DirecTV "Valued Customer" mega *free* upgrade.

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by PremierAV, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. PremierAV

    PremierAV New Member

    Aug 19, 2013
    Hi all,

    Another long time reader/lurker here. Decided I'd share this one, (never know how many others can talk DirecTV into the same deal). :goodjob:

    Been a Dtv customer since about 15 months after they started in the Atlanta market. Actually used to do installs for my own friends, family, customers. In any event, I call every so often to see what they have to offer. Last time they told me I could get the Genie for free (HR 34 era) but the install would be $199 plus the CCK. (And any other receivers that I may need at the time.)

    Fast forward to week before last.

    I called because my HR24-100 in the bedroom had gone into the HDD scanning loop due to the software update. The dreaded "known issue" crash. At that time the CSA told me I'd have to call back more than 2 hours later, after they noted it in their system, and I'd get a free replacement. (We have the protection plan.) Although I fail to understand why you should have to pay a DIME for shipping on THEIR "known issue". :shrug:

    Anyhow, whilst I had her on the phone I asked about a free Genie upgrade. (I already knew I was eligible from looking at my account.) She said "sure" and started plugging it into the system. At that time I informed her that we already have 2 HR-24's (100 & 500) plus 4 more receivers. Two are old legacy receivers, one DTV and one really nice Samsung that matches my daughters 34" flat screen tube type TV in her old room. (It's her "old room" because she got married last month one day before her 25th birthday.) :righton: With the current configuration I am using all ports of a 8 port multi-switch.

    So.... After diddling around in my account for quite sometime, (I could hear her typing furiously) I just told her that I have a 4-in, 8-out multi-switch NOT a single in dish, but that I know I'll need a 4 in 16 out SWM along with a couple of new "clients". Along with that we can take my two legacy receivers out of the data stream. BUT, I was told back earlier in the year it would be several hundred bucks, and I'm not prepared to pay that. "But being as I have you hear. I just upgraded my ISP to 30 (from 3) and moved my modem and router from the office in the basement to my family room upstairs and have blazing fast internet sitting right on top of my DVR. And being as I just had a receiver fail because of software YOU forced it to download which caused me to lose a TON of programming, some of which is irreplaceable. What say we just give me a free upgrade?"

    To my surprise, (she was still typing furiously) she replied, "sure, why not". :eek2: We went ahead and processed the order, and then she sent me to the replacement department for my failed HR24-100 (which arrived last Monday). FWIW I spoke to DirecTV on Friday evening and had the new box on my front porch Monday.

    So sometime tomorrow there will be a new;
    1. Genie (HR44 I hope), new dish most likely as my LNB's are fairly old, (would REALLY like new RG11 from the dish as it's 120' of RG6 from the dish to the multi-switch. But they (Mastech) don't even CARRY RG11 on the freaking truck(s).)
    2. A new 4-in 16 out SWM system.
    3. CKK, plus whatever power inserters and splitters they need
    4. And two new clients! (Have no idea what version those clients are these days but they are only being used in the gym and daughters old room.)
    All of which is totally free! (Well, there is the $3.00 monthly fee.) But good grief that's a lot of work. :hurah:

    Not bad after all.

    Later guys,

  2. ThomasM

    ThomasM RF Engineer

    Jul 20, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    Why are you complaining about a shipping charge for your failed HR-24? When you have the protection plan all service calls including replacement receivers is at no extra charge. You didn't have to pay anything and you could have been back up and running minus a new 2 year commitment.
  3. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2006
    He's saying he's getting a full genie upgrade which he wants for free. I didn't see him really complain much, other than blame a software update for finding a bad hard drive that was soon to fail anyway, and that the software update really is arbitrary to the whole discussion.

    I say awesome! Let us all know how you like. Genies are just fantastic.

    Sent from my iPad using DBSTalk mobile app
  4. Jacob Braun

    Jacob Braun King of Awesome

    Oct 5, 2011
    Tulsa, OK
    Yeah that "known issue" isn't really a known issue so much as "This is working exactly as it should" and I wish they would change the way that is worded.

    A receiver does a software update, it automatically does a disk check. If the disk check fails or takes a very long time that means the drive is going bad and the receiver will eventually need to be replaced. Customer calls in, gets replacement receiver if they ask.

    it really is a feature, not a bug. (don't laugh!)

    You'll love your Genie.
    1 person likes this.
  5. dpeters11

    dpeters11 Hall Of Fame

    May 30, 2007
    I think he was saying that it shouldn't take having the PP to get free shipping. But, if you have it just for that, DirecTV gets more money out of you than just paying for the s&h as needed,

    Sent from my iPad using DBSTalk mobile app
  6. acostapimps

    acostapimps Hall Of Famer

    Nov 5, 2011
    Congrats on the free upgrade on the Genie HR44, I also had a free upgrade with no PP needed and I was still under contract, You would love the speed and fast responsiveness of the HR44 if you get that.
  7. wingrider01

    wingrider01 Hall Of Fame

    Sep 9, 2005
    Never seen a hardware failure be designated a "bug" but I guess you can call it that since the manufacturer of the drive introduced the "bug" on the assembly line.
  8. peds48

    peds48 Genius.

    Jan 10, 2008
    and unless your dish is really beat up, the tech wont "touch" you dish, except for fine tuning if needed as you need a SWM16 dish and your dish is already capable of feeding that switch. DirecTV does not include a new dish as part of an upgrade
  9. WestDC

    WestDC Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2008
    For the $20 The installer makes on this "free" Upgrade You Might get New RG6 From the Dish to your House only if it's is Defective and then It will only get 20' buried the additional 100' Will Be A Custom Charge per foot -or he will lay it on top of the ground and you can bury it later (on your own time).

    The Cost to carry RG-11 on every Truck is not going to happen -

    Good luck with your upgrade.
  10. ThomasM

    ThomasM RF Engineer

    Jul 20, 2007
    Milwaukee, WI
    Well, DirecTV made the disk test much more extensive so that a lot of DVR's that were working perfectly with marginal hard drives failed the aggresive new test when they received the new software. This happened to a friend of mine. He has an R22 like me so the chances of getting a replacement R22 were just about zero. However, a new exact replacement HDD from New Egg got him back up and running without having to go through the hassle of dealing with DirecTV. Unfortunately, it cost more than $20.
  11. PremierAV

    PremierAV New Member

    Aug 19, 2013
    Didn't complain about shipping, especially as I didn't have to pay it. :sure: What would get me started is had I been told to pay for shipping. I have a hard time thinking the HDD was near failing as that machine was the newest one in the house. They replaced it just a couple of months ago! (FWIW, I'd read online about the "known issue" and wasn't surprised to hear the agent say that.) After speaking to two agents they BOTH told me that the software update has locked many boxes in a never ending disc scan. Scan's and freezes, finds more errors than it fixes and stops at say 1.17%. Reboot it, it fixes HUNDREDS of errors and only finds a few, (less than 40) but stops at say 3.14%. Each time you try and reboot the receiver it comes up with a different on-screen message. Unable to even go into the diagnostic screens (as they would instruct you to). That's a software issue.

    The tech showed up early and asked me if I knew what he was "here to do". I started rattling off, Genie, client, move one DVR to room X, move another receiver to room X, install client here, pull this legacy receiver out, pull that legacy receiver out, install SWM 16, realign dish, yada yada yada.

    The guy looked at me, (rather rudely mind you) and said, "Sir, how is it you know more about this stuff than I do? I'm supposed to be the one that tells you what is going on here, not you telling me." Then he went on to tell me that he gets paid $3.00 to swap a receiver, but $15 to move a receiver and he was not here to move ANYTHING! Being as I was moving 3 receivers (at least) plus all the installs he wasn't getting paid enough for that, and he supposed I had worked out "some sort of deal with DirecTV" and he wouldn't do it. Either that or he needed to call in to get it approved.

    I was nice and polite the entire time with him. I explained that I used to install DTV back in the old days, and have been a customer since about 15 months since the system went live. That and I have been building and designing Home Theater systems since the 90's. (Although I'm disabled and retired now.) I told him (as gently as I could) I didn't really care what he was getting paid, or who he needed to call, but I have a confirmation of the work that is being done and that is what I expect to be completed. At which point he figured he would just get started with it.

    I didn't in ANY WAY think they'd run new drops from the dish. Didn't say that in the first post actually, although it'd be a great thing to happen. I'm well aware that Mastec not only doesn't carry RG11, but most don't even know what it is! :bang When I explained that I ran the lines the first time from my dish to the house, and started explaining the signal loss of RG6 versus RG11 he was totally lost. SERIOUSLY! His reply was that DirecTV doesn't authorize the use of RG11 on any installation. Say what?!?! (Show me a cascaded system on a apartment complex that at some point doesn't have it.)

    FWIW, Both my son (20 next month) and my wife said he was rather rude. He wanted to pull a box out, (the 24/500 and take it with him) stick one in, throw the client in, and be on his way. That crap wasn't going to fly!

    Any-who.... Once I took him to my equipment room in the basement and showed him that I have dedicated home runs for DTV and nothing mounted there BUT DTV equipment he calmed down a bit. I have twin cables to 4 locations in fact, and singles to 6 more, all of which was done after we bought the house. (The stupid builder, (as most are) ran the CTV feeds to a box outside the house.)

    I know I ended up going up and down the stairs to the basement with my cane more times in one day than I do in a month. But there was just no way I wasn't going to watch this guy and make sure he followed through with what I wanted, and was promised, that was going to be done. In fact, I let him go without even putting one of the older boxes back in the feed. It was one that I pulled from my daughters room when the 24/100 went south, and isn't DECA capable. He didn't want to even TRY to put it back in the system OR replace it with a client. Honestly though, I just keep it activated for when she visits, which isn't that often these days. (She got married last month and may spend the night once a month now.)

    What's next..... Oh, did get the HR44. I've read how it runs super cool (sans power supply and all) but darn that thing is warm. It sits on the top shelf of my equipment rack with a D-Link router on top of it. I had to put bottle caps under the router because it was so freaking hot. :nono2:

    The installer stayed long enough to get the HR44 working and went back to the gym to marry the client. I have no idea if it actually works though, not tried it yet. After he left I tried the 24/500 that we moved from the family room to the game room and it was playing nice with the HR44, but needed a bit of tweaking. Then I went to my son's room to get a 23/600 (non DVR) to work with the system and it didn't. Played around with some configurations on both ends, did a phone call to DTV, stood on one leg, rubbed my belly and patted my head while facing east, rebooted them and bingo.

    By the time all this was done my back was killing me, decided to grab an ice pack, some meds, and go lie down for a while. So I went back to the master bedroom where the 24/100 is (that had just been replaced) and it wasn't working AT ALL with the system. Another call to DTV and she started resetting receivers throughout the house, but couldn't see the 24/100 from her end for some reason. (The installer had to try and find the satellite 4 times after he put the SWM in and said; "It just sometimes does that." O-tay.....

    So when my wife comes in from work (after 6:00 remember the installer was here at 8:25) I was STILL working with getting everything working. Once I rebooted the 24/100 it finally started working! :hair:

    I've gotta' say that having 9 tuners available for recording is freaking AWESOME! The speed on the HR44 seems nice, but I miss the full page down button. Keep more than one remote in the family room though so we can live with it. Heck, even my Samsung S4 will work the DTV box. What I *REALLY LIKE* is the vod stuff. Now THAT is some kewl stuff. Between Droids, iPhones, iPad, DirecTV apps, and now this puppy will do VOD we are in "high cotton" now. :grin:

    And the boy (as we call him), he is loving the You Tube app! Seems the main reason he runs over his data plan is because of You Tube. (We are grandfathered in with 3 lines at unlimited, but he's only at 2GB on his.) And speaking of "the boy".... darned fool dropped his HTC One X and broke it and I had to turn in an insurance claim on it this week. Freaking kid is killing me! They replaced it not with another HTC, (say a HTC One which would be the direct 'new' replacement) but with a white Samsung S4 to the tune of $199. :bang :blackeye: (I've got a red one with a 32GB card in it and love it, btw.)

    So anyhow.... it turned out OK. Once I got everything working that is. Think it freaked Charter out though, because I ended up with a orange light on my modem, and only 1 DL channel yesterday with all the updates, VOD and whatever it was crawling. (Well still faster than DSL, but not what it was before it went fubar. Reset it today and it's back to screaming again. :righton:

    Can't complain about DirecTV's service though. First two tries they didn't even want to hear about 'giving' me the upgrade. Heck, at first they didn't even want to give me a Genie. Next couple of times they said they'd give me that, but the install would be in the hundreds. Finally getting the whole shooting match for free was worth the wait for sure. Now if only I can find a way to make a 36 hour day so we can watch all this freaking TV we already have recorded, much less the new stuff since yesterday! :rolling:

    Later guys! :goodjob:
  12. PremierAV

    PremierAV New Member

    Aug 19, 2013
    Oh, forgot to mention. All the RG6 that is out there now I provided. First installer came out when we moved here in 04 and said we didn't have a site. (2 acre lot with house sitting back in the trees.) I told him I'd been on the roof, and if he mounted it on the chimney he could get a line of site. He refused that offer (I would too for that matter). :nono2:

    So after he left I started looking around in the yard and walking out towards the street. One the left property line by the street is a street light (all underground utilites) a short cable tap, phone tap, and a power transformer. It's down hill with ground cover behind the transformer et al, so I put a pole there and mounted a dish. Been there ever since, (although we're on the 3rd dish now).

    If you want RG11 however you have to catch a cable company van. :sure: To fix my 4 feeds I'll need a 500' roll, (that I can buy wholesale for $150 or so). Just too cheap to do it. :grin:
  13. WestDC

    WestDC Well-Known Member

    Feb 9, 2008
    Well -It sounds like you got the Hr44 installed so your signal level's are Fine or the installer couldn't have got it past the IV test to Activate it -So I wouldn't worry about your 4 lines -they are good.

    Your Service Call was His first of (min) 8 other Jobs loaded on him - That would explain his mood along with the treatment he get's from Mastec -your lucky you got everything working - Should they have to Roll another truck out to you in 90 days - the (Happy installer) will get Deduct 50% of the little pay he made ,that's why he was short with you - It's a very Bad Business Model -the Tech Churn is about every 4 -to 6 Months

    That is the reason most folks tend to do self installs- Which you did after he left - Enjoy your new service :)
  14. ep1974

    ep1974 Legend

    May 22, 2010
    Was upgraded to the Genie HR 34 a few months ago. Very pleased. I was told at the time that the 44 was not yet available in Washington State. Anyone know if or when it will be available in WA. Thanks in advance.
  15. PremierAV

    PremierAV New Member

    Aug 19, 2013
    Signal isn't bad, I'll agree with that. The dish did take a little tweaking, but honestly... given the wind blowing it could be back where it was.

    I totally understand his feeling that he was 'on the clock'. Yet I pay dearly for a service, one that DTV has agreed to provide. (And for the most part over the last what... 17+ years.... it's been online probably >99%) It is unfortunate that Mastec is a grade a 'meatgrinder', but at the end of the day.... that is not my problem. :shrug:

    Along those lines, does Mastec treat all their techs like that, or is it more of a trial by fire sort of thing? IOW's, if you make it 12 months then you finally start getting paid perhaps? Seems a waste of a great resource and what looks to be well honed logistics to boot.

    That is the reason most folks tend to do self installs- Which you did after he left -

    I hear ya', and of course it wouldn't be my first install. (Although I don't own equipment to align a swm-5 dish (at the dish) so that part is out, no matter what.) I've been pricing it (the entire equipment package I needed) online and that alone is why I haven't done it yet. (fwiw I'm disabled and a SS check only goes so far.) There was just no way I was going to pay for all the equipment on my dime, not when DTV will give it away. :biggthump

    All that out of the way however, and after a bunch of running up and down the stairs (more than I typically do in a month due to nerve damage, and multiple herniated discs, plus a ton of pain meds to make it happen) it's running like a fine tuned machine now.
    Darn guys, I just THOUGHT I was a big TV freak before. The level of stuff that "I just can't live without" is simply amazing! :joy: :hurah:

    Later guys :wave:
  16. djrobx

    djrobx Godfather

    Jan 26, 2009
    I used an iPad pointed at the TV, and then made a FaceTime call to the iPad. Now I can see the signal level at the dish. :)

    Started by centering on a 101 TP (easier target to find), then fine tuned with a 99 conus TP. The rest of them looked good after that. ;)
  17. PremierAV

    PremierAV New Member

    Aug 19, 2013
    Now THAT'S a way to "get er done" for sure. ;)

    I've been known to have my wife on the phone inside while I'm at the dish (on a roof usually) ans work that way. But I like your solution. :)

    Now I've gotta figure a way to do "face talk" from our iPad to my Samsung. LOL (Or just borrow the wife's iPhone) ;)


    From my Samsung S4 via tiny shiny links flying around in space.

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