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HR34 from DirecTV - Why Current Customers Treated So Poorly


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#26 OFFLINE   Shades228

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 05:20 PM

If you read my second post - you would see I am more than willing to pay for the HR34 and their installation charge. What I would like to avoid is going to a 3rd party installer that will try to charge me ridiculous rates for the switch, install, etc. If DirecTV is willing to do it for less, why should I overpay. Just trying to find out, based on other people's experiences, what DirecTV will cover. Try reading the entire thread, before you take an unnecessary shot at me.

There is nothing wrong with complaining about a practice that is not well thought out. Why should a customer pay for a product and service and have no idea what they are getting? Basically DirecTV tells you, the paying customer, you'll take whatever receiver we show up with. This has happened to me before.

I just want a fair shot at the hardware and to be treated like a valued customer. As you can see they have issues. According to many posters, the CSR gave me bad information.


You can order the HR34 from a retailer and order the installation from DIRECTV.

New customers get whatever they get as well. The HR34 is not a HD DVR it's a HMC so that order can be ordered specifically even for existing customers once available. Now if they make a HR35 then the rule will apply you get what you get unless they overhaul their systems, not likely. As far as the whole cannot guarantee you model number that discussion has been addressed countless times, including in other HR34 threads.

If you had read any of the other HR34 threads you would have gotten this information before this post. Also read the title of your thread and tell me that reads "Where can I get an HR34?" it's clear by the title that you're upset that DIRECTV will not order you an HR34 and you assume that you will have to pay things you won't if you did some research. There's a stickied thread in this same forum you posted in and if you had read even the last 5 pages you would have his information.

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#27 OFFLINE   akopperl

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 05:22 PM

To answer the question of the thread about current customers being treated so poorly, its common in most public companies.

If you listen to the earnings calls of public companies that offer services (cable, sat, cellular, etc.), they focus on new subscribers, increase in average monthly revenue (aka ARPU or ANSC) and churn rates. New subs win over everything. As long as the new customer rate exceeds the churn rate (i.e. disconnects), they are growing.

We are conditioned to wheel and deal after all contracts end. Granted if there's a mass exodus for dissatisfaction, then things may be modified but historically, this rarely happens.


You are right new customer growth is important - but so is customer retention. For example, if new subscribers increase significantly (+5% from your prior month base), but overall subscriptions only go up 1%, you have an issue - the model may not be sustainable. You are working very hard, for very little. DirecTV may be an exception as many people have limited options - satellite or your cable company.

In my previous business, if we didn't guarantee our longest standing and highest volume customers, the best rates, best service and best/newest products - we would have went out of business. Too many customers would have went to another brand.

Edited by akopperl, 24 December 2011 - 06:11 PM.


#28 OFFLINE   flipptyfloppity

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 05:26 PM

It's pretty simple. Money and constricted supply.

DirecTV knows if they add a new customer it increases their revenues more than if they just add $5 to the monthly bill of a current customer. So they are prioritizing new customers over current ones.

Once the supply problems end, they'll offer them to everyone, because any increase in revenue is better than none.
room 1:
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Connected via wired GigE to Apple Time Capsule base station.

#29 OFFLINE   Shades228

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 05:27 PM

You may be right growth is important - but so is customer retention. For example, if new subscribers go up by 5%, but overall subscriptions only go up 1%, you have an issue - the model may not be sustainable. You are working very hard, for very little. DirecTV may be an exception as many people have limited options - satellite or your cable company.

In my previous business, if we didn't guarantee our longest standing and highest volume customers, the best rates, best service and best/newest products - we would have went out of business. Too many customers would have went to another brand.


DIRECTV increasing it's customer base by 1% is 190k customers. That's good growth no matter how you slice it.

#30 OFFLINE   akopperl

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 05:34 PM

Also read the title of your thread and tell me that reads "Where can I get an HR34?" it's clear by the title that you're upset that DIRECTV will not order you an HR34 and you assume that you will have to pay things you won't if you did some research. There's a stickied thread in this same forum you posted in and if you had read even the last 5 pages you would have his information.


I'm not going to argue with you all day. I stand by my statements. The CSR - a DirecTV agent - told me they will NEVER be able to guarantee me an HR34. I could order a DVR, today, tomorrow, next month or next year and I will get whatever DVR they have. She basically said they are available and it is the luck of the draw.

This has happened to me before - so I had no reason to believe she was incorrect. I wanted an HR24 a little while back and I was told - we can't guarantee you the HR24 - you'll take whatever the installer shows up with. To me, that is ridiculous. I can't think of anything else I buy, where I am expected to accept such stupidity. I think it is ok to complain about that - sorry. I though the HR34 was being treated in the same way based on what she told me.

I apologize for not reading the other threads, but my thread was based on what DirecTV told me and I didn't research the entire site. I did read a few threads, but not enough.

#31 OFFLINE   flipptyfloppity

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 05:41 PM

You may be right growth is important - but so is customer retention. For example, if new subscribers go up by 5%, but overall subscriptions only go up 1%, you have an issue - the model may not be sustainable. You are working very hard, for very little. DirecTV may be an exception as many people have limited options - satellite or your cable company.

In my previous business, if we didn't guarantee our longest standing and highest volume customers, the best rates, best service and best/newest products - we would have went out of business. Too many customers would have went to another brand.


To this I would say two things.

1. DirectTV puts their customers under contract for a reason. Okay, one reason is so you can get a free install. But even if you don't get an install at all you still have to sign up for 2 years to activate or change your service. They realize that having you under contract means it's less likely you can really leave as a customer.

2. DirectTV clearly feels they don't directly compete with other services. That many customers can't follow through on quitting DirecTV because DirecTV offers something the other services don't. There is a reason DirecTV pays so much for NFL Sunday Ticket exclusivity, so much that it seems likely they don't directly make the cost back just on Sunday Ticket revenues, but they must consider that Sunday Ticket also contributes to their other revenues, by bringing/retaining customers they wouldn't otherwise have.
room 1:
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room 2:
On break. I thought I'd get something in time for baseball, but...

AU9 SWM dish. Channel Master 4228 for UHF + big yagi for VHF w/CM7777 combiner/amplifier.

Connected via wired GigE to Apple Time Capsule base station.

#32 OFFLINE   akopperl

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 05:44 PM

DIRECTV increasing it's customer base by 1% is 190k customers. That's good growth no matter how you slice it.


Just quoting a hypothetical example - poorly worded. If you acquired a certain number of new subscriptions, but lose almost as many as you gained - you may not survive. I could have stated that you lose more than you gained - just trying to state that customer retention is important. I am sure that DirecTV states the number of new subscribers - then total growth or loss. There is a huge cost for acquiring customers (advertising, hardware, labor, discounted programming, etc.) and if you continue to lose existing customers at a rapid rate - profitability will be a challenge. Most business models like this lose money upon customer inception with profitability improving the longer you remain a customer.

A well run company, will also focus on the number of subscriber's lost, understanding some loss is inevitable, but needs to be controlled.

Edited by akopperl, 24 December 2011 - 05:56 PM.


#33 OFFLINE   akopperl

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 05:49 PM

To this I would say two things.

1. DirectTV puts their customers under contract for a reason. Okay, one reason is so you can get a free install. But even if you don't get an install at all you still have to sign up for 2 years to activate or change your service. They realize that having you under contract means it's less likely you can really leave as a customer.

2. DirectTV clearly feels they don't directly compete with other services. That many customers can't follow through on quitting DirecTV because DirecTV offers something the other services don't. There is a reason DirecTV pays so much for NFL Sunday Ticket exclusivity, so much that it seems likely they don't directly make the cost back just on Sunday Ticket revenues, but they must consider that Sunday Ticket also contributes to their other revenues, by bringing/retaining customers they wouldn't otherwise have.


Agreed, but if everyone left within two years - they would be in trouble. Obviously, that is not a realistic scenario, but they would have a hard time selling their viability if everyone left after two years.

#34 OFFLINE   TAK3210

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 06:05 PM

... then you need to start adding in rental costs to your bill.


:confused: Am I the only moh-ron paying a $6 "lease" fee?

#35 OFFLINE   dpeters11

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 06:12 PM

Definitely not. Personally, I have a lease fee and an additional receiver fee.

#36 OFFLINE   TAK3210

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 07:22 PM

Definitely not. Personally, I have a lease fee and an additional receiver fee.


OK, same here. I feel better. :)

#37 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 07:31 PM

It makes absolutely no difference what they call it, you pay $6 for each additional receiver beyond the 1st, whether its called a lease fee or an additional receiver fee, we all pay it.

#38 OFFLINE   The Merg

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 08:03 PM

I'm not going to argue with you all day. I stand by my statements. The CSR - a DirecTV agent - told me they will NEVER be able to guarantee me an HR34. I could order a DVR, today, tomorrow, next month or next year and I will get whatever DVR they have. She basically said they are available and it is the luck of the draw.

This has happened to me before - so I had no reason to believe she was incorrect. I wanted an HR24 a little while back and I was told - we can't guarantee you the HR24 - you'll take whatever the installer shows up with. To me, that is ridiculous. I can't think of anything else I buy, where I am expected to accept such stupidity. I think it is ok to complain about that - sorry. I though the HR34 was being treated in the same way based on what she told me.

I apologize for not reading the other threads, but my thread was based on what DirecTV told me and I didn't research the entire site. I did read a few threads, but not enough.


The point is that the CSR was reading their script about DVRs and you were ordering a HMC. It's very possible the CSR kept confusing HR34 for HR24 as they probably have never heard or been trained on the HR34. So in the CSRs view, what they were telling you was accurate.

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#39 OFFLINE   Herdfan

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 08:43 PM

You got a HR34 before a ton of people. So, how aren't you getting the latest equipment?


Yes I did, but I had to go through a third party retailer. And I was paying attention. I could not have called DirecTV and gotten one. And it seems I may not have been supposed to be able to have gotten one from where I did.

Which brings up the point of why can I get one from a 3rd party and not directly from DirecTV? Getting one from a third party still takes one out of inventory that could be used on a new customer.

Edited by Herdfan, 24 December 2011 - 08:52 PM.


#40 OFFLINE   Herdfan

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 08:48 PM

It's pretty simple. Money and constricted supply.

DirecTV knows if they add a new customer it increases their revenues more than if they just add $5 to the monthly bill of a current customer. So they are prioritizing new customers over current ones.

Once the supply problems end, they'll offer them to everyone, because any increase in revenue is better than none.


I do understand that part, but how many of these "new" customers even know what an HR34 is? Most of these people were going to sign up for service anyway and just happen to be on the right side of an arbitrary date or they could be getting HR21's.

Now if DirecTV were advertising the HR34 and people were calling in based on that advertisement then that is a different story.

#41 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 09:06 PM

PQ is the same everywhere on Uverse...only the number of streams varies. I have both, too, and find PQ not as bad as I expected but not even close to DIRECTV.

What gets me is you and others feel entitled to free stuff and discounts and hate new customers get them, then you do the same thing...switch (or continue to threaten to every week in your case) to get free stuff and discounts...which you feel isn't fair. Makes no sense, but whatever.


And I think everyone got a new customer thing that was in place when they first signed up. Why should they keep giving you the same new customer deal year after year? With that said,they really need to install a good loyalty reward program for customers who have been around awhile so they can choose certain things after certain amount of time, instead of just automatically giving something randomly once a year. Let us earn points towards free hardware, or what have you.

#42 OFFLINE   Drucifer

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 09:14 PM

So how many single HR34 threads are we gonna have going even though we have a dedicated discussion thread? Im just sayin...

The HMC needs a HMC Forum, not just a single thread.

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#43 OFFLINE   flipptyfloppity

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 09:57 PM

Yes I did, but I had to go through a third party retailer. And I was paying attention. I could not have called DirecTV and gotten one. And it seems I may not have been supposed to be able to have gotten one from where I did.

Which brings up the point of why can I get one from a 3rd party and not directly from DirecTV? Getting one from a third party still takes one out of inventory that could be used on a new customer.


DirecTV has different channels, direct and retail. I guess you can get HR34s through retail. My suspicion is that the retailers still sold to sell it only to new customers and the retailers are disregarding this.

I do understand that part, but how many of these "new" customers even know what an HR34 is? Most of these people were going to sign up for service anyway and just happen to be on the right side of an arbitrary date or they could be getting HR21's.

Now if DirecTV were advertising the HR34 and people were calling in based on that advertisement then that is a different story.


Why advertise something you don't have enough of to go around? A few will find out for themselves, from the website. Others can be upsold by phone reps. Both of these are a lot cheaper than paying for ads to raise awareness of something you might not be able to deliver if they did ask for anyway.

And I think everyone got a new customer thing that was in place when they first signed up. Why should they keep giving you the same new customer deal year after year? With that said,they really need to install a good loyalty reward program for customers who have been around awhile so they can choose certain things after certain amount of time, instead of just automatically giving something randomly once a year. Let us earn points towards free hardware, or what have you.


I agree, it's clearly not cost-effective for them to replace a lot of equipment for each customer every year. They do really have a loyalty program, they just don't tell anyone about it. You are earning points toward free hardware, they just don't make it clear. I would imagine they perceive this saves them money, and they're probably right.

Honestly, it bugs me a bit more than even if you do have ancient hardware, DirecTV can't even upgrade you unless it's to a different class! You cannot specify what equipment you get, so if you have an HR22 right now, there's no way for them (that I know of) to send you an HR24. You can buy one at retail, but then you have to pay. Kinda lame.
room 1:
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room 2:
On break. I thought I'd get something in time for baseball, but...

AU9 SWM dish. Channel Master 4228 for UHF + big yagi for VHF w/CM7777 combiner/amplifier.

Connected via wired GigE to Apple Time Capsule base station.

#44 OFFLINE   Shades228

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 11:51 PM

:confused: Am I the only moh-ron paying a $6 "lease" fee?


Definitely not. Personally, I have a lease fee and an additional receiver fee.


As discussed many times this is a mirroring fee for programming. The designation is just to differentiate that a receiver is leased or not.

#45 OFFLINE   bobnielsen

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 09:31 AM

As discussed many times this is a mirroring fee for programming. The designation is just to differentiate that a receiver is leased or not.


Effective Feb 2012 it will be called additional receiver fee, whether leased or owned. That should eliminate a lot of confusion.

#46 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 10:23 AM

The HMC needs a HMC Forum, not just a single thread.


And when they are more readily available in Feb or so, I'm sure there will be. It doesnt make sense to start touting the feature of the new limited availability HMC until everyone can have access to ordering one. Look at the trouble talking about it here has caused so far.

#47 OFFLINE   Herdfan

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 10:30 AM

And I think everyone got a new customer thing that was in place when they first signed up. Why should they keep giving you the same new customer deal year after year?


Well, if you must know, I have NEVER gotten a new customer deal. DirecTV was a wedding/housewarming present from my parents. We got married and were moving into a new house. It was a new street and cable was not completely built out yet, so my dad had a local TV shop install it while we were on our honeymoon.

Cost was $700 for a receiver and dual LNB dish.

Since then every upgrade to the dish was done by the same local TV shop (Phase III) or myself (Slimline) at my cost. Not even subsidized by DirecTV. All receivers have been bought/acquired at 3rd party retailers (BB, CC, SS, VE).

So actually, I probably do deserve a new customer deal.:P ;)

#48 ONLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 10:40 AM

Well, if you must know, I have NEVER gotten a new customer deal. DirecTV was a wedding/housewarming present from my parents. We got married and were moving into a new house. It was a new street and cable was not completely built out yet, so my dad had a local TV shop install it while we were on our honeymoon.

Cost was $700 for a receiver and dual LNB dish.

Since then every upgrade to the dish was done by the same local TV shop (Phase III) or myself (Slimline) at my cost. Not even subsidized by DirecTV. All receivers have been bought/acquired at 3rd party retailers (BB, CC, SS, VE).

So actually, I probably do deserve a new customer deal.:P ;)


I think a lot of us original subscribers fall into the same category. Like you, I installed my first $700 RCA receiver with 18" dish, and over the years, upgraded from Best Buy, and picked up new dishes at the local satellite dealer. Ive gotten some perks over the years from DirecTv in the form of $5 bill credits, free Red Zone, etc...but never received a new customer deal of any sort. Did get to test a free HD receiver for them a year ago, which was a blast.

I was raised before the entitlement syndrome came about, so I still believe if you want an upgrade, you pay for it. If they offer it free, or discount an installation, then I consider that a reward for being a long time customer, but I surly dont expect it.

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#49 ONLINE   Davenlr

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 10:43 AM

Effective Feb 2012 it will be called additional receiver fee, whether leased or owned. That should eliminate a lot of confusion.


Never was confused by it myself. So now we really have no way to verify that an owned receiver on our account is actually shown as owned in DirecTv's system, without calling them. Any time a change is made to a computerized system requiring a phone call vs being able to get the information online, I consider a step backwards.

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#50 OFFLINE   fluffybear

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Posted 25 December 2011 - 11:45 AM

Never was confused by it myself. So now we really have no way to verify that an owned receiver on our account is actually shown as owned in DirecTv's system, without calling them. Any time a change is made to a computerized system requiring a phone call vs being able to get the information online, I consider a step backwards.


Agreed, the least they could do is under 'My Equipment" is have a column which can be checked by DirecTV to indicate owned equipment. They could even list owned Equipment in a different color if adding a new column is a problem.

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