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Rant: Let me downgrade my programming online


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38 replies to this topic

#21 OFFLINE   paulman182

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:59 AM

I am personally very happy that I had to call when I wanted to drop from Premier to Choice Ultimate, because the CSR found discounts for me that effectively gives me Premier, with all the movie channels, for about $10 more per month than Choice Ultimate would cost.

And she said to call back in six months and I'd probably get the discount again.

Equipment includes a buncha stuff that I no longer have interest in detailing


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#22 OFFLINE   jdspencer

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 11:44 AM

...
And she said to call back in six months and I'd probably get the discount again.

So, if you can get the discount again by calling in, why not just make it permanent? Because they are hoping that the customer forgets about the discount and then their cost goes up and it might take a couple of months before they realize it. I guess the CSRs aren't busy enough!!! :lol:
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#23 OFFLINE   billsharpe

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 01:35 PM

Uh okay. Is much better on the phone IMO that way you might or might not extended discounts (premium channels at least)


I have to agree with that. I called Verizon FiOS to cancel my HBO/Cinemax half-price offer, which was expiring. I was then going to add HBO back for $17/month. CSR offered me all seven premium packages (HBO, Cinemax, Showtime, Starz, Encore, The Movie Channel, and Epix) for $20/month for a year. :)
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#24 OFFLINE   Laxguy

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 02:27 PM

While I understand what you're saying, if I was running D*, I would do it the same way. It adds cash to the bottom line.

I don't, however, understand why I have to verify my name, phone number, etc. at the beginning of the call and then every CSR after that asks me the same information (like you say). I agree with you there.


Quite right.

But name me a couple of major companies in roughly the same field that do it differently.... (ISPs, Telcos, providers)
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#25 OFFLINE   Bill Broderick

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 03:44 PM

I don't, however, understand why I have to verify my name, phone number, etc. at the beginning of the call and then every CSR after that asks me the same information (like you say). I agree with you there.


Like most weird policies (especially involving Customer Service), it's likely that there was once a problem where some company's system was incorrectly transferring calls where the call and account information went to different reps.

So Joe gets transferred to CSR1 but his account info gets transferred to CSR2 and Charlie gets transferred to CSR2, but his account info gets transferred to CSR1. Now everybody is angry that CSR's don't know what they are talking about.

So, a policy gets made that, the first thing that a CSR does is to ask about account information, in order to ensure that they are talking to the person who they think they are talking to.

This policy subsequently becomes a "best practice" when setting up a call center.

#26 OFFLINE   acostapimps

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 04:30 PM

I don't, however, understand why I have to verify my name, phone number, etc. at the beginning of the call and then every CSR after that asks me the same information (like you say). I agree with you there.


I'm pretty sure is for account security and verification, nowadays anybody can call with your information, which by the way Directv should implement a 4 digit PIN number,

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#27 OFFLINE   markrogo

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:15 PM

email:ellen.filpiak@directv.com


Thanks. I will draft an e-mail and send it along.

When I was with DISH, they let you downgrade on line. Depending on what was being downgraded, and how long someone had a service, they would charge $5. They even let you do an on line chat with Customer Service, which took care of the language/accent barriers.

If DirectTV does not want to offer web based downgrade of services, they could at least offer IM.

Personally, I would rather pay $5, they to have to call to some call center
overseas to get a script and a hard sales tactic with it.


I would have paid $5 to not talk to anyone. It should of course be free, but that's how much I don't want to get on the phone for this BS every single time.

You can downgrade most services online. In terms of call centers overseas, last I checked about 90% of the call centers were in the United States. None, by the way, are in India.


Let's just say the first person was not a native English speaker. And I don't mean "they had an accent". I mean they were not a native English speaker.

And also, you can remove 0% of premium channels/sports packages online. You can apparently change your programming package, but that's it. You can, of course, add them online, but not remove them.

For all of you who like getting enticed to keep them, I've been there too. I'm fine with having the option to call in and get encouraged to keep a service with a discount or a bundle or whatever.

But when I just want to be done with something, I'm not soliciting a deal, I want my time and irritation to be minimized. DirecTv finds a way to maximize the amount of time it takes and the amount of irritation it generates.

This is bad, given I'm allegedly what they call "one of their best customers".

#28 ONLINE   David Ortiz

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:20 PM

Thanks. I will draft an e-mail and send it along.



I would have paid $5 to not talk to anyone. It should of course be free, but that's how much I don't want to get on the phone for this BS every single time.



Let's just say the first person was not a native English speaker. And I don't mean "they had an accent". I mean they were not a native English speaker.

And also, you can remove 0% of premium channels/sports packages online. You can apparently change your programming package, but that's it. You can, of course, add them online, but not remove them.

For all of you who like getting enticed to keep them, I've been there too. I'm fine with having the option to call in and get encouraged to keep a service with a discount or a bundle or whatever.

But when I just want to be done with something, I'm not soliciting a deal, I want my time and irritation to be minimized. DirecTv finds a way to maximize the amount of time it takes and the amount of irritation it generates.

This is bad, given I'm allegedly what they call "one of their best customers".


BTW, the last name is Filipiak. You should adjust the email address accordingly.

#29 OFFLINE   HGuardian

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:33 PM

I would have paid $5 to not talk to anyone. It should of course be free, but that's how much I don't want to get on the phone for this BS every single time.


This is probably the thing that bothers me more with DIRECTV than anything else. I avoid adding on premium channels for the sole reason I can't remove them online. They are intentionally creating poor customer service and adding busywork unnecessary jobs we as customers have to pay for. Hey DIRECTV, I get the price of content goes up but your sob story goes out the window when you do crap like this.

#30 OFFLINE   raj2001

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 08:41 PM

I used to be a DirecTV subscriber 2002-2006. I think I remember that you used to be able to downgrade very easily online without a fee. But now they want to get you on the phone to make a sales pitch. That's all it is.

#31 OFFLINE   spartanstew

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 09:17 PM

Like most weird policies (especially involving Customer Service), it's likely that there was once a problem where some company's system was incorrectly transferring calls where the call and account information went to different reps.

So Joe gets transferred to CSR1 but his account info gets transferred to CSR2 and Charlie gets transferred to CSR2, but his account info gets transferred to CSR1. Now everybody is angry that CSR's don't know what they are talking about.

So, a policy gets made that, the first thing that a CSR does is to ask about account information, in order to ensure that they are talking to the person who they think they are talking to.

This policy subsequently becomes a "best practice" when setting up a call center.


Then why ask for it at all at the beginning? You have to verify info via the auto CSR as a first step, then they transfer you get transferred to a CSR who asks you the same thing. If the first rep is going to ask you to verify, then at least skip the first step.

I'm pretty sure is for account security and verification, nowadays anybody can call with your information, which by the way Directv should implement a 4 digit PIN number,


I don't think you understand, unless you're saying that mid-way through my call someone knocks me out and grabs the phone to try and get free HBO?

I'm sure Directv can't wait to get their hands on your unit.

 
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#32 OFFLINE   Bill Broderick

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:35 PM

Then why ask for it at all at the beginning? You have to verify info via the auto CSR as a first step, then they transfer you get transferred to a CSR who asks you the same thing. If the first rep is going to ask you to verify, then at least skip the first step.


I assume that, when you provide your information at the beginning, their system brings up your account info. When they ask the second time, they are verifying that the information on their screen is accurate. If the automated system didn't ask in the beginning, the Customer Service rep would need to enter your data manually which is more prone to error and takes longer.

From a systems design standpoint, that's certainly what I would do (the automated system part, not the subsequent verification part).

#33 OFFLINE   goinsleeper

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Posted 31 January 2013 - 10:52 PM

"Hi this is guy in programming, what's your name and phone number?"

Are you freaking kidding me?


Is it that difficult to just say your name and phone number again? Takes a couple seconds just to make sure their systems pulled the correct information. Perhaps going into a phone call expecting the give that information more than once will help. I've had providers who required you to give your name, address, phone number, and last 4 of your social before they would proceed. I thought that was overkill but policies are policies.

#34 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:01 PM

They are intentionally creating poor customer service and adding busywork unnecessary jobs we as customers have to pay for.

Also, please don't speak of hardworking people as if they are unworthy freeloaders who barely deserve the crumbs you allow them.


I suspect there are few CSRs who enjoy their job. It's a no-win position. No doubt the pay stinks. The systems/processes are weak at best. Many interactions with customers are unpleasant. I suspect the CSR is rarely responsible for problems; they can only work within the environment they are given. It's actually quite sad that so many people have to do this kind of work to survive.

Part of the problem is that a CSR is also a sales person. From a company perspective they want a body to talk to a customer for the purpose of enhancing revenue - up-sell, retention, whatever. If they allow everything to be done online they lose that leverage (no matter how minimal it is).

Before everyone piles on my comment... Yes, I did do that kind of work once, eons ago, at the beginning of my career. It was systems software support; not a call-center; I was analyst that problems were routed to. Far more technical requirement than a CSR. In many ways not similar. But at the root of it were still unhappy customers not getting what they expected/wanted. It's a thankless job. I was never responsible for the crap sold to customers. I didn't do that long before switching to software development. (Those scars drove me to develop [and encourage others to develop] better, more robust, software.) After 25 years of developing software I know (not a theory) that many things can be done to prevent/reduce customer problems (both product and service). There is frankly no excuse in this age for crap products, services, support, processes, etc coming from large companies. And let me say, no matter how much a people person one might think they are, it doesn't take long to get worn down to the point of hating people. Seriously. Who is to blame? Not the CSR. Not the customer (usually). The company that can't get their s..t together!

#35 OFFLINE   HGuardian

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 03:55 PM

The people defending this are ridiculous really. Do you really like NOT having the choice to cancel online?

Everyone in this thread understands why DIRECTV does it. It's all about sales pitches and making money, period.

#36 OFFLINE   Stuart Sweet

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Posted 01 February 2013 - 04:12 PM

Folks, I have deleted a few posts; I'm sorry if yours was one of them.

If there are any other disturbances in this thread please report them and we will take care of the people involved.
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#37 OFFLINE   unixguru

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 10:31 AM

The people defending this are ridiculous really. Do you really like NOT having the choice to cancel online?

Everyone in this thread understands why DIRECTV does it. It's all about sales pitches and making money, period.


If this was obliquely directed at my post...

I was not defending DTV. Somehow the people on the phone were being brought into this and I just wanted to state that those people have nothing to do with it. It's management and other decision-makers who are. I was not defending this specific policy, just stated why it was this way. I've never defended DTV on this forum and in fact have done quite the opposite.

I've started a few of these "rants" myself. The list of things to rant about is long. Unfortunately they are mostly futile from what I've seen. Very little ever changes. Wish it wasn't so.

#38 OFFLINE   markrogo

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Posted 02 February 2013 - 08:06 PM

I want to be crystal clear in case there is any confusion... I labeled the post a "rant". I know it's unlikely to be changed. I just wanted to vent. I was furious with DirecTv and the process and wanted to share my anger with a community of DirecTv aficionados, who often are frustrated with the company from which we buy our TV.

I didn't want to piss anyone off just because I was in a snit.

#39 OFFLINE   Beerstalker

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 02:24 PM

I understand wanting to vent, but you seem to be letting this issue bother you way too much. Sure it would be nice to be able to cancel HBO, Cinemax, etc online, but it's not that big of a deal that I have to call in and do it. It's also not at all out of the ordinary for services like this. If DirecTV were the only company to do so then I guess I could see it being more upsetting, but they definitely aren't. Not only that but they are acutally one of the best ones about not making it that big of an issue. You can usually do it by talking to only one person, and a lot of the time they make you offers, give you discounts etc, and if you don't want them they usually cancel it, tell you thanks and you're done.

You want to deal with a real frustrating one try calling one of your credit card companies to cancel your account. They really pressure, you, transfer you all over the place, "accidently" disconnect you etc.
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