just grow up. I'm not going to argue any more about it, so back to what's important here. The selection on Netflix is limited, and I've watched most everything good there already, so I am looking for more sources (that doesn't involve torrents....), but

  • Depends (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Osgeld (1900440) on Saturday February 02, 2013 @02:49PM (#42772377)

    If I pay for it, they better be telling me something reasonably accurate

    If I dont, then they dont owe me squat and it will be back when its back

    • Re:Depends (Score:5, Insightful)

      by sandytaru (1158959) on Saturday February 02, 2013 @03:02PM (#42772489) Journal
      Pretty much this. I'll give something a few weeks or even a few months if it was a free service and the only monetary contribution I made toward it was turning off AdBlock. But it it's something I paid for, even a token amount like $5 a month, it better damn well be fixed in a few days. If it's not fixed by the time the next billing cycle rolls around, it's definitely cancellation time. I'll find a free version, or a better service that gives me value for my money.
    • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

      by malacandrian (2145016)

      If I pay for it, they better be telling me something reasonably accurate

      There should be clauses in your SLA defining what they have to tell you and when, as well as financial penalties for failing to deliver uptime and/or information. If you don't have an SLA then what are you doing paying for it?

      • Re:Depends (Score:5, Interesting)

        by dakohli (1442929) on Saturday February 02, 2013 @03:51PM (#42772821)

        If I pay for it, they better be telling me something reasonably accurate

        There should be clauses in your SLA defining what they have to tell you and when, as well as financial penalties for failing to deliver uptime and/or information. If you don't have an SLA then what are you doing paying for it?

        It is called "Customer Service". I don't really care if there is an SLA, if the service isn't good, I will contact them, and if I'm satisfied I will continue, if not I will cancel

        Case in point is Sirius Satellite Radio. last year just before I paid for the next year they dropped a station that happened to be what I mostly listened to. When I called them up, they offered a reduced rate. This year when it was time to renew, I called them up and they again offered me a discounted rate. I'm still with them because I am paying what I consider is fair for the service. If they do not offer me a discount next year I will drop it. How long you will wait, or accept unacceptable service is up to the individual. I know some that will cancel at the drop of a hat. I tend to be a little more patient, but once I cancel, I don't bother going back, ever

        If more people voted with their feet, these companies might get the message.

        • Re:SiriusXM (Score:5, Informative)

          by caballew (2725281) on Saturday February 02, 2013 @06:57PM (#42773943)

          Case in point is Sirius Satellite Radio. last year just before I paid for the next year they dropped a station that happened to be what I mostly listened to. When I called them up, they offered a reduced rate. This year when it was time to renew, I called them up and they again offered me a discounted rate. I'm still with them because I am paying what I consider is fair for the service. If they do not offer me a discount next year I will drop it.

          I found that if you disable auto-renew, then when it's renewal time they don't cut you off for a few weeks while they try desperately to contact you. After a week or so, finally answer the phone and tell them their service is too expensive. Every year, they "check" with a retention supervisor and then offer me a reduced rate of ~$6/mo if I prepay for a year. That's less than 1/2 of their regular rate.

          • by dakohli (1442929)

            I don't use auto-renew, but get an email a month before the renewel is up.

            I think they are pretty desperate to keep subscribers, I don't know anyone yet, who has been refused a discount

            Of course, I do not mind kicking them to the curb if they fail to offer me one. :-)

          • by Inda (580031)
            I do the same thing with insurance companies.

            Always ask if there's an underwriter in the building. There never is, there will be giggles, they will put you on hold while they grab a coffee from the machine, they will offer a lower price on their return 'from talking to the underwriter'.

            It's a game. You have to play. There's no risk of losing.
        • by sjw02001 (820841)

          Just be aware that when you do drop them, they will call you incessantly for a month. We used to have subscriptions for two cars, then the driving habits changed and we dropped one car. They called for two months quite frequently at all hours asking me to resubscribe. Dropped the other car out of pure spite for such harassment. The fun part is, the driving habits changed because we moved east through a couple time zones but I kept the cell phone number with the CA area code. They called at 11PM several

  • by josepha48 (13953) on Saturday February 02, 2013 @02:52PM (#42772397) Journal
    yes 3 years before they sent an AT&T person to my house to look at the wires. He then fixed it in minutes. It now works fine. Yes I still have DSL only because my Comcast cable TV goes out monthly. At least if I loose cable I can still watch netflix, hulu and online stuff.
    • by NIK282000 (737852)

      I too am a DSL user (up in the great white north) the lines are over 50 years old here so we have the bell guy up a ladder at least 3 times a year. They usually get to it within a day but they never really fix the problem.

    • by antdude (79039)

      You're lucky. I have to use dial-up modem on crappy copper phone lines. It only goes about 3 KB/sec even on 56k modems (only connects at 28800). :(

    • by AK Marc (707885) on Saturday February 02, 2013 @07:18PM (#42774087)
      I lived with broken DSL for 3 months before I sent a letter to the FCC complaining. I copied the line owner and the service provider, and the problem was fixed within 48 hours of me sending the letter, probably before the FCC even received my complaint. And yes, the FCC did follow up on my complaint.
  • by eksith (2776419) on Saturday February 02, 2013 @02:52PM (#42772399) Homepage
    I assure you there are folks who would give any service of their choosing as much time as they like if they think it's worth while to wait. Can be three weeks like for you or it can be maybe a few months even. Loyalty is a personal thing, but companies that do poorly with service tend not to have many clients/customers unless they offer something unique and/or interesting. And loyalty is very fickle.
    • I assure you there are folks who would give any service of their choosing as much time as they like if they think it's worth while to wait. Can be three weeks like for you or it can be maybe a few months even. Loyalty is a personal thing, but companies that do poorly with service tend not to have many clients/customers unless they offer something unique and/or interesting. And loyalty is very fickle.

      Well, yeah. This.

      But I don't think it is loyalty, exactly. More of a dedication, or a trust. And it's easy to maintain that trust through good communication, status updates or accurate repair timeframes. Having a status report filled with "progress" updates that don't really mean anything isn't deceptive, because the medium IS the message - the content is irrelevant.

    • A stock screener that shall remain nameless has been partially broken for two months. The screens that I used to be able to run in 20 minutes now take about 80 minutes. This is inexcusable, especially since I pay $200 a year for the service. But what am I going to do about it, other than complain? The results are worth about $25,000/year.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    One of the problems that irks me is that companies are doing the same thing with their hardware products also. They're sold as firmware upgradable but then there are many companies that even if they do deliver a token "upgrade" here or there, they're still full of bugs. Without loss of generality here, I'll mention that I faced this problem with the original WD TV HD. Sold as firmware upgradable but had lots of bugs. I held out for firmware upgrades to address my A/V sync issues, other bug fixes, and maybe

  • by cgimusic (2788705) on Saturday February 02, 2013 @02:53PM (#42772415)
    If it goes beyond 5 days I would expect a reduced bill for the time the service was unusable that month. If I didn't get one I would definitely cancel.
    • In particular because they should recognise that the customer has all the power there. I normally won't cancel a service I'm using because I'm using it so it takes a lot to make me cancel. If I can't use the service, though, they should recognise how fragile their hold on me is.
    • A word of warning about AT&T (as if my story is going to come as shock to anyone here). I had problems with something and they promised a reduced rate for 6 months. I had to call them back when the price didn't change the next month. Then it went sky high. (They had "upped" my speed without my permission.) Then it went way low. Then I had to call them again when the bill on the Internet didn't match the bills on paper.

      tl;dr Reduced bill from AT&T may mean several headaches afterward.

  • See facebook, that had for years privacy issues, and instead of fixing them they kept getting worse. Now, ask the people that is still there your question.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      I am noticing a pattern. The lower the slashdot ID number, the poorer the grammar.
    • See facebook, that have for years privacy issues, and instead of fixing them they keep getting worse. Now, ask the people that is still there your question.

      FTFY/p

  • Netflix (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    I cancelled my Netflix account immediately after they raised my rates sans authorization and their CEO said in the newspaper "Let them drink large lattes."

    I give corporations zero leeway. I pay for a service. If it changes sans authorization/notification, they can fuck off. If they lose the ability to provide the service, they can fuck off.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    It's called an SLA, if the service doesn't provide one go somewhere that does.

  • If there are alternatives, then the wait will probably be short. If there aren't, then you should suck it up as long as you can.

    Keep in mind, if you pay for service and they don't provide it, you are due a refund. This is quite separate from whether or not you choose to do business with them in the future.

  • by Kwyj1b0 (2757125) on Saturday February 02, 2013 @03:03PM (#42772491)

    This is such a vague question that it cannot be answered in a sensible way. It depends on the service, and alternatives. If I have no alternatives, I am out of luck. On the other hand, if there are dozens of options, I'd switch as soon as I believe the alternatives would provide better value for money. If it is a critical service (depending on the application), even a few minutes might be catastrophic.

    The re-compensation issue should be dealt with in the service level agreements/TOS (including no-cost cancellations).

    As for communicating problems, I'd expect to be kept in the loop - each time they make a new estimate of restoration time, I should be send a notification by my medium of choice. It is unacceptable that a paying client have no idea when service would be restored. Obviously, as problems are discovered, the estimate will be modified. But I still would want to have the latest estimate (especially for work-related services).

  • I know this is a little bit like sneering, but how appropriate that this question to the Slashdot community was inspired by Funimation Roku.
  • If I get something for free, then obviously not an issue. File a bug report, and if they don't fix it before you lose interest, move on, but you can't really complain too much about it.

    If I pay for a service, then my willingness to put up with outages depends entirely on their willingness to not charge me during downtimes.

    Now, if I need the service in question, they only get a few days before I find someone else to provide it, regardless of free or not.

    Note that this assumes having no real contract i
  • A number of factors (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sjames (1099) on Saturday February 02, 2013 @03:09PM (#42772545) Homepage

    My willingness to give them a chance would depend on a number of things:

    1. Am I getting credited for the outage time?
    2. Did they offer it or did I have to ask/demand it
    3. Are they willing to talk about what's gone wrong and how long they think it will take to fix?
    4. How have they treated me in the past.
    • by PhotoJim (813785)

      This. Stuff happens - but if companies aren't communicating with me and giving me some sort of consideration for my lost value (if warranted, and it seems warranted here), I have every right - morally and legally - to wander elsewhere.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    your own question

    "about a month"

  • Basic economy theorem: elasticity. Can you find similar service somewhere else at competitive pricing? Then why not get the $ out ritta way?
  • by reallocate (142797) on Saturday February 02, 2013 @03:44PM (#42772789)

    At first glance, I thought this was about Bank of America's day-long outage yesterday. On the first of the month, phone, ATM and online access was gone until late in the evening Eastern time.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I also got screwed by that too. BoA also had trouble with some of the back-end processes. My first direct depost paycheck from my new job bounced. Paychex charges a good bit for rerunning payroll so I'm stuck until Friday Feb 15 until I get paid. Also, my unemployment deposit from WA for the previous week did not go through. That's going to be a huge hassle to get fixed. This is the first time I've ever not paid my rent on time, so I am pissed at BoA.

      • by sribe (304414)

        I also got screwed by that too. BoA also had trouble with some of the back-end processes. My first direct depost paycheck from my new job bounced. Paychex charges a good bit for rerunning payroll so I'm stuck until Friday Feb 15 until I get paid.

        It is your company's legal responsibility to pay you right fucking now! They should ask Paychex to rerun the deposit at no fee or reduced fee, and if their rep can't/won't do that, they should pay to have it rerun then take up the matter of being compensated for that expense with BoA. You, as well, should make sure that BoA sends a nice letter on your behalf to any account you paid late, explaining that it was their fault.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          > It is your company's legal responsibility to pay you right fucking now!

          Not in this state. The Department of Labor here can allow a company to refuse to write paychecks and require direct deposit. Several companies have gotten away with not paying low-level employees that don't have bank accounts. My brother was never paid by Tatley-Grund construction. He worked as a low-level construction site janitor, and he didn't want to open a bank account because he owed back taxes.

          The allowing pay only on reg

  • by shentino (1139071)

    I'd prefer to make it a race between them and the competition

  • If it's not critical or I immedeatly think I can replace it (even if service itself thinks they are unique): 1 days(and for it doesn't matter if it's happen on USA Independence Day or Chinese New Year), to get at least some response on what's going on. 1 week to fully solve issue. if it's critical...start with above but will scout net for replacements, if where are REALLY no replacements...will try to make as much public uproar as possible to make issue fixed last 2 real issues with paid-for services: - fi
  • I lost all service from my cable provider for 10 days in November last year.

    That was a serious inconvenience. However since it was due to a natural disaster I could hardly blame them.

  • 24 hours for a message explaining the issue, or the fact there is an issue

    48 hour updates on how the issue resolution is going

    After 1 week a full month refund with no questions

    Down time longer then two weeks, ask the community for help.
  • If a customer service rep says something to me like "I'm sorry about this. It's our fault and we're trying to correct it as soon as possible." that goes a long way, and will buy them some time (the amount of time depending on how critical this service is to me). Even more important is getting *real* tech support when you need it. A warm body answering the phone and telling me they will pass it along to someone else is not sufficient. If I have those two things I'll be very forgiving, because I know how
  • by Kagato (116051) on Saturday February 02, 2013 @04:20PM (#42772983)

    Funimation has had ongoing problems with their website for over a year. They continually have problems with site performance, video player performance and have pretty routine crashes. They have been calling their website Beta since 2011.

    • ... the Roku channel in question is most certainly not termed as "beta" in any shape or form. Neither is their Android app (can't say about the Apple one, no Apple product here).

      I do see the same problems... anytime after 6pm of a weekday evening the Roku app is slow to load, and does crash my Roku (yes, it's a N1000 but it still gives good service for a device that initially came out just for Netflix). The Android app at least is more stable but its interface is quirky and requires some figuring out.

      Funim

  • I have dsl in dc from verizon now, and service started getting worse about two years ago, and is now really bad. There are half days and sometimes full days when the connection drops and cannot be maintained, tho it will connect again for a minute or so, which is enough to get mail. My understanding from the bloomberg articles by Susan Crawford http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-12-25/merger-made-comcast-strong-u-s-web-users-weak.html [bloomberg.com] is that it's a capacity problem caused by monopoly collusion between Veri
  • Generally, I'll sample during a trial because that's a freebie. If I've paid in, they get that cycle to sell me.

  • I signed up with a virtual private server vendor, who had a super-good price on a Xen-based Debian server. I noted that they had what seemed to be a fairly good SLA (99.9% uptime). I signed up originally on month-to-month to see how they performed, and was pleasantly surprised, so I then switched to semi-annual on the Xen server. I needed another node for another project, and determined that one of their OpenVZ slices would do the job at a lower price. A few weeks after signing up for the OpenVZ slice, I wa

  • It's a cartoon channel. You expect a SLA for that?

    However, they are unusually clueless. www.funimation.com [funimation.com] is nothing like valid HTML. It's an obfuscated Javascript file with a starter bit of Javascript to execute it. But it doesn't work because the character coding is wrong. I'm not sure whether their site has been hacked, or whether their site is a hack.

  • This year Netflix was down 30 hrs and Time Warner had a 39 hour outtage. That seems about right to burn their offices down and kill them all.

  • I can truly sympathize with the OP. My 300 Mbps Verizon FiOS service has been broken for over a week now. Verizon claims it is a widespread outage, but apparently it isn't wide enough to get anyone to actually work on it. Today I reconfigured my network to use one of my kids' cell phones for the main Internet connection. Now it works better than it has for weeks, even though I'm only getting 6 Mbps of bandwidth. Upon my initial report Verizon insisted that everything was fine and that it must be my equ
  • ...it appears to be free on Roku, so you're getting what you paid for. Move along or wait for it to come back, your choice.
  • I mean, you have to manually add it - it's not in the channel shop, or at least it wasn't last time I checked.

    That being said, if you are paying for a service, whether in beta or not, the company needs to be on top of it. If the service doesn't work - or doesn't work properly during certain times, the company should give users at least a partial credit if they can't get the service restored in a couple of days.

    I am actually really sad to hear about this - I installed the Funimation channel a couple of month

  • As far as I can tell these days, "service" means:
    1. Go the company web site
    2. Look for some clue what's wrong. "Sorry! Our servers are down!" Find nothing
    3. Look for a phone number to call them. Find nothing, or find that it's only open 10am to 2pm Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Or sit on perma-hold for twenty minutes
    4. Look for a support e-mail address. Find an irritating web form that only works with a browser that you don't use
    5. Two days later, post to every forum, blog, Facebook, and Twitter feed you can find in ord

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