After 15 years, decided to bail on DTV. A few questions first!

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by decker12, Sep 19, 2019.

  1. Sep 19, 2019 #1 of 111
    decker12

    decker12 Cool Member

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    Unfortunately, I just can't justify paying $160 a month for Xtra Standard + HBO. Jumped ship to YoutubeTV and our Roku a couple of weeks ago and while it's an adjustment, it's so far doing everything we need it to do and it's total cost with HBO is $65 a month.

    I've been lurking on this forum for a while reading the same experiences we've been having since AT&T took it over. Poor customer service, offshore support being a nightmare to navigate, the extra fees that now bug the hell out of me (HD access? DVR? "Whole Home"? Still charging customers for that in 2019?) stuff like that.

    Couple of questions before I call and cancel if anyone has a moment to chime in:

    • I assume it's a waste of time for me to even bother trying their retention department to see if they can match $65/month all inclusive, including HBO? My guess is that's a bridge too far.
    • We moved to our current house about 4 years ago. I assume I'm not under any contract or obligation to DTV anymore. I see nothing listed on AT&T's "my account" about it, but that whole website is a bit of a clusterfuck anyway and it lists nothing about a contract date anywhere. Just want to make sure that after 15 years of total service, and 4 years at our current home with 4 year old gear, I'm probably out of contract.
    • What do I do with my equipment? Just e-waste it?
    Thanks for any tips!
     
  2. Sep 19, 2019 #2 of 111
    west99999

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    I think you need to look at what you're getting and what you got. If you're paying $160 a month I'm guessing you have like 4 or 5 boxes, and a dvr on nearly all of them, a bigger package, etc... If you want to get it lower cut it down to similar what you'll get with your new provider. Drop some rooms off, cut your package down, eliminate dvr, etc..... Are you getting the same with your new as what you were getting with DTV?
     
  3. Sep 19, 2019 #3 of 111
    decker12

    decker12 Cool Member

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    $160 a month gets us Xtra Standard + HBO with two four year old HD DVRs. That's it. No special streaming addons, no extra sports package, no home repair protection service. As I said, it's goddamn ridiculous.

    Once a pon a time, lets say 10 years ago, it was all closer to $100. But every year it just crept higher and higher and now it's $157.

    Cutting the package down unfortunately removes several of the channels we do watch, but those channels are available on YTTV. We're not going to downgrade all our modern HDTVs to the SD signal or get rid of the DVR to save a few bucks a month either. It's just the damn channel package that's the bulk of the expense. It's just so bloated, but downgrading the package keeps the bloat and removes the handful of channels we actually watch.
     
  4. Sep 20, 2019 #4 of 111
    icr2002

    icr2002 Mentor

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    ATT should drop the lease fee after 2 years on all boxs. There should no HD fee, since thats been quit some time since they started HD. If u have all genies there should be no WHOLE home fee. Plain and simple.
     
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  5. Sep 20, 2019 #5 of 111
    grover517

    grover517 AllStar

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    You can try to call retention, but as you stated, that is probably a bridge too far. AT&T is looking to stop discounts and credits as much as possible. I called before I left and even though I had never had one single discount, credit or anything else in 20+ years with D*, they told me there was nothing they could do other than suggest I cut my programming package back and/or downsize the number of receivers I had, neither of which was an acceptable solution. As for your question about whether your still under a commitment, call customer service and at the prompt say "contract date". That should get you transferred (eventually) to retention who are the only ones that can access that info. If you haven't upgraded your equipment in 4 years, you should no longer be under one. Your equipment needs to be shipped back once you cancel. Even if they say you don't have to, hang onto it for a year or so. I also demanded they send me something in writing stating what receivers I didn't have to send back. I have seen way too many times where they have said they don't want them back, only to turn around in a few months and bill you for unreturned equipment. Whatever you do, make sure it's WELL DOCUMENTED!

    Why should the OP have to consider cutting back on what they feel they need just to stay with a service that can't provide them with what they want at a reasonable price? The old days of limited providers that allowed them to charge fee upon fee, demand service commitments and limit programming options to a few purposely structured tiers to up sell you are no longer the only game in town and the "grass on the other side" is getting greener by the day.

    I totally understand where the OP is coming from. I have posted elsewhere on here about what my setup is and how it gives me everything and MORE than I ever had with D* so I won't repeat it here. Is cutting the cord for everyone? No. But suffice it to say, for those that actually take some time to plan the transition correctly and do their homework, it can and does work out well for a lot of people that are just tired of the traditional providers nickel and diming them to death. What we have now is a MUCH better "fit" for us and we went from about 230.00 a month to 80.00 to boot with absolutely NO STRINGS, COMMITMENTS OR EXTRA FEES OF ANY KIND. D* simply cannot compete with that. So after 20+ years with D*, all it took was an incentive that AT&T unknowingly provided us to look at alternatives and in hindsight, we couldn't be happier.
     
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  6. Sep 20, 2019 #6 of 111
    Rich

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    Far too rational. ATT is built around the idea of sucking every penny they can from us.

    Rich
     
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  7. Sep 20, 2019 #7 of 111
    decker12

    decker12 Cool Member

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    Ugh, that's not great to hear. Sounds like I've been billed for months if not years for things I shouldn't been billed for (Advanced Receiver Service - DVR and HD)? I've got a Genie HD DVR in the front room and a "HD DVR" in the bedroom.
    • Monthly plan charges for Aug 18 - Sep 17 $158.47
    • XTRA $101.99
    • HBO $17.99
    • TV Access Fee$7 off 1st TV $0.00
    • TV Access Fee $7.00
    • Advanced Receiver Service - DVR $10.00
    • Advanced Receiver Service - HD $10.00
    • Whole-Home DVR Service $3.00
    • Regional Sports Charge $8.49
    Excellent information about shipping the gear back. I assume I need to find a box and pay for the shipping myself which is going to be another ~$50 worth. Do I need to include the satellite dish itself? Think I can drop it off at an AT&T store or something like that instead?
     
  8. Sep 20, 2019 #8 of 111
    AZ.

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    I just dropped my stuff off at a UPS store, they did the rest.
     
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  9. Sep 20, 2019 #9 of 111
    raott

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    It's a total cash grab. I suspect it's so they can advertise lower prices. My biggest issue with them is the upfront fee on years old boxes that have been used by multiple customers and paid for several times over, just so that I can have the pleasure and opportunity of paying them a couple hundred dollars a month in programming cost and equipment fees.


     
  10. Sep 20, 2019 #10 of 111
    pds3

    pds3 New Member

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    You are very fortunate. I sent my equipment back via USPS, got a receipt. Directv did send me an email stating that they received my HR44 Receiver. Now they are trying to bill me $135.00 for non returned receiver. I called several times, nothing is ever done. I have recently sent copies of my transactions to my credit card company and opened a dispute.
     
  11. Sep 20, 2019 #11 of 111
    SledgeHammer

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    CSRs have NEVER had access to promotions. You always had to go through retention. You shouldn't even go through the front line CSRs, there is a direct number to retention.
     
  12. Sep 20, 2019 #12 of 111
    SledgeHammer

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    You could have gotten rid of the RSN by going to Preferred Xtra (which is the same as Xtra minus one sports channel) and you probably could have gotten at least $40 off your bill, so that would have brought you down to $109.98 out the door. You probably could have also gotten HBO comped for a limited time... but you'd have to call in once a year to get the promos renewed which some people complain about having to do. If you got HBO comped that would have brought you down to $91.99 out the door. Yeah, it's $30 more then you're paying now... but YouTube TV doesn't have all the channels you did before. If you have all the channels you need in YouTube, that's good. A lot of people need to stack in Philio, etc. So that closes the gap even further and you would have only been paying $10 more on DirecTV.
     
  13. Sep 20, 2019 #13 of 111
    SledgeHammer

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    So you consider YouTube TV to be the same as Xtra? Xtra -> YouTube is "cutting back to a lower package". If YouTube has all OPs channels, he could have gone to a lower package without losing anything. Xtra is more comparable to YouTube + Philio and you're still missing some channels. Depending on if you want them or not of course. Just Sayin'... saying he shouldn't have to go to a lower package when he did...
     
  14. Sep 20, 2019 #14 of 111
    espaeth

    espaeth AllStar

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    It’s more than one sports channel of loss.

    You lose:
    - FS2*
    - NBCSN*
    - ESPNU*
    - ESPN News*
    - CBS Sports*
    - NFL Network
    - MLB Network*
    - NBA Network*
    - NHL Network
    - Tennis channel*
    - Golf channel*
    - Big10 network*
    - SEC*
    - Your local RSN**
    - a few other sports networks

    * channels you get on YoutubeTV’s base package
    ** available in most YoutubeTV markets

    A lot of people want the RSN, they just don’t want to pay the fee that’s approaching $9/mo in some markets.
     
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  15. Sep 20, 2019 #15 of 111
    decker12

    decker12 Cool Member

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    YTTV isn't perfect. I don't care for their DVR solution, CBS plays their VOD content with unskippable commercials (and I fear other networks will do the same soon), the interface still is kind of clunky, and no MTV. I tried all the streaming services (Sling, Hulu Live, etc) and YTTV is in my mind the lesser evil of the streaming services.

    The family will watch college football and local baseball, both of which are available on YTTV without the RSN fee. If I stuck with DTV but used a lower package, looks like we'd be stuck with the Whole home and Advanced Receiver fees because I don't want to sign up for another 2 year commitment just to get a Genie in the bedroom which is watched less than an hour a day.

    I'm also in the boat where personally, I don't really care that much. I just want to save the money. It's all about what the rest of the family watches on TV.

    Now all this being said, if you guys think I can still manage to get a package that includes at least the channels YTTV offers me plus HBO (without having to call in and re-do a promo every 6 months), at let's say $70 a month out the door, I'm all for it. From what I've done research wise with cross referencing the packages and combined with the fees DTV tacks on, I just don't think it can be done.

    I'm not trying to offer any sort of belligerent challenge to you guys :) Honestly asking if there's something about the DTV packages that you guys can see through that I may have missed. I'm fine staying with DTV and wouldn't even mind a $10 - $15 monthly premium over the $65 I pay for YTTV for the pleasure of staying.

    Years ago there was a website where you could easily make a channel matrix to cross compare what you get with what packages for whichever satellite or cable service. Anything like that around these days that you can also add the streaming services?
     
  16. Sep 20, 2019 #16 of 111
    SledgeHammer

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    I'd love a package where they take away ALL sports lol, but thanks for clarifying. If you don't watch sports, or only care about your local sports team, that's a great way to reduce your bill though. ESPN is, what, $8/mo of peoples bill. Sheesh. People should be outraged at THAT.
     
  17. Sep 20, 2019 #17 of 111
    SledgeHammer

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    Well, you won't get a permanent promo, that's for sure and you won't get rid of the HD & DVR fees. Really the best thing you can do is get a 1 yr promo. For adding a DVR, it's only 2 yrs for a tech install, 1 yr for a self install.

    If Youtube has all your channels and you have multiple TVs, then that'd be your cheaper bet. I just wouldn't expect your bill to stay flat there either :). The streaming services WILL raise prices too.
     
  18. Sep 20, 2019 #18 of 111
    espaeth

    espaeth AllStar

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    Suppose TV - You can input channels you want, and it will show you who provides it across cable/satellite/streaming providers.

    The Streamable - This has a matrix of all the major streaming providers, showing a channel grid of which providers carry which channels. They also have a breakdown of which providers offer 60fps on sports channels, which services are resolution capped, highlights the DVR differences, etc.
     
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  19. Sep 20, 2019 #19 of 111
    mjwagner

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    ...and so will D. Unless the streamers raise their prices at a much higher percentage than D does they will always remain cheaper, simple math.
     
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  20. Sep 20, 2019 #20 of 111
    SledgeHammer

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    Simple math is INDEED simple :D...

    In 2019...

    Xtra went from 117 -> 124 = 6% increase
    Netflix went from 14 -> 16 = 14% increase (which is incredibly concerning since they lost most of their popular content)
    Hulu TV went from 39.95 -> 44.95 = 12% increase

    6% < 12% < 14%
     

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