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Last time I refer a friend!

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by ralphfurley, Aug 3, 2009.

  1. Aug 3, 2009 #1 of 28

    ralphfurley Legend

    Jun 12, 2004
    So I finally convince my friend to switch to Directv. Ordered last Tues for install on Thurs. Mentioned need for SWM due to prewiring/lack of outside wall. No problem said D direct sales and retention.

    Thursday comes and installer says no SWM on work order. Quick call to D, they say tell him to call his supervisor. Installer scoffs, says its going to rain etc. Reschedule for Mon.

    Get automated call on Sat. Call says we haven't rescheduled. Um, yes we did. Talk to retention in Alabama ( waste o time) and Idaho. They say it will be noted on work order to bring slimline; they just cant place it on order themselves. the tech makes determination if Slim/swm needed. Tech made that call on Thursday.

    Installer comes out today. he has the slim/swm, but not the receiver; he will go pick one up. He calls 30mins later. No receiver, and nothing on work order so cancel order and reschedule with D because only D cant place it on work order.

    He calls D retention. They say they cant put equip on the work order. They have no way to contact Mastec( installer) and all they can do is note account and reschedule. See a pattern here?

    So friend has wasted two days and you want him to cross fingers and try for a third day?

    Call installer back; find out that problem is DVR for bedroom is not swm compatible. Tell him forget that DVR just hook up the HD DVR. So he comes back out.

    Success? Not quite. He notices that previous installer "activated" the HD DVR that never left his truck. He cant proceed with active box; need to call D and reschedule. Get retention on phone. they talk to installer. He leaves. Retention says they will send priority email to installer and get back to us in 20mins. that was 45mins ago. It has me soooo steamed. I had bragged how great Directv customer service was for years. UGH.
  2. Aug 3, 2009 #2 of 28

    Shades228 DaBears

    Mar 18, 2008
    Sorry to hear about the problems. The problem is you're wanting specific types of equipment and DirecTV does not guarantee it. It sounds like the installer could have completed it but you wanted SWM.
  3. Aug 3, 2009 #3 of 28

    evan_s Hall Of Fame

    Mar 3, 2008
    I'm sorry to hear about the troubles but as was mentioned you can not request specific installation options. Reps will tell you otherwise and will say they will put notes on the account etc but it just ends up causing head aches in the end. Unfortunately this is a cause where a little knowledge is definitely a dangerous thing. The SWM tech is great but it is still limited availability at this point and if you are in a situation where you must have it the best option is a local installer that can guarantee things but you usually won't get a free install from them.
  4. Aug 3, 2009 #4 of 28

    ralphfurley Legend

    Jun 12, 2004
    The first tech SWM stated that it was needed, but Directv had to place order. Second Tech had a swm, was ready to install it, but the "activated" HD DVR prevented him from doing install.

    After my initial post I called Office of President. Again they cant add to order, just note account and escalate the status.

    I'm pissed off to be blunt. Had always bragged about Directv service every time he had to deal with Comcast or ATT.

    Doesnt make sense that no one in retention has Mastec's phone number on some sheet so they can call instead of typing a note that nobody seems to read.

    So now we have a third install scheduled for Thursday. And since I got him into this mess I will have to make an appearence.
  5. Aug 3, 2009 #5 of 28
    Stanley Kritzik

    Stanley Kritzik Legend

    Aug 4, 2005
    Why is SWM "limited availability" after all these years? One can buy a SWM8, for example, from Solid Signal, among others. I've had my SWM8 for TWO YEARS, and that's enough time to ramp up electronics production of anything. As for getting a specific box guaranteed, as we all know, the available boxes can be purchased from SS, Costco, etc. Again, I fail to see why DirecTV makes everything so bloody hard to get done in a customer-centric way. The only reason D* gets away with it is that the cable companies are pathetic, too.

  6. Aug 3, 2009 #6 of 28

    evan_s Hall Of Fame

    Mar 3, 2008
    Well first of all the SWM-8 is not used for residential installs. It is designed for MDUs. The SWM LNB used for residential installs has not been available for nearly as long. In addition they found out during the winter that a large number of the SWM LNBs were experiencing issues with cold weather and they were pulled from the supply chain.

    Ultimately I do think you have a point. The SWM availability is limited because DirecTV wants it to be. We don't know what it costs direct tv but looking at Solid Signal the SWM 3 lnb + PI is 100$ and the standard SL3 lnb is 30 dollars. That is a pretty substantial price difference and when you consider that the SWM LNB also requires newer receivers for SD boxes I can understand why DirecTV doesn't want to spend the additional money for the more expensive LNBs and end up stuck with older receivers it can't redeploy. It is continuing to use both the older style LNBs and older receivers where it makes sense.

    As to the ordering system I can understand why they have things setup the way they do. Knowing how to properly pick the parts for a system based on all the various factors isn't all that simple and I'm sure the CSRs would end up screwing it up quite a bit and outside of a limited number of people, like the readers on this forum, most customers aren't going to know the differences between the receivers or care. They also aren't going to know about SWM and what effect it would have on their install to even think of asking for it. Really you are asking them to make a in the way their system operates to accommodate a small number of more informed customers and that would likely increase their costs. It's easy to see why they haven't done so.

    I do look forward to the day when the SWM lnb is the standard install for any order including at least 1 dvr but we aren't there yet for various reasons.
  7. Aug 3, 2009 #7 of 28

    Shades228 DaBears

    Mar 18, 2008

    I feel for you as far as the first tech it really sounds like he just didn't want to do any work. SWM are almost never required. I can only think of 1 scenario where it is a must have and even then it can still be done but there might be custom work. All other times it really just comes down to the time it will take vs the customer not wanting to have a line on the outside of their home.

    He deffinately messed up by activating equipment before it was installed. Also they can notate the order all they want but if it's not an item on the work order the tech will not install it or they will be responsible for it. It's possible the tech might be able to get it changed based on certain factors but it's not something I would count on.

    Hopefully the next appointment will get it resolved.
  8. Aug 3, 2009 #8 of 28

    spartanstew Dry as a bone

    Nov 16, 2005
    Wylie, Texas
    I referred a friend for an install this past Saturday. Installer showed up even though it was raining. Not only did the installation go great, but the installer got rid of a wasps nest in the garage for her and left her his number to come back and connect an additional TV that hadn't been delivered yet. She got the TV this morning, called him and he came back and hauled her heavy SDTV (tube) upstairs for her, connected everything and programmed the remote.
  9. Aug 3, 2009 #9 of 28

    leww37334 Hall Of Fame

    Sep 19, 2005
    sounds like the guy wanted what Directv promised him. I am not sure how you can blame the customer in this case.
  10. gdn

    gdn AllStar

    Aug 5, 2007
    Dallas, TX
    I hope the issues with the LNB on the SWM aren't true - but I'll be honest - not sure I completely understand this - because I'm pretty certain that the dish is the same for either set up? Is it not? If the dish is different - I'll stand corrected. I did have a friend just get an install in rural Texas 3 weeks ago - the house was only wired with single coax - installer had no problem setting them up with an SWM system. Their dish looks just like all the others.
  11. raoul5788

    raoul5788 Guest

    May 13, 2006
    The dish is the same, the lnb is different.
  12. evan_s

    evan_s Hall Of Fame

    Mar 3, 2008
    It's a case where a little information is dangerous. Your average customer who has just seen a DirecTV add and decides to sign up wouldn't know about SWM or the different receivers. Only someone who comes to a forum like this would know about these things but they should also know that the CSRs can't specify anything on an installation order to guarantee SWM or a specific receiver. Sure they will promise it but it doesn't happen most of the time.
  13. CCarncross

    CCarncross Hall Of Fame

    Jul 19, 2005
    One other thing to consider is that SWM is not part of the standard residential installation. It isnt now and probably wont be for some time if ever. If you want the SWM, its should be an add-on charge, or you buy it yourself. Also lots of installers will not be familiar with how it works if they arent also familiar with MDU setups. There are usually special techs for the MDU's sine they are an entirely different animal.
  14. RACJ2

    RACJ2 Hall Of Fame

    Aug 2, 2008
    Is your friend by any chance, an attractive lady? If so, in my experience they tend to get some extra help.

    It's hit or miss with the D* installers. Mine was great and stayed until after 11pm to finish the job. Although he showed up 6+ hours late for the 8am to noon window and it was my third install date. Basically, I went through the same gyrations as ralphfurley's friend, to get a SWMLNB installation, but it was worth it!
  15. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    All these years?

    The SWM8 has been out since, what, Nov of 2007, and the SWM LNBs didn't appear until early 2008, not even 18 months ago. DirecTV does not supply SWM-8s for residential use, and the SWM LNBs have only been in common use for a year.

    And DirecTV has rules for who qualifies to get a SWM LNB, and CSRs are not able to override those rules, as the work orders are built by an automated system. CSRs can only order receiver types, and the system builds the rest of the order based on that.

    To qualify for a SWM, all of the following must be true:

    - NEW customers ONLY
    - At least one HD receiver
    - 5-8 tuners total
    - No International programming

    Remember that DirecTV has never adverstized or promised SWM equipment to anyone at the corporate level. Just because *we* know about it doesn't mean that we are entitled to it...
  16. Lanthom

    Lanthom Legend

    Aug 6, 2008
  17. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    But there in lies the problem.

    User "A" comes here asking about getting setup for the first time or moving.
    Other users suggest getting a swm
    User "A" places his order, makes the request for swm
    Tech shows up, since user "A" didn't qualify for a swm, he doesn't get it.
    User "A" is now pissed
    User "A" posts rant
    Others chime in repeating adnausium DirecTvs offical policy on who does and doesn't qualify for a swm.
    Yet others come in and say "but I got one"
    Policy posted again
    User "A" is still pissed.

    Lather, rinse, and repeat weekly for reading enjoyment.

    I like swm. It makes my life much easier. However, I do think people need to get it through their heads that DirecTv has rules to follow. Granted, some areas are more strict on the rules than others. Some areas are getting the hammer dropped HARD on them for not following rules. So hard in fact that I know techs and supervisors that were fired for not following said rules.

    People need to know and understand the limitations that are in place. Manage the expecatations and you end up with a happy result.
  18. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

    Feb 28, 2007
    Robert E

    Good one.
    Someone has to design these systems and it is not going to be new customers and their pals.

    However, and don't ya just hate it when someone uses that word,....using DTV and rules in the same sentence is a tough one. DTV would have access to better & more experiences techs IF they even took a little interest in keeping the crooks out of their installation system.

    I ring this bell every time I get a chance.

    Pay the techs for the installations and they will keep working. Screw 'em and they will be gone. That should be rule one...make sure the techs are paid for good work and promptly fired for bad work.

  19. ralphfurley

    ralphfurley Legend

    Jun 12, 2004
    Once again the Office of Pres. comes through. Tech came out to my friends house. Installed Slimline/SWM/HR22. even did a pole mount. top notch work. Friend happy. I'm happy. all is well. I can say in confidence that you wouldnt get that response from The Roberts crew at Comcast
  20. bidger

    bidger Hall Of Fame

    Nov 19, 2005
    I hope your friend showed her appreciation with some monetary dispensation.

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