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The Frustration Thread: Sometimes a Tech just needs to vent.

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by Mertzen, Jun 9, 2009.

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  1. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

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    Feb 28, 2007
    Battlezone,

    Wish I had said all that.
    The only thing I could add would be that the long distance providers are onto the phone crap. I do repairs for a couple of them and they are looking at service calls where DTV equipment has caused a telco out of service.

    For fun I asked a new local HSP where their bank was and how long they had been in business. Who was their resident agent? Could I speak to any installer in the office?...........(Click)

    Watching those folks.

    Joe
     
  2. amorse2183

    amorse2183 Legend

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    May 24, 2006

    you are right. don't get me wrong. I don't think that the tech's job is easy in the least. It is hard work, many of you do take it very seriously and do a great job, and your labor is greatly appreciated by me, so don't get me wrong. my problem is the accountability. directv says you should be able to do 6 installs a day and its your fault if you don't. you say directv is crazy and being unrealistic and you ideally could do 3 a day. but in the end, the only one who gets screwed is the customer, namely me. the total perceived lack of accountability if my problem. nothing more.
     
  3. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

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    Feb 28, 2007
    Amarose,
    It is not DirecTv that says 6 installations are possible. It is the HSPs (Home Service Providers). All installations are different.

    I always insisted on full pay for job that required taking four receivers out of the boxes and connecting where previous receivers had been........expending 1/2 hour. Because there were always four receiver installation that took all day.

    I can always do three installations but the length of the day will fluctuate. I did four one time and asked my son to log our times......seven hours of driving! My rate was two a day. This left time for returning for custom work and....the great crime...hanging out with my son.

    HSPs would work their list of contractors seven days and ten hours a day if they could. Effectiveness drops........it gets dark and rains and snows....still someone figures six jobs a day is possible. Then some Quality Control wonk shows up and starts looking at work done in the dark and finding reasons to not pay for any of the work.

    My fav customer quote..."I was sober this afternoon. Now I am not. So let us cut some trees down and get the TV working. Do you know how to run a chain saw? Can you find a satellite in the dark??

    It is strange out there. You are approaching this with entirely too much logic and common sense. You are beginning to see the problem.

    Joe
     
  4. Matt9876

    Matt9876 Hall Of Fame

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    Oct 11, 2007
    2-3 full DirecTV installs a day is enough for any tech,I feel sorry for the customer involved and tech that are forced to do more.


    When a tech is pushed too hard,important things are left undone like the dish bolts don't get fully locked down,drip loops left out,ground blocks don't get properly installed,little or no customer education,etc...


    I think it's more important to do the job right the first time instead of getting a angry customer,call back,back charge,etc..

    Just my opinion.:)
     
  5. JB292

    JB292 AllStar

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    Apr 24, 2009
    Joe, it's obvious from reading your posts, that you have not had a positive experience with your HSP contacts.

    First, a little background from my perspective. Around 2000-2003, I worked as an independent contractor doing installs for a private retailer. Back in the day, we "slammed 'em in", with little, to no regards as to what the "correct" method was. Ground? You don't need no stinking ground, was the prevailing attitude.

    After that, I got out of the business, and became an avionics technian, working for a defense contractor, working for the Army.

    Thanks, Obama, I lost my job on Jan 21, and had to find work.

    I then returned to DirecTV installs, working as an employee for DirecTV Home Services.

    I can honestly tell you, that the average technician, has been employed for over 3 years, and is dedicated to doing the job correct. We have QC guys, who come behind us, and everything must pass code.

    There are no chargebacks, just failed QC jobs, which we are required to fix.
    Many of us are dedicated to "do the job right", the first time.

    We don't charge extra for custom installs. Just yesterday, I had a pole mount, which the customer wanted buried about 70 feet, in PVC conduit. He helped, and the job took 7 hours, but I left, knowing he had a quality install, which I knew many of you would have charged him $100's to do.

    I don't make a lot of money, yet, as DTV's pay scale requires that you do the time, to get to a decent level. After 2 years, I can make almost $60,000 per year, which in today's economy, isn't too bad.

    I'm glad you like my shirt, I can hook you up with one, if you want. :)
     
  6. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

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    JB,

    Glad it is working for you. As with everything in a forum like this you share info from around the system. Here on the eastern shore of MD my experience has been constant crooks. Back in 2001 I was one of the locals who fixed the slam-them-in jobs of "road crews" who hot spotted the EZ jobs and left with most of the money. Service calls were actually rebuilds.

    Here the level of tech skill is low. Turn over is high. Anyone with any skill has left the trade. I just ring the bell here to provide a cost to the constant theft done in the name of Directv here.

    I am glad things are different .....and better elsewhere.

    Joe
     
  7. wallfishman

    wallfishman Icon

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    Dec 31, 2008
    no extra for custom installs ??? ok so some customer wants 6 outlets all wallfished to wallplates fished down walls no wires showing anywhere. all your guys do all those jobs for free? get real you and i both know that aint happening. maybe some lead tech has to go do some job like you just did after the customer has been screwed over 3 times, but all your guys arent just showing up and doing whatever the customer says for free. and around here id say the HSP is 75 % guys under 6 months experience and 25 % over 6 months. I doubt any of them have over a year. not many can live on the money they make.
     
  8. JB292

    JB292 AllStar

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    Apr 24, 2009
    As an employee, it does happen. There are NO extra charges. We get paid per hour, and are expected to take as long as the job requires to do it right. On jobs that require 6 wallfishes, we call our sup, and get help. On such jobs, we may have 2-3 techs working on it.

    The only negative thing I can say, is they use a pay scale that doesn't reward good work. It all depends on how long you've actually been there. A 2 yr employee makes $22 pr hr, with overtime at time and 1/2. We also get free service, (all channels, except PPV) with free OWNED equipment. I currently have 3 R15/s, 1 HR10-250, 1 HR20, 1 HR22, and 1 HR23.

    Not the best job in the world, but in my neck of the woods, it beats unemployment.
     

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  9. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

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    JB,

    In my world you would be expected to redo any pay sheet that listed more than 40 hrs. You take six or ten installations out the door and know that there is four hours of driving built into the mess. The upgrade mentioned on the WO is code for rebuild the whole install. You will spend much time on hold attempting to close jobs through a call center in India. Equipment inventory will be wrong and IRDs you know are installed and running will appear as a back charge item on your pay sheet. Should you fail to connect phones to receivers that too will eventually cost you.

    Is the name on your paycheck Directv?
    We live in different worlds.

    Joe
     
  10. awblackmon

    awblackmon Legend

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    May 20, 2009
    Just as satellite delivered tv challenged cable delivered tv, so cell phones are now challenging land line phones. Around my part of the woods, cell phone is the normal. Dial tone is so close to dead you may hear of a funeral soon. It is past time for Directv to see what is happening with phone service and drop the phone line connection requirements. The younger customers don't have dial tone, and less and less older customers have it with each passing month.
     
  11. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

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    Feb 28, 2007
    Yes,
    And Directv knows this. But since it is or was possible to connect to a land line the HSPs and their subcontractors use this feature to make a deduction from installer checks for failure to "follow policy" or "complete the job." DTV has or had a capability for detecting phone connections but the systems work without the phone line.

    As "triple play" may keep the cable companies in there for awhile, the DSL feature may keep land line phones going for awhile...especially if they go the last mile with fiber optic cable.

    The question is how do you continue to work for an entity that will use such an obvious issue to reduce compensation?

    Joe
     
  12. TigersFanJJ

    TigersFanJJ Hall Of Fame

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    Feb 17, 2006
    In-house, hourly DHS employees don't get chargebacks for failed QC jobs. However, subcontractors for DHS get chargebacks regularly for stupid reasons. One example. I did a pole mount once on a home that was on a slab that, for some reason I don't know, extended out about 18 inches from the exterior wall. I buried the cable the 6 feet or so from the dish to the slab, then neatly routed the cable up out of the ground and across this small piece of slab, then up the wall. I was always dedicated to doing it right the first time, but that still didn't keep me from getting backcharged on the job for that 18 or so inches that I couldn't bury inside a concrete slab.
     
  13. TigersFanJJ

    TigersFanJJ Hall Of Fame

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    I used to bring the issue of being backcharged for the customer not having a land line up at meetings and was always told the same thing. "Just run the damn phone lines." I also used to see this same phrase posted here in threads about the phone line issue. I'd always get a blank stare when I asked the question, "Can you give me one good reason why I should spend an extra half an hour to three hours running phone lines when I am still going to be backcharged for the boxes not calling in?"
     
  14. JB292

    JB292 AllStar

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    Apr 24, 2009
    Yes, my paycheck is from DirecTV, El Segundo.

    We get non responder stats, and get bitched at a little. But just about everyone is in the same boat, or the 20% bracket. You can't get responders, when there is no land line available.

    Joe, the whole point of my posts, was to let you know that from my view, the landscape is changing. Is that a good, or bad thing? I don't know.

    I would gladly work as a contractor, where doing 2-3 jobs would pay $200-$300+, instead of my hourly wage. But around here, that's not possible.
     
  15. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

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    Around here things are pretty slow,
    But doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result is a sign of insanity. The most recent HSP around here is reported to have closed their shop in NC and just left town without paying 30 techs about a month of checks. And the same guy is here in MD as an HSP. This is not different from the last three entities I dealt with. Why work for somebody you are going to have to drag into court to get paid.

    Directv knows about this crap or should have. Your situation sounds better than what I see here. I can't help thinking about reformed thieves who steal no more because someone cut off a hand.

    Get what you can while it is here. The first time they suggest paying for gas or sharing the pain with the latest cable price increase you will know where it is going.

    Thanks for sharing,

    Joe
     
  16. avmaster

    avmaster Legend

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    May 29, 2008
    i feel sorry for anyone still doing direct tv installs, espeically as a subcontractor.

    NOT ONE GUY, not a single one that i know that has 3+ years experience still works for them around here.

    Basically because their rules and chargbacks and now cut pay has reached a level of rediculousness that no one wants to work for them. the ones that do are newbs and quit after a month or two. i wouldn't be suprized if the HSP here started hiring illegals(which is the direction its going)

    Check this out, their latest change. You get paid less on an upgrade, its now $25.

    Ontop of that you are expected to bring the ENTIRE job up to code, that means pulling off wall plates, replacing all fittings, barrells etc, even if you are swapping one box and there are 6 other outlets in the house.

    So basically, on an upgrade, you are lucky if you break even by the time you figure the cost of materials. most likely you are paying out of pocket to service a direct tv customer. Not a good deal.

    I can't even believe the stupid stuff i have been hearing, i think i would rather work for mcdonalds.

    Screw em, they suck as a company overall.
     
  17. Oct 1, 2009 #197 of 200
    dracozny

    dracozny Cool Member

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    Oct 1, 2009
    in my market we are employees and unless you are a QC, service call tech or wherhouse staff you are paid commission, since the market is a tad slow right now we are actually downsizing, although they wont officially state it in the office, they are doing a massive QC scale to weed out the worthless. quality over quantity for the most part is key to keeping your job around here. they do keep track of how often you request help to pawn off a job to someone but its not too much of an issue normally.

    as far as wrong phone# or wrong address, sometimes you just have to get crafty, were not hourly around here so we try to get things done, stop by the fire dept police dept, post office whatever it takes. do the job right and thats always the clencher, kaku jobs always take me longer, especially when I am practically reinstalling the whole system on an upgrade. I even swapped out an entire system to get a swm3 install done instead of a kaku/3. but thats a matter of calling the sup and he calls the manager, from there i can change the whole system via my handheld. downside I dont get paid to install the replacement recievers I add because its done as a csr swap/replace. at most i might see 8 bucks for em.

    lucky for me one of the sups is a cool dude and gives me an hour of OEP(Other Essential Pay) which = aprox $18 per box i swapped on that.

    you need a swm on a job add it in on your handheld, and delete the old one, you can add in 6x8s too if you need those instead to square your inventory, make sure you leave all fields blank except for product and tech action which will be no tech action until after the line item is created. then go back into it and change to support hardware. do this on case by case basis, and not just on a whim eventually some exec will say wtf, although latest blastfact indicates we are moving to full swm installs on all HD jobs so it may not be much of an issue soon.

    I do have one huge gripe out of all of this and that is as an ironwood tech we got paid a hell of alot more for commercial installs and upgrades. as an employee they have slaughtered the pay rate on this, service calls for non service call techs are $34 across the board, sucks for a POV tech like myself, luckily I am off the service call list now.

    as far as the complaints about over routing, for the most part its not too bad unless we get a bunch of techs calling in sick. siebel trying to do the routing sucks balls, i'm sure it works fine for you big city techs but out here in the rural areas it will send you to 3 jobs across the state.

    my biggest complaint is lying ass third party salesman as they cost me more money than anything else! directv needs to stop outsourcing the sales dept!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I do think things overall have improved, but I know there is much more room for improvement
     
  18. Oct 1, 2009 #198 of 200
    dracozny

    dracozny Cool Member

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    Oct 1, 2009
    inhouse POV techs get paid $10.50 on the base work order plus equipment $20 per single line box, or 24.50 for dvrs, swap rate is 8 dollars which negates the previous unless a relocate is added, it is less than ironwood paid me but it averages out in the end for the most part. dishes are another story an odu upgrade line item pays about 29.50 plus multidish pay kaku = 12.50 or triple sat 4.50, international 8.50
    if i have to mess with the existing dish on an upgrade i add the odu upgrade and dish if i need to replace the LNB.
     
  19. Oct 6, 2009 #199 of 200
    avmaster

    avmaster Legend

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    May 29, 2008
    its just a failing system, and anyone who really wants to make decent money can no longer do so when it comes to DTV.

    When it comes down to hrs vs income the way its setup now, there are several other opportunities that do not have nearly the stress or headache that doing sat for direct tv does that pays much more.

    When we used to make 60/20 and were actually able to realisticly do 5 jobs in a day, it was a decent job, it still had its headaches but we were well compensated. Now the headache to compensation ratio is very unappealing.

    Sat installs are easy, but dealing with the company you work for and being the final line between the company and the customer is where the biggest difficulties come in.

    Thats the reason they will never see long term guys stick around.
     
  20. Oct 6, 2009 #200 of 200
    awblackmon

    awblackmon Legend

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    May 20, 2009
    Our local HSP has found a way to make a list of who will not be routed in the future should the market slow down. If we have low telephone hook up stats, you will no longer be routed and your tech number turned off. Doesn't matter if every thing else about the job is done well, just hook up the phone lines, or face no job. We are to hook up the lines to connections that have no dial tone so our shop sup can verify we did hook it up when he goes to customers to verify. What a waste of his time! Logic here just does not prevail, and common sense as they say, is dead. As for my job, I am one of the techs that may be no longer routed unless I start hooking up to dead lines in homes that have cell phone service only. I sure wish we had a way to back charge DTV for this wastefulness.
     

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