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DirecTV Lease vs Buy Confusion


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144 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   w6fxj

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 01:24 PM

:confused: I am considering getting another HR10-250 and decided to check out the lease vs buy options. There are many on-line retailers like Crutchfield, BestBuy and the like all selling HR10-250's for about $499. All say the equipment is mine and not a lease.

On the other hand, DirecTV will lease me an HR10-250 for an up-front fee of $499, and a monthly lease of $4.95 plus the DVR monthly fee of $4.99. Right now I pay a monthly mirroring fee of $4.95 a month and the same DVR fee of $4.99 a month. In other words my out-of-pocket cost would be exactly the same if I buy or if lease.

Then I checked to see if I could buy the HR-10-250 from Crutchfield and then activate it as my own equipment. I was told flatly by a DirecTV Customer Retention supervisor (employee nr U3613) that even if I "buy" the DVR from an authorized retailer, it would still be a lease as far as DirecTV was concerned. That I woulld be required to turn the HR10-250 over to DirecTV if I cancelled my DirecTV service.

Since this seemed to be unfair if not illegal, I contacted several on-line retailers about this. All said that they were selling the equipment not leasing it. I again spoke to DirecTV was was assured that existing subscribers could "own" the equipment they bought from retailers. That they could "ask" that the new equipment purchased from retailers be considered "subscriber owned" when it was activated.

Then I asked what if a new subscriber bought the same equipment from a retailer, could they activate it as owned. That question completly floored the customer retention specialist. She said the instructions were not written very well and that DirecTV might consider that a "lease."

Does anyone else have a better feel for who can and can not own DirecTV equipment?

...Ads Help To Support This SIte...

#2 OFFLINE   ScoB

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 03:53 PM

I gotta say that I am floored that people are only 'NOW' coming to grips with the new lease plan. This has been widely discussed and bantered back and forth on this and similar sites (avs and others). It has been mentioned over and over that anyone who was thinking about upgrading or getting new equipment and wanted to own should act before 3/1 (gosh that's a whole 4 days ago).

I know that if I was even thinking about getting D* equipment (and I wanted to own) I would have done so before the first of March. The leasing plan has been posted in full on many threads online (here and other forums).

Just like anything else - if you snooze you lose. Everyone around here for the past month or so was forewarned.

I don't want to sound so direct, but this should have been thought of 4 days ago.

#3 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 04:18 PM

That's not entirely true. The new plan has always stated that retailers could still sell units which would be owned by the customer. It's just that after 03/01 DTV would not be subsidizing the units retailers were selling.

As I understand it if I get a HR10 from DTV I pay $499 and lease. If I get one from a retailer and pay $799 I own it. Now, I think where the confusion is coming from is that retailers are still selling their units for $499. Maybe not all retailers have gotten the word they should be charging $799 or maybe the retailers are clearing their shelves. Bottom line is you can still purchase equipment is you wish.

In particular:

7. Q: What happens if I sell (not lease) my customer a DIRECTV system after 2/28/06?

A: While you are not prohibited from selling DIRECTV hardware at prices established by you, please be advised that after 2/28/06, you will not be eligible to receive any commissions or subsidies for sold receivers. Accordingly, you will be subject to chargebacks for any subsidies or commissions you may have received, including any amounts under the Buy-Down Program. Please also note that only leased receivers will be eligible for ODU/Multi-Switch Reimbursement and commission.


in this post.

#4 ONLINE   damondlt

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 06:46 PM

I gotta say that I am floored that people are only 'NOW' coming to grips with the new lease plan. This has been widely discussed and bantered back and forth on this and similar sites (avs and others). It has been mentioned over and over that anyone who was thinking about upgrading or getting new equipment and wanted to own should act before 3/1 (gosh that's a whole 4 days ago).

I know that if I was even thinking about getting D* equipment (and I wanted to own) I would have done so before the first of March. The leasing plan has been posted in full on many threads online (here and other forums).

Just like anything else - if you snooze you lose. Everyone around here for the past month or so was forewarned.

I don't want to sound so direct, but this should have been thought of 4 days ago.

Your Right .... GET OVER IT PEOPLE !!!!:confused:

#5 OFFLINE   ScoB

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 07:11 PM

Your Right .... GET OVER IT PEOPLE !!!!:confused:


enuf said..........AMEN!

#6 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 07:13 PM

Not sure what's to get over. You can purchase or lease all DTV equipment. It's still a decision one can make.

#7 OFFLINE   ScoB

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 07:36 PM

Not sure what's to get over. You can purchase or lease all DTV equipment. It's still a decision one can make.


I'm willing to wager that retailers offering to sell D* IRDs will be few and far between once current stock runs out - Remember D* controls the distribution of ALL receivers now.

#8 OFFLINE   ScoB

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Posted 04 March 2006 - 08:29 PM

From the Solid Signal website (http://www.solidsign..._lease_info.asp)

Take note of item #2:

For Existing DIRECTV Customers
(1) DIRECTV® Receiver equipment purchased prior to 03/01/2006 are eligible to be activated as "non-leased" equipment and are not required to be returned to DIRECTV upon cancellation of service. Receiver(s) must be activated before 03/30/2006.
(2) Any DIRECTV® Receiver purchased after 02/28/2006 will only be activated under DIRECTV®'s new equipment lease program.
(3) Any DIRECTV® Receiver purchased before 02/28/2006 is not required to activated under DIRECTV®'s new equipment lease program. Therefore, you will own the purchased equipment. Receiver(s) must be activated before 03/30/2006.
(3) Any DIRECTV® Receiver activation will require a 24-month subscription commitment.
(4) Equipment protection plan will still be available to you for your non-leased equipment for only $5.99 / month.

As a separate information piece, today I wired up another room in my house and re-activated an older RCA receiver - no problem, no programming committment, not-as-a-lease ($4.99 mirroring fee as my other boxes).

#9 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 01:12 AM

Ok, I'm not going to keep beating this. The original info posted from DTV states you can purchase equipment from retailers after 03/01. It's up to the retailer. Obviously what you listed from SS indicates they are not planning on selling DTV equipment but only leasing.

The OP mentioned he saw pricing of $499 at Crutchfield's and BB. You stated no one can purchase equipment after 03/01. I quoted part of a memo from DTV to retailers and provided the link to this memo on this forum that states customers may lease or purchase equipment. You posted a link from SS that they are only going to lease.

It is obvious you can purchase equipment if a retailer offers that option. That's all. The entire program seems to have been implemented very poorly by DTV. It does not appear the specifics have been communicated properly to DTV's retailers, to DTV's CSRs nor to retailer's CSRs. End result will be a decline in DTV's new subscriptions at least for a couple of months.

#10 OFFLINE   ScoB

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 07:16 AM

[quote name='Wolffpack']Ok, I'm not going to keep beating this.
Thank goodness.

The original info posted from DTV states you can purchase equipment from retailers after 03/01. It's up to the retailer. Correct.
Obviously what you listed from SS indicates they are not planning on selling DTV equipment but only leasing.
Thats not true at all. It says that DirecTV will only accept these under the new lease plan.
The OP mentioned he saw pricing of $499 at Crutchfield's and BB.
OK.
You stated no one can purchase equipment after 03/01.
This is not true - never said anything like this - you're dreaming. Re-read it and see if anything like that was ever said.

I quoted part of a memo from DTV to retailers and provided the link to this memo on this forum that states customers may lease or purchase equipment.
OK.
You posted a link from SS that they are only going to lease.
No - it says that equipment PURCHSED after 3/1/06 will only be added under the new lease plan. You need to read more carefully.
It is obvious you can purchase equipment if a retailer offers that option.
Correct.
That's all. The entire program seems to have been implemented very poorly by DTV. It does not appear the specifics have been communicated properly to DTV's retailers, to DTV's CSRs nor to retailer's CSRs.
I find all of these to be pretty common with a lot of things in this industry.

End result will be a decline in DTV's new subscriptions at least for a couple of months.
This is only an opinion - time will see if this is true or not.

#11 OFFLINE   DonCorleone

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 08:59 AM

Yikes! What's with the attititude on the site all of a sudden? The guy was simply asking a question and while there was a lot discussed on the site, (a) it and D* were still making people ask a lot of questions due to a lack of clarity and (B) maybe the Woodman hadn't read that stuff yet.

This is supposed to be a forum to enourage conversation, ask questions, share information, etc. You don't need to bit the guy's head off.

I gotta say that I am floored that people are only 'NOW' coming to grips with the new lease plan. This has been widely discussed and bantered back and forth on this and similar sites (avs and others). It has been mentioned over and over that anyone who was thinking about upgrading or getting new equipment and wanted to own should act before 3/1 (gosh that's a whole 4 days ago).

I know that if I was even thinking about getting D* equipment (and I wanted to own) I would have done so before the first of March. The leasing plan has been posted in full on many threads online (here and other forums).

Just like anything else - if you snooze you lose. Everyone around here for the past month or so was forewarned.

I don't want to sound so direct, but this should have been thought of 4 days ago.



#12 OFFLINE   ScoB

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 09:14 AM

Yikes! What's with the attititude on the site all of a sudden? The guy was simply asking a question and while there was a lot discussed on the site, (a) it and D* were still making people ask a lot of questions due to a lack of clarity and (B) maybe the Woodman hadn't read that stuff yet.

This is supposed to be a forum to enourage conversation, ask questions, share information, etc. You don't need to bit the guy's head off.


Sorry that you feel that way. I do however feel that OVERALL there is way too much whining and not enough in the way of people reading before posting (as you suggest).

BTW look at the BB and CC circulars in todays paper (or online). Both clearly say that they are leasing receivers, and that the receivers are the property of D* and must be returned when service is cancelled. I do believe it is time for peeps to get over it and move on. Like it or not, it's a lease plan for now. Those who wanted to purchase and keep the boxes had plenty of notice. This is not really biting of anyone's head, maybe it is a notice to be pro-active in the future and weigh out the options before it's too late.

#13 OFFLINE   ScoB

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 09:22 AM

Furthermore, I am not making a judgement on whether purchase or lease is a better option but I do know the following:

You know what - $99 upfront for a MPEG4 state-of-the-art current model HD receiver (yes on a lease) is really not too bad - all things considered. Why it was only about 2 years ago I purchased a Hughes E86 for about $700, and then a little over a year ago I bought a Hughes HD HTL for another $700. Yeah I own them (they are in boxes in my garage now) - I upgraded to the H20 in January.

If I had the option of leasing those 2 older boxes and paid $99 each up front, and since the monthly fees are the same for purchase or lease, it would have saved me LOTS of money to lease. I could upgrade each box 7 times (at $99 each) for the same $700 I spent to purchase. The only reason that the prices to purchase were so low now is that D* was subsidizing the retailers - without those the prices would still be in the $400+ range.

If you pay the small upfront lease fees and then you can change out for new technolgy every couple of years, it really seems to be a pretty fair deal. Also, don't forget that it wasn't that long ago that people paid $1100 to purchase a HD-DVR. $499 for that same box now is a pretty good deal (just ask someone that paid the $1100).

Also, the new lease plan includes receiver replacement if it goes bad.

#14 OFFLINE   hiker

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 10:03 AM

If I can still purchase, new or used, and activate a "owned" receiver, how is D* going to keep track of which receivers are "leased" and which are "owned" for activation eligibility?

I can foresee a huge problem in getting D* to activate a receiver as "owned" . Is D* going to keep track of serial numbers and designate as "owned" or "leased"?

Or will D* refuse to active receivers with a "owned" status after 3/30/06 which seems to be implied from the Solidsignal Equipment Lease Program Information?

#15 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 10:06 AM

You stated no one can purchase equipment after 03/01.

This is not true - never said anything like this - you're dreaming. Re-read it and see if anything like that was ever said.

Sorry, I misinterpreted this statement as you informing the OP it was too late to own equipment. I apologize.

It has been mentioned over and over that anyone who was thinking about upgrading or getting new equipment and wanted to own should act before 3/1 (gosh that's a whole 4 days ago).

If this wasn't the point you were trying to make I guess I'm at a loss as to why you even continued this thread. My original post in this thread was to simply communicate to the OP that owning was still an option.

I also agree with DonCoreone's assessment. All the OP did was ask a question about what seems to be, a very confusing new program.

#16 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 10:11 AM

If I can still purchase, new or used, and activate a "owned" receiver, how is D* going to keep track of which receivers are "leased" and which are "owned" for activation eligibility?

I can foresee a huge problem in getting D* to activate a receiver as "owned" . Is D* going to keep track of serial numbers and designate as "owned" or "leased"?

Or will D* refuse to active receivers with a "owned" status after 3/30/06 which seems to be implied from the Solidsignal Equipment Lease Program Information?

They already do track the RID, serial number and associated access card for each unit in the field. I'd guess the have added a lease/own flag to that same info. In another thread a member indicates he has spoke with DTV and received a clearer answer.

#17 OFFLINE   hiker

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 10:17 AM

OK, say I am a current D* sub, buy a new HR10-250 from eBay, install it myself and call D* to activate. Won't D* by default assume that it is "leased" and give me a hard time try to activate as "owned"?

It seems that to be fair, D* would need to designate new equipment by serial number as "leased" or "owned" before it is shipped to retailers and to force each retailer to be only a "lease" retailer or "owned" retailer.

#18 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 10:23 AM

First off, DTV can give you a hard time about anything. :eek2:

But I cannot see how they can attempt to "suck" units already sold back into inventory. I have two R10's sitting here unused. If I give one to my folks DTV has no right to confiscate the unit as their own. They do know which units have previously been activated in the system. The real question is if you purchased a unit off eBay and needed a new access card from DTV does that mean they now own your equipment. It's a mess.

#19 OFFLINE   hiker

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 12:20 PM

Yes, a mess. And how are the retailers going to ensure the IRDs obtained from them are activated as "leased" so they will get their commission from D*? I guess they will have to audit and track every IRD sold. Maybe they were doing something like that before 3/1 on "owned" IRDs.

#20 OFFLINE   w6fxj

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 01:58 PM

I sent a message to Best Buy asking if their web HR10-250 (http://tinyurl.com/cqv5m) is a sale or lease. Here is the verbatum answer:

"Bill,

I am Melanie with Best Buy Customer Care.

Thank you for contacting Best Buy regarding your interest in the DirecTV
Hr10-250 HD DVR.

I'm pleased to inform you that $499.99 is the outright sale price to the
buyer. There is no lease included in this product.

If you are interested in purchasing this item you can give us a call at
1-888-Best Buy and we'd be happy to place that order for you.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns. We
look forward to your next visit to one of our stores or to
www.BestBuy.com.

Sincerely,
Melanie
Best Buy Customer Care Team"

A supervisor at Crutchfield said exactly the same thing verbally. BB and Crutchfield are not fly-by-night retailers and obviousy know the conditions of their sale. It is DirecTV that seems to be confused about their own policy.




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