Tuesday April 22, 2014

"Fun" with front-line tech support

On April 14, I sent a bug report to ted.com because a video I watched claimed to have "subtitles in 7 languages". But I could find no way -- no button to click -- to get subtitles in any language. I could only locate the (supposedly "interactive") transcript, on a separate page.

Back and forth we went with the so-called support people arguing with me.

They said 'Once you press play on a talk, the video's menu bar will appear below. If subtitles/captions are available for the talk they will appear as a list when you click on the 'Subtitles' button in the lower right corner.

I repeated that there was no such button.

They said "Some mobile devices don’t support subtitles. If the browser on your mobile device doesn’t have the subtitles option, you can download the TED app to watch talks with subtitles."

I repeated that I was using a laptop and Chrome.

They said "You may come across talks that are missing the ‘Subtitles’ button. Most likely, this is because the talk you are viewing has recently been posted and our volunteer translators haven’t completed the translation process yet. "

I repeated that there was a transcript.

They asked me to send them a screenshot of the missing subtitles. I sent them a screenshot of what I saw.

ScreenShot2014 04 16 TED

The response I got for the screenshot was almost amusing: "As noted through your image, the transcript does appear, however cannot be viewed while the talk is being viewed."

Well, yes, that is part of what I've been saying all along...

Back and forth we went, over a period of a week, with me asking them to please just report this, and them trying to "help me" by sending formulaic responses. (I received the same pasted help text beginning "Once you press play on a talk..." twice.)

Finally, today, they sent me a note to say they could not reproduce my issue. The note included a screenshot.

It was a very interesting screenshot.

ScreenShot2014 04 22 TED

In the 8 days since I reported the issue, the front-end UI has been completely changed. They can't reproduce the issue because it's been fixed on the back end.

At least there are now subtitles.

It's an enjoyable TED Talk, now with subtitles in 13 languages (and a transcript): Louie Schwartzberg: Hidden Miracles Of The Natural World.

"Fun" with front-line tech support ( in category Trivial Pursuits ) - posted at Tue, 22 Apr, 11:44 Pacific | «e»

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