I was so furious with DirecTV yesterday evening that I came the closest I've ever come to canceling my service outright--and it was totally their fault. Despite the fact that they admitted they screwed up, they refused to fix the problem that THEY caused!!!
Here's what happened...
I called yesterday early evening to deactivate a very old HDVR2 receiver from my account because I replaced it with an HR24. The heavy accented, noticeably foreign CSR gentleman removed that receiver from my account. So far so good. I hang up, go to watch TV, press "List" to bring up the playlist, and am told on screen that "DVR service is not activated on my account. Please call...". Within seconds screams emanate from other parts of my abode because others watching receivers in other rooms lost all their DVR functionality as well. It appeared obvious that the CSR deactivated not only that one DVR from my account, but also deactivated all DVR functionality from all 12 receivers I have!
OK, a major but correctable error, right? Not so fast! I call DirecTV, get yet another foreign sounding CSR (seriously, the heavy accents are annoying to me due to communication and comprehension issues), and am told, after he admitted the previous rep erred, "I'm sorry, Mr. NNN, but I can't fix the problem." Now, instead of offering to transfer me to someone who could resolve my issue, he just repeated his supposed inability to fix the issue. I then firmly but politely demanded to be transferred to someone in tech support, where I did quickly get some regular sounding gentleman on the phone.
I explained my issue to him; he researched it; then he comes back to tell me, "It's definitely our fault that this happened, Mr. NNN. I can turn back on your DVR service; however, I noticed you have a balance of $56.51 that's past due. I won't be able to reactivate the DVR service until this is paid."
I was stunned at this response. Now, in the almost 20 years I've been with DirecTV, I've never had service disconnected to non-payment. I haven't even come close to a cutoff date. My monthly bill these days is in excess of $200--easily. I can't use auto-pay for a couple particular reasons I won't get into here and now--no biggie, though, because I've always set up payment online. Apparently, for whatever reasons, there was a past due balance of $56.51. How long past due? A whopping 7 days! My February invoice just came via Email today, in fact, and there was the past due balance showing on the invoice.
I never pleaded for more time to pay that. I never said I can't or won't pay it. (I actually did pay it right there on the phone.) I also didn't think it was a major issue because of its low amount, recent reclassifying to a past due status, and the fact that on the Email invoice, it did show in red a service disconnection date of 2-28-14, which is obviously almost 3 weeks away.
So this tech support CSR guy repeats his statement to me, after I voiced my intense displeasure and outright anger over this, that "the system won't let me reinstate your DVR service until the past due amount is paid." He did state several times that the DVR service was NOT turned off due to this past due amount. He also repeated that the deactivation of all DVR functionality was, in fact, a mistake committed by DirecTV, and that he was "sorry for any inconvenience" I might have experienced.
I never lost my cool, never swore, never treated him unprofessionally. I never demanded credits or freebies to make up for their stupidity and error. However, I was absolutely assertive, outspoken, and audibly furious that DirecTV screwed up but refusing to correct THEIR mistake until a past due amount was paid. I even posed to this tech support guy this scenario: "Suppose that your previous CSR accidentally turned off all service to all 12 of my receivers, resulting in the entire account going dark. Are you telling me that because there's a seven day past due amount of $56.51, DirecTV would not reactivate the entire account?" Incredibly, the gentleman replied, "Yes. The system wouldn't be able to let us turn it back on until you paid that balance."
From my perspective, the issue never was and shouldn't be the fact that a small portion of the January bill remained unpaid (for whatever reason--I think it was a simple oversight); rather, the issue was that DirecTV screwed up but then had the audacity to tell me they wouldn't rectify their screw-up, and that I was to blame for this decision not to correct THEIR mistake!
Wow. Just wow. I have never heard of something so outright asinine, and I've dealt with a lot of customer service departments in my life. This one takes the cake. It's also something I shall never forget. For this reason alone, no matter how extreme people think my decision is, I will recommend to anyone who asks to not sign up with DirecTV.
I'm that pissed off about this.