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The end of temporary service address changes.

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by grover517, Sep 13, 2018.

  1. grover517

    grover517 AllStar DBSTalk Club

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    Appears that the new ATT combined account system no longer allows "temporary" service address changes that many RV owners and other vacationer's use to get local stations when away from home for a temporary stay outside of their spot beam.

    Up until last spring, it was a painless and straight forward process to call and get the service address changed so you could receive local broadcast stations while vacationing in our RV outside our normal spot beam. So when I myself had some difficulty this past year in getting our locals changed between our home and seasonal vacation site, I simply wrote it off as yet another hassle when dealing with the offshore call center reps vs. any real efforts by ATT to stop the practice all together. But then I started hearing about other RVer's having issues with some even being told it couldn't be done any longer. So I called myself to see if I could get more info on this before our trip this upcoming winter.

    After lengthy discussions about this with both US based tech support and retention, they both told me the same thing and this is going to be the new policy going forward. If your account has been migrated or setup in the new combined ATT account management system, a service address change request now invokes a "move" process where all your receivers on your home account are deactivated, a truck roll is scheduled for your new location, which could be days away (or more) so a tech can come out to make sure everything is satisfactory at your temporary location and then the tech is the ONLY one that can reactivate your equipment. Oh and to top it off, they will try to charge you a movers "fee" of almost 200.00 for each change AND happily give you a new 2 year commitment to boot even though no equipment has changed and all that was done was to reactivate your current equipment that they previously deactivated unnecessarily! This has also been confirmed by dozens if not hundreds of other posts about this same thing from numerous RV boards that are already experiencing this.

    If your lucky enough to not have your account moved yet and are still able to change your service address under the old system, never fear, according to tech support and retention, your days are numbered.

    And like I said, this change isn't going to just affect the RV crowd, who are already on edge with the upcoming mpeg4 transition, it's going to affect a lot of HD viewers as well such as snowbirds and others who temporarily change locations to vacation homes, rentals, etc. and don't want to maintain two separate accounts or can afford hundreds of dollars a year in moving charges, constant renewal of their 2 year commitment as well as waiting for tech to show up to simply verify you connected your receivers properly so they can activate receivers on your account again. It's not rocket science to disconnect and reconnect a DirecTV receiver. It just makes no sense to me and many others who have done this for years.

    I suppose there are a few subscribers in the RV community, especially full timers, that will stick with DirecTV and use DNS accounts or just go without locals if they don't have good reception with their antennas, etc. but for many, it just seems like one more thing to make DirecTV even more difficult for these subscribers.

    In the day and age of needing to make services more "user friendly" than not to grow a subscriber base, ATT sure doesn't seem to really give a crap one way or the other and for the first time in over 18 years, I am seriously planning a move to Dish network, at least in the RV. Really sad.


     
  2. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    So sounds like that will also eliminate the option to "move" to a different location than where you really are, to get NYC or LA locals or sports for a certain market.
     
  3. reubenray

    reubenray Godfather

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    I knew from experience AT&T would screw everything up. I foresee a lot of RV'rs switching to Dish Network.
     
    jimmy16x likes this.
  4. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    Oh well, so much for their ad on TV, It's your TV, take it with you.
    I would expect something like charging you a fee to change addresses each time you did this.
     
  5. litzdog911

    litzdog911 Well-Known Member

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    They seem to be pushing RVers to use the dedicated Travelers Account.
    Between these changes and MPEG2 going away in April, I suspect lots of RVers will be looking elsewhere.
     
  6. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Perhaps abused? I thought a limit of two changes per year was mentioned in past threads. The availability of distant networks helps.

    Maybe a compromise can be reached where verified RV accounts will not be limited (since they qualify for distants). But I wonder how many movers were simply abusing the system instead of legitimately being where they said they were.
     
  7. trh

    trh This Space for Sale

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    The founder of this site is a full-time RVer. He has always recommended DISH for that community.
     
  8. studechip

    studechip Godfather

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    If you are qualified for distants, you can't get locals, can you?
     
  9. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    RVs qualify for distants due to their vehicle registration. Address doesn't matter. They can have an address in any market with any local coverage (or lack thereof) . Their RV is their golden ticket.

    Home users qualify for distants based on what local channels they can receive. There is a lot of grandfathering that confuses the explanation, but a new home subscriber who does not already have distants can qualify for distants if there is no local channel of that network in their market. For example, if you live in a market with no ABC affiliate at a location where no ABC affiliate can be received OTA you may qualify for a distant ABC channel. If there is an ABC affiliate in market or OTA you likely do not qualify for a distant ABC regardless of if the local ABC is carried via satellite. The same logic is applied to CBS, NBC and Fox on a network by network basis.

    Qualifying for distants by owning an RV removes the home user rules. The commercial truck accounts follow the same rules (qualify by vehicle registration, not address).

    The compromise I suggested would be for AT&T|DIRECTV to offer "unlimited" service address changes to RV and commercial vehicle accounts so this specific group of customers can have their distant channels and the locals available for the specific market they are in. The customer would need to accept the other limits of having an RV or commercial vehicle account.
     
  10. grover517

    grover517 AllStar DBSTalk Club

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    That would be a great start James, and would work well for full time RVer's but what about those that have RV's and only use them for a few months a year as a seasonal "vacation" home? In other words, those of us that did only call twice a year to change service addresses. That means you have to maintain two separate accounts and suspend one while using the other but because you can only suspend an account for 6 months max, there would be a few months overlap where you would have to pay on both accounts. They would basically have to make RV accounts "pay as you go" as well for that to work but that doesn't help the others without RV's.

    And here is the part that makes me think this is all planned and not just some off the cuff accident. We know all this can be done because Dish is already doing it. Pay as you go, purchased equipment instead of leased, AND they just implemented a method for RV accounts to change their own service address thru a smart phone app as many times as they wish using your GPS location from your phone to verify your location, so no calls are needed, period.

    So why is DirecTV going in the opposite direction on this, and especially so abruptly without any announcements or notifications to those that have done this in the past? I know they are aware of those accounts that have done service address changes before because when I have called each winter to have my service address changed from our home to our RV site in Florida, the system still has the address in Florida that we use every year.

    If I were the REAL paranoid type, I would suspect this as a "shot across the bow" to the RV community that their days of support from DirecTV are coming to an end sooner than later and that ATT is looking at these subscribers as "acceptable losses" to achieve some greater goal. And will there still be a need to offer some kind of SD programming replacement post mpeg4 transition if enough leave now vs. later?

    Anyway, it just appears to many in the RV community that ATT has absolutely no interest in accommodating the mobile/RV community in any way shape or form any longer.
     
  11. grover517

    grover517 AllStar DBSTalk Club

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    I suppose the possibility of abuse could be there but I am not sure as to why one would do so? I can imagine some might try to use that as a way to avoid blackout rules for sporting events but how many would that be and they would have to already know that whatever location they were misrepresenting, wasn't outside a given spot beam. Just seems that it would be a limited number of people, if any, doing something like that. For most RVer's that change their service address, it's more to keep up with local news and ESPECIALLY weather forecasts and warnings. When in an RV, keeping up with the weather forecasts is more important than ever.
     
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  12. raott

    raott Hall Of Fame

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    Have they updated their terms of service agreements? Previously it was silent as to the number of times you could change your service address. Forcing a disconnect, reconnect and new two year commitment for imply changing a service address, seems like a material change to the agreement terms, that would allow anyone in a two year contract, out.
     
  13. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps AT&T wants to make it more attractive to get TV via cellular, and sell RVers on data plan + streaming TV plan for their RV?

    Or maybe if the upcoming changes after dropping MPEG2 SD really will mean you must use a Slimline for Directv instead of just a round dish, and they figure they are going to lose a lot of them to Dish anyway.

    Or maybe as suggested they really are simply trying to get RVers to get a separate account instead of sharing the one with their home, but they're going about in a ham-handed way that will end up chasing customers to Dish?
     
  14. studechip

    studechip Godfather

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    So the RV owner gets the locals of wherever they are at the time, didn't know that.
     
  15. grover517

    grover517 AllStar DBSTalk Club

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    I suppose this could be one of MANY reasons. However, just imagine in some larger RV parks, dozens or even a hundred or more RVer's trying to stream from the same tower. We already see significant slowdowns on cell service from all 3 providers within distance (Verizon, ATT and T Mobile) in our RV park which has over 500 sites. And that is just from the few dozen that want to stream Netflix or other services besides DirecTV. Additionally, any wifi offerings in parks are woefully slow already and many even ban streaming in any form.

    I was wondering the same thing, but Winegard just released an updated domed carryout that has a reflector 20 percent larger than before and King updated their units to have clear domes to help with signal acquisition. I take that as they know something we don't and are already offering newer products that can help with mpeg4 rain fade. Otherwise, ATT/DirecTV is basically going to hang partner companies like Winegard and King out to dry when none of their equipment no longer works with DirecTV.

    Ham-handed........ Your a gracious soul aren't you? I like that! LOL. Probably more truth to that than not. I can see how having a second RV account wouldn't be a bad alternative IF having an RV account afforded you the same or more options than what was available prior to this change. The main reasons many did the "service address change" route were twofold. One was to avoid having to pay for duplicate programming on two separate accounts where one only gets used a few months a year and being able to receive local stations for news and weather. So things like a pay as you go option or modifying the 6 month maximum an account can be suspended so your not paying on the account when your not using it would help. And a way to still do service address changes so locals were still an option vs. DNS only also needs to still happen in some fashion. Maybe thru the app like Dish is now doing to verify GPS location as a way to verify addresses? It would end calls to the CSR's but still allow the change to happen. It might even be a better option, unless your adamant about being able to still view previously recorded shows you haven't seen yet before you change locations, because you now would also have 2 separate sets of receivers tied to each account so no more moving them back and forth either. But then they are looking at a whole bunch more equipment out here not generating money while at least one account is suspended.

    I have been hashing over this all and the reasons behind the action for a while now and every time I think of something that might work, there is always a downside for ATT to do it, some much more expensive and bothersome than others but still an issue none the less. My guess is that in any scenario, ATT has already decided that trying to chase the RV community any longer is not worth the effort and/or doesn't fit their long term subscriber vision and they are starting a process with the end goal of gradually ending support altogether for the mobile/RV community change by change. If companies like Winegard and King want to pick up the slack and support those users and accounts, fine, but they just aren't going to continue to carve out any exceptions or other processes such as the service address change process, to entice those customers to stay any longer. Death by a thousand cuts. Those that do stay will have to conform to the new "DirecTV".
     
  16. grover517

    grover517 AllStar DBSTalk Club

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    That isn't necessarily a completely true statement. If an RV owner has a separate RV account, they can apply for a DNS waiver to get the "network" stations out of either NY or LA depending on your home address. So if I lived in Ohio, I would get NY. Live in Colorado? You get LA. But you don't get "local" stations per se.

    DirecTV has for years offered RVer's and even some that have seasonal "secondary" residences a way to not have to go thru having 2 separate accounts. Since most residential accounts don't qualify for DNS waivers, the only way to get network programming was by doing a service address request so you get locals by just taking a receiver or two from one place to the other while there and then call to have the service address changed for a few months, then changed back when they returned home. They still needed a dish at both locations.

    What this did was give them locals at their service address because now they were in a different "spot beam" and any receivers left at their home also were affected by the change in regards to locals, RSN's, etc. so being outside the new spot beam, you couldn't even record local channels while away. It also changed what RSN's you were allowed to receive as well as adjust your billing charges in regards to local taxes, fees, and even RSN fees.

    As an example, when we went to Florida last year and changed our service address to our address down there, our bill actually went up about 25.00/mo. because of the higher state taxes, county and local "communication" taxes we didn't have at home, as well as higher RSN fees. So changing service addresses didn't afford someone to view different locals in two locations at once, nor did it allow you to watch "out of market" sports or anything else. Basically, it covered all FCC rules and regulations regarding the reception of locals outside your "service" DMA. The only thing it did do was "technically" violate the DirecTV TOS that states that all equipment on an account needs to be located at the same "service address" which is in place to try and prevent account stacking. But up until now DirecTV was willing to "look the other way" for those users as a way to compete for this subscriber group. ATT no longer feels the need to do so.
     
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  17. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    That is not what I said. What I said was that RV owners get distants wherever they are - no restrictions based on the availability of locals.
     
  18. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    That's a good observation and I'm sure its true. Directv may not tell US what their plans are, but they surely have communicated those plans to their partners. Otherwise they would stand pat with what they had and wait and see before designing new products.
     
  19. longrider

    longrider Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    There is one other group this new policy will affect, people such as myself who when really moving do everything themselves and just call in the address change. I will not have a DirecTV "technician" doing ANYTHING in my house
     
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  20. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Call them and tell them your third party A/V people installed everything for you and they were supposed to call Directv to take care of everything but must not have.
     

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