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Guest Message by DevFuse

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DVR died. I don't want to pay $20 for shipping. What to do?


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#1 OFFLINE   Richard Casto

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:35 PM

I have been a DirecTV customer non-stop since 1995. My contract expires 6/2013. I currently have two DVRs and one regular receiver and whole home service. I don't pay for any type of optional protection plan (and never will).

My HR22 stopped working this morning. Based upon the error message and the consistent reboot cycle, it likely has had a drive failure. I can't remember how old it is, but I think it is probably at least two years old if not older? My goal was to get a replacement at zero cost which I think is more than fair for an item I don't own.

I talked to a CSR this evening who offered to ship me a replacement, but insisted on a $20 shipping fee as I don't have the protection plan. I suggested to the CSR to credit my account to cover the shipping, but that didn't work. I asked to be transferred to retention.

With the second CSR (that claimed to be retention), I verified my contract date and also asked to verify how long I have been with DTV. I again stated that I did nothing wrong, that the DVR stopped working and that I would like a zero cost option for a replacement. The story was the same in that there was no way to help me. I asked for the total amount to get out of my contract and to cancel and said while I would have to pay more out of pocket to cancel than the $20 shipping, I would do it and that I found it odd that DTV would let a long time customer walk away over a $20 fee. The CSR offered no options and was happy to go ahead and cancel my account and said there was nobody else I could talk to.

I told the CSR that I would not cancel right that second as I wanted TV during the holidays (the truth), but once I had something else in place that I would call back to cancel. That is how things ended. I was completely dumbfounded. It was the worst I had ever been treated by DTV.

I have been a loyal and low maintenance customer for over 17 years. When I called, I felt there would have been no question that they would have shipped me a new receiver at no cost. I was not pushing for free upgrades, etc. I have friends who have been trying to convince me to walk away from Sat/Cable and do a "roll your own" entertainment solution. I am tech savvy enough to do it, but until tonight have been very happy with DTV and have not considered walking.

I know it is just $20 on my end and I am looking at having to pay much more to cancel early, but at this moment, I am willing to pull the trigger on walking. If there is no way to get past the $20 fee, I will likely pay the $20 to get the replacement for the short term and still cancel once I get something else in place.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to get a replacement at zero cost?

Thanks,

Richard

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#2 OFFLINE   PCampbell

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:55 PM

Since 1995, I have been with them since 1996. The 20.00 is a bit high but back then we drove to the store and bought as much as 800.00 then took it home and installed it.

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#3 OFFLINE   west99999

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 07:56 PM

You could try and see if they will do an upgrade at no cost. Depending on your account history you may qualify for free upgrade but doing this would add 2 years to contract. Other than that pay the $20 bucks!

#4 OFFLINE   jimmie57

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:07 PM

That possibly doesn't cover the actual cost of the freight.
If I remember correctly they use FedX 2 day delivery.
I just sent my mother a prepaid grocery store card. It was $7.50 for 3 day delivery.

Pay the $20.
After you cool off, call them and ask them if they have any specials that will help out with your bill. I will bet that they give you far more than the $20 that you pay for freight.

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#5 OFFLINE   lesz

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:10 PM

Over the years, I've had 4 or 5 dead receivers or DVRs. I do not have the protection plan, and, whenever those dead receivers or DVRs have been replaced, I've requested that the shipping charge be waived, and the shipping charge has always has been waived.

I'm not sure what I did differently than you have, but there are a couple of things that have given me better results in having requests granted. I've noticed that I am more likely to get a request granted if I make my call during normal business hours on a weekday than if I make it during the evening or on a weekend. While I have no idea how DIRECTV CSR staffing works, I've gotten the feeling that, during evenings or weekends, I'm more likely to get someone with less latitude to grant requests. I've also had better luck if, when I call, I request talking with tech support than if I just request talking to a general CSR.

#6 OFFLINE   Richard Casto

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:13 PM

Since 1995, I have been with them since 1996. The 20.00 is a bit high but back then we drove to the store and bought as much as 800.00 then took it home and installed it.

I think I subscribed in December 1995, so I squeaked into 1995. I think $800 is about right for how much I paid for my first receiver (the Sony AD-1 model?) That was serious money then and now.

I will give it a day or so to see if anyone has any other ideas other than suck it up and pay. It is likely that is exactly what I will do. I just feel a bit sad that this is likely the turning point for me with DTV. :(

Richard

Edited by Richard Casto, 18 December 2012 - 08:24 PM.


#7 OFFLINE   PCampbell

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 08:30 PM

I think I would pay the 20 and not start a new 2 year contract.

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#8 OFFLINE   The Merg

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:19 PM

That possibly doesn't cover the actual cost of the freight.
If I remember correctly they use FedX 2 day delivery.
I just sent my mother a prepaid grocery store card. It was $7.50 for 3 day delivery.

Pay the $20.
After you cool off, call them and ask them if they have any specials that will help out with your bill. I will bet that they give you far more than the $20 that you pay for freight.


While they always refer to the $20 as being for the shipping of the receiver, it is actually the cost they charge for shipping out a new Access Card.

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#9 OFFLINE   The Merg

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 09:24 PM

I have been a DirecTV customer non-stop since 1995. My contract expires 6/2013. I currently have two DVRs and one regular receiver and whole home service. I don't pay for any type of optional protection plan (and never will).

My HR22 stopped working this morning. Based upon the error message and the consistent reboot cycle, it likely has had a drive failure. I can't remember how old it is, but I think it is probably at least two years old if not older? My goal was to get a replacement at zero cost which I think is more than fair for an item I don't own.

I talked to a CSR this evening who offered to ship me a replacement, but insisted on a $20 shipping fee as I don't have the protection plan. I suggested to the CSR to credit my account to cover the shipping, but that didn't work. I asked to be transferred to retention.

With the second CSR (that claimed to be retention), I verified my contract date and also asked to verify how long I have been with DTV. I again stated that I did nothing wrong, that the DVR stopped working and that I would like a zero cost option for a replacement. The story was the same in that there was no way to help me. I asked for the total amount to get out of my contract and to cancel and said while I would have to pay more out of pocket to cancel than the $20 shipping, I would do it and that I found it odd that DTV would let a long time customer walk away over a $20 fee. The CSR offered no options and was happy to go ahead and cancel my account and said there was nobody else I could talk to.

I told the CSR that I would not cancel right that second as I wanted TV during the holidays (the truth), but once I had something else in place that I would call back to cancel. That is how things ended. I was completely dumbfounded. It was the worst I had ever been treated by DTV.

I have been a loyal and low maintenance customer for over 17 years. When I called, I felt there would have been no question that they would have shipped me a new receiver at no cost. I was not pushing for free upgrades, etc. I have friends who have been trying to convince me to walk away from Sat/Cable and do a "roll your own" entertainment solution. I am tech savvy enough to do it, but until tonight have been very happy with DTV and have not considered walking.

I know it is just $20 on my end and I am looking at having to pay much more to cancel early, but at this moment, I am willing to pull the trigger on walking. If there is no way to get past the $20 fee, I will likely pay the $20 to get the replacement for the short term and still cancel once I get something else in place.

Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to get a replacement at zero cost?

Thanks,

Richard


You state that you don't pay for the PP and never will. The one downside to not paying for the PP is that when a receiver fails they will give you a free replacement, but you are required to pay $20 for shipping and handling.

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SlimLine-3 Dish w/ SWM16 (HD Service / WHDVR) / Full Setup
HR34-700 / Panasonic TC-P50G25 HDTV / HDMI / Networked - DECA / Family Room
HR44-700 / Samsung HCM5525W HDTV / Component / Networked - DECA / Bedroom

HR24-100 / Samsung HCM5525W HDTV / Component / Networked - DECA / Bedroom


#10 ONLINE   yosoyellobo

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:03 PM

When you get into a fight that worth fighting give it all you got. Sometime you just have to brush it off.

#11 OFFLINE   txfeinbergs

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:21 PM

Sorry, I find this ridiculous. You made the choice to not pay for the protection plan, so pay up. Why should those of us that do pay for the protection plan continue doing so if they just give away the limited benefits to non-subscribers if they just ask.

#12 OFFLINE   Justin23

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 10:30 PM

Man up and pay the $20...

#13 OFFLINE   wcalifas254

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:03 PM

For $20 I wouldn't cancel, especially considering it will be for a replacement receiver and not something else.

#14 OFFLINE   goinsleeper

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:34 PM

I understand how messed up it is that a company would lose a long term customer over $20 but also the employees are expected to uphold policy. I would suggest calling back and trying one more time then biting the bullet.

#15 OFFLINE   ebox4greg

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Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:54 PM

Ditto.....Just pay the $20.

Sorry, I find this ridiculous. You made the choice to not pay for the protection plan, so pay up. Why should those of us that do pay for the protection plan continue doing so if they just give away the limited benefits to non-subscribers if they just ask.



#16 OFFLINE   Justin23

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:15 AM

I understand how messed up it is that a company would lose a long term customer over $20 but also the employees are expected to uphold policy. I would suggest calling back and trying one more time then biting the bullet.


I think it's messed up that a long time subscriber (who is obviously happy with the service) would leave over $20...

#17 OFFLINE   acer

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:55 AM

You made the choice of not having the protection plan, with the pplan the shipping would of been for free. Just pay the 20.00. You are in a contract anyways. As if you are going to pay a early cancellation fee higher than 20.00 over this.
It isn't fair to the people who do pay for the pplan if people are going to call up whining about getting the benefits for it for nothing.

#18 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:32 AM

Looks like Richard doesnt share the same opinions that almost everyone that has replied shares...Good Luck with that Richard. I find $20 more than fair, and I've been with them since 1997 since you seem to feel that entitles you to something different than what everyone else pays.

#19 OFFLINE   Richard Casto

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 07:50 AM

To those who are giving me a hard time about not paying the protection plan and then complaining about the return shipping...

I get what you are saying. But...

I understand that the protection plan covers more than the receivers such as wiring and the dish. So I can see "some" value in having it especially if you are not particularly handy with doing your own wiring, etc. I have always done my own wiring and will continue to do so. I see no benefit for the protection plan for me personally. If I had payed the $5 per month (or whatever it is), for years it would have been a complete looser financially for me even if it paid for the occasional free shipping of a defective receiver. If you feel that plan works for you, then great.

What I don't think people understand is that my point is that I don't think I, or anyone else, should have to pay to have a defective and leased item replaced no matter how small the charge. Regarding "fair to others", please read up on the multitude of threads about people who get 10x the money deals by twisting CSR/retention arms. Yes, I know this is typically bundled into a renewal, but nothing is "free" and that the ultimate cost would be rolled up into everyone's bill at the end of the day.

After sleeping on this last night, I think I understand what has gone wrong...

I have been drinking the Kool-Aid for a long time.

I have been with DTV forever. I have an account number in the 2 million range. I took my valuable time to participate in their Pulse survey's. I recommend the service to my friends for nearly two decades. I consistently renewed year after year without looking at the competition. I adopted new services for extra fees. They hammered me with the "best customer service" commercials on TV and set high expectations. Lastly, I work professionally in the software industry and we make our money via the "Software as a Service" model. Customer retention is key for us as we sell on the subscription model just like DTV. Yes, we chase new customers like anyone else, but we also really do try to keep the current customers happy. So how I act in the same situation created high expectations for DTV.

Some will say (and have said) "Seriously? All of this over $20?". I think the absurdity of them not being able to do something on such a small amount is the point. If I had tried to get a free upgrade to Genie and failed, I wouldn't be crying over that. Both CSRs I talked to didn't even try to make it work. At least offer to credit me $20 and renew me for a year! Heck, as bad of a deal as that would have been, I might have even taken it (yesterday).

So overall... Shame on me for getting sucked in and creating loyalty when DTV doesn't reward that loyalty. I am not happy with DTV, but I am more unhappy with where my own unrealistic expectations and blind loyalty have taken me.

What am I going to do? I am going to call DTV sometime during normal business hours today and play CSR roulette. I am going to be polite (as always), say I am a long time customer, have always renewed due to my prior experiences and ask for the $20 to be waved, credit it to my account, or however they want to make that happen, I don't care. While I might have yesterday, I am NOT going to bind this with a fresh renewal. If it doesn't work I am going to pay the $20.

What am I going to do when my contract is up? I don't know. I hate cable and have no illusion that Dish is better. I still like the DTV product, but the "value" to me has been reduced. So I now have to question if it is worth what I pay. I now have a wandering eye. I will either be doing my own solution, or returning to DTV. I am going to reach out to my local friends who have walked away from costly cable/sat bills and been trying to get me to do the same.

Sorry for the rant. I know everyone just "loves" another "I am mad and I am going to cancel" post. :D If you have read this far congratulations! Thanks for the constructive and semi-flame comments! I will post to let people know what how things go today.

Richard

#20 OFFLINE   RunnerFL

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 08:00 AM

You're not "paying to have it replaced", you're paying the shipping costs on the replacement. That's more than fair if you're not willing to pay for the protection plan. Man up and pay the $20. You could have had the replacement by now...
THIS SPACE FOR RENT

#21 OFFLINE   dishrich

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 08:07 AM

So overall... Shame on me for getting sucked in and creating loyalty when DTV doesn't reward that loyalty. I am not happy with DTV, but I am more unhappy with where my own unrealistic expectations and blind loyalty have taken me.

Sorry for the rant. I know everyone just "loves" another "I am mad and I am going to cancel" post. :D If you have read this far congratulations! Thanks for the constructive and semi-flame comments!


Well contrary to all the D* cheerleaders that just piled on to you, I do NOT think you're being unreasonable. Matter of fact, I just had a client yesterday that had a receiver go bad. I told her how to call it in, & to ask to have the $20 fee waived - she had NO problem whatsoever getting it waived.

Frankly I think it's ridiculous anyway to pay for the PP, just to avoid the S&H charge for a replacement receiver. Even if you were to have 2 receivers replaced EVERY year, you would still be WAY ahead of paying for 1 year's worth of the PP.

What's even MORE ridiculous, is that when I recently canceled because they would NOT lift a finger to replace my 2 TOTAL POS HR20 receivers, it was only a couple days after I canceled - & then they rolled out the red carpet with winback offers. (ie: new customer pricing, ALL new equipment, $200 toward the ETF on my "new provider", etc.)
So, instead of just replacing the 2 receivers & keeping me as a (long term) customer on regular package pricing - they totally lost me, then were going to spend MORE $$$ to get me back - incredible! :rolleyes:

Edited by dishrich, 19 December 2012 - 08:19 AM.


#22 OFFLINE   lesz

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 08:35 AM

To those who are giving me a hard time about not paying the protection plan and then complaining about the return shipping...

I get what you are saying. But...

I understand that the protection plan covers more than the receivers such as wiring and the dish. So I can see "some" value in having it especially if you are not particularly handy with doing your own wiring, etc. I have always done my own wiring and will continue to do so. I see no benefit for the protection plan for me personally. If I had payed the $5 per month (or whatever it is), for years it would have been a complete looser financially for me even if it paid for the occasional free shipping of a defective receiver. If you feel that plan works for you, then great.

What I don't think people understand is that my point is that I don't think I, or anyone else, should have to pay to have a defective and leased item replaced no matter how small the charge. Regarding "fair to others", please read up on the multitude of threads about people who get 10x the money deals by twisting CSR/retention arms. Yes, I know this is typically bundled into a renewal, but nothing is "free" and that the ultimate cost would be rolled up into everyone's bill at the end of the day.

After sleeping on this last night, I think I understand what has gone wrong...

I have been drinking the Kool-Aid for a long time.

I have been with DTV forever. I have an account number in the 2 million range. I took my valuable time to participate in their Pulse survey's. I recommend the service to my friends for nearly two decades. I consistently renewed year after year without looking at the competition. I adopted new services for extra fees. They hammered me with the "best customer service" commercials on TV and set high expectations. Lastly, I work professionally in the software industry and we make our money via the "Software as a Service" model. Customer retention is key for us as we sell on the subscription model just like DTV. Yes, we chase new customers like anyone else, but we also really do try to keep the current customers happy. So how I act in the same situation created high expectations for DTV.

Some will say (and have said) "Seriously? All of this over $20?". I think the absurdity of them not being able to do something on such a small amount is the point. If I had tried to get a free upgrade to Genie and failed, I wouldn't be crying over that. Both CSRs I talked to didn't even try to make it work. At least offer to credit me $20 and renew me for a year! Heck, as bad of a deal as that would have been, I might have even taken it (yesterday).

So overall... Shame on me for getting sucked in and creating loyalty when DTV doesn't reward that loyalty. I am not happy with DTV, but I am more unhappy with where my own unrealistic expectations and blind loyalty have taken me.

What am I going to do? I am going to call DTV sometime during normal business hours today and play CSR roulette. I am going to be polite (as always), say I am a long time customer, have always renewed due to my prior experiences and ask for the $20 to be waved, credit it to my account, or however they want to make that happen, I don't care. While I might have yesterday, I am NOT going to bind this with a fresh renewal. If it doesn't work I am going to pay the $20.

What am I going to do when my contract is up? I don't know. I hate cable and have no illusion that Dish is better. I still like the DTV product, but the "value" to me has been reduced. So I now have to question if it is worth what I pay. I now have a wandering eye. I will either be doing my own solution, or returning to DTV. I am going to reach out to my local friends who have walked away from costly cable/sat bills and been trying to get me to do the same.

Sorry for the rant. I know everyone just "loves" another "I am mad and I am going to cancel" post. :D If you have read this far congratulations! Thanks for the constructive and semi-flame comments! I will post to let people know what how things go today.

Richard


It is clear that this opinion is in the minority in this thread, but I cannot disagree with anything that you have said.

I'm sure that many who have disagreed with you in this thread are the same people who are getting $20-30 per month discounts on their programming or who are getting highly reduced sports packages or who have worked the system to get free Genie upgrades, and I don't see them complaining that their discounts are the reason why everyone else's bills have gone up. Just as I cannot fault DIRECTV for trying to maximize its profits, I cannot fault a customer for trying reduce his/her costs, and I cannot fault a customer for shopping the market and deciding that going with the competition is in his/her best interests. I also find it difficult to fault the logic that says that, if DIRECTV is leasing you a DVR and is charging you a monthly fee for that lease, they should eat any cost, including shipping, involved with replacing that receiver when it fails. Further, I find it difficult to accept the notion that the customer should have to pay a monthly protection plan fee to be relieved of any cost, including shipping, related to replacing equipment that the customer does not own.

As I stated in a previous post, I think that there is a good chance that, if you call during during normal business hours, you will find a CSR who will waive the fee. The only thing you have going against you is that you still have time left on your contract. If I were in your situation and if the fee wasn't waived, my inclination would be to pay the $20, but, when my contractual commitment was over, I'd be looking for the best deal I could get with the competition.

#23 OFFLINE   Richard Casto

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:56 AM

It is clear that this opinion is in the minority in this thread, but I cannot disagree with anything that you have said.

Thanks. Most everything that is posted on these forums is personal opinion. I am of the opinion that being in the minority doesn't make you wrong! ;)

I just finished up talking to DTV. Short version. I was polite, said I was a long time customer, asked for them to wave the $20, credit my account or at least try to help me out in some way shape or form. They offered a $10 credit. Replacement DVR is being shipped. I like that they made an effort to work with me.

I am still going to look at my options between now and when my contract expires.

Richard

#24 OFFLINE   ebox4greg

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 11:01 AM

DISH NETWORK does the same thing. In fact, when we cancelled our account, they wanted $17 shipping for a box where we could send their equipment back.
If its an equipment change, there's a shipping charge too, and they also slap you with a $95 service call (although its something the end user customer could have swapped out theirselves).

#25 OFFLINE   trdrjeff

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 11:11 AM

I'm with you OP, you are paying a monthly fee for a leased receiver, that leased receiver died, I don't know how you can be expected to pay to lease something that does not work...
HR20-100
Sharp 52" LCD 1080p
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32" Samsung LED New School




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