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Experienced Installers

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by lancruz, Mar 4, 2009.

  1. Mar 4, 2009 #1 of 57
    lancruz

    lancruz Mentor

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    Feb 19, 2009
    I've recently started working for a Satellite installation company (A sub contractor DirecTV). I have about a month of experience under my belt. I used to work in the I.T. world of Telecommunications climbing the ranks from technician, to manager, project manager with 24 years of experience. Unfortunately, my experience and time-in service didn't help me, I was laid off.

    Finally, without work for almost 19 months, and after exhaustive search to try to break back into the working society, I had to do something. It's survival mode now! I found work as a sub contractor for DirecTV. The work does allow me to maintain my trouble-shooting skills and there are many situations where there is problem solving challenges.

    My question to the experienced installers out there. I would like to hear stories of success and failures, so I can improve my skills in this industry. Also any advice would be appreciated. Tricks of the trade. Do's and Don'ts
     
  2. Mar 4, 2009 #2 of 57
    ironwood

    ironwood Icon

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    Sep 20, 2007
    Well the best way to learn here is to read Installation Discussion forum. Search function is also very helpful. Plus there are quite a few top technicians on this forum you can search for their posts. Archives are great.
     
  3. Mar 4, 2009 #3 of 57
    Drewg5

    Drewg5 Icon

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    Dec 15, 2006
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    Telling some one to use the search function is less than helpful.
     
  4. Mar 4, 2009 #4 of 57
    ironwood

    ironwood Icon

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    Sep 20, 2007
    On the opposite I found it extremely helpful. I was able to find answers to questions that only a handful of people were familiar with. It helped me tremendously with troubleshooting. Meanwhile even second tier of tech support at directv had no clue.
     
  5. Mar 4, 2009 #5 of 57
    lancruz

    lancruz Mentor

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    Feb 19, 2009
    Any experience that anyone can add will be helpful! I'll post my experience as often as I can each day. The up's and downs. Things that I get stuck on, and the resolutions. Hopefully this will serve as experience for someone else too.

    Keep watching this thread.
     
  6. Mar 4, 2009 #6 of 57
    joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

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    Feb 28, 2007
    Lan,
    You gotta watch it!

    You are probably not a DTV employee at his point. There are Home Service Providers (HSPs) that get and can do or subcontract their work. You could be working for for an HSP subcontractor. If so, you are too far down the food chain to make any money. Consider your experiences as a learning stage while looking for a better situation.

    IF you are an employee the employer provides EVERYTHING needed to do the work.Trucks are not an employee benefit. IF you are a business.......they may call you a contractor......YOU have to provide many things necessary for the completion of the work. AND you need to submit a bid for the work, being able to refuse work without penalty.

    Keep good records. Ask what bank they plan to pay you from. Make sure the company has an office in your state. Plan how you would recover lost wages. Identify the entity you are working for! Learn local law.

    So report back how things go. There is no one person on here with all the experience. The HSPs and DTV have been hammered by the courts over the years and may be improving in one way or another in some areas.

    Hope it works for you.

    Good luck,

    Joe
     
  7. Mar 4, 2009 #7 of 57
    lancruz

    lancruz Mentor

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    Feb 19, 2009
    It appears that I will be working with a HSP. They will be providing me with all the hardware cable, connectors, tie wraps. I will provide the labor and tools. New installs $40.00 to walk in the door. $15 dollars for each receiver. Upgrades $18 plus $15 for each receiver. We can charge for custom work like fishing a wall up to $50.00. If the cable is wrapped and penetrated through the outside wall, then the cost is free with the idea it is quicker then a wall fish. New telephone line if not located by receiver, can be charged as a custom cable install too since this is a requirement for pay-per view requires telephone access.
     
  8. Mar 4, 2009 #8 of 57
    runner26

    runner26 Legend

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    Apr 8, 2007
    A few phrases will get you through almost any Directv problem call. "you have the wrong co-ax in your house" "this problem is not on the work order, you need to call Directv to set up another w/o", "this dish needs to be realigned but I can't do it, again not on work order" "this poor reception is due to rain/snow/fog/heavy clouds/Martians and can't be helped" "try a red button reset (always a favorite)" "what ever you need I don't have it with me" "this was caused by the last update, nothing I can do about it". If you get these down you will be the equal of just about any Directv tech.
     
  9. Mar 4, 2009 #9 of 57
    Brannayen

    Brannayen Mentor

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    Sep 7, 2008
    Another thing to keep in mind is when to NOT charge a custom fee. For example, say you have a choice of setting a pole 2 feet from the switch location, or 2 or 3 stories up on a roof. Telling a customer that it's $75 to set a pole (which takes me about 15 min) and you'll likely find yourself getting out that big extension ladder. Know when to keep your mouth shut. In the year or so I've been doing this, only ONE person has ever paid for a pole installation.
     
  10. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 13, 2007
    In my area, pole mounts are ALWAYS custom. But the soil in many areas is hard clay, to the point where you might need 2 hours with a shovel and pickaxe to get a hole dug 2' deep. You always have to be careful about things like that, because different areas have to adjust to local conditions. Another example: we use undereave mounts here constantly, where in other areas of the country they are almost never used. Local construction dictates how the installation goes much of the time.
     
  11. lancruz

    lancruz Mentor

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    Feb 19, 2009
    I'd like to find an under-eave mount. There might be a situation where I may have to use it. i.e. Spanish tile or metel shingle home.
     
  12. lancruz

    lancruz Mentor

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    Feb 19, 2009
    I'm an X phone guy. I can setup most receivers with a phone line, but if the customer has no phone line. I guess I have go with the flow.
     
  13. wallfishman

    wallfishman Icon

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    Dec 31, 2008
    the big difference is now you get to run those phone lines for FREE
     
  14. lancruz

    lancruz Mentor

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    Feb 19, 2009
    It shouldn't be any big deal since I'm running cable already.
     
  15. lancruz

    lancruz Mentor

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    Feb 19, 2009
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by lancruz
    New installs $40.00 to walk in the door. $15 dollars for each receiver.
    This means $40 to install the dish, switch, and first receiver. $15 for additional receivers.

    Originally the installation worksheet was quoted as $55.00, but they wised up and broke it down by the receiver. :eek2: Although, I need to clarify dish and switch install to whether it's included in the $40.00. Since there is a charge for the ODU too I'm wondering about that too. I'm going to have draw a brake down map so I get it clear in my mind for installation. Looks like phone calls for me tomorrow for more clarification. I'll post here what I find out. :D
     
  16. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

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    Nov 13, 2006
    Curious.. Have they started teaching and explaining installers how to hook up the HD stuff to networks? and run networking cables to boxes? This will be a big thing soon....
     
  17. lancruz

    lancruz Mentor

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    Feb 19, 2009
    No network hookup yet. When it is brought up, I'll post here. I imagine it will work as an alternative to the phone line.
     
  18. Tallgntlmn

    Tallgntlmn Icon

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    Jun 7, 2007
    Raleigh, NC
    Two end-user perspective questions based on the quote.

    Would be best for me to do everything I can to make it a quick and easy install for the guy, i.e. mount, connect, aim only? I'm thinking yes because he gets paid so little for an upgrade.

    Do installers get charged for the phone line thing if there is no phone line? I was planning on converting my phone jack that is near my receiver to ethernet because I want media share. Would he still get charged if it is connected to ethernet from minute one? That seems incredibly unfair.
     
  19. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

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    Feb 28, 2007
    Many things an HSP does have nothing to do with how the system works. Even DTV doesn't care, insist or include in their contract many things HSPs have used to back charge tech. It has everything to do with keeping the money.

    Lancruze..........are they calling you an employee?

    Joe
     
  20. satguy22

    satguy22 Legend

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    Oct 1, 2006
    You need to find a different job. I cant see you making a lot of money at those prices.DTV has cut everyone wages in half and they are going to break alot of people.You might make alittle, 150 a day and pay back 20 to100 for phone lines, failed qc`s. Good luck.
     

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