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.
Smiles, glad things worked out for you even though some on here said not to use Ellen's office. What those people don't understand is that each subscriber is important no matter the size of your account. All the advertising/PR in the world is of no use if your own subscribers are bad mouthing you to the public. Ellen's office does not know what is going on unless you inform them and give them a chance to make things right.