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Saturday, April 14, 2012

Blog Talk Radio 'its not our fault attitude' shows poor customer service

Image representing Blog Talk Radio as depicted...
Image via CrunchBase
ROJS News Op/Ed

ROJS Radio as consumers and hosts on Blog Talk Radio (BTR), in the past five months been very disappointed in the product and services offered by this network. Additionally, we deeply apologize to our listeners for the quality of today's show. 

On April 14, 2012, ROJS Radio was scheduled to host our regular live show at 11:00 AM ET. For nearly two years, we have used Google Chrome Browser to host the program without many issues. Logging onto ROJS Radio today, Google Chrome would not open only two websites. Other websites on the World Wide Web, we had no problems opening prior to the show. The two websites with issues were our Blog Talk Radio Studio and Blog Talk Radio Page

Sites that could be open without issues this morning included: 

-The Huffington Post 
-The Detroit News 
-The Detroit Free Press 
-Think Progress 
-Excite News 
-ROJS News 
-Google Browser 
-Google Documents 
-Linked In 

As you can see, it was strange to only have BTR experiencing problems opening in Google Chrome. This was BEFORE any internet live-streaming took place on with our program. 

From there, we opened Internet Explorer (who we don't prefer) to host the show. This was somewhat successful with opening the studio but, initially connecting via Skype was non-existent. To connect to Skype a complete shutdown was required of our computers. 

Photo Credit-ROJS Radio Logo
After restarting the computers we're able to re-log into BTR studios (note-we had deal with all of these technical issues WHILE hosting our show via cellular phones. Otherwise, ROJS Radio would have started late and with 'dead air'). 

At this point, we (Autumn S and I) decided to try and receive BTR Chat Help while trying to fix our technical issues with Chrome, had I.E. open, hosting the program on the phone, and trying to chat with BTR help at the same time. To say our show quality was suffering, would be an understatement. 

BTR Chat Help personnel us advised 'Google Chrome' and ‘Internet Explorer’ did an 'magical update' this morning. Amazingly, we hadn’t heard this elsewhere on the World Wide Web. Not from BTR either, who sends out 'reminders' one hour prior to the LIVE airing of our show. 

It appears BTR couldn't inform us of this 'update' requiring us to reset our 'cookies and browsing history' before our program aired LIVE. We were told that to do so would cause other hosts to 'freak out'. Mind you ROJS Radio hosts were 'freaking out' with our technical issues but, we assume that wasn't a problem of BTR's. 

Moving on, after 'cookie and browser histories' clearing, Google Chrome did work. As hosts, we still had issues. First, we'd previously experienced intermittent technical issues for at least four months. Mostly with VOIP Skype, which is not BTR fault so we don’t complain. Usually, we try and work our way past it but today by being unable to log onto our show via Google Chrome, (again first time in two years this ever was an issue) let's just say we're frustrated. 

One more important point, two GUESTS were scheduled onto our program today. One of which we had to cancel seven minutes prior to appearance. That’s appears so professional, right? Wrong. 

With Google Chrome up, our BTR's studio up and Blog Talk Radio webpage working after our BTR Chat Help assistance to reset our ‘Cookies and Histories”; I tried to switch my windows opened in Internet Explorer to Chrome along with the main hosting of our show. Upon doing such, our entire show shut down, logged off and we were unable continuing hosting our program. 

At this point, we wanted help over and beyond typing in a chat box. Specifically, we desired a call. Mind you, since October 2010 we've have paid $640.00 over 16 months to BTR for rights to host a program on the platform. To some, that might not seem as if its’ a huge amount of cash to dish out. 

Regardless, we're consumers with expectations of service for the product paid, no matter how small our monthly checking account deduction to BTR might appear to others. 

To say that our phone chat was disappointing is an understatement. Instead of help, understanding and admitting a BIT of fault for our less than pleasant experience during the morning program both I and my Co-Host received a song and dance titled, “Its’ everything in the world but BTR’s fault you’re having issues-101”. 

We were told the following: 

1. You MUST clear your ‘Cookies and Browser’ history EACH TIME before hosting your program. Now, mind you again, series of internet sites worked (see above) this morning in Google Chrome our attempts to log into BTR. 

2. You MUST update your Java, Adobe, other flash player EACH TIME before hosting your program. Okay, we never had a problem before with flash players. As far as we know, unless a new version of the Flash player are issued; we would download the same version of the Flash Update each weekend. Also, what does this have to do with every other website opening without issues in our current version of Java, Adobe or other Flash Player this morning? Not understanding this one but, go on.... 

3. You MUST re-set your Modem/Wireless connection EACH TIME before hosting your program. Really? Seriously? This is required now to host a BTR program without technical issues. What does this have to do with not being able to log onto BTR’s website, we don’t know. 

4. You ONLY can use Firefox to host your show. Umm...two years ago, my personal computer received a huge virus using Firefox so I (Monica RW) vowed to stay away from that browser. 

5. You MUST be Hardwired to your routers for your show, the entire program. Okay but what if we want to host our show on the road like last Saturday's LIVE podcast at Ann Arbor's Annual Hash Bash? We'll have to invest in one long Ethernet cable to do so. Defeats any purpose of hosting ROJS Radio, ever in life, on the road. Ironically last week, our 'on-the-road' podcast internet connection was via my T-Mobile Nokia C-7 'Over the Air' 3G Wi-Fi. Details, details...we guess.

In the end, it appeared to be my Autumn and I fault why a browser both of us used 145 miles apart from each other, had issues working BTR’s website & studio. To this, we say, NOT SO MUCH. 

One thing learned in previous years as a retail store manager is that ‘the customer is always right even if there’re wrong’. Only thing in this case neither my Co-Host nor I were wrong. Its’ frankly insulting to hear that our $640 dollars paid over the last 16 months is treated so vainly by BTR, that they couldn’t admit a bit of guilt about this situation. 

Our expectations: One-refund of our April monthly fee. Two-apologies for ‘blaming the hosts, browser, modem, sky, airplanes flying above our separate locations, turning on water in our sinks, personal microwaves (yes, the one used to cook popcorn) etc'....attitude with BTR’s Chat Help staff today. Three- Appreciation that ROJS Radio seeks to run a professional show for the network and assistance from BTR to make this happen. 

Let’s see if any of our expectations are met by Blog Talk Radio. If not, we'll have to move elsewhere to host a quality and professional Political Talk Radio program. 

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1 comment :

Ken said...

So glad I stumbled on this, very well written. I have been having issues with the audio uploaded to the studio sounding very scratchy and, at times, almost inaudible. It worked okay for me for a few weeks and slowly started getting worse. I have tried different computers (including a very new one), skype, calling in on my phone, wifi and ethernet all to no avail. I once had a show end after 10 minutes without hitting a single button as I started talking on the show. My last resort is to try IE and hope it sounds good to me. This audio issue extends to the shows I listen to on the site as well. The actual talk seems to be good but the uploaded audio clips are terrible! I'm really ready to call it quits, especially after getting a response that isn't even close to what you got. Good luck to you in the future. I hope it is/will work out for you.

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