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· Mentor
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So D* called last week & left msg to tell me to my H20-600 was going to self-destruct and we need to send it back. I called the number given - was only on hold for a few minutes - and cut a deal with the fellow to instead send us an HR20 for $100, since the wife had been asking about a DVR in the MBR. But I was absolutely clear that the unit had to have an ATSC tuner, since our market (Roanoke) doesn't yet have HD locals. Three times I made sure he understood this. Well yesterday evening there were 2 boxes sitting on the front porch - a refurb H20, which I did not order, and an HR21, which of course does not have an ATSC tuner.

I was dreading the call to straighten it out. But to my (initially) pleasant surprise, D* (or so I thought) instead called me "to make sure I had a positive experience last week when I called". I explained the snafu and that we could make everything right if they could just send me an AM21 (add-on ATSC tuner for the HR21). The CSR was not aware of the H20-600 recall, and didn't know what an AM21 is. I was put on hold for 10 min. while her supervisor was summoned. I went through the whole story again. He didn't know about the recall or the AM21 either. Was asked to be put on hold again. I asked if he could call me back so I wouldn't have to hold the phone to my ear another 10 min. He said he was only an outsource and could not place calls. So I was not speaking with D*. After another 5 min. he came back on and said I'd have to call D* - he explained I could get to technical support by dialing 800-531-5000 and press 0 twice.

I was fired up at this point so I went ahead and called D*. Of course the shortcut didn't work, and after what seemed like looping 3x through the phone ladder (and pressing the technical support number each time) I finally got someone. Explained the problem again. Asked if he was aware of the H20-600 recall. He wasn't. I said "you're in technical support and don't know about this recall?" He said he was not in TS. Steam was beginning to come out of my ears - at this point I was about 45 min. into CSR hell. So I asked if he could just send me an AM21 and I'll send both H20s back and call it even. He asked to put me on hold. I asked if he could call me back. He said no and would just be a moment. 15 min. later he came back on and confirmed that the AM21 would work with the HR21 (duh!) but that I would have to speak to someone in tech support to work out a resolution. Sigh. 5 min. more on hold. Another CSR. First verified she was in TS - she was. Told my story again (4th time). She was not aware of the H20-600 recall (??!!). But she did say she could send me an AM21. Outstanding! But she had to put me on hold for a moment. This was all I could take. I said no I'm not going to wait you have my number call me back if you need good bye.

We'll see what happens. If they want me to pay for the AM21 I don't know what I'll do - of course I won't pay but I may also have to cut ties after 8 yrs. Dish has a call center locally and a buddy has been trying to get me to switch for years.

What is puzzling to me is it seems these marathon phone call sessions are instigated by D* itself. Last December I made the terrible mistake of accepting an offer from (3rd party outsourcer it turns out) D* to go with a premier package, including the last 4 wks of ST, for free until 3/1/08. Well we lost HD and 1/2 of our channels and it took me 2 weeks and probably 4 hours on the phone until I finally was able to speak to someone who could straighten out our account.

I would also like to say that I realize the CSRs are people with jobs and they're trapped in a system just like me. I always say "its not personal", but ask that they understand my frustration and try to help me. But they just don't seem to have the authority to do anything.

Final bit of advice - DO NOT DEAL WITH OUTSOURCERS.
 

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r1ga said:
So D* called last week & left msg to tell me to my H20-600 was going to self-destruct and we need to send it back. I called the number given - was only on hold for a few minutes - and cut a deal with the fellow to instead send us an HR20 for $100, since the wife had been asking about a DVR in the MBR. But I was absolutely clear that the unit had to have an ATSC tuner, since our market (Roanoke) doesn't yet have HD locals. Three times I made sure he understood this. Well yesterday evening there were 2 boxes sitting on the front porch - a refurb H20, which I did not order, and an HR21, which of course does not have an ATSC tuner.

I was dreading the call to straighten it out. But to my (initially) pleasant surprise, D* (or so I thought) instead called me "to make sure I had a positive experience last week when I called". I explained the snafu and that we could make everything right if they could just send me an AM21 (add-on ATSC tuner for the HR21). The CSR was not aware of the H20-600 recall, and didn't know what an AM21 is. I was put on hold for 10 min. while her supervisor was summoned. I went through the whole story again. He didn't know about the recall or the AM21 either. Was asked to be put on hold again. I asked if he could call me back so I wouldn't have to hold the phone to my ear another 10 min. He said he was only an outsource and could not place calls. So I was not speaking with D*. After another 5 min. he came back on and said I'd have to call D* - he explained I could get to technical support by dialing 800-531-5000 and press 0 twice.

I was fired up at this point so I went ahead and called D*. Of course the shortcut didn't work, and after what seemed like looping 3x through the phone ladder (and pressing the technical support number each time) I finally got someone. Explained the problem again. Asked if he was aware of the H20-600 recall. He wasn't. I said "you're in technical support and don't know about this recall?" He said he was not in TS. Steam was beginning to come out of my ears - at this point I was about 45 min. into CSR hell. So I asked if he could just send me an AM21 and I'll send both H20s back and call it even. He asked to put me on hold. I asked if he could call me back. He said no and would just be a moment. 15 min. later he came back on and confirmed that the AM21 would work with the HR21 (duh!) but that I would have to speak to someone in tech support to work out a resolution. Sigh. 5 min. more on hold. Another CSR. First verified she was in TS - she was. Told my story again (4th time). She was not aware of the H20-600 recall (??!!). But she did say she could send me an AM21. Outstanding! But she had to put me on hold for a moment. This was all I could take. I said no I'm not going to wait you have my number call me back if you need good bye.

We'll see what happens. If they want me to pay for the AM21 I don't know what I'll do - of course I won't pay but I may also have to cut ties after 8 yrs. Dish has a call center locally and a buddy has been trying to get me to switch for years.

What is puzzling to me is it seems these marathon phone call sessions are instigated by D* itself. Last December I made the terrible mistake of accepting an offer from (3rd party outsourcer it turns out) D* to go with a premier package, including the last 4 wks of ST, for free until 3/1/08. Well we lost HD and 1/2 of our channels and it took me 2 weeks and probably 4 hours on the phone until I finally was able to speak to someone who could straighten out our account.

I would also like to say that I realize the CSRs are people with jobs and they're trapped in a system just like me. I always say "its not personal", but ask that they understand my frustration and try to help me. But they just don't seem to have the authority to do anything.

Final bit of advice - DO NOT DEAL WITH OUTSOURCERS.
I feel your pain. Now I'm going to tell you something that will blow your mind. I was a Dish subsciber until early 2007. There customer service is actually worse. Imagine the general cluelessness and lack of organization by d*, then add to it the fact you are talking to someone in India whose spoken and comprehension of the english language is less then stellar. I kid you not. Why satellite call centers are so bad I'll never know. D* and E* customer service is the worst I've encountered with any companies in any type of market. I actually don't order new TV services from D* just because I dread spending anywhere from a week to a month cleaning up the mess that tends to follow any change.
 

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BlueGuy said:
Why satellite call centers are so bad I'll never know.
It's the exact same reason that Dell and HP and Lenovo call centers are so bad:

No one wants to PAY for good customer service.

Everyone wants the absolute cheapest price for everything. Yet, providing good customer service is EXPENSIVE.

You could buy a "consumer" Dell for $500, or buy a similarly-spec'd Dell from their business line for $2000. So why do businesses pay so much more? The answer is SERVICE. If you buy the expensive computer, you get US-based, commercial level support (i.e., they know what they are doing). If you buy the consumer PC, you get out-sourced India support.

In order to provide good customer service, you have to have experienced people, which means you have to pay them well enough to stay, and give them raises periodically. But companies, and worse, *investors* HATE to see Full-Time Employee labor, because it is a fixed and not easily reduced expense. They would rather you paid double the money for contractors/outsourcing that you can shut off on a whim with no financial penalty.

So... because the customers want their products and services CHEAP, and because investors hate FTE costs, call center jobs are low-pay, high-turnover, and often outsourced jobs. That is true of nearly all call center jobs in big companies, for the same reasons.
 

· Cutting Edge: ECHELON '07
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So you were finally talking to someone in tech support that could get you all fixed up after all that time and you hung up on them? Sorry but not smart. I'll bet you'll have to start all over again unfortunately.

Sorry you spent so much time but sometimes you just have to deal with it to finally get resolution and hanging up after all that will probably make you suffer even more.

Good luck though!
 

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IIP said:
It's the exact same reason that Dell and HP and Lenovo call centers are so bad:

No one wants to PAY for good customer service.

Everyone wants the absolute cheapest price for everything. Yet, providing good customer service is EXPENSIVE. In order to provide good customer service, you have to have experienced people, which means you have to pay them well enough to stay, and give them raises periodically. But companies, and worse, *investors* HATE to see Full-Time Employee labor, because it is a fixed and not easily reduced expense. They would rather you paid double the money for contractors/outsourcing that you can shut off on a whim with no financial penalty.

So... because the customers want their products and services CHEAP, and because investors hate FTE costs, call center jobs are low-pay, high-turnover, and often outsourced jobs. That is true of nearly all call center jobs in big companies, for the same reasons.
This is 100% true all the way.
 

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IIP said:
So... because the customers want their products and services CHEAP, and because investors hate FTE costs, call center jobs are low-pay, high-turnover, and often outsourced jobs. That is true of nearly all call center jobs in big companies, for the same reasons.
+1
You have that 100% correct. This is what happens when customer service becomes a wholly controlled entity of the bean counters. They build draconian scoring systems that track the performance of every burp or sneeze on the phone and belittle the underpaid call center workers to death with it. They decide that a certain formula is what will keep the customer happy and to an extent they may be right, but you cant quantify happiness or enforce it with a script. You can only try to meet the needs of every customer and this is where D* fails. Not because they outsource, not because they cant get the messages across to their CSR, not because they don't train. It is because they have it in their head that its 'cheaper' for them to train a group of CSR quick and dirty, have one knowledgeable supervisor to help them, toss in some oversight and bingo you have a CSR system.

Sorry it doesn't work well that way especially as evidenced here lately. The problem is getting D* to see past the bean counter holding up the sign saying that its cheaper to train a new CSR and get a month or two of frustrated labor out of them than to train a CSR who can actually help the customer and who will stick around and become a D* advocate.

The old phrase stuff* rolls down hill is true, and if you keep giving your CSR Stuff* reasons to stay they will continue to give your customers the same.

Stuff* was used because to prevent offending anyone but I am sure yall know what I mean.
 

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IIP said:
It's the exact same reason that Dell and HP and Lenovo call centers are so bad:

No one wants to PAY for good customer service.

Everyone wants the absolute cheapest price for everything. Yet, providing good customer service is EXPENSIVE. In order to provide good customer service, you have to have experienced people, which means you have to pay them well enough to stay, and give them raises periodically. But companies, and worse, *investors* HATE to see Full-Time Employee labor, because it is a fixed and not easily reduced expense. They would rather you paid double the money for contractors/outsourcing that you can shut off on a whim with no financial penalty.

So... because the customers want their products and services CHEAP, and because investors hate FTE costs, call center jobs are low-pay, high-turnover, and often outsourced jobs. That is true of nearly all call center jobs in big companies, for the same reasons.
I agree with what you've said above wholeheartedly but still argue that the satellite companies are far and away the worst offenders of a sorry lot. Lousy call center service is something we are all subjected too from many industries but never have I had as consistently bad a service from a cable, phone, or internet company as I get from D* and what I got from E*. They are at a level all by themselves.
 

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What D* needs to Do is a cost analysis of how many of the freebies they give out a month are directly a result of a bad CSR experience. I would be willing to bet better than 60% of their freebies are a result of customers claiming a bad CSR experience. If they spent the money on the CSR instead of the freebies it would save them in the long run because no matter what freebie you give a angry customer they will always remember the bad experience.
 

· Mentor
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
rahlquist said:
+1
You have that 100% correct. This is what happens when customer service becomes a wholly controlled entity of the bean counters.
When companies merge its almost always for 1 or both of the following reasons:

-cut costs by eliminating "duplicate" services (i.e., halve the CSR/customer ratio)
-eliminate competition
 

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rahlquist said:
What D* needs to Do is a cost analysis of how many of the freebies they give out a month are directly a result of a bad CSR experience. I would be willing to bet better than 60% of their freebies are a result of customers claiming a bad CSR experience. If they spent the money on the CSR instead of the freebies it would save them in the long run because no matter what freebie you give a angry customer they will always remember the bad experience.
Positive word of mouth advertising versus negative word of mouth advertising.

Negative "WINS" every time.

The only thing that "saves" DIRECTV is that there are more negatives with cable and DNetwork from what I read online. That is so sad and thats my .02 cents.
 

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bonscott87 said:
This is 100% true all the way.
rahlquist said:
+1
You have that 100% correct......
Not quite 100%. I had a great experience with a U.S.-based Canon tech support call center about a printer problem the other day. He knew all the software eccentricities of this multi-function printer cold, none of which were covered in the troubleshooting section of the printed owner's manual. The call was followed up with a highly CSR-specific and mercifully short e-mail questionnaire from Canon. He got all "10's" from me.
 

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K4SMX said:
Not quite 100%. I had a great experience with a U.S.-based Canon tech support call center about a printer problem the other day. He knew all the software eccentricities of this multi-function printer cold, none of which were covered in the troubleshooting section of the printed owner's manual. The call was followed up with a highly CSR-specific and mercifully short e-mail questionnaire from Canon. He got all "10's" from me.
And I'll bet the next time you are in the market for consumer electronics, Canon will be at the top of your list!:)
 

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r1ga said:
I explained the snafu and that we could make everything right if they could just send me an AM21 (add-on ATSC tuner for the HR21). The CSR was not aware of the H20-600 recall, and didn't know what an AM21 is. I was put on hold for 10 min. while her supervisor was summoned. I went through the whole story again. He didn't know about the recall or the AM21 either. Was asked to be put on hold again. I asked if he could call me back so I wouldn't have to hold the phone to my ear another 10 min. He said he was only an outsource and could not place calls. So I was not speaking with D*. After another 5 min. he came back on and said I'd have to call D* - he explained I could get to technical support by dialing 800-531-5000 and press 0 twice.

I was fired up at this point so I went ahead and called D*. Of course the shortcut didn't work, and after what seemed like looping 3x through the phone ladder (and pressing the technical support number each time) I finally got someone. Explained the problem again. Asked if he was aware of the H20-600 recall. He wasn't. I said "you're in technical support and don't know about this recall?" He said he was not in TS. Steam was beginning to come out of my ears - at this point I was about 45 min. into CSR hell. So I asked if he could just send me an AM21 and I'll send both H20s back and call it even. He asked to put me on hold. I asked if he could call me back. He said no and would just be a moment. 15 min. later he came back on and confirmed that the AM21 would work with the HR21 (duh!) but that I would have to speak to someone in tech support to work out a resolution. Sigh. 5 min. more on hold. Another CSR. First verified she was in TS - she was. Told my story again (4th time). She was not aware of the H20-600 recall (??!!). But she did say she could send me an AM21. Outstanding! But she had to put me on hold for a moment. This was all I could take. I said no I'm not going to wait you have my number call me back if you need good bye.
I believe part of the problem might be that they can't order an AM21 for you until you have a compatible receiver (i.e. HR21) activated on your account. Also, they aren't ever going to call you back. The CSR's, even those that are D* employees and not outsourced, probably don't even have the ability to do that. They are actually under tremendous pressure to close their calls in a short period of time, and once they hang up the phone, their computer system is likely already routing another call. Unfortunately, you should have held the line until the order was completed and you were given an order number. I'll be the CSR just cancelled out of the screen when you hung up. Check online or call to see if there is an active order on your account.
 

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bonscott87 said:
So you were finally talking to someone in tech support that could get you all fixed up after all that time and you hung up on them? Sorry but not smart. I'll bet you'll have to start all over again unfortunately.

Sorry you spent so much time but sometimes you just have to deal with it to finally get resolution and hanging up after all that will probably make you suffer even more.

Good luck though!
Agreed. They can't call you back, so they won't. At some point you're going to have to initiate the call and start all over.

I was on the phone with D* for a few hours last week when I had a billing snafu. Spoke with a total of 8 different people. Was it frustrating? Sure. Did I get mad about it? No, just about every company I deal with has this issue. I certainly wouldn't drop my provider over it.
 

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This is off the beaten track a bit but I want to mention a company I frequently have contact with- Black Box Corporation. It's more business/industrial related than consumer but neverthe less they have the best cusomer service I've ever dealt with.

Whenever there's a problem or question I go to their website, click the support link, enter my phone number, and within 30 seconds the phone rings. OK, you might think there's just some "operator" on the other end. Nope, it's a tech support person ready to help immediately.

If that person can't help I'm transferred immediately to someone more knowledgable in that area.

I'd love to see Directv pull something like that off.
 

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diggerg56 said:
This is off the beaten track a bit but I want to mention a company I frequently have contact with- Black Box Corporation. It's more business/industrial related than consumer but neverthe less they have the best cusomer service I've ever dealt with.

Whenever there's a problem or question I go to their website, click the support link, enter my phone number, and within 30 seconds the phone rings. OK, you might think there's just some "operator" on the other end. Nope, it's a tech support person ready to help immediately.

If that person can't help I'm transferred immediately to someone more knowledgable in that area.

I'd love to see Directv pull something like that off.
Though from what I recall of Black Box you do pay a premium for their products. Not that I wouldn't be willing to pay a premium for better service.
 

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diggerg56 said:
This is off the beaten track a bit but I want to mention a company I frequently have contact with- Black Box Corporation. It's more business/industrial related than consumer but neverthe less they have the best cusomer service I've ever dealt with.

Whenever there's a problem or question I go to their website, click the support link, enter my phone number, and within 30 seconds the phone rings. OK, you might think there's just some "operator" on the other end. Nope, it's a tech support person ready to help immediately.

If that person can't help I'm transferred immediately to someone more knowledgable in that area.

I'd love to see Directv pull something like that off.
Actually, I've had good results e-mailing D*. I had an issue with some credits not appearing on my bill so I emailed them. I had a response within 30 minutes and all was corrected.

As for phone support, I had an issue with an Apple iPod once. I called and was 30 minutes into the diagnostics when my cell phone died. Within a minute, my home phone rang and it was the Apple CSR - he had looked up my number based on my iTunes registration. I was quite amazed at that, and then how easy it was to handle the warranty replacement. It *almost* made me want to switch from Windows to Mac (almost).
 

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diggerg56 said:
This is off the beaten track a bit but I want to mention a company I frequently have contact with- Black Box Corporation. It's more business/industrial related than consumer but neverthe less they have the best cusomer service I've ever dealt with.

<snip>

I'd love to see Directv pull something like that off.
Black Box charges between 2-5 times the prices of other companies for equivalent products. That's a LOT more money. Now, many businesses are happy to pay it because they get value from the SERVICE that comes with those premium prices.

At the consumer level, you just aren't going to find enough people willing to pay that kind of premium to make it worth it. Ask Voom; they'll tell you.

Would you be willing to double your DirecTV bill to get great customer service? Personally, I've had DirecTV for a decade and have probably spent less than 20 minutes on the phone with them regarding my account in all that time, so it certainly wouldn't be of much value to me. Obviously, folks who have serious customer service issues might feel differently, but few would still feel strongly enough that they'd be willing to double their bill. And that's the point.

In the 1950s, you used to pull into a gas station and someone would fill up your car, wash your windows, and check your oil. You paid for that with higher gas prices. Folks no longer value that service, so it no longer exists.
 

· AllStar
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I've been a DirecTV subscriber for a little over 5 years now.

I have to say I have had nothing but excellent customer customer service from them. Whenever I have called I have had things handled in a quick and timely manner usually beyond my expectations.
 
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