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DirectSatUSA 30' Ladder Policies

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by jpitlick, Dec 29, 2008.

  1. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 13, 2007
    "40-Foot Ladder" notes are routinely ignored, for the reasons given above (cost, 2-man crew, and the fact that they are supposed to be CUSTOM LABOR!), but also because 80+% of the time, the note on the account is bogus. I've gone to 1-story houses that were listed as "40-Foot Ladder"! When I asked the customer, he said, "the girl asked me about the roof, so I told her it was pretty tall."

    Given the high rate of unneeded requests for tall ladders, and the fact that DirecTV pushes the HSPs to do this work for free now, it simply isn't cost-effective to do it any other way than how it is done today. No one wants to pay for custom labor, and no one wants a higher monthly bill, so cuts happen where they aren't as noticable. This is one of those areas.

    If you want this work (which is really custom work done for free) done on your schedule, hire a local sat company and pay them directly. Then you'll have much more control. Otherwise, this is the norm for DirecTV. No one likes it, but it is what it is.
     
  2. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

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    Feb 28, 2007
    Yet another area where FREE is not exactly it.


    There was a time when every installation of anything was controlled by state home improvement license laws. Satellite dish antennae systems have become complex enough that it is time to look at those laws again.

    And do no not mention SBCA certification........this stuff should be done with competitive bidding with local contractors. And, no, it is not the cheapest way to go but it is a small price to pay to get it done correctly the first time. (IMHO)!

    Joe
     
  3. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 13, 2007
    The problem is that DirecTV and Dish would have to go back to charging for installation, which would mean the installed base would shrink, because the sat companies have "taught" customers that the installation has no value (it's "free"), so they would refuse to pay.

    Installers would be able to make a good living doing 2 jobs a day, and they could get done RIGHT. But there would be far fewer jobs...
     
  4. satjoe

    satjoe AllStar

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    Oct 28, 2008

    Installers must only use fiberglass ladders, No conductive materials can be used. I would love to be able to use one of those little giant ladders.
     
  5. Dknow

    Dknow AllStar

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    Oct 11, 2006
    A Ka/Ku dish has no business being up three stories on a roof in the first place. This is probably why this gentleman keeps having service calls.
     
  6. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

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    Feb 28, 2007
    Exactly,
    I have had that conversation with installation companies. Two a day is enough. In summer three is ok. The answer to the question "How are you going to make any money on two a day? .... is...I do other things in the same neighborhood.

    Which also answers the question why you can't drive four hours a day and do six jobs.

    I think if they went to charging for installations there would not be too much change. There is now so much tin and rg6 out there that many installations would be receiver connections only. Upgrades could be funded correctly also.

    Joe
     
  7. HawkEye19

    HawkEye19 Mentor

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    Jan 31, 2008

    I'm guessing they have changed their policy on ladders. I just had to send my second tech away, because he had a 20' ladder (as did the first one). I guess I'll eventually get the new dish put up.
     
  8. Mertzen

    Mertzen Hall Of Fame

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    Dec 8, 2006
    Why exactly ?
     
  9. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 13, 2007
    For exactly the problem that the OP is having: maintenance. If a dish can't be accessed *safely* with a 28' ladder, then any maintenance is going to be difficult at best, because techs only carry 28' ladders, and because OSHA requires 2 techs for anything bigger.

    That's exactly why these jobs are supposed to be custom: the customer is supposed to bear the extra costs associated with the dish being in a non-standard location.

    During the last couple of years, builders have been building a lot of 3-5 story townhomes, either connected or with just a couple of feet between the buildings. The HOAs for these places won't allow the dish to be mounted on the wall or anywhere else visible, so customers want them on the roof. But most of the time you need a 40' ladder, and for some, even that isn't big enough. And often these dishes can't be mounted very securely due to the brand new tile roof, so they are installed on small trim boards. Being so high up, they are blown around in high winds. All that adds up to problem installs, and the dish being so hard to access means the problems are even more difficult.

    Really, many of these customers simply shouldn't have satellite, and I personally have refused a number of installs like this because the situation prevented a solid, trouble-free install. Of course, the customer is upset, but had I done the install anyway, and then they were in a 2 year commitment but had constant problems that took forever to fix, they'd be even more unhappy.

    By doing these jobs for free, DirecTV is teaching customers that these are "ordinary" installs that should be "routine" to service, when they simply aren't. And, so this policy puts everything on the tech, who is expected to "get it done". The smart techs simply refuse, but the new ones who don't know any better will try to get the job done, and usually make the situation worse for everyone.

    We went to one customer whose 1-LNB dish was mounted on a wall 50' in the air, with 4' of land around the building followed by a steep drop-off. The job was for an HD upgrade. He was upset because we were the 4th people out, and no one would do the job. I asked him how the old dish got installed in the first place, and he told me that it was installed while the building was still being built and the builders had scaffolding up 5 stories tall. I told him that he wasn't going to get his upgrade unless he paid someone to come out and erect some similar scaffolding, but that I strongly recommended against it for maintenance reasons. He was very upset by that, because he'd already priced it out, and it would have cost him $2,000 to have the scaffolding rented and setup. Yet, he still expected DirecTV to handle his job for free.
     
  10. pressureman0

    pressureman0 AllStar

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    Jan 3, 2009
    :lol::lol:
    get a bucket truck
    :lol:
     
  11. fl panthers

    fl panthers Legend

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    Sep 18, 2007
    not to stir the pot but....:Dfor those installers or anyone else complaining about a high or tuff install. suck it up and take the good w/ the bad.my 5lnb dish is mounted to a block wall 4 ft off the ground and i ran all the wire prior to installer arriving,so all he needed to do was assemble,mount,allign.i even hooked up the receiver whil he was doing that.easy install is a understatement.did my installer get paid less for easier than usual install?nope,if he did someone here would complain that is not fair.boo hoo. do your job!!
     
  12. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

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    Jun 9, 2006
    Walk a mile in my boots, then tell me how you feel. :mad:
     
  13. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

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    Jan 29, 2008
    hypothetical ??, wonder who gets nailed for charge backs if something fails here in cases like these? since customer did wiring is it noted somewhere? unless customer never calls and always does own work (like many of us) can't this be a sticky issue?
     
  14. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

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    Jun 9, 2006
    The tech of course.
     
  15. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

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    Jan 29, 2008
    thats friggin wrong.
     
  16. jpitlick

    jpitlick Icon

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    Apr 19, 2007
    At no time during any of the installs/service calls that I have had over the years did any of the techs mention that installing my dish would be a custom job. Had that been mentioned, I would probably have been receptive to paying extra for the install. Unfortunately, my current dish location is the only place it can be. For that matter, some of my neighbors have their dishes higher on their roof that I do and it is most likely that the same company installed them.

    Maybe the initial installers are to blame for setting the precedent on my install. If they were uncomfortable doing the install, they should have refused...but they didn't. I have never gotten any complaints from the installers. Just a lot of rescheduled appointments so they could bring the appropriate ladder. The only time that they brought the correct ladder the first time was when I was upgrading from an H10 receiver and 3 LNB dish to the H20 and 5 LNB dish. And on that call the lead installer forgot to bring the receiver and had to run back to the office to get it.

    I try my best to maintain my own equipment so that I don't have to make service calls. Sometimes the circumstances are out of my hands. When one of my receivers died, I called D* and they insisted on sending a tech. I thought they were just going to replace the receiver, but the tech wanted to replace my dish too (from and AU9 to a Slimline 5). I did not request the longer ladder, because D* gave no indication that they were going to replace the dish. Fortunately, the installer was able to get his supervisor out the same day.

    I am very happy with DirecTV and their service. I am always willing to give a little to get a little. The only time that I did not pay for a dish install was the aforementioned occasion and that was because I have the protection plan.
     
  17. gen2rx7

    gen2rx7 AllStar

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    Jan 30, 2008
    If there is any need for a 40 foot ladder I will find another way to do the job or I won't do the job. In the last 2 years I have only had to use the 40' ladder once and that was to tack cable in three places. If the dish is that high there are going to be tons of problems with getting the dish serviced.
     
  18. pressureman0

    pressureman0 AllStar

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    Jan 3, 2009
    why is the turn over rate around 90% cause you will call in for service before 90 days:nono: and will get the tech charge back I worked in house before becoming a sub in wpb 1 good job ver ? bad you can go drop dead try my job for a living not cause your house needs to look a speical way:mad:
     
  19. fl panthers

    fl panthers Legend

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    Sep 18, 2007
    been a sub for 11 yrs never had a service call exept to upgrade.Somehow it gets turned around and cust. is at fault for making YOUR job easier and YOUR money is made in less time.my point was you get a high job 1 or 2 times a month,you have got to get at least 1 or 2 easy jobs per month to.making it average out in the end.my post was not for the blame of a possible callback at a later date.everyone's job has high and low point's just keep that in mind.
     
  20. fl panthers

    fl panthers Legend

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    Sep 18, 2007
    only if the customer is a a-hole.if he went through the effort of doing part of your work for you,at least give the benifit of the doubt and assume you won't be blamed.i do not know how chargebacks work,but if something fails that's not the techs fault so why would you get charged?
     

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