Dan over at Adaptive Path wrote a good piece yesterday about how failure to acknowledge a problem to the people you’re serving can lead to a lot of confusion and lack of trust. Basically he (along with many customers apparently) have been experiencing a bug in their Tivo systems that cause the boxes to record the wrong channels some times. Dan goes on to say:
This bug, since it obviously breaks the value proposition of Tivo (record shows and watch them later), is a major flaw. And yet there is no mention of this bug anywhere on the Tivo site, except in the user forums. Since Tivo’s marketing budget seems to be approximately zero, it relies heavily on word-of-mouth to sell the service. Who is going to recommend an erratic service? Simply saying publicly, on the forums, on their website, in their monthly newsletter, anywhere really: “Hey, some of you have this bug, we’re working on it” would have gone a long way to make me (and probably many others) feel better and hang in there longer.
I think this is a good example of how important it is to keep people informed about problems as they arise so that they know 1)that you are aware of it; and 2)you are working on fixing the problem; and 3)when you finally have it fixed (follow through). At least in this case being transparent would have been helpful.