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Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by joeeldr, Dec 19, 2008.
Does anybody know how to get workorders directly from directv as a contractor?
You can't as a single contractor. You will have to deal with the HSP unless you become an independent dealer.
How do you become an independent dealer??
You apply with directv. Not easy though. You must have an established record of satellite installations.
Not easy indeed. You have to have at least a year of doing HSP installations, must be SBCA certified, must have good credit, must have a storefront, must have some captial ($$$) to spend for advertising and such, and you must have a plan that shows that you'll be able to make a certain number of sales per week.
DirecTV does not allow installers, or even small contractors, to work directly for DirecTV. There are 9 or 10 big contractors across the country who have HSP (Home Service Provider) status, usually in more than one area, and they run the area. There used to be a few more HSPs, but DirecTV has bought a few of them out this year.
Smaller contractors must work for HSPs. After you've worked for an HSP for 18 months or more, and if you are big enough and have enough capital, you can apply to become an AFS (Alternate Fulfillment Source). This is like a small HSP. AFS's are assigned to work where DirecTV needs you, so AFS's usually have to be able to move 30-50+ techs into an area that they are assigned, and then hire some local people as well. You generally need at least $1Million to become an AFS, because you have to pay for the equipment (dishes and receivers) upfront, as well as needing a warehouse and staff to run it.
If you're not an AFS, then you're just a 2nd-level subcontractor. The HSPs, and to a lessor extent, the AFSs, don't want to let 2nd-level subs get big enough to become AFSs, and in any event, the 2nd-level subs are working for the HSP or AFS, but also competing directly with the HSP/AFS. In most cases, that means that they'll keep all the good jobs and give the second level guys the junk. They also control your routing volume, your equipment, and your pay, so they have lots of ways of keeping you weak and unstable. And they use/abuse this power routinely.
This is why DirecTV should scrap the whole HSP program (since they're clearly unwilling to manage it properly) and bring it in-house. They've done this in a few areas, though from what most folks say, not much has improved so far.
Most installers would NOT recommend someone trying to start installing for DirecTV; it's that bad. And that's too bad, because it *could* be a really great job.
Thanks, we are an independent directv dealer and also sbca certified, but was wondering if the only installs we are allowed to do is what we sell?
First off .... thank you for explaining this in detail for me... i think now i have a pretty good picture of how D* system works. it's just a royal shame how they run it..
Personally, i have a really great interest in all this stuff.. in fact i would really love to be an installer. I have spent MANY, MANY hours online researching and reading posts from the great minds we have here on the forum and i have to say, 99% of what i know i learned at DBSTALK!
I have also spent a good bit of money going though technical college.... In fact, that's where i got all my electrical trainning. After talking to many people about this and hearing all the stories about "life as an installer" (some really good, some really bad) i sit and think.... i know i would love to do it but, is it really worth it?
so, with that being said.... maybe some of ya older folks that have been in the industry awhile could answer this.... Where would a young guy with the willingness to work really hard at something he really enjoys start out?
No money working for HSP, yes they provide van and fuel but that is at a cost of a lower pay scale. Become a contrctor and manage your own expenses. Anyone can do better than such a large entity. If you work hard, equip yourself wit the right tools and never stop learning new technologies you can make a repectable 75,000+ before taxes. Proudly installing Radio,satellite, cable,LAN,phone,Sirruis,XM,VOIP since 1990
You can try applying at the local HSP, but it's a world of hurt. We came from HSP and are now dealer. We would never go back.
Do you use a certain website to get your installations or is it just on a personal basis, thanks?
DirecTV retailers (i.e., "independent dealers") generally only do their own installs (from the sales they make), unless they've made a personal deal with another dealer to do their sales installs as well. Retailers will NOT get sent any jobs from DirecTV's HSP program. Honestly, DirecTV doesn't even like retailers doing their own installs for the most part.
You can make money as a DirecTV retailer, BUT even that can be difficult. Many customers won't pass a credit check and will have to pay a $200 activation fee (most customers won't/can't pay this), and the retailer risks losing (being charged back for) his sales commission if the customer cancels within the first year.
DirecTV encourages retailers to send their installs to the HSP program in any event.
After reading the hoops you have to jump through, and the 'tales of woe' as to those who are actually 'gainfully' employed by the HSP's, you may find the best route to go may be as a complete independent, or working for one.
By 'independent', I mean not associated with any HSP or other DirecTV direct contractor; the number of jobs they screw up can be looked at as 'low hanging fruit', if you know what you're doing.
If you have a background in C-Band, other DBS, or even decent level 'cable' work, along with maybe some commercial background in satellite or microwave installation or repair, you can probably hustle quite a bit of work again, from those jobs that the HSP's and the like drop the ball on. All the MDU folks I consult with do tons of work like that. Of course, we're a big city, and Arkansas doesn't quite qualify in that league.
But I've done a TON of work all over the 'mid-states' region (Arkansas, Tennessee, etc.), and there may be lots of work for the independent guy out the rural way. The HSP's may be even more... whacked up than they are in the 'bigs'!
Word of mouth is of course, a big part of it. Do good work, even if your prices are above the HSP's, and folks will beat a path to your door. Get on a good basis with the small electronics stores in your area, and they'll be able to feed business your way.
Get your ducks (state licensing and tax stuff) in order, and go to it. You can start out 'on the side', and work up from there.
Thanks for the tips, everything you can tell me about being independent would be very useful to me.:goodjob:
That down payment applies also with a direct order not sure what it was brought up. You're right about the charge back. The D* systems is ass backwards.
We can qualify a customer, install and activate but then their system looks for old accounts. If one is found we get the charge back. not sure why that can be done before the order. And if it is a regular cancel withing 12 months we get charged back AND the cust has to pay the ETF. Double bonus for D*.
Really? Maybe BB or CC but not regular retail stores.