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Need To Save Some Money / Suggestions Please

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by DougWare, Sep 5, 2010.

  1. Sep 5, 2010 #1 of 27
    DougWare

    DougWare Mentor

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    Apr 21, 2008
    Currently I'm out of contract on the Choice Ultimate package. My bill is $140 month, and I'd like to reduce that. I was under the impression that I could get discounts for signing up for a new 2 year agreement, but DTV says that's not the case. I would love some advice on getting this huge bill reduced, otherwise I'm not sure it's doesn't make sense for me to switch back to TW cable.

    Here's my current billing items:
    Choice Ultimate
    HD Service
    2 HD DVRs (1 HR-20 & 1-R22)
    1 HD Receiver
    1 SD Receiver
    Protection Plan
    Whole Home DVR (Unsupported Ethernet Mode)

    I'm willing to drop down to the next lower tier and drop the protection plan. But that will only save me $15 if I am understanding everything. I only watch 25-30 channels and do enjoy the whole home DVR service. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can do to get this down to $100?

    Thanks
    Doug
     
  2. Sep 5, 2010 #2 of 27
    Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    9,136
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    Sep 16, 2006
    Drop the protection plan, unless you think you will need your dish aligned, and dont think you and a friend could do it yourself. Call and ask for FREE HD for 2 yrs, and you should save $15 a month between those two. Then, unless you are a movie fan, and want Encore HD, drop to Choice or Choice Plus. Explain your financial situation when you call for the free HD for two years, and ask if you are eligible for 3 free months of Showtime.
    Hopefully, that will get your bill down.
     
  3. Sep 5, 2010 #3 of 27
    Steve

    Steve DIRECTV A-Team

    23,032
    147
    Aug 22, 2006
    Lower...
    Do you have any premium channels in addition to Choice Ultimate? Otherwise, not sure why you're currently at $140.

    Off the top of my head:

    Choice Ultimate is $69
    HD service is $10
    DVR service is $7
    MRV is $3
    PP is $6
    3 add'l receivers is $15

    That's $110 total, no? Drop down to Choice Xtra and give up the PP, that should get you to $99. And as Davenlr points out, sign up for auto-pay and get free HD. That should get you down to $89.
     
  4. Sep 5, 2010 #4 of 27
    The Merg

    The Merg 1*

    10,289
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    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    You can also ask about the unlisted Select Package. It is $40/month and has most of the channels that most people watch. It is missing some significant ones depending on your viewing habits.

    - Merg
     
  5. Sep 5, 2010 #5 of 27
    DougWare

    DougWare Mentor

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    Apr 21, 2008
    I asked about free HD, they said the ONLY discount they could offer me was a two for one movie channel. I don't watch any of the premiums, so it wasn't any help.

    I don't understand their business model. Even cell phone companies give you new customer offers when you go from month-to-month to a new contract. I feel like DTV screws over their existing customers.

    Please don't read this as me wanting something for nothing, I'm willing to sign a new contract and only want what new customers get or a little leeway with my current bill.
     
  6. Sep 5, 2010 #6 of 27
    The Merg

    The Merg 1*

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    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    Tell them that you are interested in the Free HD for 24 month offer for current subs. The only requirement is that you have AutoPay set up on your account.

    - Merg
     
  7. Sep 5, 2010 #7 of 27
    bixler

    bixler Hall Of Fame

    1,262
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    Oct 14, 2008
    PA
    I would call in and say 'cancel' at the voice prompts to get to a CSR that can help you out. Tell them you want to lower your bill and you are thinking about going back to cable because it will be cheaper. They may offer you some credits to keep you or to lower your monthly payments. That bill seems very high for the items you have listed.

    $15 for your 3 additional receivers
    $20 for Whole Home HD MRV service (HD, MRV, DVR)
    $65.99 for Choice Ultimate

    That only comes to $100.99. The Protection Plan (which I would drop) is only $5.99 per month. Where is the other ~$33? Does your state have some strange taxes for satellite service that you wouldn't pay with cable?
     
  8. Sep 5, 2010 #8 of 27
    Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

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    Sep 16, 2006
    Yes, the CSR was wrong. You can get free HD for 24 months if you sign up for autopay. Tell them you want that when you call back. If you dont watch premiums, defiantly drop ultimate and go with choice plus or lower.
     
  9. Sep 5, 2010 #9 of 27
    DougWare

    DougWare Mentor

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    0
    Apr 21, 2008
    Ok, so it appears I was still being charged for a Starz/Showtime bundle too...which was $24.00.

    I also have no clue what the HD EXTRA PACK is.

    08/08 09/07 CHOICE ULTIMATE Monthly 68.99
    08/08 09/07 STARZ and SHOWTIME Monthly 24.00
    08/08 09/07 DIRECTV Protection Plan Monthly 5.99
    08/08 09/07 DIRECTV HD EXTRA PACK Monthly 4.99
    08/08 09/07 HD Access Monthly 10.00
    08/08 09/07 DIRECTV DVR Service Monthly 7.00
    08/08 09/07 DIRECTV on DEMAND Tune to Ch. 1000 for more info 0.00
    08/08 09/07 DIRECTV Whole-Home DVR Service Monthly 3.00

    I'm getting some really good suggestions, and I appreciate the help. I don't want to leave DTV, I've been happy with my service and I love my whole home DVR.

    At the moment, it looks like I can get my bill down to where I want if I remove these items, and get free HD:

    08/08 09/07 STARZ and SHOWTIME Monthly 24.00
    08/08 09/07 DIRECTV Protection Plan Monthly 5.99
    08/08 09/07 DIRECTV HD EXTRA PACK Monthly 4.99

    Total Savings: 44.98

    Doug
     
  10. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    16,184
    483
    May 30, 2007
    Cincinnati
    The HD Extra Pack is HD channels that do not have an SD equivalent. Right now, there aren't that many.
    http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/content/premiums/hd_extra_pack

    Note that HDNet Movies is listed, but not HDNet. You still get HDNet without the Extras pack. Other channels might be added in the future.

    BTW, if you did end up switching to TWC, to save money you might need to lose some equipment. Not sure if it's just locally or standard for them, but their DVR fee is per unit, not per account like DirecTV. I'd advice against Bixler's advice, on going to Retention. It might get you a deal, but they also may call the bluff and say that you're cancelled.
     
  11. dennisj00

    dennisj00 Hall Of Fame

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    Sep 27, 2007
    Lake Norman, NC
    You can probably save more money each month by walking more, riding a bicycle, avoid Starbucks and bottled water, and minimize other vices while continuing to enjoy TV.
     
  12. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

    25,651
    436
    Feb 22, 2007
    Piscataway, NJ
    They won't do that. They do everything they can to keep subs, not cancel them. I've been contacting Retention for years in that manner every time I can't get something straightened out by the PP. In fact the PP will send you to Retention if they can't get you straightened out. Or the Case Management Group. But, in every instance, when I've said "Cancel service" I've just been sent to a Retention CSR. They are usually more knowledgeable than any other department and easily hand out credits. The main thing to remember is to seem to be on the verge of opting out. That gets their attention.

    By the way, I don't have Auto Pay and I don't pay for HD. My bill should be over $200 a month, but every time a CSR screws up, I call Retention, get credits and my bill has stayed in the $160 area for quite a while.

    Rich
     
  13. DougWare

    DougWare Mentor

    46
    0
    Apr 21, 2008
    dennisj00,

    You comments are unwelcome, unnecessary and off topic. You do not know me, or my lifestyle. Since I'm disabled from major surgery on my back 9 years ago, biking or walking further than the parking lot are out of the question. Not once I have set foot in a Starbucks or drank water from a bottle that I didn't fill.

    How would you have felt if I replied and said stop spending money on hookers, crack and the ACLU? Holier than thou attitudes like yours have no place on community forums such as this one. I also take personal offense to your comments since I'm disabled.

    If you don't have anything constructive to add to the conversion, you shouldn't chime in.

    To everyone else who replied, thanks for the help. I've gotten my bill down to where I wanted it and have stopped paying for programming I don't use.
     
  14. bixler

    bixler Hall Of Fame

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    Oct 14, 2008
    PA
    :D:D
     
  15. dennisj00

    dennisj00 Hall Of Fame

    9,673
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    Sep 27, 2007
    Lake Norman, NC
    My sincere apology, but my comments were not an attack on you or anyone else. It's just that we (me included) often focus in the wrong places on where to save money.

    And I'm not offended by your response since I've never spent ANY money on hookers, crack or the ACLU - and never will!

    Again, I'm sorry you took my comments in a negative way.
     
  16. Jason Whiddon

    Jason Whiddon Hall Of Fame

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    Aug 17, 2006
    Where can you see a list of whats in the unlisted Select package, and it's cost.
     
  17. Cyberclaw77

    Cyberclaw77 Cool Member

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    Aug 1, 2010
    "stop spending money on hookers, crack and the ACLU"

    That sounds like a pretty wild Saturday night.
     
  18. lesz

    lesz Legend

    218
    1
    Aug 3, 2010
    Several points.

    First, with regard to the HD extra pack, you can retain that service without the need to pay for it. If you cancel the HD extra pack and then go to your account on line, you should see the option to get the HD extra pack for 3 months free. If you sign up for it and then cancel it at the end of those 3 months, when you go back to your account on line, you will immediately see that the option to sign up for another 3 months will reappear. I have no idea how many times you can repeat this process, but I know that there are people who have been doing that over and over again through many cycles.

    Also, if you call to cancel Showtime, it is likely that the CSR will either offer you 3 months free or 6 months of a $5/month discount if you choose to continue the service. My understanding is that DirecTV pays Showtime a flat fee and does not pay per subscription. Thus, if they can keep people signed up for the service, even if it is at a reduced rate, they are still getting more net revenue from you than if you don't have the service at all. Like with the HD extra pack, it is possible to continue to get reduced cost Showtime for multiple cycles.

    Other promotional discounts, such as free or discounted Starz, can also be renewed through multiple cycles.

    As others have pointed out, many of us see no point at all in paying $6 per month for the protection plan. In the last 3-4 years, DirecTV has sent me at least 5 or 6 new receivers or DVRs. Some have been upgrades. Some have been additional units, and some have been replacements for defective equipment. I've also had service calls for dish peaking, adding new lines, etc., and I've never paid a cent for any of those things. Additionally, DirecTV has even waived any shipping charges for equipment at my request. How much they are willing to give you free may well depend on your account status, how long you have been a customer, etc., but my experience has been that there is nothing that I would be getting with the protection plan that I haven't gotten without it.

    Also as others have said, you should have no trouble getting the free HD service for 24 months as long as you also sign up for auto pay.

    Thus, I think you have a number of places where you can significantly reduce your bill with minimal or no decrease in the services that you are receiving. I've read that DirecTV, when you include the cost of advertising, subsidizing equipment costs, installation, and other costs, spends about $900 to attract each new customer. Even if they have to sell you service at a lower cost, it still makes more their bottom line better to maintain you as a customer than would be the case if they lose you as a customer and have to replace you with another new customer.
     
  19. The Merg

    The Merg 1*

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    Jun 24, 2007
    Northern VA
    The Select Package is $39.99/month. As for its lineup, search the forum here. The channel lineup has been posted a few times here in the past.

    Off the top of my head, it is similar to Choice with regards to the major channels, but it is missing FX, BBCA, and SyFy if I remember correctly.

    Edit: Here's a list I found... Not sure how accurate it is though...
    - Merg
     
  20. markfp

    markfp Legend

    190
    1
    Mar 9, 2010
    [ I'd advice against Bixler's advice, on going to Retention. It might get you a deal, but they also may call the bluff and say that you're cancelled.[/QUOTE]

    I'm not sure I'd agree with that. I think it depends on his approach. If he calls and says "I'm canceling unless you give me this, this and this..." they may call his bluff.

    However, if he tells them that he really wants to stay with DirecTV, and is willing to have a new commitment, but because of a change in his financial situation, needs to reduce his bill down to around X amount or he may have to consider switching to cable, which is offering him a new customer deal of $XX, then I think he'll have a good chance of working out something. He may have switch packages, but they may also offer him something that will help get him where he wants to be.

    This way he's not making a threat to cancel and is only saying that, unless he reduces his monthly bill, he may reluctantly have to think about switching.
     

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