Sunday, September 30, 2007

Mediamax had extreme problems in September 2007

Let's see if we can help Mediamax.

JD posted a comment on the last entry:

---Quote begins
I got a response from John Hood about this automatic reply they are sending nowadays which basically says why tell bad news and scare people away and there is nothing to report anymore.
.....
Thanks for writing. It's kind of a lose/lose situation isn't it? If we send out updates we get ripped, if we don't send out updates we get ripped. This is all the latest news. That's what we're trying to communicate to customers.

I can't think of any company that refers people to an outside blog. We won't be doing that
---quote ends

The Mediamax strategy at present seems to be as follows:

1. It states on the site right now: "MediaMax, powered by Streamload, gives you a private and secure place to upload, store, access, and share your personal videos, photos, movies, music, and files" - with no indication that the system is no longer secure and that many users have been unable to access a significant proportion of files for months.

2. The contact details page lists loads of media articles praising Mediamax, but none of the postings on the internet about the problems with the system.

3. There is no 'current status' link to enable a check on how the system is.

4. There are contact details for support, who we know are variable in the information they give out, and there is a link to the official blog, which hasn't been updated since reporting the 401 error problem on 19 September.

Now, John Hood points out in the quote above: "If we send out updates we get ripped, if we don't send out updates we get ripped."

So what do we want Mediamax to do? I know the short answer is: Fix the system!! But they tell us they are working on it. I'm thinking specifically here how do we want communication about system status (see the quick link to 'wish lists' if you want to post about other things).

I can see that having some sort of more frequently updated status report on the Mediamax site is a problem for the company. They don't want new visitors to their site, who have perhaps read some of the glowing media reports, to know how the system has fallen over. But it is dishonest to the point of false advertising not to give clear status information while promising security and access.

So I'd like to see something like a daily updated report giving information such as:

1. File availability as a percentage.

2. Upload success rate.

3. Average time for an uploaded file to appear in the Filemanager.

4. Current problem list.

These could even be automatically updated, but I don't really want to divert the engineers from other work.

John provides this information to us if we shout enough, so why not add it to a status report every day? It would surely take less time in the long run. As an interim step the official blog could even be used.

Having clear status information may even help Mediamax should it be accused of misrepresenting the reliability of its service.

It wouldn't be an innovation. Sites like http://www.btconnect.com/ have clear links on their first page to system status information.

What do the rest of you think?

4 comments:

JD said...

Completely agree with you, as I replied before to John Hood better bad news than no news at all. Now we have a service which hardly functions and we don't know at all what is happening at mediamax and what not.
It's very hard to stay optimistic if you don't see or know that progress is made

hawkecrystal said...

Since MM's support crew can't give consistant answers, I can't see that their update news would be worth any more unless they all get on the same page out there. On the recent login/password issues where the site, or at least parts of it, go to requiring a login, password, and domain, I wrote to service. I actually got real responses, which was amazing in itself, but they were all different. One support reply was about server problems, another about upload servers being offline, and the majority was about it being user error and I needed to clear my cache and cookies. (Which is patently moronic since it wasn't happening just to me, or on just one of my systems, or consistantly even on one system.) If their support doesn't even know what a true answer is, I can't expect their site news to be anymore revealing. I'd like to see updates, HONEST ONES, at least then I'd feel they were making an HONEST attempt and giving a damn about fixing THEIR problems.

keith said...

Mediamax is simply trying to get all the folks , the old folks who have unlimited accounts to cancel.Think about how much it is costing them for unlimited storage?Mediamax I aint cancelling.You FUCK UPS simplywont get me to cancel.Im gonna wait you bastards out.Ill pay the $9,95.Just keep adding servers causeI aint cancelling.Hope you read this Robbing Hood!

John Hood said...

You're taking what I said out of context, but I guess that's your prerogative.
We're reporting site changes as they occur on our blog. Sorry, but that's not going to happen everyday. It will continue to happen only as changes occur.

Robbing Hood! That's a new one. I usually get "Robin" or "Boyz in Da".