If this individual had truly done his research, he would have been able to respond to those posting on his thread with a copy of the e-mail DirecTV sends out to customers awaiting a new install, and a line by line break down of the bill he felt was incorrect. Other posts pointed out he could have come to the forum first for friendly advice on how to correct his issue, or even a better explanation of his bill than what the CSRs were providing to him. We also have no idea exactly what was said in these conversations, and how his demeanor was toward the CSRs who were trying to assist him. He could have been just as abrasive on the phone as he was in his post, creating an adversarial relationship rather than a team effort in his quest to correct his bill.
Which brings me to the point of the thread, when a consumer goes to purchase a product they are ultimately responsible for the outcome of that business transaction. The company selling the product is doing just that, and they are not going to volunteer information that will give buyers pause. They also use clever and broad phrasing when advertising that leaves room for a consumer to use their own imagination to fill in the details. The customers are the ones who need to have a clear understanding of what they are purchasing before they sign anything. The customers are the ones who need to ask the proper questions. If they do not know what to ask, find someone who does. Customers come on these forums all the time looking for advice before buying. If one is not too lazy to do the "footwork" they will find themselves rarely facing a situation like this.
Many times when disputes such as this arise it is from unreasonable expectations placed on the provider, and even if the expectation is logical, it does not mean that the expectation is the reality. Here are some following examples of how these incorrect expectations manifest in regards to DirecTV services and billing.
When Whole-Home DVR was being heavily advertised at it's release, there was a line of commercials that showed television shows coming out of the TV and following customers room to room as they paused and resumed the program. The reality was that you would have to exit the recording on the server, and then choose the recording on the client receiver from the list of recordings to resume playback. Customers were calling in to cancel service because these two extra steps were too much for them, and when they were still bound by the ETF began to raise claims of "false advertisement", in order to avoid paying the fee.
When customer's had to manually submit their rebates online at directv.com/rebates, and did not do so in the allotted time frame, they made excuses such as not having internet at home (free at the library), not having an e-mail (also free), and not being good with electronics (find someone who is to help you). Then instead of accepting that it was ultimately their failure which resulted in the higher than expected bill, they also claimed foul play on behalf of DirecTV. This is a quoted taken from the "DirecTV is EVIL" thread. "I still did not really care about the rebates but if I get them, hooray for me. I just want my monthly rate of $77.89." He states that he does not care about the rebates, showing that he does not understand that these are the very discounts that would bring his bill down to the expected amount. A failure on his part to comprehend his own billing situation.
More recently the Genie (HR34/44) advertisements have resulted in incorrect expectations as well. Taken from DirecTV.com "Genie, only from DIRECTV, serves your entire home. So now you can enjoy a full HD DVR experience on every TV in your home, without seeing a box in every room." Customers actually expect this receiver to beam programming wireless to all the televisions in their home. The reality is that they will still need either an HD receiver, C31/41 client, or an RVU enabled TV with a broadband DECA attached to accomplish this. While this may be coming down the line, it is not yet a reality from a standard install.
When it comes to a technical issue requiring a service call to correct. Some customers will go into a rage when informed they actually have to pay someone to provide a service. They can't believe that some will not come fix equipment, that is out of warranty, that they own, for free. $49.95 flat without any additional parts and labor costs and a free 90 day warranty on the work included, is positioned as highway robbery. "I pay my bill every month, why should I have to pay to have my equipment repaired?" is a common question from those who think this way. They do not stop to compare it to other situations in life. I put gas in my car every month as well. However I know better than to drive my car that is owned outright to the closest dealer's service department and demand they fix it for free.
DirecTV on Demand, Pandora, DirecTV everywhere, You Tube via DirecTV, Caller ID, and TV Apps are all free services, that only require an internet connection, or in the case of caller ID, a phone connection. Yet customers will cancel their services with DirecTV because they have to "go through the trouble" of connecting their DVRs and receivers. This group will also try to use times in which these services are temporarily unavailable to get out of an ETF. "I am not getting the services that I am paying for!" is a common statement. They are free services.....
Now there are those in this forum that get upset when they feel that a post is pro DirecTV. I would like to point out that there are individual CSRs that also fail to take responsibility. For example the agent that tells a customer they are getting a replacement receiver but instead sets them up for an upgrade with a receiver of the same type, causing a contract extension the customer would be unaware of. The same goes for a sales agent that failed to read all the disclosures and a customer then goes unaware of an important detail in the transaction. To refer back to the "DirecTV is EVIL" thread, had the movers agent double checked with the customer and made sure he was aware that his deal was not the new customer offer but a Winback/Movers offer instead, and had the very first billing agent and supervisor stood firm that the customer would not get these rebates due to the very same thing, and even tried to point out that he likely had premium services that were not part of his base package on his account, causing the price increase after three months, then his misunderstandings would have stopped there. But these individuals who do not make up the entire company also failed to take responsibility for the the situation.
The failure to take responsibility on both sides of the equation are what lead to these instances. In the end you can not control a companies actions and decisions, you can only control your own. You would be wise to focus on that. Your choices have consequences. And when you have the freedom of choice, if you don't like the consequences, make a different choice and move on. Take responsibility for the choices you make, and you will find that unfavorable situations will be few and far between. I hope that this thread will help future consumers see the need of making a fully informed decision in thier buying future, and look forward to the discussion that ensues from this thread.
I am not a direct representative of DirecTV, the views in this thread are my own personal opinion and do not reflect on DirecTV in any way.
Edited by Darth Malgus, 30 January 2013 - 03:51 PM.