Sorry, I know there is a bit to read below, but I do wanna return the favor to those noobies considering switching to SAT TV. (D* or E*)
A quick rundown of my experience:
First I was with my local cable provider for many (to many) years, I was bundled and god fathered into a plan that made it very hard to switch away. Fast forward a few years and me and my girlfriend decided to co-habitat, she was with D*, I never knew anything about contracts and what not since cable does not have one, and after some tough thought we decided to drop my cable and stay with her DirecTV.
I will admit the picture quality and the DVR service blew me away at first, the lag of the DVR was a turn off, but there are trade offs.
Her set up was a HR24 HDDVR in the living room and two SD receivers (very old) in the master and office. She had HDTV's in the the master and office, but SD receivers, I did not understand this, but she is not tech savvy at all. It actually hurt our eyes to watch TV in the master in SD, so we just watched everything in the living room on the big screen I brought over.
Now the fun stuff:
My Girlfirends contract with D* expired in April 2012 (keep in mind she has been with D* for over 10 years) I had her first call D* and find out what sort of promotions she qualified for for renewing her contract. I was absolutely beside myself to hear what the D* told her. First they would NOT upgrade her main receiver (HR24), they said it was whole home capable and there was no need. This I understood and could live with, then came upgrading our 2 rooms. D* wanted $99 per room for new H25's plus $99 for install. We asked about putting a HDDVR in the master for more tuners and recording options. They replied with sure for $199, and as a bonus they would knock install to $49. Then I told her we wanted a HMC, she said no discounts at all and the price would be $399! We were beyond upset. we decided to shop around.
We found a great local 3rd party retailer named "Channel Choice" in Tempe AZ and worked with a guy named David. We highly recommend this company and this employee!!!!
Channel choice offers all the TV options available in AZ, we decided we wanted to stick with SAT TV so obviously our only other option was E*. Channel choice had all the provider options set up on big screens to demo. We immediately fell in love with with E*, specifically the Hopper and Joey setup. The picture quality look identical to D* and the receivers were mind blowing fast! We were told we could record 6 things (sort of true) and PTAT was a pretty cool feature. We looked at the channel list and we were happy with their 250 channel package, and would be adding the Blockbuster @home package for one channel we wanted (Velocity Channel) the whole package was a bit cheaper then D* and of course we would save for the first year and get the Hopper/Joey equip. and install for free. My Girlfriend was ready to sign on the dotted line, but I told her and David that I wanted to research everything. That was in April. David called me on and off admitting that he did work for commission, but did not want to pressure me just wanted to make us happy. This turned out to be true. Thanks David.
Now some of you might be saying why did your girlfriend not just drop Direct and you sign up as a new sub in your name? Simple answer, awhile back I was added to her account as a person that could speak on behalf of her, I could make changes, order movies, ask billing questions, ect. So me signing up for D* under my name was a no go. After the back and forth here on DBS, I came to the conclusion that D* is the better all around value and provider, but it just was not going to work for us, so we would just return in two years.
Jump to late last week, I receive a call from D*. At first I swore it was a telemarketer. I kept asking them the meaning of the call and they deflected telling me I was eligible for this and that. I asked to speak to a manager to get to the bottom of this. Turns out D* was calling me to offer me a subscription. I could not believe it! I played it cool, explaining that I was all but ready to sign with E* and that's when they pulled out all the stops. free this, free that. I told them I would think about it, and immediately called David who had worked with us for four months. Told him what happened and he immediately started the paperwork for D* This was Tuesday (7/10), he explained that there was a fraud alert thing so we had to wait till Friday (7/13) to see if D* would reject my new account. Friday came and I got the call that everything was a go and install would be the fallowing morning (Saturday 7/14) between 9am and 11am.
What we got:
-Choice Xtra Package
-Free Sunday Ticket
-Free Movie Channels for 3 months
-Free Cinema Kit
-Second year savings
-HR34-700 HMC $99
-(2) Free H25's
We were super excited! My Girlfriend called to cancel her account and the rep actually laughed and said "sad to kinda see you go" . The lady said that our service would end at 12am. I woke up at 8am and turned on the TV expecting to see fuzz and to my surprise it was the morning news. They never shut our signal off.
We were expecting the worst for install, some of the install threads on here are horrible. At exactly 9:30am the installer rang the doorbell, he was kind, very informative and came in to inspect the house. As soon as he walked back out to his truck to get the equipment it began to downpour. Never phased him. He got some blankets to cover the equipment and brought everything in. We insisted he wait till the rain stopped to install the new dish, but he was already out the door and on the roof. He also redid all the coax connections and installed a SWM in the master. He programed all the remotes to our TVs and audio equipment, gave us free HDMI cables for the other rooms (from E* boxes) explained everything in detail to my non tech girlfriend, and showed us all the cool features of whole home and what not. Took him 1.5 hours and he was gone before the rain stopped.
All in all we are very pleased with the way D* handled our situation. Again big thanks the David at Channel choice, and our installer Brad.
I wont start a war insisting D* is better then E*, But for us we are very happy with DirecTV and plan and being customers for a very long time.
ALSO to be clear I dont work for D* or Channel Choice, they just treated us so well we would like to refer them to all.
Thanks for reading and again for the help,
Edited by ~jb, 16 July 2012 - 12:45 PM.