Saturday, February 26, 2011

Rogers OnDemand Online Vs. Netflix

A week after the condo I'm renting suffered from a bathroom flood fiasco, I sat down last night to watch some TV at home. Now, my whole unit is a mess, and furniture has been moved around so I couldn't really use my TV, instead I decided to use Rogers on Demand Online (RODO). However, I am also a Netflix customer, but for some reason I chose to try RODO.

Rogers On Demand Online

I first signed up to RODO when it was in beta and was invited to sign up for it via Twitter, back then I actually liked it, the streaming was decent and I was actually impressed. That was the last time I used it until last night. Of course I forgot my password, and I needed to reset it. Strangely the guys at RODO decided that I need to answer my hint question first before they e-mail the address I signed up with the reset instructions. So off I go to the Rogers tech support page, which now seems to have a "24/7" online support chat. Yeah right. I downloaded the software they wanted, and waited for someone to "be right with me" for  quite some time - probably 10-15 minutes - before I gave up. 

Next, I call the Rogers support team and tell them the problem, they reset my password and ask me to try again. However RODO still shows my profile has been locked and I need to reset the password. The support service lady resets it again, and I still can't get in. Then *drum roll* ... dropped call.

I'm getting a little agitated right now, but I still can't log in. Then I get an e-mail to my phone saying my Rogers' portal password was reset. Great, so she ended up resetting the password to the billing portal. Isn't it bad enough that we have all these different passwords to remember, now we need to remember different passwords for the same company?

So I call them again; this time the wait time is "greater than 5 minutes". What does that mean? am I going to celebrate my 28th birthday before someone helps me?. 20 minutes later someone gets to me, and they reset the password for the right service. Awesome, now lets watch a movie. 

I log in to RODO, everything seems okay, so I start browsing the shows and movies. I don't know what the logic was for some of these movies and shows, but it almost like different channels have different presentation. The stuff that I would normally watch via Rogers on Demand on my TV looks great on the site, and I see a picture and some description and ratings. However, when I look at the stuff on TMN or another channel, it looks different. Its garbage.

Anyway, lets get on with it, so I pick a movie and then to my horror the quality was crap - even pixellated - and it was lagging as well. Great, all this for nothing. Ok, let me try a show, maybe it was just the movie. I wanted to catch up on Modern Family, so started that. No. Same shit.

Okay, I'm out of here. I leave a comment regarding their service and that I'm going to Netflix. (I'll leave the rant about the TV version of ROD for another post, but for now think about this: how come they still can't figure out how to display the full movie name? Is it really rocket science? If someone knows, please tell me, seriously, please.


So, after my unsatisfactory experience with RODO, I go do what I should have done from the start. Netflix. Now, I signed up to that on my PS3, which I can't use right now due to the mess after the flooding, so I need to reset my password because who knows what I set it to when I created the account from the PS3. Anyway, go to, and reset my password. Holy crap, I don't need to answer my hint question, the password reset got sent to the e-mail, amazing! 45 seconds later I am logged into my Netflix account - and even fixed my billing address since I moved 2 months ago and Netflix hasn't been able to charge my credit card. I pick a movie (and yes the selection is not as new as ROD but there are still some awesome shows, documentaries and classics there, some even delivered in HD. 

Netflix got their streaming technology nailed. Awesome quality. Great streaming. You only need to wait a minute at the start while it sets the player up, decide on the quality it will send, and buffer the movie. So why is that? Why is it that Netflix can do such a better job at the whole customer experience thing, than Rogers could?

The answer is on the Netflix Tech Blog.

Netflix is a technology firm that delivers media. Rogers is a media/communications firm, using technology to delivery media. Similar to my post about Yahoo's Culture vs. Google's Culture, Netflix would definitely have a higher innovation ratio than Rogers because of this difference in both companies. When technology is viewed as a cost center (as it is most likely the case at Rogers), then you end up with sub-par client facing technology such as Rogers On Demand Online, and even the Rogers portal itself. This goes to most "corporate web applications" as well.

As we get more entrenched in an online world, the big corporate world needs to let go of the perception that "technology" is a cost center and not a partner for delivering excellent and innovative customer experiences.