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Does DirecTV encourage customers to terminate thier service every 2 years?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by bjtwuk, Dec 18, 2008.

  1. bjtwuk

    bjtwuk New Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    I became a DirecTV subscriber exactly 3 years ago today. I have standard definition DVR service. I would like to upgrade to high definition DVR service.

    DirecTV gave me the following quote with a 24 month commitment:

    My charges would be calculated as follows:
    One-time HD DVR payment: $199.00
    Shipping and handling: $20.00
    Monthly HD Access $9.99
    Monthly DVR Access $5.99
    Monthly Choice XTRA $57.99
    Total cost for 24 months: 199 + 20 + 24 * (9.99 + 5.99 + 57.99) = $1,994.28

    On the other hand, I could cancel my service and have my boyfriend sign up for service using Costco at our same street address, but in his name and with a his own telephone number and credit card number. In that case ...

    His charges would be calculated as follows:
    One-time HD DVR payment: $0.00
    Shipping and handling: $0.00
    Plus HD DVR: $72.99
    Free HD Access: -9.99 (3 months)
    New customer discount: -23.00 (12 months)
    Costco Rebate: -50.00
    Total cost for 24 months: 0 + 0 + (72.99 *24) - (3*9.99) - (12*23) - 50 = $1,395.79

    Cost savings to change service to my boyfriend's name: $578.49

    $578.49 is a significant amount of money. Am I missing something here, or does DirecTV want me to change the name on the service to my home?
  2. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    First, :welcome_s to DIRECTV.

    There's some question as to the ethics of what you're proposing. You clearly know that you're intending to skirt the rules, but is it good negotiating or bad faith? I can't tell you that.

    My suggestion to you is to take the matter further. Call again and explain the deal you would like, politely but firmly. It's not impossible for you to get that same deal without canceling, but do be prepared to cancel if you can't, because if you threaten to leave they may take you up on it.
  3. idigg

    idigg Legend

    May 8, 2008
    Sign up as your boyfriend, who cares about rules (I'm being serious).

    DirecTV's "ethics" is so ridiculous, they give different deals to different people, etc. You need to lookout for yourself these days and do what you can to save money.
  4. bjtwuk

    bjtwuk New Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Hey Stuart, thanks for responding to my question so fast. Companies make the rules that they want their customers to live by, and I simply intend to follow the rules. I don't think that there is anything unethical to what DirecTV appears to want me to do. I asked the Forum if DirecTV was encouraging this type of behavior; it doesn't appear to be an ethics question to me. It appears to me that DirecTV wants to stimulate customer "churn".
  5. hangman

    hangman Cool Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    I believe that in order to be considered a new customer and qualify for those promotional deals, you will have to have not been a DirecTV customer for at least 2 years. It would work in your case, since it is your boyfriend's name and not yours, but if you tried to put it in your name after cancelling... Say within 6 months or so.. You would still be treated as an existing customer. So in that regard, I don't see it as them encouraging churn, but more of a loophole that you can use to your advantage.

    Someone please correct me if I'm wrong. It's very possible.
  6. mobandit

    mobandit Hall Of Fame

    Sep 4, 2007
    I disagree, they would be stupid to try and generate churn in their customer base. But what is true is that in order to entice new customers, especially those who are using competing services, they offer loss deals, hoping to expand their customer base. The existing customers do not generally get to participate in these types of deals, remember, they may be a "loss" deal, where DirecTV actually loses money on the initial setup. It isn't that they don't appreciate the existing customer, but it is more important to generate growth.

    It is an ethical question, how you answer it is up to your own personal moral code. Some have already expressed their version of their personal moral code...to each their own.
  7. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    As I said, it's up to you how ethical you think that all is. Some people would just call it using the rules to one's own advantage.

    bjtwuk, I do think you can have a win-win if you are prepared to cancel, simply by saying to the person on the other line, nicely and politely, that you would like "this deal" or please cancel you right away.
  8. curt8403

    curt8403 Hall Of Fame

    Dec 27, 2007
    directv can and will catch you if you attempt to create a new account at the same address and phone number, or phone number and last name. You will be penalized for doing so, and will not get the new customer offer. Directv also will work with you to give you a deal after your agreement is finished.
  9. bjtwuk

    bjtwuk New Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    I guess that's why I proposed using my boyfriend's name, his phone number and his credit card.
  10. idigg

    idigg Legend

    May 8, 2008
    Exactly, I would do the same thing if I wasn't married. Different last name, different credit and phone number. No ethic issue here at all, please move along.
  11. LameLefty

    LameLefty I used to be a rocket scientist

    Sep 28, 2006
    I don't know if that's true or not. I first sub'd from April 1997 - September 2000 when I got divorced and ended up in an apartment for a year or so. Resub'd in October 2001 when I got into a new house and got everything settled into place. When I resub'd I was treated like a new customer and so far as I know got a new account number and everything. :confused:
  12. PCampbell

    PCampbell Icon

    Nov 18, 2006
    I asked nice and got the upgrade for 19.95 shipping, install and dish free. If you have never been late for a payment and been a customer for a couple of years they like to keep you. You wil get a two year contract.
  13. hangman

    hangman Cool Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    From my understanding, a flag goes up during the new activation process (during the credit check I believe) that states whether or not the customer has been a subscriber in the last 2 years. If it has been within 2 years, the retailer is not able to continue.

    Corporate may have a workaround for this that others are not able to use, however.

    Or it could also be that the policy wasn't in place back then? Not sure.
  14. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

    May 28, 2007
    I think this scenario is exactly why they have Mover's Connection which can also offer deals over and above what a typical front-line CSR can handle. In your case, D* has to count your moves as two "disconnects" which increases the churn rate. With Mover's, they keep you and it doesn't affect churn.

    Now, back to the OP...

    Call the D* 800 number and when you get the voice prompt, say "cancel service". this will route your call to the customer retention department. When you get a CSR on the line, DO NOT threaten to cancel. Instead, explain nicely that you have been a customer for three years and that your commitment is up. Tell the CSR that you had previously called to inquire about upgrading to an HD-DVR, and that the prices you were quoted seemed awfully high. State that you are considering all your options to upgrade to HD (cable, Dish, FIOS, Uverse, etc., whatever is in your area). Ask the CSR to give you their best competitive offer to keep your business. I'll bet you get a decent deal and you won;t have to worry about switching accounts.
  15. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    Rudeney, your script is very much what I would suggest as well.
  16. narrod

    narrod Godfather

    Jul 26, 2007
    Do whatever makes best sense for you. Either way, DirecTv is getting the revenue. I don't accept the position that it is an ethics issue. DirecTv is the reason many subscribers have to play games to get a decent deal. No two CSRs tell you the same thing, different callers get different deals and a complete lack of consistency. I've been a customer for 9 years with multiple premium services and NEVER late with a payment. I paid a full price for my first HR10-250 and have not paid a dime for my subesquent HD DVRs. I have no intention of ever doing so. If DirecTv wants my business they have to earn it. My obligation is to pay my bill in full and on time. If DirecTv doesn't want my business on these terms, so be it. It's just television.
  17. mxyztplk

    mxyztplk Cool Member

    Sep 28, 2007
    Re: ethics of your proposal

    Is it a violation of the terms of your current agreement to cancel it? [Answer: NO]

    Is it a violation of the terms of the proposed agreement for your boyfriend to enter into it? [Answer: NO]

    Is it a violation of the terms of the agreements to have other people view the programming, in a residential setting? [Answer: NO]

    Is your boyfriend a different person than you? [Answer: YES]

    Does DirecTV have a prohibition against friends or relatives of a former customer being considered a "new customer"? [Answer: NO]

    Has anyone lied to DirecTV? [Presumed answer: NO]

    Conclusion: The proposal is ethical, by business standards. If DirecTV wishes to define a "new customer" more stringently that at present, it is perfectly free to do so at any time.
  18. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

    Jun 14, 2003
    Salem, OR
    You're only a virgin once.

    As DIRECTV's average Subscriber Acquisition Cost has topped $700 per customer, expect to see 30 or 36 month commitments in the not too distant future. The SD people aren't going to continue to subsidize the HD customers forever.
  19. danman71

    danman71 AllStar

    Nov 21, 2006
    I had something similiar. DirecTV traded in my old DVR for a $100 credit, so I got the HD-DVR for $99 instead of $199.

    Never hurts to ask
  20. koko

    koko AllStar

    Aug 17, 2007
    That's exactly what I did when we moved. Used my wife's name. Got a free HD receiver, new dish, and some free HBO...

    Of couse, when you call to cancel, make your demands known. A little negotiation never hurts.

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