No product launch comes without hiccups, but those faced by DirecTV Now are starting to leave a bad taste in users’ mouths.
More than a month and a half after launch, it appears that outages, errors, and log-on problems have persisted for some users, leading them to take to social media to vent.
In addition to log-on issues, users also reported the service keeps crashing in the middle of programming and said they faced streaming issues in the form of constant buffering and error messages. One user on Twitter likened DirecTV Now to a “dumpster fire” and said the product was “nothing but problems.” Another reported DirecTV Now was “the most frustrating, disappointing TV experience ever.”
DirecTV Now’s customer service account on Twitter has acknowledged the problems in a series of tweets, suggesting that uninstalling and reinstalling the app might help. But frustrated users haven’t taken kindly to the suggestion, nor to the fact that AT&T appears to be denying refunds for customers who have had enough. One user reported he was able to obtain a refund only by turning to the FCC’s complaint process.
Though the DirecTV Now launched in November to wide speculation about its potential for huge success, the service stumbles have left AT&T open to criticism – both from the press and competitors. While T-Mobile CEO John Legere has yet to join the chorus, Sling TV CEO Roger Lynch has already pounced. In a Friday the 13th tweet last week, Lynch suggested DirecTV Now was one of the frightening things people should stay away from.
When news of DirecTV Now’s fourth major outage broke on Friday, TVPredictions.com warned the service had finally “hit the iceberg” and was “sinking.”
“Even I am amazed that DIRECTV Now is still having such serious issues. I thought it would have ironed out the basic kinks by now and would only be afflicted with the usual live streaming snafus, such as buffering during highly-watched shows and sporting events,” Phillip Swann at TV Predictions wrote. “If the situation doesn’t improve soon — and I mean real soon — I have to think that AT&T will seriously consider suspending the service until it can fix the errors. All the errors.”
In a statement to The Verge, though, AT&T insisted “overall feedback on DirecTV Now has been very positive.”
“With any new technology there are going to be fixes that need to be made,” the company’s statement read. “We’re continuously updating the app to provide a better experience for customers. We encourage customer to keep the app updated.”