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DirecTV is becoming a horrible company (opinion of a long time fan)

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by ajiuO, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. ajiuO

    ajiuO Legend

    Jun 17, 2006
    First of all, Im sorry that I have to be one of "those people", and rant off like this. I have been a DirecTV customer for 15 years and still feel that the HD quality and TV services are amongst the best available... However, I have decided to cancel, and here is why.

    Direct TV has the most incompetent customer support agents that I have ever seen.. Now if this were a one time occurrence It would be understandable... but here is my story.

    About 2 and a half weeks ago I started getting a "loss of signal" error on my main (HR24) reviver. After resetting the problem went away but came back the next day. I went through all of the step including moving a receiver from another room to make sure that it wasn't anything to do with the Dish or wiring.. It wasn't! So I called up DirecTV and they had me repeat everything that I had already tried and also determined that the receiver was probably bad. I was then told that they could not send me a replacement receiver because my building goes through an operator so that I would have to get the receiver from the operator. So I called the operator (Groove Satalite) and explained to them that I had a bad receiver and that DirecTV told me I needed to get a new one from them. They sent a guy to my house who came in with a replacement HR24 and got it all hooked up. Then when he called in to activate it.. He was told that he could not give me a new receiver and that it would need to come from DirecTV.. So witch is it?? So he unhooks the replacement receiver, Calls DirecTV, orders a new one, and then gives me a bill for 99$ for coming out (believe me I'm not going to pay it). The guy also verified with DirecTV that it would be an HR24 since I had payed $200.00 a while back to specifically get that receiver. I also called DirecTV and they confirmed that it was marked down as an HR24. They also admitted that that the original DirecTV agent that I spoke to should not have told me to get a new receiver from the building operator... They told me that he should have sent one out right away and told me to contact them only if I needed help hooking it up.. I asked them if they wanted to credit my account for the $99 incurred to me based upon their misinformation.. They first suggested to me that I cancel the service call... even though I told them that the guy had already been out (and did nothing).. then they told me to have my apartment building pay for it (What the hell do they have to do with it)?

    So I receive a box a couple of days later from DirecTV.. and the Box was empty. I called them up and they seemed just as confused about this as I was. It sounds like they mailed me a recovery kit instead of an actual receiver.. So they reprocessed the order. I wanted to confirm that they would be sending out an HR24. She explained that she could not guarantee that. I explained to her that I had an HR21 and paid $200 to upgrade to that specific model and that anything older then that would be returned to them. She told me that she could leave a note on there about it but could still not guarantee. She also explained that when replacing a defective reviver that they generally replace it with the same model So that I didn't have much to worry about.. and If I did receive the wrong model to just call back and they would see what they could do.. I was Ok with that.. So I agreed.

    Today I received my second box from DirecTV.. and for the second time it was empty. I called them up and asked to have my service canceled on the 30th... no apology or nothing... What a Joke!!!

    On top of all of that I think that DirecTV is completely unreasonable when it comes to their equipment. Just in order just to LEAS an HR24 you are expected to pay them $200 up front plus $5-$8 a month (what ever it is now) indefinitely, sign a 2 year contract... and you have to give it back Thats ridiculous. On top of that they don't allow anyone else to make equipment.. So the customers have no alternative... Then they think its ok to send customers older outdated equipment to replace the newer equipment that someone payed to get?

    ATT will give you a $650 phone for $200 and a two year contract.. and the phone is yours to keep. Does the HR24 cost $650? I hate to compare this reviver to a smart phone... But the technology involved in a smartphone is much more advanced then that in an HR24.. So I don't see directv's pricing justification... Hell my 99$ appleTV seems more advanced then my HR24.. and I own it... now thats a little bit unfair because the HR24 does have tuners and stuff... but still. If apple can make a product that is that fast, snappy, and smooth as that for 99$... I would expect something as expensive as the HR24 to run at least as smoothly as the AppleTV.

    This brings me to my next point... DirecTV better start treating its customers better because once Apple, Amazon, and others work out deals to become internet based cable providers... DirecTV and Dish wont be the only alternatives any more... Companies like Comcast will still be ok because they will still provide the infrastructure for the required internet connection... But companies like DirecTV will loose a lot of cards at that point.

    I will probably end up keeping DirecTV for now... only because it is the only thing available in my apartment building (alternative my ass... DirecTV has become "the man")... but once Apple launches its TV service (I'm hoping on the 22nd of october.. but could be next year.... I'm done

    Sorry for the rant.. and I'm sure some of the fan boys will try to shift the blame of my recent experience with DirecTV to me... but oh well... I spent the last 15 years as a DirecTV fan boy.. so I get it :/
    2 people like this.
  2. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    The grass isn't always greener.
    While DirecTV customer service leaves a lot to be desired, 30 days with U-Verse and their customers service showed me DirecTV "isn't so bad".

  3. peds48

    peds48 Genius.

    Jan 10, 2008
    To each their own. AT&T hands down has the WORSE customer service.....
  4. carl6

    carl6 Moderator Staff Member DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    Seattle, WA
    Sorry you have had a bad experience, it certainly does happen from time to time and unfortunately it happened to you.

    First off, you are welcome to rant here, but other than maybe making you feel a little better by getting it off your chest, i won't do any good with regard to DirecTV. You should also email your concerns to them.

    As to the lease system, yes you do have to pay an upfront fee to lease, and there is a recurring monthly charge for each receiver (with the first one credited back). The recurring cost is for mirroring the service to the additional receiver locations and is similar among all service providers. Certainly there are promotions sometimes that reduce or eliminate the upfront fee, but not always and it is very dependent on individual customers.

    If your building is managed as an MDU system, then that system operator is who is supposed to take care of you and contractually DirecTV isn't supposed to. It sounds like there might have been conflicting or confusing information in regard to that, and nobody here would be able to help with that. An email to DirecTV (ellen.filipiak@DirecTV.com) might get you some help in that regard.

    No doubt the future of entertainment distribution to the end user is evolving. Who knows what will be available in the future, but there is no question it will change and perhaps another alternative will better serve you.
    1 person likes this.
  5. JosephB

    JosephB Icon

    Nov 14, 2005
    Birmingham, AL
    So a few things:

    1. When you did all the troubleshooting beforehand and got frustrated that they had you do it again, you must look at it from their perspective. They can't just take your word for it because of the number of people who call in trying to get free new equipment or just don't want to troubleshoot and have someone come out immediately. Sending someone out costs a lot of money. Sucks, but that's the way it is, they're going to avoid sending someone out if they can, it just saves money which in turn keeps rates from being higher than they are.

    2. Part of the confusion with the building operator model falls on your apartment building and the servicing company. Though, DirecTV should have given you the correct information, but you're not exclusively DirecTV's customer, there are other parties at work responsible for you too.

    3. When you say you "earlier paid $200" for an HR24, when did you do that? Was it when you signed up for service? And how long ago was that? This aspect confuses me. You don't pay for a specific receiver unless you're ordering from SolidSignal. Otherwise you're paying for an "HD DVR" and the model number, in DirecTV's eyes, is inconsequential. There's no way to guarantee you'll get one or the other. Looks like they tried to warn you.

    4. Recovery kits vs. receivers: That's just a screw-up. Dunno what to tell you there.

    5. Costs: if you don't like the costs, you can always go elsewhere. Don't expect an IP service anytime soon, and who is your internet provider? Probably have caps, I'd imagine. The boxes cost them money to develop and build and refurbish. I do have sympathy that paying $200 and THEN still "leasing" it is a stretch, since cable companies don't charge you an up front fee. On the other hand, my local cable company currently charges $10 for DVR service ON TOP OF a $20 DVR rental fee, which is in perpetuity, so DirecTV's $200 up front fee is actually cheaper over a two year contract than Cable. And when it comes to hardware choices, you get what the provider has with every service out there, except that with Cable you can buy a cablecard device if you want (though, they don't like that)

    Life isn't fair, and TV isn't a right. Sounds like DirecTV screwed up some things but I think you're judging them a little harsh, and I guarantee you will find them no worse than the competition.
  6. ajiuO

    ajiuO Legend

    Jun 17, 2006
    1. I was not frustrated that I had to do the troubleshooting... I just stated this to emphasize that directv came to the same conclusion that it was a bad receiver... I'm aware that having somone come out cost money.. In fact this costed me 99$, directv told me to have them come out and nothing was accomplished... Once again DirecTv's fault. I did not want somone to come out... There was no need for it.. The receiver was bad.

    2. That's fantastic.. But directv needs to get their information straight... In this case DirecTV was responsible for sending me new equipment.. They admitted to this and admitted that having me contact the MDU was a mistake.

    3. Yes I paid 200 to an authorized dealer to get an HR24.. I already had an HR21 it was way slower then the 24 and cosmetically out dated... If directv is going to charge outrageous prices for equipment leasing then they should at least let you pick your product... No way would I pay 200 to lease a hr20-23... Directv actually seemed willing to work with me on this... So it the least of the problem.

    4. Same mistake twice in a row... This was a big part of the problem.

    5. Actually I can't go elsewhere... At least without moving.. I live in an apartment building... It is only wired for DirecTV. I don't completely buy the R&D excuse... It should be 200 to buy with a 2 year contract. Let's say a person pays 200 plus 5 a month (I'm being conservative) for 2 years.. So about $320 to leas a receiver for 2 years... Then if you send it back they turn right around and do the same thing... Celt now somone is paying 320 to lease a used receiver... My point is... If I'm paying a premium price to lease... I want premium equipment... And like I said even the hr24 is outdated and slower then a 99$ Apple TV....

    IP cable service is a lot closer then you think.. Apple has been negotiating it for a while... They even recently hired on a cable tv executive... Most of the infrastructure is already in place and could almost instantly be implemented upon a deal being finalized... They have most of the on demand content already in place.. It's just a matter of adding network content packages... They also have the ability to quickly implement streaming channels... Witch they have proven recently.... They are definitely building towards somthing. It was the same with itunes in the cloud... Witch will actually be a big part of this... Apple had all the infrastructure in place... Once a deal was finalized.. They simply switched it on... I think that is what is going to happen with this....

    As for internet caps... I don't see that around here other then on cell service.. I can stream 1080p video via itunes all day..

    My point is.. directv and dish better watch out.. They have always been the alternatives to the local cable company to witch there was no alternative... That is about to change... And once apple does it Amazone and other will follow... In fact I think DirecTV will eventually be one of the IP TV providers... But there will be a lot more competition because all the TV. Providers will be doing it... And they will be able to provide to to anyone.. Not just those on their own infrastructure... TV is going to become another service provided via the internet.... And the transition will start soon.. Apple could announce a tv service as soon as OCT 22.... I think next year is more likely.... But it's coming... And once it catches on it will rock the world... 5-10 years from now the mainstream use of Satalite dishes will be a thing of the past... Unless they find a way to use them for high speed 2 way IP bandwidth.

    Pleas don't take this the wrong way... Not trying to be rude... In fact I think DTV will become an IP provider and are already putting the pieces in place.... But they are going to have to step it up :)
  7. ejbvt

    ejbvt AllStar

    Aug 14, 2011
    Truer words have NEVER been spoken by a human.

    Well, written.
  8. gov

    gov Legend

    Jan 11, 2013
    To be the 'best', a company only needs to be 1% better than #2 . . .

  9. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

    Jun 26, 2010
    Texas City, TX
    It sounds to me like the apartment contractor is supposed to be giving this OP a receiver but never did
    and DirecTV is sending out the recovery box to retrieve the old box that was supposed to be replaced.

    I would talk to the apartment manager about this.
    Things have a very good chance of getting messy when you have to deal with 2 companies for the same thing. That is the very reason I have never bundled my TV with AT&T ( I have had their phone service forever ).
  10. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    I personally hate the mdu system an have a feeling the entire issue is related to that.
  11. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    In some ways, you were lucky you could even get a 24. They may not be in the majority, but some MDUs require an HR20i.

    Sent from my iPad using DBSTalk
  12. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    This sounds like the entire problem is MDU related....unfortunately you choose to live in a building that is under an MDU agreement...huge pain in the rear. Sounds like you live in a lousy one.
  13. Jason Whiddon

    Jason Whiddon Hall Of Fame

    Aug 17, 2006
    My only problem with Directv lately is their sub contractors for installs. The guy that did mine had to come back 3 days later because he put in the pole with no support or concrete, you could turn it by hand in the ground. He first showed up with no pole or shovel, had to come back 2 hours later after getting them from BFE.

    I got my boss to switch over last week because DIsh lost a local here, and he also got a sub contractor in a beat up car, that guy was missing two things and a ladder was one of them.

    I thought we were moving away from the day of shoddy installers, I mean cmon... And ATT customer service sucks for me here, at least on the DSL side.
  14. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    First of all let me say I feel your pain and I understand the reasons you have for leaving. I feel I have to comment in a "devil's advocate" sort of way.

    First, I am not aware of any cable or satellite provider that promises you a choice of receiver other than DIRECTV, for any price. I agree that heavy users like us need a way to get the equipment we want; luckily DIRECTV allows for reputable third party dealers to provide that equipment, at a cost. It's up to us whether we want to take on that cost. I personally think it is, but there are millions of people who wouldn't care if they had an HR21.

    As for your specific MDU operator, I don't know what to say there. Something got messed up in DIRECTV's computers and they should not have put you in the middle. They knew what they were doing when they brought you an HR24 and they should have known how to activate it for you. If they didn't take care of that properly, that's their fault and a complaint should be made with DIRECTV about them.

    With regard to the whole MDU system, I understand why some would see it as horrendously broken, but look at it from the other side. An independent operator puts in a lot of equipment into a property... a master dish, trunk amplifiers, SWMs, wires, all that at his own expense. He also absorbs all the costs associated with maintaining it. All he asks in return is a small percentage of the payments made to DIRECTV at that location. He has taken on all the risk, not DIRECTV, and he's asking for only some of the reward. I'm not saying it's a bad deal for the MDU operator, I'm saying it's a fair one. It's also a good deal for apartment complexes because they don't see new holes in the walls with every new tenant.

    And BTW, there are good MDU operators and bad ones, not just with DIRECTV but with other services. Many apartments still labor under old analog SMATV systems that have 15-20 channels. The difference is if you think your DIRECTV-certified MDU operator is doing a bad job you can call DIRECTV. If your SMATV guy is doing a bad job you have very little recourse.

    I personally think it's terrible how you were treated and I think your MDU operator could have worked harder to keep your business and get it right. Your apartment manager should also have made it easier for you to know that you had to go to them straight away. Not to mention, you should have been sent receivers, not recovery kits which is just plain sloppy. Yes, there were points of failure, but at least two of them aren't really DIRECTV's doing.
  15. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 16, 2005
    Wow ...

    IP based MFH-3 operators still haven't upgraded to the H/HR24i yet?
  16. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    I didn't think the HR24i ever happened.
  17. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    MFH3 has reached end of life. MFH3 operations are being converted to D2 Advantage (formerly MFH2.) No new MFH3 equipment is, or will, be made. And no, there was no HR24i.
  18. Paul Secic

    Paul Secic Hall Of Fame

    Dec 16, 2003
    I fully agree with you!!!!
  19. studechip

    studechip Godfather

    Apr 16, 2012
    Funny enough, I have AT&T for my cell service. They have been nothing but excellent to me service wise.
    1 person likes this.
  20. Laxguy

    Laxguy Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense.

    Dec 2, 2010
    Cell and one home has slow U-Verse internet. Twenty years ago I would have agreed, even ten years ago, but since then, no problems with CSR service....

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