Foxtel iQ3 – The worst piece of technology this year?

Foxtel IQ3 Website
Ladies and gentlemen, it appears that we have a definite contender (and likely winner) of the 2015 Shonky Awards! When you pay a premium for cable television, it is every Australian’s right that, they get premium hardware… or that at least works… or that works on occasion… at least I now know, this was a woeful fallacy I was under.

On IT News (http://www.itnews.com.au/CXOChallenge/404155,innovating-for-your-life.aspx#ixzz3aeJON2n7) an article which seemingly Ms Nell Payne (Group Director Technology and Operations at Foxtel) had input into states the following:

“The company faced a bit of a hiccup when the iQ3 first launched over performance issues, though the cacophony of complaints has now hushed.”

To IT News (which was likely paraphrasing discussions with Ms Payne) and to Ms Payne herself, I provide the following response… I have an “iQ3 Saga File” My summary file on the saga currently sits at the following (time to grab some popcorn):

The first block is things that I have personally raised or have encountered myself. Wherever possible I have provided a link to at least one relevant forum post for the major items. I also highly recommend the “Overall less than spectacular operations during release” section.

At the very bottom (“Posts that say it all”) I have gone through the last two pages only of one of the forums (user feedback only, I figured this was more than enough to illustrate my point).

Throughout the process I have been very active on the forums (some of the post linked below are my own or posts I have been involved in), I like to think I am an extremely level-headed individual and I work in I.T. and know what system design, development, and testing is like… I do it day-to-day. This is one such post that I believe is quite level headed http://community.foxtel.com.au/t5/Foxtel-iQ3/class-action-regarding-IQ3/m-p/56879# (first reply).

The only way I have succeeded in using my box is to use it primarily for watching TV live or download SD catchup (recordings have been too flaky). I have been lucky enough that after much complaining and a formal complaints process, Foxtel agreed to re-activate my old IQ-HD box for 6 months at no cost until the issues were ironed out (I feel it is only fair to now let the community know) they also agreed to refund the full cost of install and the IQ3 (not all has been applied to my account yet).

The questions I ask of Foxtel are:

  1. Why have we gone just shy of 60 days since release with no update? Bundling everything into one will only likely cause new bugs rather than logical, incremental fixes with time to test in between.
  2. Why has senior management not addressed the Foxtel community yet?
  3. What will be done to compensate those that have suffered had crippled iQ3 boxes for two months (and counting)?
  4. What is being done to review your user acceptance testing plans and procedures? As has become apparent, the testing that the iQ3 was put through has failed to reveal an embarrassing number of issues.
  5. What plans are being put in place (if any) to put in place a sufficient beta testing program including real life users to test real world scenarios of future updates (to better put them through their paces)?

So feel free to vent and/or add your comments below is there anything I have currently missed from the below?

Cheers,
Stuart

My current outstanding list of bugs include:

User Interface Issues:

In some ways it has been a step backwards as well:

Overall less than spectacular operations during release:

Posts that say it all:

  • David Hein

    Yup, totally agree Stuart. To date I’ve lodged a complaint with the ACCC and today sent submissions to Today Tonight and ABCs The Checkout (including a reference to your list) to see if this saga gets picked up by mainstream media. Hopefully greater exposure will put Foxtel under the spotlight to fix this and make a public apology. Personally, I think anyone that was unlucky enough to be caught with this beta product, deserves a refund of their upgrade fee or some complementary premium access for a few months as a gesture of goodwill. I think Foxtel have shot themselves in the foot in their the rush to get this product to market a couple of days prior to Netflix launch not to mention the poor way they’ve handled this debarcle. It’s given me time to further explore my Apple TV & Netflix, and now I’m even considering dropping my Satellite subscription after almost 20 years! I wonder how many more of their customers are re considering their position too. Interesting times 🙂

  • That is awesome to hear David. I have contacted:

    CNET
    SMH
    LifeHacker
    ItNews
    The Register
    Nine News Australia
    Seven’s Sunrise

    Had some contact from CNET who asked for more details, sent them the above and have not heard back 🙁

    I wholeheartedly agree and I just need to discuss with the other party that has a stake in me keeping the Foxtel connection as to whether we continue with it or not… to be honest I am just enjoying Netflix at the moment and believe I get a free 6 month subscription to Stan as well via the Sydney Morning Herald subscription that I have.

    So I am in the same boat as you there… seriously reconsidering if I keep paying ~$130 a month… for that I could just get a subscription to all the other services and wouldn’t be that much more worse off.

    Very interesting times 😉

  • dod

    I want my IQ2 HD box back. This thing is a laggy POS. The concept is good, execution not so good.

  • Approved

  • Jamie

    I have an IQHD2 in the room next to mine and a IQ3 in mine, the Iq2 has Perfect signal Strength and quality however my IQ3 has full strength but low (1 bar) quality. From the new update (29/07/2015) more issues have rissen for me, the signal issue is still there now my remote is failing to work properly. Buttons do not work (colored buttons and library) really glitchy UI slow to load channels and speed of the internet is not as fast as it should be.

  • Approved

    This has been sent from my iPhone, apologies for any brevity.

  • LOL oops, that is what I get for approving via email… and I agree, the new software update STILL has not fixed easily getting back to the menu when you are finished watching a show… it now seems like they have disabled the “back” button.

  • David Hein

    Just checking back in after 2 months of IQ2 bliss. Looks like IQ3 still isn’t fixed, so I’ll probably check back again in 6 months. My weeks of agro on this forum are now a distant memory after swapping the IQ3 back for my IQ2. For anyone else still struggling, I’d wholeheartedly recommend biting the bullet, getting your old IQ2 back and moving on with life!

  • Yea, I have to say the most recent update is a good step forward but still leaves a LOT to be desired. I have a couple more months until I have to make the decision (my IQHD is still active for free) but if they cant fix it by then I will let the IQ3 go and keep the IQHD

  • Annette

    WE have complained numerous times to Foxtel about the IQ3 about shows i have recorded only to stop 13 minutes into them, at the moment after a discussion with a foxtel member in the Phillipines 2 hours ago when she assured me to wait 20 min; & all would be fixed, iam still waiting, the message on the Tv is to wait 10 min; my patience is worn very thin, why do we have to speak to someone in another country, where is the service we pay dearly for?

  • Jeffrey Lacey

    I totally agree, have experienced the same problems. IQ3 is just bloody awful compared to my old IQ1 it an absolute disgrace that an poory developed product should be foisted upon the public like Foxtel have done.

  • Peter Ciaglia

    The really scary thing is that all these posts are from 4-6 months ago, and nothing has changed. It has been a nightmare. Back to IQ2.

  • I completely agree with you, there are still so many fundamental flaws in the software… and the things they fix are so minor. I can’t believe they haven’t at least publicly apologised for the woeful woeful product.

  • Sal

    Wow, I must be a sucker for punishment. Got IQ3 when it was released as I believed the hype. For 9 months I have put up with many of the issues mentioned in this article. Either commonsense prevailed or the frown wrinkles were getting to me, but whatever the case I finally decided I was done with this lemon. I sent Foxtel an email last week (because calling them and trying to get a human in a timely manner was something this sucker learned the hard way… never happens!) laying it out for them in the simplest of terms. (1) Give me my IQ2 boxes back. (2) remove from my home the junk you gave me in March. (3) If you charge me to have them swapped over, disregard (1), perform (2), then action (4). Which was to cancel my subscription. An hour later, Foxtel called me. Yes… I kid you not. Foxtel called me. The young man apologised, gave me a credit on my account, and promised to courier out 2 IQ2 boxes at no charge. ‘2’ seems to be a better number for me because only 2 days later, allied couriers knocked on my door. Since then, I’ve been enjoying what feels like the company of an old friend saying things like “I’m so glad you’re back” & “I’m so sorry I ever got rid of you”

  • Travis Wruck

    And it’s been 7 months since your post and I’m still having trouble with this iq3 recording wrong channels needing reboot recording only 2 minutes of show lagging etc

  • Piki Rennie

    We have had on going issues with our IQ3 box rebooting itself all the time,deleting Recorded programmes on its own accord,I have had numerous arguments with the call centre over these issues and quite frankly the box is ready to go into the Bin where it belongs

  • Piki Rennie

    We thought we were doing great getting this IQ3 machine it’s been more of a head ache than anything and if I am paying for a service I expect to have a product in good working order,I can begin to say how many run ins I have had with the customer service people

  • Piki Rennie

    The customer service say they can send out a technician at a cost of Ex amount of dollars,my reply to that was,why the hell should I have to pay for a shitty product

  • Julie

    I have an IQ3 have only had it for 10 weeks has given me nothing but problems every week something has gone wrong am always ringing Foxtel am sick of it now in the last couple of days don’t have a satellite signal so pissed off with this IQ3 am thinking of going back to IQ2 when I spoke to someone from Foxtel they told me to go back to IQ2 I I have to pay for the difference between the two boxes no way I am not paying I would rather cancel my subscription and go with someone else Foxtel get rid of your IQ3 it is the worst thing that you have ever come out with so many people have complained about this IQ3 you brought out a dud machine whI have in my opinion belongs in the bin and how about when people ring to tell you all the problems they are having with their IQ3 you put a real person on the phone not a robot in the Phillipines