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Is it just me, or does D* want it both ways?

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by gsanders1, Dec 30, 2009.

  1. Ira Lacher

    Ira Lacher Icon

    Apr 24, 2002
    Aren't we forgetting one thing? Cell phone providers aren't beholden to outside providers constantly raising fees so you can talk on your phone. Satellite and cable providers are simply distributors of programming, and they have to knuckle under to programming providers, which are constantly demanding higher fees to carry their wonderful channels.
  2. gregjones

    gregjones Hall Of Fame

    Sep 20, 2007
    Ding Ding Ding

    DirecTV is a middle-man. Content providers get less and less ad revenue and flat or increasing production costs. DirecTV pays these content providers, who charge more each time they ink a deal.

    Everyone wants a free lunch and it doesn't work that way. Either accept that there will be price increases, commitments and upfront fees for leased boxes or find another provider. DirecTV is not in business to give stuff away for free, people. Either it represents a good deal to you or it doesn't. Millions of people have affirmed what DirecTV considers market pricing by continuing to pay the bills.

    The most logical way for DirecTV to lower their cost and eventually the cost to the customer is to get rid of some of the loopholes currently out there. This means getting rid of the dial-a-deal CSR game where people pretend to be cancelling to get a better deal on that new HD DVR. If DirecTV could quit wasting money going through the cost of dealing with these calls (negotiations), they could afford to make every receiver (including HD and DVR receivers) a little cheaper across the board. So pick one from each of the following:

    • Pay a little more each year when content providers raise subscriber prices OR pay the same and let content providers get dropped (ahem, many of you are still mad about both Versus getting axed and price increases)
    • Pay much more for equipment without commitments or dial-a-deal OR pay what you pay now and accept commitments
    • Find another provider or do without OR accept that you still find them to be the best deal for now

    I am not advocating any of the decisions DirecTV has made here, but they are DirecTV's decisions to make. Everyone has the right to their opinion on this stuff. DirecTV has the right to not care. Since they are still hanging onto millions of subscribers, I would say their plan is working.
  3. CJTE

    CJTE Hall Of Fame

    Sep 17, 2007
    That's cool.
    What does that have to do with taking in nature?
    I dont know what kind of yoga you practice, but I've seen 3 kinds.
    Kind 1: Sit in front of the magic picture/sound box and watch people do yoga while you clumsily attempt to do it yourself.
    Kind 2: Take a social class at the gym
    Kind 3: Take a nature class in a park.

    Only one of those 3 are outdoors.

    And if you're doing it by yourself, you're probably kind 1, even if you're not watching the magic box.
  4. hilmar2k

    hilmar2k Hall Of Fame

    Mar 18, 2007
    Not my point at all. It was stated that the reason for the commitment was for equipment cost recoupment, which is bogus. There is no need to recoup any equipment cost as it is always owned by DIRECTV, and can be reallocated to another customer if necessary.

    My arguement has less to do with the commitment locking in the price, and more to do with commitments being unwarranted after the initial commitment to recoup installation costs. Again, if I got to keep the equipment, then I totally agree with it.
  5. Elephanthead

    Elephanthead Legend

    Feb 3, 2007
    DTV also has the option of not agreeing to increases in those outside fees and simply replacing the channel with another home shopping network or free church channel. They are free to change the channels you get unilaterally, and still increase your fees. You still have to pay the cancelation fee if you don't like it. I can't belive so many people here are arguing that a contract where one side can change the terms whenever they want, and still force the other party to pay a termination fee if they don't like the changes, is fair.
  6. gregjones

    gregjones Hall Of Fame

    Sep 20, 2007
    It is fair only because you signed that contract. Had you not wanted to be party to it, you could have declined.
  7. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

    Jul 9, 2006
    Bogus? The piece of hardware can only be used by one customer at a time. It also has a shelf-life. After which time it needs to be replaced. It can't be used indefinitely. If that DVR costs DirecTV $500 to produce, and it lasts, say 24 months on average, do the math. They can't just keep passing it around to new customers as it gets swapped in. DirecTV needs to pay for the hardware. Nevermind the fact that they have to purchase NEW hardware for new customers. Which is the whole point of the cost. If I bring in a NEW customer, I need to provide that customer with hardware. Hardware that isn't being used by anyone else. Cost of that hardware needs to be paid for.
  8. pjsauter

    pjsauter Mentor

    Jan 6, 2008
    I'd say that, yes DirecTV wants it both ways, and, yes, they figure they can have it both ways. My personal opinion is that they should have either a commitment period or an upfront fee for equipment that has to be returned, but not both. But they figure they can get both (and it appears they can), so they do. In my case, I'd have opted to add an HR back before my latest commitment ended in November, but FiOS-TV is now available in my area, and I'm not prepared to get locked into another 2 years at this point. If Verizon's DVR didn't have such a wimpy HDD (or supported an external one), I'd have probably already switched. As it is, I'm waiting to see if D12 adds more of the HD channels I want (or just a lot of PPV).

    Now, had D* not insisted on a commitment, they could have gotten an upfront fee from me (I'd have probably jumped on the $99 HD-DVR offer), shipped a DVR for self-install, and been charging me $5 a month since September or so.

    Odds are, I'd have decided to continue as a customer, just to avoid throwing that upfront money away (and because I've been a satisfied customer for quite a while now).
  9. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

    Jul 9, 2006
    Ugh... this is getting frustrating. What part of your contract pertains to your service charges? I'm betting it's not stated in there at all. The contract commitment has NOTHING to do with service charges. They can raise the rates because the contract says NOTHING about locking you into a specific price. There may be laws on the books about minimum notification requirements and the like, but you're not locking in for a specific service rate for x number of months. You're locking in to get a reduced cost on your hardware.
  10. elbman

    elbman New Member

    Jan 13, 2009
    Just take it to the extreme and say D* wants to increase their rates 500% next month, and eliminate all lower tiers.

    Should you be required to pay the new rate through the length of your contract even though the terms of the original contract were changed without any action by yourself?

    This is why they force arbitration on to customers, becuase their "Contracts" are garbage and wouldn't hold water in court.
  11. Tim Godsil

    Tim Godsil Legend

    Dec 3, 2007
    Contracts suck in my opinion.

    Years ago you used to be able to buy the system (dish and receiver, wires, etc) for like 400 dollars

    you could go home, hook it up, point the dish and or call them up and have them install it for 200 dollars.

    You had no contract and programming was super cheap. mainly because they dont hand you 700 dollar receivers at no cost.

    Contracts suck beacuse they:

    1. Charge you the cost of the reciver in programming. They dont make those receiver for free ya know.

    2. Your stuck with them for 2 years. You cant cancel unless you pay them big money.

    what they should do is this.

    1. Have you buy the dish and install it, or have them install it for 100 dollars.
    2. Rent the receiver, spend 5 dollars a month to rent it.
    3. or buy the receiver outright
  12. JLucPicard

    JLucPicard Hall Of Fame

    Apr 27, 2004
    And in the time that's passed since "years ago", they've also launched several new satellites, added HD programming to the mix, and I'm guessing also expanded the number of channels they carry. That stuff costs money.
  13. jpl

    jpl Hall Of Fame

    Jul 9, 2006
    First off, those contracts aren't 'garbage'. Just cancel your DirecTV service, and when DirecTV tries to collect the ETF, just tell them to go pound sand. See how fast that collection agency comes after you. Second, your example is silly. A 500% increase is unreasonable, and in contract law there are 'reasonable person' standards that get applied all the time. For example, say you go into a restaurant, and order food. The waiter brings the check and you look at him and say 'what's this? I didn't say I would pay for anything... I just ordered the food, and you brought it to me... you never told me there was cost involved, and I never agreed to that contract.' Try that and see how well that works. That's an implied contract, and the court would waste no time in finding you in violation of that contract ordering you to provide restitution. But say the check has a 500% gratuity on there. When you balk, the waiter points to the very back of the menu, in font so small that you need a magnifying glass to read it, indicating that you agree to that gratuity. Is that going to hold up in court? Nope - it's a totally unreasonable expectation for price of the service.

    There are also usury laws in place - holding a figurative gun to your head to pay exhorbitant rates that are way out of line with the service/good provided.

    Next there are consumer laws in place in most states regarding notifications for these types of changes in pricing.

    And finally, if any business arbitrarily raised rates by 500% (assuming it was legal for them to do so) on clients who are under contract... well, let's just say that such a business wouldn't last very long at all.

    In other words, your example in no way invalidates the fact that you signed a contract, and that that contact has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with locking in your service price. Now it can be argued that the business model that DirecTV uses is stupid. I'd be right there with you on that. I don't agree with it.
  14. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    While I can't wholeheartedly agree D* wants it both ways, customers want it all 10 ways.....:lol:
  15. Tom Robertson

    Tom Robertson Lifetime Achiever DBSTalk Club

    Nov 15, 2005
    There are so many problems with the cell phone industry analogies:
    1) Cell phones have a lifespan of 10 days with my granddaughters. :) They are light, portable, and drop often and easily. No comparison to DVRs.
    2) Cell phones are produced at rates of millions every day. Evolve every two weeks, are personalized.
    3) So cell phones have no value after a week of use. DVRs retain their use for years.
    4) DIRECT uses that value in the form of a lease. No cell company could realistically try that approach with today's phones.

    5) Cell phone companies are providing the whole of the service for the most part. Sure they reciprocate towers between each other to give better nationwide coverage, yet they create the service, sell the service, support that service.

    DIRECTV controls only the sell and the support. They pay tons of monies to the creators. Who want lots more money each year, lately far more than the rate increases will pay for.

    6) Don't go to the "DIRECTV can just drop a channel" argument. Just look at the Versus thread. :) (And some of you who frequent the Dish side can see what happens every time Dish has pulled a channel for negotiations. It ain't pretty when a channel is pulled.)

    7) The cellphone technologies and costs per sub are decreasing every year. A friend told me that while he was a Vodaphone, various company units had to live on a budget that was smaller per subscriber every year. So the only way a unit could have a higher budget year over year was a huge increase in subscribers. While DIRECTV's equipment costs per subscriber can decrease year over year, the biggest costs to DIRECTV go up.

    8) Cell phone companies don't have a truck roll to each new subscriber's house for an install. Another huge difference.

    So like many analogies, there are interesting points of discussion there is very little real substance to direct comparisons. Especially when the business models are so vastly different.

    Now, if DIRECTV were hurting for new subscribers and someone else lead the industry with a "lock in your rates" for two year plan, DIRECTV might follow. The long term of that situation would be tough unless the providers bought into it.

  16. Luck255

    Luck255 Legend

    Mar 4, 2009
    Very rarely does something go both ways. In the game "Heli Attack 2", when I get a triple damage powerup, the helicopters I am shooting at do not do triple damage to my character.
  17. Darcaine

    Darcaine Legend

    Aug 31, 2009
    I'm just hopeful that Directv is eventually forced to offer some form of a la carte programming thanks to these content providers increasing fees.

    The commitments don't bother me as much as having to pay for a ton of channels that I would never consider turning to.

    Also 80 new HD national channels don't do a thing for me. I have every channel I want now (and a whole bunch I don't), give me the option of continuing to pay what I pay for now with no new channels added and I'll be a satisfied customer (for now, eventually I would like to see channels be done away with entirely and just be able to subscribe to the shows I want to watch via IPTV - something like Hulu only subscription based). Keep adding channels and keep raising my prices without giving me the option of dropping channels I don't want (while keeping the channels I do) and D* starts to look a lot less appealing.
  18. mishawaka

    mishawaka AllStar

    Sep 10, 2007
    utterly amazing how personal some people take their tv programming.

  19. coldsteel

    coldsteel Hall Of Fame

    Mar 29, 2007

    Never gonna happen.
  20. Darcaine

    Darcaine Legend

    Aug 31, 2009
    Yeah, we'll see. I've seen a lot of things that were "never gonna happen" end up happening. Only time will tell.

    I just can't wait till it either happens, or IPTV takes over.

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