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DirecTV Lease vs Buy Confusion


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144 replies to this topic

#41 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 05 March 2006 - 08:52 PM

Guess what..........ALL of you are right. Because in this situation to each his (her) own - whatever suits you. As much as I try to imagine though, I can't think of why I would need more than 1 DVR in my house though.

Yes, to each their own. Our family has 7 DVRs in our house. (We kinda went with the program that when a non-DVR receiver dies, it's just as cheap to replace it with an old DTivo). We have 5 HDVR2s, 1 HR10-250 and a R15 to test/play with. Each one other than the R15 have been expanded in space and are networked together with all HDVR2's being able to play shows from one another.

I just checked ebay - you're right, there is a R10 going for 29.99 in about an hour. http://electronics.s...ZR41QQsacatZ293

Either you just want to argue and get more face time here or you have no idea how to use eBay. I'm guessing you're looking for the face time.

The auction item you mentioned states:

Auction is for a DirecTv unit that we could not test for we do not have the power cord it takes to test it. We have taken a photo of the cord that is needed to use to power it. We do not know the status of the unit. The receiver is in very good shape. Sorry but as usual the auction is for the unit only, no accessories are included. This means no remote, cable, cords, manual or anything else. These items can be found on eBay, and a lot of times the manual can be downloaded at Amazon.

...and has no bids.

Just below the item you spent the time to research and post is another R10, new in box, with all accessories plus access card, with a day remaining on the auction currently bid at $102.50. Now if you've every tried to purchase an older DTivo on eBay you should be aware the REAL bidding starts about 5 minutes before the auction ends.

I don't know ScoB. I thought you had enuf with this thread but you seem to want to keep adding useful information to it. Ah well, again, to each their own.

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#42 OFFLINE   ScoB

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 07:18 AM

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:


in this post.


Guess it goes back to you inserting a wrong statement into this right from the beginning. I NEVER stated that you could not purchase, just that if it was me I would have done it before 3/1 and not have to put myself thru all of this BS. Even you r statement that retailers should be charging $799 is bogus. They can charge whatever they want if they sell something - own up to your mis-statements.

You are the icon that needed the face time and presented an inaccurate reflection of what was strictly an opinion. And you are a very insulting "I know more than you person". Seems you felt a real NEED to respond to every post I made for some reason.

#43 OFFLINE   damondlt

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 05:48 PM

I guess i better sell my 3 old receivers while i can Before they really aren't worth a penny.

#44 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

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Posted 06 March 2006 - 05:58 PM

I guess i better sell my 3 old receivers while i can Before they really aren't worth a penny.

I cannot see how used receivers would be viewed as DTV property. Depending on the receiver you have, it's still worth plenty. Note the R10 I mentioned above selling for $102.50. There is a demand for owning solid technology and solid software.

#45 OFFLINE   cabanaboy1977

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 08:33 AM

FYI

I talked to D* last night and asked (just for kicks) about the new lease program and why I'd want to be on the lease program and she said they are confused with the lease program right now. She said the D* reps are confused and aren't sure how the lease works and stated that it was good that I bought my R15's and H10-250 before they switched to the lease program. This is just great, D*'s own people don't understand it.

#46 OFFLINE   eengert

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 11:33 AM

The lease program as we currently understand makes no sense. You have to pay the same or more up front and then D* owns the equipment. There's no incentive to the customer, in fact there's incentive to leave. If they continue with this policy, they'll risk losing customers. I'd be gone to cable right now if I didn't have Adelphia, and not everyone has a crappy cable co. On the other hand, once there are D* tuner cards available for HTPC's (as announced by Microsoft recently), I won't be buying any equipment from D* as I'll be building my own. I look forward to that day and hope it doesn't take much more than a year. There's hope because a cablecard compliant TV tuner card is being released in a few months. The options are growing. But the lease program really is pretty ridiculous. It's not really a lease program at all. It's really just a policy change that says the customer doesn't own any new equipment they buy. The customer pays for it but D* owns it and let's the customer use it while they have service with D*. Pretty stupid policy.
- Eric

---------------------------------------------
D* Equipment:
2 - HR20-700's
8-ch SWM

Televisions:
50" Sony SXRD (xbr1)
32" JVC SD CRT

AVR:
Denon AVR 2307CI

Other Components:
Slingbox AV
Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD Player
Playstation 3 (60Gb)

#47 OFFLINE   ScoB

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 01:39 PM

The lease program as we currently understand makes no sense. You have to pay the same or more up front and then D* owns the equipment. There's no incentive to the customer, in fact there's incentive to leave. If they continue with this policy, they'll risk losing customers. I'd be gone to cable right now if I didn't have Adelphia, and not everyone has a crappy cable co. On the other hand, once there are D* tuner cards available for HTPC's (as announced by Microsoft recently), I won't be buying any equipment from D* as I'll be building my own. I look forward to that day and hope it doesn't take much more than a year. There's hope because a cablecard compliant TV tuner card is being released in a few months. The options are growing. But the lease program really is pretty ridiculous. It's not really a lease program at all. It's really just a policy change that says the customer doesn't own any new equipment they buy. The customer pays for it but D* owns it and let's the customer use it while they have service with D*. Pretty stupid policy.


OK - everyone feels differently about the lease program, it does have some advantages for some people. I guess my question for those who are truly anti-lease - Have any of you called or emailed DirecTV with your feelings? If not why not? Voicing them here is of course understood and of course discussion is great - but letting them know directly - that is the best way - let them know and to see how many complain and if it is a large percentage, that's how to make them want to change.


Personally, I do see some advantages with both types of business models. But my feeling is that just with most of everything else, the OVERWHELMING majority of customers don't care, most have switched from cable where they NEVER owned the decoder - most wouldn't see a difference. The peeps that visit and post on these boards care FAR MORE than the average Joe does. In fact, there are million of D* customers that will not ever know about this, some have the same round dish and receivers for years, they just pay their bill (which won't be changing for them) and go on.

For the majority of new customers it isn't that apparent either. They still will install up to 4 rooms for no charge, will also do 1 DVR at no charge, will also do 1 HD receiver at no charge - just the monthly program and lease for for add'l receivers.

#48 OFFLINE   eengert

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 02:27 PM

OK - everyone feels differently about the lease program, it does have some advantages for some people. I guess my question for those who are truly anti-lease - Have any of you called or emailed DirecTV with your feelings? If not why not? Voicing them here is of course understood and of course discussion is great - but letting them know directly - that is the best way - let them know and to see how many complain and if it is a large percentage, that's how to make them want to change.


Personally, I do see some advantages with both types of business models. But my feeling is that just with most of everything else, the OVERWHELMING majority of customers don't care, most have switched from cable where they NEVER owned the decoder - most wouldn't see a difference. The peeps that visit and post on these boards care FAR MORE than the average Joe does. In fact, there are million of D* customers that will not ever know about this, some have the same round dish and receivers for years, they just pay their bill (which won't be changing for them) and go on.

For the majority of new customers it isn't that apparent either. They still will install up to 4 rooms for no charge, will also do 1 DVR at no charge, will also do 1 HD receiver at no charge - just the monthly program and lease for for add'l receivers.



The problem is that, at best, calling this a Lease Program is a misnomer. When you pay full price up front, that's not leasing. The whole point of leasing is to only pay for your usage and then you give back the product when you're done using it. What D* is apparently trying to do is have the best of both worlds for themselves. They are forcing the customer to pay full price up front yet not allowing the customer to own the equipment. So it's really not a lease program. All that really changed is who owns the box. Since D* owns it (even though you paid for it) they can't force you to pay for a service plan (I'm sure they would if they thought they could get away with that too) so they have to cover any repairs/maintenence.

So they either need to change their pricing structure to actually be a lease, or change the name of the program to something other than "Lease".

As to your other comments, it will indeed be relevant to anyone who wants a DVR. Whether it's a SD or HD DVR, you're paying full price yet not gaining ownership. If you think ownership isn't a big deal, you might not have ever used ebay. I'm not anti-lease, I just either want a true lease program with little to no up front cost followed by monthly payments, or if I have to pay full price I want to own it so I can sell it later to recoup my costs (which I frequently do and come out very well in the end).

I have also shared these thoughts with D* as best as I know how. Not sure what we can expect from that given that even the CSR's have no idea what the "Lease" program is supposed to be about. I'm not at a decision point yet since I currently own all my equipment (including and HR10-250). And as long as the upgrade path to the new HD DVR is free, I won't have much issue there either (although I will apparently lose ownership at that point). But if this is the policy that they still call a "lease" at the time when I want/need to buy a new HD DVR, it will probably cause me to leave D* for a company that has a true lease program or allows me to own the equipment that I pay full price for. But whether or not it affects me or anyone right now is irrelevant. It is still a nonsensical policy if it is truly meant to be a lease program.

Honestly, I've tried and can't see any advantage to this program they've started. What advantages are you thinking of? We don't even get out of the 2 year committment. The only thing I can see is that you don't have to pay for a protection plan (which I don't pay for anyway). And I've also heard that they're limiting you to adding one HD DVR per year to your account. What's that all about? It's just really strange to me because the whole policy seems so ridiculous. I don't see any compromises or exchange of benefits. All I can see is D* taking all the benefits and leaving the customer with nothing except free coverage on the equipment (which only makes sense if the customer doesn't own it).
- Eric

---------------------------------------------
D* Equipment:
2 - HR20-700's
8-ch SWM

Televisions:
50" Sony SXRD (xbr1)
32" JVC SD CRT

AVR:
Denon AVR 2307CI

Other Components:
Slingbox AV
Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD Player
Playstation 3 (60Gb)

#49 OFFLINE   hiker

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 03:30 PM

... They are forcing the customer to pay full price up front yet not allowing the customer to own the equipment. ...

D* supposedly will still allow ownership, but once the current supply of receivers/DVRs is out of the pipeline, they will cost a lot more. Buy now if you want to own. D* sells the HR10 to own at $899, which is what I paid for my first one in Dec 2004.
You seem to imply that no lease deals have upfront cost. E* has upfront cost and so does housing and auto leasing.
I don't understand the limit of one HD DVR per year. Maybe if they were in short supply. E* has a limit on the new ViP622 HD DVR but I believe it's a supply problem. Or if D* was heavily subsidizing maybe they would want the limit, but at $499, doesn't seem so.

#50 OFFLINE   eengert

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 03:51 PM

D* supposedly will still allow ownership, but once the current supply of receivers/DVRs is out of the pipeline, they will cost a lot more. Buy now if you want to own. D* sells the HR10 to own at $899, which is what I paid for my first one in Dec 2004.
You seem to imply that no lease deals have upfront cost. E* has upfront cost and so does housing and auto leasing.
I don't understand the limit of one HD DVR per year. Maybe if they were in short supply. E* has a limit on the new ViP622 HD DVR but I believe it's a supply problem. Or if D* was heavily subsidizing maybe they would want the limit, but at $499, doesn't seem so.


I didn't mean to imply that lease deals have no up front costs, just that the up front costs should be substantially lower than full price. I've heard $499 to "lease" and $799 to own. A measley 35% percent price reduction doesn't qualify as a lease deal to me. Especially when it's not so much a reduction in the "lease" price as it is an increase in the buy to own price.
- Eric

---------------------------------------------
D* Equipment:
2 - HR20-700's
8-ch SWM

Televisions:
50" Sony SXRD (xbr1)
32" JVC SD CRT

AVR:
Denon AVR 2307CI

Other Components:
Slingbox AV
Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD Player
Playstation 3 (60Gb)

#51 OFFLINE   hiker

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 04:03 PM

There are no lease fees if you have only one receiver/DVR or if you have more than one the first is free. Additional ones have a $4.99/mo each charge like the prior mirror fee. By charging the initial $499 they are getting the lease fee upfront.
On most other lease plans there is heavy monthly cost.

#52 OFFLINE   ScoB

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 04:15 PM

I didn't mean to imply that lease deals have no up front costs, just that the up front costs should be substantially lower than full price. I've heard $499 to "lease" and $799 to own. A measley 35% percent price reduction doesn't qualify as a lease deal to me. Especially when it's not so much a reduction in the "lease" price as it is an increase in the buy to own price.


First of all the D* letter to retailers clearly states that should they desire to sell receivers, it can be at ANY price they choose.

Second, the $499 is not truly the 'full' price. These prices have long been subsidized to retailers by DirecTV. You are in fact only talking about the sales price under the previous subsidized model. The whole thing has changed.

As to the advantages, well in my case 2 years ago I bought a Hughes E86 for $700, last year I bought a HUGES HD HTL also for $700. Both are now in my garage collecting dust. If I could have 'leased' HD receivers back then for even $99 upfront, I could be replacing them 6 more times to cover my original purchase price for EACH one. That's right, getting new technology every few years with a small upfront payment.

IMO, thats an advantage.

As far as ebay, of course I am aware of ebay. I own all of my present D* stuff. I made sure to upgrade to H20 and AT9 before the lease model so that at least for the next 2-3 years I am set. I don't have to worry about this whole thing, and that goes back to my first post (#2) on this thread. If you come to these boards, and you wanted to own the stuff, they had the best rebates up to end February - free HD receivers, free SD DVRs, large rebates on the HD DVR.

I didn't know how the lease plan would work out, I had my questions, but I made sure I was set so that I didn't have to go through all of this myself.

#53 OFFLINE   hiker

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 04:50 PM

When I first learned about this lease plan I was deadset against it. Now after analyzing it, it is looking better.

The problem for me at first was the shock of the $499 upfront cost. But since there is no monthly lease fee, that amounts to little over $20/mo over 2 years. Maybe D* should give us that option, i.e., $20/mo and $0 upfront and heavier penalties for early cancellation. Also remember installation is free, something important to a lot of people.

But I think one of the big problems for D* is trying to reduce churn (subscriber turnover). So the big upfront cost maybe is aimed at this problem. It just might scare the hell out of some people but the monthly fee would to easier to stomach.

#54 OFFLINE   ravichopra

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Posted 07 March 2006 - 06:00 PM

When I first learned about this lease plan I was deadset against it. Now after analyzing it, it is looking better.

The problem for me at first was the shock of the $499 upfront cost. But since there is no monthly lease fee, that amounts to little over $20/mo over 2 years. Maybe D* should give us that option, i.e., $20/mo and $0 upfront and heavier penalties for early cancellation. Also remember installation is free, something important to a lot of people.

But I think one of the big problems for D* is trying to reduce churn (subscriber turnover). So the big upfront cost maybe is aimed at this problem. It just might scare the hell out of some people but the monthly fee would to easier to stomach.


I think you've hit it on the head here. And I would agree that trying to reduce churn is a good strategy and goal that does not have to conflict with customer needs.

Unfortunately, what they've done is structure it in such a way so as to reduce consumer confidence in them.

I've been a D* user for 4 or so years now. Really like the serivce/quality/etc. Despite the fact I've been happy with them for all this time (and have had a MUCH better experience than I ever had with cable), I have serious qualms.

Consider - with a heavy $400 up-front "lease" fee for the box that they keep regardless of length of service, they have NO incentive to actually provide good service. "Not happy with how we treat you? What a shame, send us our box back and we'll keep your $$$$..." With cable, their monthly box-rental fee is reasonable on a monthly basis and gives me the option to tell them to get bent if they don't provide value for my money.

Consider - with the new lease plan I have really no idea what the upgrade path or costs will be when they release new technology. Nothing appears to be in writing to guarantee anything. With cable, if tech changes, I just change boxes and start paying whatever new monthly fee there might be.

I had the terrific timing to find out that local HD was available in my area on 3/1. Hoorah.

Now, where I'd been ready to plunk the money down to upgrade to D* HD/DVR service, I think I just might wait and see how TiVO Series 3 looks and find out if it'll work well with either Comcast or WOW (both HD cables available in my area).

I can't imagine my response is what D* is looking for. I also can't imagine why they couldn't have predicted it.

-Ravi

#55 OFFLINE   eengert

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 08:03 AM

As to the advantages, well in my case 2 years ago I bought a Hughes E86 for $700, last year I bought a HUGES HD HTL also for $700. Both are now in my garage collecting dust. If I could have 'leased' HD receivers back then for even $99 upfront, I could be replacing them 6 more times to cover my original purchase price for EACH one. That's right, getting new technology every few years with a small upfront payment.

IMO, thats an advantage.


You seem to be misunderstanding me. I'll say again that I'm not against leasing. In fact, I like the idea of leasing. But I don't consider what D* is doing "leasing". You talk about a $99 up front lease...that's exactly what I would consider a lease. I would then expect a monthly payment in the range of $10-$15. $499 up front is not a good lease deal, especially when just a month ago I bought the same unit for $399 and own it. I understand what is being said about paying up front and not having a monthly payment, but I don't consider that a lease at all. Besides, I don't think that's the case. As I (try) to read the lease agreement, it appears there is a $4.99 fee per month per unit. It's difficult to discern whether that applies to all units, or just the units above and beyond their arbitrary limits (total of 6 receivers including no more than 2 DVRs, 2 HD, and 1 HD DVR). If I read that correctly, it adds even more fuel to my fire. Sounds like either you can't have more than one HD DVR leased, or you have to pay $4.99 per month for each "extra" HD DVR. Ridiculous when added to an enormous up front cost. The whole idea of leasing, as I said earlier, is that you're only paying for it while you use it. The tradeoff for that advantage is that you don't get to own it. But, again, D* is charging the full price (and of course I understand your point about resale vs. "full" price, but I mean that I'm paying the same now or more than I was when I could buy to own) with no added benefits and I can no longer own the equipment. So my point continues to be that while, in theory, leasing has advantages that I like, I disagree that what D* is doing should be called leasing given the extremely high up front costs. The only thing that would change my mind on that is if they pro-rated the cost and refunded you when you turned in the equipment based on that. That would work out the same in the end. But since I don't believe they do that as part of their "lease", then I can't agree with calling it a lease and it has less benefits than owning at the same price.
- Eric

---------------------------------------------
D* Equipment:
2 - HR20-700's
8-ch SWM

Televisions:
50" Sony SXRD (xbr1)
32" JVC SD CRT

AVR:
Denon AVR 2307CI

Other Components:
Slingbox AV
Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD Player
Playstation 3 (60Gb)

#56 OFFLINE   ScoB

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 02:02 PM

You seem to be misunderstanding me.
No, I don't think so.

I'll say again that I'm not against leasing. In fact, I like the idea of leasing.
OK.

But I don't consider what D* is doing "leasing".
I do.

You talk about a $99 up front lease...that's exactly what I would consider a lease.
They can make the upfront whatever they want, that doesn't change the terms of the agreement - it might change your desire to do it. The upfront for a standard DVR or a HD receiver IS only $99.

I would then expect a monthly payment in the range of $10-$15.
Why so high? It's only $5.99 for a HD DVR. You thus should be ok with it.

$499 up front is not a good lease deal, especially when just a month ago I bought the same unit for $399 and own it.
Again - you bought it with a rebate of $200 which is NO longer available. I bought gas last year for under $1.50 a gallon. That also is no longer avialable. You bought a price subsidized DVR at a great price - that is indeed good for you.

I understand what is being said about paying up front and not having a monthly payment, but I don't consider that a lease at all.
You're dead wrong about this one - there is in fact a monthly payment - $5.99 DVR monthly fee (unless you have the premier package).

Besides, I don't think that's the case. As I (try) to read the lease agreement, it appears there is a $4.99 fee per month per unit. It's difficult to discern whether that applies to all units, or just the units above and beyond their arbitrary limits (total of 6 receivers including no more than 2 DVRs, 2 HD, and 1 HD DVR). Actually, Actually I think it's been pretty clear that the first receiver is not charged a mirror (or lease fee), there still would be a DVR fee of $5.99 month. There would only be an additional monthly $4.99 for ANY additional receivers or DVR of any type.


If I read that correctly, it adds even more fuel to my fire. Sounds like either you can't have more than one HD DVR leased, or you have to pay $4.99 per month for each "extra" HD DVR.
Again not true. There is a $4.99 charge for your second and each additional box. There is only ONE DVR charge of $5.99 per month.

Ridiculous when added to an enormous up front cost.
Now this is where everyone makes their own value judgement of course.

The whole idea of leasing, as I said earlier, is that you're only paying for it while you use it. The tradeoff for that advantage is that you don't get to own it. But, again, D* is charging the full price (and of course I understand your point about resale vs. "full" price, but I mean that I'm paying the same now or more than I was when I could buy to own) with no added benefits and I can no longer own the equipment.
You are paying what they feel is a fair amount for approx 2 years or so of usage. You can't keep going back to what it used to be. Nothing is what it used to be. They have decieded to adopt a different business model. My advice if you are so unhappy with it is to first of all call them and let them know (if you haven't already done so), and also to not continue with them and choose another provider.

So my point continues to be that while, in theory, leasing has advantages that I like, I disagree that what D* is doing should be called leasing given the extremely high up front costs.
The amount of the upfront cost doesn't make a difference as to what it is 'called'. And the bottom line of course will be in the next 3-6 months or so when they study the results versus plan of this new business model. That and that alone will shape their ongoing business decisions.

The only thing that would change my mind on that is if they pro-rated the cost and refunded you when you turned in the equipment based on that. That would work out the same in the end. But since I don't believe they do that as part of their "lease", then I can't agree with calling it a lease and it has less benefits than owning at the same price.

You are entitled to your opinions.
When I turned in my leased car, they didn't refund my down paymemtn to me. But whether or not YOU agree with calling it a lease, it is INDEED BEING CALLED A LEASE by DirecTV.


#57 OFFLINE   eengert

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 02:30 PM

You are entitled to your opinions.
When I turned in my leased car, they didn't refund my down paymemtn to me. But whether or not YOU agree with calling it a lease, it is INDEED BEING CALLED A LEASE by DirecTV.


Your comments don't seem very relevant to my points. I get the impression that you like being argumentative for the sake of having an argument, but you're not really responding to my points. Anyway, I've shared my concerns with this new policy and I think I'll end my involvement with this thread here.
- Eric

---------------------------------------------
D* Equipment:
2 - HR20-700's
8-ch SWM

Televisions:
50" Sony SXRD (xbr1)
32" JVC SD CRT

AVR:
Denon AVR 2307CI

Other Components:
Slingbox AV
Toshiba HD-A2 HD-DVD Player
Playstation 3 (60Gb)

#58 OFFLINE   ScoB

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 08:46 PM

Your comments don't seem very relevant to my points. I get the impression that you like being argumentative for the sake of having an argument, but you're not really responding to my points. Anyway, I've shared my concerns with this new policy and I think I'll end my involvement with this thread here.


Too many of your points are not accurate - but of course its not you that's argumentative.

#59 OFFLINE   ScoBuck

ScoBuck

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 08:51 PM

Your comments don't seem very relevant to my points. I get the impression that you like being argumentative for the sake of having an argument, but you're not really responding to my points. Anyway, I've shared my concerns with this new policy and I think I'll end my involvement with this thread here.


Well - I just read both sides of this one - I'm leaning towards Sco. But if $99 upfront would be a lease to you, and $499 would not - what is the border?

I don't agree with all of his statements, but he did answer you point by point.

My bottom line - since you already own your stuff - what difference does it make to you anyhow? Seems like you just wanted to have this very type of argument.

#60 OFFLINE   Wolffpack

Wolffpack

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 10:50 PM

I'm even going to leave this one alone.




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