1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Is it safe to go into the water? (are today's installs going well?)

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Connected Home' started by wilbur_the_goose, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

    4,493
    52
    Aug 16, 2006
    I've been with D* since 1997 and have actually been pretty happy with the service. I was psyched when WWDVR was announced and called to get an install scheduled the first week.

    However, we all know how much of a challenge it was back then to get a good install during one visit. The installers weren't trained properly and they often didn't have the correct equipment. That's OK - it was new and sometimes those things happen.

    But now it's been a few months, and I'm thinking that this might be a good time to pull the trigger. I don't want to wait till the snow flies (ugly for the installers), and Sept - October is great weather. I'll need a new dish with SWM and DECAs installed. That should be about it.

    So - is it safe to go into the water and do the install now?

    Thanks in advance for your words of wisdom :)
     
  2. Daniel

    Daniel AllStar

    72
    0
    Feb 6, 2007
    Well, speaking solely from my recent Whole Home/SWM install, the DirecTV installers are still incompetent. My installer couldn't even figure out how to program the remote for RF and spent about an hour trying. I finally just threw the idiot out of my house and finished up the install myself. The only thing he really knew was how to point the dish (98-100 across the board).

    I know that there must be very good competent installers out there, but like the Yeti, they seem very hard to find and could be only myth.
     
  3. mobandit

    mobandit Hall Of Fame

    1,142
    0
    Sep 4, 2007
    I had my install done in early June...the installer was nearly clueless. My new antenna that had to be installed still isn't peaked as well as my old reflector was...I hope they have gotten better!
     
  4. joed32

    joed32 Hall Of Fame

    2,763
    29
    Jul 27, 2006
    I'm in the same boat and am going to wait awhile yet. Running well with cat-5 though.
     
  5. matt

    matt New Member

    4,858
    1
    Jan 11, 2010
    My whole home installer was pretty good. It took a while for equipment to come in, and he was a little lazy at times, but overall it was ok. He drank all my soda pop though, that was kinda annoying...

    Oh wait, I installed it myself! :lol:

    I would wait a little bit if you can stand it and let receivers get replenished and the techs get a few more DECA installs under their belts.
     
  6. grecorj

    grecorj Legend

    134
    0
    Jan 20, 2008
    I had a very good experience this past weekend:

    http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=182970

    My installer was fairly knowledgeable, too. Can't complain.

    My install was relatively simple tho -- lines to each room were already in place. But did get 1) new SWM dish, 2) two new HR24s and one H24, 3) Whole Home DVR, 4) ICK for VoD. Took 2.5 hours. He arrived w/in 4 hour window (we weren't first job of day).

    Only issue is HD equipment is apparently in short supply. You may want to wait a month or two to make sure there is plenty of the new HR2x boxes in supply for your install.
     
  7. jeffro23

    jeffro23 New Member

    9
    0
    Jul 9, 2007
    my install yesterday was pretty brutal. I was basically helping him the whole time.
    I asked him alot of questions, not to get answers, but to get a general sense of how much he knew. not as much as I hoped...

    though I did get a free hr24 when he couldnt get my HR20-100 on the network.
    I called Cust Svc and the installation company called me back and said they would bring a new HR24 this morning and (at least my wife verified) they did. He also left me an extra DECA and PI that Im going to try to use in a room with no receiver(hook up to my sons laptop)

    So in the end, its been worth the hassle. I do understand that there is a certain degree of complexity to this technology. crossing satellite technology over Coax with ethernet and networking. Unfortunately, A certain level of patience and a good understanding of what is going on is needed by the customer for most installations.


    So are all DTV installers subcontracted out? If thats so, I didnt realize this was the case. has it always been like this?
     
  8. armchair

    armchair Hall Of Fame

    1,188
    0
    Jul 27, 2009
    I'll say go for it. But it helps to know in advance the way you want it done. Discuss the plan with your installer before he starts.

    When I upgraded to WHD with Internet Connection Kit (best to specify on order or you won't get the kit), the tech didn't re-peak my dish seeing I already had the green-labeled SWiM lnb installed. I later added an HR24-500 and it failed sat setup. I called and got a re-peak credited and when the tech arrived I asked if he could make some changes. He didn't like the wiring either. He swapped the SWiM PI single coax with a dual to reduce the amount of coax. He also got rid of barrel splices where existing cabling was re-used on my original install. I showed him the improved difference in my coax diagnostics when he finished.

    Plan ahead; that made a difference on my third visit this year but the first guy that did my Mover's Install, created all my issues and talking to him didn't help. But with my service calls being February, June and July, they progressed to my satisfaction. Each visit was with a different tech but the experience, know-how and communication improved with each visit.

    I still see posts where the tech didn't know he shouldn't be connecting ETHERNET to WHD installs; ask for the new Broad Band DECA: http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=182828
     
  9. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

    4,493
    52
    Aug 16, 2006
    Wow - Why does D* hire these folks and not train them?

    Well, I placed the order today - install next week. I'll let you know how it goes. Should be relatively simple install - I have the 2 HR20-700's already. I'm getting one new HD receiver in a different room. Internet too, and my router is pretty close to one of my HR20's.
     
  10. armchair

    armchair Hall Of Fame

    1,188
    0
    Jul 27, 2009
    Well the tech that did my WHD with Internet Connection Kit was trained but no hands-on. This was his first hands-on install. He tried to be thorough but my sat signals looked good. The failure I got above was only caught because I was setting up a new HR24. It failed one of the voltage settings which seems to indicate a re-peak of dish is necessary. You may want to verify this for yourself when the new Receiver is installed. All voltage boxes s/b checked to pass test.

    The tech that did my last service call came equipped with a coax torque wrench and used it with conviction. He then used a meter that he said was designed for proper SWiM alignment. I did not even look at the meter but he checked the sat setup to see that it cleared and now passes. Apparently, you cannot rely on signal strength alone.
     
  11. twohour

    twohour New Member

    4
    0
    May 24, 2006
    you should call him and return the stolen goods .......u cheap ars
     
  12. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    8,969
    1
    Nov 13, 2007
    Because training is expensive. A tech's job is to be out installing (i.e., making money for DirecTV). Training means the tech is in the warehouse, not only not earning any income for DirecTV, but also COSTING money via the training costs. And consider that 1/3 of the techs won't even be working for DirecTV 2 months from now, and it isn't hard to do the math.

    Then there are the subcontractors, who rarely get any oppertunity for training. And subs of subs? Forget it. Those poor guys can barely afford to eat - they HAVE to work every possible second.
     
  13. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    8,969
    1
    Nov 13, 2007
    DirecTV is slowly acquiring most of the big installation contractors, but that's only been in the last couple of years. Prior to that, since DirecTV started offering installation service more than a dozen years ago, 100% of installs were subcontracted.
     
  14. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

    4,493
    52
    Aug 16, 2006
    It's a shame, really. D* has a really good product, but they leave it to the untrained to install it.

    Kinda like going to a Mercedes dealer only to see high school kids doing complex auto repairs (and failing)
     
  15. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    8,514
    532
    May 17, 2010
    USA
    When you call DirecTV tell them you want a experienced tech to do the work and get the csr's name and ID number. And yes have the work done now while the weather and climate are still good. It's human nature to concentrate more on how cold and wet you are while doing outside work then on what you are doing.
     
  16. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

    4,493
    52
    Aug 16, 2006
    Seriously? I can call and ask for an experience tech? And they'll provide one?
     
  17. sigma1914

    sigma1914 Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

    14,602
    372
    Sep 5, 2006
    Allen, TX
    Good luck with that. :lol:
     
  18. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

    8,024
    0
    Jun 9, 2006
    It's the end result of two things. 1) The customers demands for everything to be free, free, FREE. 2) The drive to raise profits at the expense of everything else.

    In the end, you get way you PAY for.
     
  19. grecorj

    grecorj Legend

    134
    0
    Jan 20, 2008
    I hear what you're saying, but I disagree that we aren't paying for proper installation.

    DirecTV offers "free" installation/equipment the same way a cell phone company offers you a "free" phone. You're paying for that equipment/installation over the life of your 2 yr commitment. Obviously DirecTV can afford that average $700 new customer acquisition cost by charging you for your tv service (& related services). I mean, think about it, $3 for MRV? $7 for DVR service? $10 for HD? $5 for each additional receiver? You mean to tell me there is no profit margin in there?

    So I think in the end I do pay for that "free" installation ... and I expect it to be done correctly, the first time, regardless. I'm funny like that. I want just what it says in my installation agreement: certain amount of line to dish; properly installed dish; working equipment + properly configured equipment; working services like WHDVR and OnDemand. Nothing more, nothing less. If I get the latest DVR, great. If the installer does things without being asked (like terminating open coax connections), awesome. Bonus for me.

    But if DirecTV sends me someone who can't do the job, they need to make it right. And I think in most cases they do. The frustrating part sometimes is getting there.
     
  20. wilbur_the_goose

    wilbur_the_goose Hall Of Fame

    4,493
    52
    Aug 16, 2006
    Yeah - my point is that DirecTV positions themselves as the "white glove service" provider. Much like BMW or Lexus does in the auto industry.

    Cheaping out on a customer's first touch point, the installation, is not a wise business move. It only serves to frustrate the customer and diminish the reputation of DirecTV needlessly.
     

Share This Page