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Protection Plan - Does it cover wiring that was not fastened properly?


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#1 OFFLINE   falconress

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:26 AM

To my great shock and surprise, the first time I called for help under the protection plan, they told me my issue wasn't covered. Boy is my face red.

Today's smug CSR sounded very different from the one who assured me the protection plan means I would have nothing to worry about, as any problems, including wiring, including problems stemming from weather, would be covered.

Sarcasm aside, now I really don't know how to parse the coverage plan. We had a storm last night that dislodged one of the cables and it's now swaying against the house. It is too high up for any of us to be able to reach it with a ladder. It is a little bit below the height of the second floor.

I never had reason to look too closely at it before but now I can see exactly what happened. The installer just piggy-backed this cable together with some other cables that were fastened against the house, and hoped for the best. You can see exactly that all the other cables are gathered together and fastened securely, and this one was just kind of laying on top of them and not fastened. You can also see it clearly because this is the only one that loosened. The others are still bunched and tied.

How can I determine if this is covered and more to the point, how do I get them to take care of it? The CSR I spoke to really was quite smug. "It's not covered, I'd be happy to send you the Protection Plan details by email, and there's no one else at DTV to talk to about your problem."

In a very-related additional question, does anyone have any ideas for a viable alternative to their protection plan?

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#2 OFFLINE   macfan601

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:37 AM

To my great shock and surprise, the first time I called for help under the protection plan, they told me my issue wasn't covered. Boy is my face red.

Today's smug CSR sounded very different from the one who assured me the protection plan means I would have nothing to worry about, as any problems, including wiring, including problems stemming from weather, would be covered.

Sarcasm aside, now I really don't know how to parse the coverage plan. We had a storm last night that dislodged one of the cables and it's now swaying against the house. It is too high up for any of us to be able to reach it with a ladder. It is a little bit below the height of the second floor.

I never had reason to look too closely at it before but now I can see exactly what happened. The installer just piggy-backed this cable together with some other cables that were fastened against the house, and hoped for the best. You can see exactly that all the other cables are gathered together and fastened securely, and this one was just kind of laying on top of them and not fastened. You can also see it clearly because this is the only one that loosened. The others are still bunched and tied.

How can I determine if this is covered and more to the point, how do I get them to take care of it? The CSR I spoke to really was quite smug. "It's not covered, I'd be happy to send you the Protection Plan details by email, and there's no one else at DTV to talk to about your problem."

In a very-related additional question, does anyone have any ideas for a viable alternative to their protection plan?


Sorry, but it is a well known fact among Directv subscribers that you have to play the Directv CSR roulette game. Call back and get a different CSR and I think you will get a different answer. If you don't get the answer you want drop an email to Ellen. She seems to be able to get things done. Best of luck.

#3 OFFLINE   falconress

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 02:36 PM

Sorry, but it is a well known fact among Directv subscribers that you have to play the Directv CSR roulette game. Call back and get a different CSR and I think you will get a different answer. If you don't get the answer you want drop an email to Ellen. She seems to be able to get things done. Best of luck.


Thanks so much. I guess nothing teaches like experience.

The annoyance spurred me to go out and take a closer look, with a zoom camera. Now I see they never fastened the cable to the wall at all. Zip zilch zero. They used some plastic zip ties to tie the cable to another cable that was already on the wall. Now I understand why we kept seeing broken zip ties in the driveway lately. They were disintegrating one by one, and last night a crucial one broke. I took pictures that should embarrass the installer if he had any integrity, and I'm sending it all to Ellen directly.

The biggest embarrassment for them should be that you can see all the cabling from the previous company (Dish) adjacent to theirs, and all of it is fastened the right way, with those industrial staples that go right in the wall. And you know it's done right because it never moved a millimeter in years, much less fell down. But anyone who would do such a shoddy job is beyond embarrassment.

Thanks, will report results.

#4 OFFLINE   inf0z

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 03:10 PM

Thanks so much. I guess nothing teaches like experience.

The annoyance spurred me to go out and take a closer look, with a zoom camera. Now I see they never fastened the cable to the wall at all. Zip zilch zero. They used some plastic zip ties to tie the cable to another cable that was already on the wall. Now I understand why we kept seeing broken zip ties in the driveway lately. They were disintegrating one by one, and last night a crucial one broke. I took pictures that should embarrass the installer if he had any integrity, and I'm sending it all to Ellen directly.

The biggest embarrassment for them should be that you can see all the cabling from the previous company (Dish) adjacent to theirs, and all of it is fastened the right way, with those industrial staples that go right in the wall. And you know it's done right because it never moved a millimeter in years, much less fell down. But anyone who would do such a shoddy job is beyond embarrassment.

Thanks, will report results.


This is actually a catch 22 for the tech who installed it. Do you want extra holes drilled in your house to mount cable or do you want it zip-tied to the existing cable? Lots of people including myself would rather have the zip-ties. It just requires new zip-ties every few years, and just about any one can zip-tie one cable to another. It's not rocket-surgery :P

Edited by inf0z, 19 September 2012 - 03:19 PM.


#5 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 05:14 PM

Zip ties to existing cabling is quite acceptable and probably preferred by most homeowners to avoid more screwholes in siding. Just have the zip ties redone and move on. You didnt mention that I saw how old this install is, but your tone has a little chip to it at least how I read it. This an easy fix, and probably doesnt warrant the reaction to go to the office of the president to get a resolution.

#6 OFFLINE   Combat Medic

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 08:16 AM

Zip ties to existing cabling is quite acceptable and probably preferred by most homeowners to avoid more screwholes in siding. Just have the zip ties redone and move on. You didnt mention that I saw how old this install is, but your tone has a little chip to it at least how I read it. This an easy fix, and probably doesnt warrant the reaction to go to the office of the president to get a resolution.


Or have UV stable zip ties.

#7 OFFLINE   Drex5000

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 12:36 PM

He is saying he is physically unable to reach it.

Protection plan covers all equipment, and from my understanding--cabling is equipment. If it were me, I would fix it myself, but I'd hate for this guy to go up there and break his neck because a storm undid some of the install.

Call back OR at the automated service say cancel service repeatedly and it will take you to an escalated operator. No need to mention canceling service to this person, but, instead, explain your problem. If this person does not help you'll have to borrow a bigger ladder or pay to have it fixed.

Drex

#8 OFFLINE   macfan601

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 02:00 PM

Zip ties to existing cabling is quite acceptable and probably preferred by most homeowners to avoid more screwholes in siding. Just have the zip ties redone and move on. You didnt mention that I saw how old this install is, but your tone has a little chip to it at least how I read it. This an easy fix, and probably doesnt warrant the reaction to go to the office of the president to get a resolution.


Excuse me? When it is my money or in this case his money and we didn't get what we paid for it certainly does warrant escalating it to the office of the president. I am retired now but worked hard for 31 years for my money and by golly I am going to get my money's worth. If you have money to throw away good on you but most of us need to get our money's worth. And although your chip on shoulder comment probably wasn't aimed at me I do get annoyed with people who have the just let it go attitude. He paid for service, in no way should let it go, and should scream to the highest level of Directv until he gets what he paid for. I am tired of all the greed in corporations these days. Everything is in catering to the shareholders. Simple Arithmetic, cater to the customers and the rest will take care of itself. Every business school should be teaching that.

#9 OFFLINE   inf0z

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 03:21 PM

Excuse me? When it is my money or in this case his money and we didn't get what we paid for it certainly does warrant escalating it to the office of the president. I am retired now but worked hard for 31 years for my money and by golly I am going to get my money's worth. If you have money to throw away good on you but most of us need to get our money's worth. And although your chip on shoulder comment probably wasn't aimed at me I do get annoyed with people who have the just let it go attitude. He paid for service, in no way should let it go, and should scream to the highest level of Directv until he gets what he paid for. I am tired of all the greed in corporations these days. Everything is in catering to the shareholders. Simple Arithmetic, cater to the customers and the rest will take care of itself. Every business school should be teaching that.


Scream to the highest level? This is a simple situation that probably doesn't require escalation to the office of the president. This is a problem and does need to be fixed, I agree. The customer is and should be king, once again I agree. However this issue can easily be resolved at the customer service level. Leave the office of the president open for people who have issues that the customer service level can't fix. Think of it as calling 911 for someone who is soliciting in a HOA neighborhood, this is not an emergency, there is no sense in clogging up the emergency line for people who have real emergencies when calling the non-emergency line should resolve the issue.

#10 OFFLINE   wallfishman

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 06:18 PM

Thanks so much. I guess nothing teaches like experience.

The annoyance spurred me to go out and take a closer look, with a zoom camera. Now I see they never fastened the cable to the wall at all. Zip zilch zero. They used some plastic zip ties to tie the cable to another cable that was already on the wall. Now I understand why we kept seeing broken zip ties in the driveway lately. They were disintegrating one by one, and last night a crucial one broke. I took pictures that should embarrass the installer if he had any integrity, and I'm sending it all to Ellen directly.

The biggest embarrassment for them should be that you can see all the cabling from the previous company (Dish) adjacent to theirs, and all of it is fastened the right way, with those industrial staples that go right in the wall. And you know it's done right because it never moved a millimeter in years, much less fell down. But anyone who would do such a shoddy job is beyond embarrassment.

Thanks, will report results.


just curious , how long ago was this install done?

#11 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 08:29 PM

just curious , how long ago was this install done?


Right. this is the point. if this install is very old (a couple of years?) then this is to be expected and the tech is in no way responsible for this....

#12 OFFLINE   macfan601

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 08:45 PM

Right. this is the point. if this install is very old (a couple of years?) then this is to be expected and the tech is in no way responsible for this....


I agree the so called tech my not be responsible for the problem but the PP sure the heck is. There is nothing in the fine print of the PP that says it has to be a recent or new install. Please don't get me wrong. I am as big of fan of Directv as anyone here. I have been with them about 12 years. My feeling is this, if they are going to hold me to the letter of the contract then I am going to do the same to them. The subscriber has Directv and the PP. Therefore Directv is responsible for and should fix the problem. There should be no questions about this nor debate.

#13 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 09:04 PM

the DPP does state that it does not cover "acts of GOD"

#14 OFFLINE   macfan601

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 11:23 PM

the DPP does state that it does not cover "acts of GOD"


If you are going to use that as an excuse then the whole PP is worthless as anything could be considered an act of God. it does specifically say it includes dish realignments. To my way of thinking the only way a dish could get out of alignment is an act of God. But carried to it fullest the only way a receiver could need replacing is an act of God. Sounds to me like the lawyers created the perfect out for Directv if you are going to look at it that way.

#15 OFFLINE   smitbret

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 07:23 AM

If you are going to use that as an excuse then the whole PP is worthless as anything could be considered an act of God. it does specifically say it includes dish realignments. To my way of thinking the only way a dish could get out of alignment is an act of God. But carried to it fullest the only way a receiver could need replacing is an act of God. Sounds to me like the lawyers created the perfect out for Directv if you are going to look at it that way.


The reason PP doesn't cover this is because it is a cosmetic issue. A dangling cable doesn't affect your service but it looks bad and the noise of it banging against the house may be bothersome. The PP explicitly states it covers service issues that are not customer caused. This is not a service issue.

Now, armed with that information, their may be a situation created where a tech is forced to visit for something covered by the protection plan and in the process will retuck the cable for you. You know, something simple like the sat cable pulls free of the connector at the grounding block and you end up getting Searching For Satellite Signal.

#16 OFFLINE   macfan601

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 09:40 AM

The reason PP doesn't cover this is because it is a cosmetic issue. A dangling cable doesn't affect your service but it looks bad and the noise of it banging against the house may be bothersome. The PP explicitly states it covers service issues that are not customer caused. This is not a service issue.

Now, armed with that information, their may be a situation created where a tech is forced to visit for something covered by the protection plan and in the process will retuck the cable for you. You know, something simple like the sat cable pulls free of the connector at the grounding block and you end up getting Searching For Satellite Signal.


Bangs head: Guess I am just not getting it. How is a cable blowing in the wind customer caused? Trust me, if this was my situation Directv would be fixing this or shipping me some boxes to send my receivers back. I have never, ever had a problem getting Directv to honor my PP. You just have to know how to talk to them. You are the customer. You are in charge, not them. My monthly bill payment talks loudly for me. It far cheaper to retain me as a customer than to recruit a new one.

#17 OFFLINE   smitbret

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 02:56 PM

Bangs head: Guess I am just not getting it. How is a cable blowing in the wind customer caused? Trust me, if this was my situation Directv would be fixing this or shipping me some boxes to send my receivers back. I have never, ever had a problem getting Directv to honor my PP. You just have to know how to talk to them. You are the customer. You are in charge, not them. My monthly bill payment talks loudly for me. It far cheaper to retain me as a customer than to recruit a new one.


It is cosmetic.

#18 OFFLINE   macfan601

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Posted 21 September 2012 - 06:27 PM

It is cosmetic.


You certainly are entitled to your opinion but I disagree and would never settle for Directv telling me that.

#19 OFFLINE   bwaldron

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Posted 22 September 2012 - 06:14 AM

You certainly are entitled to your opinion but I disagree and would never settle for Directv telling me that.


Nor would I.

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#20 OFFLINE   falconress

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Posted 23 September 2012 - 11:28 AM

Thank you all for the discussion and input!

Problem fixed, here's the wrap-up:


The president’s office called within 2 hours. They got the Protection Plan dept on the line, and determined that my problem was covered, just as I thought. They apologized for the hassle, and sent a technician out on Friday who fixed the problem.

The cable was installed just under eight months ago. It is fastened at a height of two stories above ground, thus ruling out any DIY repair effort. The technician found the last plastic tie on the ground. It had snapped and broke open. He showed me the cable. From the stress points where the plastic ties had been placed, you could see that the initial installer apparently used five or six plastic ties to hold a cable along an 87 ft. length of wall. That's not an act of God. That's a failure of the material due to substandard work and taking shortcuts.

I saw that there are quite a few cables fastened to the wall of the house. All were installed at least ten years ago. Most are secured directly to the wall with cable staples. Some have plastic ties fastened to the more stationary cables. Every single one is intact.

I asked the technician if he could fasten the cable lower down so I could replace the ties myself in future if need be. He didn’t want to do that but put ties at short intervals so there is much less strain on each individual tie. He seemed confident that this would last, and I hope and trust he’s right.

Yes, I was very irritated when I initially got off the phone. When I called, I got a CSR who kept repeating “we’re not going to help you with that,” wording that got on my nerves after about the fourth time she said it. When I asked if she could transfer the call to the Protection Plan department, she refused: ‘what for, they don’t have more information than I do. I can send you an email with the plan details.' The call left me frustrated, because I was convinced – correctly, as it turns out – that this was their responsibility. A securely fastened cable shouldn't fall, and it most certainly shouldn't fall within eight months. Not only that, but the Protection Plan covers "wear and tear," including for the wiring. Anyway, I don't need to parse it, since the president's office and the Protection Plan rep they brought in on the call accepted DTV's responsibility without hesitation.

Since the CSR not only refused to help but also shot down every suggestion I made to try to get a second opinion, I went searching for another solution. I found the link to Ellen Filipiak right here, in the DTV Tips 'N Tricks section. The link goes to an email form on DTV's site. It's not exactly a state secret and I am impressed and appreciative that they do indeed pay attention and fix things.

Overall I’m happy they solved the problem and gratified that they responded almost immediately after I sent the email. The cable looks securely attached and I hope it stays that way. I wish they would be able to make it possible for this type of cable to be installed within a homeowner’s reach, because fastening replacement plastic ties is a very simple repair if you can reach it, but impossible if it’s hanging two flights above ground.




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