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does directv still require a contract?


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21 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   gasstronamicle

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 02:12 PM

i looked on their online package prices. i know there is a discount for the first 12 months, and a free upgrade to an advanced receiver. however, i did not find any mention of a contract on the website! ive gotten all the way up to entering the billing information, with no mention of a contract at all! can some one please confirm or deny this? the only thing i could find was "must maintain programming, dvr service and/or hd programming" which, i would interpret as, in the case i cancel my hd programing, or my package, i would send back the receivers, or get a downgrade...

any help would be appreciated, i am thinking about switching to d*

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#2 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 02:14 PM

You have a 2 year commitment for service. Your interpretation is correct.

I'm sure Directv can't wait to get their hands on your unit.

 
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#3 OFFLINE   gasstronamicle

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 02:26 PM

You have a 2 year commitment for service. Your interpretation is correct.


hmm, d* really needs to state that clearly on their website.... no wonder people are filing class action lawsuits.

btw, is their any way around the 2 year commitment? like buying used equipment myself and hiring my own installers? (i know ill still be "leasing" the equipment, but i just dont want a contract)

#4 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 02:29 PM

The customer agreement on the web page seems pretty clear to me:


Programming Agreements: 18-24 months of service for at least $29.99/month You agree to pay for 18 consecutive months (for standard receivers) or 24 consecutive months (for HD and/or DVR receivers) of a $29.99/month or greater programming package.

If you do not fulfill your Programming Agreements, DIRECTV may charge you a pro-rated fee of up to $360 for standard equipment or $480 for advanced receivers.

AGREEMENT

I'm sure Directv can't wait to get their hands on your unit.

 
Directv customer since 2000

#5 OFFLINE   gasstronamicle

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 02:35 PM

[quote name='spartanstew']The customer agreement on the web page seems pretty clear to me:


Programming Agreements: 18-24 months of service for at least $29.99/month You agree to pay for 18 consecutive months (for standard receivers) or 24 consecutive months (for HD and/or DVR receivers) of a $29.99/month or greater programming package.

If you do not fulfill your Programming Agreements, DIRECTV may charge you a pro-rated fee of up to $360 for standard equipment or $480 for advanced receivers.
[quote name='spartanstew']


i found that too, but i meant clear as in it is stated in billing, or on the page. not in fine print, when you go buy a cell phone they tell you "with a year year contract" and not in the small fine print contract agreement.
the way d* has it setup, at least to me, seems that people will go online sign up, and have no idea they have a contract. when you install software, or sign up for an email account, do you read through all the fine print? i usually skim it at best.... though their phone reps might clearly state 2 year contract....


i take it there is no way around a contract? (for new subscribers)

#6 OFFLINE   DiSH Defector

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 02:39 PM

hmm, d* really needs to state that clearly on their website.... no wonder people are filing class action lawsuits.

btw, is their any way around the 2 year commitment? like buying used equipment myself and hiring my own installers? (i know ill still be "leasing" the equipment, but i just dont want a contract)


A contract is required with ANY leased equipment. The only true way to not have a contract is to purchase at full retail price and have a private installer hook it all up.

Retail price:
Standard receiver: $149
DVR: $399
HDDVR: $499
HR21-700 w/ HDMI to Vizio 42" 1080p LCD
HR21-700 w/ HDMI to Vizio 26" 1080i LCD
Linksys 80211N Wireless Router
Linksys WGA600N Wireless Gaming Adapter for DOD & MRV
DOD/MRV & MediaShare w/ WMP11 & Vista Home Premium working just fine.
R15-300 w/ S-Video & RCA Audio


I do not give out proprietary information. All opinions expressed within this forum or in PM are exclusively mine and are not necessarily the opinions of any satellite provider.

#7 OFFLINE   gasstronamicle

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 02:42 PM

A contract is required with ANY leased equipment. The only true way to not have a contract is to purchase at full retail price and have a private installer hook it all up.

Retail price:
Standard receiver: $149
DVR: $399
HDDVR: $499


well, thats what i asked :-) so if i buy one off ebay and pay for installer, i should have no contract? also doesnt direct tv anyway consider and bill any new reciever that they activate as "leased"

#8 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 02:46 PM

i found that too, but i meant clear as in it is stated in billing, or on the page. not in fine print, when you go buy a cell phone they tell you "with a year year contract" and not in the small fine print contract agreement.


How would they "tell" you this if you bought your cell phone online?

I'm sure Directv can't wait to get their hands on your unit.

 
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#9 OFFLINE   DiSH Defector

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 02:47 PM

Ohh and be prepared to pay a few hundred dollars for installation plus the cost of the dish, LNB and switches. A retailer won't make any commission off owned equipment so they'll need to make a profit on the install.

All in all, the cost would be more than breaking your contract on day 1 so why bother?
HR21-700 w/ HDMI to Vizio 42" 1080p LCD
HR21-700 w/ HDMI to Vizio 26" 1080i LCD
Linksys 80211N Wireless Router
Linksys WGA600N Wireless Gaming Adapter for DOD & MRV
DOD/MRV & MediaShare w/ WMP11 & Vista Home Premium working just fine.
R15-300 w/ S-Video & RCA Audio


I do not give out proprietary information. All opinions expressed within this forum or in PM are exclusively mine and are not necessarily the opinions of any satellite provider.

#10 OFFLINE   DiSH Defector

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 02:50 PM

doesnt direct tv anyway consider and bill any new reciever that they activate as "leased"


No. The directv system should automatically know by the receiver ID # if it is leased or owned, and would be tagged as such on your account info.
HR21-700 w/ HDMI to Vizio 42" 1080p LCD
HR21-700 w/ HDMI to Vizio 26" 1080i LCD
Linksys 80211N Wireless Router
Linksys WGA600N Wireless Gaming Adapter for DOD & MRV
DOD/MRV & MediaShare w/ WMP11 & Vista Home Premium working just fine.
R15-300 w/ S-Video & RCA Audio


I do not give out proprietary information. All opinions expressed within this forum or in PM are exclusively mine and are not necessarily the opinions of any satellite provider.

#11 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 04:38 PM

well, thats what i asked :-) so if i buy one off ebay and pay for installer, i should have no contract? also doesnt direct tv anyway consider and bill any new reciever that they activate as "leased"


DirecTV will not let you create a new account with used equipment. You'd have to have at least one new receiver.

Example: you could buy one basic receiver at full retail price ($149), buy and install a dish, and get your new account created with no commitment. You could then add additional used, non-leased receivers (from whereever) to your account with no commitment.

A couple of issues: CSRs have to manually specify that this is OWNED equipment rather than leased equipment when they are activating the receiver, or it will be listed as leased and a commitment will be triggered. That can be reversed, but it will usually be a hassle. The hassle can usually be avoided by explaining this to the CSR so that they do it right from the beginning.

Another issue is that there are lots of people who try to sell leased receivers on eBay, and lots of suckers who buy them. DirecTV will not activate a receiver that was leased to someone else, period. That person was supposed to have returned the receiver to DirecTV upon deactivation, and it remains the property of DirecTV. Such receivers are considered "in dispute" and cannot be transferred.

You can still buy older OWNED receivers on eBay and elsewhere, but all new receivers activated since March 1, 2006 are leased, with only a tiny number of exceptions. This means that virtually all modern equipment is leased, and that's especially relevant for HD, very, very few MPEG4 HD receivers are owned except for the HR21 Pro.

DirecTV receivers obtained from DirecTV retailers, including from big-box CE retailers like Best Buy, Circuit City, and Costco, are all leased, remain DirecTV property, and trigger a commitment when activated.

The bottom line is that if you run the numbers, it is virtually impossible to come out ahead by owning your equipment. Leasing is much less in virtually any situation, even if you were to cancel and have to pay the ETF after only a couple of months. And if you're going to do that, why bother?

#12 OFFLINE   dodge boy

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 04:42 PM

A contract is required with ANY leased equipment. The only true way to not have a contract is to purchase at full retail price and have a private installer hook it all up.

Retail price:
Standard receiver: $149
DVR: $399
HDDVR: $499


The contract kicks in when you activate any new piece of equipment, ownership details do not matter.

#13 OFFLINE   CliffV

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Posted 20 December 2008 - 05:11 PM

hmm, d* really needs to state that clearly on their website.... no wonder people are filing class action lawsuits.


Go to the DirecTv website and try to add a new HD DVR to your account. Below I've cut and pasted their entire "Terms and Commitment" drop down. It is pretty clear to me. :) Why would they not mention a length of service commitment? :scratchin

1The Viiv feature is able to pull most formats of music and photos from your PC and play them through the model HR20 DIRECTV Plus HD DVR. Required Ethernet cable from the HR20 connected to the consumer's home network along with Viiv-enabled PC and router. Viiv installation is not included with DIRECTV service. Manufactured under license from Dolby Laboratories. Dolby and the double-D symbol are registered trademarks of Dolby Laboratories. The Viiv logo is a trademark of the Intel Corporation.
2Actual recording time varies depending on the type of programming being recorded.
3Surround sound audio equipment required and sold separately. Not all TV programs are broadcast using Dolby® Digital 5.1 for DIRECTV® programming. Check your onscreen guide in the program description for details.
4To use this feature you must have your receiver directly plugged into a telephone jack (not a wireless phone jack). This feature requires subscription to caller ID or similar service from your phone company.

#14 OFFLINE   DiSH Defector

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Posted 02 January 2009 - 03:01 PM

The contract kicks in when you activate any new piece of equipment, ownership details do not matter.


Completely wrong. I've activated countless receivers on customer accounts, and it does not trigger a new commitment unless the receiver is leased.

If that was true then customers would have to start a new contract when having a receiver replaced under warranty. Replacing leased receivers, (or owned receivers under D* protection plan) should never trigger a new contract; only replacing an owned, out of warranty receiver with a LEASED receiver starts a new contract.

Just activating an additional box that you paid full retail purchase price for (NOT an in-store upgrade like Best buy) will not start or extend a contract.
HR21-700 w/ HDMI to Vizio 42" 1080p LCD
HR21-700 w/ HDMI to Vizio 26" 1080i LCD
Linksys 80211N Wireless Router
Linksys WGA600N Wireless Gaming Adapter for DOD & MRV
DOD/MRV & MediaShare w/ WMP11 & Vista Home Premium working just fine.
R15-300 w/ S-Video & RCA Audio


I do not give out proprietary information. All opinions expressed within this forum or in PM are exclusively mine and are not necessarily the opinions of any satellite provider.

#15 OFFLINE   ArcinGuy

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Posted 31 January 2009 - 04:56 AM

Completely wrong. I've activated countless receivers on customer accounts, and it does not trigger a new commitment unless the receiver is leased.

If that was true then customers would have to start a new contract when having a receiver replaced under warranty. Replacing leased receivers, (or owned receivers under D* protection plan) should never trigger a new contract; only replacing an owned, out of warranty receiver with a LEASED receiver starts a new contract.

Just activating an additional box that you paid full retail purchase price for (NOT an in-store upgrade like Best buy) will not start or extend a contract.

Programming agreements (18 months for standard, 24 for HD) can be applied even in replacements for leased receivers. And you can still purchase owned receivers from directv but as they said before me, setting yourself up with anything but the most basic equipment would cost more then getting out of the commitment on day 2 (you have 24 hrs after initial activation). Equipment replaced under the ProPlan does not renew agreements, however adding it to your account is a 1 year agreement.

#16 OFFLINE   meoge

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 11:48 AM

This may be a stupid question but if I'm leasing the box and not buying it when I sign up for the first time online, then why do I have to pay any up front cost. The package that I put together today on their website had 2 HD DVR's. They were $199 each with one of them being free after a rebate. I assumed if I was paying $199 for the box that I was buying it? I lease all my boxes from the cable company, but I never had to pay anything up front for them. I pay a monthly fee for each box. Does D* also charge a monthly fee on top of the $199 I'm paying to begin with?

#17 OFFLINE   say-what

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 12:17 PM

Whether it's labled a lease fee or additional receiver fee, you pay $4.99/month for each box after the 1st.

The $199 is an upfront lease fee, if you were buying the box, they'd charge you somewhere around $500 and you'd still have to pay the additional unit fee after the 1st box.

#18 OFFLINE   miketorse

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 12:20 PM

This may be a stupid question but if I'm leasing the box and not buying it when I sign up for the first time online, then why do I have to pay any up front cost. The package that I put together today on their website had 2 HD DVR's. They were $199 each with one of them being free after a rebate. I assumed if I was paying $199 for the box that I was buying it? I lease all my boxes from the cable company, but I never had to pay anything up front for them. I pay a monthly fee for each box. Does D* also charge a monthly fee on top of the $199 I'm paying to begin with?


Don't just buy online. You can get a better deal by visiting a local D* retailer. Or calling.
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#19 OFFLINE   adn

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 05:13 PM

I don't think this has been said yet, but I did want to point out that when setting up a new account with OWNED equip makes you ineligible for the national offers (rebates and such).

#20 OFFLINE   harsh

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Posted 12 March 2009 - 05:30 PM

If that was true then customers would have to start a new contract when having a receiver replaced under warranty. Replacing leased receivers, (or owned receivers under D* protection plan) should never trigger a new contract; only replacing an owned, out of warranty receiver with a LEASED receiver starts a new contract.

Some forum users here have experienced precisely this issue but most were only peeved as they don't plan on trying to switch any time soon.

As has been suggested by others, don't use the terms "commitment" and "contract" interchangeably. There are many similarities but there are also some striking differences.

What you remember or what you think should be isn't necessarily the way it is. Rather than arguing with others here, I would suggest that you "read the fine print" as that's what DIRECTV is going to hide behind in a scrap.




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