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MLB.TV....If you are thinking about paying for this service Beware


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12 replies to this topic

#1 JustSwain

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Posted 29 April 2012 - 09:15 PM

Hey Everyone,

[Edit] This got resolved! I was able to get through to the higher level customer service who appologized and provided me with some compensation for my troubles! I can once again recomend this service, though with a caveat that it is by no means perfect. If you want examples read below, but otherwise, go forth and watch!

Earlier in the year I posted a response in which I heavily endorsed the MLB.TV product. If anyone purchased this product on my recomendation I would like to appologize. This year they have lowered the bar on every single service they offer, and provided a Nex-Def app that does not run properly, at least on my machine. After dozens of conversations with the technical staff regarding this product, they told me to refer my complaints to customer service, who promptly dropped me as a customer. My complaints were legitimate, I missed parts of games, got spoilers on games that I wanted to watch from the archives, and had some genuinely unpleasant viewing experiences. Support chose not to listen to any of this and then had the gaul to dump me as a customer. As a result I will be unable to view most of the Cubs games this season, and will probably just stop following baseball. I've been a fan for over 30 years, so this is a huge blow to me, but I don't see any other way to get the games, and I refuse to pay for a service that will treat me like that. I'm sure not everyone on this site will miss my sometimes acerbic comments, but I will miss comming here and talking baseball with the best and most educated Cubs fans on the internet. I just doubt I will have anything more to say about it since I am not going to be able to see the games. Go Cubbies, and I hope they have a great season. I'll lurk my way by every once in awhile, but I will no longer be able to contribute in a meaningful way.

#2 Brett

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 07:05 AM

That's a shitty experience, and I don't understand how a business could run themselves that way, but I'd be remiss if I didn't say ... for real? You're going to quit the Cubs because MLB.tv was being shitty to you? I know it's harder to follow the Cubs when you can't watch the games, but - without being too self-congratulatory - that's why sites like BN exist. For years, I couldn't watch 80% of Cubs games, and so I followed them online when I couldn't.

Sorry to hear about your crappy experience, and would be even more sorry to see you go.

#3 FFP

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 08:57 AM

I have had a bad time getting games in other markets and media too. Last year, when Fox decided a rain delay between the Sox and the Yanks was too long they went to "a regularly scheduled program," The Simpsons, instead of the 8th and 9th innings of the game.
This MLB's fault. They are squeezing out every TV dollar they can with blackouts and rights to broadcast sold to outlets that poorly represent the sport with bad on-air personalities in the booth and ignorant engineers in the truck. I don't blame them for monetizing. I blame them for obscuring. They've got no metric for that.

The first time the Red Sox won it all in my life; I couldn't see it all because games would start so late--in hopes of a prime time or West Coast audience--that by the end of the ALCS I was a physical mess. (Paying fans have to go to work the next day...had they thought of this?)
Kids can't follow in most markets for the same reason (Cubs fans will feel this more as you transition to more night games--and more post-season play.)

And when games went to high def, I tried to watch a game with my 80 year old mother (she was quite a fan once, but had drifted from the game) I thought she'd like the big screen experience. A naturally saguine person, she correctly criticized camara and engineering work. She couldn't tell what kind of the lead a runner was taking, for example, because the hoopty-doo camera was trying to catch the light refracting from a drop of sweat on the pitcher's nose, oooh, drama.

There is a "fan experience" possible. But, they are really screwing up the fan base; young, old and in the middle.

Sorry for your experience, JS. I suggest putting up the live box score and following a game thread live here.

#4 Beer Baron

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 09:49 AM

And listening to games is still a great way to follow. Pat Hughes is awesome, and with the MLB At Bat app you can listen anywhere on your smart phone (costs $15 for the season). And you'll still be able to see some games on WGN, ESPN, TBS, and Fox. Besides - of all the reasons to quit being a Cub fan, not liking the broadcast options should be quite low on the list. We've put up with a lot of crap over the years (and I mean A LOT of crap)...no reason to jump ship now.

#5 JustSwain

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 03:59 PM

I'm not going to stop following the Cubs, but I'm also not going to be able to watch the games. I just meant to point out that I wouldn't be posting as much because much of what I analyze I do so with my eye, and its the combination of statistics and my real life knowledge of the game that I think grant me an individual voice that is worth expressing. I'll never stop loving the Cubs, I just won't be able to watch them anymore. I'm not going to stop following baseball, that was overstated, but I'm also not going to spend three hours every day watching the game, analyzing Ian Stewarts swing, or trying to figure out if Bryan Lahair is legit or just riding a high BABiP. As far as the MLB At bat app, I'm not giving a single cent to that organization unless I recieve an appology, and not only has that not happened, its not going to happen. I have played and then followed baseball since I was 5 years old. I can analyze swings, release points, foot work, tell you why I think Clevenger is legit, and Castillo is never going to hit above .240 in the majors, but I can't do that if I can't see the games. I'm not saying I will never be around here, just that my days of posting my opinion are probably over, because I'm unlikely to have one. Perhaps I was being overly dramatic, I'm really upset over the whole thing. I went to their customer service with the expectation that they would realistically address my concerns, but instead they dropped me as a customer. I'd never even HEARD of a company doing that before. They have a monopoly, they sensed that I was passionate about the game, and they figured, "he'll just shut up and pay because how else is he going to watch the games?" Maybe I should just shut up and pay, but I have never been able to accept being bullied, and that is exactly what MLB.TV is trying to do. It will hurt me much more than it will hurt them, but what can I do?

#6 King Jeff

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 04:31 PM

I have Comcast, and get Comcast Sports Network from every major market except for Chicago, Philly, and Dallas. I can't get a dish, because I would have to take out over $1000 dollars in renter's insurance. I don't really have the resources to pay for the MLB.com service either, so I'm in a similar boat. I've petitioned, e-mailed, called, and harassed Comcast to the extent that they wouldn't take my calls, all to no avail. They can't/won't offer CSN Chicago for the Miami/Ft. Lauderdale market. I follow the Cubs on BN, and through Twitter and other blogs. It's not as cool as being able to watch all the games, but I get to see a good deal of them on WGN and MLB network, and talking online with fellow long time Cubs fans goes a long way toward making up for the games we miss. You absolutely can't let this chase you away, that would mean that Emperor Selig has won.(Of course, Selig is who I blame for all of these problems, plus many other heinous atrocities that he has committed that affect my leisure-time sports viewing experience.)

#7 Brett

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 04:39 PM

So they kicked you out, but are willing to accept you back if you pay again? That's pretty screwed up.

#8 scorecardpaul

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 05:23 PM

I need some help from one of you smarter guys. What if I, (who lives in central Illinois, and get all Cub games in High def) were to purchase a sling box and hook it up at home. Would anyone that I gave my password to, ( say, all Bleacher nation fans) be able to watch all of the Cub games for free???
I have heard sling box is the way to go, but I am old, so I don't know much about it.
If this would work like I am thinking, it may be an option??
Does anyone know anything about these things.
Is this a realistic option?
How much trouble could I get into, if any?

#9 JustSwain

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:00 PM

Well, its illegal, so there is that. I'm not sure what the penalty would be, it varies from state to state. That would fall under the "Retransmission" part of the MLB disclaimer that most of us can probably recite by heart.

I got a response to one of my MLB support forum posts asking if one of my technical issues had been resolved, and I said, well they cancelled my subscription so yeah, it was resolved. They said they didn't show my account as canceled, so I posted the e-mail they sent me, along with my original complaint e-mail, and the first post on this topic. The Forum Moderator said he would escelate it to customer service so it could get resolved quickly. I'm thinking, "Wow, are they really going to address this?" Nope. They just called me and told me that my account will indeed be cancelled at the end of my subscription period, and provided the date...like the problem was that I didn't know what date the subscription was going to end, and not that they dropped me in response to complaints. I don't know whether to laugh or cry.

#10 JustSwain

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 04:29 PM

They just e-mailed me a code for 20% off all merchandise on MLB.Com!!!!!! WELL ALL IS FORGIVEN YOU GOD DAMN @#$*&&^^#

#11 TWC

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 09:08 AM

They just e-mailed me a code for 20% off all merchandise on MLB.Com!!!!!! WELL ALL IS FORGIVEN YOU GOD DAMN @#$*&&^^#

Wow. What a shitty parting gift. Lame.

I remember a few years back when MLB started streaming games, their Tech Support message boards were filled with people with similar stories/problems. It's terrible that they haven't learned a few things since then.

#12 JustSwain

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 02:30 AM

It gets wierder and wierder, but I did at the very least get an appology "For the confusion" so I have to give them that. I also got an e-mail saying they were going to give me some compensation. Then two e-mails telling me they wished to recall their last e-mail. I think they are just screwing with me at this point. I also think this might get cleared up in the next couple days, and if it is then I will continue my subscription. For gods sake, I'm a charter subscriber. I was on the first year the service was available, and at that point you were basically paying to be part of their beta. I really hope they clear this up though. It would make me very happy to be able to keep watching this team. I'm growing a bit fond of our pound full of scruffy but loveable strays. I will admit though, the 20% off coupon kinda pissed me off. I'd get a Cubs Tatoo before I wore a Cubs hat. No offense meant to anyone its just that I'm too cool to don sports paraphanalia. I might have to break down when they come to Target Field though since Blue is a Twins color as well, so I can't just go wearing a Blue T-shirt. If its anything like when I saw them in the Dome though, it'll be more Cubs fans than Twinkie fans anyway. I was just thinking to myself...thats the last Cubs game I saw in person. Mark Prior was the starting pitcher for one of those games. I gotta make it back to the North Side during the summer. Seems like its always off season when I'm in the city.

#13 JustSwain

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Posted 04 May 2012 - 12:07 PM

Woohoo! MLB responded to me! O.k. I can't claim to have had the best customer experience with MLB.TV, my trials listed above really preclude me from doing that, but at the very least they do clean up their mistakes. It took them awhile, but they appologized, claimed it was all a big mistake, and compensated me for my troubles. They are tweaking the video player, and at least some of those fixes seem to be making it into a better experience. Its a big company, there is a chance that your voice will fall through the cracks, but if you continue to work with them you eventually get to the higher level customer support personell who are nice, and actually rather charming. I spoke with a lovely young lady who did what she could to correct the mistake. If you stick with them, there is a human voice that you can eventually reach, and they act human. I'm so relieved. I refuse to back down in situations like this (not always the best character trait) and in the end I misjudged the Customer Service staff with MLB. They are nicer and more human than I thought.




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