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directv sub-contractor, couple of questions


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31 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   garyl24

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Posted 11 September 2004 - 09:01 PM

i am going to arkansas monday to get certified for directv, and i will be a sub-contractor. i will make $61 for 1 reciever and $20for each additional. is this about average pay? they said i have to have my own tools and my own truck. i have been reading the threads and searching to see what all i can find out about this. my question is, for you guys that work as a sub contractor do you have to buy your own compression fittings and your own cable? i know independant contractors do but i am unsure about sub-contractors. thanks for any help

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#2 OFFLINE   garyl24

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Posted 11 September 2004 - 09:04 PM

also forgot to add, i know the Channel Master 1009IFD and the new birdog has the lcd to tell you which sat you are hitting, are there any other meters that do this? that sounds like a plus to have

#3 OFFLINE   jimisham

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Posted 12 September 2004 - 05:57 AM

You might want to think about this again. I had my system upgraded the other day so that I could receive my locals.
The installer spent more time on the phone with Directv, than he did making the change to my system. The biggest problem he had, was that they told him our service had been disconnected a long time ago. Never mind the fact that we were sitting there looking at Directv, and that they were taking the monthly payment out of our checking account on a monthly basis, and that we had been customers for 7 years.
During the time he was on the phone with them, he was transferred several times before the problem was corrected. I was wrong.
I have a Directv with TIVO. I discovered that night that the Directv was working, but the TIVO was not. Another phone call needed.
The installer said that the biggest problem he has doing installs for Directv, is what he has to go through when he calls in to set up the new service.

#4 OFFLINE   garyl24

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Posted 12 September 2004 - 09:02 AM

i guess every job has its bad sides, but with this i can make as much money as i want and i dont have a boss with me all day starring down my back

#5 OFFLINE   boba

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Posted 12 September 2004 - 02:54 PM

i guess every job has its bad sides, but with this i can make as much money as i want and i dont have a boss with me all day starring down my back

You have a lot to learn youngster. Your boss is the customer that you are installing for most will be in your back pocket. You will only make as much money as the service you are contracting to will let you make. After you have driven three hours to be told "We cancelled yesterday" or you get to do two free service calls because you made a mistake. Or you get audited by the company and they find you made mistakes in your install procedure and you have to go back anf fix them. This is still just a JOB and you must do it right to earn the respect of the customer and the business you will represent. The attitude you have already expressed would mean I wouldn't hire you.
:) :) :)

#6 OFFLINE   SimpleSimon

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Posted 12 September 2004 - 03:14 PM

What boba said.
"I agreed with Bogy thrice in 5353 posts. That means he's wrong 99.94% of the time."
----------
DishDVR 921, B: 120B, F: F051, V: L211HECD-N@04-Dec-07, L212@05-Mar-01, L213@Apr-01, L215@Jun-29, L216@Jul-23, L218@Jul-28, L219@Aug-11, L270@Sep-14, L272@Oct-28, L273@Dec-08, L274@Mar-08, L275@Mar-23, L276HECD-N@06-Mar-31.
DP-Twin=110/119, DP Single=148, into a DP34, DP Dual=61.5, into DP21s to add 61.5

#7 OFFLINE   garyl24

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Posted 12 September 2004 - 03:34 PM

i didnt know i expressed a bad attitude. and the deal with a boss starring down my back, i didnt mean that in a bad way. i am sure since i am just now starting i will make mistakes, but i am willing to learn and that is why i think i will be pretty good at it. that and i have 2 kids to support!!

#8 OFFLINE   jdspencer

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Posted 12 September 2004 - 04:57 PM

I suggest you head over to the TiVo Community DirecTV DVR forum and see what complaints those folks have with installers. Then you will know what not to do. :)
DirecTV since '96, Waivers for ABC, CBS, NBC, & Fox, HR23-700 & HR24-500/AM21, using ethernet based MRV.

#9 OFFLINE   larrystotler

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Posted 12 September 2004 - 06:26 PM

Best advice I can give is to figure out what you should do and go over it with the customer and get it approved BEFORE you do anything. And make sure you ground the dish. Shooting a job down due to lack of grounding is the best thing you can do. Period.

#10 OFFLINE   ibooksrule

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Posted 14 September 2004 - 06:14 PM

well im independent contractor and i get $85 for directv $100 for the triple dish and $100 for voom. yes i buy all my own stuff but you can get cable at 1000ft for less then $35 and your compression fittings arnt real high either. if i were you id make sure i had a customer name and number and then call them the night before you are to install to make sure they still want you to come out and then make sure of the time frame you are supposed to go out and verify what they wanted and check to see you have all your supplies before leaving. just make sure you are curtious and polite at all times. if your going to be installing directv i would say get a meter that will lock onto 2 sats at once. check ebay sometimes you can get some good equiptment to start with before you start in this and spend alot of money and then decide its not for you.

#11 OFFLINE   waydwolf

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 12:17 PM

Okay, straight from the Dish Pimp (thanks to the wife for that name) here's some advice.

1. Run screaming as fast as you can for a W-2 job with a cable company or a contract company doing cable work, but make sure you're a W-2 either way. The work hours are about as long, but you don't spend nearly so much on gas, their insurance covers you, and they supply the drop supplies. 1099 is a dodge to use you, make you eat the costs, and make you pay the price for every screw-up, especially those that aren't yours.

2. Should you ignore #1 and insist on staying in DBS work, you need to learn to be disciplined.
A. Ground to electrical service ground or DO NOT INSTALL. EVER.
B. Waterproof ALL penetrations.
C. NEVER mount where you are going to cause water problems unless there is NO OTHER CHOICE AND the customer signs off on the placement. In other words, mount at the eaves of the roof and not in the middle unless there's no other LoS and the customer literally SIGNS for this.
D. NEVER crush siding by mounting to vinyl or aluminum and NEVER mount to cedar shakes. Learn the difference between shakes and shingles immediately. One is barely doable and the other is asking for problems sooner or later and eventually it will come back to you.
E. Double, triple, and quadruple check BEFORE ANY drilling. Drilling through power lines inside walls, through a meter box outside from the inside, etc., is something you don't want to do.

3. NEVER EVER mount where there isn't spotless perfect line of sight and will be for three years to come. It should go without saying that mounting looking through the trees and then blaming the switches or boxes and telling the customer they'll have to wait for boxes to be replaced just so you can get paid and run is going to reflect badly on everyone.

4. Buy only the best drop supplies as cheap Radio Shack crud is only going to hurt you. Don't look askance at cable industry supply houses just because they don't explicitly say DBS. Don't think that it HAS to say 3Ghz or whatever on the cable. Simple RG-6 as used by the average cable company will pass Dish Pro signal all the way to 2150Mhz and beyond nicely. What is going to screw you and you may not realize it, is impedance mismatch which is a possibility whever the cable is damaged or more frequently, at each break in the line. If you have to splice a line ONCE, that's enough. More than that and you're courting problems on the upper transponders.

Now then, when you factor the costs of insurances, supplies, gas, etc., you might find that you make far less money than you were hoping. And you might find that taking on more work than you can really do in a proper amount of time where you take the time to do quality work seems attractive. Soon you might find yourself hacking installs, not grounding, not waterproofing, mounting to places you shouldn't, and lying to customers. All the while pressured by those giving you the work.

SBCA NSTP is nice. It's about ten times harder to pass than ANY of the DNSC FSS tests and given that it only takes a day while FSS training lasts a week at least, that should tell you something about how seriously Dish takes proper education. They also have about ZERO clue what it is and yet Dish is a member of the SBCA.

DirecTV knows what it is and pointedly doesn't care if you got it by paying someone. ALL they care about is if you have such a certification so they can over their arses and blame you for everything.

I've made the point of telling work sources that I can take three per half day, total of six, and do good quality work. I was within a week slammed with twelve two to four set jobs per day, and told I would get no further work if I didn't take what they gave. I was also ordered to forget grounding if it would speed things up and to install with marginal line of sight and blame the equipment so I could get paid. On top of this, I was frequently ordered to work on roofs that were in my professional opinion completely unsafe.

I won't work that way. I work under MY rules as a contractor and that is it. My way or the highway. When there's so much work to be done for so many wealthier people who won't stand for shenanigans, you can afford to pick and choose your work. Multiple sourcing will help you in this regard.

Also, make sure all pay lists are CONTRACTUAL, IN WRITING, and SIGNED by the other guy. Make sure they are properly notarized at the time of signing. Get those to a lawyer for safe keeping. Then watch as the other guy feels free to ignore all that and reclassify jobs any way they see fit in order to pay you less, while charging the full price up the chain and keeping the difference. Such as having you swap a single sat out for a Phase III and replacing all cabling, switches, and grounding and then paying you $20 and calling it a minor trouble call or upgrade. Meanwhile, they charge for it as a full install.

Complain and they may just claim they're not going to give you work anymore and if you threaten legal action, they may just turn around and claim that they are getting rid of all of "their guys" and going solo. They may even respond with a threat to file bankruptcy to counter.

That's another thing. If you're a 1099, YOU ARE NOT an employee. You are NOT one of "their guys". You are INDEPENDENT. So not only are all the negatives on your shoulders, so should also be the positives. Expect them to ignore that, treat you as an employee for command and control purposes, while treating you as independent when it suits them for their own financial purposes. In violation of the law. Don't expect the government to bother enforcing anything. Make friends with a lawyer. Get pre-paid legal. Expect to be familiar with small claims court filing proceedures.

You might want to explore the world of contract DBS work a lot more before plunging ahead full tilt. You CAN'T make as much money as you want. The other guy will do everything to see that you make as much money as HE wants.

For W-2 DBS work, there's DNSC or Halstead right now, basically. All else is on your head.

Sorry for the downer, but after years of this, I don't have the most favorable point of view towards the creeps who have been allowed to populate the upper end of this business and use the field grunts as cannon fodder to stuff their own wallets. If the installers keep allowing this, they will end up worse off than anyone in cable ever has, not that they largely aren't.

Lastly, DO NOT WORK for ANYONE who expects you to pay for amps, switches, etc. Ground blocks and fittings and cabling are one thing. Making you eat the cost of a sixteen port Spaun switch is another. If they don't stock you with such things, they're going to inevitably cost you more money than they're paying you in the end.
http://groups.yahoo....linginstallers/

Proud Supporter of any initiative to bring High Definition adult programming to cable and satellite

#12 OFFLINE   ibooksrule

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Posted 15 September 2004 - 03:39 PM

you should get ahold of a place called installs inc and talk to them thier # is800-344-4856 or email sbigaow@installs.com or jenniferc@installs.com and they will point you in the right direction to go. there is so much more that i do then just dbs installs such as HDTV installs, plasma tvs and home theater systems, and i also do pc installs. and i mean a pc install takes little time and requires very little of anything from you in the way of supplies. you can also make money by having things customers need with you such as a surge protector and other things of the sort and find them at a discount and then sell them to the customer just a little less then like wal mart and even then its not so much a price as convience becuase you are there you can hook everything up right then and there. dont let this other guy get you discourged there is good and bad to this business. i use to do this for a company called alphastar befre they went out of business and (a candaian sat company) then i got out of doing it but the money is not bad i didnt get paid near what im going to get now and yet i still had money to spare. its not har labor but its not easy either sometimes it is others are harder. but with installs inc you take 2 a day at minumum and you can take what you want you take what you can do in a day. but make sure the company you work for is not going to treat you like an employee but like a contractor thats what you are so why have to show up for meetings or go to an office every day when your not an employee. think about this i mean its a great business to an extent that you work the hours that you want. well let me rephrase that you get paid the same if it takes you 1 hour or 5 hours but you learn to get better and something i recmomend is a line of sight meter or incimontetor that will save you tons of time. but just look around dont take just anyones advice on this and dont just work for any company.

#13 OFFLINE   garyl24

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 12:12 PM

waydwolf and ibooksrule, them are great post's and i really appreciate your effort. i enjoy reading the good and the bad. this is something i want to do. i went to arkansas for the school and i am just waiting for my username and password and then i will take my test to be sbca certified. i know i am going to pass with no problem because the pre-test's i had to take i never missed one question. as far as buying all my own stuff, i know i have to buy them all, but the company that will be paying me is doing some kind of merging and are going to be completely merged by this january and we will al be employees. the regional manager was answering question we had on the merger and he said that we will have company trucks or vans, gas cards, cell phones, and all supplies need (cables, connectors, and so on) will be supplied. we will get stocks in the company, and they are still negotiating the hourly wage we will get paid but he said that they are estimating around 20 to 30 bucks an hour. he even said he is thinking that it might be like 26 bucks an hour, but he cant be sure yet. so i think everything will work out fine. and another thing i have been riding with the techs for a couple of days now and they do really crappy work, i was thinking to myself
"man, these guys suck i would never string cables over the roof like that" so i know for a fact i will make it in this business because i will take my time and do my work in a professional manner and not do sloppy work like that. and to boba, you say you would never hire me with the attitude i expressed , well guess what, i would never work for boba with the attitude he showed to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the man tried to judge me and doesnt know me, never seen me before and doesnt know how i work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

#14 OFFLINE   SimpleSimon

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 01:29 PM

garl24 - let me know what company that is - I want to work for them!

Personally, I do NOT see how it can be at all viable. Do the math, they'd be losing money big-time.
"I agreed with Bogy thrice in 5353 posts. That means he's wrong 99.94% of the time."
----------
DishDVR 921, B: 120B, F: F051, V: L211HECD-N@04-Dec-07, L212@05-Mar-01, L213@Apr-01, L215@Jun-29, L216@Jul-23, L218@Jul-28, L219@Aug-11, L270@Sep-14, L272@Oct-28, L273@Dec-08, L274@Mar-08, L275@Mar-23, L276HECD-N@06-Mar-31.
DP-Twin=110/119, DP Single=148, into a DP34, DP Dual=61.5, into DP21s to add 61.5

#15 OFFLINE   boba

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 02:42 PM

garl24 - let me know what company that is - I want to work for them!

Personally, I do NOT see how it can be at all viable. Do the math, they'd be losing money big-time.

Simon I agree I'd be interested in working for those benefits DNSC was the first thought but their wages don't come close.
:lol: :lol: :lol:

#16 OFFLINE   larrystotler

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 06:44 PM

I'd say that I would have to believe $20-30 per service call, not job. Course, if they are offering that for installs, you are getting ripped. I make way more than that per hour for installs, but i supply everything and my own vehicle and insureance, so there are tradeoffs.

#17 OFFLINE   garyl24

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 07:00 PM

the company is directech southwest and they are merging with commcraft. my home office is in paducah kentucky. and if anyone is interested let me know and i will keep you posted on the merger as i find out more myself. i do know quite a few techs out of the home office that dont want to go to hourly rate as they say they can make more per job, whick makes sense to me. but i like the 26 bucks an hour better!!!

#18 OFFLINE   garyl24

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Posted 19 September 2004 - 07:03 PM

i forgot to mention that he said we will also get full benefits(medical, dental and so on)and free directv service. he said the service will be the basic for free and whatever we choose above that all we have to do is pay the difference

#19 OFFLINE   SimpleSimon

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 12:34 AM

I still think this is one of those too good to be true stories. $26/hour ($52K/year!) and full benefits is nothing to sneeze at.

http://www.sos.louis...er_20040803.txt
seems to say that Directech used to be comm-craft:

AMENDMENTS TO DOMESTIC CHARTERS:
DIRECTECH SOUTHWEST, INC. 07/27/04
WINNFIELD, LA 71483
FROM: COMM-CRAFT, INC.

www.directech.tv is based at:
412 West Butler Road
Mauldin, SC 29662

#20 OFFLINE   JerryR

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Posted 20 September 2004 - 09:51 AM

waydwolf and ibooksrule, them are great post's and i really appreciate your effort. i enjoy reading the good and the bad. this is something i want to do. i went to arkansas for the school and i am just waiting for my username and password and then i will take my test to be sbca certified. i know i am going to pass with no problem because the pre-test's i had to take i never missed one question. as far as buying all my own stuff, i know i have to buy them all, but the company that will be paying me is doing some kind of merging and are going to be completely merged by this january and we will al be employees. the regional manager was answering question we had on the merger and he said that we will have company trucks or vans, gas cards, cell phones, and all supplies need (cables, connectors, and so on) will be supplied. we will get stocks in the company, and they are still negotiating the hourly wage we will get paid but he said that they are estimating around 20 to 30 bucks an hour. he even said he is thinking that it might be like 26 bucks an hour, but he cant be sure yet. so i think everything will work out fine. and another thing i have been riding with the techs for a couple of days now and they do really crappy work, i was thinking to myself
"man, these guys suck i would never string cables over the roof like that" so i know for a fact i will make it in this business because i will take my time and do my work in a professional manner and not do sloppy work like that. and to boba, you say you would never hire me with the attitude i expressed , well guess what, i would never work for boba with the attitude he showed to me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! the man tried to judge me and doesnt know me, never seen me before and doesnt know how i work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, good luck garyl24! All sounds good - too good to be true that is. By the way, I have this bridge over in Brooklyn you might be interested in..........




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