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DirecTV Free Equipment Upgrade

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by HRJustin, Mar 5, 2009.

  1. Mar 5, 2009 #1 of 22

    HRJustin Godfather

    Mar 5, 2009
    hello everyone this is my first post here on dbstalk forums I would just like to post what I just went through with the upgrade to new receivers for the mpeg-4 local channels. I have been reading the forums off and on for a while now. I tried to summarize am much as possible to keep it short so hopefully its not to long.

    I called in around feb. 9th to make an appointment for the equipment upgrade. I asked the rep about upgrading the SD DVR to an HD DVR I wanted to have an HD DVR installed so we would be all ready to upgrade to an HDTV. After much debate he gave me the offer of upgrading my current R-15 to an HD DVR for a price of $99 and $19.95 shipping and handling. So I went ahead and had it billed to my account and an appointment set for march 2nd. I figured this was a good deal from the original price of $199 as he said we wouldn't need to activate HD service until we got the new TV....

    ...I knew it was to good to be true.... so march 2nd comes the date he set for the install. So the installer comes around 9am much earlier then the specified 12pm-4pm window. So he brings in and sets up 3 HD receivers for all of the other rooms. While he was installing one of these receivers I decided to ask which HD DVR he brought HR-22 or HR-23.... then of course the words I pretty much knew were coming the whole time since February "the order here only says replacement of SD DVR with another SD DVR R-22". He tried calling into his boss but of course there was nothing he could do....

    so he installs the new SD DVR R-22 and heads off to his next apointment. afterwords I call in to get this all straightened out. I actually get through very quickly to a fairly nice rep. She tells me there are no notes at all on my account about an HD DVR upgrade. She also says that the $99 "deal" the guy offered me in Feb for an HD DVR was never even an option. The best offer she could give me was $50 off $199 for an HD DVR making it $150+$19.95 shipping/handling I didnt take it but supposedly she "noted" it to my account. so it takes around 30 minutes just for her to tell me that her supervisor will get to it after shes done with the call their on and that the credit of $99 and $19.95 should be on the account in a few hours. I check my account online the next day and still has the charges it takes me sending in an email to finally get the credit posted to my account.

    all I wanted to do is not have to lose all of my recordings twice when we do decide to upgrade to an HDTV. I just wanted to get the HD DVR now and be done with it. I just cant believe that the first rep charged me an upgrade for something I would have gotten free in the first place.

    What I am wondering now is do I have to "upgrade/exchange" my SD DVR or can I keep it put it in another room and just swap out one of the HD recievers for an HD DVR for the same $150+$19.95 deal that is suppose to be noted to my account. Or could I get an even better deal since I was misinformed by the first rep. I still need to call in to have return boxes sent for the old equipment the installer wasn't allowed to take. I just want to have the living room setup ready for a new HDTV :D
  2. Mar 5, 2009 #2 of 22

    JoeTheDragon Hall Of Fame

    Jul 21, 2008
    The r22 may be software updated to HD at a later time look for other ports about that.
  3. Mar 5, 2009 #3 of 22

    HRJustin Godfather

    Mar 5, 2009
    it sure seems like it should be able to output HD but its really restricted. i sure hope they release some kind of updates for it. i would really like to be able to change the gray bar to black on local channels at least. on the HD receivers they can be set to letterbox, crop, and stretch to eliminate the gray bars on local channels they really need to update this on the r22.
  4. Mar 5, 2009 #4 of 22

    ThomasM RF Engineer

    Jul 20, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    Hello and welcome to DBSTALK.COM! :welcome_s

    It's too bad you didn't do a little more research here on DBSTALK.COM before you decided to make your changes. Here are a few little things you probably didn't know:

    1. If you get an HD receiver, you WILL get charged the $10/month "HD Access Fee" and you WILL get a slimline dish. (I.E. there is nothing you can do prior to getting an HD TV regarding DirecTV-you either have HD or you don't)

    2. While there is speculation that an R22 SD DVR can be "upgraded" to HD in the future via an over-the-air command, this has NOT been substantiated as of today....and even if it is technically possible there is no indication that DirecTV will ever do it.

    3. You probably paid too much for your R22. You could have gone to Best Buy or another retailer that "sells" (leases) DirecTV equipment and picked up a brand-new R22 for $99. It would then become a lease at $4.99/mo on your bill and also reset your 2-year commitment. You actually could have gotten an HD DVR this way (for $199) but when you activated it you would have also been charged the $10 "HD Access" fee even though your dish/multiswitch probably doesn't support it!! That's why upgrading to HD is usually best through DirecTV which normally includes the installation of an HD (slimline) dish and an upgrade of your multiswitch. A slimline dish goes for about a hundred bucks and a SWM (single wire multiswitch) is that or a little more so even if you are a do-it-yourselfer you probably save money letting DirecTV do this upgrade.

    3. The way DirecTV DVRs are designed, recordings made on a particular DVR are encoded on the hard drive such that they can ONLY be played back on THAT DVR. In other words, there is presently NO WAY to "transfer" your recordings to a different DVR or even back them up to other forms of digital media (other than making an analog copy to a VCR or DVD recorder, of course).
  5. Mar 5, 2009 #5 of 22

    Dave Icon

    Jan 28, 2003
    This is another case of DirectV CSR's doing a bait and switch with the customer and outright lying to there customers. Perhaps you should try and call up on the auto system and try to get to retention and explain to them the situation. DirectV's customer service base is lower that some Cell phone companies right now. Give retention a try and see.:nono2::nono2::nono2:
  6. Mar 5, 2009 #6 of 22

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

    Nov 16, 2005
    Wylie, Texas
    Also keep in mind that your SD DVR will work fine on your HDTV, but I've read of some installers that won't connect an HD DVR unless there is an HDTV to hook it up to. You're probably better off waiting until you get your HDTV, then ordering the HD DVR.
  7. Mar 5, 2009 #7 of 22

    bjdotson Legend

    Feb 20, 2007
    I think Directv is shooting themselves in the foot with this one. If they could transfer my recordings from an SD-DVR to an HD-DVR; I would upgrade tomorrow.
  8. Mar 5, 2009 #8 of 22

    HRJustin Godfather

    Mar 5, 2009
    Thanks for the welcome heres a follow up with what you posted Ive done quite alot of research. I think i actually knew more about all of this then the reps i called and the installer. directv. com /localswap

    1. I already had the slimline from when i first got directv installed in January of 08 so that wasnt a problem at all. i knew about the $10 access fee but the guy i talked to first assured me that i would not have to pay the fee until i turned it on when i got a new TV. later on the rep that i spoke with about the credit also said that the hd access is automatically activated.

    2. the r22 has all the outputs needed for HD so i cant see why they wouldnt be able to upgrade it in the future. there must be a reason of building everything into it from the beginning. the one thing i would like updated is being able to remove the gray bar above and below the local channels that would be perfect. if they could just fix the format to be able to switch through crop, stretch, and letterbox and still be locked to 480i/p resolution. the HD boxes that replaced the SD recievers will rotate through crop, letterbox, and stretch for each resolution 480i, 480p, 720p and 1080i if all selected in the menu. plus the normal HD recievers also allow to change the gray bars color to dark gray or black.

    3. I paid for an HD DVR again i was assured i would be getting this. since i didnt get the HD DVR all these charges have been credited back to me. the main reason for the upgrade was from an email i got saying that local channels are changing to a different satellite and the recievers i had wouldnt pick them up. i had the small round dish on the side of the slimline to get local channels. now i only need the slimline to recieve all of the channels local and otherwise. the installer didnt bother with installing the single wire multiswitch. as far as i know theres still two going to the r-22. if it was possible to upgrade to an HD DVR and keep the r-22 i would just run another piece of rg-6 coax i already have into the room i would put it in.

    4. i didnt know about the encoding to one specific dvr. that was the main reason i wanted the HD DVR now. I didnt want to lose recorded content twice. i just wanted to go from the r-15 to the hr22/23 instead of three time from the r-15 to r-22 then to hr22/23.
  9. Mar 7, 2009 #9 of 22

    sadmaker Mentor

    Sep 16, 2006
    In the future, when the installer brings the wrong equipment, dont let him install it.
  10. Mertzen

    Mertzen Hall Of Fame

    Dec 8, 2006
    Indede the bottom line. People please note, verify your equipment when the tech arrives. Once activated it's hard to change stuff.
  11. PicaKing

    PicaKing Godfather

    Oct 8, 2006
    I am a VP at a very large national corporation. Nothing to do with Directv. We have large call centers across the US that handle our "member" calls. When we have an instance of complaint, we can easily pull the recording of the call and review it. We can even view the various computer screens the representative viewed and mouse clicks they made while working through the call, and of course any notes they took, or said they took and did not. If one of our employees promised a customer something, we would likely give the customer what they were offered ( if possible, or something comparable), retrain the representative ( or fire them if they had a history of poor service), and move on. I'm sure Directv has the ability to do the same thing, and if not, they should.
  12. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    DirecTV can do all of that, and they do. The biggest problem, though, is the high turn-over rate, which is a common problem in all call-centers. Most companies view call center employees/contractors as "entry level" employees, and in many places, they are. But IMO, DirecTV is too complex to consider CSRs to be "entry level".

    As long as the CSRs are getting paid "entry-level" wages, they will attract less-skilled, less-desirable employees, and turn-over will remain high. DirecTV has to balance CSR quality against their customers' desire for a lower monthly bill (good customer service is EXPENSIVE). Still, IMO, they need to raise the scale a bit and attract, and retain, better workers. In the long run, I bet it would be cheaper.

    Of course, once you eliminated a high percentage of CSR-created problems, some new VP would come in and "save millions a year" by lowering CSR pay, and the cycle would start all over again.
  13. PicaKing

    PicaKing Godfather

    Oct 8, 2006
    Call center turnover is certainly an issue at my company too, even though we do pay a bit better than "entry level" wages available in that particular region of the country.
    Having said that, I have read dozens of posts on this forum where a customer is promised (allegedly) some price or service only to not get it and to then have DirecTV tell them that it's not possible. I don't recall seeing any posts where that customers issue was resolved after the call was reviewed and it was determined that either the CSR gave out erroneous information or the customer was never offered what they said they were offered.
  14. cariera

    cariera Icon

    Oct 27, 2006
    Not to pick on anyone, but does anyone view their orders on Directv's website after they place them? Do you look at the emails Direct sends you when you place an order?

    I know it is wrong when a rep promises something, and you get something else. However you can nip this in the bud by doing some checking.

    My last moving order was FUBARed but I was able to catch and correct it long before the install date. Otherwise as the OP, I would have been pi**ed.:)
  15. HRJustin

    HRJustin Godfather

    Mar 5, 2009
    I didnt get any kind of verification of my order when i made the appointment and was told i would be getting an hd dvr. I kept checking my email for an appointment verification but there was none. I also checked my directv online account for recent orders it just says "Sorry, we experiencing difficulty retrieving your orders. Please try again later or call 1-888-355-7530 for further assistance."

    This is pretty much exactly what happened to me. I should have called in before my appointment to verify everything but I trusted what the rep told me would be installed. I called in after the installation to get the money credited back for what the first rep charged me. This rep told me there was no such deal at the end of the call the best deal she offered me was $50 off an HD DVR upgrade.

    its not really to big of a deal since we probably wont be getting an HDTV for a while yet anyways. I just wanted the HD DVR installed and ready for an HDTV. It would have gave more of an incentive to get an HDTV sooner LOL.

    When we do upgrade to an HD DVR will we be able to keep this R22 and replace/send back one of the h21 HD receivers?
    right now we are really only using the DVR and two other boxes in the bedrooms(Dont really use basement receiver can I deactivate to not pay lease fee or would I have to return the box?).
    I already have the coax to run a second line to the room I would put it in. The installer just left the same multiswitch instead of upgrading to the SWM.

    I know quite alot about this subject and also mobile phones mainly networking via tethering. I was also curious for the time being until we get an HD DVR is MRV active with the R22-200 to output to a H21-200? has anyone tried this? I have the cat5 to run to the router for both boxes so i was just curious if it would work.
  16. JLucPicard

    JLucPicard Hall Of Fame

    Apr 27, 2004
    If you want to deactivate a receiver from your account, you certainly have the choice as to which one you shut off.

    If the receiver you will deactivate happens to be your primary receiver, be extra careful when doing so if you have any grandfathered package or monthly account credits on your account. When they deactivate your primary, I believe some (most?) CSRs 'tear down & rebuild' your account, and those credits/grandfathered packages can be lost when they do it that way. There is another way for them to do that without messing things up. Once they do mess up, it's nearly impossible to get things back to the way they were. I would avoid deactivating your primary receiver if you can.

    Also, any leased receivers you deactivate will need to be returned or you will be charged a non-return fee. You cannot deactivate a leased receiver and store it in the closet in case you need it later or anything like that.
  17. BattleScott

    BattleScott Hall Of Fame

    Aug 28, 2006
    IMO, the primary reason this won't happen is the same reason you are going to be upset in the future. When / if you do exchange your SD-R22 for an HD HR2x, you will be resetting your programming comittment for another 24 months.
  18. HRJustin

    HRJustin Godfather

    Mar 5, 2009
    i figured that no matter what when i get an HD DVR (hr2x) i would keep the R22 and just put it in another room. either way i will be resetting my commitment for 24 months.
  19. HRJustin

    HRJustin Godfather

    Mar 5, 2009
    well if thats the case that pretty much kills that idea.

    with that out I was wondering what channels I would pick up on an h21 with a small round 18 inch dish. The installer left the small dish that was used for locals before. I know with the small dish I wouldnt get local channels now that they are MPEG 4. The power went out for a few hours one time so we brought in a battery from a truck. I have a power inverter so I connected the R15 to that. I output to a small 8inch portable dvd player and it worked great.

    I just thought it would be cool to be able to use the receiver at bonfires or whatever in the summer. I have the power inverter and an extra receiver and now a small round Satellite. Im sure that I can figure out some kind of temporary mount :D
  20. Struff

    Struff AllStar

    Dec 23, 2008
    I do almost all of my correspondence with them (and many other companies I do business with) through email so I have a paper trail just in case something goes wrong.

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