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What the Deals are, and what are you being told by CSR?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by marcello696, Aug 16, 2006.

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  1. CT_Jeff

    CT_Jeff New Member

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    May 10, 2007
    I just got off the phone with D. I have been with them since 96 and moved to HD service in 2004. But my Samsung HD receiver will not get the local HD channels. So I want to upgrade to a HR20 for the living room and 2 H20's for 2 of the bedrooms and the new dish. I was told $199 for DVR + shipping and $99 each for the H20's. I just emailed D and said that I was not excited about their offer. I am not expecting everything for free, but I pay my $100 a month bill on time and the only reason I even want to upgrade is so I can watch more of the HD service being provided by D.

    sign me

    not excited
     
  2. Steve

    Steve Well-Known Member

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    Aug 22, 2006
    Lower...
    FWIW, I read elsewhere in this forum that the president of D* was recently quoted as stating that D*'s mfg. cost for the HR20 will drop from $400 to $300 this year. Should give the CSR's a bit more flexibility. /s
     
  3. kajpin

    kajpin New Member

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    May 8, 2007
    Well 48 hours after the deal, I'm up and running. Got the first install of the day and it went rather smoothly. Even talked the installer into providing the cable run for the OTA antenna I have on order.

    Haven't had a chance to really watch the tv much, but I get the feeling it will take some getting used to on the LCD screen. And it prolly needs some calibration. That's another forum though:)

    Now I have to learn how to use the new GUI...I already miss the tivo

    Thanks again for all the information.

     
  4. papa_azteca

    papa_azteca Legend

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Well, I called D* today to order my 2nd HR20. Unlike many here, I will own mine because I negotiated from their $749 price for an owned one. I did, however, quote the $400 manufacturing cost that was shown earlier. I was able to negotiate $250 off the owned price and I received free HD access for a year and $20 off my premier package for 6 months and they waived the $20 shipping/deliver/installation fee. It did require a 2 yr commitment but at this point I don’t plan to find another provider. Unfortunately, this took more than hour to accomplish because 3 different agents told me that they only lease the HR20s but this will be my second owned HR20 (I also own my R15 and D12 since they went to their “leasing” program). The “retention specialist” I spoke to at the end was quite helpful but didn’t understand why I was offered the discounts if I was planning to own the HR20. That’s because I negotiated the discounts first. The agent thought I was interested in purchasing the leased HR20 but that was their assumption.

    Bottom-line, my cost is as follows:
    $499 for the owned HR20 ($749-$250)
    $240 in credits ($10/12 months of HD access plus $20/6 months of premier)
    $20 for installation fee
    Total cost to me: $239 for OWNED HR20 with installation

    “Why would I pay anything for the HR20?” you ask. Because I want to own my equipment. I have the protection plan so it is covered if anything happens to it. But more importantly, IF I did cancel my services and went to TW my monthly lease fees with them would be more expensive in the 24 month period than if I stay with D*. My monthly fees for 8 receivers with TW would be roughly $81/month, on top of programming. My monthly mirroring fees with D* would be roughly $35/month before programming plus $6 for DVR services. That is a difference of $40/month and it adds up to $960 for 2 years (that’s just in leasing fees!). So even if I paid the full $749 for the HR20, if I changed services I would still be behind by $211 in the 24 month period, which I agreed to with D* because of the package discounts.

    I will have 3 standard boxes, 2 R15s and 3 HD DVRs (2 HR20s and 1 HR10-250), plus the DVR service fee.
    TW charges $7 for standard digital boxes and $10 for either DVR or HD DVR boxes. They don’t charge a DVR service fee because it is “included” in their DVR/HD DVR leasing fee. They do charge $10 for their HD package.

    Will this work for everyone out there? I don’t know. But I always look what my total cost is going to be in the long run than just my upfront cost. And frankly, that is main difference between D* and other providers: the upfront cost. D* can either charge it upfront or charge it monthly. And the way that people complain about the increases every year I don’t want D* to charge it monthly. Many will say why I should pay at all for the equipment that I need for my services. The answer is simple: I choose what services I pay for and I need the right equipment in order for me to watch what I pay for. It is no different than having to pay more for a cell phone that supports what I want to do with the phone. The cellular company provides certain services and if I choose to subscribe to those services I have to have the right equipment.
     
  5. RAD

    RAD Well-Known Member

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    Aug 5, 2002
    Dripping...
    Papa, sorry but I still don't get why you want to own your HR20's. You'r paying more for it upfront and will still have to pay the additional receiver fee, which is the same as the lease fee, the only difference there is a few more cents per month for Texas sales tax on the lease fee. Yes, if you decided to leave D* you could sell the HR20 and hopefully recoup some of your costs but you've said you have no plans on leaving.
     
  6. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

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    I don't think most folks have an issue with paying something for equipment they'll own. Heck, I don't think most folks have issues with paying a nominal fee for a produt that they're leasing. What sticks in my craw is when DirecTV charges you $300 to lease a box that costs them $400 to make. I saw that posting earlier today, too, where DirecTV announced that they're going to start realizing $100 savings on the manufacture of the HR20. Which means that they're charging the manufacture price for an item that you end up leasing. That's what gets most folks. You pay a good chunk up front to lease a box which ties you into a 2-year agreement.

    You also mention that the cost either comes up front, or you get hit it with it month-by-month. I agree with that - all companies have different pricing structures, and whether a service is worth it depends on what service you're looking for. In your case, with the number of receivers and DVRs you have, I would agree - DirecTV is structured in a way that's very favorable to your situation. And compared to how much other companies charge for their receivers (I think Comcast borders on the criminal with how much they charge, e.g.), you're right, DirecTV is probably able to keep the monthly cost of the box down by charging you more up front. What I do have issue with, however, is the obscene mark-up DirecTV charges for purchasing the HR20. You got it for a good price. But to charge a retail price of more than $700 on a box that costs them less than $400 to make... I have an issue with that.
     
  7. HDTVFanAtic

    HDTVFanAtic Banned User

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    Jul 23, 2005
    I really don't get the owned thing either.

    Even if you own it and sell it on eBay, the D* will NOT activate a receiver for someone else at this point that does not go back into a lease - so no one is going to buy this for anything more than the current going rate they can get a lease unit for - as then they will have a newer unit and it will be covered under warranty.

    So I agree with Rad, it appears that you are paying 2x or more for it - spend the same thing as everyone else every month and not get enough back when you resell it to even get it close to the $299 back you could have picked one up for now.
     
  8. ibooksrule

    ibooksrule Godfather

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    i dont see what your saving. You still have to pay a additonal receiver fee every month or you pay a lease fee. they are the same price so its not saving you anything.
    PLus then you bought something that you cant sell for anywhere near what you paid for it and on top of that you are going to be left out in the dark when the new receiver comes out. The next big upgrade then you are still going to be using yesterdays news kind of thing.

    Then you are going to try to sell a old reciever that is now used on ebay and no one is going to want it because its used and the price you will have to price that at to maybe make anyhing is going to be higher then they can get the newest one from Dtv for.

    Also i dont know that i trust dirctv protection plan. Since you own the receiver you OWN THAT ONE. So if it goes bad then will D* bring you a new one? Will that one be yours? i doubt it. Plus i have heard many bad things about the repair plan. Also why pay extra for the repair plan where you would not have to if you just leased it.

    Personally i think the HR20 is crap and the GUi sucks on it. Its not simple and easy to et to things like TIvo or even the old hughes and sony receivers.
    Plus with Dish you can get there DVRHD for free. Its better to then the HR20
     
  9. Diana C

    Diana C Hall Of Fame DBSTalk Club

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    Mar 30, 2007
    New Jersey
    My scenario:

    I have been with DirecTV since October 2001 (after 5 years with E*), have always subscribed to the top package (TC Platinum/Premier), and started out with 3 Series 1 DirecTiVos and 1 "regular" RCA receievr, which was changed to another TiVo within a year. I then upgraded all my Series 1s to Series 2s DirecTiVos in 2004 to take advantage of MRV. All the Series 2 DirecTiVos were purchased from other vendors (i.e. not direct from DirecTV). I slipped in just under the wire before the new activation commitment for DVRs was upped from one to two years, so I was well pass any commitment period.

    When, this March, I looked in the upgrade offers under my account on the DirecTV website I was offered a $199 HR20 upgrade with free install and dish. I called in and pointed out that I could do an HD DVR upgrade with my local cable company or Verizon without a $200 "lease upgrade" I got the HR20 for free.
     
  10. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

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    Jul 9, 2006
    I won't go as far as you on this, but I agree that I think DirecTV's pricing scheme is out of whack. They made a transition from a purchase-based system to a lease-based system, but they didn't go all the way. What's the purpose of the protection plan when you have a lease? Isn't that what leasing is supposed to take care of? It could be argued that leasing won't cover abuse by the owner - that's true - but I don't think the protection plan will either. When I had pixellation problems with VOD through FiOS, I called them up, and after trying a few things they sent a tech out to the house. He replaced my DVR, my router, and my splitter - and I got a bill of $0 for that.

    Same thing with their up-front pricing. I could see an upfront lease fee of say $50 for a receiver or $100 for the HD DVR, but $300 upfront cost for a box that costs them $300 to make? I do think it reduces the monthly receiver fees a bit, but again, if you look at other services (except for Comcast who absolutely tears you a new one every month for their stuff) it's not THAT much less. And when you consider different pricing structures between companies, in many cases you end up spending MORE with DirecTV, even though you spend less per receiver. That was definitely my case. I wanted the HR20 to replace an R15 in my living room. I had another R15 in my family room. I just got an HD TV, so I wanted the HD service (which is why I wanted the HR20 to begin with). Not only would I had to have paid $300 for the receiver, plus $20 s&h, I would had to have gotten the dish antenna to get all my locals (another $50). Then I would have paid the following every month:

    $70 - HD service (includes DVR fee)
    $5 - Second receiver fee (to cover the R15 on the other TV)

    Now, with FiOS, I pay for every receiver, whether it's the main one or not, but my service charge is MUCH less than DirecTV:

    $43 - Premier service (includes HD)
    $20 - Multiroom DVR - includes DVR fee
    $5 - Second standard receiver fee

    So I pay a couple bucks LESS every month... and I don't have the initial lay-out for the equipment. Of course, I could have really replicated my directv set-up and gotten two DVRs, stand-alone, which would have run me $1 more per month:

    $43 - Premier
    $13 x 2 = $26 - Stand-alone DVR fees

    And that's the ala carte price. Add to that things like triple-play pricing, and you get real discounts on your monthly bill. Plus I get all my locals, including all the sub-channels, and VOD. And I opted for the 1-year commitment (not required) which shaved $5 off/month for a year.

    It all depends on what you're looking for as to which is the better deal, but I'm having a hard time rectifying the fact that DirecTV charges you the manufacture price just to lease a piece of equipment and still locks you into a 2-year commitment. I could do that and still end up having to pay more per month for TV service. Like I said, though, Comcast is a totally different animal, and I compared to them, DirecTV really IS cheap.
     
  11. jahgreen

    jahgreen Godfather

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    Dec 15, 2006
    It is moot if, like me, your only alternative is Comcast. Not only does Comcast charge an arm and a leg, but from past experience, it falls short in almost every other way. For example, it could never deliver ghost-free cable to me. Sheesh.

    As to the protection plan, it seems to me it's really designed to protect you against charges for dish problems (e.g., realignment), wiring problems, and the like, rather than receiver failure.
     
  12. MikeR7

    MikeR7 Icon

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    Jun 17, 2006
    We know you are a happy FIOS camper, but when the service is available in only about 3% of the country, others really don't want or need to see your comparisons to DTV. I am a verizon phone and DSL customer and they can't even project the service being available in my location within 5 years. What good is that?
     
  13. Bob Coxner

    Bob Coxner Icon

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    Dec 28, 2005
    Success!!! Finally.

    I've been with DTV for 8+ years and have been active on the sat discussion boards during that entire time. I beg for and get discounts every 6 months. I got both of my DTivos for free.

    I preface with all these to show that I know what I'm doing when dealing with CSRs. Despite all my experience I totally struck out with Retention when trying to get a freebie HR20. Did the email bit. Talked to Retention 5 different times and never could get them to budge from the $299. Based on what one CSR told me, I suspect it's because I already have two discounts going ($10 and $5 a month) plus free Showtime.

    I had basically surrendered on getting a free HR20. I was also planning to do a "move" at the same time, in order to get the 5-LNB dish. I currently have differing billing/service addresses and was planning to "move" back to my billing address in order to get the free dish install at least.

    Today I called the Movers Connection (1-866-WAY-U-MOVE) to get the move going. After finishing the install order the CSR asked if I needed any *free* HD receivers. I said "how about an HR20"? She said "no problem". "Free" works out to $19.99 plus tax. I don't need 2 but she said I could have 2 if I wanted them.

    So, I've gone from begging and arguing for two weeks with absolutely no success, to having a CSR offer me two free HR20s without being asked. Life is strange. I do have the usual 2-year commitment due to the receiver. (A move and installation alone is just a 1-year commitment) However, I began my service with DTV with a now defunct rural provider (Heartland). That means DTV never had, and has never asked for, my SSN. I had to use a credit card to pay the $19.99 this time but I used a virtual card number with a $25 limit. I have no intention of leaving DTV but the lack of an SSN or a standard credit card number means my "commitment" is only as good as *I* choose it to be. :) Given that I've stayed with them for 8+ years, it's no biggie but I thought I would note it.

    For those who continue to strike out, this may be the way to go. "Move" to a nearby address today - no Movers Connection involved, just go through the regular CSR and have them change your service address while leaving the billing address alone. Tomorrow, call 1-866-WAY-U-MOVE and set up a move back to your real address. If your experience is the same as mine then you'll get an offer for free HR20s. And, no, no one at DTV gives a rats butt whether you "move" every day of the year. No one will ask you why you are moving so often. It's just an entry on the form to them. My billing address already has an oval dish but DTV didn't even mention it, so I'm not sure what info is included on their database.

    This process assumes you need a new dish for HD. If you don't need a dish installation I'm not sure what the Movers Connection would offer you, if anything.

    Now to see how the install goes. Thanks to everyone here for all the great advice and feedback!
     
  14. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

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    Jul 9, 2006
    You missed the point of my post. I wasn't touting FiOS - that was NOT my intent. Sorry if you don't want to read it - my recommendation is that you don't. The point of my post is that I think DirecTV's pricing structure is out of whack. In my opinion they never made a full transition to a lease type of setup. I could have just as easily pointed to Dish as a comparison to make my point - I used FiOS because it's what I have experience with. Sorry to have wasted your time (again, no one is forcing you to read my post) - but I was agreeing with another post regarding their pricing structure, and using personal experience to make my point. My intent was not to sell folks on FiOS - it was to illustrate what I view as a short-coming with DirecTV's pricing, that's all. And to counter some of what papa_azteca said regarding paying up front vs. paying every month causing the monthly price to be reduced.
     
  15. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

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    Jul 9, 2006
    Fair enough - never considered issues with the dish or wiring (mainly because I never had any with mine in the 5 years I was a customer). Still I think if you're going to do a lease set-up, they should cover you soup to nuts when it comes to your setup - barring anything caused by user stupidity, that is (if I do something really stupid, that should not be covered by the terms of the lease - but if wiring goes due to regular wear and tear, I would expect them to cover it). I don't understand the desire to buy an HR20, though, if it still locks you in. Like others have said - you can't do anything with it unless you're a customer.

    I agree with you about Comcast, though. I think their pricing is REALLY messed up.

    Also, I don't want my comments to be misunderstood. I'm NOT slamming DirecTV. I loved their service - I really did. I even really liked the R15 (despite its flaws), and was hoping to go with the HR20 - if I had gotten it for a good price I would still be a very happy DirecTV customer. Do I think FiOS is superior? In some ways, yeah I do. That doesn't mean that I would hesitate to recommend folks to sign up with DirecTV. They provide a great service, and I think they're definitely on the right track in terms of where they're going technologically. I thought they fell behind the curve a bit for a while, but I think they've gotten themselves realigned and have a very definite focus. Many complain that News Corp killed the company. I disagree. I think News Corp forced DirecTV to run like a business. Meaning it gave them focus and a very definite goal in terms of developing a robust, consistent architecture.
     
  16. papa_azteca

    papa_azteca Legend

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    Jan 11, 2007
    So if D* still had their owned policy many of you would stop complaining about having to pay anything for the HR20? I say torro caca! Is this model the best one out there? Absolutely not, but it works better for the consumer than the model that some cable companies currently use. Many don't see that because they can't see past the intial upfront cost. I say to D*, "think about changing the name of your program but don't charge me more monthly for it". I'm not one to just say that another company is offering something "better" because I know for a fact that the grass is not always greener on the other side. Nothing in life is free and if it looks better doesn't always mean it is better.

    The protection plan does cover owned to owned equipment. I had an R15-500 last August that stopped making callbacks and this one was replaced owned for owned with the protection plan, plus no shipping or contract committment. As for reselling it, when was the last time any of you purchased a car and received what you paid for it after you sell it several years later? How about any electronic equipment? That latest computer? It's called depriciation. Plus, there are many of ppl out there that are willing to pay some money for owned equipment and D* can activate it them as owned, it only takes purchasing a new access card for $20. As for the long term of this receiver before the "newest" one comes out .. it'll be at least 2-3 years before we see a different mpeg-4 DVR. The higher than usual resell value for the HR10-250 will come to an end once D* has their HD programming up and running.

    So it costs D* $400 to manufactuer the HR20 and they resell it at a higher price. So what - that's called making a profit. Do you think that the cable companies don't pay anything for their boxes? And yet they charge more per month per receiver than D*. They recoup their costs differently than D*. I do agree that it is a higher mark-up but do you think they are the only company that does it? Do you think that the Blackberry 8703e that Verizon sells for $350 costs that much to produce? They sell it at a reduced price with a 24 month committment to their services. That new HD set you bought cost that much to make? That is why retailers have sales to reduce the price but, unless sold at a clearance reduced price, they still make a profit.

    I have a different view when it comes to services that I pay for. I haven't had a committment with my cell phone provider for over 5 years and yet have upgraded my phones at little cost to me. I only agreed to the committment with D* for the additional discounts.
     
  17. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

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    I think you're missing the point. At least my point. A NOMINAL fee for leasing is fine. But they're charging you a $300 lease fee on a product that it is now costing them $300 to make. You don't see an issue with that? If DirecTV were to offer a purchase of the HR20 for $300 with a 2-year commitment, most folks wouldn't balk. I wouldn't. But to pay the manufacture price for a product that you don't own, while STILL being locked in for 2 years is, to many, unreasonable.

    Granted, no one is holding a gun to your head - which is why I left. I thought the deal was totally unreasonable. DirecTV has every right to charge it - and I have every right to tell them to pound sand.

    Besides, the box without the service is useless - so if I buy the box for cost, I'm STILL paying for it through my service. As for a company charging more than manufacture price to sell an item that they make - of course I have no issue with that. I certainly don't expect a company to give away the store. But they're charging, what, $750 for the HR20. That's a hell of a mark-up. I also don't like the inherent dishonesty in what they're telling some consumers - including me. When I tried to get a deal on the HR20, I was told by the CSR that the box costs them ALOT to make - over $1000 per unit (as if to say 'what the hell are you complaining about, we're giving you a hell of a deal on this box by ONLY charging you $300 to lease). Horse crap! At the time it was costing them less than half that to make ($400 per unit) than what they were telling me. And now they just announced that they got the cost per unit down to $300. And they still have the nerve to tell customers that they're getting a good deal?

    Let's use the car analogy for a sec. You go into a show-room, and they offer to sell you a car for "only" 250% of the cost of manufacturing the car. Would you take the deal? That's exactly what DirecTV is doing. When you lease a car, you're paying less than the manufacture price of the car in most cases. The reason the car companies love it is because, at the end of the day, THEY still own the car, and can resell it for a great price - you're obligated to keep the car in good shape, with relatively low mileage, or you get hit with additional fees.

    I also disagree with your HDTV pricing analogy. The profit margin on products like that are pretty thin. The reason is that there are ALOT of HDTV manufacturers in the market. And once you buy that unit, you're done with that company - you're not getting an additional service (like you are with cell phone or TV service). Put it this way, if Panasonic (the HD that I bought) were to charge me 250% of the manufacture cost for that TV, I'd happily have gone somewhere else. TV manufacturers can't afford to do this - and the reason is that you're not forced to buy one brand in order to get some type of programming. With DirecTV if you want their HD programming, and you want DVR service, you have exactly one choice - the HR20 (you could go with the Tivo, but in most areas you won't get locals, and you won't get any of the new HD channels that they're going to carry). Imagine what the price of an HDTV would be if there really were only one game it town. That's what competition does - it drives down the cost. Take a look at the profit margin of most companies - they're razon thin. Even the "evil" oil companies. Do you know what Exxon-Mobile's profit margin was when they were making record profits? Around 9%. Most companies don't make much more than that - some industries do (e.g. Google's profit margin is in the neighborhood of 25%). But I challenge you to name for me one company that has the profit margin that DirecTV does on their HR20.
     
  18. Jomanscool2

    Jomanscool2 AllStar

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    Aug 27, 2006
    So, after a few unsuccessful calls, I was able to get my 2nd HR20 for $20 (S&H) down. I have been a longtime DTV customer, and have been on their 'A List' for quite some time.

    Tips to all those who still seek deals.

    Get high up! Every CSR I spoke to saw that I was an 'A List' customer, and they all offered me $100 off of the $299. However, this was not enough. The lower level CSRs just don't have access to the great deals that high ones have. I found it easiest, rather than asking for them to transfer you to someone higher right up front (which they usually just transfer you to one of their same-teir support), you have to push and ask for better deals and when they say they can't give you anything better, quote a price from here (or in my case, the price I got on my first one). If it is better than what they can offer, they usually transfered me higher.

    Also, a note which I have found true with MANY different companies and their CSRs/Tech support, the higher ranking employees typically have private offices, and not cubicles. This means that you can typically tell that you have gone up from the initial level if the call suddenly has a much quieter ambient sound level.

    Good luck to all those who are still searching for deals!
     
  19. Lateshowrob

    Lateshowrob New Member

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    Apr 5, 2007
    Good job, I was only able to get the 'standard' $200 + SH, and the 'free' HD for a year deal about a month ago. Perhaps I'll shoot them an email asking why others are getting good deals while I still had to pay $200.
     
  20. Alan Gordon

    Alan Gordon Chancellor

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    Jun 7, 2004
    Dawson, Georgia
    While trying to get a good deal on a HR20 last year, I stated that I "knew" a few people getting the HR20 for shipping... and the CSR asked me if I was referring to posts on "SatelliteGuys" and "TiVoCommunity," and told me not to believe everything I read...

    ~Alan
     
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