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Guest Message by DevFuse

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Very Specific Question About 2 Year Contract


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24 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   mya23rd

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 03:21 PM

I have been unable to get a straight answer from DTV to this question so I figure I might get an answer from the resourceful people on this forum. I am a current DTV subscriber and want to upgrade to the HD Tivo. I know this comes with a 2 year committment but I was wondering when this actually takes effect. Here is the reason why i ask. The DTV installer in my area, Mastec, is absolutely horrible, and like many people on this forum I have had many absoultey nightmarish and very frustrating experiences with them. And from reading the most recent posts, they are still as bad as ever. My most recent install about a year ago took 8 seperate techs with 8 seperate appts to get just a standard dish and a couple of receivers installed. I wasted an entire vacation bs'ing with them on the phone, having installers just not show up, or show up very late and then give me some excuse as to why it wasn't possible to do the install...all the reasons were bogus.

So basically what I want to do is order the HD Tivo and set up an installation. I would prefer to do it myself but it seems like DTV will never allow that. This may sound harsh but trust me its warranted but if I get any bullcrap from that like they cancel the appt after calling saying they will be there in an hour or if they show up without equipment or just give me any excuse at all, I will just say to them go f..k yourselves, I don't want to reschedule and sit around waiting for your incompetent techs, cancel my installation. i then want to be able to call DTV, cancel my order and cancel my service and tell them to get their **** together and hire some better contractors.

Will DTV tell me that I have agreed to a 2 year contract in ordering the upgrade and I must pay a penalty to cancel. Currently I am not under contract, it just expired last week actually. So basically I want to give them one chance to get the install right, and if they don't I'm just not gonna deal with it, I'm not gonna waste my time again. Does anyone have any info on this? I honestly expect those sneaky aholes at DTV to try and charge me a cancellation fee by claiming that I have just signed a 2 year commitment and I must pay to get out of it.

Oh, one side note. I have read on some other threads that they will let you otu of the contract if you just send back the equipment. I still don't believe this because otherwise what is the point of the contract. It is meaningless if you can just send back your receivers to get out of it. Isn't the whole point of the penalty to dissuade people from canceling. Any info on this?

Thanks everyone, I don't know what I would do without this forum.

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#2 OFFLINE   Fl_Gulfer

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 04:33 PM

I'm pretty sure it starts after it's installed and they call to activate the service and they hand the phone to you.

#3 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 06:14 PM

When they bring the equipment, install, and activate, you sign the agreement...so your 2 years starts then. With your atitude towards D*, why do you bother to stay a customer?

#4 OFFLINE   mya23rd

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 07:46 PM

When they bring the equipment, install, and activate, you sign the agreement...so your 2 years starts then. With your atitude towards D*, why do you bother to stay a customer?


Thats a good question. The reason i still am a customer is because I think they offer the best programming out there. This has nothing to do with their installation process, I mena once that nightmare if over, I'm very happy with the service. I know there are many others on here who feel the same way. I really do like DTV, its lineup, and think its the best there is, it just really ticks me off that they have such a poor installation process that they pay no attnetion to. They just can't treat customers like this. It shows you loyal I am to them if I'm still considering keeping the service after forcing me to deal with their incompetent and dishonest contractors.

You also have to consider that there are not a lot of options. I personally do not like Dish Network, tried it out but it just didn't do it for me. I have had Comcast and they are still broadcasting most channels in analog which offers some of the worst pq I have seen around. So there really aren't many options, but trust me I cannot wait for Verizon FIOS TV to be available. From what I can tell their servie is excellent and I like their channel lineup. They offer way more movie and HD channels, HD locals, and excellent receivers. Plus no need to worry about installing the new huge dish. Even better no need to deal with DTV installers. Trust me if I could get FIOS, I would have never even had to make the initial post.

#5 OFFLINE   JLucPicard

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 08:02 PM

As others have mentioned, you are certainly not locked into that commitment until the equipment has been installed and activated. If you cancel before the install because things go to cr*p, you should have no trouble with that.

Given what you said about Verizon FIOS, is there a half-way reliable time table on when that WILL be available in your area? If it is within two years, I would maybe think twice about locking into a 2-year commitment with D*, unless you'll be willing to take the hit if you cancel to switch to FIOS.

I hope for all the best with your install. I can be very thankful that I have never had the kind of trouble you have had. That's GOT to be frustrating.

Good luck.

#6 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 04 February 2006 - 09:03 PM

Just a few words to fix your situation.....

Install it yourself.....Then you dont have to keep complaining.....

#7 OFFLINE   mya23rd

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 05:50 AM

As others have mentioned, you are certainly not locked into that commitment until the equipment has been installed and activated. If you cancel before the install because things go to cr*p, you should have no trouble with that.

Given what you said about Verizon FIOS, is there a half-way reliable time table on when that WILL be available in your area? If it is within two years, I would maybe think twice about locking into a 2-year commitment with D*, unless you'll be willing to take the hit if you cancel to switch to FIOS.

I hope for all the best with your install. I can be very thankful that I have never had the kind of trouble you have had. That's GOT to be frustrating.

Good luck.


It's really hard to get any definitive word on FIOS but in the Northern VA area where I live, they have begun offering service in a few cities. And they are constantly building up network in this general area. I've actually seen them tearing up the streets in my neighborhood in Arlington, so they are definitely working on it. They are havng some problems wth the local county board over franchise agreement but a recent bill passed the state legislature that should solve this problem. The most optimistic estimate I have seen is that it might be available as early as this summer. I have my fingers crossed but I think it probably won't be till the end of the year or perhaps even longer. Lets hope I'm wrong.

#8 OFFLINE   mya23rd

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 05:56 AM

Just a few words to fix your situation.....

Install it yourself.....Then you dont have to keep complaining.....



I would do that if only DTV would let me. They insist on having one of their contractors do the install. I have asked if they can just ship the equipment to me and I will do it myself but they said absoutely not.

I know I'm not the only one that has tried this because there are others on here who have tried to get the equipment sent to them so they can do the install but DTV keeps saying for the equipmet to be installed correctly they must have one of their people do it. Yeah right, a chimp with some tools has a better chance of doing the install correctly, and if it was that chimp that knew sign language he could probably install the 5 lnb dish better than one of the DTV techs.

Thats actually what is so frustrating. DTV will not just let me do it myslef. I already have all the wirng done, mast in place and would just need to replace the dish and attach the new receiver. But of course DTV has to make things difficult.

#9 OFFLINE   JcT21

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 07:26 AM

i hear you and feel your pain. installers that work this area in kentucky are unbelievably horrible. they are dishonest and do sloppy work. just any old way to get it done, whether its right or not. ive had my share of installation and service call nightmares and missed appointments. thank goodness everything has been working fine for a while now without a service call.

i wanted to cancel because of the installers, but out here its either D*, or cable with its 20 some channels. E* will work here but the mountains and trees make 119 hard to get.

#10 OFFLINE   mya23rd

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Posted 05 February 2006 - 10:33 AM

I used to think that it was just this area where the installers are so bad, but it seems like I have read a post from nearly every part of te country a complaining about the horrible installation process. This tells you that its a DirecTV wide problem that effects everyone. They seem to have little or no standards for who they choose to do installs. Its really there loss.

#11 OFFLINE   kay

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 01:25 AM

I'll bet you can just refuse the install - I would

#12 OFFLINE   mya23rd

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 06:26 AM

Its really being stuck between a rock and a hard place. I have to order the equipment thru DTV because they will give me the discounted price that I can't get from retail. But then that means one of their people has to come install it. I was thinking of just asking the installer to just leave everything at my house and I would sign off on it as though he had done the install. Then I could just do it myself. I really don't want them laying a finger on my set up, I've heard too many stories of people having their set up damaged or the retarded tech messes things up so bad that he ends up leaving and the customers is stuck with no service. I really don't understand why DTV just doens't send the equipment straight to me. I know they have their reasons but they are not very good. Just let me waive installation, how hard is that.

#13 OFFLINE   Link

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 08:01 AM

Directv never tells you of the contract. My dad got an R-15 Directv DVR at Circuity City in December. He took it home and hooked it up and activated it (by the way has had no problems with the R-15 either).

He does his Directv bill online and that is the only place that mentions 24 month agreement or something on his bill--otherwise he wouldn't have even known.

He didn't care really because the DVR was free with the mail in rebate, but the 24 month agreement was never mentioned at Circuit City nor by the Directv CSR when he activated the receiver. They should tell customers these things!

#14 OFFLINE   Mavrick

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 08:34 AM

I have the same issues with the D* installers for I installed my own system in 1996 4 rooms and never had an issue at all with my setup and then april 2005 I had D* install a second dish for 72.5 so I could get my locals and had nothing but troubles afterward and had the installer return 4 times at D* request and never fix the problem and I finally had enough and did a complete reinstall of the sorry work that their installer had done and have not had a problem since. If I have a say I will not have one of their installers touch my system ever again.

#15 OFFLINE   carl6

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Posted 06 February 2006 - 08:35 AM

As Kay noted, the committment happens at the time you activate the equipment. One year for a standard receiver, two years for a DVR or HD receiver. It does not matter where you buy it, it does not matter if they install it or not, and it doesn't matter if you get a rebate or not.

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#16 OFFLINE   mya23rd

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 03:15 PM

Directv never tells you of the contract. My dad got an R-15 Directv DVR at Circuity City in December. He took it home and hooked it up and activated it (by the way has had no problems with the R-15 either).

He does his Directv bill online and that is the only place that mentions 24 month agreement or something on his bill--otherwise he wouldn't have even known.

He didn't care really because the DVR was free with the mail in rebate, but the 24 month agreement was never mentioned at Circuit City nor by the Directv CSR when he activated the receiver. They should tell customers these things!


DirecTV is really underhanded about the 2 year agreement. They don't mention it because they would scare off a lot of customers if they did. It's really unfair and sneaky and they shouldn't be allowed to get away with it. They just settled some legal action about their misleading promotions and false advertising claims that mislead a lot of customers. I wish someone would take some action against them regarding the two year committment. Customers shouldn't be finding out about it after the fact. But thats exactly the point, once you realize it, they will never let you out of the contract unless you pay the penalty. It really gets under my skin because thats not a good way to start off a relationship with your customers. I mean cell phone companies are pretty bad about disclsoing contracts, but these guys are even worse.

#17 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 03:17 PM

I don't know about that....

The last three boxes I have activated, I have had them tell me about the 2 year agreement....
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All comments are my own. Unless specifically stated, my views do NOT represent the views of DIRECTV

#18 OFFLINE   mya23rd

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 03:19 PM

I have the same issues with the D* installers for I installed my own system in 1996 4 rooms and never had an issue at all with my setup and then april 2005 I had D* install a second dish for 72.5 so I could get my locals and had nothing but troubles afterward and had the installer return 4 times at D* request and never fix the problem and I finally had enough and did a complete reinstall of the sorry work that their installer had done and have not had a problem since. If I have a say I will not have one of their installers touch my system ever again.


I don't get why DTV just doesn't allow self installs. I remember a few years back they would provide self install kits if you wanted to do it yourself. I mean not only are their installers incompetent but they actually force you to use them. Thats just bull. I am gonna try to get them to send the equipment to me by talking to the retention department. I don't know if they will be willing to do that, but I figure its worth a try.

#19 OFFLINE   CCarncross

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Posted 07 February 2006 - 06:05 PM

They are extremely upfront about the 2 year committment. 3 relatives have gotten installs in the last year and all 3 said they almost spent too much time explaining everything....all 3 were extremely happy with their install/activation experience...

A good reason for not allowing self-installs is for service calls.....if you have a problem 6 months or a year down the road, you cant call and demand a free service call due to the self install being shoddy....if they come out, they are responsible for the any install related problems....it makes sense to limit their liability....

#20 OFFLINE   mya23rd

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Posted 08 February 2006 - 04:16 PM

They are extremely upfront about the 2 year committment. 3 relatives have gotten installs in the last year and all 3 said they almost spent too much time explaining everything....all 3 were extremely happy with their install/activation experience...

A good reason for not allowing self-installs is for service calls.....if you have a problem 6 months or a year down the road, you cant call and demand a free service call due to the self install being shoddy....if they come out, they are responsible for the any install related problems....it makes sense to limit their liability....



I wouldn't be surprised if you work for DTV.




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