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Recent service call

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by cts33fan, Feb 26, 2011.

  1. cts33fan

    cts33fan AllStar

    Sep 1, 2007
    I had an issue regarding one of my HD receivers acting up, and the CSR said it required a service call since a 721 was popping up on this unit. When the tech arrived, we discovered a bad cable running to it. For some reason, he said he had to re-wire everything from the dish, even a new multi-switch including rooms that were not being used, just because they had existing cables running to them. Now, I had done a lot of the installations myself, and while not as 'clean looking' as the DTV job, it all worked perfectly. Needless to say a 10 minute call turned into 5 hours, including the lunch break he took. I signed for him running all the new cables, but I was not offered a copy for my records. Is this SOP for them now? It almost seemed to me that he got paid by the job, and he made sure this was a big job for him.

    Just curious if anyone else has had the same issue.
  2. wallfishman

    wallfishman Icon

    Dec 31, 2008
    if it all worked perfectly then why was he there again ? he probably did get paid extra for all he did . But the way things are nowadays hes now responsible for your job for the next 90 days. any problems with your job and you call in Directv and they have to send someone else out there it counts against him. So you do the best you can do , clean up what you can. But hey if you only paid for a service call and someone came and spent 5 hours rewiring everything new , with solid copper wiring, you got a hell of a deal !!!
  3. liquidctv

    liquidctv Legend

    Oct 13, 2010
    >When the tech arrived, we discovered a bad cable running to it. For some reason, he said he had to re-wire everything from the dish

    Sounds like this guy mostly does installs and was just handed his first service call. If it doesn't take 5 hours, it doesn't feel like work to him.

    A seasoned service tech would try to be out the door in 10 minutes. Replacing a working switch is not service tech thinking.

    And no, there are very few, if any techs who get paid by the hour.
  4. epifano83

    epifano83 Mentor

    Oct 5, 2008
    Was all the cable used b4 the service call RG6 and 3GHZ certified? or
    RG-6 cable with 18AWG solid copper center conductor, 60% aluminum braid and 100% aluminum foil shield?
    Just curious
    I remember one service call when I was a service tech. It was a code 721 I had to replace ODU cracked LNB I had to also replace all of the cabling from the ODU as it had barrel connector after barrel connector then the dog had been chewing at it as well. I had to also ground the unit properly to the main ground rod 3ft away.
    I got paid less for that job even though it was like doing a new install! But at the end of the day it was done and it was done to properly and to code!!!
  5. HoTat2

    HoTat2 Hall Of Fame

    Nov 16, 2005
    First of all "721" means your subscribed programming package(s) are not authorized to receive that channel and must be resolved by the CSR.

    Did you perhaps mean the typical "771 searching for satellite" error message which indicates a signal reception problem by the customer's equipment?
  6. epifano83

    epifano83 Mentor

    Oct 5, 2008
    That would be it, :) fat fingers LOL!!!
  7. Tisby

    Tisby AllStar

    Jun 4, 2010
    Folks can get a 721 when the LNB or Multiswitch isn't working right. Though it appears that wasn't the case here.

    If it's O&O they are hourly, no point in not fixing it all the way. If it was me working @ a piece rate and the job has to be completely redone the service call is getting canceled and a former install is getting built. That or I walk, plain and simple.

    That's the only part that I don't get, if there's no equipment in there, we don't touch it or it's custom labor for running a mirrored line or line with no IRD. However, it's possible his company does it differently. Though it would seem that running coax to unused locations is a waste of time and money. :confused:
  8. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

    Feb 28, 2007
    This is a major sea change!

    In the beginning the idea was get the numbers up...activate the system and get the customer happy enough to pay the bill. As crappy installations came into the system someone decided to start controlling who was doing the installations and HOW they were being done. But contract installers are only paid to do what has been contracted...and what to do about increased system requirements?

    So Directv began to bring the installations in-house and pay techs by the hour as employees.

    What you saw was just a good old boy making a day's work out of a ten minute shuffle.
    For years they tried to accomplish this same thing with "last man out" requirements that were basically an invitation to fix everything while the tech was there for FREE.

    Watch your bill to make sure you were not charged for the five hours plus parts. You wanted one receiver tweaked and the preventative rebuild of stuff that was still functioning was his FREE offer as part of a simple service call. You did invest an unexpected five hours monitoring a stranger in your house. That too has a cost to you.

  9. Mar 1, 2011 #9 of 15

    netraa Godfather

    Mar 27, 2007
    Wow joe.

    Sometimes things come out of your fingers that make me wonder if your really Joe the sky is falling diamond, or the little fat hush puppy in disguise.

    Yes the tech went above and beyond, however.... if those extra rooms were connected to the switch, then the tech either had to disconnect them, or fix them. If he disco's them and the customer is use to dragging an IRD around the house then he opens himself to a repeat service call. If he leaves them, he opens himself to a failed QC and a free re-roll to bring the job to spec. He chose to fix them on the clock the first time, why is that so hard to understand?

    There can't be a bill for time and materials posted to the directv bill.... The only thing that a tech can add that changes the bill is the protection plan.
  10. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

    Feb 28, 2007
    I'll try again...maybe I wasn't clear,

    If the tech, as an employee of Directv, decided, for whatever reason, to rerun all the lines that is just fine. He is paid by the hour. IF something fails tomorrow he can just hop in the truck and go fix that.

    Where it comes off the rails is the possibility of him not being paid for any of his time. Someone has to pay to maintain these systems. It just seems excessive to fix things that aren't broke (yet).

    Service calls and upgrades, as piece work, have a set price. The contractor who works under such a system fixes the stated problem as listed on the work order. It is the attempts to add to this by making anyone somehow responsible for unknown or unlisted future failures that is . . .incorrect.

    We don't know why this job went into extra innings. It just seemed excessive.

  11. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

    Jun 18, 2006
    I suspect the reason he reran cables is because they were old or in some other way out of spec. I realize a lot of your time was taken up but theoretically you ended up better for it.
  12. RB Service Tech

    RB Service Tech New Member

    Apr 11, 2010
    The tech should have left you a copy of the work order. As a service tech, I understand why he had to replace all of your cable. A lot of the old cable is not 3GHZ swept tested and is copper coated steel center conductor. We must replace all of this cable in order for your system to carry your Directv properly. The 3.0 GHZ cable is what it takes for your system to properly function and carry all of the frequencies necessary. This is especially important if you have HD whole home service.
  13. texasbrit

    texasbrit Well-Known Member

    Aug 9, 2006
    Sorry RBservice tech, that's a load of BS. We keep seeing these posts from DirecTv techs who confuse the DirecTV installation manual with reality. You don't need cable swept to 3GHz, nor do you need solid copper core cable, for DirecTV to work correctly, so it's very rare for this to be an issue in an existing installation unless there's something unusual about it. Certainly going through a house and replacing perfectly good RG6 cable with new cable is a complete overkill, if an installer came to my house and told me he was going to do it I would send him away.
    DirecTV requires its installers to use cable like that when they are installing new cable because it makes sure there won't be issues on long runs. But DirecTV only goes up to 2.3Ghz, and you only need solid copper core RG6 if the cable is carrying power (on an SWM system such as needed for whole home, that means just the cable from the power inserter to the SWM LNB). The signal-carrying capability of RG6 CCS and RG6 SCC are identical. Any RG6 will carry signals up to 3Ghz, even if it has not been "swept" to 3Ghz. The only (very rare) possibility is that some RG6 cable might have a slightly higher attenuation at 2.3Ghz than it does at lower frequencies. So existing installations using any RG6, even copper-clad steel, are virtually never a problem. You can even have a system using (horrors!) RG59 if the cable runs are not too long.
  14. joe diamond

    joe diamond Hall Of Fame

    Feb 28, 2007

    My read on the RG59 is that for average interior runs it is fine....Directv receivers were shipped with RG 59 jumpers for years. The real problems with the stuff were caused by CATV companies who allowed unlimited use of splitters on their system. Then there were the low quality crimpers their techs used (pliers) and all the screw in fittings the home owners got at Radio Shack. Steel staples in the wire got a lot of systems down. The cable companies themselves noted attenuation in cold weather on long runs and changed out their plants to RG6.

    So the same tech writers that killed RG59 turned their guns on Copper Coated Steel Cable and added a service factor to make 3 gig the standard.

    In the right hands a trash can lid and some RG59 could bring in the 99, 101 & 103 with great clarity. No amount of fancy equipment and materials will fix low skill. Idiot proofing is a goal. The big deal tech specs are a way to get there.

  15. texasbrit

    texasbrit Well-Known Member

    Aug 9, 2006
    Yes, I can understand the DirecTV installation manual saying you have to use SCC RG6 when you are running new cable, why not? It means the install techs don't have to understand the different sorts of cable, they just use the recommended cable and that's it. But that's not the same as saying you NEED SCC RG6 swept to 3GHz for a DirecTV installation, which is how many techs (and unfortunately the people who do QC) interpret it.
    And I should have said that all cables have more attenuation at 2.3GHz than at lower frequencies, it's just that it's possible some RG6 have more attenuation than others (but not by anything that matters, unless you are trying to run 250ft of cable).
    I wouldn't recommend anyone uses RG59 for a DirecTv installation, but you are right, if I have the dish near the TV RG59 will work fine.
    And don't get me on to the subject of different types of insert in the wall plates. More technical BS....

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