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Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Mike Bertelson, Sep 24, 2009.
My point was that the police are not likely blowing of theft of services. Nothing beyond that.
Yes, I know all about all that stuff. You're missing my entire point so let's just drop it because this will go on forever and I will just keep repeating myself over and over.
He returned it to the service provider, who in turn sent it to my company (the manufacturer) with a "special" note, who in turn gave it to my manager, who in turn put it on my desk without that "special" note, but another that just said "call me after you look at it." When I got to looking at it, I immediately determined the product had been tampered with. I called my manager and his manager joined me, which was suspicious. I then asked, "would you also like me to determine HOW it was tampered?", and they both said yes.
After a few hours of asking the designers and looking up schematics, it was quite clear it was an attempt for service theft. They weren't trying to upgrade RAM or add a feature or anything like that -- the wires weren't in the right spots for that. I typed that up in a white paper per my manager's request, and then after I was finished my manager told me about the "special" note from the service provider. He also said it was a legal matter at that point, and that the police would get involved. And I can't tell you what happened after that, except that the police did get involved.
I assume the service provider knew where the person lived, and if not, that's what the police are for. There's no chaining anybody to a pipe LOL, this all took several weeks to develop. I think the customer screwed up -- no one in their right mind would send a product back like that. He probably meant to send back his "personal use" product and sent back that one by mistake.
I assume that my report was forwarded to the service provider as well as the police and/or the DA's office, though I was never contacted about it again.
It would have taken a lot of reverse engineering to pull it off. I wonder if there wasn't some insider information involved as well.
This only happened on this one return. For all of the other returns, it was simply a case of figuring out whether to fix it or scrap it. And determining how we could have less returns in the future. Hence my previous six sigma comments over the past years.
That's all in the past. The products I design now aren't for typical consumers. And I can't tell you about them, either.
Who said anything about cable? I sure didn't.
You mean to tell me that the service providers don't track service theft or suspicious activity? Who initiates the investigations, then?
I assume that someone from the DA's office would get involved, along with the police, for any kind of theft. That's how it happens on the Law and Order shows anyway.
I once worked for a company that [among other things] made detection systems for a service provider. The equipment was mounted on some of their trucks. They would drive around the service area and map users & match account addresses.
So, yes "they care".
I did, as did other people, when someone claimed that they called the police on someone who was suspected of stealing cable services, and we said that his story didn't sound believable.
No I don't mean to tell you that, since I never said that they don't. I would think that they all do.
The DA? Sure. Perhaps even the State AG's office, and in some of the bigger DirecTV cases, I think that even the FBI was involved, but the local police? I kinda doubt it.
This is all getting terribly OT since it has gone off on a tangent from the thread topic of DirecTV's TOS, but that sort of started when someone told a story about calling the police on a suspected cable thief.
The local police get involved in theft of services all the time. The cases are prosecuted in the county where the suspected theft is occurring. I speak from experience. I have worked with the D* fraud Investigators on numerous occassions. Especially back when access card fraud was a big problem.
I have no doubt Bobcamp1's story is legitimate.
Actually it's the FBI that handles DBS as it's across state lines for broadcasting. Cable would probably fall under the same jurisdiction as it's a federal crime not state due to FCC regulations. I'm sure someone could do a ton of research if they wanted but every story I've read about Dish or DirecTV has always included the FBI doing the search and seizure.
I remember back in the early '70s that the phone companies were doing something like that. All they had to do was make a call to a number that they suspected had more phones than the customer was supposed to have and read the amperage draw when the phones rang. Most people got wise to that and disconnected the ringers, which, if I recall correctly were pretty rudimentary bells with a clapper between them. I think they could also measure resistance by some method, but ringing the bells was the preferred method.
Ah yes, the good old days of regulated phone service!
I still have one of those phones. My kids asked me the other day if it was really a phone. This must be a sign that you're getting old....
I really can't comment any more on all the assumptions that people have made about my story. Many of them are wrong. But you know what they say about the word "assume"....
Anyway, back to the OT. The box isn't yours. There aren't any user-serviceable parts in there, even though there is one part that appears to be extremely user-serviceable. Good for them and you, they made many of the parts off-the-shelf items to reduce development time and cost. But the box itself really wasn't made to be user-serviceable. The parts aren't easily removable, dangerous voltages might be present, the parts around the hard drive may be extremely sensitive to ESD, you might break it by accident, etc.
The manufacturer doesn't want you to open the box. The owner of the box clearly doesn't want you to open the box. So don't open the box. The whole point of leased equipment is that you can just ship it back when it breaks or when it becomes obsolete and they simply send you a new one. (With D*, there are caveats to this, but that's what's supposed to happen).
Plus, do you really want to give D* a reason to charge you a large fee? Aren't other people complaining about how D* is wrongly charging them ETFs or wrongly renewing the lease making them subject to ETFs?
Here's what I don't understand. If someone is over 18 don't you feel they can take responsibility and make that decision on their own? If they are aware of the risk and willing to suffer the consequences why should you ("generic" you, not YOU personally) care so much?
It seems everyone here who so vehemently quotes the DirecTV gospel takes it very personally when someone even suggests opening the box yet there is a huge thread posted somewhere detailing on how to open the box and copy between drives. It's pretty obvious that those who do this are aware they're "not 'sposed to" but yet every time someone mentions it holy hell breaks lose with all the preachers coming out of the woodwork.
With that said, there still hasn't been a single posted message from anyone stating they got charged for returning a DVR that was upgraded and put back to normal WORKING ORDER before returning it (or for that matter even being charged for one they blew up). You would think over all these years you might see at least one of those messages posted from someone who was angry because he was charged $700 for a box he returned in perfect working order except for a missing label. Speaking of labels .... of my 4 HD-DVR's only ONE came with a label and that label was never fully "stuck" on. They all have been recons but 3 of them are owned.
Actually, I do "own" three 20-700s. Before I started buying them, I did call D* and ask them what limitations were put on "owned" HRs. Told them all I wanted to do was put larger internals in them. No problem.
I have no idea what a person could do with the circuitry since I don't have a set of schematics and would be totally lost, much as I am with the new cars. I did take Mike's advice and Googled "DirecTv +theft of services". Rather shocking results. But all the fines (extremely high fines) seemed to be levied at the Federal level. I was also surprised at the many websites that advertised ways to hack (I mean that term in the way it was originally meant to be used) different provider's receivers. Can't help but wonder how they manage to stay active.
My family is sort of a law and order family. My mother was a police officer, my son is a Homicide/Robbery detective and my nephew holds a position at a federal level that I don't think I should say any more about than that. For me to get involved in something such as theft of services would be terribly embarrassing to them.
I gather you don't know how I feel about acronyms. :lol: I have no idea what a "REN" is.
To all you folks who wonder why I don't like acronyms, spend a few years in the Navy and you'll understand.
Actually, it's both. I've worked DBS theft cases and I am local. The feds will only get involved in large scale theft operations that cross many states. As I said before, the case is prosecuted based on the location of the suspect. The fact that the satellite broadcasts across state lines has nothing to with it.
REN = Ringer Equivalency Number. It's based on the current draw of a phone's ringer compared to a "standard" electromagnetic ringers from one of those old 1960's phones.
LOL ... you mentioned it so I thought you know.
From way back when : http://www.madsci.org/posts/archives/nov99/941421680.Eg.r.html
So in simple terms, they were measuring that amperage draw. I do seem to remember another method they used regarding resistance. Not sure how that worked, was a long time ago.