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DVR died. I don't want to pay $20 for shipping. What to do?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Richard Casto, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. Dec 18, 2012 #1 of 102
    Richard Casto

    Richard Casto Cool Member

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    I have been a DirecTV customer non-stop since 1995. My contract expires 6/2013. I currently have two DVRs and one regular receiver and whole home service. I don't pay for any type of optional protection plan (and never will).

    My HR22 stopped working this morning. Based upon the error message and the consistent reboot cycle, it likely has had a drive failure. I can't remember how old it is, but I think it is probably at least two years old if not older? My goal was to get a replacement at zero cost which I think is more than fair for an item I don't own.

    I talked to a CSR this evening who offered to ship me a replacement, but insisted on a $20 shipping fee as I don't have the protection plan. I suggested to the CSR to credit my account to cover the shipping, but that didn't work. I asked to be transferred to retention.

    With the second CSR (that claimed to be retention), I verified my contract date and also asked to verify how long I have been with DTV. I again stated that I did nothing wrong, that the DVR stopped working and that I would like a zero cost option for a replacement. The story was the same in that there was no way to help me. I asked for the total amount to get out of my contract and to cancel and said while I would have to pay more out of pocket to cancel than the $20 shipping, I would do it and that I found it odd that DTV would let a long time customer walk away over a $20 fee. The CSR offered no options and was happy to go ahead and cancel my account and said there was nobody else I could talk to.

    I told the CSR that I would not cancel right that second as I wanted TV during the holidays (the truth), but once I had something else in place that I would call back to cancel. That is how things ended. I was completely dumbfounded. It was the worst I had ever been treated by DTV.

    I have been a loyal and low maintenance customer for over 17 years. When I called, I felt there would have been no question that they would have shipped me a new receiver at no cost. I was not pushing for free upgrades, etc. I have friends who have been trying to convince me to walk away from Sat/Cable and do a "roll your own" entertainment solution. I am tech savvy enough to do it, but until tonight have been very happy with DTV and have not considered walking.

    I know it is just $20 on my end and I am looking at having to pay much more to cancel early, but at this moment, I am willing to pull the trigger on walking. If there is no way to get past the $20 fee, I will likely pay the $20 to get the replacement for the short term and still cancel once I get something else in place.

    Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to get a replacement at zero cost?

    Thanks,

    Richard
     
  2. Dec 18, 2012 #2 of 102
    PCampbell

    PCampbell Icon

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    Since 1995, I have been with them since 1996. The 20.00 is a bit high but back then we drove to the store and bought as much as 800.00 then took it home and installed it.
     
  3. Dec 18, 2012 #3 of 102
    west99999

    west99999 Icon

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    You could try and see if they will do an upgrade at no cost. Depending on your account history you may qualify for free upgrade but doing this would add 2 years to contract. Other than that pay the $20 bucks!
     
  4. Dec 18, 2012 #4 of 102
    jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    That possibly doesn't cover the actual cost of the freight.
    If I remember correctly they use FedX 2 day delivery.
    I just sent my mother a prepaid grocery store card. It was $7.50 for 3 day delivery.

    Pay the $20.
    After you cool off, call them and ask them if they have any specials that will help out with your bill. I will bet that they give you far more than the $20 that you pay for freight.
     
  5. Dec 18, 2012 #5 of 102
    lesz

    lesz Legend

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    Over the years, I've had 4 or 5 dead receivers or DVRs. I do not have the protection plan, and, whenever those dead receivers or DVRs have been replaced, I've requested that the shipping charge be waived, and the shipping charge has always has been waived.

    I'm not sure what I did differently than you have, but there are a couple of things that have given me better results in having requests granted. I've noticed that I am more likely to get a request granted if I make my call during normal business hours on a weekday than if I make it during the evening or on a weekend. While I have no idea how DIRECTV CSR staffing works, I've gotten the feeling that, during evenings or weekends, I'm more likely to get someone with less latitude to grant requests. I've also had better luck if, when I call, I request talking with tech support than if I just request talking to a general CSR.
     
  6. Dec 18, 2012 #6 of 102
    Richard Casto

    Richard Casto Cool Member

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    I think I subscribed in December 1995, so I squeaked into 1995. I think $800 is about right for how much I paid for my first receiver (the Sony AD-1 model?) That was serious money then and now.

    I will give it a day or so to see if anyone has any other ideas other than suck it up and pay. It is likely that is exactly what I will do. I just feel a bit sad that this is likely the turning point for me with DTV. :(

    Richard
     
  7. Dec 18, 2012 #7 of 102
    PCampbell

    PCampbell Icon

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    I think I would pay the 20 and not start a new 2 year contract.
     
  8. Dec 18, 2012 #8 of 102
    The Merg

    The Merg 1*

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    While they always refer to the $20 as being for the shipping of the receiver, it is actually the cost they charge for shipping out a new Access Card.

    - Merg
     
  9. Dec 18, 2012 #9 of 102
    The Merg

    The Merg 1*

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    You state that you don't pay for the PP and never will. The one downside to not paying for the PP is that when a receiver fails they will give you a free replacement, but you are required to pay $20 for shipping and handling.

    - Merg
     
  10. Dec 18, 2012 #10 of 102
    yosoyellobo

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    When you get into a fight that worth fighting give it all you got. Sometime you just have to brush it off.
     
  11. Dec 18, 2012 #11 of 102
    txfeinbergs

    txfeinbergs Legend

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    Sorry, I find this ridiculous. You made the choice to not pay for the protection plan, so pay up. Why should those of us that do pay for the protection plan continue doing so if they just give away the limited benefits to non-subscribers if they just ask.
     
  12. Dec 18, 2012 #12 of 102
    Justin23

    Justin23 Hall Of Fame

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    Man up and pay the $20...
     
  13. Dec 19, 2012 #13 of 102
    wcalifas254

    wcalifas254 Mentor

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    For $20 I wouldn't cancel, especially considering it will be for a replacement receiver and not something else.
     
  14. Dec 19, 2012 #14 of 102
    goinsleeper

    goinsleeper Godfather

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    I understand how messed up it is that a company would lose a long term customer over $20 but also the employees are expected to uphold policy. I would suggest calling back and trying one more time then biting the bullet.
     
  15. Dec 19, 2012 #15 of 102
    ebox4greg

    ebox4greg AllStar

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    Ditto.....Just pay the $20.

     
  16. Dec 19, 2012 #16 of 102
    Justin23

    Justin23 Hall Of Fame

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    I think it's messed up that a long time subscriber (who is obviously happy with the service) would leave over $20...
     
  17. Dec 19, 2012 #17 of 102
    acer

    acer Duplicate User (Account Closed)

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    You made the choice of not having the protection plan, with the pplan the shipping would of been for free. Just pay the 20.00. You are in a contract anyways. As if you are going to pay a early cancellation fee higher than 20.00 over this.
    It isn't fair to the people who do pay for the pplan if people are going to call up whining about getting the benefits for it for nothing.
     
  18. Dec 19, 2012 #18 of 102
    CCarncross

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    Looks like Richard doesnt share the same opinions that almost everyone that has replied shares...Good Luck with that Richard. I find $20 more than fair, and I've been with them since 1997 since you seem to feel that entitles you to something different than what everyone else pays.
     
  19. Dec 19, 2012 #19 of 102
    Richard Casto

    Richard Casto Cool Member

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    To those who are giving me a hard time about not paying the protection plan and then complaining about the return shipping...

    I get what you are saying. But...

    I understand that the protection plan covers more than the receivers such as wiring and the dish. So I can see "some" value in having it especially if you are not particularly handy with doing your own wiring, etc. I have always done my own wiring and will continue to do so. I see no benefit for the protection plan for me personally. If I had payed the $5 per month (or whatever it is), for years it would have been a complete looser financially for me even if it paid for the occasional free shipping of a defective receiver. If you feel that plan works for you, then great.

    What I don't think people understand is that my point is that I don't think I, or anyone else, should have to pay to have a defective and leased item replaced no matter how small the charge. Regarding "fair to others", please read up on the multitude of threads about people who get 10x the money deals by twisting CSR/retention arms. Yes, I know this is typically bundled into a renewal, but nothing is "free" and that the ultimate cost would be rolled up into everyone's bill at the end of the day.

    After sleeping on this last night, I think I understand what has gone wrong...

    I have been drinking the Kool-Aid for a long time.

    I have been with DTV forever. I have an account number in the 2 million range. I took my valuable time to participate in their Pulse survey's. I recommend the service to my friends for nearly two decades. I consistently renewed year after year without looking at the competition. I adopted new services for extra fees. They hammered me with the "best customer service" commercials on TV and set high expectations. Lastly, I work professionally in the software industry and we make our money via the "Software as a Service" model. Customer retention is key for us as we sell on the subscription model just like DTV. Yes, we chase new customers like anyone else, but we also really do try to keep the current customers happy. So how I act in the same situation created high expectations for DTV.

    Some will say (and have said) "Seriously? All of this over $20?". I think the absurdity of them not being able to do something on such a small amount is the point. If I had tried to get a free upgrade to Genie and failed, I wouldn't be crying over that. Both CSRs I talked to didn't even try to make it work. At least offer to credit me $20 and renew me for a year! Heck, as bad of a deal as that would have been, I might have even taken it (yesterday).

    So overall... Shame on me for getting sucked in and creating loyalty when DTV doesn't reward that loyalty. I am not happy with DTV, but I am more unhappy with where my own unrealistic expectations and blind loyalty have taken me.

    What am I going to do? I am going to call DTV sometime during normal business hours today and play CSR roulette. I am going to be polite (as always), say I am a long time customer, have always renewed due to my prior experiences and ask for the $20 to be waved, credit it to my account, or however they want to make that happen, I don't care. While I might have yesterday, I am NOT going to bind this with a fresh renewal. If it doesn't work I am going to pay the $20.

    What am I going to do when my contract is up? I don't know. I hate cable and have no illusion that Dish is better. I still like the DTV product, but the "value" to me has been reduced. So I now have to question if it is worth what I pay. I now have a wandering eye. I will either be doing my own solution, or returning to DTV. I am going to reach out to my local friends who have walked away from costly cable/sat bills and been trying to get me to do the same.

    Sorry for the rant. I know everyone just "loves" another "I am mad and I am going to cancel" post. :D If you have read this far congratulations! Thanks for the constructive and semi-flame comments! I will post to let people know what how things go today.

    Richard
     
  20. Dec 19, 2012 #20 of 102
    RunnerFL

    RunnerFL Well-Known Member

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    You're not "paying to have it replaced", you're paying the shipping costs on the replacement. That's more than fair if you're not willing to pay for the protection plan. Man up and pay the $20. You could have had the replacement by now...
     

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