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I've been a customer for 17 years

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by bsprague, May 15, 2013.

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  1. bsprague

    bsprague Legend

    230
    1
    Feb 24, 2007
    My wife reminded me that I put up my first dish in 1996! I moved the account from that house to a motorhome we lived in full time for a couple years. It had an automatic tuning and tracking $1800 antenna from KVH.

    7 years ago we bought a condo to live in as well. DirecTV was happy to add two receivers to the RV account for the Washington State condo. They said there was no problem, no rules violation and it could all be on one account.

    During the 7 years, getting local (not national) channels grew increasingly more difficult. Rules about splitting the account between RV and stick dwelling drifted toward being restrictive. A couple years ago, one CSR insisted I needed separate accounts. One year it took five calls to get a CSR that would change to my snowbird address for locals. The first four said it wasn't allowed.

    Last January, the RV's HR15 that I owned from the old days died. I called DirecTV. We quickly figured out I needed a replacement. When I asked to have the replacement shipped to my snowbird address in Arizona, the CSR explained there would be a rules violation if he did that. After a very long time on hold, I gave up. It was not worth the trouble to fix it when I would then have to lie or argue about getting locals.

    Since I couldn't replace the RV's HR15 until I got back to the condo with its official installation address, I put my DirecTV account on suspension for three months. The surprise was that neither my wife nor I missed it. We learned that OTA is not that bad! We learned how much we enjoy Blu-Rays from Netflix, Red Box and (occasionally) purchased from Amazon. I have a BD player that streams Amazon Prime. My laptop can feed the TVs with an HDMI. I may try Hulu.

    This week I tried an antenna at the condo and it worked very well for ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS. During my 3 month suspension, I learned the only other channel I watched was the cooking channel!

    This morning I canceled my 17 year old account permanently. The CSR said she was shocked that I had been refused shipment, that I was eligible for multiple free upgrades and I shouldn't have been treated that way. When I asked why I had not be mailed or emailed offers of upgrades, she said you have to call in. I presume you need to have a problem of some sort.

    If you have been a long time customer, call up and threaten to cancel. You might get some good stuff -- for free!

    Bill
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. peds48

    peds48 Genius. DBSTalk Club

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    Is a well known fact that most companies wait until you want to cancel to offer you the "world" sad, very sad.
     
  3. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

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    Nov 7, 2003
    Be carefull when you call and threaten to cancel. They may take you at your word!

    BTW, I'm unfamiliar with the HR15 or do you mean R15?
     
  4. bsprague

    bsprague Legend

    230
    1
    Feb 24, 2007
    The computer answering machine asks a few questions, I answered them and got to a "Do you want to cancel DirecTV Service". I said yes and was quickly connected to a "retention specialist" that gave me several tempting opportunities to change my mind. She finished with saying there are always good specials and incentives for whenever I wish to return.

    A significant part of the problem is that I have grown outside the target market age group. For me, most of the programming as lost its appeal. And, I was never a sports junkie.

    Typo! It was an R15-500. I'll ship it to anyone that thinks they can fix it and pay the shipping charges. It was a reliable receiver for a long time.

    Bill
     
  5. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

    7,063
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    Jun 26, 2010
    Texas City, TX
    I too have been a customer since 1996. You don't have to threaten to cancel to get upgrades or discounts on packages, etc.
    A polite phone call to ask what they can do for you usually works.
    Sometimes you need to thank them and hang up, then call back and get a different CSR.

    I have done all of the mentioned. Discounts and upgrades of the hardware.

    When I call I just repeatedly say "Customer Service" until I get a live person.
     
  6. bsprague

    bsprague Legend

    230
    1
    Feb 24, 2007
    Please don't misunderstand. The people at DirecTV that we call CSRs have always been nice. A few have been inexperienced, but friendly.

    I cancelled because of a policy that made it impossible for a friendly tech CSR to replace my R15 DVR. He was prevented from shipping to me in my RV. And, it is an RV that is not "trailer trash". It actually cost me more than my nice condo. The antenna cost $2K, but was useless because the policy said the CSR couldn't send it anywhere but my "home".

    Still, I was expecting to get it "fixed" when I got home. But, after finding I was missing little by using Over The Air reception for three months, it seemed dumb to continue to send money to DirecTV.

    My approach would not work if you need the premium channels like HBO, or sports for your lifestyle. But, for mine, OTA is spectacular.

    Bill
     
  7. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

    7,063
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    Jun 26, 2010
    Texas City, TX
  8. bsprague

    bsprague Legend

    230
    1
    Feb 24, 2007
    I've done business with them and they are good.

    The point in my starting this thread is that I like OTR. The picture quality is great and I don't pay money to someone who has rules that don't fit my lifestyle. I am a snowbird with two addresses. DirecTV used to be OK with that, but no longer. I assume it has to do with FCC changes.

    Bill
     
  9. PCampbell

    PCampbell Icon

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    Nov 18, 2006
    If you are not into sports OTA works very well.
     
  10. peds48

    peds48 Genius. DBSTalk Club

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  11. goinsleeper

    goinsleeper Godfather

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    May 22, 2012
    They are still fine with snowbirds, sounds like you spoke to some CSR's that didn't grasp what you were trying to do.
     
  12. bsprague

    bsprague Legend

    230
    1
    Feb 24, 2007
    It has been a year or so, but I found the exact language in the Terms of Service. The CSRs are not supposed to be OK if you snowbird in an RV. It is not the snowbird part, it is the RV part. You're supposed to have separate accounts. They may be OK if you have stick house down south.
     
  13. Volatility

    Volatility Legend

    436
    10
    May 22, 2010
    They are okay with snowbirds but I ran into problems with customers with 2 accounts (2homes) wanting to suspend services as each account is not allowed to have more than 6 months total suspension time in any 12 month period. They're like I've done it before and I'm like I wouldn't know I rarely ever suspended accounts in my other call type lols.
     
  14. Volatility

    Volatility Legend

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    May 22, 2010
    Correct. This is where the problem sometimes lies as each account may not have more than 6 months total suspend time in any 12 month period.
     
  15. ThomasM

    ThomasM RF Engineer

    4,317
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    Jul 20, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    Hey, join the club brother!! I installed my first dish in 2000 and bought my first receiver from Circuit City.

    Nowadays, calling DirecTV is like playing roulette. This really should be addressed by them but, of course, it won't be. I am convinced that most of the customers that cancel do it because of a lousy experience with an untrained, uncaring or both CSR. Yours is a perfect example of this.

    I'll give you another (recent) example. Just two weeks ago I was advised that I had to get a replacement for my Hughes receiver (yes, my FIRST DirecTV receiver that is over 12 years old). It was known as an "MPG swap" referring to the Master Program Guide which is being discontinued. OK fine and dandy I called in and follwed the instructions on my screen. "Oh, you want to activate a NEW receiver?". "NO, I want to do your MPG Swap which is free and does not add a commitment". "Well, there is a one year commitment for all new non-HD receiver activations". After arguing for another minute I simply hung up. A few hours later I called back. "Oh, yes you need a replacement receiver to swap out your legacy receiver. I can set that up for you". What a difference a few hours makes!!

    As for threatening to cancel-don't do it. A much better technique is to get connected to the "retention" department. A good way to do this is to start asking leading questions like "when is my commitment with DirecTV up?". Or "could you describe the procedure for canceling your service and returning my receivers? Is there a cost involved for my account?" Another good one is "I got a call from one of your competitors offering really great discounts and all new equipment if I switch. My receivers are ancient and the cost of your service is much higher. Do you have any options for me before I make a decision?"

    That procedure got me 6 months of free DVR service and a $10/month programming credit for a year. Come to think of it, this is the last month for the $10 credit..... Hmmmm...
     
  16. bsprague

    bsprague Legend

    230
    1
    Feb 24, 2007
    When I signed up several years ago, it was assumed and encouraged to treat an RV like an extra bedroom and put a receiver in it for $5, now $6 per month. It is common for experienced RVers to order and add a receiver for an extra bedroom and not say it is a bedroom on wheels. There was little or no written policy on "service address" changes. It was easy to change with a phone call. Now it is more difficult and I don't know the exact rules. Two years ago I was denied a change of service address, got a bit of a lecture and was told to get separate accounts. The next day, a different CSR said, "I'm not supposed to, but I'll do it to help you out."

    There are estimates that half a million choose the RV lifestyle as a permanent residence. The DirecTV system, with Distant Network Service, works OK for them. The hard part is getting local news and weather if you want that.
     
  17. goinsleeper

    goinsleeper Godfather

    673
    17
    May 22, 2012
    The policy has been that an account can only be suspended for 6 months out of a rolling 12 month period. The difference is now, the system will not allow it whereas before it was just understood policy but not system enforced.
     
  18. Volatility

    Volatility Legend

    436
    10
    May 22, 2010
    gotcha
     
  19. alnielsen

    alnielsen Godfather

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    Dec 31, 2006
    ...- .....
    Direct TV has no regard for their long time customers.
    I've been a customer for 14 yrs and just got a HD-DVR to replace my original Sony and slightly newer RCA reciever. This required a new 2 yr commitment. Why the commitment? Do they think I may be backing out soon after all this time?
    It's not that I'm unhappy with signal portion. It's the customer service that I have a problem with.
     
  20. goinsleeper

    goinsleeper Godfather

    673
    17
    May 22, 2012
    Policy is all advanced equipment upgrades come with a 24 month agreement. How long should someone be with the company before this is no longer applicable? What about a customer that has been cutoff 50 times in their 14 years, should they get the same deal? There are too many variables so there is only 1 policy; it comes with an agreement. What part of the customer service were you dissatisfied with? Was it a specific CSR that didn't seem knowledgeable?
     

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