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Are all "long term customers" treated the same by CS?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by 75sides, Jan 5, 2011.

  1. Jan 5, 2011 #1 of 27

    75sides Cool Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    I have been a subscriber for 3 years now, which is small change compared to a lot of people on this board. In order to help with my budget, I have been pricing DTV against my local cable provider (BrightHouse in central florida). Even after the 1 year honeymoon period, if you add my TV + internet (currently through BrightHouse), I could save around $40/mo by switching. I'm willing to deal with the inferior cable service it is going to save me $500 a year, but want to stay with DTV if they can provide enough value, or reduction in my bill to reduce that gap. The plans I am comparing are comparable (as close as I can get them) in the channels offered, HD, DVR, etc...

    I called customer service to see if there was anything they could do to help reduce my monthly bill, mentioned the cost difference with my local cable provider and that I was considering switching, and was offered a $5 credit for 3 months. A friend of mine who has been a subscriber for much longer than I did the same thing (he gave me the idea) and he was offered much more, to the tune of around $30 a month off of his bill.

    I am going to call one last time, so I would appreciate any advice on how to approach this on the phone (apparently I did it wrong the first time). Is it a lost cause considering I have only been a subscriber for 3 years (even though my agreement is up)? Do I need to mention specific credits (he was offered free HD for a year since new customers are getting that deal)? Any other advice?

  2. Jan 5, 2011 #2 of 27

    Hoosier205 Active Member

    Sep 3, 2007
    Speak with retention.
  3. Jan 5, 2011 #3 of 27

    Mariah2014 Breaking the mold

    Apr 21, 2006
    Phoenix Metro
    I think it depends on who you get. I went to make changes to my account and they offered a 35 dollar credit to me for 6 months, but I wasn't asking for any credit. They just offered it. So I took it. Them offering and you asking may result in a different amount being offered as well.
  4. Jan 5, 2011 #4 of 27

    YtseJammer1977 Mentor

    Oct 29, 2010
    You can't expect the same offers as any other customer gets. It is not just how long you've been with the company, but do you subscribe to extras? How often are you late? Many factors determine what offers you can get, and all departments have to abide by those factors.
  5. Jan 5, 2011 #5 of 27

    barryb New Member

    Aug 26, 2007
    Hoosier is correct. You want to talk to retention and in a nice manor (like you are doing here), explain to them your dilemma.
  6. Jan 5, 2011 #6 of 27

    dsw2112 Always Searching

    Jun 12, 2009
    As the above poster said talk with retention, and tell them exactly what you've told us. I feel it's a good practice to review my spending in regards to services I contract once a year (in the case of D* it's usually every two years due to the lease agreement.) Tell them exactly what you want, and see if they can help. I've never been disappointed with this approach.
  7. Jan 5, 2011 #7 of 27

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    While I am not doubting you, I find it hard to believe that your cable service would be cheaper than DirecTv, for the same number of digital channels. I compare every January, and actually go through the task of online ordering (without sending the final confirmation) for both my cable company (Comcast) and Dish network.

    Every year, DirecTv always comes out ahead here. YMMV.

    First, are you adding in all the extra costs with your cable provider for extra boxes, DVRs and fees, HD service? Do they carry your favorite channels in HD (or digital SD) or are they on the fuzzy and noisy analog tier?

    Here are a couple money saving items you can try with DirecTv. First, check out the lowest priced available current package (SELECT) for $44.99. See if it has the channels you watch, and compare that to your cable. Remember you can add several popular HD channels to that package for free for 3 months.

    Second, request free HD for two years, by signing up for autobillpay. Put it on a credit card, not a debit card.

    Scale back your receivers in rooms you rarely watch TV in, and consider running a HMDI or Component cable run to that room. Using RF, you can still change channels from the second room. This works well if there is no one watching the DVR in the living room, for example, and you want to watch in the bedroom. Use the living room receiver with an output run to the bedroom, and save $6 a month.

    Drop extra packages when the season is over (sports pak for example, if you are a college football fan).

    I have cable internet with Comcast, and home phone service with Vonage. The cost to switch to Comcast's triple play with 2 DVRs and 2 receivers, and their VoIP service, would cost me $60 a month more than the individual services I have.

    Dish network, while the package was cheaper (wont be in a few weeks), their equipment rental costs put them over the top of DirecTv as well.
  8. Jan 5, 2011 #8 of 27

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

    Nov 16, 2005
    Wylie, Texas
    Are all "long term customers" treated the same by CS?

    Apparently not, I get free stuff and almost anything I ask for every time I call.
  9. Jan 6, 2011 #9 of 27

    TANK Icon DBSTalk Club

    Feb 16, 2003

    I also live in Central FL and have been with D* since 1998. I just checked the Brighthouse Cable prices and don't see a big difference in prices between the two.

    Are you just comparing tv prices or are you figuring in brighthouse phone and Internet combos ? You found $500 /yr in savings from Brighthouse, I seriously doubt D* can or will give you any deal/discount/gift to match that.

    If they do,please PM me with the details so I can get the same deal :)
  10. WestDC

    WestDC Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2008
    Anything cut from the price to get to sign will be added to top at a later date. I look forward to your post in the cable forum when you start shopping around after your NEW deal Matures. ;)
  11. 75sides

    75sides Cool Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Thanks for the info everyone, here are more details for those asking. I wasn't factoring in tax in previous calculation so the difference isn't as big as I initially thought but is still around $30 per month.

    DirecTV Choice Extra - 63.99
    HD - 10.00
    DVR - 7.00
    HBO (doesn't include HBO on Demand) - 14.99
    3 additional boxes (playroom, office, bedroom) - 15.00
    Tax - 13.69
    Standalone Internet from Brighthouse - 48.00
    Total - ~173.00

    Package I am looking at from Brighthouse:
    89.99 for Digital Cable + Internet - jumps to 99.99 after 1 year so I am using the 99.99 figure in my estimates.
    HD-DVR - 9.95
    Extra Cable box for kids playroom (basic cable fine for bedroom and office) - 6.95
    HBO (includes HBO on Demand) - 13.95
    Tax - 13
    Total - ~143.00
  12. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    DIRECTV has very complex CRM software for figuring your worth, so no not every customer is treated the same.
  13. 75sides

    75sides Cool Member

    Aug 8, 2007
    Just got off the phone with customer retention. I received free HD for 1 year + an additional $10 credit for a year to help close the gap. Thanks everyone. :)
  14. Shades228

    Shades228 DaBears

    Mar 18, 2008
    Not all customers are treated the same even if you activated at the same time. There are going to be too many factors that companies use that will seperate it plus some of it depends on who you speak with as well.

    The main things to look at are what channels are you not going to get without a box. Most companies are actively removing channels from their analog service. It could be you end up never watching TV in thsoe rooms because the channels you want aren't going to be available. If you're ok with that then just remove 2 receivers from DirecTV and save the $10.

    Think of your future plans. If you want HD or more DVR's you're bill will go up significantly monthly compared to no additional costs, excluding the one time lease fee, with DirecTV (assuming you do not add a room but add HD to an existing room).

    Also make sure you ask them about what bundling offers they might have that would work for you as well.
  15. dsw2112

    dsw2112 Always Searching

    Jun 12, 2009
    At a minimum you could cut the gap from $30 to $15 with free HD and a $5 a month credit (these are "usually" pretty easy to come by.) You can likely cut the gap to within $10 if you speak to retention.

    Just for comparison purposes:

    I don't subscribe to premiums, sports packages, PPV's, etc.
    I have the same package (Choice Extra)
    I've got 5 receivers active
    Been with D* for about 7 years

    Not counting tax I pay $85 for the above. I hope that's helpful for you.
  16. spartanstew

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

    Nov 16, 2005
    Wylie, Texas
    Just a few posts up

  17. dsw2112

    dsw2112 Always Searching

    Jun 12, 2009
    Ah, must have posted as the OP was replying.
  18. Yoda-DBSguy

    Yoda-DBSguy Hall Of Fame

    Nov 4, 2006
    A Galaxy...
    That's cute; as if you were to sign up for auto bill pay, you would receive Free HD access for 24 months!
  19. DaveC27

    DaveC27 Godfather

    Apr 14, 2010
    The only real way of getting the savings is being prepared to walk the moment your comitment is over and take up a "welcome" offer from one of the other suppliers

    I have a friend who pays a fraction of the bill I pay because when the 2 year date comes up he changes, but I can't be arsed to put up with the hassle of changing provider
  20. dsw2112

    dsw2112 Always Searching

    Jun 12, 2009
    I disagree. Either yearly (or when my commitment is up) I call and politely explain that I'm reviewing my spending, but would like to stay a D* customer. I have a logical savings goal in mind (that in recent years has tended to include an additional HDDVR) and D* has always exceeded what I've asked for. In addition to receiving all of my equipment for free my monthly savings average a bit over 25% of my bill.

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