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The Shame Thread: Just how bad can it get

Discussion in 'DIRECTV Installation/MDU Discussion' started by Mertzen, Apr 5, 2009.

  1. liquidctv

    liquidctv Legend

    Oct 13, 2010
    >Is the former his responsibility?


    It occurred to me today that DirecTV does not pay for upgrades. At all.

    They typically charge $50 to bring a technician for an upgrade. Today I ran 3 lines over the roof for a single box. (How does that work...lol. Swap/relocate, multiple dishes.)

    That $50 gets split between the warehouse, the boss, and the technician. Meaning DirecTV makes $0 on an upgrade. Meaning the customer is entirely responsible for the cost of an upgrade.

    Now, installs pay a lot better, meaning you are more willing to go the extra mile to get it done. And if the customer needs X, typically they will not KNOW that they need X, until you arrive.

    And at your discretion, you will get X on your own.

    If you need to reschedule because you don't own a sawzall, I think that's acceptable. Like all tools, it makes you wonder what point it's profitable to own one.
    1 person likes this.
  2. wallfishman

    wallfishman Icon

    Dec 31, 2008
    every tech should carry a sawzall
  3. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    I agree. But I also agree that techs should be making $150/$30 on installs and a good chunk more on upgrades and service calls. In any other similar service industry, that would be the rates, especially when materials are being included in the price.

    DirecTV wants every installer to be equipped like they paid that much, but when they get paid less than 50% of that on average, it just isn't gonna happen.
  4. Haviland

    Haviland New Member

    Jul 21, 2007
    Sorry for the long delay in responding to your thoughtful comments.

    After ndole_mbnd's first response to my post I decided my attitude needed adjustment. Instead of irritation not getting it put in my spot I decided instead to be thankful the installer found the location he did. It's very solid. I'll have to get over the slight inconvenience. (THANK YOU ndole_mbnd for your quick response!)

    When healthy and flexible I spent a whole day boring a hole for the HughesNet dish pole. Got down 16" before giving up. Soil is 90% shale rock 10% dirt. Concrete was used in it and the two support arms, staked with rebar, made it stable so I offered it as a possible mount location as I now use Sprint Mobile Broadband, but unfortunately the tree blocked the needed sky.

    For those appreciating "funky" the distant pole at the top of the picture above the slide-out would embarrass me, but probably make you smile. It's a 15' aluminum windsurf mast with a large AR rotator on top for my 2m Ham beam. It's hose clamped to the RV's roof ladder. So far (with fingers crossed) it's survived 50mph gusts. The other 15' windsurf mast hose clamped to the slide-out is carbon fiber painted silver to protect from UV rays. It holds a police scanner antenna and weather station anemometer.

    Here's a better look at the installation. Until I got up close to the new dish I had no feel for how much larger it is than the old circular Sony I traveled with. I understand now how it needs substantial "meat" to lag the base into.

    I still feel a bit short changed. The BLAME ... I believe begins with the pre-install email from DirecTV telling me to plan for 2 to 4 hours. I was setup to expect more time than I got. The installer was here only about an hour and seemed anxious to leave every second.

    (I wrote the above some time ago when I'd started this reply which was then delayed. Now after reading further comments made here it seems installers too have justification to feel short changed. Seems lot is expected of them without enough return.)

    It wasn't long ago I was a self reliant "handyman" that could take care of stuff around the house and service my cars. Things changed quickly. I bought a computerized vehicle and I got old and handicapped. Insecurity is part of what I feel when I have to count on someone to do what I once could do myself. I've also developed a skeptical "skin" to protect from being taken advantage of. Knowing this I try to balance my opinion of what I get from service compared to what I expect.

    I have some of my complaints that I don't think unreasonable. My installer tried to connect the new coax to my old outside my RV with a splice. I didn't like that so made him use to old to drag the new one inside. He didn't setup DD audio or set screen size to 16x9 in the HR24 setup menus. My "lesson" beyond getting the guide on-screen was ... "Do you have any questions?" When I did asking, "How do I get closed captions?" He showed me a multi step process thru system setup. He didn't know the two step "yellow button" solution I found on my own. When I asked about instruction material he said, "Oh." then dug the manual out of the box he'd been prepared to haul out. What "ticked" me most was him not putting a "splice" connector between the in/out OTA coax he'd disconnected from my old box so I lost the extra digital channels the outside antenna gave me. Painfully down on hands and knees I found the problem and put in a "splice connector." But, in doing so I lost the optical "wire" going to the amp. It slipped behind the equipment shelf console. It took me over 30 minutes to fish out and re-connect it. For a young guy like the installer it would have been a piece of cake. For me the unusual body gyrations cost me a day and a half hardly being able to move ... even with extra Vicodin.

    When I told him my concern for a good dish ground (I'd read problems of poor ones online) he said for RV's it was usually connected to the frame. Actually I don't think he'd planned to do one at all. Anyway I explained the RV Park's underground water system was plastic (known by shutoffs to repair breaks) so I suggested a spot on the electrical box. He put it here and I wonder what you guy's think of it and grounding in general.

    The best part of this was finding you guys and the pleasant service I got from DirecTV's phone CSR's. A gal named Kendra was especially helpful and not only for giving me 3 months of "Showtime." After the chat with her the next day I got a follow-up call to see if I was satisfied. After my attitude change I am ... and I'm now LOVIN the capabilities of the new HR24. WHY didn't I do this sooner?
  5. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

    Nov 13, 2007
    The ground is fine. That's a UL-approved meter clamp, and approved 10 gauge solid copper wire. It appears to be fully up to code, in an environment (trailer park) where very little usually is.
  6. ndole

    ndole Problem Solver

    Aug 26, 2009
    No problem at all. Enjoy!
  7. Beerstalker

    Beerstalker Hall Of Fame

    Feb 9, 2009
    Peoria, IL
    Glad to hear you are happy. As far as I know the tech should have taken the time to set up your box correctly (or at least setting it up for 16:9, and programming your TV volume to work), but that is just from my experience. Sounds like he probably was overbooked for the day and tried to make up a little extra time on your install. The fact that you knew about stuff like the grounding etc. probably made him think you knew a lot and would rather just set the box up on your own (I personally prefer to and let the techs know that).

    One thing I would like more clarification on though is this "splice" you added in with your OTA antenna. You aren't trying to connect your OTA antenna into the same wiring as your DirecTV signal are you?
  8. inkahauts

    inkahauts Well-Known Member

    Nov 13, 2006
  9. Haviland

    Haviland New Member

    Jul 21, 2007
    Beerstalker - Sorry I must have missed notification of your post. My old DirecTV box had a pass-through I think it's called with a OTA antenna input and output. The installer disconnected those and left 'em hanging. I added a splice connector. Easy enough, but in doing that the optical "wire" to the amp disappeared behind the cabinet. Fishing it out was what got difficult.
  10. Scott Kocourek

    Scott Kocourek Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2009
    I'm not an installer but I thought you could appreciate this one.

    Sent from my HTC Desire using DBSTalk

    Attached Files:



    Dec 11, 2006
    Long Island, NY
    I wonder if the vaccum has anything to do with the signal :lol:
  12. Scott Kocourek

    Scott Kocourek Well-Known Member

    Jun 13, 2009
    The rest of the yard looks just like the part shown in the picture, sorry about the quality it was taken while moving with my phone. I drove past this house about 25 times today and before I left I slowed way down to grab the shot.
  13. Nick

    Nick Retired, part-time PITA DBSTalk Club

    Apr 23, 2002
    I don't even know where to start...

  14. houskamp

    houskamp Active Member

    Sep 14, 2006
    At least it's grounded :lol:
  15. houskamp

    houskamp Active Member

    Sep 14, 2006
    been there done that.. stairs suck.. of course I screwed down the base of the ladder..
  16. prestone683

    prestone683 Legend

    Aug 16, 2010

    I know where to stop. About ten minutes before even thinking about doing something stupid like that.

    I might be dumb, but I ain't stupid...
  17. Mike Bertelson

    Mike Bertelson 6EQUJ5 WOW! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 24, 2007
    Wow, just wow. :ewww:

    I wonder how he explain the workers comp claim. :D

  18. Herdfan

    Herdfan Well-Known Member

    Mar 18, 2006
    You're making the assumption that he has workers comp. My guess is that he is a trunk slammer working off the books.:nono2:
  19. raoul5788

    raoul5788 Guest

    May 13, 2006
    You guys do realize he is doing drywall, not dishes, yes?
  20. Avder

    Avder Hall Of Fame

    Feb 6, 2010
    I think it falls into the universal "DONT DO THIS OR YOURE AN IDIOT" category, which every professional should see. :p

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