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DirectTV - Very bad 1st impression


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18 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Strong

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Posted 16 August 2003 - 08:26 PM

I am a D* installer and I wonder if D* knows how bad it is when new customers can't get their systems activated??

For the past 3 days (and often in the past also), I've not been able to get receivers activated for new customers! I've been told by customer service that activations will occur "within the hour", "within a couple of hours", and even "24 - 48 hours"!.

Imagine the impression that customers have after I've spent an hour or 2 installing their systems and they can't even sit down to watch TV! I've had grandmothers that can't watch the news, guys that can't watch sports, and kids that can't watch cartoons!

IMHO, D* should make this a top priority from the Chairman of the Board on down to clear this up. It is inexcusable that this has gone on this long with out a resoultion. If it was just due to the Blackout in the northeast, I and my customers could understand, but no one seems to be able to say what the problem is or when it will be fixed.

Now I'm torn between informing customers that their TV's won't work and trying to do an install so I can make a living....

Does anyone from D* read these forums?? Does anyone from their care??

I often wonder why non-tech savy people even bother with satellite service. With all the problems and issues involved, and with sometimes the additional cost, I can't justify making the leap from cable myself and I have to bite my tounge and mumble generalities when a customer asks my opinion about which is better. (X posted message)

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#2 OFFLINE   DishDude1

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 12:14 AM

I activated one this afternoon, they did it while I was on the phone with them. Whole call took 10 minutes.

#3 OFFLINE   Msguy

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 04:18 PM

I have to agree on some points made. Sometimes it takes a very long time for a customer service representative at Direc Tv to get to your call. They usually will have a message something along the line of "Due To heavy calls your wait time will be longer than usual" Something along that line. But everytime I've ever had to call Direc Tv wheather it be to order or make changes to my programming I've always had good service. Usually my programming came on right away. It's been a while since I've activated but when I did have my dish installed and activated my installer made the call and everything for me had my service turned on and all i did was sign the paperwork and he was gone. I've had no problems since and I will have to tell you I am a very happy Direc Tv Customer and have been for years now. Much better picture than cable ever thought about being and I love NFL Sunday Ticket and MLB Extra Innings. Those 2 packages for me alone are worth Direc Tv. All the other Channels to me are just a bonus on picture quality and sound when Football or Baseball games aren't on.

#4 OFFLINE   Mike D-CO5

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 06:19 PM

Never wait long for customer service with Dish. I usually get a through to a csr with in 3 rings. :D

#5 OFFLINE   Ray_Clum

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 07:49 PM

Could possibly be DirecTV v. Pegasus?
If you can read this, you are too close.

#6 OFFLINE   bills976

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 07:50 PM

Tech support from Directv is historically subpar in comparison to Dish, though Dish's solution to nearly all problems is to RMA it. As far as waits on hold, I've only called Directv twice - the initial activation and to update my cc expiration date. Wait times were nothing to about two minutes.

That said, Directv's website puts Dish's to shame. You can upgrade/downgrade anything on their online account management tool, with Dish I believe you can only upgrade. You can also purchase PPVs online, that I know you couldn't do with Dish a few months ago. Sunday Ticket, Game Plan, etc are all available for purchase online as well. I downgraded my HBO/Cinemax package after the promo expired and it went off instantly. I also ordered the March Madness package and it was up right away. Those were both online, so perhaps that's the best route to take for activation/deactivation.

#7 OFFLINE   durl

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Posted 17 August 2003 - 11:50 PM

I've never had a problem with Directv in the 7 years since I've been with them. The first time I activated took under 10 minutes. I was actually shocked that I could have it activated so fast. When I moved a few years ago, calling them to notify them was just as fast. When I've called to modify my programming or add another receiver, same thing: quick, helpful customer service.

I understand that everyone has not been as fortunate as myself...I've only had one problem with their customer service but that turned out well also. I was charged extra for a receiver that I had disconnected, and when I called in to notify them, they actually credited me back MORE than what they had charged me and I didn't even ask them to do that.

All in all, I can't complain one bit about Directv.

#8 OFFLINE   sfowler2

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 07:12 AM

I called to activate my HDVR2 on Friday at 8p.m. Got right through, took about 10 minutes and I was watching D*.

#9 OFFLINE   George_T

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 10:11 AM

Activated a third receiver at my home about a month ago. No problems. I've been with D* since '96, and no problems. Wouldn't go back to cable or go to E* for the life of me!

#10 OFFLINE   Strong

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 01:36 PM

Thanks for the replies folks. I didn't mean to imply that no activations were working. I install/activate 6-10 receivers a day Mon-Sat. Probably 80-90% of them go through fine. The problem occurs for those customers that can't be activated when D*'s "system is down". To those customers it is a 100% failure rate! I've even tried calling D* in advance to see if everything was up before I did the install. In that case, I was told "yes" but by the time I was done with the installation, the system was down again. Both the customer and I were very frustrated at not being able to complete the job and not knowing when the box would be activated.

During once such instance, instead of taking the customers credit information and programming preference, the CSR told me that they had the (new) customers caller ID info and would call the customer when the system was back up. I thought about that for a few minutes and realized how problematic that would be. I had no idea how many new customers were in the "call back queue" so I called D* back to speak with a supervisor. The CSR that answered said that the original CSR was wrong and should have taken the customers credit info and programming preference manually. The receiver would then be activated automatically when the systems came back up.

All in all, I think there should be better back up systems in place for contingencies. I just don't think it is acceptable to have such frequent outages, especially when it comes to new customers that are just getting their 1st impressions about D*.

#11 OFFLINE   pez2002

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 04:07 PM

i thought people that installed directv had a hotline that they call
My install last year took an hour i was hooked up the next hour with picture and all



I love my D :lol:
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howard stern on xm channels 100-101 :)

#12 OFFLINE   pez2002

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 04:08 PM

Move this to the first inpression thread
Mike
http://www.myspace.com/wnnnnnnnbc

xm sub as of/12/31/05

howard stern on xm channels 100-101 :)

#13 OFFLINE   Steve Mehs

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Posted 18 August 2003 - 04:23 PM

Done! :)
Friends Don't Let Friends Subscribe To: Verizon Landline, Verizon DSL, Verizon Fios Phone, Verizon Fios Broadband, Verizon Fios TV, Verizon Wireless or Verizion Wireless Mobile Broadband
Keep America Beautiful, Ban Verizon From Your Home!
Down With Verizon!

#14 OFFLINE   SD493

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Posted 19 August 2003 - 08:02 PM

Done! :)


I swithced from E* to D* today, or at least tried to. I have everything installed. I have to go through Peagasus and when I called to activate my account they said their system was down and to call back in the morning. It is frustrating when you've got all the equipment but can't get programming. I had already cancelled E* so I have only local TV right now. I know its no big deal but it is a little aggravating when I had expected to watch tonight the HD channels that D* has and E* doesn't .

#15 OFFLINE   raj2001

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Posted 19 August 2003 - 08:11 PM

I don't understand the first poster's experience.

I've activated three receivers, and in all cases, it was activated while I was on the phone. The CSR's even insisted that I stay on the line and asked me to check channels.

Activated for a friend online once, no problems either. Changed my package online, no problems whatsoever.

With regards to the service being subpar compared to DISH, the few times I've called customer service with DirecTV, I've had a problem only once. Maybe it's because I'm a protection plan customer, who knows?

#16 OFFLINE   Strong

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Posted 19 August 2003 - 09:27 PM

(x posted response)

Hi Raj. I'll try to better explain my original post.

I'm an installer and I do 20-30 installations a week. Most of the time (80-90%) the installations go well and activations are routine. But periodically, and last week especially (I don't think the blackout had anything to do with it) the system to activate boxes was "down". So I probably had 5 or 6 customers last week where I could not complete the job.

My point is that could have not left a good impression about D* to those brand new customers. In fact a couple of them insisted that I undo all my work and put their cable back on! Since I get paid by activations and I already had put time, effort, and money into those jobs, I politely declined to do that and had to beat a hasty retreat out the door! I did call D* the next day and was informed that all of the customers were eventually activated.

I specifically remember an elderly woman that almost cried when I told her that, no, she would not be able to watch the news until the box was activated, and, no, I could not tell her when that was. I also remember the looks on kids faces when their parents told them that there would be no cartoons!

I admit that this issue isn't "world hunger" but I wonder if D* would ever acknowledge this problem or let anyone (like myself) know what is happening and what they are doing to reduce these outages.

Strong

#17 OFFLINE   George_T

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Posted 20 August 2003 - 07:11 PM

Strong,
Not to be smart, but you have posted your concerns on both the major DBS boards (This one and DBS Talk). What's the deal? As I said earlier, I've activated 3 receivers through the years and have had NO problems with any of the installations. I have found D* customer service to be very helpful overall; yes, you have an occasional worker who struggles, but my interaction w/D* has been very positive. In addition, D* once again received J.D. Power's highest ranking in customer service so I don't think that I'm the only one who has had good experiences with D*. As far as the old lady who cried when she couldn't get her news, "Get a Life!". Are you sure there isn't another agenda you have?

#18 Guest_AntAltMike_*

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Posted 20 August 2003 - 08:47 PM

Strong,
Not to be smart, but you have posted your concerns on both the major DBS boards (This one and DBS Talk)


Both?

Isn't there a copyright violation of some sort here?

#19 OFFLINE   Strong

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Posted 20 August 2003 - 09:37 PM

George, you are right!

I do have a hidden agenda? Yep, I'm a martian that has been programmed to destabilize GM through Hughes/DTV. I am also supposed to unhinge JD Powers and the people that cite their results as proof that DTV could not possible ever have a problem with customer service I have succeeded beyond my bosses wildest dreams!

Oh yea, the other folks on these boards that criticize DTV are also in on the plot.

Now you know the rest of the story...




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