Monthly Archives: March 2021

F1 TV – Your User Experience Sucks!

In 2014, I finally became frustrated enough with my cable providers crazy pricing schemes that I gave up and cut the cord.

It was a good experience, with one small fly in the ointment – I could no longer watch Formula One, which had been a passion of mine for many years, and a rare instance of something both my wife and I could watch together. Well…if we are honest, she slept through most of it, but liked the bits she was awake for!

Then, in early 2020, we watched Formula 1: Drive to Survive and it reminded me of what we were missing. So…in January, 2020, we signed up for F1 TV, paying the full year subscription and then waiting for the races to start.

Except…they didn’t. Because of Covid they started cancelling races, with not even the first race being run. And they could not tell us when (or even if) they would restart.

This is where it starts to get strange

  • I asked them to cancel my subscription because they couldn’t actually deliver what I had paid for.
    • They refused, saying that I should have cancelled within 30 days of signup.
  • I pointed out that 30 days after I signed up they were still planning to show the races.
    • They still refused, sticking with I had to cancel within 30 days
  • I asked if they bought something from an online vendor who later stopped making that thing, would they still expect the vendor to keep the money?
    • They still refused, sticking with I had to cancel within 30 days
  • I called the credit card company, disputed the charge and got my money back.

Of course, later that year they did start showing races but, by then, I had lost the passion to watch.

Fast forward to 2021

We have been cooped up for a year, and the latest season of Formula 1: Drive to Survive airs. Cue desire to watch again and so we tried to sign up.

I tried to sign up online. I filled in the form, including credit card info, etc. Hit submit and…nothing.

In case you were not aware – I was in IT for a long time. I am the guy people come to with computer problems. This was not user error. There were no error messages it just…did nothing. My wife even tried…same deal.

OK, so we signed up through Roku and that worked.

We went for the cheaper deal that didn’t provide live races since I am in the USA and most races are done before I get up. We then found out that the cheaper deal doesn’t allow you to watch qualifying (which is at least half the fun) and there is a two day delay before you can watch the actual race.

This means watching races in the evening on week nights, which would not be my preference, And there is also a very high likelihood that we will hear the results before the race.

Soo…we opted for the full plan.

Except…we couldn’t

There is no option to upgrade. Any other system out there would have an upgrade button and you pay the difference. Not F1 TV.

If you order through Roku, then you have to manage through Roku. The only options Roku gives are to cancel or keep. No upgrade.

Fortunately, we went for the month to month option (not getting stuck with a yearly subscription that can’t be honored again) so we have had to cancel the existing subscription and wait for it to expire. As we still have access until the end of the month I can’t buy a new subscription until that is over!

So now I’m stuck with the crappy coverage until mid April where I hope I can upgrade to the full version.

Internet subscriptions are not a new thing. This should be basic stuff. Having forms that work, give meaningful error messages when they don’t, allow upgrades to plans…these are all normal.

I am exactly the type of customer you want. I know how to use technology, I stream, I have multiple devices, and I am interested in your product…and you are losing me!

I hope, once I finally get in, that the product itself is good. But…to date…I have not been impressed.


Filed under Life - or something like it