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Extremely Frustrated -- Need Advice

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by pgfitzgerald, Aug 10, 2010.

  1. pgfitzgerald

    pgfitzgerald Godfather

    Nov 29, 2005
    I've been having signal issues on and off for 4 years (since I went HD). Each time I have a problem, D* sends out a tech who either replaces or adjusts the dish. The last time this occurred, the tech installed a dish that was incompatible with my SWM-8. (Didn't know that until today).

    Since then, the internal hard drive in my 4 year old HR20-700 died. D* shipped out a 3 year old refurbished HR20-700 that's beat up like it was dragged behind a car. (Okay, I'm exaggerating. But it is obvious it was not taken care of.) I didn't really like getting a refurb, but I understand that's how D* works, so I accepted the practice and moved on.

    Since the 3 year old HR20-700 was activated, we've been having constant problems with lock-ups, audio and video dropouts, and black screens. Watching live TV works fine, but as soon as we try to do anything with recordings (or even rewinding a live broadcast), the thing just goes wonky.

    D*'s case management team has been working with me, so I call 'em back and tell them this refurbed piece of junk they sent is worse than the one that died. (Again, I'm exaggerating here. I politely told them there was a problem with the new piece of equipment). So they schedule a tech.

    The tech shows up today and says my dish is incompatible with my SWM-8 and replaces it. Cool, good to know. He replaces my SWM-8 for good measure. Awesome, works for me.

    And finally he says here's a refurbished HR20-100 to replace the replacement. What? Are you serious? Another beat up refurb? I tell him I'm reluctant to accept yet another 3 year old refurbished IRD. He calls around and all the other "case management" techs only have refurbs. We decide to leave the current IRD in place while he goes to another job. If his manager isn't able to come up with something better, he'll come back by and give me the HR20-100.

    So what's going on here? D* gives all the new customers the good stuff and leaves the oldest possible beat up equipment for the loyal customers that have spent over $20k over the life of their account?

    Don't get me wrong... a brand new HR24 would be nice, but I certainly don't expect to get one without paying. A refurbished unit isn't all that bad either. It's the combination of refurb and older-than-dirt that's irritating me.

    After all the hoopla, I call case management to see what my options are. Maybe I got a guy that was having a bad day or something, but he essentially told me "take what you get and shove off." I was looking for options, not back-talk from a company I pay good money to month after month.

    So do I have any options?

    Can I add a "new" HD-DVR to my account for $199 or $99 or whatever it is... and have a tech come install it... then call to take this old one off the account and ship it back to them?

    Can I "upgrade" my D12 or H21 to a HD-DVR and then send this old one back?

    Can I get D* to set me up with this Whole-Home DVR? Will that somehow get this old crappy beat up equipment out of my house?

    Thanks for bearing with me while I vented. Any help is appreciated. :)
  2. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    Jul 12, 2006
    Los Angeles
    You may be getting the HR20s because you had and HR20 .. It supports built in OTA. If you don't need OTA, call the case management team and let them know that a newer box might be the better choice here.
  3. Doug Brott

    Doug Brott Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    Jul 12, 2006
    Los Angeles
    As for "incompatible dish" .. Did you have the old sidecar dish? If so, it was good to get the Slimline anyway, but the old dish was not really incompatible, it is just no longer used and often replaced during a tech visit.
  4. Sim-X

    Sim-X Godfather

    Sep 23, 2009
    That does suck, if I were you have them send out another replacement IRD. Just keep refusing it till you get a decent model. Some people will disagree but maybe DTV shouldn't handle problems like this so poorly.
  5. pgfitzgerald

    pgfitzgerald Godfather

    Nov 29, 2005
    I haven't needed the OTA since D* added the additional local HD stations. I'll let case management know OTA isn't required, but I think I already told 'em that.

    The original dish was an AT9 Sidecar, which had its LNB assembly replaced twice. I had a WB68 at that time.

    The whole thing was replaced with an AU9 Slimline at some point. Then I got the SWM-8.

    That AU9 was replaced with something else last month, though I don't recall the model. After it was replaced I started getting errors when doing a System Test indicating there were problems with odd transponders on one sat and even on another sat.

    That replacement got replaced with something else today. I'm back at work now, so I can't go look to see which one it is.
  6. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Dec 9, 2006
    This is a shame to read. Currently the HD DVRs seem to be in short supply due to all the whole home DVRs upgrades and new installs.
    I guess the best thing is to keep getting them to send out replacements. "They can't all be bad." :lol:
    You could go the upgrade route, but not sure you'd get anything different, though you can always send a receiver back. You simply need to keep your programing during the commitment time.
    "Maybe" you could get them to credit your account for one that you buy retail.
    It can suck, but you do seem like you're keeping your cool with them and if you keep at it, I expect they will keep working with you to make you happy.
  7. pgfitzgerald

    pgfitzgerald Godfather

    Nov 29, 2005
    I still can't believe it, but he came back with an HR24-500.

    He installed a Slimline-3S (SWM) to replace 5 LNB Slimline + SWM-8.

    He also replaced my splitters with a "D* Approved" splitter.

    Everything seems to be working great now, but I am still getting a "Dish Alignment" error when I do a system test on 1 of the 3 receivers. It doesn't seem to be affecting my ability to watch TV though. I'll get a picture up if necessary.

    Turned out that the local installer came through and made me a happy customer again.
  8. drpjr

    drpjr Icon

    Nov 23, 2007
    FF four hours....
    VOS is this why they pay you the big bucks to be an ALL Star:rolleyes:; or are you just showin' off?;);)
  9. JLucPicard

    JLucPicard Hall Of Fame

    Apr 27, 2004
    Awesome news! The one receiver you are getting an error on - did you happen to go back and redo the set up to select the new dish type?
  10. pgfitzgerald

    pgfitzgerald Godfather

    Nov 29, 2005
    I did recheck the setup on all three receivers. They seem to be defaulting to the correct dish and won't allow a change, so I figured all was okay.

    We had a small storm roll through yesterday afternoon which may have affected the tests, so I'll recheck all three receivers tonight.

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