Friday, October 03, 2008

A minor but perhaps indicative failure of technology

In Feburary of 2007 needed to look up on Hallmark Channel Website if they had some program changes. They did not have any program changes on the website but they did have a number to call. The subwebsite had the number 1-888-390-7474. I called it and it said:
You have reached viewer services at the Hallmark Channel. In order for us to better serve our viewers, this mailbox is specialized designed to answer most of your questions. If you are having trouble viewing the Hallmark Channel, press 1. For a list of program changes, press 2.
I thought GREAT!. I pressed 2.
The following changes have been made to our program scheduled as of Wedensday June 29, 2005. Jane Doe-The Harder they Fall, originally scheduled to air Friday July 1, 2005 9:00 Eastern and Pacific, 8:00PM Central, and 7:00PM Mountain time, has been replaced by Matlock-The Power Brokers.
They had not updated their phone message in two years. I left a message (If you would like to leave a comment, press 4) telling them of their error. I have since called on April 1, May 1, and June 1 of 2007 to see if they have corrected it. They had not. I've also emailed them, to no effect. (Its been fixed since then.)

How could a phone line be this out of date? How could the website maintainers not know this?
  1. They got careless and are not suffering for it so they don't know they got careless. I'm not going to stop watching their shows because their website gives a phone number that is two years out of date.
  2. Lack of coordination- the right hand does not that the left hand stopped working two years ago.
For this particular issue, the breakdown of technology is not important. But it troubles me that in other domains it might be.


  1. Speaking of technology... the advertisement bit on the left bar (right above your map) showed me an ad which loaded a complete 2-minute movie! (The "Spoil Yourself" one at ).

    My internet connection isn't all that fast, and I do not really appreciate this...

  2. Maybe just indicates that phones are a dying technology?

  3. I think you are missing the point. The reason the message is still there is to record the day that they played the infamous "Matlock" episode, which sent shockwaves around the world. Such an event deserves to be remembered.

  4. I am sorry to be a bit critical, but this kind of topics seems completely unimportant and not interesting (I'd stop reading this blog if not your posts about complexity and science...). They pop out from time to time...

    1. Everyone makes errors even much bigger than this and much more funny.

    2. For someone who does not live in the US and/or does not watch TV this situation is completely irrelevant: do you care that a street seller in Mumbai misspelt the word "banana"?

    3. Even for someone who lives in the US and watches TV every day there should be hundreds of more interesting things to waste their life for!