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Anyone call DirecTV and reduce their bill? Share stats here!

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#226 OFFLINE   rwmair

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 06:53 PM

I guess I need to get one of you guys to call in for me.

 

14-year subscriber, with old grand-fathered Total Choice, and HBO, and the bill is $125 a month. It went up $20 last year with the March price increases ($3 TC, $2 HBO, $3 DVR, $2 reg sports fee) and the HD fee added on a few months later after 2 years of being waived. Dropping HBO was my back-up plan if they couldn't offer anything.

 

I was polite, didn't threaten to cancel my service, blamed the program providers for the price increase, and asked them to help me reduce my bill. I had to spend nearly 30 mins on the phone, and talk with two agents. There was no way either one would give me another 12 months without the HD fee. There was no offer of a generalized $xx off for 3/6/12/months. They did use the phrase "because you've been such a loyal customer, let me see what we can do for you", and the best was to subscribe me to Showtime or Starz for $12 a month (because its lower than the $18 for HBO!! - I declined), or a special offer on Cinemax for $6 a month, which I also declined. Having already spent a couple of nights working the programming grids, I knew I didn't want to downgrade from Total Choice, so HBO bit the dust. I was informed that if I called to re-subscribe to HBO, there was a $5 a month discount on HBO. That's not tempting enough - esp if it takes another 30 mins on the phone!

 

I lost an MPG receiver before Christmas and decided not get the D12 swap, so that also saves me $6 a month. So that and dropping HBO almost gets me to the goal of saving $25 a month. If they'd played ball, I was going to enquire about a HD receiver to replace the MPG SD one to see some of the HD-only sports channels - although just before I called I tried adding it to my cart and that was back to $99 (no loyalty discount - should have grabbed it 6 months ago when I saw it for free)

 

Maybe its because I'm hanging on to Total Choice that they didn't want to help. Or did I wait too long - 2014 and a new "no freebies" policy. Or do you just need to have a $200 a month bill to get any help? I guess when we move, I'll cancel and resubscribe under my wife's name at the new location and get every new-customer discount going.



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#227 OFFLINE   coolman302003

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Posted 14 January 2014 - 10:19 PM

Maybe its because I'm hanging on to Total Choice that they didn't want to help. 

 

I am not an employee or anything, however I have noticed (knowing the discounts/credits received of several family members with D*) that if you are on a grandfathered package there is usually less discounts/credits available for the agents to apply to your account. If you switched to a current base package you most likely would be eligible for additional discounts.


List of networks with HD VOD content available on DIRECTV  DIRECTV Customer Service Live Online Chat (available from 7am-12:30am ET)  DIRECTV Regional Sports Network (RSN) fee lookup tool (zip code required)

DIRECTV Premium Channel Pricing: 1=$13.99 ($17.99 for HBO) | 2=$25.99 ($30.99 with HBO) | 3=$36.99 ($41.99 with HBO) | 4=$45.99 ($50.99 with HBO) | All 5=$57.99 per month

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#228 OFFLINE   Cyber36

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 08:48 AM

They should base freebies on length of being a customer, not what package you subscribe to. Just goes to show loyalty means NOTHING these days.........



#229 OFFLINE   rickclem

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 09:33 AM

While watching an episode of Hardcore Pawn on my DVR last night Les Gold said when you go into a store ask what their lowest price is that they are willing to accept. Everything can be negotiated. That goes for cable and satellite TV providers as well. I was with Comcast for about 20 years before switching to DirecTV in February 2013. I have never paid their quoted price. Be polite and they usually are willing to deal on some feature. And if they don't, call back.


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#230 OFFLINE   Rent_Share

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 09:57 AM

Finally a report of a tangible current result versus the 12 pages of philosophical debate


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#231 OFFLINE   lesz

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 11:44 AM

I am not an employee or anything, however I have noticed (knowing the discounts/credits received of several family members with D*) that if you are on a grandfathered package there is usually less discounts/credits available for the agents to apply to your account. If you switched to a current base package you most likely would be eligible for additional discounts.

 

While I've seen that said on this board a few times, my experience tells me that it is not the case.  I have a grandfathered plan, and my total bill before discounts is about $140.  On my last bill, I had $45 worth of monthly billing credits and $25 worth of additional discounts on premium services.  In a few months, about $10 of the billing credits and $10 of the premium service credits will be rolling off, but the rest of the credits will be good for about another year.  I doubt that the total of discounts that I'm receiving would be any higher if I were to switch away from the grandfathered plan. 


Edited by lesz, 15 January 2014 - 11:45 AM.


#232 OFFLINE   Billzebub

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 12:06 PM

Noone thinks they are going to go broke, but everyone complains about the price increases...what if for one year Directv quite on the freebies...do you think they would have to raise rates as much? They wouldnt have to....because their pricing model wouldnt need the charity care piece built in to retain the customer that thinks their entitled to discounts....its no different than car insurance or any other pricing model that works on a similar principle. Lower churn, reduce freebies, cut equipment costs by using fewer different models, etc.....


I don't think this has anything to do with charity. It's a business decision. Directv decides that a certain amount of discounts offered to certain customers is the price of keeping those customers. They make a determination that losing the customer would hurt them more than giving a discount does. You or I may disagree and when we start our companies we can develop a different business plan.
I am a bit put off by those who feel you've done something wrong when you ask for or are offered a discount. I don't blame the seller for getting the highest price the market will bear and I certainly don't blame the buyer for getting the lowest cost that is available to them.


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#233 OFFLINE   rwmair

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 11:13 PM

I am not an employee or anything, however I have noticed (knowing the discounts/credits received of several family members with D*) that if you are on a grandfathered package there is usually less discounts/credits available for the agents to apply to your account. If you switched to a current base package you most likely would be eligible for additional discounts.

I have watched the pricing and channel selections for a couple of years now. I think Choice was the same or more than grandfathered Total Choice for some time (but with less channels), although the price increases on TC have been greater in recent years, so it has now exceeded Choice. But, to get the same channels (some of which I actually watch!) I'd have to go to Xtra, which currently costs $5 a month more than what I'm paying. If I'm only going to get a $5 discount on HBO, its not worth the hassle.

 

I was about to bite the bullet and go to Choice, and oscillate between Choice and Entertainment based on sports seasons, but NBC Sportsnet are doing such a great job with the English Premier League (and bringing in the extra channels) that I don't want to drop them now.

 

I guess in March, if the price increase on TC brings it within a $1 or2 of Xtra, then I'll change, and phone again about discounts. Trouble is - I wont have any back-up plan of what to drop next time (like I could with HBO, and an MPG receiver I could get by with not replacing, this time).


Edited by rwmair, 15 January 2014 - 11:22 PM.


#234 OFFLINE   rwmair

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 11:20 PM

While I've seen that said on this board a few times, my experience tells me that it is not the case.  I have a grandfathered plan, and my total bill before discounts is about $140.  On my last bill, I had $45 worth of monthly billing credits and $25 worth of additional discounts on premium services.  In a few months, about $10 of the billing credits and $10 of the premium service credits will be rolling off, but the rest of the credits will be good for about another year.  I doubt that the total of discounts that I'm receiving would be any higher if I were to switch away from the grandfathered plan. 

Congratulations! I'd have been over the moon if I could have secured $20-25 off! But this is what I don't understand. I only had a mid-level basic package, and one premium (HBO) - yet with the additional TV fees, DVR fee, HD fee, Regional Sports fee, my bill was $125. If I added Showtime or Sports Pack - both of which I've had in the past, when all this could be had for under $90, my bill would have been $140. If I'd then gotten $25 of credits on the premiums, they would be almost free ($6-7 for the two of them). Or are we talking sports subscription packages like Sunday Ticket or Extra Innings?



#235 OFFLINE   coolman302003

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Posted 15 January 2014 - 11:32 PM

Also, some discounts/credits require auto bill pay [and/or] paperless billing, so that could be yet another factor in why some offers are not available on your account.


List of networks with HD VOD content available on DIRECTV  DIRECTV Customer Service Live Online Chat (available from 7am-12:30am ET)  DIRECTV Regional Sports Network (RSN) fee lookup tool (zip code required)

DIRECTV Premium Channel Pricing: 1=$13.99 ($17.99 for HBO) | 2=$25.99 ($30.99 with HBO) | 3=$36.99 ($41.99 with HBO) | 4=$45.99 ($50.99 with HBO) | All 5=$57.99 per month

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#236 OFFLINE   UCT

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 12:32 AM

Been a subscriber since 1997 with a grandfathered total choice package.  Paying $129 a month, no DVR, just HD.  Not under contract and only upgrade was a free HD receiver.  Didn't pay much attention to charges until my friend signed up and got whole house and premier for 2/3 of what I was paying.  Called and said I wanted it for same price or I would cancel and go to FIOS because I can get whole house DVR and all the movies channels for less than I am paying now.  Customer service said can't do it, best they could do is give me $10 off my current package for a year and when do I want cancellation to go into effect.  I said today and it is now cancelled. 



#237 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 02:34 AM

That is very odd if you've never gotten lots of discounts before. I'll bet you get phone calls within days.

#238 OFFLINE   raott

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Posted 16 January 2014 - 08:31 AM

Exactly right.  It is a cost bucket and goes to the bottom line, has very little effect on prices except on a macro level.  Some here continue to believe that Directv simply charges enough to maintain a profit margin, completely ignoring supply and demand curves.  They charge the max they can based on their programming, equipment offering, service etc.  It has nothing to do with freebies except on an industry wide level, which is negligible when compared to programming costs, which are also on a macro, industry level.  

 

I don't think this has anything to do with charity. It's a business decision. Directv decides that a certain amount of discounts offered to certain customers is the price of keeping those customers. They make a determination that losing the customer would hurt them more than giving a discount does. You or I may disagree and when we start our companies we can develop a different business plan.
I am a bit put off by those who feel you've done something wrong when you ask for or are offered a discount. I don't blame the seller for getting the highest price the market will bear and I certainly don't blame the buyer for getting the lowest cost that is available to them.


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#239 OFFLINE   Diana C

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 04:08 PM

Well, in my case I did not ASK for ANY discounts.  I simply called in and at the "What can I help you with" voice prompt said "early termination fee" and was connected to retention automatically.  This is not a ploy, as soon as our commitment (incured when we upgraded to a Genie) is up we plan on switching to FiOS with 2 TiVo Roamio Pros and Minis.  When the agent asked why we were considering cancelling I said "because we can get the same programming to the same number of TVs for $60/month less."  She then spontaneously offered me the discounts I mentioned above.


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#240 OFFLINE   acostapimps

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 04:18 PM

Also, some discounts/credits require auto bill pay [and/or] paperless billing, so that could be yet another factor in why some offers are not available on your account.

Maybe the case now but when I wasn't on Autopay though I was on paperless, they gave me $10 credit for 12 months on HD fee


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#241 OFFLINE   Mr Rolls

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 05:33 PM

I have been a DTV subscriber since 2010, Within the last month I have had to call many times about multipule problems, today i called with the mindset of seeing how well i could do as compared to everyone here, I gave the automated machine my info like normal and it asked if i wanted to make a payment, when i told it no it immediately transfered me to an agent. When the agent introduced themselfs they said they were a "resolution specialist" when I was done verifying my account I proceeded to tell them about why i was calling, The agent (for the life of me i cant remember their name) then proceeded to offer me $20 off for 12mos + Free dvr service for 12mos + free hd service for 12 mos & they informed me if i did paperless billing i could save $5 off for 24 mos, of course i agreed and they proceeded to sign me up for paperless billing. My question to everyone here is has anyone heard of "resolution specialists"? or did the agent lie to me?

 

Thanks for any help you provide!



#242 OFFLINE   duffytoo

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 03:28 PM

I called recently to make some minor changes to my programming which would have resulted in an increase of $3 per month. Without my asking for help on my monthly bill, the CR gave me a savings of $10 per month for 2 years. I was very appreciative as it seems everything goes up annually except my income. I am still quite happy about it. Thank you Direct TV.



#243 OFFLINE   Gordon Shumway

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 05:45 PM

I'm not in the habit of calling for discounts, but I do call every year to drop the Sports pack after college football & college hockey seasons.  Would only save 5-6 months, but DTV really doesn't seem to want you to drop anything, despite what it may cost them.  Like clockwork every year they offer me $10 off the sports pack for 6 months & renew the $10 off HD discount for 12 months for me to keep the sportspack.  Needless to say, the sports pack has never been shut down.



#244 OFFLINE   johnboy27

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Posted 20 January 2014 - 05:55 PM

I called this last December because of HD charge. Spoke to agent, she gave me $10 credit for 12 months. Then just recently I emailed about when contract is up. They sent email back fast. Had special 1 800 # and a pin. Just told agent I wanted end of contract date, she just asked why? Told her the Dish Hopper/Super Joey looks very interesting. She gave me $10 credit for DVR. Told me I could get Genie for $50. I said I will wait till June then we can talk. Very happy, nice agents to speak to.
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#245 OFFLINE   bhepper

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Posted 21 January 2014 - 11:49 PM

Yup.

 

Called in to inquire on whether we were still in commitment (shouldn't have been but apparently when we were given previous discounts they extended our commitment so had 10 days left). Upon telling the CSR we were looking into our options he proceeded to offer the following:

 

3 Months Free DVR Service ($10/mo for 3 months)

$200 Visa Giftcard (requires 1yr commitment)

Free Equipment Upgrade + $10/mo for 24 months-> Genie + Latest HD DVR (requires 2yr commitment + $3/mos whole home DVR)

 

He was able to combine all of them so we said ok.  He also knocked $50 off our current bill we had just received in the mail.

 

Hoping to hold out for HR44 and HR24. 



#246 OFFLINE   J Blow

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 02:48 PM

I just called in so here's another example of what the deal is you can expect.  Honestly, I was expecting more but better than nothing.

 

$10 a month of for 2 years

DVR Services for 3 months

2 months of premium channels and sports pack (couldn't care less about that)

Free equipment upgrade with Genie and 3 clients

 

Is there any reason I shouldn't just drop my service and sign up under girlfriend when I move?  It seems I would get a lot more unless I'm not doing the math right - especially since I already will be paying for Sunday Ticket next year anyway.  Both would have a 2 year commitment.

 

Thoughts?



#247 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 02:50 PM

I just called in so here's another example of what the deal is you can expect.  Honestly, I was expecting more but better than nothing.

 

$10 a month of for 2 years

DVR Services for 3 months

2 months of premium channels and sports pack (couldn't care less about that)

Free equipment upgrade with Genie and 3 clients

 

Is there any reason I shouldn't just drop my service and sign up under girlfriend when I move?  It seems I would get a lot more unless I'm not doing the math right - especially since I already will be paying for Sunday Ticket next year anyway.  Both would have a 2 year commitment.

 

Thoughts?

No reason unless you are currently under contract


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#248 OFFLINE   Getteau

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 04:44 PM

Subscriber since 2001, auto-pay enabled and still under contract from my Geni upgrade about 6 months ago.  I called in today to remove the R15 I keep on our account during deer season and got nada from both agents I talked to.  The first lady said she was in billing and didn't have anything in her system she could give me.  I asked about picking up a Geni client and she transferred me over to the equipment people.   That agent was even less helpful.  She basically said she had nothing but maybe some discounts on some movie channels, but no hardware discounts or programming discounts.  I told her I had HD for life for 2 years and how that had been extended for another year and then the last time they would only do it for 6 months.  Didn't make a difference.  She also wanted $99 for the mini client.  I said thanks, but no thanks.


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#249 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 22 January 2014 - 05:00 PM

  She also wanted $99 for the mini client.  I said thanks, but no thanks.

at some point and time DirecTV has to make some money off you....


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#250 OFFLINE   rwmair

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Posted 23 January 2014 - 09:47 PM

I just called in so here's another example of what the deal is you can expect.  Honestly, I was expecting more but better than nothing.

 

$10 a month of for 2 years

DVR Services for 3 months

2 months of premium channels and sports pack (couldn't care less about that)

Free equipment upgrade with Genie and 3 clients

I would have taken that - or even the first half of it - if it was offered. Guess I need to see what Comcast will charge me for TV to go with the phone/internet.






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