The e-mail that was sent out says "No strings attached", however, after just getting off the phone with D*, I'm being told that what "No strings attached" means is no hidden additional costs. But since the DVR is one of their "Advanced Technology" products, then yes, there is an additional two-year commitment.
I explained the "no strings attached" wording and the fact that nowhere in the e-mail nor in the ordering process did it cite their policy of the additional programming commitment, but after being on hold for ten minutes he came back with the fact that there may have been an omission in the e-mail.
Bottom line, yes, there is a two-year commitment attached. The fine print on the e-mail did not mention a commitment, nor do I recall seeing it when placing the order (isn't it usually cited somewhere when ordering equipment on-line, fine print or otherwise???), but that is their policy.
What I did find strange in my particular situation is when I asked how long my current commitment runs, he said November 2006. I told him that I did buy a second HD Tivo in August 2005, and was expecting my commitment would currently run through August or September 2007. He checked again - no, November 2006.
Then (the poor guy) I had to go on and explain in light of that, then, I would need to rethink this. Adding a couple of months to my commitment was one thing, but if I'm looking at an extra 14 months essentially (over what I'm currently at), then I would need to weigh extending my commitment that long with whether I feel they will be able to live up to all the promises they are currently making (more HD, etc.) and living under their new lease-based business model. (I was very polite about it, though ).
He was going to pass my concerns up the line in respect to this offer requiring an additional commitment, but not really mentioning it. I normally would have assumed there was one, aside from the fact that the e-mail says "No strings attached". Unfortunate wording on their part.
The response you received is 100% incorrect. Here are the actual terms and conditions for the offer:
Terms and Conditions
By placing this order you agree to the following terms and conditions:
Offer for existing residential customers only with accounts in good standing, as determined by DIRECTV in its sole discretion.
Applicable taxes not included in system price.
Within 30 days of equipment purchase you agree to activate the DIRECTV DVR service ($5.99/mo.). In certain markets, programming and pricing may vary.
Limited time offer expires 2/28/2006 or while supplies last.
DIRECTV DVR service fee is $5.99/mo. and covers every DVR in your home. The DVR service fee is waived for customers subscribing to TOTAL CHOICE PREMIER programming.
*Actual recording capacity depends on type of programming being recorded. Land-based phone line connection required. Professional installation highly recommended.
DIRECTV PROGRAMMING AND PRICING SUBJECT TO CHANGE AT ANY TIME. Fee for separate programming on second and each additional TV $4.99.mo. You are not obligated to continue your subscription to DIRECTV programming for any specific duration.
Existing customers may activate additional receivers with their existing DIRECTV programming package. FAILURE TO ACTIVATE THE DIRECTV SYSTEM WITHIN 30 DAYS OF RECEIPT MAY RESULT IN A CHARGE OF $150 FOR EACH DIRECTV RECEIVER NOT ACTIVATED. If you return your equipment within 30 days of purchase and prior to installation, you will receive a full refund, minus shipping and handling. Offer void in Alaska and Hawaii and where prohibited or restricted. May not be combined with any other offer. Offer and equipment are non-transferable and may not be resold. Hardware and programming sold separately. Programming and pricing subject to change. Pricing in residential. Taxes not included. Receipt of DIRECTV programming is subject to the terms of the DIRECTV Customer Agreement; a copy is provided at DIRECTV.com and in your first bill. DIRECTV services not provided outside the U.S.
Please note the underlined part in bold. It SPECIFICALLY states there is no additional commitment required.
Call them back and have them look at the actual terms and conditions they are disclosing on their website. There was another person over at Tivocommunity that got the same song and dance until he finally esculated to someone that knew what they were talking about.