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DirecTv HR34 Misleading Advertising

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by drewcwsj, May 17, 2012.

  1. drewcwsj

    drewcwsj New Member

    May 17, 2012
    So I'm a new potential DTV subscriber. Ordered an HR34 with new service through a reseller only to be told a few days before my install that the HR34 requires a SWM and I will be charged an additional $235 on top of the $99 for the HR34. When I asked where on their site this was outlined I was told that the HR34 is a "custom install" product and is not covered by their standard install for new subscribers. I've spent hours on the phone with DTV where they have talked in circles and eventually just hung up on me.

    I will be filing complaints with the BBB and the Washington state attorney generals office. Is there anyone at DirecTv that I should contact? I posted on their support forums only to have my post deleted.
  2. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    After all that, you still want to become a customer?

    Anyway, to answer your question, ellen.filpiak@directv.com

    Incidentally, ALL new installs are SWM, so dont know what they hell they were talking about charging you for.
  3. drewcwsj

    drewcwsj New Member

    May 17, 2012
    I'm in an apartment building with only comcast and DTV as options. DTV may be the devil but comcast is the antichrist.
  4. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    Actually, I love Comcast, at least here in my town, its excellent.

    Now, you said you live in an apartment. That *IS* going to change things. Most apartments are not set up for SWM, and those that are, probably do not have 5 tuner channels available. Since you are in an apartment, they will have to get permission to install a separate dish on your private area, not attached to the building unless your landlord permits that. That is not a standard install (home), so it is possible it will cost extra, but that amount sounds rather high. You can buy the dish and SWM lnb, and a patio mount for about 1/2 that.
  5. drewcwsj

    drewcwsj New Member

    May 17, 2012
    I'm moving into a 30 story condo building on the 28th floor with a master dish on the roof and no balcony dishes permitted. As far as the HR34 goes my understanding is regardless of the install it requires a SWM8 as the standard LNB supports only 4 tuners.

    I also emailed Ellen but it bounced:

    "I am writing to you after getting your contact info from the DBSTalk forum. I am a potential new subscriber that tried to order your HR34 DVR for $99 as advertised on your website only to be told a few days after my order that this unit does not include free install because it has five tuners and your standard new subscriber install only covers four tuners. So the exclusive reseller for my apartment building in Bellevue Washington is trying to add an additional $235 charge for this DVR. I have spent close to two hours on phone calls with DirecTv reps only to be told that there is no extra charge for this box and then eventually be told this is a reseller issue.

    As a potential new subscriber I am extremely unhappy and frustrated by this entire experience. My $99 DVR actually will cost me $334. This is unacceptable and extremely misleading.


  6. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    Well, actually, the SWM LNB as well as the SWM8 both support 8 tuners. The SWM16 supports 16 tuners. It is possibly they could piggyback a SWM8 off the master antenna for you, depending how the building is wired.

    As for the no dishes allowed on the balcony, if you mount it on a sled or in a bucket of concrete, and no part of the dish overhangs the balcony, there is nothing they can do to prevent that, since federal regulations allow it (see OTARD threads). Of course, the apartment bancony would need to be facing south southeast.

    Not sure why the email bounced. Perhaps I spelled it wrong. Someone else should chime in with the correct address.
  7. Davenlr

    Davenlr Geek til I die

    Sep 16, 2006
    Try directv.com/email
  8. drewcwsj

    drewcwsj New Member

    May 17, 2012
    Ok I see now. A normal new install with a new dish with a SWM LNB works fine with the HR34. In my case the apartment complex master dish most likely does not have a SWM LNB and thus I would need a SWM8 inline with my unit.

    In the end $334 for 3 extra tuners and a bit bigger HD is silly money. Looks like I'll settle for an HR24. Wish anyone at DTV could have explained that.

  9. Alebob911

    Alebob911 Hall Of Fame

    Mar 22, 2007
    I don't think its misleading at all. If you owned your house you'd be able to get the advertised deal without any issues but since you don't own the property you are at the hands of the owner and they installed a master dish as well as cable and because of that they can make the rules regarding dishes on patios. I agree it sucks but there isn't much you can do and DIRECTV probably won't do anything either. They can only do what they are allowed to do based on the property owners rules. It sucks but that's the way it is. I'd say your lucky to get DIRECTV since they could have chosen DISH NETWORK then what? I think most of the advertised stuff assumes it will be installed in a single family dwelling vs multi. Does the owner of this property pay for the initial MDU install since they chose DIRECTV as an offering to the residents? What about the maintenance of the headend? Lastly, what about tech upgrades like going from legacy to SWM? I am sure in this instance, its not just a simple LNB swap or SWM8 add-on. To the OP, I feel for you and hope your able to get things resolved. Just remember, its not DIRECTV's fault but more so the building owners rules about individual dishes not being allowed.
  10. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 16, 2005
    Yep, you did; :)

    Missed the second "i" in "Filipiack."

    Correct address is ellen.filipiak@directv.com

    And the OP still needs to provide more info. about the specific type of DIRECTV MDU installation there is in the building. "MFH 1, 2, or 3?"

    If 1 or 3 then the OP is out of luck for the HR34 and H25 receiver models outside of placing his own dish on a SE facing balcony.

    If MFH 2, then he needs to verify the max. number of tuners supported in each condo unit. It needs to be at least 5 for the HR34 and hopefully a full 8 to allow room for possible future expansion.
  11. Justin23

    Justin23 Hall Of Fame

    Jan 10, 2008
    I think his extra charges are also due to the fact he is using a dealer. Probably because he is in an MDU property & they have the rights for that complex. Plus with being in a high rise, those installs will have higher than normal costs as well.
  12. trh

    trh This Space for Sale

    Nov 2, 2007
    NE FL
    The FCC's OTARD gives the OP the right to install a dish on his exclusive-use patio as Davenlr previously mentioned.
  13. damondlt

    damondlt New Member

    Feb 27, 2006
    Hey they just installed me with HR34, HR23, H25, D10, SWIM 16, Internet connection kit, whole home dvr and the satellite dish for $260.
    My first month bill was $88 . So will be my next 2.
    I got Premier pack, with free NFL ST.

    I got so far everything they advertisedl
  14. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    So it really sounds like you didnt understand the differences between a regular customer and a customer that is part of an MDU. So after you severe rant in the 1st post claiming you were going to go to the BBB and the AG, have you calmed down?
  15. kaminar

    kaminar Mentor

    Mar 25, 2012
    If you only have 1 tv, then yes it is a bummer..definitely a judgment call on your part, due to the physical location (MDU v. house)..

    Typically, if you have 2 tvs, you can get 2 HD-DVRs (1st HD-DVR and HD receiver are free, upgrade HD to 2nd HD-DVR is only $99) instead and have 4 tuners total. Just a suggestion.

    Good luck!

  16. texasbrit

    texasbrit Well-Known Member

    Aug 9, 2006
    Yes, this charge is nothing to do with DirecTV. Your MDU company controls the system, and the charges associated with the system. It's unusual for them to be willing to give you a price for an HR34 at all, most MDUs simply say they don't support it. And a DirecTV CSR should not be talking to you directly, they are supposed simply to refer you to your MDU manager.
    Most MDUs limit the number of tuners per apartment, often it is 4 although sometimes less. To provide you with more tuners (five in this case) , the MDU has to add an SWM8 and all the associated equipment, maybe even reconfigure the racks, and all of this has to be paid for.
  17. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    They certainly could have explained it better. I wouldn't expect a normal person looking to sign up to know the differences in dealing with an MDU. Heck, most of the users on here have no idea of some of the issues. I still don't know how some aspects of the HR20i work.
  18. cabletech

    cabletech Legend

    Jan 20, 2011
    drew if you are in the condo I think you are in, there is a specific DTV service provider that works with the management. Talk to the office manager and have them put you in contact with that person/company.

    Most all apartment/condo buildings in that area and even over to Mercer Island are not handled directly by DTV home service provider. I know as I helped wiring a lot of them.

    You MUST go thru the building provider and not DTV direct or a 'store' type retailer.

    But the bottom line is, you should not have to pay that large $$ for the type of service you wish.
  19. bigglebowski

    bigglebowski Legend

    Jul 27, 2010
    As other have pointed out the MDU aspect of his particular install is that if he had signed up for less than 4 tuners the install would be less expensive. But because he is over 4 tuners means he is going to need to be on his own SWM8 and the MDU operator charges more in that case.

    The MFH2 infrastructure and proper maintenance is just expensive there is no way around that.
  20. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    Its possible that the CSR conversation never made it to the MDU stage at all, we have no idea how the initial call was presented, and he did say he called a reseller and wasnt even initially dealing with Directv on this. Easy for things to get confusing really fast when different channels get involved. To try to escalate to the office if the president and not even being a customer yet is redunculous....

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