Funny, the stupidest thing I've ever seen is DirecTV's short-sighted marketing and ever-more extravagant new customer-only deals that absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, incentivize customer turn over. The reason that's stupid is because getting a new customers cost DirecTV infinitely more than retaining an existing one and, therefore, people who bounce back and forth every year or two cost the company a lot of money. Living where I do, where sat is the only option, the vast majority of my neighbors have had both DirecTV and Dish, and go back and forth when one makes them an "offer they can't refuse." (Of the 40 or so homes in our loosely-defined neighborhood, I'd say 2/3 have more than one dish on their roof.)
I also think it's hysterical that my complaints about DirecTV's policies are labeled as "entitlement" by the very people who say they're going to call in, and keep calling, until they get this offer applied to their account. Call me disgruntled, call me a whiner, but Mr. I'm-not-concerned-about-everyone-else-because-I'm-gonna-keep-pressing-until-I-get-this-for-myself is the very definition of entitled.
I absolutely loathe DirecTV's legendary and completely random treatment of their customers, even if I have at times (by reading here and then calling in to request what others have received) benefited from it. Either make an offer available to everybody, or nobody, that fall within a definitive set of guidelines. What one CSR can offer, should be the same as the next. You shouldn't be able to call four times and get four completely different answers/offers. It shouldn't be a process of call center roulette. That complete and absolute unfairness is infuriating. Those who complain the most are not owed the best service. Again, from a business perspective, that not only creates exactly the kind of burned feeling I have, but it also costs you money, paying for the time it takes to answer multiple calls from the same person.
By the way, just for fun, I emailed DirecTV, noting I was a 12-year customer, always on the premier package who used autopay and asking if I was eligible for this current free HD deal and received the following cut-and-paste response ...
"The free HD for Life offer is only available to new customers.
"In order to find out what HD offers are available to you, please call 800-824-9081 between 8:00 AM and 8:00 PM daily. When the system asks for a Personal ID Number (PIN), enter XXX (this PIN is good for five days). We're looking forward to talking to you!
"Once again I would like to thank you for writing."
Oh and, we all already pay DirecTV HD for, with or without the $10/month fee. HD existed on DirecTV before the fee, and will continue to exist after it is, eventually, discontinued. If they raise the package rates by $10 to cover it--which I'm sure will be billed a customer-benefitial "restructuring of their programming tiers" and not a price increase--they do so only to increase their profits, not because they need that $10/customer to provide the service. Don't get me wrong, that is good business, from their side. I note it only because of the people on this forum who are always jumping in to insist that poor DirecTV HAS to charge this fee or that one in order to cover their costs and survive, as if otherwise they would be taking a loss on the services they offer us. ("They have to charge an extra fee because it costs more to provide HD." "The fee is a favor to the customers that are SD only." "They have to charge big up front receiver fees to recoup the cost of development." "Without the DVR fee they couldn't develop the software." B.S. all.) This is not a business that is living close to the margin. While there are, obviously, substantial costs involved in acquiring and distributing DirecTV's programming they'd have to cut their prices just about in half in order to be even close to barely scraping by.
Edited by susanandmark, 05 June 2010 - 08:18 AM.