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· AllStar
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Please excuse me if this has been brought up before. I haven't been here long and haven't searched the forum for a similar thread.

I recently had an HR21-100 installed as a free upgrade. Within a few days it stopped receiving a signal. I was getting 100 or near in my other receivers and absolute "0" on the problematic one.

The message would be "Acquiring data...", and selecting "more info" would give generic instructions to verify signal disturbance and to call about 772 at last resort. I called and the CSR quickly offered to send out a "new" one at no charge via FedEx.

I then received this email:

Thank you for choosing DIRECTV and accepting our equipment lease (or purchase) offer for current customers. Enclosed with your replacement DIRECTV Plus® HD DVR, you will find instructions on how to set up and activate your replacement DIRECTV Plus® HD DVR. Please note that the receiver may be reconditioned and the brand and model is at the discretion of DIRECTV.

If you receive a pre-paid FedEx air bill (on the bottom of the box) you are required to return your defective receiver. Please use the box provided and attach the air bill. Call 1-800-Go FedEx (1-800-463-3339) to request a pick-up or take it to your nearest FedEx drop-off location. A $470 fee will be charged to your DIRECTV account if the old receiver is not returned to DIRECTV within 7 days. If you did not receive a pre-paid FedEx air bill, you do not need to return your old receiver and the fee will not be applied to your account.

You're all set! Thanks again for participating in our offer.
Is this legal?
 

· AllStar
Joined
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Sending it back isn't an issue. I question the amount, which seems excessive, the time frame, which seems inadequate, and the fact that they may send me refurbished equipment at their discretion. In fact, I wonder whether this one was refurbished because the model on the box had an "N" at the end and no manuals or packaging.
 

· The Shadow Knows!
Joined
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36,634 Posts
If it had "NC" at the end that just means it ships without cables, as they presume you'll be able to use the ones they sent you last time.

It sounds like you're describing DIRECTV's standard operating procedure. Make a copy of the Fedex sticker so you can track it, and it should be ok. Receivers are returned this way all the time :)
 

· AllStar
Joined
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Stuart Sweet said:
If it had "NC" at the end that just means it ships without cables, as they presume you'll be able to use the ones they sent you last time.

It sounds like you're describing DIRECTV's standard operating procedure. Make a copy of the Fedex sticker so you can track it, and it should be ok. Receivers are returned this way all the time :)
Thank you Stuart.

Is it common for these to [email protected] out like this?
 

· Superfly
Joined
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4,572 Posts
Not uncommon, but not common, either. How's that for a terrible answer?

It would be an interesting poll, but my gut says that most folks nave never had a defective receiver.

And one other thing you mentioned upthread, since you don't own it, it is not unusual for them to replace defective receivers with reconditioned ones. They also replace them with brand new ones. It can be either.

And one other, other thing. The $470 amount is right around what DirecTV says it costs them to make a box, but I don't think that's what created that price. It has to be high enough to make you go out of your way to return the defective receiver and yet low enough that if you don't, they have a likelyhood of getting the money from you for it. Just a guess on this, though.
 

· Hall Of Fame
Joined
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4,266 Posts
HDinMA said:
Sending it back isn't an issue. I question the amount, which seems excessive, the time frame, which seems inadequate, and the fact that they may send me refurbished equipment at their discretion. In fact, I wonder whether this one was refurbished because the model on the box had an "N" at the end and no manuals or packaging.
I guess your concern is that you paid $99-$199 to buy a "new" receiver that they are replacing just days later with a refurb. In reality, you didn't "buy" the receiver. The price you paid was an up-front lease fee and it could have gotten you a brand new DVR or a refurb to begin with.

This is similar to the way cable boxes are handled. With cable, you might get lucky and get a brand-new box, but you may also get a refurb. The difference between D* and cable is that cable companies charge more each month for renting more advanced equipment. For example, they may charge $5/mo for a standard box, $10 for an HD box, and $15 for an HD-DVR. D* doesn't charge anything for the first receiver, and then $4.99 for each additional receiver, no matter its capabilities. They cover the cost of the advanced features through the up-front lease fee. You pay more up-front as you go from SD receiver to SD-DVR to HD receiver to HD-DVR, but the monthly fee is the same.
 

· AllStar
Joined
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all for the feedback. Much appreciated. :)

Here's a little update.

First off, I understand the whole lease concept and that they are merely replacing my rented receiver. Satellite TV seems to be going the way of cell phone coverage with leases, contracts and such to retain recurring revenue and I understand fully why they are doing this -- because it's become a highly competitive market and, well, then can! lol

This was NOT the case with my HR10-250, and I made that clear to them to waive the lease fee scam after I bought it on newegg a few years back, but I now bite the bullet and succumb to what we all have to these days, unfortunately.

Secondly, I received the new receiver yesterday (an HR21NC-200) and activated it and so far so good. The instructions accompanying the DVR also specified I would be responsible to pay up to $470, depending on the model. So that makes more sense to me.

I'm not sure, but I think my particular setup may have contributed to the problem. Let me explain...

The tech who installed my new 5LNB dish did not install a multi-switch, claiming it was not on the work order and even though I specified to them that I have two DVRs and one H21, but I digress. So when the signal first came up I was getting tuner two signal errors on the TV that had only one lead going into the DVR. The Tech told me to swap the cables. I did so and the message went away. The next day we had a tropical storm come through (I live in coastal MA) and I lost the signal and figured it was simply rain haze. The only sticking point was my other receivers were fine and experiencing no interference (?) I then tried switching the cables back and forth and resetting to no avail. Finally, the signal returned and I decided to attach my complimentary AM21. All was going well but when the box went to search for local networks it hung and never came back. I let it sit four a long time and eventually I had to hit the red button. Once it came back, it entered the cycle of the "Acquiring data..." gray screen 772 loop and the thing was toast, by my estimation and the CSR's.

Now, my question is ...

Is anyone familiar with any of this to shed some light one what may have happened? I think you once again in advance.

rudeney said:
This is similar to the way cable boxes are handled. With cable, you might get lucky and get a brand-new box, but you may also get a refurb. The difference between D* and cable is that cable companies charge more each month for renting more advanced equipment. For example, they may charge $5/mo for a standard box, $10 for an HD box, and $15 for an HD-DVR. D* doesn't charge anything for the first receiver, and then $4.99 for each additional receiver, no matter its capabilities. They cover the cost of the advanced features through the up-front lease fee. You pay more up-front as you go from SD receiver to SD-DVR to HD receiver to HD-DVR, but the monthly fee is the same.
Yes, but doesn't the $9.99 HD fee replace that? Or are cable customers paying $15/month for their set top box and then an additional "HD" fee?

Seems to me that DirecTV is good at nickle & diming as anyone. I succumbed to several things. The Lease, the Sunday Ticket (I was getting MPEG2 Jets games in HD on CBS HD channel 80 until they recently unplugged it for me) and I went with the 72.99 monthly choice plus DVR, HD... blah, blah to neaten up the charges. I feel like DirecTV owns me now. lol
 

· Hall Of Fame
Joined
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1,393 Posts
HDinMA said:
Thank you all for the feedback. Much appreciated. :)

Here's a little update.

First off, I understand the whole lease concept and that they are merely replacing my rented receiver. Satellite TV seems to be going the way of cell phone coverage with leases, contracts and such to retain recurring revenue and I understand fully why they are doing this -- because it's become a highly competitive market and, well, then can! lol

This was NOT the case with my HR10-250, and I made that clear to them to waive the lease fee scam after I bought it on newegg a few years back, but I now bite the bullet and succumb to what we all have to these days, unfortunately.

Secondly, I received the new receiver yesterday (an HR21NC-200) and activated it and so far so good. The instructions accompanying the DVR also specified I would be responsible to pay up to $470, depending on the model. So that makes more sense to me.

I'm not sure, but I think my particular setup may have contributed to the problem. Let me explain...

The tech who installed my new 5LNB dish did not install a multi-switch, claiming it was not on the work order and even though I specified to them that I have two DVRs and one H21, but I digress. So when the signal first came up I was getting tuner two signal errors on the TV that had only one lead going into the DVR. The Tech told me to swap the cables. I did so and the message went away. The next day we had a tropical storm come through (I live in coastal MA) and I lost the signal and figured it was simply rain haze. The only sticking point was my other receivers were fine and experiencing no interference (?) I then tried switching the cables back and forth and resetting to no avail. Finally, the signal returned and I decided to attach my complimentary AM21. All was going well but when the box went to search for local networks it hung and never came back. I let it sit four a long time and eventually I had to hit the red button. Once it came back, it entered the cycle of the "Acquiring data..." gray screen 772 loop and the thing was toast, by my estimation and the CSR's.

Now, my question is ...

Is anyone familiar with any of this to shed some light one what may have happened? I think you once again in advance.

Yes, but doesn't the $9.99 HD fee replace that? Or are cable customers paying $15/month for their set top box and then an additional "HD" fee?

Seems to me that DirecTV is good at nickle & diming as anyone. I succumbed to several things. The Lease, the Sunday Ticket (I was getting MPEG2 Jets games in HD on CBS HD channel 80 until they recently unplugged it for me) and I went with the 72.99 monthly choice plus DVR, HD... blah, blah to neaten up the charges. I feel like DirecTV owns me now. lol
I know Mediacomm and Comcast (at least down here) charge for HD box rental fee and an additional HD access fee.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
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41,526 Posts
HDinMA said:
Thank you all for the feedback. Much appreciated. :)

Here's a little update.

First off, I understand the whole lease concept and that they are merely replacing my rented receiver. Satellite TV seems to be going the way of cell phone coverage with leases, contracts and such to retain recurring revenue and I understand fully why they are doing this -- because it's become a highly competitive market and, well, then can! lol

This was NOT the case with my HR10-250, and I made that clear to them to waive the lease fee scam after I bought it on newegg a few years back, but I now bite the bullet and succumb to what we all have to these days, unfortunately.

Secondly, I received the new receiver yesterday (an HR21NC-200) and activated it and so far so good. The instructions accompanying the DVR also specified I would be responsible to pay up to $470, depending on the model. So that makes more sense to me.

I'm not sure, but I think my particular setup may have contributed to the problem. Let me explain...

The tech who installed my new 5LNB dish did not install a multi-switch, claiming it was not on the work order and even though I specified to them that I have two DVRs and one H21, but I digress. So when the signal first came up I was getting tuner two signal errors on the TV that had only one lead going into the DVR. The Tech told me to swap the cables. I did so and the message went away. The next day we had a tropical storm come through (I live in coastal MA) and I lost the signal and figured it was simply rain haze. The only sticking point was my other receivers were fine and experiencing no interference (?) I then tried switching the cables back and forth and resetting to no avail. Finally, the signal returned and I decided to attach my complimentary AM21. All was going well but when the box went to search for local networks it hung and never came back. I let it sit four a long time and eventually I had to hit the red button. Once it came back, it entered the cycle of the "Acquiring data..." gray screen 772 loop and the thing was toast, by my estimation and the CSR's.

Now, my question is ...

Is anyone familiar with any of this to shed some light one what may have happened? I think you once again in advance.
So your HR21-200 + AM21 only has one cable feed from the dish?
Have you connected it to SAT#1?
Depending on what software you have, you may be able to rerun the SAT setup and set it up for one tuner only.
I have a HR21-200 and it been very good [which doesn't mean every one is I know].
If you've got the one cable connected to SAT 1 and a reboot doesn't get you any farther that "Aquiring...." I'd remove the network cable [if connected] and pull the power cord for 15+ min. Then plug it back in and let it "cold boot". Many times this will work.
 

· AllStar
Joined
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
veryoldschool said:
So your HR21-200 + AM21 only has one cable feed from the dish?
Have you connected it to SAT#1?
Depending on what software you have, you may be able to rerun the SAT setup and set it up for one tuner only.
I have a HR21-200 and it been very good [which doesn't mean every one is I know].
If you've got the one cable connected to SAT 1 and a reboot doesn't get you any farther that "Aquiring...." I'd remove the network cable [if connected] and pull the power cord for 15+ min. Then plug it back in and let it "cold boot". Many times this will work.
I did notice that it seems the one line must be on tuner #1 for this to work at all. The issue with my old receiver is it would not even get to the dish setup routine and would get stuck in the "Acquiring..." loop. I tried everything and received the same results every time.

BTW, the tech is coming back to hook up the 6X8 multi-switch and I hope this goes away. But reading these other threads has me concerned about the dropped recordings, 771 messages and rain-haze/reboot issues now...

Thanks for responding.
 

· Premium Member
Joined
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41,526 Posts
HDinMA said:
But reading these other threads has me concerned about the dropped recordings, 771 messages and rain-haze/reboot issues now...

Thanks for responding.
You rarely read posts of "mine is working fine" [which mine is and hasn't missed one recording in about a year since I got it].
Before the tech leaves, make sure all of your levels are good and cables, bolts are all snug/tight.
While there can be a problems with a receiver, "more times than not", I'd say the setup/install is the problem.
 

· Éminence grise
Joined
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8,457 Posts
Nobody complains when things work, but occasionally a positive report will surface. My HR20-700 hasn't missed a recording yet and I have only needed to reboot it maybe 3 times since I got it in 1/2007 (I have rebooted more than that, but not because it froze up). I have had my HR21-700 for about a year (I was one of the field testers) and it had some problems with a few missed recordings, etc., early on, but has been solid for many months. Even networking (Media Share, On Demand) has been pretty stable for me recently.
 

· Hall Of Fame
Joined
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3,254 Posts
$470 is correct. That's what DirecTV charged me last year when I had my HR20-700 replaced because of a bad OTA tuner. Techs took the bad receiver with them, but apparently didn't return the unit to DirecTV quickly enough. So, yes, the 7-day return period isn't long enough.

It took three months and multiple phone calls to get the charge removed from my bill.
 

· AllStar
Joined
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91 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
billsharpe said:
$470 is correct. That's what DirecTV charged me last year when I had my HR20-700 replaced because of a bad OTA tuner. Techs took the bad receiver with them, but apparently didn't return the unit to DirecTV quickly enough. So, yes, the 7-day return period isn't long enough.

It took three months and multiple phone calls to get the charge removed from my bill.
Yes, I can see how that could happen and wondered why only seven days?!

My biggest complaint with D* is their size and how the customer service is hit-or-miss. I do not feel this is a priority for this company as they all point fingers between corporate and tech companies, etc. We learn to expect [email protected] service and clueless CSRs. It's not always like this but a knowledgeable, honest CSR should be the rule and not the exception. I can't help thinking that they do this simply because ... they can. The alternatives are no better. Sorry to come off like such a whiner, but this subject really irritates me, as I'm sure it does you all too.
 

· Hall Of Fame
Joined
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4,266 Posts
HDinMA said:
First off, I understand the whole lease concept and that they are merely replacing my rented receiver.
In that case, you will need to send back the defective receiver they are replacing. They should send a return label for you to do that at D*'s cost.

This was NOT the case with my HR10-250, and I made that clear to them to waive the lease fee scam after I bought it on newegg a few years back, but I now bite the bullet and succumb to what we all have to these days, unfortunately.
There was some confusion on leases with the HR10's. Up until sometime in 2006, there was no such thing as a "lease". All receivers were owned, although they may have been sold with a discount requiring a minimum service commitment (similar to the way cell phones are marketed). Anyhow, there was a period of time when HR10's were being lease, so maybe you activated your during that transition time when the CSR's were learning new procedures. I'm not defending D* or its CSR's for not handling that properly, I'm just suggesting why it might have happened.

Secondly, I received the new receiver yesterday (an HR21NC-200) and activated it and so far so good. The instructions accompanying the DVR also specified I would be responsible to pay up to $470, depending on the model. So that makes more sense to me.
Yes, they want the defective HR21 back. If not, they may charge you (and it would be $470 as that's the price to convert a leased HD-DVR to an owned one).

I'm not sure, but I think my particular setup may have contributed to the problem. Let me explain...

The tech who installed my new 5LNB dish did not install a multi-switch, claiming it was not on the work order and even though I specified to them that I have two DVRs and one H21, but I digress. So when the signal first came up I was getting tuner two signal errors on the TV that had only one lead going into the DVR. The Tech told me to swap the cables. I did so and the message went away. The next day we had a tropical storm come through (I live in coastal MA) and I lost the signal and figured it was simply rain haze. The only sticking point was my other receivers were fine and experiencing no interference (?) I then tried switching the cables back and forth and resetting to no avail. Finally, the signal returned and I decided to attach my complimentary AM21. All was going well but when the box went to search for local networks it hung and never came back. I let it sit four a long time and eventually I had to hit the red button. Once it came back, it entered the cycle of the "Acquiring data..." gray screen 772 loop and the thing was toast, by my estimation and the CSR's.

Now, my question is ...

Is anyone familiar with any of this to shed some light one what may have happened? I think you once again in advance.
The installer should have installed a multiswitch. I'd definitely call D* and complain about that. If it's been within 90 days, they should fix it as a warranty on the install. If it's been longer, then I'd call and ask them to fix it anyhow as that should have been done initially. I don't believe having only one tuner connected contributed to the problems, though.

Yes, but doesn't the $9.99 HD fee replace that? Or are cable customers paying $15/month for their set top box and then an additional "HD" fee?
Cable does generally charge a STB rental fee, an HD access fee and a DVR access fee, just like D* does. Some companies charge the HD and DVR fees per STB, while others are like D* and charge per account. Most cable companies charge a higher monthly rental fee for the STB based on it's capabilities. This various by provider.

Seems to me that DirecTV is good at nickle & diming as anyone. I succumbed to several things. The Lease, the Sunday Ticket (I was getting MPEG2 Jets games in HD on CBS HD channel 80 until they recently unplugged it for me) and I went with the 72.99 monthly choice plus DVR, HD... blah, blah to neaten up the charges. I feel like DirecTV owns me now. lol
Keep in mind that with leasing, you aren't really paying any more. In fact, the up-front fees are generally less on a lease than if you bought the box, so other that not owning the unit and having to return it when you're done with it, it can be less expensive. You will always pay $4.99/mo for each additional receiver. They just call it a "lease fee" for leased receivers and a "mirror fee" for owned receivers. As for all those other services you bought into, well, I can't help you there - I like my TV, too! :)
 
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