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Guest Message by DevFuse

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>>> DirecTV does NOT promise any specific model of receiver! <<<


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#1 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 07:21 PM

[Mods - please tack this thread.]

Hi Folks,

This thread is intended to educate all DirecTV subscribers about how DirecTV manages their equipment, and the limitations on customers when ordering equipment.

On February 28, 2006, DirecTV ended their former practice of *selling* receivers to customers, who would then own those receivers. As of March 1, 2006, new customers or customers upgrading receivers began getting additional up-front discounts, but the equipment provided was no longer "owned", but rather was leased. Leasing receivers offers several advantages:

- Allows DirecTV to lower the up-front cost of expensive receivers, making it easier for customers to afford the receiver setup they want.

- Allows for better (cheaper) upgrade offers, again because of the lower up-front cost of the receivers.

- Allows for receivers that are returned, by customers who have upgraded or canceled service, to be refurbished and recycled into the field.

- Allows DirecTV to afford to replace leased receivers for the cost of shipping (around $20) if they break. Owned receivers only had a 90-day warranty, and if you didn't carry the Protection Plan, and your owned receiver died, you had to buy a replacement. For an expensive receiver like an HD-DVR, that could mean a $500 or more savings for a lease customer.

Of course, the lease program also has some disadvantages:

- DirecTV requires a 2-year programming commitment, starting from the activation date of any leased receiver. Early Termination Fee (ETF) for canceling prior to your commitment expiration date is $20 x months remaining. All new and upgrade leased receiver activations reset the commitment to 24 months. Owned receiver activations and "dead receiver" replacements do not (or at least, are not supposed to) reset the commitment. [Always ask to be transferred to the Access Card Team to activate an owned or replacement receiver, and be very clear that this should not reset your commitment. Other CSRs don't have the ability to activate a receiver without the computer extending the commitment.]

- Because DirecTV needs to be able to recycle all of the returned leased receivers they get back, DirecTV does NOT promise, advertise, or guarantee that you will receive any particular model or submodel of receiver. You are only guaranteed to receive a model from a specific class of receiver. As of this writing, those classes are:

- Standard-Definition (SD) receiver [i.e., D11, D12]
- SD-DVR [i.e., R15, R16, R22]
- High-Definition (HD) receiver [i.e., H20, H21, H23, H24, H25]
- HD-DVR [i.e., HR20, HR21, HR22, HR23, HR24]

If a CSR suggests, implies, agrees, or promises you that you will receive a specific receiver model, that CSR is either poorly-trained and wrong, or is lying to you to get you off the phone. CSRs have NO WAY of specifying a specific model of receiver; the computer ordering system only allows a receiver CLASS to be ordered.*

A CSR may offer to add "notes" to your work order requesting a specific receiver model. These notes HOLD NO WEIGHT and installers not only may not receive those notes, but are allowed to ignore the notes completely. A note on your work order means almost nothing, because the installer is required to follow the work order, or if possible, modify it as needed, but work orders do NOT specify model numbers, only classes, and the installer will only have the receivers assigned to his truck/van that day.

DirecTV specifically does NOT track the individual model numbers on an individual tech's truck, and DirecTV has a very large number of independent subcontractors, who aren't even a part of DirecTV's internal inventory system, and will never be. So, given the current business structure, it isn't possible to track receivers down to that level, and even if it was possible, it isn't in DirecTV's best interest. Tracking receivers at that level would cost a LOT of money in time and effort and programming, and would ultimately not gain them much if anything.

The bottom line is: if you call DirecTV as a new customer, or as an existing customer for an upgrade, and DirecTV sends a tech, or, for certain upgrades, ships a receiver, YOU WILL GET WHATEVER RECEIVER MODEL IS AVAILABLE, with refurbs being the first priority to deploy. It isn't in DirecTVs financial interest to buy more new equipment if they have unused refurb equipment available, so refurbs get shipped first, until they run out.

So, how do you get the specific receiver model that you want?

Simple: For a leased receiver, order the receiver model you want from a DirecTV retailer, either local or online, rather than directly from DirecTV. Yes, that means you will probably pay full lease price, and will have to give up any additional discounts that DirecTV may be offering. Note that this receiver will be a lease; you are NOT "buying" it, and you WILL have a 2-year commitment when you activate it.

Another method is to buy the receiver you want outright. Most folks look for used, owned receivers on eBay or Craigslist, or right here on DBSTalk.com. Just be sure to get the Access Card number and RID number and check the receiver with DirecTV to ensure that it is:

- owned, not leased
- has no outstanding balance on it, and
- can be transferred to another account.

You will need to obtain a new access card from DirecTV to use an owned receiver that was previously activated on another account. NOTE: leased receivers CANNOT be transferred from account to account per DirecTV policy, and are therefore "unusable.".

The third method, for those wanting to OWN their receiver AND have it NEW, is to call DirecTV and ask to purchase an OWNED receiver. This is a fairly unusual request and many CSRs will tell you it can't be done, but it can. The Access Card department will know. Yes, you'll likely pay MSRP for it, but it will be new, and will be owned.

The fourth method is to purchase an HR21 Pro, which was never leased, and was intended to be SOLD (rather than leased) by retailers, for customers looking to own a receiver.

Hopefully this will help clear up one of the most common questions we get here at DBSTalk.com.

*Yes, there ARE a handful of exceptions where specific models are sent out. For example, in markets that don't have HD locals available via satellite, if you plan to use an OTA antenna for HD locals, you can advise DirecTV that you need your receiver to have OTA capability, and they will send you a refurb H20 or HR20, which are the only models to have built-in OTA tuners. Of course, you give up certain capabilities: the H20 has no networking capabilities (no Whole Home service) and the HR20 can't do 3D.

Commercial & Residential Satellite System Design & Installation
DirecTV, Dish Network & Free-To-Air


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#2 OFFLINE   Alebob911

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 07:25 PM

Well explained. That should help those who don't understand DIRECTV's equipment policy.

#3 OFFLINE   codespy

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Posted 12 April 2011 - 11:06 PM

I know a HR20 cannot do 3D in itself, but I thought I read somewhere it can play 3D off WHDVR from a 3D compatible IRD (21-24). True or false?

#4 OFFLINE   wilbur_the_goose

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 05:27 AM

True - I record 3D on my HR20 all the time and play on my HR24

#5 OFFLINE   veryoldschool

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 08:31 AM

I know a HR20 cannot do 3D in itself, but I thought I read somewhere it can play 3D off WHDVR from a 3D compatible IRD (21-24). True or false?


True - I record 3D on my HR20 all the time and play on my HR24

I think there is a direction problem here.
codespy's answer is false, where wilbur_the_goose's is true.
It's not the unit that records the program, but the unit that is doing the playback.
A.K.A VOS

#6 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 09:21 AM

Great post, BattleZone, but I doubt it will work.

You could have made your post:

DirecTV cannot and will not promise to deliver any specific DVR model.
DirecTV cannot and will not promise to deliver any specific DVR model.
DirecTV cannot and will not promise to deliver any specific DVR model.
DirecTV cannot and will not promise to deliver any specific DVR model.
DirecTV cannot and will not promise to deliver any specific DVR model.
DirecTV cannot and will not promise to deliver any specific DVR model.
DirecTV cannot and will not promise to deliver any specific DVR model.


and go on for another two hundred lines and still, tomorrow we'd see a new thread titled, "DirecTV LIED to me and sent me a HR 23!"
hangin' with the bros at 40 Eridani A

#7 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 09:34 AM

Great post, BattleZone, but I doubt it will work.

You could have made your post:


and go on for another two hundred lines and still, tomorrow we'd see a new thread titled, "DirecTV LIED to me and sent me a HR 23!"


+1

DirecTV customer since 1995.


#8 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 09:40 AM

So, you're saying a CSR can get you an HR24 if you request it nicely several times, OR threaten to leave, OR if you bundle it with a demand for, say AMC HD, OR if you say you'll send the truck back if the Installer doesn't come forth with one, OR.........
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:D
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#9 OFFLINE   TomK

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 11:04 AM

I have one HR23 HD DVR and I just got a free upgrade (with a new 2-year agreement) from my defective R15 receiver to an HD receiver. I was hoping to get a new HR24 HD DVR but, lo and behold, I received an HR21 HD DVR manufactured in November 2007. :) I guess people getting free upgrades can't hope for much but, man oh man, a receiver that is 3.5 years old? It works fine and that is what matters, I was just hoping for a faster HR24.

#10 OFFLINE   The Merg

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 08:20 PM

Great post BZ. A lot of terrific information laid out very well.

- Merg

Today's problems don't worry me, I haven't solved yesterday's yet.

SlimLine-3 Dish w/ SWM16 (HD Service / WHDVR) / Full Setup
HR34-700 / Panasonic TC-P50G25 HDTV / HDMI / Networked - DECA / Family Room
HR44-700 / Samsung HCM5525W HDTV / Component / Networked - DECA / Bedroom

HR24-100 / Samsung HCM5525W HDTV / Component / Networked - DECA / Bedroom


#11 OFFLINE   bluemoon737

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Posted 13 April 2011 - 08:28 PM

The ONLY correction is that if you can ask for (and you will get) a 3D capable receiver you are guaranteed not to get an HR20...other than that, it's a crap shoot.
-Jeff-
HR34-700, HR24-100, HR24-100, HR21-100, HR21-200, H23-600

#12 OFFLINE   stik6873

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:11 AM

I think this policy is bull....
example:
Went to Solid Signal and paid the $200 for an HR24. 3 months later the hard drive went. Solid Signal won't take it back, and DTV says I could get any receiver as a replacement. You know there is a reason I went to Solid Signal and spent the $200. I have the protection plan, I could have just called DTV and said replace my 9 year Tivo box (which still works by the way) for nothing rather than going to Solid Signal and spending the $$$ for the box I wanted.

So what did I do? Went to Best Buy and purchased an external drive. HR24 works fine now, but that doesn't make the policy right.

#13 OFFLINE   MysteryMan

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:14 AM

I think this policy is bull....
example:
Went to Solid Signal and paid the $200 for an HR24. 3 months later the hard drive went. Solid Signal won't take it back, and DTV says I could get any receiver as a replacement. You know there is a reason I went to Solid Signal and spent the $200. I have the protection plan, I could have just called DTV and said replace my 9 year Tivo box (which still works by the way) for nothing rather than going to Solid Signal and spending the $$$ for the box I wanted.

So what did I do? Went to Best Buy and purchased an external drive. HR24 works fine now, but that doesn't make the policy right.


The policy is right. It just isn't right for you.

DirecTV customer since 1995.


#14 OFFLINE   hancox

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 05:30 AM

[Always ask to be transferred to the Access Card Team to activate an owned or replacement receiver, and be very clear that this should not reset your commitment. Other CSRs don't have the ability to activate a receiver without the computer extending the commitment.]


Very good info, but sad commentary. At least the class-action lawyers won't have to search very hard! :)

#15 OFFLINE   Rich

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 06:23 AM

Great post BZ. A lot of terrific information laid out very well.

- Merg


And, even tho it wasn't brief, it was readable. Something we rarely see. I have this picture in my mind of BattleZone beating his head on his desk in frustration the next time we see a thread about another member that didn't get the 24 he was promised.....:lol:

Rich

#16 OFFLINE   cawgijoe

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 07:27 AM

I think this policy is bull....
example:
Went to Solid Signal and paid the $200 for an HR24. 3 months later the hard drive went. Solid Signal won't take it back, and DTV says I could get any receiver as a replacement. You know there is a reason I went to Solid Signal and spent the $200. I have the protection plan, I could have just called DTV and said replace my 9 year Tivo box (which still works by the way) for nothing rather than going to Solid Signal and spending the $$$ for the box I wanted.

So what did I do? Went to Best Buy and purchased an external drive. HR24 works fine now, but that doesn't make the policy right.


Herein lies the real problem.......after three months and paying $200 to get what you want.....the box breaks and you either return it to DTV and receive whatever refubished model is available....or do a work-around as above.....or spend another $200 for another box.......it's a crapshoot for those going this route.

#17 OFFLINE   Carl Spock

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 08:02 AM

Went to Solid Signal and paid the $200 for an HR24. 3 months later the hard drive went. Solid Signal won't take it back, and DTV says I could get any receiver as a replacement.

You don't say when your unit went down, but it has been stated many times here that if they can, currently DirecTV wants to replace like with like. If your unit went down today, I would ask for the replacement. I'd bet you'd get back a HR24.

Maybe somebody who follows these issues more closely can me can comment, but I don't remember an instance of a HR24 being replaced with anything other than a HR24, or at least not recently, since the inital shortage of HR24s has gone away. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
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#18 OFFLINE   cawgijoe

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 08:06 AM

I just looked up the HR24 on the Solidsignal site. It has a 1 year parts and labor warranty. I would think that you would be either guaranteed another HR24 or have your's repaired......of course you would be without service while under repair.......does anyone know how this works?

#19 OFFLINE   matt

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 08:23 AM

More than one member here has had their HR24 replaced with an HR24. It's the 21/22/23 models that seem to get interchanged often.
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#20 OFFLINE   evan_s

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Posted 14 April 2011 - 08:36 AM

The only thing I'd add is that any attempt to work the system, complain up the chain, etc to get a specific receiver is unlikely to be successful and will likely cause headache and disappointment.




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