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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Frustrated with D* Support


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44 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   atfree

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 07:01 AM

Very frustrated with D*'s level of support for service issues.

Last night, my area experienced some very bad storms and we lost our signal. We anticipated that it would return after the storm but it hasn't. I have reset all my receivers and went through all the troubleshooting steps to no avail. Since our internet is also down, I believe we may have experienced a lightning strike near our home which has damaged lines.

I called Directv customer service this morning to request a service call (I pay extra for the Protection Plan) and was told that the EARLIEST a Tech could arrived would be Monday night, August 10th.....ALMOST 4 days from now. I expressed my dissatisfaction with this timeframe and was basically told "sorry, nothing we can do". I escalated to a "supervisor" but received the same response. I asked why D* didn't prioritize their service calls (i.e., reserving slots for emergencies or after hours issue) but was told it all gets lumped in together.

As I stated, my internet is also affected by this and my internet provider will be at my house LATER today, no problem. But it will take Directv almost 4 days to come out? Unbelievable. I also contacted my local cable provider (Charter) as well as Dish Network, and they both indicated they could come TODAY and install a whole new system if I should choose to do so. Yet, again Directv can't be here earlier than Monday.

I have been a Directv customer since 2003 and love my service. I pay almost $150 per month for my service (more during football season as I am a Sunday Ticket subscriber), and consider myself a "premium" customer as I have 5 receivers (including an HD DVR), the Starz pak, HD Extra Pak, etc. I find it hard to believe that "emergencies" (i.e., no service at all) isn't considered a priority and that a service call cannot be scheduled within 24 (or even 48) hours.

Most service providers certainly do better than this. I have a service contract with my HVAC service provider (which I'd say is comparable to D*'s "Protection Plan") and if I lose heating/cooling, they'll come out same day and fix it. I have further escalated this issue to Ellen Filipiak at the Office of the President but I don't hold out much hope.

Just venting I guess, but it's frustrating to deal with this especially facing a weekend without service.

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#2 OFFLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 07:26 AM

It's frustrating. They can't bump other people just for you. When you walk in a store, you shop & get in line...you can't skip past others.
If you stop responding to them or put them on ignore, then eventually they'll go away.

#3 OFFLINE   Stewpidity

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 07:29 AM

If you elaborate on exactly what is happening, you may get some helpful suggestions from the people here ? Do the receivers fully boot up ? Is it just searching for signal ? etc...

#4 OFFLINE   atfree

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 08:06 AM

Thanks for the responses....a couple of comments.

As for bumping other people already in line, that happens all the time. All companies make accomodations for their good customers.

As for the problem....we've been having issues with rain fade a lot lately. Last night, we had a huge storm and had several lightining strikes near our house. We lost signal on all receivers but anticipated them coming back when the storm passed. It never did. I've reset all the receivers, went through set-up and troubleshooting again and still no signal. We've got sunny skies today, and I've done all this again to no avail. Still get "searching for satellite" message on all receivers. Since we've lost our DSL service, I'm thinking lightning is the culprit, although none of our other electrical devices are having problems. It could be as simple as the dish being knocked out of alignment due to high winds, etc.....which a tech could solve in 15 minutes.

#5 OFFLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 08:08 AM

Can you get to the dish?
If you stop responding to them or put them on ignore, then eventually they'll go away.

#6 OFFLINE   cover

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 08:24 AM

A local installer told me that they are now required to work overtime 6 days a week to keep up with demand. A DirecTV CSR told me that, as an employee, his Whole Home DVR installation has been deferred indefinitely until they can better meet customer demand.

None of this is your problem as a subscriber and DTV should fix the situation somehow, but wanted to point out they seem to be trying to address it and this may not be normal.

#7 OFFLINE   Hoosier205

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 08:39 AM

Monday is perfectly reasonable. They will likely offer you credits for the downtime. Other appointments are scheduled. Wait your turn.
DTV = Digital Television

#8 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 08:53 AM

I would definitely seek credits for the downtime.

However, I think singling out DIRECTV is not completely accurate. Unfortunately a lot of companies have tightened their belts one notch too much in the last year. I see it all the time in work and at home, that you just can't get the service you need because there aren't enough people working. With luck it is a temporary problem.
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#9 OFFLINE   atfree

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 09:08 AM

Yes, I can get to the dish.

No, Monday is not "reasonable". I work with a variety of service providers that I've had long-term relationships with and without fail, if I have a problem it goes to the top of the list.....that's why you establish long-term relationships. In my my line of work, I certainly give certain preferences to my best customers in terms of appts, rates, fees, etc. And I certainly wouldn't make one of my best customers wait 4 days to see me unless I was actually out of town or something.

All it would take is a phone call from D* to their local provider to see if a tech was in my area (D* trucks pass our developments 100 times a day), and then see if he could work me into his schedule, maybe at the end of the day. THAT is perfectly reasonable. When my AC broke a couple of weeks ago, that's exactly what my HVAC people did. Even though they were swamped due to a 100 degree heatwave, they told me a tech would call me between stops in my area and come by to at least assess the problem. Turns out it was a simple fix (blown capacitor), and took him 20 minutes to fix and be on his way. Didn't negatively impact his other appts and certainly made me even more loyal to them. No reason D* couldn't do this. They may have "tightened their belts" but that's no excuse for poor service and they certainly wouldn't be understanding if I had to tighten my belt and paid them 4 days late.

Anyway, we can debate "acceptable" levels of service all day but it won't change anything.

#10 OFFLINE   boelters

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 09:19 AM

It's frustrating. They can't bump other people just for you. When you walk in a store, you shop & get in line...you can't skip past others.


I guess if you ever need to go to the emergency room for a heart attack, you should have to wait for the person who got there first for a broken arm.

In the medical world it is called triage. Maybe D* should consider prioritizing there service calls.

#11 OFFLINE   Stewpidity

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 09:35 AM

Perhaps when your internet provider comes by and figures out what the issue is with your DSL that will help you with your Directv issue.

Since you can get to the dish, you might want to check all the connections as well see if it is loose & could have been moved by the weather. Have you checked the signal strengths I know here in S FL. when we get heavy rain and i get searching for signal, but i still have the ability to check the signal strength there is some signal just not enough to get a picture. If there is some signal there, then it could have been just knocked off line and could be a simple adjustment that you could do to get some picture until the completely fix it Monday. Mind you if you are not comfortable getting on the roof or climbing a ladder ignore my suggestions


#12 OFFLINE   nevea2be

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 09:35 AM

The problem with prioritizing calls is you then get new people starting threads saying how after they took the day off of work tech support called and canceled their appointment. No way to win, you're only really waiting one business day and yes it does suck! I would go out and check your connection's to see if maybe one of them was loose enough to get some water in there during the storm?

#13 OFFLINE   Hoosier205

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 09:38 AM

I guess if you ever need to go to the emergency room for a heart attack, you should have to wait for the person who got there first for a broken arm.

In the medical world it is called triage. Maybe D* should consider prioritizing there service calls.


...really? Heart attacks and broken arms? Are you serious? Dial down the rhetoric. It's television.
DTV = Digital Television

#14 OFFLINE   boelters

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 09:45 AM

...really? Heart attacks and broken arms? Are you serious? Dial down the rhetoric. It's television.


What it is is taking care of the customer. D* has not been very good at it. D* should be looking at ways to improve.

#15 OFFLINE   raoul5788

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 10:14 AM

atfree, can you post your signal levels on all of the satellites? It will give us an idea as to whether or not your dish is out of alignment, or there is another issue.

#16 OFFLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 10:15 AM

I guess if you ever need to go to the emergency room for a heart attack, you should have to wait for the person who got there first for a broken arm.

In the medical world it is called triage. Maybe D* should consider prioritizing there service calls.


Worst comparison ever. :rolleyes: If I have to explain, then I'll stop now because you won't get it.
If you stop responding to them or put them on ignore, then eventually they'll go away.

#17 OFFLINE   atfree

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 10:20 AM

What it is is taking care of the customer. D* has not been very good at it. D* should be looking at ways to improve.


..."taking care of the customer"....EXACTLY. I keep up with this stuff and D* is always talking about ways to reduce their "churn rate" when they talk to investors and the media. One way to do this is make existing customers and their needs a priority. There's an old saying that goes something like "it costs less to keep an existing customer than it does to get a new one"....basic business relationship management. Yet, existing customers at D* get lumped in with new installs, etc. I can tell you in my line of work, if I get two calls, one from a potential new customer and one from an existing, long-time, profitable customer, I talk the existing customer first. A bird in the hand, as they say....

#18 OFFLINE   atfree

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 10:22 AM

I'm going home at lunch today and will see if anythings changed. This morning, I did another reset of the main HD-DVR and when it re-booted, it said it couldn't acquire Guide Data and I still got the searching for satellite message. Also, on the Menu all I had was system setup and one other choice....No playlist, Smart Search or anything else. I took a quick look at signal strengths and the first two were all Zero's..... I will post my findings after lunch today.

#19 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 10:23 AM

What it is is taking care of the customer. D* has not been very good at it. D* should be looking at ways to improve.


DirecTV is *reasonably* good at it most of the time, actually, but that doesn't mean that there aren't situations where that isn't true.

Lightning damage likely impacted a large area and a large number of customers (that's typical when it hits a major distributed system such as phone lines). It wouldn't surprise me if the schedule went from one day out to 5 days out overnight. It happens with big storms.

And as far as "asking an installer to fit you in to his schedule", realize that installers already have to be at work at 7am at the latest to pick up their jobs and equipment for the day, and during these busy periods will have a full load (or more) of scheduled work for all 3 appointment windows: 8am-12pm, 12pm-4pm, and 4pm-8pm. Note that there are no lunch or dinner breaks in that schedule, and we're already looking at a 13+ hour day. It is very difficult to try to "fit another job in" with a schedule like that.

And you could ask "why don't they hire more techs?" The answer is: YOU, and all of your fellow subscribers, want to pay as little as possible for TV service. In order to keep your costs low, DirecTV has to keep their costs low. They can't afford to pay techs to sit around doing nothing so that there is enough extra capacity to get to every customer within 24 hours of a big, widespread outage.

As stated, you're really waiting one business day. I know it sucks that there's a weekend in there, but 2 weeks from now you won't even remember, so why make it a bigger deal than it is?

#20 OFFLINE   billsharpe

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Posted 06 August 2010 - 10:25 AM

As someone in another thread has suggested, go see a movie.

Monday's not too bad. If the storm was really bad there are probably other DirecTV customers waiting for service too.

I've seen DirecTV trucks around town on both Saturdays and Sundays, but I'm not sure they work weekends everywhere.
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