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DirecTV Customer Service Issues - Advice/Feedback Request

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by fenderparrothead, Nov 21, 2007.

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  1. fenderparrothead

    fenderparrothead New Member

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    Nov 21, 2007
    Hi all! Happy Turkey Day Eve! :)

    I'm looking for some opinions/advice on the following situation...it's long, so I apologize in advance!

    I recently called DirecTV to switch from cable to satellite because DirecTV offers many more HD stations than my cable provider and gives me the option for things like NFL Sunday Ticket. Now, my local channels, while available through the DirecTV receiver are NOT available in HD (and after talking with several local affiliates, it sounds like its DirecTV that's dragging their feet on it, but I digress). After talking with DirecTV I was told that the receivers have an "antenna in" on the back of them where I could hook up an antenna and get HDTV over the air. I even asked if I could use my DVR functionality with the over-the-air broadcasts and was told "yes". So far so good.

    Installation day comes, everything is installed except the over-the-air antenna (I had not hooked this up yet and knew it wasn't in DirecTV's contract to do it for me). Shortly after the guy leaves, I go to install the antenna and guess what? No antenna in on the back of the receiver. So, within two hours of the install I'm on the phone with DirecTV. Well, it turns out they have sent me the new and "improved" box, which actually offers less functionality than the older box because it doesn't have an antenna in. I asked them to swap out the boxes for me..."well, sir, we just can't GIVE you whatever receiver you want." In my book, I just forked over $200+...yeah, they should be able to give me what I was promised. So, they offer to send me a replacement box, saying that since the one I have is so new, the replacement will probably be the old box, but they have no way of guaranteeing I'll get what I want. I tell them that I'm not at all happy with their solution essentially being for me to pick a square and they'll roll the roulette wheel and see if I'm a winner or not, but I let them send me a replacement.

    Fast forward to last night. Receiver arrives. Same new, "improved" model. I call DirecTV. They still have no interest in making this right for me, and again offer to send a replacement, but now say that the old boxes are being replaced quickly and I'll probably get the new one again. At this point, I explain that I'm not happy that I can drive the 1.5 miles to my local Best Buy and pick up the box I want (I saw it on the shelf Sunday), and yet DirecTV themselves are unwilling to help. Their response was basically, "yes, sir, if you go buy that, it'll do what you want." My solutions was, "You credit me the $300 to go buy it, and I'll go right now and then I'll send you the two new boxes back." No deal! I tell them I flat refuse to pay and EXTRA $300 on top of the $210 I already paid for something that doesn't do what I was promised. So, in steps the supervisor. We go through the rigmarole again. I ask for the $300 credit again. Nothing. Still won't help me get what (I'm still convinced) I was promised and paid for. So, finally, I tell the super that I want a full refund of everything I've paid, cancel my subscription, and come uninstall everything. His answer: "We'll gladly cancel your service and uninstall everything, but as far as the $210 you paid for the HD DVR, all sales are final - you can't get your money back."

    Begin Ape-$h!t mode.

    I had been stern but polite ("yes, sir", "no, sir", "thank you, sir") up until this point when I begin to tell him how I really feel. After a few select words about their service and product (but never at him directly), I apologize to him, but ask to speak to HIS supervisor. I'm told that I'll get a call from this new super in 1-2 hours, which I think is BS, but I don't say that because I'm hoping that I'm finally getting up the ladder to someone who cares about customer service, and the last thing I need is to start off by pulling him out of a meeting or something and getting him in a bad mood. I say ok, and thank the guy for his help (I use that term loosely).

    Well, hours pass and I eventually have to leave to go someplace, so I figure if the guy/gal calls hopefully they'll leave their name and number and I can call back. Well, I get home last night around 11:30 and check the caller ID....no one ever called me.

    Sorry for the long rant, but it's hard to give just part of the story and truly ask for an opinion. So guys, gals, whadda think!??!

    Cheers!
     
  2. liverpool

    liverpool Legend

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    Jan 29, 2007
    How about booking a service call to swap out due to fault. Tell them you don't feel competent do do job yourself. Once the guy turns up with new receiver keep rescheduling until they come with the box you want
     
  3. carlsbad_bolt_fan

    carlsbad_bolt_fan Icon

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    May 18, 2004
    Carlsbad, CA
    Sorry to hear about the problem you're having. But there is a big disconnect between customer service and what is being installed in the field.

    I know your phone is still probably melting from the last call with D*, but call again and ask for retention. Tell them you want to cancel everything because you were lied to. They might, keyword might give you enough in programming credits to offset the price of the receiver you bought at Best Buy.

    My local Costco has a couple of the older HR20 (capable of receiving HD OTA) receivers left. I'm tempted to pick one of those units up today.
     
  4. carlsbad_bolt_fan

    carlsbad_bolt_fan Icon

    803
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    May 18, 2004
    Carlsbad, CA
    That probably won't work. If the local installer has nothing but the new receivers, they won't get an older unit.
     
  5. Upstream

    Upstream Hall Of Fame

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    Jul 4, 2006
    Carlsbad has the best advice regarding calling retention.

    If that doesn't work, send a letter to DTV, via registered mail. If you are particularly upset, copy your state attorney general.

    Good luck.
     
  6. fenderparrothead

    fenderparrothead New Member

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    Nov 21, 2007
    When I call back today, I'll probably try that. Should I try to get in touch with the supervisor who ditched me last night? Or do you think go straight for customer retention? I've never spoken to a "customer retention" department of a company before, so don't know exactly what they do (well, yeah, attempt to retain customers...LOL) or what to expect.

    And if this doesn't get resolved, I'll definitely file a compliant with the state attorney general. That's a good idea - I wouldn't have thought of that. It may not help, but will make me feel better. :)
     
  7. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    28,939
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    Jul 12, 2006
    Los Angeles
    It sounds like you have received an HR21 instead of an HR20. You've unfortunately entered into this situation during a transition time. As for HD Locals not being available, it may be that DIRECTV is waiting for the next satellite to launch.

    Hopefully you can get this resolved to your satisfaction in short order.
     
  8. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Call the automated line and when it asks what you want, say "cancel". Go from there.

    If you do want to keep DirecTV (but with the correct DVR that has OTA), and in fact there is one or more in stock at a store in your general area, I would suggest you make the trip and buy the box. If that stock runs out, it is possible the next shipment could be the HR21 without the OTA tuner.

    The chances of you getting DirecTV to send you the correct box is low, because their system just isn't equipped to make that distinction between the two units. That is a problem that needs to be fixed, but the CSR you are talking to (or supervisor) doesn't have any control over that.

    Carl
     
  9. F1 Fan

    F1 Fan Icon

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    Aug 28, 2007
    Ask to speak to retention (ie say CANCEL at the voice prompt). Their role is to try and keep you.

    Be polite but stick to your guns too. Explain to them about the switch, why you switched and the lack of OTA (anntenna in) in the box you received despite being told otherwise when you ordered.

    Tell them you realize that they cannot guarantee the HR20 (the one with antenna in) and they keep sending you an HR21. Can you get the credit and get it from BB. They might do it. They sometimes do it and the credit is given on activation - make sure you confirm they put it in the notes if they agree.

    IF they wont agree and you are insistent on going back to cable then dont bluff it. From their point of view they should be happy to gain a customer. Unfortunately a lot of people are calling retentions to get upgrade deals and credits and bluffing about leaving. Which doesnt help your legitimate case.

    You may not get cash credit. You may get credit in the form of free programming over time (eg HD access free for a year and/or movie channel free for x months) but it works out the same in the long run.
     
  10. Upstream

    Upstream Hall Of Fame

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    Jul 4, 2006
    1) Don't bother with the supervisor who didn't call you yesterday. Go directly to retention (by saying "cancel" at the voice prompt).

    2) Good idea to buy the HR20 at the local store before stock runs out. But make sure you can return it without penalty, just in case things don't work out with DTV.
     
  11. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

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    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    The key to this is do NOT activate the unit until you have completed your dealings with DirecTV. Once activated, you cannot return the unit. Buy it, have it sitting in front of you (maybe even hooked up and ready to activate). Tell DirecTV you will be happy to activate it the moment they give you the appropriate credits.

    Carl
     
  12. cb7214

    cb7214 Icon

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    Jan 25, 2007
    Did you pay for the receiver with a Credit Card? If you did you can dispute the charge as "you didn't get what you ordered" and they won't provide you with it. You may have some recourse that way, at the least it might get D* to send you what you want
     
  13. gcisko

    gcisko I am Iron Man!

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    Sep 27, 2006
    I think this is an expected set of circumstances for unsuspecting people like your self. And I think it is really sad. Quite frankly I am not sure what you can do. D* does offer the best programming IMHO and now in HD. So you have to somehow try to make it work.

    I would call back and ask for the super immediately. Actually before that, go get a HR20-700 and do not open the box unless they make it right for you. That way if everything FUBARS you can always return it. You should have a month if you get it from Best Buy.

    As a last resort dispute the charge on your credit card.
     
  14. fenderparrothead

    fenderparrothead New Member

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    Nov 21, 2007
    Yeah, that's where I goofed a bit. I basically always use a credit card for that reason, but in this case I used the debit card because I wanted to setup the monthly automatic withdrawal from my checking account, and it was just easier that way. Now, I don't know if DirecTV has anyway of telling that it's a debit card rather than a credit card, so I still may threaten to call and dispute the charges.
     
  15. gcisko

    gcisko I am Iron Man!

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    Sep 27, 2006
    You can always change your billing options to a credit card in the future.
     
  16. fenderparrothead

    fenderparrothead New Member

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    Nov 21, 2007
    Yeah, that's a good idea - as soon as I get off work today (3:00), I'll swing by BB and pick it up.
     
  17. gcisko

    gcisko I am Iron Man!

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    Sep 27, 2006
    I would try during lunch if I could :eek2:
     
  18. islesfan

    islesfan Hall Of Fame

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    Oct 18, 2006
    Nevada
    If you make any kind of deals with them, MAKE SURE YOU GET IT IN WRITING! I had a deal from them when I first got my HR20 (back in the lemon phase), and 6 months later, they went back on their deal, and I had no recourse.
     
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