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Erik's Spin


Technical Issues Continue to Affect Sling TV

13 Apr, 2015 By: Erik Gruenwedel

To some Sling TV subscribers, streaming the April 12 premiere of “Game of Thrones” via Roku was an exercise in frustration. Not unlike the men’s college basketball Final Four April 6 when technical snafus undermined streaming Duke vs. Michigan State and Wisconsin vs. Kentucky.

Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch again took to social media, first giving a shout out to the IT department for delivering a “great experience” to the “vast majority of our customers.” He also acknowledged ongoing technical issues.

“We heard of (and experienced for ourselves) some Roku devices taking too long to load our app. Our teams are actively addressing this issue,” Lynch said.

The executive said improvements were made to a variety of core systems — from account creation to service delivery. Sling also enhanced its app across all platforms, which helped in load management and delivered new features, like parental controls, according to Lynch.

None of that mattered to me the morning of April 13 when a frozen TV screen image of Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio on CNN confirmed all was not well between Sling TV and Roku.

A Sling rep reaffirmed the Roku issues, which prompted a call to the latter’s customer service and the following voice message: “You’re estimated wait time is less than 20 minutes. We apologize for the delay.”

Luckily, in half that time I was connected to a technical rep located in India. She told me to unplug and plug-in (after 30 seconds) my Netgear wireless router. Then I was prompted to reload the Sling TV app. The technical issues continued.

I was put back on hold with Muzak. When the rep returned, she told me to push the home button on the Roku remote five times, followed by the rewind key three times and fast-forward button twice. That brought me to a screen allowing me to override the default streaming speed.

Following the prompts back to the home page, I clicked on the Sling TV link and back to CNN. The tech rep said she would wait to make sure the streams worked. They did long enough to be informed my case file would be kept open for future reference.

I was also told that my 90 days of free customer service had expired. Should I call technical support again, I would be charged a $9.99 fee.

A few minutes later my TV screen froze again. I switched to Pandora without any issues. I think I’ll watch a DVD next.



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