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Upgrade process questions


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14 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   Taeriel

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 12:17 AM

A friend of mine recommended this forum to me today. I have a newbie question regarding equipment upgrades with DirecTv. I've been a customer with them for 6 years, but beyond some wiring problems the first year I have not interacted with them. I have the Choice package and have used auto-pay the entire time. I do not have the protection plan.

 

When I started my service I was using an old series 2 TiVo and did not have an HD TV, so I only got a basic SD receiver (D12-300). Now 6 years later, my TiVo has died and I do have an HD TV. I would like to upgrade to an HD DVR (whether the Genie or a level down standard HD-DVR), but I find myself uncertain about how the process works with DirecTV. What I read on the DirecTV website and what I read on this forum and elsewhere on the internet seem to paint very conflicting pictures.

 

DirecTV website: says that I need to pay $199 upgrade fee for the HD-DVR lease, and doesn't list a price for the Genie (told to call). 

 

Here and elsewhere on internet: I see many examples of people talking about free equipment upgrades when they are out of contract and willing to renew another 2 yr contract. Is this standard protocol for everyone? Or is it only people who have the protection plan? Or from haggling, with results varying depending on what you say and who you speak with? If I call and say that I have been out of contract for 4 years and would like to upgrade to current DVR product and am willing to recommit for a free upgrade, what is the likely result?

 

One other question regarding fees - I've been confused in what I've read about the Advanced Receiver Service fee. In some places it says it is $10, while in others $25. Why the difference, and how do you know which you will get?

 

Thank you in advance for your help and advice! 



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#2 OFFLINE   coolman302003

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 12:34 AM

DirecTV website: says that I need to pay $199 upgrade fee for the HD-DVR lease, and doesn't list a price for the Genie (told to call).

Correct, if upgrading to a Genie currently you must call to get pricing and it does vary based on a number of factors. If you were not going to go with the Genie you most likely would be able to add a standard HDDVR for less than $199 lease fee with new 2 year commitment. Personally, I recommend upgrading to the Genie DVR over a standard dual tuner HDDVR if you end up being eligible. 
   

 

Or from haggling, with results varying depending on what you say and who you speak with?

Definitely can be a factor, it's typically referred to as CSR roulette around here.  

 

One other question regarding fees - I've been confused in what I've read about the Advanced Receiver Service fee. In some places it says it is $10, while in others $25. Why the difference, and how do you know which you will get?

Since your account was created prior to Feb. 9, 2012 you will have each line item separate rather than one charge bundling the fees all together; which actually results in $2 less per month total (if all three are applied to account).
 
Line items should be something close to this:
Advanced Receiver-HD $10.00
Advanced Receiver-DVR $10.00
Whole Home DVR Service $3.00 (It is my understanding, this fee is required if you upgrade to the Genie even if you do not want the capability or only have a single receiver total. For more on this see threads below.)

http://www.dbstalk.c...ime-subscriber/

http://www.dbstalk.c...-after-install/

http://www.dbstalk.c...me-dvr-service/



#3 OFFLINE   BobStokesbary

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 12:59 AM

Taeriel,

 

You are right, it seems like everyone seems to get a different option when you search all the posts on this and another forum. I hate to say it is sort of like playing CSR roulette, but that is what is seems to come down to. You just have to keep calling until you get someone who wants to deal with you.

 

There is also the issue of timing. About a year ago there was a notice on my account that I could add an additional HD receiver for free (I was out of contract at the time). I put it in the shopping cart and then noticed that they tacked on a $60 installation fee. So, I just left it in the shopping cart and closed my browser. A few weeks later I got an email asking if I had any questions about upgrading since I had not completed my order. I deleted the email. A week later I got a phone call asking if I had any questions about upgrading and they were wondering why I had not completed the order. I told them that I was not in the mood to spend $60 right then. The CSR immediately waived the fee plus gave me $20 a month off for 6 months. I took the upgrade. I don't have an offer like that on my account today, but, I still have a year left on my current contract.

 

What I am trying to illustrate is that it seems to be a combination of timing and getting a good CSR to work with you. I know this is not a precise answer, but based on all I have read on the forums it seems to be the "best" answer you will get.

 

My son-in-law got a Genie on his "mover" deal and it is sweet. I would certainly try for some kind of discount on that box in whatever package you get.

 

Bob



#4 OFFLINE   Drucifer

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 01:29 AM

I would start off my phone call to DirecTV with just asking for HD and let them sweeten the pot with a deal for the Genie, but remember don't jump on their first offer - play hard to get.


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#5 OFFLINE   Taeriel

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 02:21 AM

Correct, if upgrading to a Genie currently you must call to get pricing and it does vary based on a number of factors. If you were not going to go with the Genie you most likely would be able to add a standard HDDVR for less than $199 lease fee with new 2 year commitment. Personally, I recommend upgrading to the Genie DVR over a standard dual tuner HDDVR if you end up being eligible. 
   

 

Definitely can be a factor, it's typically referred to as CSR roulette around here.  

 

Since your account was created prior to Feb. 9, 2012 you will have each line item separate rather than one charge bundling the fees all together; which actually results in $2 less per month total (if all three are applied to account).
 
Line items should be something close to this:
Advanced Receiver-HD $10.00
Advanced Receiver-DVR $10.00
Whole Home DVR Service $3.00 (It is my understanding, this fee is required if you upgrade to the Genie even if you do not want the capability or only have a single receiver total. For more on this see threads below.)

http://www.dbstalk.c...ime-subscriber/

http://www.dbstalk.c...-after-install/

http://www.dbstalk.c...me-dvr-service/

 

Thank you very much for the explanations! You definitely cleared up some things for me. I had previously been under the impression that Genie users had a $10 HD fee PLUS the $25 Advanced Receiver fee, and this was really discouraging me from considering a Genie. I didn't realize that the $25 was a combination of the three you listed. Thanks for pointing out those threads - I hadn't gotten that far back in my reading today. 

 

You mention "if I end up being eligible". Could you please clarify what you mean by that? This eligibility is one of the things that has seemed nebulous to me over the course of my reading. What determines eligibility, and what are the results of one being eligible? 


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#6 OFFLINE   Taeriel

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 02:26 AM

There is also the issue of timing. About a year ago there was a notice on my account that I could add an additional HD receiver for free (I was out of contract at the time). I put it in the shopping cart and then noticed that they tacked on a $60 installation fee. So, I just left it in the shopping cart and closed my browser. A few weeks later I got an email asking if I had any questions about upgrading since I had not completed my order. I deleted the email. A week later I got a phone call asking if I had any questions about upgrading and they were wondering why I had not completed the order. I told them that I was not in the mood to spend $60 right then. The CSR immediately waived the fee plus gave me $20 a month off for 6 months. I took the upgrade. I don't have an offer like that on my account today, but, I still have a year left on my current contract.

 

I was wondering if timing might have something to do with it. I've read references elsewhere to people having an upgrade invitation on their accounts, as well as upgrade offers via a "loyalty program". What is the latter, btw? To be honest, I have almost never logged onto my online DirecTV account so I can't say whether I may have had that in the past or not. I did check now, and it's not there. 



#7 OFFLINE   Taeriel

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 02:28 AM

Another upgrade question: going from SD service to HD service, with perhaps a Genie - what would be involved in the installation process? Is a different dish or cabling required? I've come across references to people having new cabling put in, but it wasn't clear to me why.  



#8 OFFLINE   coolman302003

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 03:09 AM

You mention "if I end up being eligible". Could you please clarify what you mean by that? This eligibility is one of the things that has seemed nebulous to me over the course of my reading. What determines eligibility, and what are the results of one being eligible?

 

I guess I should have worded it more like if you decide to accept the upgrade offer at the $$ you have to pay (if you have to). I think some of the eligibility factors can include, but is not limited to tenure, payment history, package level, being enrolled in paperless billing/auto-pay, how much you spend on D* per month, being subscribed to sports subscriptions (NFL ST, NBA LP, MLB EI, etc), how often you have upgraded equipment in the past, how often you have called in to request bill credits, discounts on premium movie channels, etc. these are a few of the factors that may apply in the determination of what is offered to you. 

 

I was wondering if timing might have something to do with it. I've read references elsewhere to people having an upgrade invitation on their accounts, as well as upgrade offers via a "loyalty program". What is the latter, btw? To be honest, I have almost never logged onto my online DirecTV account so I can't say whether I may have had that in the past or not. I did check now, and it's not there.

 

If you have the protection plan it now offers an equipment upgrade every 2 years if you agree to a new 2 year commitment. Other loyalty offers are for example a free Genie upgrade, free HD DVR upgrade, free GenieGo, premium movie channels free for [X] months, etc. usually for the best offers as others have also suggested is by calling in. As you have probably read from many others here, the customer retention group (CRG) generally can offer the largest amount of discount on equipment upgrades, programming and premiums. If you want to read some offers many others have accepted you might want to check out this thread.

 

Another upgrade question: going from SD service to HD service, with perhaps a Genie - what would be involved in the installation process? Is a different dish or cabling required? I've come across references to people having new cabling put in, but it wasn't clear to me why.

 
Yes new dish, you will get a Slimline with SWM built in most likely (and if under 8 tuners). I'll let others comment on the cabling cause it usually varies. 


List of networks with HD VOD content available on DirecTV

 

5-LNB SlimLine w/SWM16 | HR44-700 w/AM-21N | HR24-200 | H25-100 | H25-100 | C41-500


#9 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 09:18 AM

  

 

Since your account was created prior to Feb. 9, 2012 you will have each line item separate rather than one charge bundling the fees all together; which actually results in $2 less per month total (if all three are applied to account).
 
Line items should be something close to this:
Advanced Receiver-HD $10.00
Advanced Receiver-DVR $10.00
Whole Home DVR Service $3.00 (It is my understanding, this fee is required if you upgrade to the Genie even if you do not want the capability or only have a single receiver total. For more on this see threads below.)

 

 

 

Thank you very much for the explanations! You definitely cleared up some things for me. I had previously been under the impression that Genie users had a $10 HD fee PLUS the $25 Advanced Receiver fee, and this was really discouraging me from considering a Genie. I didn't realize that the $25 was a combination of the three you listed. Thanks for pointing out those threads - I hadn't gotten that far back in my reading today. 

 

 

Since the TS never had HD or DVR service, the TS will be able to "enjoy" the new "convenient" fee of $25.00 a month for the Advanced Receiver Service  if they get a Genie instead of being charge individually.


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The the troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.

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#10 OFFLINE   Paul Secic

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 10:53 AM

A friend of mine recommended this forum to me today. I have a newbie question regarding equipment upgrades with DirecTv. I've been a customer with them for 6 years, but beyond some wiring problems the first year I have not interacted with them. I have the Choice package and have used auto-pay the entire time. I do not have the protection plan.

 

When I started my service I was using an old series 2 TiVo and did not have an HD TV, so I only got a basic SD receiver (D12-300). Now 6 years later, my TiVo has died and I do have an HD TV. I would like to upgrade to an HD DVR (whether the Genie or a level down standard HD-DVR), but I find myself uncertain about how the process works with DirecTV. What I read on the DirecTV website and what I read on this forum and elsewhere on the internet seem to paint very conflicting pictures.

 

DirecTV website: says that I need to pay $199 upgrade fee for the HD-DVR lease, and doesn't list a price for the Genie (told to call). 

 

Here and elsewhere on internet: I see many examples of people talking about free equipment upgrades when they are out of contract and willing to renew another 2 yr contract. Is this standard protocol for everyone? Or is it only people who have the protection plan? Or from haggling, with results varying depending on what you say and who you speak with? If I call and say that I have been out of contract for 4 years and would like to upgrade to current DVR product and am willing to recommit for a free upgrade, what is the likely result?

 

One other question regarding fees - I've been confused in what I've read about the Advanced Receiver Service fee. In some places it says it is $10, while in others $25. Why the difference, and how do you know which you will get?

 

Thank you in advance for your help and advice! 

I go month to month with Dish.


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#11 OFFLINE   Taeriel

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 12:18 PM

I guess I should have worded it more like if you decide to accept the upgrade offer at the $$ you have to pay (if you have to). I think some of the eligibility factors can include, but is not limited to tenure, payment history, package level, being enrolled in paperless billing/auto-pay, how much you spend on D* per month, being subscribed to sports subscriptions (NFL ST, NBA LP, MLB EI, etc), how often you have upgraded equipment in the past, how often you have called in to request bill credits, discounts on premium movie channels, etc. these are a few of the factors that may apply in the determination of what is offered to you. 

 

 

If you have the protection plan it now offers an equipment upgrade every 2 years if you agree to a new 2 year commitment. Other loyalty offers are for example a free Genie upgrade, free HD DVR upgrade, free GenieGo, premium movie channels free for [X] months, etc. usually for the best offers as others have also suggested is by calling in. As you have probably read from many others here, the customer retention group (CRG) generally can offer the largest amount of discount on equipment upgrades, programming and premiums. If you want to read some offers many others have accepted you might want to check out this thread.

 

 
Yes new dish, you will get a Slimline with SWM built in most likely (and if under 8 tuners). I'll let others comment on the cabling cause it usually varies. 

 

Thanks. It does sound like a complicated calculation for them together with a large dose of random chance. I've always been on time with payment, since I'm on autopay, but I'm not on paperless billing. I've always been on the Choice program, so I'm not the lowest but certainly not the highest. I don't subscribe to any premium channels or sports, so they aren't getting more income from me in that avenue. I've never upgraded equipment. I did receive a bill credit once before during the first year; I'd forgotten about that. When I signed up, the CSR didn't really explain the requirements on my part to receive the advertised promotional rate, namely, that I had to go onto a website to sign up for it and certainly not that there was a deadline to do so. By the time I figured this out, the deadline had apparently passed and I was out of luck to get the promotional rate I was promised when I signed up. I was naturally unhappy about this way of doing business. IIRC, the CSR at the time gave me a $6 monthly credit for a few months and it only partly offset what I lost from the promotional rate I was supposed to get. But anyway, that was the only time I received a credit for the account and it was about 5.5yrs ago. But who knows how they calculate things. The fact that I don't spend more for higher service will probably count against me, I imagine. 

 

I actually don't know what model of dish I have currently. I am a renter, and it was in place when I moved in. I don't know whether the previous tenant had HD or not. I found the document here that details the various dishes, so I'll have to go look to see what is there. Assuming either the dish and/or cabling needs to be changed, I am wondering if they will charge me an installation and other equipment fee as well. Sadly, that would just push me further towards an alternate decision. 

 

Yes, I did see that thread. Long, and lots of info! I scanned the last several pages of it but haven't been all the way through. It sounds like people's experiences have really varied.

 

How does one get to the customer retention group? Do you ask the normal CSR for the retention group? Or do you say "cancel" on the reason for calling part and get to them that way? The reading I've done seems to vary. When you ask for them, does this imply that you are threatening to cancel? Is it better to start with a normal CSR first, and then escalate to retention if they can't give you a deal you are happy with?

 

In addition to learning about the DirecTV upgrade process, I have also been researching my options with DISH. While it sounds like there are plus and minus points to either service and their equipment, it is tempting to switch and take advantage of the new customer promotions. As a new customer, I wouldn't have to haggle or pay for an equipment upgrade, I wouldn't have to pay for installation, and I would get a notable discount for the first year. Right now I'm trying to track down what all of the fees are for DISH, to better understand what my bill would be after the first year. 

 

A quick question about the DVR fee. I've been equating it in my mind as analogous to the service fee I currently pay TiVo. I've always pictured it as a fee to send me the schedules and to provide software service to track when things need to be recorded so I don't have to do it program by program. Single time recording, season passes, keeping track of schedule changes, when a new episode is on, etc. Is that a fair analysis? 

 

Thanks for all the help and advice!



#12 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 02:19 PM

 

 

How does one get to the customer retention group? Do you ask the normal CSR for the retention group? Or do you say "cancel" on the reason for calling part and get to them that way? The reading I've done seems to vary. When you ask for them, does this imply that you are threatening to cancel? Is it better to start with a normal CSR first, and then escalate to retention if they can't give you a deal you are happy with?

 

 

you can start with a "regular" CSR and see what options (deals) they offer.  if you are not satisfied, let them know that you are looking at other options, and you will be transfers to the CRG (retention)

 

 

 

 

A quick question about the DVR fee. I've been equating it in my mind as analogous to the service fee I currently pay TiVo. I've always pictured it as a fee to send me the schedules and to provide software service to track when things need to be recorded so I don't have to do it program by program. Single time recording, season passes, keeping track of schedule changes, when a new episode is on, etc. Is that a fair analysis? 

 

Thanks for all the help and advice!

While it may look that way, it seems to me that the extra fee is to help subsidized the equipment.  same as with smartphones, where you must subscribed to a data plan.


Here’s to the crazy ones.
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The the troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.

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#13 OFFLINE   Taeriel

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 09:30 PM

I was able to successfully obtain an upgrade to my equipment this afternoon. I called the normal number, said I was calling about upgrading equipment when the computerized system asked. When connected with the CSR, I explained that I had an older SD receiver and was interested to learn what my options would be for upgrading to some type of HD DVR system. After looking at my account, she said that she could update my equipment to a Genie free of charge, and she waived the $49 installation fee. I'll just be paying a $19.95 delivery and handling cost. This will include swapping out my old dish for a new one. 

 

We went through the new fees and charges very carefully and specifically, and Interestingly, she said that I would be charged the individual fees: $10 DVR, $10 HD and $3 WHS. I was expecting the $25 ARS fee since I haven't had HD before, but apparently that won't be the case. 

 

I opted to sign up for the protection plan as well. I'd passed on it before, but given that my previous TiVo had two power supplies go bad in one month recently, I felt better safe than sorry. If it turns out I don't have technical issue I can think of it as paying ahead for an upgrade in a few years. One thing I learned that I had not realized was that one signs up for the protection plan for at least a 1 year period. There's a $10 cancellation fee if you cancel it early. (The latter sounds vaguely familiar. When I first signed up they added it on my account after I told them I didn't want it - it happened twice in fact - and the second time I called to get it off I think they wanted to charge some fee to cancel it.)

 

Thank you to everyone here for your information and assistance! I felt much better going into this with more knowledge. And now I look forward to getting my Genie on Tues! 



#14 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 02 March 2014 - 09:34 PM

Awesome.  Keep us posted


Here’s to the crazy ones.
The misfits. The rebels.
The the troublemakers.
The round pegs in the square holes.

The ones who see things different.
They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo.


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#15 OFFLINE   coolman302003

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Posted 03 March 2014 - 02:43 AM

I opted to sign up for the protection plan for $7.99 this time - after having two TiVo power supplies die in the last month, I'm feeling a bit leery. The first month's fee for the protection plan was waived.

 

Actually the protection plan coverage does not begin for 30 days; I believe you should receive the terms and conditions of the plan in snail mail within a couple of weeks. The initial adding should show a line item of 0.00 under Recent Activity online, billing will begin after 30 days at $7.99 per month. 

 

One thing I learned that I had not realized was that one signs up for the protection plan for at least a 1 year period. There's a $10 cancellation fee if you cancel it early. (The latter sounds vaguely familiar. When I first signed up they added it on my account after I told them I didn't want it - it happened twice in fact - and the second time I called to get it off I think they wanted to charge some fee to cancel it.)

And now I look forward to getting my Genie on Tues!

Correct, and just remember the 1 year period begins 30 days after it's added as the initial is basically a trial period. You are also able to cancel it without a fee within the first 30 days, and after 1 year of subscribing. For example since you added it yesterday you could cancel without a fee after April 2, 2015. Here is a thread about this you might want to check out.

 

Definitely keep us posted especially on what model Genie you get (HR34 or 44). :)


List of networks with HD VOD content available on DirecTV

 

5-LNB SlimLine w/SWM16 | HR44-700 w/AM-21N | HR24-200 | H25-100 | H25-100 | C41-500





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