Retention smenshen!

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by timmy2, Jan 10, 2007.

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  1. timmy2

    timmy2 Cool Member

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    Jan 7, 2007
    We're long past our committment and since our account is in my uncle's name (I've been paying for it and it's in our residence - -he lived with us for a while) I can cancel the account and sign up as a new customer.

    So I approached D* tonight explaining our position, that I would like to change 2 of our 4 receivers to DVRs and also reduce my net commitment cost a bit. I can switch to Dish and over an 18 month term have 2 TVs with receivers and 2 with DVR capability (I know: they use dual-tuner boxes...) for a net $62/mo.

    If I start as a new D* customer and get a whole new install, 2 DVRs, 2 rcvrs, etc. after all rebates and promos I end up paying $73/mo over a 24-month term.

    I got passed around for about 45 minutes and ended up with the "Retention Department" suggesting I cancel our account.

    I'm underwhelmed. I was courteous despite being transferred repeatedly. How are people posting stories of "Retention" giving them free HD DVRs, waived fees, and personal massages -- and I get told to cancel. (Okay, at one point a rep came up with a package that would be $80/mo over 24 mo's but that's absurd.)

    So what's the secret?
     
  2. WolfClan Dan

    WolfClan Dan Patiently Impatient

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    Jan 10, 2007
    perhaps it's because they know its not your account.
     
  3. HDTVsportsfan

    HDTVsportsfan Active Member

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    That certainly could be. Is it possible D*'s getting a little tight w/ al the freebies?
    My brother was a little disappointed w/ his upgrade package. Maybe it's because they are short on DVR's and behind on installs and simply can't do anything.
    Who knows?
     
  4. Earl Bonovich

    Earl Bonovich Lifetime Achiever

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    Nov 15, 2005
    Exactly... one of the key points of Chase's Citigroup presentation last night, was controlling costs.


    And one of those are what they are willin to give away for free, or very inexpensive.
     
  5. HDTVsportsfan

    HDTVsportsfan Active Member

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    You could kinda see it coming. You can only give away or discount your product but so much.
     
  6. no_to_co

    no_to_co Cool Member

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    Dec 30, 2006
    I am not sure if this is true, but I bet that your history with them has some effect on the discount available to you. Do you subscribe to a lot of premium channels? Do you order a lot of pay per view movies? Did you get the NFL Sunday ticket every year? If not, they have little incentive to give you major discounts to keep you as a subscriber.
     
  7. HDTVsportsfan

    HDTVsportsfan Active Member

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    I got 2 HR20's for 99.00 back in september. I've had ST and EI for years.
    My bro has hd both for about 6 years. Yes he pays his bill.
    The best they offered was 150.00 and a March 8th install.

    Other peeps are posting alot of the same. I think it is about controlling cost. I'm sure some of the pains of the HR20 is hitting the bottom line as well.
     
  8. ralphfurley

    ralphfurley Legend

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    Jun 12, 2004
    I've had DIRECTV since 1995..ST since 1997...TC PLATINUM/PREMIER or whatever they're calling it , for a few years...since January of last year I've been blessed with an HR10, 2 R15s, 2 HR20s(one for my parents) credit for an OTA antenna, free HD package for year and just this week I received credit for 2 months of service. I only paid 14.95(that was S&H for HR10)

    Now there were underlying issues that were resolved by this compensation. My only "trick": be polite. explain your issue, but stay polite. Saying your willing to cancel, get frustrated, but always stay polite. The retention dept is the best customer service dept. I've dealt with.

    Think of other companies you deal with. Ask for supervisor? D gets one on the line. Send an email? Someone at D replies and follows up with a phone call. Threaten to cancel? D tries to keep you.

    To the OP: call your cable co, call DISH; get their best offers, do your homework. Then call D. tell them you dont want to leave and you want them match the offers. it may just work this time
     
  9. timmy2

    timmy2 Cool Member

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    Jan 7, 2007
    A very well reasoned comment. Thank you. I don't like games at all and would prefer to make a good case and get an appropriate response, but every person I spoke with was either hard to understand or aloof.

    The previous suggestion that people who buy lots of PPV or other (probably very profitable) features might receive more aggressive retention efforts has left me wondering if I shouldn't just sign up as a new account and get whatever is currently on the table for new subscribers. One would think they'd want to keep an existing customer who needs no installation by at least offering the same incentives as a new customer gets.
     
  10. papa_azteca

    papa_azteca Legend

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    Jan 11, 2007
    I worked for a cellular company for 5 years as a supervisor. For 2 years I was a supervisor in their retention department. I had two goals: service level and churn, and I had to exceed in both. One of my biggest changes: stop playing with customers. Customers would call in asking for this, asking for that, this company will give me this, I can pay less here, my neighbor got this, my wife's cousin once removed got that. I told my agents the following: Listen to the customer, find something that would meet their needs without costing the company, and present the offer. If the customer denied, then depending on how far and above the offer was, they would either scale down or change it a bit. If the customer still did not accept either offer, the next step was to apologize, stress that we did not want to lose them as customer, but two very good options were presented based off their needs, but since they refused, they would set the account to cancel at the end of the current billing cycle. (waiting for the shock to go down)

    My manager yelled at me. The regional VP said I was not going to make it in retention or with the company very long. The CEO loved it. It was very rocky the first 3-4 months. Service levels went down because customers wanted to argue. Reps did not want to disconnect customers (they had a quota to meet). But I stuck to my guns because I knew that what this company needed was LOYAL customers, not customers who drop the company when things don't go their way, or because another company is offering a free phone that we didn't carry, or whatever service that they wouldn't use. I told my manager to give me 8 months. If we have not met goals by that time she could fire me. I didn't lose my job. Service levels started to increase because agents would resell with confidence. Customers would take one of the two options because they weren't going anywhere. And those that played their bluff to the end because of pride and principle were back with us within 45 days. And those customers that insisted on speaking to a supervisor because the rep "didn't have the authority" to give them what they asked for got to speak to me. And my offer was never as good as the rep's offer. I never looked at tenure. I never looked at how much a customer was paying a month. I treated every customer the same: I made my decisions/offers/options based on needs and never wants.

    Try to go to BB, CC or whatever electronic store you shop at and say "I have spent over $10k here over the last 7 years. I want a 60" HD TV delivered to my house within the next 3 hours. And I want to pay half of what you paid. If you don't then I am taking my business somewhere else." I am sure that they will hold the door open for you.

    D* will do the same. All companies eventually will. Customer loyalty is not there as it should be. And everyone here knows that just by throwing some bones every once in while does not make someone loyal.
     
  11. timmy2

    timmy2 Cool Member

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    Jan 7, 2007
    Well said, papa_azteca. I'm willing to pay the $6/mo Advanced Services fee that getting a DVR entails and am willing to accept the 24/mo committment that is also part of the deal. But if they're willing to give new customers basically $200 in MIR, a free portable DVD player, and 12 mo's of TC for $40, why can't they give me two SD DVRs (= $200) and 12 mo's of TC for $40? (I don't want the DVD player.) I guess it all boils down to is keeping an existing customer for another 24 months equal to signing up a new one for the same term, not counting the fact that I require no installation or new receivers or new dish.
     
  12. traderfjp

    traderfjp AllStar

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    Dec 24, 2006
    D* has some of the nicest retention people around. They have always done their best to accomodate me.
     
  13. boba

    boba Hall Of Fame

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    May 23, 2003
    I bet you do need installation. The DVRs require two lines run to each and 2 additional receivers means you need 6 lines run into the house do you already have those? Do you have a multiswitch that will give you outputs for 6 tuners? :)
     
  14. mikhu

    mikhu Beer Aficionado

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    Oct 10, 2006
    "Chase's Citigroup"???? Did I miss a merger somewhere? I recently switched from Citibank to Chase, are you telling me I never left the company, or was that a typo?
     
  15. ralphfurley

    ralphfurley Legend

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    Jun 12, 2004
    "Chase Carey" gave a "presentation" to "CITIGROUP"..hence "Chase's Citigroup presentation"...

    BTW, I've heard that Best Buy will allow a bit of haggling over prices. Bet it wouldn't hurt if you had a Zone rewards card; they can track your purchases. I know that TARGET can instantly tell how much you've spent at their store. they can pull it up by debit or credit card.
     
  16. mikhu

    mikhu Beer Aficionado

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    Oct 10, 2006
    Oh, THAT Chase! ;) Thanks!

    Sorry about that....
     
  17. n2ubp

    n2ubp New Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    I've been a DTV subscriber since 1994. I've been thru retention twice in that time. Once when my gen 1 RCA receiver died, probably due to an errant "bullet" sent down to kill off questionable access cards and last month when the the H20 I purchased in Feb 2006 (not a lease) stopped providing audio thru the RCA output jacks. Retention has always been more than fair with me. What drove me nuts last time around was the lack of knowledge level one and level two support had of their own products. The H20 is hooked to my TV via HDMI. I used SVIDEO and the RCA audio output jacks at the same time to feed an ancient Series One TIVO with lifetime subscription. Worked fine until December. Then one day the audio out via RCA jacks quit. They told me that was the way it worked. I told them not true, all outputs are on with the H20 but they refused to acknowledge it. Retention offered to send a tech out and cover the cost if the tech verified the box was the point of failure and replace the box. The tech replaced the H20 after 15 minutes of checkout which verified my PD. A few weeks later I opened the old H20-100 and found a power cable to the main board was half unseated/tilted.
    I reseated the cable and now the H20-100 works. I just had that H20 turned back on. Again, I have no trouble with retention by why doesn't level one and two tech support know their own products ?
     
  18. etchasketch

    etchasketch AllStar

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    Dec 21, 2006
    uhm, papa_azteca ... please refrain from making such well reasoned sensible posts about gimmes ... remember, all these good people deserve every freeB one can imagine. Game? The thing is a run-a-way train. Just read the scam-a-thon thread (good for a laugh or lesson on greed, or both):

    What the Deals are, and what you are being told by CSR?
    http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=62089&page=40

    If your suggested model were to become SOP ... pretty soon everyone would just get uniform offerings, no one bettering the other guys deal and what would that lead to? Chaos in the ranks methinks! Twood hardly be worth the daily phone calls to customer service / retention / cancellation and pretty soon ...

    e
     
  19. papa_azteca

    papa_azteca Legend

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    Jan 11, 2007
    But the offers my agents were presenting were not uniform offerings but based off what the customers stated they needed for their cellular use, not their wants. I believe D* will soon go to the same. You can see it with their "a-list" offers of a free equipment upgrade every six months. Programs like this are set up because a small number of customers are responsible for a much larger percentage of revenue (to a point). But look at the difference between D* and E*'s ARPU. D* has a different customer than their competitors. The HR20 (or any other MPEG4 DVR) is their "workhorse" for their future. Every house will have at least one, which means more services sold to customers (DVR, HD package, more premium packages) and that means that the ARPU will increase, therefore eliminating the difference in customers, which means tightening the purse strings on retention offers. I've seen it done with 2 other companies I have worked for, besides the cellular company. For the most part, one will no longer be able to use the "I have been a long time customer paying X/month and I deserve this" because there will be more of those customers. They will look at other determining factors, which IMO will be payment history and previous offerings, including but not limited to credits and/or equipment upgrades (regardless of the reason).

    I agree customers have the right to shop around and ask the company that they are currently doing business with for an incentive to keep them as their provider of choice. I am also saying be careful not to bark to loud because you may also end up with teeth marks on your aXX and looking for another provider.
     
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