I DID know I had the $7.99 package and wasn't even sure if it was worth the money since I never seem to have a problem with my DTV equipment. (Knocking on wood!!). Do the majority of you agree that I should even drop the $7.99 package?
I preface the description of my experience by saying that I know that DIRECTV does not treat all customers in the same way, and it could be that others might have an experience different from mine, especially if their account history might be different from mine.
I have been a DIRECTV subscriber since 1994, and I have never had the protection plan since it was first offered. Yet, I have never paid a cent for a service call, for replacement of dead equipment, or for an equipment upgrade. I've had 5 or 6 receivers or DVRs die, and, not only have I gotten no cost replacements, but, upon my request, the $19.95 shipping charge has always been waived. During the last 5 or 6 years, I've had 2 or 3 service calls to re-peak the dish, and I have never been charged anything. I've had free upgrades to SWM and Whole Home service. About a year ago, I was offered and accepted a free upgrade of a DVR to an H44 Genie, and about a year earlier, I had an HR21 replaced with an HR24 with no charge to me either time. A number of years ago, when I replaced my SD equipment with HD equipment, I paid nothing, and, when I replaced receivers with DVRs, I also paid nothing.
I accept the fact that, at some point in the future, DIRECTV could change its policy, and I could be charged for a service call. In the mean time, however, I've saved enough money by not having the protection plan to pay for a few dozen service calls, and, if DIRECTV were ever to try charge me an unreasonable fee to replace failed equipment, I always have the option of starting over with new equipment from Dish Network.
I know that there are those who will say that the protection plan is good insurance for those with owned equipment, but I don't own equipment, and, for me, I see little, if any, advantage to having owned equipment, but that is a completely different discussion.
Any protection plans or extended warranties, whether they be for electronic equipment, home appliances, automobiles, or any other product are virtually pure profit generaters for the companies that sell them. The markups for these extended warranties and protection plans are generally several hundred per cent over what any likely payout might be. A salesperson, whether it be for a car, an appliance, or any other product, can sell that product for what appears to be a loss, but, if he/she can sell the buyer a protection plan or extended warranty, he/she can turn that deal into an especially good profit making deal. And paying for a DIRECTV protection plan strikes me, especially, as being unnecessary since, as explained above, DIRECTV appears to be willing to give customers without the protection plan the same repairs, replacement of dead equipment, and upgrades for no charge as they give to those who do have the protection plan.