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Oct 15 2009

A software update carried out on all Bush/Goodmans/Grundig Freesat receivers on Tuesday 13th October 2009 has caused a large number of them to fail.

The faults include inability to change channel, loss of picture and/or sound, , no satellite signal, constant rebooting, to the extreme of unable to switch on at all.

Harvard Group (previously Alba) who are responsible for these brands are aware of the problem and have been telling customers to expect a new software download in the next few days, though that leaves many without viewing until then.

Freesat have released an official statement as follows;

Freesat has been made aware of a problem with a recent automatic update made to Goodmans, Grundig and Bush freesat HD boxes causing a number of boxes to freeze. The box manufacturer is working hard to resolve the issue as soon as possible. No other freesat boxes or TVs are affected.

294 Responses to “Software Update Causes Mass Box Failure”

  1. Paul S Watts Says:

    Just updated my Humax HD box without a problem. So statement is accurate.


  2. admin Says:

    Humax, Panasonic, LG, TechniSat, Sagem and Metronic receivers are all fine.


  3. iwan roberts Says:

    Expect a mass defection to Humax – this kind of error shouldn’t be tolerated. I’ll be off to buy my Humax at the weekend.

    You don’t see this kind of thing on Sky, I’m guessing they test their software before releasing it – this will not be good for Freesat either!


  4. David Says:

    Updated my Bush box on Tuesday and so far have had no problems. I’ve experienced persistent switching off or rebooting since the last update several months ago, but touch wood, that seems to have been resolved with the latest update.


  5. Liz Says:

    Hugely annoyed about this. I had to spend 10p per minute on the phone to Goodmans yesterday (three times) to find out that this was a huge problem they couldn’t do anything about for days on end.

    Does anyone have the email address of the person in charge of this fiasco please? Or perhaps their PR firm as it is a PR disaster for this firm.


  6. Sam P Says:

    I am sorry to have to say………

    You get what you pay for !

    Cant remember a Goodmans or Bush anything that has lasted more than 5 minutes or delivered a market facing quality.


  7. Galvatron Says:

    My Goodmans was fine last night and this morning. It was on all evening, switched off overnight and then was on from 7:00 to 8:15. Does this mean it’s going to be ok? *touches wood*


  8. gaz s Says:

    my bush hd box is working fine.checked all channels,and found an itv+1 channel in the non freesat channels.altought no shows on the info screen as,?tv+1.
    also not really free sat news,but i spoke to bt yesterday about there bt vision and they are bring out a new vision box that will be able to show freeveiw hd and record when freeveiw hd is released


  9. Andrew Cameron Says:

    I have no issues so far… is there a way to disable the automatic software updates until this is resolved?


  10. iwan roberts Says:

    check out for the ongoing saga…

    This is going to be sooo bad for Freesat!


  11. Lee B Says:

    I’ve now switched to a Humax HDR, but my old Bush HD box had worked perfectly well, I’m sure they will sort it out, but silly of them to release a kill switch firmware update.


  12. Sparky Says:

    If all thses boxes are constantly rebooting etc. I can’t see how on earth they are going to be able to tune to a signal and download new firmware to correct this!! Me thinks the boxes are going to have to returned or updated vai USB.


  13. Richard R Says:

    Suddenly I’m feeling happy about the seemingly ‘unsupported’ nature of the Humax HDR if this is what updates do.


  14. Charlie Gillies Says:

    Have stopped trying to reboot and shuffle, have dug out our older DVD box set of the “Dinerladies” these last 2 nights and I may not go back to Freesat as we have laughed long and hard over Series 1 and now we can watch Series 2 starting tonight .No TV so what, bring back your oldies from the attic and have a laugh remembering “no commercial breaks”


  15. Lee B Says:


    Any news on a possible solution to the limited space left on Astra 2D, Channel 4 still report not enough space to launch a HD channel.

    How were they ever going to fit the original 200 promised channels on the service?

    Possible fix:

    I think most of the HD freesat boxes have LAN connectors and fast CPUs, why not offer a decryption code over the internet to UK addresses only, then the space available would be unlimited because any sat could be used not just 2D and the rights holders would be happy. A firmware upgrade would be required and the BBC & ITV would have to agree the spec change. But I do think this would be a perfect solution as no additional hardware/cards would be required and it would free the service of the limitation and allow it to continue growth. Also channels (BBCHD) would not need to reduce bitrates!.


  16. admin Says:

    @Lee B

    Freesat don’t need to fit channels anywhere, they only supply the software/EPG, the channels remain on existing beams/frequencies. Only the key UK channels have broadcasting restrictions which means requiring space on Astra2D; there is no news from C4 but they don’t often say anything about it.


  17. Andy Says:

    Our early Grundig HD box is working fine on the latest update, no problems at all! I wonder why some are affected and others not, as all use the same hardware?


  18. Paul Knowler Says:

    AAAhhhh. It has totally killed my Grundig box which is the only means of reception I have. The 10p-a-minute support guy just said – “yes we know – we are working on a fix and will send a new over the air update in a few days – hopefully!” But how – my box won’t stay on for more than a minute…….


  19. Andrew Says:

    My Bush BFSAT01SD completely died!

    Is there a key sequence to reload old software or to force download?

    I have no receipt so I popped it open. The PSU is perfect, so its either the main PCB of software!



  20. Barry Says:

    I have a Grundig and the firmware has killed the box, at first i got sound and picture then after 15 seconds no sound 30 second no picture …woke up today to find the box now lists the channels but nothing coming in at all, this like we have switched you off everyone else is ok but stuff you!! am not happy at all bad firmware in this day its a joke grrrrrr.


  21. Dan M Says:

    My goodmans is wrecked, it loses sound after 30 seconds and then constantly reboots. It should receive the update if it is left in standby mode though apparently, it doesn’t seems to crash whilst in standby (but then i wouldn’t know if it did). The new menu might look nice, but if i can’t watch the tv… whats the point?


  22. Paul Knowler Says:

    Mine goes back to Currys at the w/e if not working. It is over a year old but they are still obliged to do something under the sale of goods act – given that I bought a TV box, not a brick!


  23. aln Says:

    just checked my goodmans hd and all seems well… far!

    cant believe this kind of s**t can happen.

    surely they check the updates before sending them.

    the thing is….what will happen with future updates given that they now cant be trusted.


  24. m o malley Says:

    i am glad i switched to sky for hd tv they have so much more to offer
    on hd, , i still use my humax hd pvr and this is a very good hd machine
    just a pity there is not much hd content to watch or record
    on it, oh i nearly forgot freesat added another shopping channel
    yipee yipee how exciting eh.. lee b, there might be more to come in hd
    if you keep standing by freesat you never know mmmm..


  25. Paul Cooper Says:

    All my BUSH HD box’s will not stay turned on for more than 30 seconds, and I fear that this is not long enough to do a download of a new (fix) update?
    Really annoyed as my hotel is not able to watch TV in any rooms now!


  26. Kevin Says:

    No problem with my Bush HD box so far, but I have switched to manual updates in order to prevent problems. So far I am more than happy with the box as I now get far better picture quality than analogue and my freeview reception was normally choppy thanks to near cliff face reception.

    The main downside with the Bush box is the lack of functions but for £68 I can hardly complain especially as money in tight at the moment. BBC HD do show a good variety of programs but I have only watched one program on ITV HD! Hopefully the version of the Prisoner will be shown in HD.


  27. C Ellison Says:

    BBC HD is very jerky on my Grundig HD box and I think this started with the update. Everything else seems OK. Does anyone else have this problem? My signal strength is fine.


  28. E Past Says:

    Not impressed with service,must have made a fortune out of people phoneing.Dont critise people for what box’s they bought,we got what was available at the time.Dont think it has been delt with very well.Pitty the poor people on the recieving end not everyone is polite and calm like me,remember they are not the ones who caused the fault.


  29. C Ellison Says:

    Ah, just watching ITV HD and it’s jerking or freezing and the box just rebooted itself – went off and came back on.


  30. Keith Fitton Says:

    What has really annoyed me is that the update came down automatically. My machine had worked perfectly from day one, now it struggles to manage 10 minutes. Goodmans didn’t even respond to the e-mail I sent to them ten minutes after the “update”… hardly good customer care and not going to do their reputation any good unless they sort it *QUICKLY*


  31. D Coles Says:

    The most recent Metronic box update, v082, causes the box to freeze and reboot every time the Favourites button is used to select a channel. Metronic have advised me that they are working to resolve this with a new revision. I received this v082 update as an email attachment for updating through USB. Meanwhile they advised me to use v079 which is an earlier version they supplied to me when I had other problems.


  32. Mark I Says:

    It does happen with Sky, they broke my sky+ box a while back, brought me a replacement which went fizz bang pop as the guy set it up, so bought one off ebay whiich works fine (Pace). My Grundig Freesat HD is still working fine, but I am getting fed up of waiting for Channel 4 HD to arrive. Remove the shopping channels and put some decent Channels in HD in their place


  33. Neil Says:

    I work in systems. What puzzles me is when you update systems you always have a backup to return to the previous version if problems arise. Then you work on the fault with the software and FULLY test before release. So why have Goodmans not done this.

    I agree with all here they are making a pretty penny on the 10 p a minute help line, also should be interesting how they are going to get the fixed version when the boxes are rebooting every 5 seconds!


  34. Paul Knowler Says:

    Just a thought but why can’t they send a roll-back update to the prevoius version that worked pretty much PERFECTLY WELL! until they get a fix?


  35. Frank Dale Says:

    Just spoke to helpful man at Freesat. They are well aware of Harvard’s blunder and expect a new download within 24 hours (i.e. by Saturday 17/10 night).

    Boxes have not been damaged, he assured me. Just leave them in standby and check at intervals if a new download has occured.

    They will not transmit the old software, as it did have bugs in it.

    Good job the weather is good, as our Freeview signal breaks up otherwise.

    Do have BT Vision replay as a back-up. Was it always this complicated?


  36. Neil Says:

    Just to advise I have reported this problem to the BBC Watchdog team. I am sure if they pick it up, the likes of the BBC researching Goodmans etc , it may inspire them to act a bit faster, in order to avoid a session with the lovely Anne Robinson next week.


  37. Jock Says:

    Does this “fix” affect SD boxes? My Goodmans SD is showing version 1.6.28 of the software, but this version has not been listed on DTG.ORG.UK. It is working fine, but signal strength for a new install is marginal. It found 158 channels and the signal strength on those I’ve checked was good. I don’t like conspiracy theories, but I wonder if Harvard is just trying to wind up the HD brigade!

    #35 – Frank Dale

    My Freeview signal breaks up when the weather is good and high pressure is in charge.


  38. Dan M Says:

    I’ve come to the conclusion that the new update is causing the boxes to overheat (maybe due to wasted or inefficient processing). These boxes have always got to a warm level thats slightly too high, but since the update mine has been getting extremely hot, almost burning to touch, the warranty sticker has pealed off because of the extreme warmth. Switching the box off and letting it cool down means that i can get about 30 mins of working TV out of it when using it from cold. The resets soon start though. I’ve had the box well over a year and this problem with heat has only been happening since the update. Another guy on the digital spy forums has opened his up to keep it cool, and its been working fine with the cover off, so i’m not the only one with this theory. Be warned people who are still using it, check how hot it is getting in case of fire!


  39. Luke Says:

    My Bush HD box now re-boots itself every now and then and also, the picture stutters or goes out of sync by a lot. Great job on testing before releasing the update! Only thing I’m glad about is that box isn’t bricked.

    This is the first time I’ve bought anything made by Bush and the last!


  40. Kevin Says:

    I decided to look at the official Bush web site and there is no mention of the problem. Luckily I am not affected by the supposed upgrade but I am not impressed with their customer care.


  41. Mark Says:

    I have a Goodmans HD box and since the update it’s continually turning itself on and off and in-between all of that the audio goes as well – how damming for Harvard!! My box is over a year old so I’m curious about repairs etc and we’re digging out the old DVDs or watching Freeview on another TV.


  42. Iain Hastings Says:

    Well done whichever incompetent fool designed the download !!!! your all paid toooooo much money lets look at the comparison . . .myself im a lorry driver if i messed up on the monumental scale your baffoons did id be joining the 2 million other people on the dole !!!! get my point !!!!
    Off to buy HUMAX!


  43. Iain Hastings Says:

    In relation to all bush/goodmans and other Freesat boxes i dont know whether you are all aware even though your boxes are all over a year old you can return them to the place you bought them from and they have to do something under the sale of goods act . . . equipment is not fit for purpose !!! worth looking into people


  44. Batfink Says:

    Latest Email from Goodmans Customer Service:

    Since Goodmans are aware of the problem & they are working hard to resolve the issue,when we have a fix we will release this via a OAD”to sort out the issue.You can provide us with you phone number so that we can inform you when this happens oe else we will mail you.

    Fingers Crossed eh….!


  45. jim Says:

    i heard only way to mend them is by cable


  46. Ashley Messham Says:

    My son carried out the uprade on a Grundig HD box all sorts of problems with sound , freezing and picture disappearing , I too got the “it will be fixed over the coming days.. totally unacceptable does anyone test this software. I will be moving asap to Humax if we ever get the software upgrade. Someone needs there P45


  47. ET Says:

    I have asked BBC Watchdog to chase these incompetants as phone calls to Harvard International plc are a waste of time.


  48. Ian Says:

    The Bush BFSAT02SD is also affected. Mine automatically updated its software to version 1.2.7 last weekend, and it has lost a lot of channels since then, such as ITV1, ITV2 and more…


  49. AndyF Says:

    I too have suffered with the upgrade issues on a Goodmans GFSAT200HD and thanks to this discussion now know why my box reboots every two minutes. As I purchased this from Argos in April, I phoned their technical helpline who, after going through the steps I have already tried told me to take it back to the store (they obviously don’t know about this issue). I did this in the hope that they would refund me so I could buy a Humax but instead they replaced it. Got it home, set it up and disabled the auto update option so I can now watch TV again as it is on an older code version. I won’t be doing any upgrades until they have sorted this out.


  50. AB Says:

    I thought they’d have sorted it by now, what a joke? First time install is supposed to reset to factory settings, obviously that doesn’t include the software:)


  51. Dan M Says:

    Cant believe they still haven’t sent out the update yet. Really poor.


  52. Bob Martin Says:

    Hi Guys/Ladies

    I just thought I would add my tuppence worth in that you should not put Humax up on a pedestall quite yet as I have a Humax Freesat the High Def one (not the PVR though) which has been giving me bother since the software update or it could be related with the Big Freeview Terrestrail Retune Update “which I think may be causing the conflict”? If you care to read my articles on the update scan page article numbers 47, 48, & 52. You will learn more on this and up to now I have been really happy with my Humax in every way up until this started happening and I think it is perhaps a problem of the 2 different platforms Satalite and Terrestrail that may be conflcting with each other somehow since these changes? My Humax was completely fine last night for most of the night once it glitched up a bad signal but that is a vast improvement and I note it was a very still clear night so perhaps it has something to do with the weather as well?


  53. C Ellison Says:

    The weather can have an effect on Freeview (I’m a radio ham) High pressure in the Autumn is often associated with ‘ducting’ between layers of cold and warm air where UHF signals travel much further than they normally do and cause co-channel interference. Misty or foggy Autumn days are when it usually happens.
    However Freesat signals should not be effected by this.


  54. Dan M Says:

    Bob Martin and C Ellison, no offence peeps but this has got nothing to do with the software update problems that us with harvard boxes are having. Do you have anything useful to say about the real issue?


  55. Dan M Says:

    Bob Martin: The software update for the harvard boxes couldn’t have affected your Humax as it runs on a completely different operating system. It is also highly unlikely that the freeview retune would have affected your service. Check your signal and check your satellite.


  56. Cliff Says:

    Bush have always been in the low end of the market, & the BFSAT??? is now 1/2 the price of any other Freesat HD box… just to try to get rid of them I assume. Mine has had problems from a month old, but I didn’t use it very often, just for HD on BBC1. Now over a year old I took it back to Argos who didn’t want to know. … “get an engineers report etc” The fact that their own web site is full of poor reviews for this box didn’t cut any ice… another box shifter not listening to its own customers!!!
    The reality is that Bush make rubbish & don’t want to support it. Quality brand names are that for a reason. Guess I’ll have to fork out for something better.


  57. Will Says:

    I phoned freesat today (Sunday) and they told me that they did not know when new upgrade will be sent out.


  58. graham Says:

    I took my Goodmans box back to Argos where I bought it from as it became unwatchable following the 13th October software upgrade. I exchanged it for the Humax Foxsat HD box and paid an extra £40. Well worth it as the picture quality is excellent and I have also added non-freesat programmes (the same as I did with the Goodmans). I find the Humax box is in a different league all-together.
    This is one faulty upgrade that worked out to my advantage !!!.


  59. Gary Blackledge Says:

    Was just going to purchase a Bush HD box from Argos! Just glad this has happened now. The software upgrade must have done serious damage to the actual boxes as an easy solution would be to re-issue the previous software edition as an upgrade and get back to square one, this does not seem possible as Havard have said it will take days before they come up with a fix. Also alarmed that people are reporting boxes overheating. As the old saying goes if it works don’t fix it! I am also very surprised that there has not been more media coverage on events. Think I will now go for a Humax box even although it is about £50 more expensive.


  60. GeoffD49 Says:

    My Grundig GUFSAT HD has been cooked by the software update as well. Nothing published on the Fresat website – great cutomer service.

    This has to make the newspapers if it’s not sorted soon

    Any news on the repair update yet?


  61. Nick91 Says:

    Was away for the weekend. All I want to do is record the F1 highlights. Now my Goodmans GFSAT200HD has had it following the ‘upgrade’ to version 1.3. Reboots itself every few minutes with frequent loss of audio. Terrible, where is the fix.

    Regarding overheating, mines like a toaster when in standby but, remarkably, cooler when on. Goodmans never were that good and still arn’t. Next one will be by someone else.


  62. Dan M Says:

    I’ve bought myself a technisat, even if the update does eventually surface i won’t have to deal with these issues again…


  63. Ken Says:

    18 month’s ago I went for freesat,because I was fedup of watching the picture breaking up on the built in digi box. I paid 300 pounds for external aerial and extensions. Still it was rubbish.So I paid 250 pounds for Freesat box and dish.The viewing has been supreme until last last week when it all went tit’s up. I spent hours trying to solve the the problem. Is it the dish? Is it the Box? Is it the connections? No’ After a week without no telly and numerous phone calls it is a Freesat update problem. What do you think? Is Sky the next expensive option.


  64. Barry Says:

    why arent they rushing there asses of to fix this ………………….then again i wonder how many of the working models have been sold over the last few days mmmmmmmmmm makes you think doesnt it, come on now pull your sox up and sort this out now!


  65. Pete Says:

    Moved into a new rented house on Friday – TV aeriel not connected as prior tenants had Sky – and no internet yet. Went out on Sat and bought a Grundig Freesat HD box – unpacked and it just sits at ‘waiting for download’… along with everyone else on this trail. Freesat & Grundig’s group should be throwing money to get this fixed asap – it’s a complete disaster for them… will never buy another Grundig/Bush box. Am off to Sky – what’s the point in messing about with Freesat when Sky dominates the satellite market and Freeview is to bradcast HD imminently – just wanted a simple solution for a few months


  66. ken dobson Says:

    Re GF200HD…What a load of rubbish the box is…I managed to get the number fo their customers..or Harvard plc and phoned them..not really much help but put me through to portsmouth where the customer manager for Goodmans said I would have to have an exchange and the box was picked up this morning..Still without a replacement or any apology from Goodmans The number to phone is 02082387650. The manager told me there were only about 70 boxes affected…that’s a LIE FOR A START JUDGING BY THE POSTS HERE!!!Take your box back to the and get a refund..that might make Goodman sit up and listen t


  67. Paul Says:


    Take your Grundig box back, get a refund and buy the TechniSat box. You won’t be disappointed.


  68. Dave F Says:

    Another dissatisfied Goodmans GF200HD user. Just phoned the support line to be told that they have no idea when this software bug is to be sorted. The person at the end of the line was non-commital when asked if this a ‘common’ problem. Acknowledged that it was a software problem that they were working hard to resolve. Looking at this site its very much a common problem. This whole matter highlights the need for proper testing before imposing a faulty upgrade on thousands/tens of thousands of freesat users. I hope FREESAT can censor Goodmans for this fiasco.


  69. DDLG UK Says:

    Freesat HD boxes fail after over air software update, Bush, Goodman and Grundig boxes affected.

    Regarding the failed software update from the Alba Group, affecting thousands of Freesat boxes, including Bush,
    Goodmans and Grundig.

    With overheating being reported, boxes switching to standby and on again every few minute after a software
    upgrade on the 13th October 2009, we tested a Bush which was working perfectly on the 19th, it updated the
    software and duly failed, with the same fault as reported in the massage base.

    We feel that government and Freesat must be blamed for not insisting a correction fix for these boxes quickly.

    Also, we find it very interesting that the premium rate phone line has reportedly had many thousands of callers,
    who have been advised that they know of the problem and a fix is imminent.

    We wonder why the national news has not reported this problem, so putting pressure on government.

    DDLG U


  70. Paul Knowler Says:

    Latest call to Freesat just now (2.00pm Monday) tells me that my Grundig box will need to exchanged and that this will happen by courier within ‘days’. Those of you under warranty, best action to return to retailer and swap. Otherwise get on the ‘phone to Freedsat. These boxes look unlikely to fix themselves by magic over the air.


  71. kev k Says:

    I am also disgusted with freesat itself for not forcing this company into some sort of action…..The thread itself says “MASS” box failure, which in itself suggests there are a great number of people affected and yet we are getting no news off anyone….I cant afford a new box and have had my Grundig one since the freesats launch,so no warrenty issues for me! I am beggining to believe that these affected boxes are ruined with this update which would be a scandal.So why is there no National news stories about it?


  72. Janw Says:

    I have received a call today from Freesat confirming Bush has released a statement to all customer apparently I have 3 options which I still think is unacceptable. 1. If still under warranty return to store and swap for new box (ours is a month out of warranty. 2. They will take our box away via courier to fix but not sure on the turnaround time so until fixed we would be without tv. 3) If cannot be fixed will courier a new box to us – only once they have tried to repair our box. Totally unacceptable as we do not have an aerial we cannot watch tv until this problem is sorted. I have contacted watchdog maybe worth other people doing the same to resolve this quicker.


  73. Wanda Says:

    Same as Paul Knowler – I have also just spoken to Freesat (I have a Grundig box) – 3 options 1. wait for update (no idea when or if it can actually be downloaded as the box keeps switching on and off), 2. If still under warranty take back to shop for replacement or 3. Freesat will send my details to Grundig who will arrange to collect the box and get it replaced. I also suggested that Freesat put something on their website to try and stop all the speculation about when or if an update will be available.

    At least now something seems to be happening!


  74. Andy S Says:

    @ken dobson: Well I must be one of the 70…. or more realistically one of the 70,000


  75. ilroberts Says:

    As far as I’m concerned Freesat has shown that it is an immature platform – if this kind of problem occured with Sky there would be uproar and a fix would be available in a few hours.

    I’m not going to switch freesat boxes, I’m going to switch to Sky and get decent support, it will be worth the money!


  76. admin Says:

    If they release this statement officially, consumers might still experience problems as retailer haven’t been made aware of this officially and therefore if Harvard Group are expecting retailers to cover the cost of replacement (especially if purchased online) then they might direct you to the manufacturer for replacement. Harvard Group really need to organise for direct replacements without repair or delay.


  77. emma Says:

    Dont buy replacement mine over a year old have been told that it will be fixed or replaced.


  78. MickeyL Says:

    I paid 129 quid for my Bush HD box when it first came out and since the update it has been about as useful as a hot brick. The guarantee also ran out months ago.

    I work in IT. Have they never heard of a test plan?

    There must be THOUSANDS of people out there with the same problem. 90% of people don’t think to look on internet forums like this, and of those 10% who do, perhaps only 1 in 10 bother to post.

    Do the maths Grundig/Bush or whoever you are!

    This really should be on Watchdog!


  79. rossi Says:

    this should get in the press asap there will be folk who think theres boxes are broke the older folks wont have a clue.putting it on the news wont help if they cant view any tv.what a mess


  80. gordon bacon Says:

    humax not booting now when switched on got to turn off on the socket then on
    then it works?


  81. Dan M Says:

    Gordon bacon: humax is not affected by this issue. Your issue is separate.


  82. Chris Says:

    I have forwarded this story to the register ( hopefully they will take it up.


  83. carl Says:

    ref goodmans 200 hd box i had the same problems as everyone else contacted havard plc twice and never got a straight answer only they are working on the problem and will send an oad asap . i had a extended cover from argos for my goodmans hd box which i took back today . i was asked if i want an exchange .no way i said and had my money back. so i then purchased a humax for 129.99 i should have done this from the start! told the guy at argos what the problem was he never argued and refunded my money 139.99 aug 08 price so still got a tenner in me pocket three cheers for argos .


  84. Liz Says:

    This is now the sixth day that I have been without TV following the laughable ‘upgrade’ by Freesat which means my Goodmans box isn’t working. It switches off after a couple of minutes, turns the sound mute, restarts on earsplitting full volume and the picture shakes all the time and is now split in half, rotating like an old TV on which the tube is going. I have also emailed the Register and I have emailed Freesat and asked them how many of these boxes are affected and what they are doing about resolving the problem. After an initial email I haven’t heard anything else. Their repair window now seems to be indefinite after I was told it would be “several days”. I am furious that I can’t even speak to someone and understand what they are saying. These foreign call centre workers are difficult to understand and they are only able to read from a script. I hope the Register go to town on this, maybe when Freesat see how damaging it is to potential new business they will do something to remedy the situation. I would never recommend Freesat or Goodmans boxes to anyone in future. And if I have to buy a new box to get the service I have paid for, I will be sending Freesat the bill.


  85. Liz Says:

    I see that people are having an option to have the box taken away for repair, does anyone have the phone number I can contact to discuss this with Freesat or whoever is arranging these repairs? I have run out of patience now and my box is out of warranty (by one month).


  86. Wanda Says:

    The freesat number is 0845 313 0051


  87. Kevin Says:

    Still nothing on the Bush website! By not giving out any information Bush are shooting themselves in the foot. People are now speculating on the problem. Why not issue a press statement and info on the support page?

    It is a bit like being stuck on a train and the guard or driver don’t give out any information. The longer the delay the more upset people become.


  88. Niall Says:

    Hi Guys,

    I have a little problem. I bought by box when I lived in Belfast where i lived for a long time. Ive now moved back to Dublin and the freesat box is used in a bedroom off the dish that my previous tenants had put up when the house was rented.

    I conseqently only discovered the farce of a upgrade this evening when i went to watch Five. The last time i used the box was on 16th (friday) at which point i discovered the slight improvements to EPG such as Font/style etc and the box worked perfectly. but tonight my Goodmans GFSAT200HD is rebooting about once every 20seconds, although epg/pic/sound are all satisfactory when it does work.

    I cant dial UK non-geo numbers from Dublin, I basically get a BT message telling me to buggar off.

    Does anyone have information on what i can possibly do? What realistically are the odds of the update working? Otherwise its a 2 hour drive with no receipt to return it to Argos in Newry.

    Before anyone attacks me with TV licencing rants, i still own a house in N.I and still pay a full British TV Licence!!!!!


  89. Kevin Says:

    My Bush box has a RS232 socket on the back. Does anyone know if it is possible to update the box using a PC? As a matter of interest does anyone know what the operating system is?


  90. carl Says:

    niall you can take it to any argos if you have paid by credit/debit card you dont need the receipt


  91. Dan M Says:

    OMG its almost a week since this started…. Not good for freesat at all, especially when most people with Freesat most likely have the alba hd boxes…


  92. carl Says:

    goodmans,alba,bush customer services i hope this helps someone


  93. jambo1966 Says:

    I have just emailed them threatening both legal action and reporting them to the OFT. This is toally unacceptable THEY broke the product I paid for and not even the courtesy to explain their position…very very angry that they feel they can treat people like this.


  94. ken dobson Says:

    customer manager at portsmouth..the headquarters is in London – phone 02082387650 and ask to speak to Paul least my box has been collected but don’t know when it will be returned. Poor service from Goodman and Harvard plc…no one seems to want to do anything at Goodmans or Harvard except keep repeating platitudes full of apologies. Everybody should put pressure on Freesat for allowing this to happen and they’re still advertising GF200 HD boxes on their website…whose side are they on!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


  95. Liz Says:

    Mine is also the GFSAT200HD box. Tomorrow I am going to phone those two numbers 0208 238 7650 and 0845 313 0051 and I’m going to ask for a fax number so that I can fax a note explaining that they have a further seven days to resolve the problem otherwise I will be buying a new box (but not Goodmans) and they will have to refund me the cost.

    I am a veteran of the county court system and considering all the problems and the failure of these firms to reply to polite emails, I don’t think it will be difficult to get my money back. I have paid for a service I cannot use.

    Thing is though, who do I sue, is it Freesat or Goodmans?


  96. Glen Says:

    How incompetent is that!?

    Utter disgrace and inexcusable in this day and age. Whoever wrote the software ought to be writing software for a Bank, I might lose my overdraught!


  97. rossi Says:


  98. rossi Says:

    try getting Mr Edwards e-mail in the times article.
    Timesonline twitter them or e-mail them maybe the times will take it on and get it out to all press outlets.goods luck ppl


  99. Rodders Says:

    Maybe all is not lost. Just had a call from freesat (I e-mailed them on 14th Oct ref. the download problem) saying they would pick up my Bush box tomorrow by courier and either load new software direct to the box or replace the box with a new one if the software did not work. They would return the box by courier on Friday 23rd.

    Not ideal but it is a solution.


  100. Cliff Says:

    Hello Rodders,

    What email address did you use for Freesat, as yet, I have not had a single response to any I have sent,
    regarding the problem with my Bush HD box.

    Thanks for any response you can provide



  101. SheilaGBR Says:

    BEWARE!!! Buying a NEW FreeSAT box will not work because as soon as you plug it in it immediately goes to download the latest software version which is still the same version that made all boxes go wrong in the first place.


  102. Kevin McFarlane Says:

    I wonder how accurate John Edwards’ statement is that only a few hundred out of tens of thousands are affected? Still bad of course.


  103. ilroberts Says:

    SheilaGBR – only if you are stupid enough to buy another Harvard piece of cr*p. A Humax would be unaffected.

    Even if this issue only affects “a few hundred boxes”, how do Sky and Humax manage to perform upgrades without impacting ANY boxes – answer that one Mr Edwards!


  104. MJ Says:


    I thought that Harvard had pulled the update and it is no longer on air….


  105. Irate ex goodman customer Says:

    All of you with a Bush Goodman or Grundig HDFREESAT BOX phone Harvard pls on 02082387650 and make sure are not fobbed off by the receptionist and ask to speak to Mr Mark Neave the Commercial Director of all of your set boxes and state your case forcefully.
    I’ve had my problem sorted and I will never touch another Bush, Goodman or Grundig product again!!! I’ve set up my Humax HD box and it is fab!!!!


  106. Denis Says:

    I have a Goodmans HD box that so far is not affected by this problem. I think the reason may be that an update a few weeks ago failed. My box was switched off all of the 13th Oct and was not switched on till 14th Oct. In view of the problems they have probably cancelled the update so those that did not pick it up on the day may be the lucky ones. Still will have to wait and see


  107. Brettski Says:

    I guess this spells the end of iPlayer on freesat this side of Christmas? No way they’d want to make another big change whilst this is going on!


  108. geoff Says:

    Grundig box. Dowload advised on tv Wednesday. Box stopped working. Three phonecalls later they arranged to take it away Monday and return Tuesday. Now 5pm Tuesday so no hope of that. When I wonder and what then anyway? Watchdog here we come.


  109. Liz Says:

    They are collecting my box by courier tomorrow and then hopefully returning it either Friday or Monday. It seems clear from that there is no fix they can do down the line. I found their UK office very helpful but I did have to go to the trouble of calling them, waiting for the Indian call centre to phone back was a waste of time.


  110. Dan M Says:

    Brettski: I dont think that iPlayer was ever coming to the harvard boxes anyway. Its probably just a humax/technisat thing. Even if it does come to the harvard boxes its never going to work.


  111. Ashley Messham Says:

    Re Update casuing Grundig freesat HD box failure.. Contacted Support yet again like trying to get blood out of a stone can’t give a date for update “they are working hard on the problem”. Not hard enough what a farse Grundig won’t be getting any of my business in future. Customer support is non existant and as for any software testing obviously it doesn’t happen. Cr** company!


  112. SheilaGBR Says:

    MJ: We had an update take place on Sunday last 18 October(presumably the original one that caused all the problems) as our Bush was working fine until then. So they had not taken the faulty software offline at that time!


  113. Bugsy Says:

    Can someone please tell me the version number of the last working software, and the number of the new that’s causing all the problems?

    I’ve been away for a while and plugged my Goodmans HD box back in at the weekend and all seems ok, but then i’m not sure if i’ve missed the dodgy update or not.

    Thanks in advance


  114. AndrewM the first Says:

    The Register also posted a story on this fiasco, promising a new update that will supposedly fix the problem within the next few days (it says ‘hours’ at the beginning of the article, but I’m guessing that’s a mistake):


  115. Dan M Says:

    Bugsy: The faulty update is 1.7.48


  116. Liz Says:

    From what I was told yesterday, there is no update to fix the boxes and they have to be returned to Harvard Intl in Hampshire to have new software loaded. The firm has a long list of people to contact but it’s rather hit and miss as they hadn’t contacted me by the time I complained, even though I had been phoning the helpline every day and leaving my contact details. The number I phoned to arrange this was 0208 238 7650.


  117. Neil Says:

    Called the above number which they route to the helpline which does save you the 10p per minute. They deny collecting units as they say they still intend to do the fix over air. Problem is they do not have a fix yet.
    Anyway call and get your details logged onto the system so at least you are in the queue.
    I only hope Watchdog pick up on this on Thursday, I and many others I guess have contacted them. That should be enough to put off sales of all their products on the run up to Christmas.


  118. Nick Says:

    So basically reading the last two posts we have two completely contradictory methods of getting the boxes fixed. Return via courier or wait for download.
    Why on earth isn’t there something “official” on the Freesat or Goodmans website? This is an utter farce.


  119. Nick Says:

    Further to my previous post. I have just had and email from Harvard Customer service to confim this will be fixed with an OAD. But no time scale given.

    I think what may be happening here is that anyone who shouts loud enough is offered the courier/return option to action a fix and those prepared to wait are seemingly “reassured” that there will be an OAD “soon”


  120. Prison Warden Says:

    ‘Why on earth isn’t there something “official” on the Freesat or Goodmans website.’

    Freesat is just an EPG that charges channels £30K a year to be on it.

    Harvard broke the boxes. It’s their problem. If the boxes are damaged or won’t fire up an OAD wont help.


  121. geoff Says:

    Liz. Thanks for phone number, will try that. Had my Grundig box taken away on Monday and not back yet though promised yesterday. Mind you, looking at all the above what’s the point?


  122. mike Says:

    Just had a phone call from freesat to say my box will be collected tomorrow (thursday) for repair or replace,I asked could it be done via signal from sat the answer was NO.
    I phoned GOODMANS last week left my detail
    sorry cant give you the phone No as it was withheld
    will let you know what happens


  123. DDLG UK Says:

    Just to let you know that we have heard from Harvard PLC, who is the company that owns the rights to all set
    top Freesat boxes affected by the Over air Download (OAD) malfunction.

    They State:
    We would like to inform you that BUSH are aware of the problem and are working hard to resolve the issue,
    when we have a fix we will release this via a OAD & update your set top box.

    We apologize for the inconvenience caused to you.

    We thank Harvard PLC for advising us of the situation, as they know it.


  124. Nick Says:

    so once again two posts – two contradictory answers!!!
    “…….I asked could it be done via signal from sat the answer was NO.”


    “……when we have a fix we will release this via a OAD & update your set top box.”

    This gets better and better…..!

    I think the first person to get their box collected fixed and returned should get some sort of prize.


  125. Nick Says:

    and another thing …


    “Freesat is just an EPG that charges channels £30K a year to be on it.”

    why are people getting …….

    “… call from freesat to say my box will be collected tomorrow (thursday) for repair or replace,”


  126. Prison Warden Says:

    I doubt that they are getting phone calls from Freesat. It’s probably Harvard PLC’s PR company that are making the phone calls and saying they are Freesat for some reason like they are trying to shift the blame.


  127. admin Says:

    Agreed, as far as I’m aware, Freesat know very little about this either and why Harvard Group are not resolving, but Freesat don’t really get involved with manufacturers, but probably should considering it is their name being dragged through the mud! We are STILL waiting on an official response…bad Harvard!!!


  128. Niall Says:

    Firstly, has anyone else’s box gotten “progressively” worse? Mine was turning on and off every 30 seconds, but now is simply stuck in Standby.

    Secondly, as pointed out previously by another poster, the boxes all have an RS232 socket on the back of the boxes for a manual load from a source such as a PC. Is it really so difficult for Harvard to simply cull the over the air load for now (eg damage control), and release a download of the last known working software which people can flash load themselves in a matter of minutes at home? a cable and USB adapter costs about £5 in Maplin. Scan & email receipt and cut people a cheque for their outlay. Got to be a whole lot cheaper than taking back all boxes to a workshop where essentially this is all that will be attempted anyway. This is not a difficult procedure, and can be all in a self contained computer program that itll only be a case of hitting the button with the mouse. Afterall, it was managed by the whole illegal pay-per-view decoder fraternity for long enough!!!!!


  129. Prison Warden Says:

    Check this out.

    and this and scroll down.

    Also ‘Humax’ software update coming mid November..


  130. admin Says:

    These have already be posted above but thanks anyway.


  131. Paul Cooper Says:

    This is a disgrace. BUSH have said to me today that they can my box collected and returned with old version of the firmware back on and the Auto update set to manual but will take a week to pick up and a further 3-5 weeks to return. when I asked what went wrong they said only a handfull around the country were affected due to a bad batch, chances are you will not know anyone else who was affected. When i said I had 20 bought over a period of 3 years they were very suprised and said they would do what they can.

    I own a hotel and cannot get freeview/terrestrial very well and rely on freesat so I have had to purchase 12 new Humax Freesat HD boxes from my local dealer he was very pleased with the order as every single one of my BUSH Freesat HD boxes are dead.
    Thank you very mush BUSH.


  132. admin Says:

    @Paul Cooper

    Freesat has only been going for 18 months, not sure how you’ve purchased 20 over 3 years???


  133. Paul Cooper Says:

    Yes you are absolutely correct thanks for pointing that out – clearly I am still cross about this.
    I bought the hotel 3 1/2 years ago and started laying cables to each room as I was going to put SKY in but the fees were far too expensive. So must have bought them since november 2008 about 2 a month when funds permitted.
    Either way they were not part of the same batch as BUSH said so.
    I have 2 that I took from stock today and the rest have been ordered as I need TV’s.


  134. Liz Says:

    I think this is a much bigger problem. I left my box with our security chief this morning for the courier firm DPD to collect to return to Harvard Intl and after I told him what it was all about he said that he had a similar issue with his set top box. Despite what people are being told by the helpline in India on the phone, apparently these boxes have to be returned to Harvard Intl. I have been told mine will be returned to me on Friday this week or Monday next week. I’m afraid if it isn’t returned promptly I will be buying a new box (but definitely not Goodman) and then sending Freesat the bill for the box AND all the 10ps I’ve spent out on the helpline.


  135. G Says:

    I too have reported this problem to Watchdog. We need as many people as possible to do this so we cna get enough movement behind us all…

    This is also worth a look:

    Good Luck!


  136. Penn Says:

    From reading all your comments and my own experience I believe the last update has caused the boxes to overheat and as result damage marginal components. This would explain the many different symptoms also the progressive nature of the problem. The upshot of this is that even if they reload the software on your box it probaly been weakened. By the way my box is supposed to be picked up today and returned early next week.


  137. DDLG UK Says:

    Would not the retailer (the seller) argue, that the product they sold, worked after the sale and the equipment
    was rendered inoperational by the manufacturer, so the responsibility was the manufacturers, not the retailer.

    Regarding heat, we have checked our box and there appears to be no increase in heat, after the download, in
    fact, the box seems cooler. Our test box ran all summer in extreme indoor temperatures, only failing after the
    software update.

    By far the most serious offence, is the news blackout regarding this problem, all news media have ignored our
    correspondence, it appears that this problem is being hidden from the general public, the only information
    available is here on the internet.

    We also worry that where Harvard International, are advising most customers, that a further correction
    download will correct the problem, a few of you have had calls from Freesat and Harvard, offering to collect
    your box and return it.

    The first amongst you to get your box back, should tell everyone here as soon as possible, in case there are those
    taking advantage of the situation and arranging some sort of scam.



  138. Penn Says:

    In reply to DDLG, they miss the point temperature was only an issue after the upgrade. Some how the upgrade has caused the boxes to overheat. In my case shortly after the upgrade the box started turning off and then back on every 10 minutes, then as I persisted try to find out the problem it required powering down before it would come on. During this time I noticed the box was much hotter than normal. Eventualy I only got sound and no picture. My conclusion about the overheating is as result of many years in IT support were the progressive nature of this problem does not fit just a software problem but does fit a degrading hardware problem caused by overheating. Also a previous contributor said he had removed the cover of his box and it then worked but his posting seems to have been removed.

    By the way DPD have failed to pick up my box as promised this morning so don’t hold your breath.


  139. mike Says:

    RE my message number 122

    My box just picked up 13.55 by DPD on route to Harvard Int
    will let you know when I get it back!!!!!1


  140. stevec7747 Says:

    I have placed a couple of tiny cpu fans next to my Bush HD box, where they blow air into one side. This has allowed the box to stop powering off every minute, but it still powers off several times an hour and still loses sound needing a complete power cycle. After several calls to the help number (post 116) I’m still awaiting call back fron Harvard custormer services!


  141. Robert Langdon Says:

    I would take your boxes back to where you bought them from and demand a refund, especially if you got it from Argos. Who is to say they have not been damaged.

    Its not Freesat’s fault, they did not make the boxes or come up with the software up/down grades. They just trusted a well known manufacturer to make them, like you trusted the names of Bush, Goodmans & Grundig they should be the ones replacing/refunding you.


  142. Simon Says:

    They were supposed to collct my Bush HD box yesterday – waited all day but no-one arrived. Called them today and said they would ‘get back to me’! I also raised the question of compensation for the day spent waiting for them yesterday and loss of TV and they said that the person who collects the box is authorised to discuss this!! Somehow I doubt they will be! If it is not sorted within a week I will be trying to return to store but am not sure I can find receipt (8 months old)…and failing that I will buy a new one and sue Harvard for the cost of it.


  143. Mo Says:

    I bought a Bush HD box for my 90 year mother-in-law a month back. She phoned last week to say that it wouldn’t switch on, and mentioned that one day it had been downloading “an update” – it was not long after this that it stuck in standby. I did an internet search and discovered this page (and others) discussing the problem. Took the box back to Argos and swapped it for another, no problem. When I set the new one up, it did not load any updates (which would back up the fact that Harvard have “pulled” the faulty OAU), and I made sure I set it to “manual updates” in the menu. All this chaos for a couple of new shopping channels which nobody probably watches anyway :(
    I wonder how many other older (and not so old non-technically minded) people who’ve bought boxes on the back of this digital switchover are sitting at home with no idea about any of this, and with no idea how to fix it. Pretty crap on Harvard’s part. I hope Watchdog get their teeth into it, then at least more people might be aware of what’s going on – the lack of info is unforgiveable…!!


  144. Sally Stickland Says:

    Has anyone tried returning their box to Argos when it’s over a year old? I no longer have a receipt for mine. Freesat said they would contact Goodmans to ask them to collect the box but have heard nothing yet.


  145. Kevin Says:

    We are in the middle of a very bad recession so this issue could easily bring Harvard to financial ruin. If that happened I doubt if any new updates would be issued and a major supplier of freesat boxes out of the market. If that happened I dare say this issue would become front page news.

    Actually I am surprised at the lack of news on the box issue as I would have thought that Sky and the rest of the Murdoch media empire would have taken advantage in knocking a rival satellite system. Maybe they are holding fire whilst they muster their forces?


  146. Chris Hatch Says:

    I have also one of these box’s. The same problem the thing powers off and keeps getting more frequent. I cannot understand why they did not test the firmware and as for the customer service, I honestly think that I have never dealt with such a useless company in my life (and that being polite). I gave up after phoning India about eight times with someone trying to talk over me when explaining the problem. I have now had Sky HD installed and it is worth every penny. I am now going to recover the money I paid for the box as its not fit for purpose, an will advise anyone who has this problem to post a note on this site.


  147. george1939 Says:

    Old version1.6.47 with no problem Update 1.7.48 with problem


  148. Neil Says:

    Nothing on BBC Watchdog tonight, so I suppose it is back to the telephone tomorrow onto Harvard to get the box picked up. That is if you can get around the offshore call centre!
    The only bit that worries me is with all those boxes that will be stacking up for upgrade, it is going to take a lot longer than a couple of days ( I suspect it will be weeks if they do not manage to lose the box in the process ). If you have had your box back let us all know who you spoke to and where.
    Take time to look at Harvard website and the last years accounts. They making a loss and changing management.


  149. Nick Says:

    Nothing on Watchdog … bit of a disappointment, but the format seems to have changed with only long term investigations featured and a studio full of disgruntled people to match each story. If this is still trundling along in a month or so maybe they would round a few of us up and film an article and get someone from Harvard in the studio. They were never going to do this in a week since the whole mess started.
    On a more depressing note. Being in the software business my self (QA actually … don’t get me started about the update!) … I am starting to come to the conclusion that if this was fixable with an OAD it would have been done before now. Something isn’t right. The inability to simply roll back to V1.6.47 worries me greatly ….. a gut feeling says the boxes are dead, only fixable in the workshop and every single Bush, Grundig and Goodmans box sold is affected ( has anyone heard of someone who has any of these boxes that still work after the update) I fear the cost of returning the boxes to fix them would in turn bankrupt Harvard. I hope I’m wrong but I feel something is very wrong.


  150. Bruce Says:

    Nick – I know this does not help your situation much but to answer you question I have a Goodmans GFSAT200HD – it updated to 1.7.48 the version that has caused the problems on some boxes and I am not having any problems with the box – my neighbour also has a gruding box that has not been effected either – so everyone with these boxes is not effected by the problem caused by this particular software update


  151. Nick Says:

    Well Bruce , that’s the first positive thing I ‘ve read in the whole sorry saga – so thanks for that information! Let’s hope the number of boxes affected really is in the “low hundreds” as that may make a return to base fix practical if it is needed.


  152. pmb Says:

    Bruce – Could you have a look at what the model no. and hardware versions are please. I’m wondering if this is related to units with a specific hardware. I’ve also heard that the earlier models are still OK. How old is it? My fathers has packed in , it’s 18 months old and is reporting model no. 02 and firmware 1.3.
    Nick – my gut feeling is the same as yours about OTA upgrades as they are not stable enough to take an upgrade.


  153. David Says:

    Following my earlier posting (#4) saying I’d had no problems since the update, I’m afraid I too am now getting the annoying frequent (every 10 minutes) rebooting. Sometimes it restarts itself, other times I have to physically switch off and on the plug at the wall. The other night I got a black and white striped screen of death. If this isn’t fixed soon, it will spell the death of Freesat. Shame, as it was good while it lasted.


  154. Nick Says:

    Frankly I’m a bit lost…. has anyone who was promised that their box would be collected for repair collection actually had a courier turn up ?


  155. Paul S Watts Says:

    Oh dear.

    HCC reports the following:

    Sky recruits new hi-def subscribers every 30 seconds, 1.6 million homes now tuned in
    HCC News Team’s picture

    * Team HCC
    * Bulletin
    * Hi-Def
    * Satellite & cable

    HCC News Team – 23 October 2009 – 10:32am

    [1.6 million viewers now get Sky+ HD] 1.6 million homes now have access to Sky HD. The satcaster has released sterling growth figures, which reveal that during the months between July and September it was recruiting Sky+ HD customers every 30 seconds. 287,000 signed up to the HD platform during the Summer promotional period – a threefold increase on the same period the previous year.

    The news underpins Sky’s position as the UK’s dominant HDTV platform. A new movie channel, Sky Movies Indie HD, launches Monday 26 October, bring the total number of hi-def channels available to 35.

    Looking forward, Sky says it will launch a comprehensive ‘pull’ video-on-demand service next year for Sky+HD customers – this is in addition to the current current Sky Anytime ‘push’ VOD service – as well as it’s much-vaunted Sky 3D service. More news when we get it.

    What awful statistics for Freesat. Combined with the current Harvard debacle, this can only harm Freesat and their long term prospects unless things can be sorted out and quickly.

    Certainly these figures put out by SKY show incredible demand for HD in the broad arena. If only Freesat can get organised for more of these 35 channels to come over to to our favoured platform and Harvard to sort out the mess of their own doing, the future would look a little more promising.


  156. ACM Says:

    My box is Goodmans GFSAT200 HD manufactured 2008/04 purchased June 2008. All the problems everyone has had, at one time I had almost cured them by getting more air to it by placing blocks under the feet so it would cool better, managed half an hour plus before any problems, now even that does not work and more problems are appearing.

    Have emailed freeview through to the manufacturer, as of five minutes ago no one had replied. Had enough of freesat, never delivered what it was meant to, where are the 200 channels by last Christmas ?.Having Sky HD installed on Monday.


  157. Derek (original) Says:

    It saddens me to read all these postings. Clearly this debacle from Harvard PLC is now impacting the success of Freesat, as indicated above by people turning away and taking out Sky HD subscriptions. The silence form Harvard is bad enough, but If it wasn’t for the fact that major TV manufacturers such as Panasonic & Sony have been persuaded to come on board, one could be forgiven for thinking that the silence from Freesat itself on this issue is deliberate, and that we are in the early throes of the demise of Freesat.
    Are the signs there?
    – its failure to overcome the issues that are stopping CH4 HD coming to Freesat
    – the significant reduction in picture quality from its flagship channel, BBC HD (from one of the Freesat partners!)
    – its failure to bring more HD channels on board
    – its failure to bring other popular channels on board that are currently on Freeview
    – its silence on this Harvard PLC issue

    I am an avid supporter of Freesat and luckily, my choice of Humax PVR means I am not affected personally by this isssue. That doesn’t mean I should stay silent though, so come on Freesat, take control of this debacle (and the other issues above) and show us that we were not wrong in believing that Freesat IS the future for free, quality TV (HD & SD)


  158. emma Says:

    We have had to turn our box off as it is now over heating. Still waiting for call as to when it is being picked up. I think we have all been very badly treated and thats an understatement.


  159. rodders Says:

    My Bush box was collected on Wednesday 21st, I will advise when it is returned and the results.


  160. Prison Warden Says:

    —” so come on Freesat, take control of this debacle (and the other issues above) and show us that we were not wrong in believing that Freesat IS the future for free, quality TV (HD & SD)”

    Why should the BBC and ITV ie Freesat assume responsibility for Harvards PLC’s big mistake? It is down to them ,no one else ,to replace or repair their boxes.

    Any one who takes out a Sky HD sub rather than buy a good quality box in the first place is misguided and will regret it in the future when the bills hits their pocket.

    The lack of narrow beam capacity is down to the satellite operators to resolve by moving the satellite they moved to 31E back to 28.whatever back.


  161. Derek (original) Says:

    @Prison Warden

    “Why should the BBC and ITV ie Freesat assume responsibility for Harvards PLC’s big mistake? It is down to them ,no one else ,to replace or repair their boxes.”

    I never suggested Freesat should assume resposibility for Harvard’s mistake.

    To minimise the impact of this mistake on Freesat’s future, it is in its own interest to put pressure on Harvard to resolve the issue quickly, and just as importantly, to be seen to be applying that pressure


  162. Mike Says:

    Firstly: my box is a Grundig HD – went wrong straight after the download. registered with Grundig helpline a couple of days later (thought it might have been corrected any day). I was contacted by Harvard two days ago and my box picked up today with promise of return/relacement early next week (I note no one else seems to have had theirs back yet). Fingers crossed.

    Secondly: A bit of perspective. I am probably like many thousands of customers up and down the country. I regard HD as a bit of a bonus. I was simply looking for a TV signal I could actually watch. The whole digital switchover process has left many of us (and I live in mid-Beds. not the Outer Hebrides) without a watchable terrestrial signal – maybe it will improve after 2012. Sky is definitely not the platform for me – none of the specialist packages are of any interest and are designed to maximise their revenue (I suspect that the Sky stats mentioned above are mostly existing customers upgrading).

    So, for maybe 20% of the country Freesat is an essential service, filling-in where Freeview fails to reach.

    I wait with bated breath to hear about the first fixed boxes but, one way or another, I am staying with Freesat. Progress may be slow but I’m sure they will get there.


  163. Chazzer Says:

    @ Derek (Original)

    Points well made, I heartily concur. Freesat should be putting whatever pressure is necessary on Harvard to resolve this issue. With the BBC & ITV behind the platform I’m sure they would not want Freesat to fail…

    Whilst I can understand everyone’s frustrations, I am also saddened by the postings indicating moves towards $ky. Those with longer memories may recall the time when $ky / $ky+ itself came under Watchdog’s gaze, given the number of boxes which at that time (4-5 years ago perhaps?) were either failing in short order or were completely DOA. Sound familiar? Put me off $ky altogether…

    Is $ky’s customer service any better than Harvard’s? Other postings on this site suggest to me that you are paying handsomely for the privilege of a similar kind of response.


  164. Rick Says:

    If your grundig box freezes, turns off every 5 minutes, sound only phone Harvard 0871 2304695. I did and on Wednesday they picked up my box and today Friday recieved a new one. Which works fine,


  165. Rick Says:

    If anyone having problems a more direct number is 023 92248214


  166. Dan M Says:

    I have called harvard on 0871 2304695, he says that somebody will call me back as they are having many people contacting them with the same issues so they have a back log to deal with. I asked if the box could be fixed via an OAD and he said no, it would need to be sent back to them and whoever calls me back will sort this for me…


  167. emma Says:

    Pleased to say had call today my Grundig being picked up Monday and should have fixed or new one back Wednesday. Fingers crossed, Wacth this space.


  168. rodders Says:

    Further to my post 159, pleased to say a man has just delived a brand new Goodmans HD box at 15.55 this afternoon excatly as promised, replacing my defuct Bush. Will set up tonight and let you know if it is OK.


  169. Paul S Watts Says:

    In addition to my earlier posting [#155] unlike a number of other commentators, I will continue to support and promote Freesat. I firmly believe that there has to be an alternative to SKY and I certainly will not be “jumping ship”. Should the unthinkable happen, the collapse of Freesat, I for one would hate to have been a party to its downfall by abandoning the platform and jumping into bed with the Jolly Ausie Giant. I would want to stand out against SKY, in exactly the way I did with BSB. I know in such an event you cannot win, bit hey, I do feel superior because of it.

    I trust that all true people with faith in the platform will continue to support it and not run to the hills and bloat the SKY coffers further.


  170. Alan Crisp Says:

    have just phoned the 0203 9 number. They are very helpfull but! have to speak to 0871 2301777 which costs 10p per munute. After 10 minutes—they will call back cant tell when!


  171. Alan Crisp Says:

    I have just phoned the 02392248214 number. They are very helpfull but! I then had to speak to 0871 2301777 (their Overseas call centre) wich i am advised cost 10p per minute. After 10 minutes -they will call back but cannot tell when.


  172. Bruce Says:

    pbm – sorry for that late reply – here is the information you asked for at comment #152 – Manufacturer Goodmans GFSAT200HD, Model number 02, Hardware version 1.3, serial number (MAC) 0006f4124875 software version 1.7.48. Purchased May 2009


  173. Nick Says:

    Just left my details on 0871 2304695 – Indian call centre I guess. “Someone from Customer services will call me back.” The chap was non committal as to whether it would be to arrange collection of my Freesat box.
    Although he did go into some prepared script along the lines of … apologies for delay .. taking longer than expected… will be resolved shortly etc etc


  174. Stan Says:

    Our Grundig HD box is still working fine (few hours “No signal” last week, don’t know if it was related to this update) for now…
    Model Version 01 – Hardware Version 1.3 – Software version 1.7.48


  175. Cliff Says:

    Reported my Bush hot brick to India… they need the Model & Serial number….. don’t bother trying to get any info, they are reading a script… so save your 10p. Got a call back from Harvard next day (in English this time), will collect Monday (including remote, mains adapter & instructions)!!! & return Wednesday. …. although it might be a different make… ie Goodmans or Grindig…. sounds like they are swopping the boxes around!!!
    Got fed up so been out & bought a Humax Foxsat HDR… so much better & easier to use. Should have got this originally, but you learn by buying rubbish first I guess. Harvard won’t be getting my custom in future!


  176. Ian Says:

    Just managed to get an exchange of my out of guarantee goodmans box at Argos.
    Obviously I’m concerned that when I install it it will simply download the duff software and I’ll be back to square one.
    Has anyone installed a new Goodmans box since this farce began and have they been similarly affected?


  177. Skip Says:

    Another working Grundig box here also – Model Version 01 – Hardware Version 1.3 – Software version 1.7.48


  178. Janw Says:

    Think they have told everyone that their boxes will be collected Monday and by back Wednesday!! I finally got three calls today to arrange to collect my box. They had my details down three times and still not registered the collection address (my work address) that I had given the lady on the phone in the original call. Lets see if they actually collect it fingers crossed as my first call to Freesat and Harvard was on the 13th Oct and only just agreeing to collect two weeks later. We have also had prices for Sky and in the process of getting this installed mybe more reliable and better channels.


  179. footy Says:

    May I point out that a European Directive states that all goods sold in EU carry a 2 year warranty. So you people with faulty goods get to your store uregently, do not llet thm fob you off withy 12 months warranty. THE LAW states 2 years.


  180. pmb Says:

    Interesting , a couple of reports that the model no. 01 is still OK even though it has the same firmware as the 02. How ridiculous that Freesat can give a press release on Star Wars but not this complete fiasco.


  181. Dan M Says:

    My goodmans is model 02…. maybe all 02 models are broken then?


  182. pmb Says:

    Dan M – the post by Bruce (172) says his is an 02 although quite recent and is still working.That’s what I was trying to find out. So don’t know at the moment. He purchased it 6 months ago so unless it’s something to do with the age of capacitors. If only Alba would tell us……


  183. Ash Says:

    footy, thats not quite true (for UK anyway), an EU Directive is not law,Directives mean member countries implement it with their own laws and interpretations, which in the UK is the Sale of Goods Act. So the EU Directive cannot be quoted or used directly to enforce anything.

    Back to this topic, Luckily I moved house last month and havnt got round to putting my dish back up yet, so no update on my box!! (goodmans) Im disgusted by what ive read here in this post, ive been following freesat from the start and yes things have been slow on the channels/other promises front over the past year and a bit, and yes i nearly gave up altogether of anything actually progressing on this platform, but now after this happening (i know nothing to do with freesat) it WILL seriously damage the future of freesat and to be honest im unsure of what the real outcome will be. Harvard have you sent freesat to an early grave?????? (i hope not)


  184. ET Says:

    Have installed the Goodmans model (swopped for my Grundig) replacement from Harvard and all working fine now.

    Box is definitely running cooler but are they comparable.

    Model 02 Hardware version 1.3 Software Version 1.4.33

    Hope Harvard get to you all and restore your sevice asap.


  185. ET Says:

    Entry 94 above was the best advice and got me sorted.

    Thanks Ken


  186. ken Says:

    Yeah… too many people who think they are right choose to ignore sound advice..I’m sorted too…Glad all is fine for you!!


  187. Steve Says:

    Just been called – the failing Goodmans box will be picked up on Monday with a promise of a return by Wednesday. I wonder how many boxes they are having to pick up.


  188. Penn Says:

    From what ET says it sounds like they have just downgraded the software version and not fixed the problem otherwise the software version would be greater than 1.7.48. As I suspect many boxes have been damaged my guess is that those who have had their boxes collected early are the lucky ones as they are proberly getting new boxes with downgraded software.


  189. Neil Says:

    Hot Press – Just got a call from Harvard (on Saturday) and they are collecting my box on Tuesday for an upgrade or relplacement. All very nice on the phone, however I passed on my concerns on lack of communication from their side over this whole sorry affair.
    So log your details with the help desk (there are many numbers in this thread) and stand by your phones!
    Ah to watch Brucie on Strictly in HD what bliss!


  190. Dan M Says:

    Been called today to say that my box will be picked up on Monday. Do i only need to send back the box? Or do they need the remote and everything in the original box?


  191. Neil Says:

    Dan You need to send back the box, remote and power cable. If the box is fried they will replace with a new unit.


  192. bill Says:

    is this f**kup with all boxes or is it just with hd boxes ???


  193. Nick Says:

    Likewise… just had a call from someone who introduced himself as “Tim from Harv… um I mean Freesat”! Picking up box from work on Monday and should return repaired or relaced wih a new one Wednesday. Now that IS excellent customer service… it’s a shame it’s taken so long to sort this out and that the myth of the fix by OAD was perpetuated for so long.

    Question is now …. when I get the new box do I disable automatic updates ?????


  194. Jock Says:

    Many of these posts point out that this is not Freesat’s fault as it arose out of a Harvard update. Freesat opted to give the original production licence to the Alba group and to market the boxes through the Dixons Group. Both groups operate at the “value for money” end of the market, so it is right that Freesat should not try to distance themselves from the consequences. Over time other licences have been awarded and there are now more players in the game.

    For those wanting to switch to Humax, the Foxsat receiver is available for £89 and the PVR for £229 from humaxdirect, who claim to hold stocks of both.


  195. terry Says:

    My bush box has just started working again! After the download it packed up a few days later. Assuming a faulty box took it back for a replacement and that was the same, would not complete a scan. But hey presto, 5mins ago turned it on and scan completed and back on air. Hope everyone else is now getting service.


  196. Dan M Says:

    Terry: The problem was not with scanning for channels. The problems we have been receiving are resetting, loss of sound and inability to switch the unit on at all…


  197. Wanda Says:

    At long last I had call to say my box will be collected on Tuesday – called at 5pm on Saturday – must be working overtime!! Whilst this whole sorry saga has been handled dreadfully, it seems that now at last they (not entirely sure who) are pulling out all the stops to get things sorted. (They want the box, remote and cable packaged the best you can)


  198. ACM Says:

    Finally got answers to two emails from days ago, All they said was, could you phone the 0871 number, strange they cannot take details by email but you have to give them it via a 10p a minute number and then wait for them to call you back ?.


  199. Liz Says:

    My faulty Goodmans box was picked up by the courier on Wednesday and a brand new one delivered yesterday which works fine. However, I did have to reset my TV to the factory settings so if you still have an issue try doing that before contacting Harvard Intl again. This has been a very annoying experience and I hope that no further automatic upgrades are done to the system without those in charge testing them out first. If I ever have to replace this box I will be going for a different make like Humax which seems to have a better reputation. I didn’t appreciate having to spend 10p per minute speaking to an Indian call centre when I really needed to speak to someone from Harvard Intl in this country who could arrange for the box to be replaced.


  200. Luke Says:

    My Bush Freesat HD box has been disposed of and I’ve bought a Humax one now. So much better than the Bush box even when it worked properly before the update. Kind of glad the upgrade screwed up my box and made me get something else. I’m upset that I haven’t got any compensation from Bush though.


  201. G Says:

    Received a call today from the 023…….. people. They are collecting my box, power lead, remote & manual on Monday. They said the new update obviously hadn’t worked!! Will get a replacement box OR my old repaired box back on Wednesday…. We’ll see. Stay tuned.


  202. Kevin Says:

    I have the Bush model BFSAT01HD and checking on the information is showig Model 00, Hardware Version 1.3 and Software Version 1.7.48.

    My box has been working fine with the exception of lack of sound this morning which was cured by switching off the power supply. This seems to a well publicised fault with the box but does not appear to related to the software update. I also checked the temperature of the box and it seems to be reasonably cool.

    At the moment I am happy with the box, as it was very cheap but I now get the best picture quality I have ever had on my Panasonic HD TV. However I would have preferred to have spent more on a better box but money is very tight. To put things in perpective I spent £52 on filling my car with petrol so £68 does not seem a hugh amount.


  203. DDLG UK Says:

    We at DDLG are disappointed in Harvard PLC, insomuch, that, even after confirmation with a member,
    conforming his Bush Box had been disabled by the 1.7.48, they still advised he called the 0871 premium number.
    Our member is disabled and has great difficulty being understood, when speaking, so finds voice communication
    uncomfortable and prefers email. Product support contact options should always include, at least email in this day
    and age, if not textphone and fax contacts.


  204. JPB Says:

    Box collected by Courier as promised.
    5/10 so far


  205. Official Harvard Statement | Join Freesat Says:
  206. admin Says:

    Statement from Harvard International now available here:


  207. Rodders Says:

    Further to my 168 post, I am pleased to say that the new Goodmans box received as a replacement for my returned Bush HD box from Harvard is up and running just fine. No installation issues, however I have set the download to manual scan, just in case. (Note, as received the box was set to auto.)

    BBC HD looks very good on my 37 inch Series 5 Samsung. Watched Star Wars on ITV red button on Saturday, whilst not up to BBC quality it looked better than the SD version to me, IMHO.

    Happy bunny again, thanks Harvard and Freesat. They have had a lot of ‘stick’ recently, due I believe to their initial lack of response to the problem, however with the current statement this is now corrected. How many of us ‘put up
    with’ less than perfect MS Vista!!!! without any real remedy provided. (IMHO again)

    Lets hope Freesat continues to grow and add new HD channels. I refuse to pay Skys crazy pricing.


  208. Mike Says:

    Just received Goodman HD box from Harvard all up and running ok,up dates set to manual!!!!
    Found this web site tell you when up dates are going over the air it is worth a look


  209. Nick Says:

    Courier picked up my Goodmans box this morning. Things seem to be going swimmingly now that Harvard have got their act together.
    No doubt lessons l will be learned etc. etc.
    With the benefit of hindsight the “this will be fixed by and OAD” delayed proceedings unnecessarily. Maybe we should give Harvard the benefit of the doubt and accept that they were trying to resolve the issue and genuinely believed they could fix it with an OAD. One final passing thought. There has been on this forum here and on other forums an air of somewhat smugness by HUMAX owners regarding the superiority of their Freesat boxes. All I can say is people have very short memories . 18 months ago when I researched getting a Freesat HD box there was so much criticism circulating about the poor performance of the HUMAX boxes(remember the lip synch problems) and the crappy customer service. So much so that I decide to try another brand. Apart form this unfortunate episode my Goodman box ( budget brand such as it is) is connected to some very expensive “high end” equipment and has performed faultlessly. So you takes yer choice !


  210. Harry Says:

    DPD Couriers picked up my Grundig box this afternoon.
    I will report on this site when I receive the replacement/refurb.
    Thanks for the information provided by all relevant posts
    on this forum that put me if not my Telly, in the picture!


  211. Harry Says:

    For those of you that have had problems with your freesat boxes don’t throw them away. They are not fit for purpose you didn’t break them the manufacturer did. Take them back and ask for a humax replacement or your money back, even if they are out of warranty or you don’t have a receipt, But first read the following to put you in the right direction.


  212. GeoffD49 Says:

    Firstly got an email saying new OAD update and all will be well. Last Staurday got an email telling me to phone the 0871 number – neglected to say in the email Monday to Friday only.

    Got through to Indian call centere today – details taken and someone will call back. When asked when and asked if this would be today the reply was “maybe”.

    Advice to all – boycot Bush/Goodmans/Grundig as their problem is your problem – not the other way round. Think customer neglect not customer care.


  213. Dan M Says:


    They will ring back from the UK. Sort out a courier and all will be good. Mine was picked up today, great service dispite the first week of lies.


  214. footy Says:

    To 183 you are wrong, The EU direcftive applies to any member of EU, and GB is such. Therefore 2 year warranty-end of story.


  215. Ash Says:

    footy, why the attitude? did you read my post? because it doesnt come accross that you understand what a directive is? if you want to show yourself up by your lack of knowledge then go ahead! at the bottom of Directive 1999/44/EC it says :
    The information provided in this report is based on current understanding of proposed EU legislation. The proposed law is subject to change by the UK Government or the E.U and it may be interpreted differently by the Courts or the legislature. It is a general guide only to legal requirements and not a definitive guide to the law. Only the Courts can decide what the law means and expert legal advice should be always be taken if difficulties arise.

    We dont have a right to a 2 year warranty in this country unless the manufacturer states otherwise.

    (sorry admin if this out of place)


  216. robbo Says:

    My Grundig HD crashed like everyone else,but not realising at the time it was widespread and 18months old I thought just my luck so I got a Bush HD cheap from Argos. This is set at model 00 H/W 1.3 S/W 1.4.33 .Ihave put it at manual upgrade So what happens if there is another upgrade,how do I manuelly upgrade it?


  217. Brian Flack Says:

    My Grundig Freesat HD box has always needed fan cooling but, since the s/w update, it just switches on/off every few seconds. As I live outside the UK, unless they are going to correct the problem with another download it seems I have lost Freesat completely.


  218. Mike Says:

    Further to my note at 162.
    Just got a new Goodmans box delivered exactly when Harvard International said (picked up last Friday). All working well. Seems I now have an earlier model (00 was 01) and s/w version 1.4.33 so don’t know what that means. Once they had decided what the fix was and how to put right I think the service was excellent. Silly me even sent the wrong remote back which they returned nicely packaged with the new box.
    That’s service. Good recovery – shame it happened.


  219. Dan M Says:

    Robbo: You can’t. If the update is a good one you should just need to switch it back to automatic. I think the ‘manual’ mode is just for Harvard to use.


  220. james Says:

    My Bush Freesat HD was one of the boxes affected. After the auto-update my box switched off and never came on again. After ringing them several times eventually I was contacted by the distributor who arranged a courier to pick the box up from me and send it back to me when it is fixed.
    I paid £65 for my box, and although initially I was very annoyed that this had happened, the fact that they are fixing it for free (when they could have been cheeky and charged me for delivery or even for just fixing it) it great news. When I get it back I will be happy to keep using it as before. Besides this one (pretty major problem) I’ve had no other issues with the Bush HD box, and I still think it’s a bargain.
    2 points however:
    1) ALL boxes should come with a rest button, so if this problem ever happened users could simply default back – a major flaw in this and many other boxes
    2) Perhaps everyone should switch to manual update. I think that’s what I’ll do from now on, and wait to see if any problems have occured a few days after others have auto updated.

    ….on a completely different note, when the hell in 4HD arriving? Come on Freesat. The pressure is on now, particularly now Freeview HD is coming soon.


  221. Nick Says:

    Goodmans box returned on time – Picked up Monday Returned Wednesday. Looks like a new box has been provided.. Well done Harvard for finally getting it right!
    Now …. please be careful about future OADs!

    Being technically minded and in the software industry I would be interested in knowing what the problem was exactly … but unless someone at Harvard is particularly wiling to post something I guess we will never know…..


  222. Wanda Says:

    Up until now I have been quite calm over this whole story and finally was quite impressed with the fact that I was called on saturday to say my Grundig box would be picked up on Tuesday. Well now it is Wednesday and still no sign of the courier.I called the helpline number at 9.15 am today but told that the office was closed (although the message said that it should open at 8.45am!!) I emailed Harvard and got a standard response saying call the helpline number. Still feeling quite patient I called – held for nearly 10 minutes – finally got through – told the story and waited while the customer service person typed everything on the computer – exactly the same info that I had sent in my email to Harvard. Told that someone would get back to me – so round and round in circles – now 12.30pm and no call. To say I am now very angry is an understatement – I am pleased that some of you have new boxes and everything is working OK again, but I suspect there are a few more out there like me – still no freesat after over 2 weeks – this has now become unacceptable.


  223. Andrew Says:

    My mind is in the same place as Wanda. I have been quite calm but getting more annoyed about it by the hour. Tried emailing was directed to the customer services number, did that two days ago and was told that someone would call me back to arrange collection and repair of box. That hasn’t happened, so chased it today and was told that they will call me but couldn’t give any indication of when and I have no confidence that they will. I am coming to the conclusion that I will buy a new Freesat HD box but obviously not from Harvard!!


  224. Keith Fitton Says:

    I posted on here on Oct 15th and I’d e-mailed Goodmans literally ten minutes after the ‘update’. I finally got an e-mail back after my third e-mail to them telling me to phone the Indian call centre. Now I read on here that they have been collecting & returning boxes already. Clearly if you e-mailed them originally, they are just hoping you will go away! Well, I’m intending to go away, by returning my box to exchange it for a Humax.


  225. Nick Says:


    They are probably swamped with emails and your “10 minutes after the event” email probably got lost in the whole mess. Your email was received a) before they new they had a problem and b) before a action plan was in place.

    I’m not defending Harvard as I still think their original response to the problem was slow and unprofessional.
    But hindsight is always 20:20

    If you worked with software like I do I’m afraid you may be more acceptig of the fact how ever much you test it sometimes a Priority 1 bug slips out the door.
    It’s how you react that counts – this is where HARVARD really screwed.up.

    There is nothing to suggest that HUMAX boxes will not at some point suffer a similar problem.. As I already pointed out in an earlier post , 18 months ago various forums were awash with posts pointing out a host of problems with the HUMAX boxes and rubbishing HUMAX customer service.

    The Goodmans box is a fantastic piece of kit IMHO – save your money
    Call Harvard today
    DPD pick the box up tomorrow
    You will have it back by Monday


  226. Ron Says:

    Phoned the call centre monday 26th they took all my details and phone number but have never heard from them since.I will not ring their 10p phone number again as I think it is a cheek. Have emailed Grundig about it but I will not hold my breath while I wait for a reply. To sum it up if you by CRAP products you are bound to get CRAP service.I will not go out and buy new box straight away but wait and see if sony or panasonic bring out a seperate box as they have no problems with Freesat in their tvs.


  227. DDLG UK Says:

    Harvard should definitely have accepted email contact that contained the customers address and telephone
    number, as well as details of the product affected.

    There are many who, for one reason or another can not use voice communication and rely originally on
    textphone, but more and more on email and faxes these days.

    Sadly, we feel that Harvard have not only let customers down, but unwittingly broken the law, by not honouring
    non voice contact methods.

    We have had no alternative but to advise our disabled members who have been affected by the download error,
    to take their product out of service and store it, if it one that stays on at standby, until a future update is available.
    If needing to use Freesat, then they would need to purchase a new product.

    We are also receiving reports from those who have phoned, but still had no contact from Harvard.


  228. JPB Says:

    Re Post 204
    Apparantly new Goodmans box delivered ,as promised,in return for 18 month old Grundig.
    10/10 for recent service but FAR LESS for the total experience.
    Many thanks for the `support` and `reassurance` from all of you posters


  229. Nick Says:

    ….I will not ring their 10p phone number again as I think it is a cheek………

    Ron – it will take you 2 minutes (20p) to record you details with the “outrageous” Indian call centre….

    Harvard will then
    call you back (at their expense)
    Have a courier pick up your box (at their expense)
    Provide you with a NEW box (at their expense)
    Corier it back to you next day (at their expense)

    Call me old fashioned … but seems like 20p well spent!


  230. GeoffD49 Says:

    Same experience as Ron here.

    Phoned Monday early a.m.. Was told they would phone back. Now Wednesay p.m. – no phone call.

    Will call call centre back tomorrow to remind them. Cost of original phone call was £1.00 not 20p due to detail required and dificulty understanding so probably same again tomorrow. Cost of time in sending emails, phone calls etc. ??? Depends on your hourly rate. Say 1 hour at minimum wage approx £6:50?

    Good of them to call back/send courier/ provide a replacement box and return box at their expense but they were the ones who broke into my house and vandalised my box in the first place. Call me old fashioned but should I be praising such vandalism?

    They have turned what could have been a customer service opportunity by providing superb service into a customer service nightmare by over promising (“fixed soon by OAD update” and their press release saying “all sorted by the 25th”) and then underdelivering. A classic example of how to lose customers and future business (one disgruntled custoemer generally tells 10 prospective customers.) Just wait fior the reviews on Amazon and Argos etc.

    Off my list of brands to buy until they redeem themselves. Not holding my breath on that one and would love to be surprised.


  231. Fran Says:

    I too phoned on the 26th and have had no reply yet. My call lasted over ten minutes with a guy who was completely bored by the whole procedure and who took some persuading to even take my details.

    What I do find extremely galling is that there has been no information except on internet forums like this one.
    I feel really sorry for the unknown number of people who are still completely in the dark and without a clue what to do, because they don’t know where to look.
    Why has there been no outcry in the mass media?
    It would be interesting to know the true extent of the problem and exactly how many people are affected.
    I sent a mail to BBC’s Watchdog programme but I bet they won’t be at all interested.


  232. Wanda Says:

    Sorry – another rant – why should we go and spend money on a new box – several people are saying they will buy a Humax box – I have also considered this myself – however why should I? I was made redundant some time ago so money is tight – I make my buying decisions based on my own choice – not forced into it by a third party. Come on Harvard please sort this out asap!


  233. G Says:

    New Goodmams bos delivered today. Software 1.4.33!! New box, remote but no batteries!! All good so far xx


  234. Nick Says:

    The batteries are in the bag with the instructions!

    New box up and running … all OK so far.
    I have noticed that the stand by light ( which used to be the brightest blue light I have ever seen) is now a bit more subdued!


  235. Dan M Says:

    Nick: I also noticed that the blue light is much better, the other used to blind me if i woke up in the night.


  236. Nick Says:

    To Reply to Fran’s post …

    Fran -I too phoned on the 26th and have had no reply yet. My call lasted over ten minutes with a guy who was completely bored by the whole procedure and who took some persuading to even take my details.

    Nick -I guess I was fortunate – this wasn’t my experience. I had a very quick call with someone in what I presume was an Indian call centre – who knew exactly what the problem was and took my details quite quickly.

    Fran -What I do find extremely galling is that there has been no information except on internet forums like this one.
    I feel really sorry for the unknown number of people who are still completely in the dark and without a clue what to do, because they don’t know where to look.

    Nick – This hits the nail on the head – nothing on Goodmans website (which has a “Press Room” for goodness sake!)– if it wasn’t for this forum we would all being the dark over what to do. At first I was ready to ditch the box as broken out of warranty and probably not worth fixing.

    Fran -Why has there been no outcry in the mass media?

    Nick -Probabbly relatively few boxes affected. – maybe less than 100 as Harvard claimed – not really headlines unless thousand of boxes were fried.

    Fran – It would be interesting to know the true extent of the problem and exactly how many people are affected.
    I sent a mail to BBC’s Watchdog programme but I bet they won’t be at all interested.

    Nick -As above – if Watchdog contacted Harvard and were told that less than 100 boxes were affected and everyone was getting couriered a new box by return it would be a non-story.


  237. Ron Says:

    call me old fashioned 20p well spent
    Took your advise spent another 30p on phone call last night they called me back today will pick faulty grundig box up friday 30th.Will try to flash box with new software if that fails will deliver brand new goodmans box next tues.Hope its best 30p spent


  238. Liz Says:

    My Goodman box was replaced with a new one by Harvard Intl last week and it works fine now. However, when I got my mobile phone bill I found it was £6 more than usual and suspect this is because of the long calls I had to make to India. I must have phoned half a dozen times because I was either cut off or I got an agent who didn’t speak good enough English to help.


  239. Kevin Says:

    @ Liz

    You should have used a land line to call Harvard or use the alternative non premium rate phone number. Believe it or not it is cheaper per minute to phone the USA using a land line rather than to call 0800 lines with a mobile. This is because the mobile phone companies charge a premium for using any number starting with 08 even if it would be free using a land line. Welcome to rip off Britain!


  240. Dave F Says:

    After several frustrating calls to HQ and India, and an email during the past two weeks, I eventually had my Goodmans HD box collected by DPD on Tuesday 27th October with a promise of return by 29th. It was dropped off this morning 30th to my place of work – seems to be a brand new replacement in original packaging. Must now wait to get it home and see that everything is ok.


  241. Liz Says:

    Thanks Kevin for that advice about using my mobile to phone an 0800 number. Unfortunately I was at work and it was the only option I had at that time. Pleased to report that my Goodman box has been fine since I got the new one. Note to Dave F, yes I think it is definitely a new one, mine was. However, dreading any future upgrade or do you think Harvard Intl and Freesat have learned their lesson!


  242. Cliff Says:

    Just to let you know, had an email today from Harvard customer support,
    asking for full details of the Bush box that was affected by the OAD.

    No call as yes, but there is still hope.

    Hope everyone gets their box fixed



  243. Alan Crisp Says:

    Hooray! New replacement box arrived friday. Goodmans instead of Grundig, but brand new.
    Seems perfectly O.K.
    Thank goodness all this has paid off.
    Best of luck to all out there.


  244. Liz Says:

    Cliff and anyone else who still has their faulty box. Phone 0207 238 7650 and ask to speak to Lynn. When you get through on that number they may ask what it’s about and then try to connect you to India but insist on speaking to Lynn in the Goodman office. She’s very helpful.


  245. Simon Says:

    Yes, I too received a replacement Goodmans box on Friday and it seems to be working well so far. Goodness knows what this has cost Harvard in replacement boxes and courier fees. I wonder what has happend to the idiots that wrote and released the code for the offending software updates? For Harvards sake I hope they were contractors rather than least they can sue them!


  246. GeoffD49 Says:

    fed up with no phonecall back I phoned the above number (post 244 above but 0208 not 0207) got through to Lynn yesterday, box picked up today – fingers crossed.

    One thought – economics of customer care. helpline at 10p/minute = £6 per hour. Say 1 p per minute for phone call then 9p per minute and £5.40 per hour. Indian call centre pay say £1.00 per hour including all overheads – helpline profit £4.40 per hour. Not benefitting from others misfotune then?

    Like someone said they must be losing a bit on this replacing the boxes but on to a nicer little earner to balance it. Think I’ll set up a helpline.


  247. stevec7747 Says:

    At long last and after many calls to the customer service team my Bush HD was collected today (Wed) as promissed. I look forward with fingers crossed to having a good HD tv experience on Friday.


  248. Liz Says:

    Yes, sorry everyone, Geoff is right, I mistakenly gave the wrong prefix phone number for Harvard Intl

    It’s 0208 238 7650 and if you ask for Lynn she is very helpful.


  249. Wanda Says:

    Like others, I received a brand new Goodmans box on Tuesday – all OK and looking forward to strictly in HD on Saturday! This has been a very frustrating process for us all but I think that once Harvard made the decision to actually do something they have been very good in sorting this mess out. Updates set to manual now!


  250. nick Says:

    “helpline profit £4.40 per hour. Not benefitting from others misfotune then?”

    Not if there are only a few hundred boxes affected…….. the TOTAL number of hours spent generating revenue for Harvard via it’s help line would not be more than say 10 hours …… you need thousands of people phoning in and spending considerable amounts of time on the line to generate any significant “profit”

    With replacement boxes being couriered out even when the boxes are out of warranty I doubt Harvard are making money on this.


  251. stevec7747 Says:

    New Goodmans HD box has been delivered as promissed. I now feel somewhat better about the whole experience. I was always very pleased with the hardware and have really missed the great reception that the Bush HD always gave. I have been reminded why I moved to freesat over the last couple of weeks because of the terrible swimmy picture I get on freeview. Well done Harvard for sorting this mess out, and I must remember set updates to manual!


  252. Cliff Says:

    Hello All, Pleased to say, had a call from Harvard PLC to arrange collection of affected Bush box. Monday, collected Tuesday and New Goodmans delivered Thursday. Been on test, appears to work, fine. Set to Manual software update. Although picture is not as good as the Bush was in HD, (Tested with the Bill on ITV red button and BBC HD), the Goodmans does not lose sound sync, as original Bush did. Thank you Harvard for eventual service.


  253. Cliff Says:

    Has anyone experienced an ITV HD problem with the Humax Foxsat box, displaying a notice “This channel is encrypted or not available”, after pressing the red button, instead of the notice that the scart connections were being disable box, so refusing to load ITV HD?


  254. mrs i strathdee Says:

    yes we have 3 humax foxsat boxes all have lots of the same channels+ info on guide missing.also when boxes switched off and back on keeps asking to do update,although they boxes have done what they have been able we have one which is clicking/cluncking/squeaking and scrapping constantly.tried factory reset and all the different ideas in booklet for problems no difference at all.not happy at all.


  255. adrian lightfoot Says:

    Goodmans GFSAT200HD Black Freesat HD Digital Box.faulty boxes
    bought my box through the help scheme for the disabled cost £120.00
    could have bought cheaper on high street. FAILED FIVE TIMES, ON SIXTH
    sound goes, then no channel apears on screen, or sound goes picture judders
    and no channel , or turns itself off, or says no channel click up and then down
    channel appears,who has the boxes that work,and where can i get one from
    Adrian l


  256. Liz Says:

    Adrian, this sounds a bit like the problems many of us had with faulty box updates about three weeks ago. After I got my new box I still had problems but my son reset my TV back to factory settings and that solved all the problems. If you continue to have trouble this might be the original problem many of us had so phone 0208 238 7650 which is Harvard Intl who deal with Goodmans boxes and ask to speak to Lynn. She was very helpful.


  257. Simon Says:

    OK – anyone else experiencing a new problem with their replacement boxes after the debacle of a few weeks a go? Mine is now stuck in a cycle of trying to download a software update. It tries for an age then reports that it has failed and then tries again. I cannot exit this cycle and the box is essentially broken again. Anyone else?


  258. Neil Says:

    Yes me to. Like a fool I switched the replaced box back to auto update as I was getting sound synch issues.
    Now I get the download failed screen and not able to exit. You can power down and wait for reload, it works ok until you put it on stand by, then nothing ahhhhhhhh.
    Back to the phone calls.
    If you have a replacement box DO NOT switch it to auto upgrade.


  259. Simon Says:

    I think I have found a temporary fix for my problem. I unplugged it for a few minutes and then turned back on. You then have about a 10 second window to access the settings and disable the automatic update before it tries to automatically update….you have to be quick or it will enter the updating loop again! Has been working again for about an hour now so fingers crossed. I am surprised these idiots are sending out new updates at all so soon. I want a refund on my box as I have had enough of this. The original box is still unsder the original warranty but the problem is that Harvard have taken the original box and replaced it with a different model (Bush for Goodmans) so I guess Argos will not refund me? Sadly, I am wondering now if I have had enough of Freesat altogether. Does anyone here have experience of FTA satellite tuners for PC’s? Have seen a couple of models and am not bothered about HD reception (I can’t tell the difference 90% of the time) but wonder if anyone has experience?


  260. Neil Says:

    Just got off the phone to Harvard they are collecting my box tomorrow for another exchange. Anyone get the feeling of Deja Vu?


  261. Neil Says:

    If you want to by pass the offshore 10 p a minute line try 023 92248216 they are aware of the problem.
    Hopefully as a Jungle celebrity would say “I want closure! ”


  262. Liz Says:

    Furious that this has also happened to my box yet again. Yesterday I switched it on and it said an automatic download had failed. I was able to watch TV yesterday but now it’s completely failed and is jammed on the grey screen saying download complete, download has failed. I’ve tried unplugging the power cable but it seems to make no difference.

    How can these jokers run a business like this? I’m not able to deliver the box up to a courier until next week and goodness knows how many times this is going to happen. It appears to be a monthly problem with them.


  263. Andy Says:

    I too spent ages on the 10p minute line the other day after my box kept shutting down.

    The nice lady in India told me that an update was due on Monday or Tuesday and SHOULD solve the problem – hmmmm

    Well, tonight the update came. First attempt failed.

    Second attempt downloaded, told me then that the update was being applied and not to turn off my set as it would take around 3 mins.

    Left it alone and went away. Fifteen minutes later came back to find it with the blue light on and nothing.

    Whatever I do now, nothing gets me from standby and the blue light.

    Surely this problems must come under the Sale of goods act 1979 as “not fit for purpose”?


  264. Liz Says:

    Thanks to someone else on here at the second attempt (you have to be very very fast) I was able to get the box into the first install mode and then after it had installed the programmes again I went back in and changed the updates to manual from automatic.

    However, I am going to write to these jokers at Harvard asking for a voucher to take to Argos to buy a brand new box (but not theirs because I wouldn’t touch them with a bargepole after this) so that I can have the service I’ve paid for.

    I will be doing this quickly because if they’re having to courier all these boxes back in for a second time I don’t give much for the firm’s chances of surviving much longer.

    They should be sacking whoever at their technical team is responsible for this fiasco.


  265. Liz Says:

    Unfortunately switching the update to manual did nothing whatsoever for this box because it still flashes up a message telling me the download has failed and do I want to try again or exit.

    If you try to exit nothing happens so you have to unplug the box again.

    I’m trying to source a Humax HD box and when I’ve bought one I’ll be sending the invoice and photographs of the error messages on the Goodmans box to Harvard Intl.

    I was without the box for two weeks last time and I’m now on the third day of problems with this new one. I don’t think it’s acceptable that a new box should fail in less than a month.

    Watch this space because if I get a new box and these people refuse to refund the money I will be taking them to the county court.


  266. Simon Says:

    Anyone else who had a box that was replaced after the first fiasco whilst still under warranty might benefit from knowing that Harvard can apparently return the original box to you. If you call they will initially insist that you have to return the replacement box to them first but, if you refuse, point out that they kept your original box without your consent and threaten legal action, they will back down very quickly. I received a callback from someone more senior after the first person refused, within a few minutes. They say they will return my original box today and exchange for the now broken replacement. I’ll then keep my fingers crossed that Argos are not wise to all of this and will give a refund. The person I spoke to was very aggressive and rude though…not a word of apology for the gross inconvenience they are causing people. They also confirmed that the problem arises because they sent replacement boxes with a software version that cannot cope with the new update.


  267. Simon Says:

    I should add that they claim your original box has been updatesd and will now function…for a week or two anyway ’til they break it again.


  268. Tony Says:

    I Purchased A HD Goodmans Box Yesterday (19-11-09) It Worked Fine Untill I Put It Into Stand By. When Turning Back On It Stated New Software Availiable.I Selected Download & Guess What… It Failed. I Spent TWO HOURS On The Poxy Helpline £12 That Cost & Gave Up As I Didn’t Get Through. I Then Contacted Harvard Int Directly On 0208 238 7650 (Free To Many People) I Asked For Customer Services & The Switchboard Put Me Through To The Same Line That’s 10 pence A Min. I Hope It Cost Them This Time. I Am Now Awating A Call Back From Techninal (Within 72 Hours) As The Software Is Still Duff & They Told Me Software Version 4. something, Will Not Let The New Version Update. What A FIASCO…£120. I Paid + £12 In Calls, Fu***ng Tw**s GOODMAS Used To Be A Good Company.
    What A Mistaker To Maker.


  269. Andy Says:

    The goons on email support obviously are incapable of reading.

    Just had a reply (standard script obviously) to ask me to phone the 0871 number to resolve my problem.

    I had made it VERY clear in my email to them that I was not prepared to waste more money on that line and gave them two contact numbers plus of course the email.

    Amazing PR feedback these guys are going to get!


  270. Liz Says:

    I faxed Harvard Intl on Friday at 8.50am after first being given the wrong number by their switchboard (can’t they get anything right?) and my threat of county court action resulted in an immediate return call a few minutes past 9am saying they were going to send me a brand new box which would be able to take the next upgrade which will not be happening until late January.

    As far as I can ascertain, the boxes we were all sent after our last upgrade failure have the same software as the ones which failed so last week when they rolled out another upgrade they had the same issue.

    I have been assured that this new box will have newer software loaded on it. I was also told that they were sorting out the upgrade on Friday and that when I got home the box I currently have would be working correctly.

    One of their employees took the trouble to phone me at home at 6pm on Friday evening to make sure that the old box was working, which it was, and he helped to sort out our other Goodmans box which had also gone wrong during the upgrade.

    I have to say that he was very helpful and I’m pleased he is sending me another new box but really these problems should not keep happening and it’s hard to understand how the firm hasn’t got a grip on them yet.


  271. geoff Says:

    Is this a new problem? Since having two replacement boxes from Harvards things have been ok. Until yesterday! Now I can only get BBC1 and a couple of other random ITV stations. Terrific over Christmas! I share a dish with a neighbour so can’t be reception can it?
    How do you get money back on these sets so I can change to another, non-harvard, product?



  272. geoff Says:

    Don’t relax. See above for further problems I’ve had with my Goodmans replacement box. Took it back to Comet where they tested it and agreed that it was faulty and gave me a full refund. Just in time as the year was up two days later. So I’m off to get a nice new Humax. My advice is to try and get your Harvard’s box taken back even if your replacement is ok at the moment. I just don’t think they are any good and can collapse at any time – possibly too late for refund.
    Good luck


  273. Liz Says:

    I also had a problem on Christmas Day where the sound disappeared and I had to unplug the box twice before it was resolved. If I ever have to replace the box think I’ll consider Virgin or Sky, I’ve really been put off Freesat I’m afraid.


  274. geoff Says:

    I’ve gone over to Freeview – £100 for new aerial – £140 back on old Goodmans box so in profit and the service is great and not missing Freesat at all.


  275. Sagem Freesat User Says:

    Hi, My Sagem Freesat Satellite HD Recorder box seems fine. Maybe this issue is just with other set top boxes


  276. Sagem Freesat User Says:

    Hi, My Sagem Freesat Satellite HD Recorder box seems fine. Maybe this issue is just with other set top boxes

    Nothing on their website to say there is an issue:


  277. admin Says:

    This post is months old before Sagem even had a product out!


  278. vanman Says:

    What’s happening with this Freesat rubbish.I moved last September and my Grundig GUFSAT01HD was working fine when it was disconnected.I put the thing in the cupboard for a couple of months or so,until I got around to putting a new dish up and within a very short time it started updating itself.Well,that was the end of the box,as it is now stuck in standby with the blue light refusing to go out.I spoke to those loonies on the helpline and all they could suggest was to take it back to where it was purchased with the original receipt if it was less than a year old.I asked them what the position was if it was more than a year old and the idiot said there was nothing they could do.I find it hard to accept that they can destroy someones property and come out with this stupid remark.Has anyone else had this problem.


  279. vanman Says:

    I just recently heard that this update fiasco could be the work of Freesat’s competitors (I wonder who that could be,LOL).Has anyone else heard this rumour.


  280. pauline breakwell Says:

    No picture apart from message saying “Freesat receiver is downloading new system software Do not switch off the receiver” but nothing is happening – line along the bottom shows 0% and not moving! What’s going on?


  281. Andy Says:

    Pauline – my receiver has been on for weeks and nothing – went last night to watch Dr Who and it decided to do a software update.

    I think it somewhere around 30 minutes to do it – the progress bar for the download was VERY slow to move towards 100%, but it did finally get there and everything is still working – PHEW!


  282. rudey Says:

    my box has been stuck with blue light on for months cannot get it going wot can i do , i phoned goodmans and was on for for 25 mins without any success :(
    gutted i do not have receipt for my box anymore

    help plz


  283. Mike Says:

    My box is also stuck in standby now.


  284. admin Says:

    This news was from October 2009 so isn’t likely to be the reason why your receiver is stuck in standby.


  285. Aileen Burr Says:

    Screen is slipping sideways


  286. Gary Barnacle Says:

    My humax fresat box will not switch on just get continious lines going arround the display


  287. Anna Says:

    I took back 2 Bush boxes and 1 Grunding box to Argos.can i buy a box somwhere which is working properly ,maybe i’ll have to switch to Sky.


  288. admin Says:


    You need to stick to decent brands, not the offering from Harvard Group (Bush, Grundig, Goodmans). If you want standard-definition only, got for the rock solid Manhattan Plaza DS-100 (


  289. Anna Says:

    Thanx admin.
    I’ve just ordered Manhattan from Amazon,i’ll have to wait as they don’t have any in stock at the moment(maybe that’s a good sign).
    I shall keep my fingers and toes x.
    And i want to take this opportunity to thank you all.You have clarified lot’s of things for me. We just have to stick together :-)
    man at Grunding said that its bad luck. i thought does my Karma really spread this far!? i thought i better check The Allconective net……
    This has helped me a lot
    Thank you all x


  290. admin Says:


    Amazon haven’t yet stocked the item so you might be waiting quite some time. Try satbuyer, they have access to much more stock.


  291. Anna Says:

    I got my manhattan box on friday,pluged it in…and its not working… who instaled freesat here.he siad its freesat this time,gave me d number to call office.Called office about 15.13.d answering machine said our offices r now closed we r open from mond.-fri. 9am-5pm.!left messege.let’s i’m more considering Sky


  292. admin Says:


    Think you have been fed a line by a questionable installer. Either the receiver is faulty (unlikely given the reliability of the Manhattan) or he wasn’t capable for setting up for Freesat. Freesat doesn’t have faults but if they did, the same would be apparant with Sky too.

    If you have no satellite signal, or cannot get the first screen to recognise your postcode, the fault is with the installer.


  293. Rural Guerilla Says:

    I have a goodmans freesat hd box that still has all the faults mentioned in the beginning. It’s nearly 3 years have they still not sorted it out? If so have I missed the update somehow & where would I get it. It’s beginning to put me off (A) GOODMANS & (B) FREESAT who should make manufacturers sell things that work! Otherwise who’s going to buy it?


  294. Colin Holgate Says:

    My Bush freesat box constantly looses sound and picture sync is there an update?


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