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Be careful buying Directv receivers on ebay - I bought a stolen unit!

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Shield, Mar 28, 2008.

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  1. Shield

    Shield Legend

    Dec 24, 2007
    Last night a fraud specialist called me from Directv. Apparently the HR21-700 I bought back in early January (which was brand spanking new in the box) was part of a large group (65 units) that was stolen from a Directv warehouse and funneled through ebay.
    The lady who called read me back my serial number and activation for verification - I can't believe I have "hot" equipment in my house!
    The ebay seller had a high number of feedback, was in the USA, and I even called the guy and spoke to him before I bought it.

    The fraud specialist said they weren't sure if Directv / police were going to need the units back for evidence or not.
    Be careful out there!
  2. jimb726

    jimb726 Icon

    Jan 9, 2007
    Another reason why the best place to buy the units is DirecTv themselves or a reputable retailer like BB, Costco, CC, etc. Ebay is neither.
  3. Greg Alsobrook

    Greg Alsobrook Lifetime Achiever

    Apr 1, 2007
    thank you for posting this... this will be a very nice example to show to people when they ask about buying a receiver on ebay...

    sorry for the mess you're in... hopefully, if they end up taking your receiver, you will be able to get your money back through paypal...
  4. jimb726

    jimb726 Icon

    Jan 9, 2007
    The problem is the OP did all the right things, dealt with a high feedback seller, talked to the seller, etc. In the end the only way to be 100% certain is DirecTv them selves or one of their authorized resellers. One word, if he paid with paypal he can get his money back if he can get a copy of the police report to show it was stolen goods.
  5. SParker

    SParker Active Member

    Apr 27, 2002
    Could be the seller was unaware of it being hot as well.
  6. tcusta00

    tcusta00 Active Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    "Hey, look at this pile of receivers on the back of this open truck... must be free for the takin'."


    Or - "Hey buddy, want to buy a pile of DirecTV receivers dirt cheap so you can resell them on eBay for a tidy profit?"

    Yeah, could be...

    Likely? :scratchin
  7. Shield

    Shield Legend

    Dec 24, 2007
    According to the fraud specialist, Directv would replace our units (probably) since there were so many people involved, and it's quite possible the ebay seller was innocent as well. Directv wants us to keep our units obviously since it's $5 for them per month and the replacement fee for 65 units would be high.
    Otherwise, I did actually pay with a credit card via Paypal, so maybe if this gets ugly I have some recourse.
    Seller's ebay name was "dishworld" FYI.
  8. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

    May 28, 2007
    The seller also could have bought the receivers as part of a “lot” from another seller. I saw a lot of R15’s for sale on eBay just the other day. Many eBay power seller and store owners do this. They look for lots they can afford to invest in and the resell the individual items for a profit.

    As for buying and selling D* equipment on eBay, it is against policy (and potentially against the law) to sell or transfer *any* D* equipment unless the seller is an authorized D* retailer. D* claims that their hardware contains “proprietary intellectual property” and they do not allow anyone but their authorized resellers to trade it. I know, I received letters from them when I tried to sell an owned R15. I consulted a lawyer who specialized in IP and he affirmed that they have every right to prevent the sale or transfer of equipment that contains their licensed software.
  9. armophob

    armophob Difficulty Concen........

    Nov 13, 2006
    Fort Pierce, FL
    I had the same situation with a receiver from another manufacturer. The only way to avoid this is to get the serial # from the seller and call the manufacturer to verify it. If the seller won't give it to you then don't buy it.
  10. Shield

    Shield Legend

    Dec 24, 2007
    But, I did call the guy, and it was brand new still sealed in the box! Again, high feedback and had been on ebay since 2006, and was selling lots of slimline dishes and HR21's. He even had the disclaimer that it must be activated by Directv after purchase and it was a "leased" DVR - sorry I've been on ebay since June of 2000 and he passed my BS detector. Nothing else could've been done by me really here. The cost of the receiver was $209; $90 less than I'd have paid Best Buy for one (299 at the time).

    I guess what I can come away with is this - call Directv and ask if the person is an authorized Directv reseller first? Perhaps...
  11. pauper

    pauper Mentor

    Aug 22, 2007
    Has anyone asked whether a seller on E-bay is an authorized reseller of Directv equipment? Directv has no reason to "take care of" the cost to replace the receiver. Buyer is at fault it would seem for NOT using an authorized reseller of DTV equipment. In fact if anything, I'm surprised they are not shutting the box down and forcing him to repurchase.
  12. phat78boy

    phat78boy Hall Of Fame

    Sep 12, 2007
    IMHO, that would be a horrible business decision. Yes the box was stolen, but in the end it is activated and making a paying customer happy. DirecTV themselves give out HR2x's all the time for free. It would only make sense that they help out someone who is a paying customer and just got duped.

    If the poilce required the receivers for evidence, I understand them wanting the boxes back. Doing a swap for those stolen boxes wouldn't cost them much at all. Once trial is over, they would get them returned and simply hand them out as refurbs anyway. Once again, not much of a loss at all for DirecTV.

    I am one that is very picky about what I purchase on Ebay. Most the time I can find items online for the same prices that Ebay sellers have them. Even with paypal, I would much rather the piece of mind that comes with paying a premium from a reputable retailer.
  13. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

    Jun 23, 2004
    Mill Creek, WA
    Well, the buyer (OP) missed one important step that we always recommend when buying any DirecTV equipment from eBay, Craigslist, etc .... Get the "Receiver ID Number" and verify it yourself with DirecTV.
  14. hoopsbwc34

    hoopsbwc34 Legend

    Aug 13, 2002
    Beat me to it!
  15. Canis Lupus

    Canis Lupus You make it, We break it

    Oct 16, 2006
    And that's what armophob was referring to in his post above. Get the info in advance. If they don't provide it, move on.

  16. Azalo

    Azalo Legend

    Oct 24, 2006
    I thought HR2X were $99 from DTV, how is $209 a good deal?
  17. doctrsnoop

    doctrsnoop Godfather

    Nov 20, 2007
    H2x (not HR2x) are 99 dollars. HR21's are now 199 from DTV. The OP I think did this transaction before the price drop from 299.
  18. HDTVsportsfan

    HDTVsportsfan Active Member

    Nov 29, 2005
    They are now 199. Back in January they were 299.

    The H20's are 99.
  19. ricochet

    ricochet AllStar

    Aug 21, 2006
    DirecTV didn't flag it as stolen when he activated it, so would asking about it before purchase have been any different?
  20. doctrsnoop

    doctrsnoop Godfather

    Nov 20, 2007
    Wow, great point, and scary too

    Nevertheless through dumbluck probably I've had no problems with an H20 and R15 I've bought on ebay. I paid less than 20 bucks each for both of those, though and especially now wouldn't get an HR2x on ebay especially when they are 169 at costco
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