The Winter Of Our Quickstart Guide Discontent

- January 22nd, 2010

Courtesy Digitalhome.ca

Sometimes adding a new feature can make a lot of people angry.

This seems to be the case with Rogers Cable’s “Quickstart” menu that has been rolled out to customers in Ontario. My cable boxes received the update earlier this week and it took me all of 30 seconds to join the chorus of angry subscribers!

Before the new Quickstart guide, pressing the “guide” button on your remote brought up the interactive program guide (IPG). Now you have to press the button twice to see it, which many find to be incredibly irritating. For Logitech Harmony owners, a quick tweak looks to fix the issue.

The problem with the new Quickstart guide is that it adds an extra layer of mostly useless content that is especially annoying if you are viewing it on a HDTV. Like the IPG, the updated menu continues to exist as a 4:3 format on the screen. It would be fine on an old tube television but looks silly and squished on a newer widescreen model, which many Rogers customers own!

Instead of hyping the new guide, the Rogers brain trust should have been improving the existing circa-2004 program guide. With no ability to colour-code programs by sports, news, movies, etc. and no ability to see what’s new vs. re-runs, the guide is badly in need of an overhaul. Given what subscribers pay for the privilege, Rogers can and should be doing more.

Update: I’ve heard from Rogers that they plan to make changes to the Quick Start Guide, based on customer feedback. Starting in the first week of March 2010, customers will have the option to choose between the QS Guide or IPG. Rogers is also “planning further enhancements throughout the year to improve the overall user experience, as well as several technology upgrades over the calendar year”, according to Rob Manne from Rogers Communications. Good news!

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34 comments

  1. Alex Spittal | January 22, 2010 at 11:36 am

    Completely agree with your feelings. I don’t mind pushing the button twice but it’s not a service that I wanted or feel like I need. The suggestions you’ve made about colour coding and new/rerun would be a simpler and more effective fix.

  2. Brian | January 22, 2010 at 12:03 pm

    How dare you slam the all-mighty Rogers empire. Darth Nadir (CEO) and his predecessor Darth Tedious are on the war path now. Haven’t you learned yet that everything Rogers does is for the better? We are meek sheep and need to be led by the nose to know what’s good for us. I especially like the fact that the ROGERS IPG and ROGERS SPORTS NET cannot get their act together and actually air the shows that they list in the IPG. I’ve complained (1st mistake) and was told that last minute programming changes happen. But one would think if any station could get the guide updated in time, it’s the one that belongs to the cable provider itself!! Apparently not. NBC, Global, etc do a better job of keeping to their programming.

  3. Dan T. | January 22, 2010 at 12:28 pm

    I agree completely as well. I don’t appreciate the ‘forced’ and ‘in your face nature’ of this new menu. I bet there will be advertising on that screen very soon…
    I should have the option to pull that menu up when I want to and not be part of the Guide function which we use often just to change channels or determine what to watch next.

  4. Tom | January 22, 2010 at 12:47 pm

    Same, agree, and hope they fix this irritation soon. The TV Guide for Rogers is horrible as well. I wish they would update it, colour code it and give you the choice of hiding those channels you can’t view nor paid for. When I was with Bell the TV Guide was better but not a huge improvement. Also really bothers me that they solicit left and right about HD TV yet everything is in a stupid 4:3 format with no options to change it.

  5. Rob | January 22, 2010 at 1:40 pm

    I did try the Daily Essentials and liked the sports one very much…shows you live feeds of 6 different sports channels at once, so you can choose your fix. If they added a movie one, it would be even better. I do not have a problem with hitting the Guide button twice…is not really as much of an inconvenience for me as you guys, I suppose. The games are pretty cheesy….

  6. Dane | January 22, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    Even better than the colour coding, how about an option that removes the channels that I don’t suscribe to.

  7. Mike Stunt P | January 22, 2010 at 1:51 pm

    1) who cares
    2) i have rogers and yes they are over priced and have crappy customer service
    3) but who cares if we have to press guide twice, i dont see the big deal and dont know why u wrote about it … i found it annoying too but i kind of liked the fact they finally added something different to my tv after years of not doing anything

  8. Marv | January 22, 2010 at 1:59 pm

    It’s a pain. I never asked for it. I wish there was a way to disable that Quickstart Guide. Yes it also looks awful on my widescreen plasma tv. As Dane suggested, I too would also like the option to remove channels that do not subscribe to.

  9. Ross Rader | January 22, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Unhappy with the new Rogers IPG? Join our Facebook Group today and help us take back our remotes!

    http://rossrader.com/RogersIPGFail

  10. brent | January 22, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    Switch to Bell. :)

  11. Mike Stunt P | January 22, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    Bell is in fact cheaper (on bundled packages (phone – tv – internet) ) by almost $60 dollars a month for new customers … and its for one year price guarantee so think of the savings – $720 … the only reason i didn’t sign with them is because Max 12 Internet isn’t available in my area ..

  12. Stoort | January 22, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    This had to be forced by Marketing. No semi-competent Usability/Human Factors expert would be caught dead signing off on the new IPG. When clicking the “Guide” button, I, like most users I would argue, want to see a list of shows. If I want to access the “value-added” offering from Rogers, why don’t they have _that_ screen pop up after two clicks?

  13. Jesse Michaels | January 22, 2010 at 2:38 pm

    Thanks for that Ross!

  14. bonnie | January 22, 2010 at 3:11 pm

    the new rogers menu sucks …just shows what idiots rogers are.

  15. Mark Farner | January 22, 2010 at 4:44 pm

    Rogers sucks as usual. Bell is worse.
    We need a new player in the market. One Who’s honest, fair and has a clue.
    I’m tired of being robbed by the big 3.
    Did I mention Rogers sucks?

  16. Eric | January 22, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    As with pretty much anything Rogers is doing: a complete fail and a joke. Is this company run by monkeys ?? I have never in my life after lived around the globe seen a company that is facing such a massive ongoing storm of unhappy customers..thanks to CRTC and the monopoly they can continue to abuse their customers.

    Rogers Ondeman Online is a joke. Quick Start is a joke. The current program guide (IPG) is a complete joke. The whole company is a joke..

  17. Joey-jo-jo | January 22, 2010 at 7:25 pm

    rogers and bell both suck….hard and long. But there is an answer everyone. Hit them where it counts. Drop ALL their services and switch to alternatives. For phone, check out competitor VoIP. For cell phone check out new services like Wind. For TV, go with a free HD antennaes that can pickup 20 channels depending on where you live. Point is do some research and drop these turkeys. The TV in both cases (rogers/bell) is a god awful pile of steaming crap. Make the move and get rid of them. Let’s see how well they do when their revenues drop.

  18. Erik | January 22, 2010 at 9:52 pm

    I must be missing something, because my wife and I have been with Rogers in Kitchener for over a year and we couldn’t be happier. Any issues we have are promptly fixed. Heck, I called in because a portion of the website wasn’t working right and they gave me 2 months of Super Channel for free. I’ve found the CSR’s to be polite and willing to go the distance. As to the Quick Start guide, I can’t comment as I don’t have it yet apparently. I can tell you having been with Bell that Rogers (in my opinion only mind you) is leaps ahead of them in every respect. And I never have to guess at my bill.

  19. Skyler McCaw | January 22, 2010 at 10:15 pm

    Please bring on Telus TV Canada-wide so we can have an AT&T U-Verse or Verizon FIOS alternative to cable (Rogers/Shaw) and satellite (Bell TV/Shaw Direct). Best TV experience yet: A US PO Box to get DirecTV (or Dish Network if you so prefer). You ever check out their apples-to-apple on packaging???? Blows ANYTHING Canadian away!

  20. Nina | January 22, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Agreed, new guide stinks, don’t want it. Rather have old guide where you can search for shows by title etc., for more than just current day and be able to enter in more than just 1st letter of the show title and then have to scroll through 100 titles before you get to the one you want.

  21. James Cogney | January 23, 2010 at 12:53 am

    Most Rogers subscribers have been wishing for features like “better search” and a “longer IPG (days),” and Rogers actually weakens their current offerings and tries a hard sell that this is a new “feature.” FAIL.

  22. N | January 23, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Wow, what a useless and annoying feature!

    Rogers sure screwed this up! It’s no wonder I won’t use them for Internet!

  23. Rogers Won't Listen | January 23, 2010 at 1:04 pm

    I can almost guarantee that the response from Rogers will be that there is no way they can go back to the old guide and there is no way to change your default preference.

    The new feature is totally useless and to make matters worse, one must now hit the Exit button to get out of the television listing. It used to be that if you pressed the Guide once, there it was, and a second time and bye-bye guide.

    I agree with earlier comments, that an updated system is what is really needed. The ability to block out channels that one is not subscribed to would be a great feature. The ability to colour code channels sounds great as well especially if there is a quick and easy way to tell if a program is a repeat.

    I would also like to see them expand the info space to provide a more informative description about the program. Often the description still gets cut off.

    What would have been really nice for this new service would have been a way to display only your favourite channels in a listing format, allowing up to x number of favourite listings to be stored in memory. Therefore you could have a favs for each family member, or by show type, etc.

    Ah well. Are we really surprised that Rogers would do this to us? You shouldn’t be. Rogers has a history of charging more each year while removing features and functionality as they go.

    Remember newsgroups? Remember having a free website? Remember being able to store your photos online? All examples of how Rogers diminished their internet service. Why? Because they felt it consumed too much bandwidth. How long will it be before we aren’t allowed to view video through our internet connections? Oh, unless it’s through their new Rogers On Demand Online service, which I am sure they will start charging for soon.

  24. Katy Brannigan | January 24, 2010 at 8:29 am

    it’s a bit like when a Canoe property has one of those flash ads that requires a click of the close button to see the content underneath.

  25. Rogers Won't Listen | January 24, 2010 at 3:09 pm

    Here’s part of the response I received from Rogers Cable technical support when I asked how to go back to the old style of menu:

    For any questions or concerns regarding dissatisfaction of Rogers
    service / policy, you may contact Office of the President who can be
    reached by writing directly to them at the following address:

    Office of the President
    855 York Mills Rd.
    Don Mills, Ontario
    M3B1Z1

    Or we suggest you to contact our support line at 1-888-764-3771 and
    request to speak to personnel from Office of the President in order to
    correspond to your questions and concerns.

  26. Ron | January 26, 2010 at 9:04 am

    I despise this new menu. I have no idea whose bright idea it was to implement this stupid blatant sales screen right in front of the frequently used menu. At least give the customer an option to turn it off! Obviously this was completley driven by Rogers’ desire to soak their customers even more than they already do by trying to sell us on more channels, pay per view and advertising. I contacted them last week and got the form response that essentially says “we don’t care what the customer thinks, really, we don’t”. Bell is looking better every day – and that doesn’t say much.

  27. David H | January 28, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Piece of useless junk. Get rid of it!

  28. Matt C | January 29, 2010 at 7:59 pm

    What a complete waste of time. No Rogers… I did not press the Guide button to see the weather. No Rogers… I did not press the Guide button to play games with my remote.. No Rogers… I did not press the Guide button to receive even MORE ads from you.

    Yes Rogers… I pressed the Guide button to see the **** channel guide! Why does EVERYTHING come before that?

  29. unhappy customer | February 5, 2010 at 10:20 am

    Worst feature ever! Call and ask them how to disable it. When they admit that you can’t tell them how unhappy you are about it and then see how quickly they apply discounts to your account.

    Worked for me!

  30. CSensation | February 8, 2010 at 11:52 am

    Good news all! Rogers will be removing this “crappy” menu soon! Our complaints have not fallen on deaf ears… we will now be given an option to stay with the old way, or new way, when pressing Guide.

    Hurray!

  31. ccrashh | February 8, 2010 at 8:40 pm

    No, they aren’t giving you the option of “one or the other”, they are giving you the option to make the Guide the first thing that pops up when you hit the guide button – the 2nd click will still open the QUick start – at least, that is what I read over at a site that published comments from a Rogers rep.

  32. d | February 20, 2010 at 11:34 am

    Here’s the response I got from Rogers’ Office of the President (note there’s no offer of compensation or hint of an apology for having to put up with yet another one of their major mistakes):

    Thank you for taking the time to escalate your concerns to the Office of
    the President. Since the launch of the Quickstart guide we have received
    a vast amount of feedback from our customers, who same as yourself, have
    not found it beneficial to their viewing needs. Thanks to this feedback
    we have developed the below process which will allow you to access the
    TV Listings first.

    Starting the first week of March, within the Self-Service menu, there
    will be an option called Change GUIDE Order. Customers will be able to
    select one of the following options: Quick Start menu first or TV
    Listings first. Once that selection is made, that will be the definitive
    GUIDE sequence going forward

    1) The option change can only be set up through the Self-service Menu on
    the Quick Start Guide screen (last item on the menu will be “change
    GUIDE order”). It cannot be set up through the Settings button on the
    handset.

    2) Once “TV Listings First” has been activated as the option, if the
    Guide button is pushed once the IPG will appear, if the Guide button is
    pushed a second time, the Quick Start Guide screen will appear. To
    close the IPG without viewing the Quick Start Menu, you would need to
    either make a program selection on the IPG or push the Exit button.

    You will need to configure each box to the desired GUIDE sequence.

    Once again, this process will be available the first week of March,
    2010.

    Best regards,

    Christina Bazkur | Rogers Communications Inc. | Advisor | Office of the
    President |
    TEL: 416-446-6680 or 1-877-319-6903

  33. Jesse Michaels | February 22, 2010 at 9:18 am

    Thanks for the update d – seems like a bait and switch to me – going to have to figure out a macro to skip the guide on exit on my Harmony remote.

    Anyone have one programmed?

  34. cam | March 11, 2010 at 4:14 pm

    I actually posted today on how to get rid of this thing :

    http://exoticjuice.tumblr.com/post/441750986/rogers-guide-fix

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