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Interesting comments on DirecTV and Retention


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131 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   hoopsbwc34

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:18 PM

White said that even as DirecTV looks to hold onto subscribers, it is being judicious in terms of deals aimed at retention.

“We are making conscious choices for the bottom-end customers to not chase business that we don’t think we can get a profit on, a return on capital on,” he said.


http://www.mediapost...sary-but-n.html

Seems it may get harder to get those good deals though retention.
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#2 OFFLINE   onebadmofo

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Posted 12 June 2012 - 11:37 PM

Well can't blame him.

Years back Sprint did the same thing. That said, look at Sprint nowadays....:nono2:
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#3 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 08:06 AM

Most companies would look at this as a smart business practice.
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#4 OFFLINE   Jon J

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 08:10 AM

“We are making conscious choices for the bottom-end customers to not chase business that we don’t think we can get a profit on, a return on capital on,” he said.

We obviously don't know the exact definition of "bottom-end customers" but in my case I seem to qualify with 14 years perfect payment history with an average of about $140 per month. Giving DISH a 2-year tryout is looking better all the time. ;)
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#5 OFFLINE   Ira Lacher

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 08:45 AM

"Bottom-end" customers are those from whom DirecTV has minimal NOI, meaning they have paid low monthly fees over a long term and have had investments in equipment. So if you are a low-tier subscriber who doesn't have premiums or sports packages, and has scored discounts on programming and receiver or other upgrades, consider yourself "bottom-end." And don't expect DirecTV to want to hold on to you when you call Retention. The CSR will be looking at a screen that identifies you as someone they don't necessarily want to keep.

P.S. That would describe me.
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#6 OFFLINE   bidger

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 08:55 AM

Giving DISH a 2-year tryout is looking better all the time. ;)


It's my understanding that DISH doesn't even have a Retention Dept. There is a DIRT team that monitors this board, not sure how much leverage they have in that regards. Personally, DISH comes in last as far as TV programming options, behind TWC, DirecTV, and antenna/streaming due to no HD locals, RSNs, and the pending loss of AMC. Award winning DVRs are a moot point when I can't record what I want. YMMV, of course.

I would say paying $140/mo. should provide some perks. Is that just TV or are you doing satellite internet too? I, on other hand, sub to Choice Select and HD Extra, so I won't expect Retention to bend over backwards if/when I call to cancel.

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#7 ONLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 09:08 AM

We obviously don't know the exact definition of "bottom-end customers" but in my case I seem to qualify with 14 years perfect payment history with an average of about $140 per month. Giving DISH a 2-year tryout is looking better all the time. ;)


That's the irritating part, isn't it? You'd think any cable/sat provider would want to hold onto a long term customer with that much average payment, yet we see reports all the time that indicate that for all the talk about how it really isn't just a crap shoot, in reality it appears that way to the individual trying to get that great deal.

From my personal point of view, both Dish and DirecTV provide nearly the same channel lineup (including HD), an HD picture that most can't tell much difference between, and good, solid equipment. Both have their quirks, both have their really great things. So which one I'm with is just which one is giving me the best bang for my buck!

That said, if you are a big sports fan of some sports, then DirecTV is the best choice. For other sports, not much difference imo. And then there is the AMC issue that the Dish folks are facing these days. That may or may not turn out to be a really big deal for very long.

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#8 OFFLINE   Jon J

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 09:11 AM

Is that just TV or are you doing satellite internet too? I, on other hand, sub to Choice Select and HD Extra, so I won't expect Retention to bend over backwards if/when I call to cancel.

Four HD DVRs three of which I own, PP, Choice Extra Classic and always at least one premium movie channel, usually STARZ. No sports oriented extras and I've never ordered a pay-per-view. Obviously I don't subscribe to the high-profit items so to DirecTV I'm not a particularly attractive customer.
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#9 OFFLINE   domingos35

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 09:48 AM

i guess directv got tired of giving out equipment and freebies to all the customers that thought they were entitled just because.

#10 OFFLINE   tonyd79

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:05 AM

We obviously don't know the exact definition of "bottom-end customers" but in my case I seem to qualify with 14 years perfect payment history with an average of about $140 per month. Giving DISH a 2-year tryout is looking better all the time. ;)


Just what makes you think you are a bottom end customer?

I would think they are talking about not throwing deals at people who have the absolute basic packages. $140 a month sounds pretty much middle of the road to me.
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#11 OFFLINE   Jon J

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:15 AM

Just what makes you think you are a bottom end customer?

Comparing the offers I have recently received when inquiring about upgrading to an HR34 with those reported here.
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#12 OFFLINE   n3vino

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:39 AM

"Bottom-end" customers are those from whom DirecTV has minimal NOI, meaning they have paid low monthly fees over a long term and have had investments in equipment. So if you are a low-tier subscriber who doesn't have premiums or sports packages, and has scored discounts on programming and receiver or other upgrades, consider yourself "bottom-end." And don't expect DirecTV to want to hold on to you when you call Retention. The CSR will be looking at a screen that identifies you as someone they don't necessarily want to keep.

P.S. That would describe me.

It describes me too. I don't subscribe to premiums, and I don't order Pay per view. I am still in the first year of my contract. But when my contract is over, I don't expect any perks for extending my contract. The only thing extra I have is the maintenance plan, and I don't know how long I will keep that.

Edited by n3vino, 13 June 2012 - 06:38 PM.


#13 OFFLINE   hdtvfan0001

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:44 AM

One key factor in the definition of any "bottom tier" revolves around payment history. Customers who don't pay their bill are certainly not seen as a "plus".

Then there are base services customers...nothing wrong there...but their monthly fees are simply less than other customers. Nothing unique there either.

In the simplest form...ranking customers based on their levels of service and payment records is nothing new or revolutionary. The OP comments related to mapping any kind of promotions in line with different tiers. Again, not unique.
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#14 OFFLINE   bidger

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 10:50 AM

Just what makes you think you are a bottom end customer?


Four HD DVRs three of which I own, PP, Choice Extra Classic and always at least one premium movie channel, usually STARZ. No sports oriented extras and I've never ordered a pay-per-view. Obviously I don't subscribe to the high-profit items so to DirecTV I'm not a particularly attractive customer.


PP=Protection Plan, correct? If so, that's a point in your favor. DVR + mirroring fees on 3 units. Premium channel on a regular basis, all pluses. Legacy package, I'm sure DirecTV would love to change that. You've probably already gotten offers. I gave up TC grandfathered to get ST for the cost of Premier and a HR21 for $99 in 2008. If I had it to do over I wouldn't. I have Lifetime DVR so that doesn't count in my favor since it generates no revenue.

Still, your account looks pretty good. As you said you pay in full and on time.

Comparing the offers I have recently received when inquiring about upgrading to an HR34 with those reported here.


To be honest, if were to look at your account and see a legacy package, a premium channel, but no Premier, no Sports package or PPV, and 3 customer-owned HD-DVRs (all MPEG 4-capable, right?), one of which that could be sold to recoup the HR34 investment, I wouldn't give you the same price as someone with all leased equipment, Premier, Sports package(s), and 4 PPVs/month.

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#15 OFFLINE   Skarzon

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 12:12 PM

As usual, YMMV, but I recently decided to switch to DISH after being with D* for over 8 years. I have a very average bill of about $90/month, PP, no premium channels and only order movies every once in a while (maybe 4/5 per year) with a crystal clear payment history. I haven't upgraded my equipment in 3 years and that was an R11 to R22 during a move (still running an HR20 as my only HD-DVR, with R22, R15 and a D11). I had inquired a couple of times about getting an HR34 and was always told it would cost $400 plus install charges for HHDVR and a new SWiM setup.

So I called DISH yesterday, received a quote and scheduled an install. I was very happy with their offer and a bit excited to say "Hoppa" all the time :). I still feel that D* is the better service, so I planned to at least listen to their pitch, but was pretty sure they couldn't come close due to all the upgrades I wanted and would be receiving by switching to DISH.

I called in to cancel and was routed to retention. Very helpful and knowledgeable rep discussed the situation and what I was getting from DISH and would want from D*. After some time on the phone, they ended up showing me how much they valued my business. It wasn't everything I wanted, but damn close. I ended up with all new equipment (HR34, HD-DVR, H24/25) except for the R22, SWiM setup, HHDVR, CCK and a couple of premiums for 6mo/1yr respectively. Final tally on my end was a new 24 month commitment and a $49.99 install fee.

I called in thinking I was going to be switching providers and ended up happy to stay with D*. It still upsets me that you have to be half way out the door before they bring the love, but I guess that's how they've chosen to do business. I understand where they are coming from, but it doesn't always give you warm fuzzies.

#16 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 12:31 PM

We obviously don't know the exact definition of "bottom-end customers" but in my case I seem to qualify with 14 years perfect payment history with an average of about $140 per month. Giving DISH a 2-year tryout is looking better all the time. ;)


I don't think the amount you pay has anything to do with it. I think their point is if you continually demand discounts you aren't someone they can make a profit on.

Have fun with DISH!
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#17 OFFLINE   Jon J

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 12:40 PM

I don't think the amount you pay has anything to do with it. I think their point is if you continually demand discounts you aren't someone they can make a profit on.

Have fun with DISH!

Your assumptions are unwarranted but thanks for the good wishes. ;)
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#18 ONLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 12:53 PM

I don't think the amount you pay has anything to do with it. I think their point is if you continually demand discounts you aren't someone they can make a profit on.

Have fun with DISH!


Most of the time you don't even have to ask for discounts on programming at least. I've never asked for any, but every time I shuffle premiums around a bit, they always offer something. Most often it is a discount on the premiums I'm dropping. Just like yesterday, since Starz doesn't have anything of interest right now and Cinemax is in the same boat, I wanted to drop them. They offered them at a discount, which I declined since I wasn't watching them anyway.

So you don't have to 'demand' discounts to get them. But frankly what they will do for upgrades and such is really a crap shoot.

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#19 ONLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 12:55 PM

Comparing the offers I have recently received when inquiring about upgrading to an HR34 with those reported here.


As others have talked about, you really have to be ready to switch when you call in and get switched to retention. That is the best deal you probably can get. With the caveat, that if you call and say cancel, they might just let you. Personally I don't that would be the case for you.

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#20 OFFLINE   Ira Lacher

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Posted 13 June 2012 - 12:58 PM

I don't think the amount you pay has anything to do with it. I think their point is if you continually demand discounts you aren't someone they can make a profit on.


To some it's "continually demanding discounts." To others it's questioning why a longtime member in good standing, with an impeccable payment record, doesn't deserve the same consideration as a new, untested, member, who gets the tops in equipment and services, if not programming, just for signing up.
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