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· New Member
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Guys,

I am attempting cancellation of DirecTV because I am very dissatisfied with the reception. Ever since they installed the 5 LNB dish, my reception level on all satellites is less than 75, where with the old 2 LNB it used to be 90+. I was told by DirecTV tech that "this is normal" for this new satellite.

The end result is that I am losing picture on both cloudy days and light rain, which is just unacceptable.

I called to cancel and was told I would have to pay $12.50 x 20 (unpaid contract term) plus $300 x 2 for my two receivers - EVEN IF I RETURN THEM.

Can DirecTV do this? Do you have any tips for how I might be able to get out of this contract with minimal penalty?

Thanks,

Brian
 

· Mentor
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You can argue they did not meet their end of the bargain -- acceptable service -- therefore you have a right to cancel. Unless your contract has specific language stating you have to accept crappy service, you probably are on solid legal ground.

Even if such language is in the contract, a court might throw it out anyway if it felt you were being cheated.

If you can't convince them over the phone, put in writing to them in a nice, proper business letter. Get someone to help you write it, if you aren't sure how to go about it. Whatever you do, takes notes and keep copies and don't threaten anything or anyone.

Good luck.
 

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bguild said:
Guys,

I am attempting cancellation of DirecTV because I am very dissatisfied with the reception. Ever since they installed the 5 LNB dish, my reception level on all satellites is less than 75, where with the old 2 LNB it used to be 90+. I was told by DirecTV tech that "this is normal" for this new satellite.

The end result is that I am losing picture on both cloudy days and light rain, which is just unacceptable.

I called to cancel and was told I would have to pay $12.50 x 20 (unpaid contract term) plus $300 x 2 for my two receivers - EVEN IF I RETURN THEM.

Can DirecTV do this? Do you have any tips for how I might be able to get out of this contract with minimal penalty?

Thanks,

Brian
You might want to read your D* agreement. You can find it here. It cleary explains early termination and how to dispute anything related to D*.
 

· DBSTalk Club Member
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bguild said:
my reception level on all satellites is less than 75, where with the old 2 LNB it used to be 90+. I was told by DirecTV tech that "this is normal" for this new satellite.
Thanks,
Brian
Brian - This is BS. I am getting better reception with the 5 LNB dish than I was with the old dish (I am in Mass also). This sounds like another lazy or incompetent installer, DTV should fix the issue or let you off the hook on the commitment.
 

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Hi,
I would agree with Dave, you should call in and set up a service call, and specificly request a lead tech or a tech sup to come out and look at the install.
 

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bguild said:
I called to cancel and was told I would have to pay $12.50 x 20 (unpaid contract term) plus $300 x 2 for my two receivers - EVEN IF I RETURN THEM.

Can DirecTV do this? Do you have any tips for how I might be able to get out of this contract with minimal penalty?
bguild,

Welcome to DBSTalk! :welcome_s

(sorry for the length :))

My first instinct was the same as Wolffpack's (happens quite a bit actually :)). I'm assuming you've complained about your reception issues? When the H20 boxes first came out, the signal meters in them tended to read around 20 points lower than the previous boxes with the signal strnegth being the same (similar to a thermometer reading 32 degrees using one scale and zero degrees using another scale, but both giving the same reading of "freezing"). It's my understanding that a software upgrade "recalibrated" the signal meter so they should all be reading around the same (within a few points - in your case, around the 90s).

If you are still getting readings of 70ish, I would think a check/tweak of the dish alignment would be in order. If you still have 20 months remaining on your commitment period, your dish install really wasn't that long ago. What have they said with regard to sending a tech to check your alignment? After 90 days past install, it may cost you a $70 service call to have it checked (unless you are covered under the $5.99 a month Protection Plan). At this point, if it was a dish pointing problem, would you be willing to stay if that problem was resolved?

Aside from that, the commitment terms pretty clearly state that early termination will result in charges. The charges for that early termination work out to $12.50 a month for the term remaining, as they have quoted you. If the equipment you have is leased, there is a requirement that you return the equipment to DirecTv upon cancellation of your account (they should actually send you FedEx boxes with pre-paid delivery charges so it should cost you nothing). If you do return the equipment, there should be no charges above the $250 for early termination (which is about the best you'd be able to do).

If the equipment is leased and you DO NOT return it to DirecTv, there is an additional "Non-Return Fee" - what they are quoting as $300 most likely. That should NOT be charged if you actually return the equipment. Whoever told you it would be charged even if you returned the equipment is either mistaken, or just plain wrong (unless there is still a balance of around $300 owing on your account or something along those lines).

The least expensive solution to your troubles would be to have a tech come out and check/realign your dish. I realize this may not be a real desirable solution if you are to the point where nothing will get you back. If you are covered by the D* Protection Plan, this should not cost you anything.

If you are not covered, a service call costs you $70. You might be able to agree to sign up for the plan and set up a service call right away, which would cost you $30 (the standard when signing up for this plan is a 30 day wait period from the time you sign up for the plan until it takes effect). D* is not obligated to offer this, but depending on your situation, you may be able to do that. It would also obligate you to keep the plan for some period of time. I'm not sure if it's just a month minimum or more than that, so you'd want to check that first.

Did you actually talk to someone in the Retention Department, or one of the first tier CSRs (the ones who answer the call first)? If you were not transferred to Retention and speak with someone from there, I would call back and ask to speak with someone in that department.

Good luck with your situation. If the information you got is based on just one phone call you placed about it, I would definitely try calling back. Unfortunately, sometimes a little "CSR Roullette" is required to actually talk with someone who can help you out rather than just give you the run-around.
 

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Hi,
Actualy the cost of a service call depends on how far after the install you're talking about, within 90 days of the install, the service call would be covered under a warranty.
 

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bguild said:
Ever since they installed the 5 LNB dish, my reception level on all satellites is less than 75, where with the old 2 LNB it used to be 90+.
You waited too long to get free relief in the form of re-peaks, but you didn't wait long enough that DirecTV is worried about losing you.

Because the Equipment Lease Addendum says that you'll be charged $12.50/month, you shouldn't be surprised.

Your best shot is to work through the State AG or BBB and claim that they wouldn't make it right.
 

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Dalek1963 said:
Hi,
Actualy the cost of a service call depends on how far after the install you're talking about, within 90 days of the install, the service call would be covered under a warranty.
I agree. I was writing under the context of this situation (actually kind of mixing - giving "generalities") where he has 20 months left, so it would have been beyond the 90 days. Good information to make sure people are aware of, though. Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Guys, I really appreciate the advice. I don't know about you guys but since 2004 when I joined D* I have had about 4 dead receivers (combination of 2 Tivos, 1 HD tuner, 1 standard tuner), 2 dead multiswitches, and some cabling issues. Early on, I learned it was smart to buy the service plan. So, I will call and use it again. It's just very frusterating and inconvenient - I generally make a D* service call once every 6 months, and I just don't think that is acceptable for something like TV that should be reliable. Maybe I am just old school, but it just doesn't seem right.
 

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bguild said:
Guys, I really appreciate the advice. I don't know about you guys but since 2004 when I joined D* I have had about 4 dead receivers (combination of 2 Tivos, 1 HD tuner, 1 standard tuner), 2 dead multiswitches, and some cabling issues. Early on, I learned it was smart to buy the service plan. So, I will call and use it again. It's just very frusterating and inconvenient - I generally make a D* service call once every 6 months, and I just don't think that is acceptable for something like TV that should be reliable. Maybe I am just old school, but it just doesn't seem right.
sorry you are having troubles such as this. It seems to me that whoever put up the dish didn't do it right. In DTV's defense, issues like dead boxes aren't really their fault, because they don't make them. And be careful with dropping them. Many of us are with DirecTV because of how poor customer service was with cable. And how poorly/slowly they added channels (do they do that at all?). We all pay good money for DTV, and should be satisfied.

I would never pay $70 for a service call, especially that close to the install. ***** enough and they will waive the fee.

Good luck.
 

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rutgersfan said:
In DTV's defense, issues like dead boxes aren't really their fault, because they don't make them.
Dead wrong. DOA and unreliable equipment that is made for DirecTV to their specifications, trademarked with their name, and sold and distributed only thru them is most assuredly "their fault." They are the manufacturer's customer, and the subscriber is DirecTV's customer. DirecTV is responsible for the quality of the equipment and service that they deliver. If DirecTV want to go back on the manufacturer, that is between those two entities and those two only.

You don't see Sony directly recalling all those flaming laptop batteries from the consumers, do you? The laptop manufacturers themselves are issuing the recalls, and they are going after Sony. It's the same thing.
 

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The signal levels in the menu means nothing really.

But if the programming doesn't work it is an issue, just don't stare yourself blind on the numbers.

It looks to me like you are just trying to find a way out. But I am sure a tech will be there to fix it before the contract is broken up.
 

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TreeFarm said:
Dead wrong. DOA and unreliable equipment that is made for DirecTV to their specifications, trademarked with their name, and sold and distributed only thru them is most assuredly "their fault." They are the manufacturer's customer, and the subscriber is DirecTV's customer. DirecTV is responsible for the quality of the equipment and service that they deliver.
Ummm, somewhat wrong. It is D*s responsibility (as you do mention), not necessarily their fault.
 

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Mertzen said:
The signal levels in the menu means nothing really.

But if the programming doesn't work it is an issue, just don't stare yourself blind on the numbers.

It looks to me like you are just trying to find a way out. But I am sure a tech will be there to fix it before the contract is broken up.
Please tell me you aren't being serious. The signal levels mean everything. I can get a picture with about 40 percent signal level. However, I will lose the picture if I fart while standing next to the dish.
 

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TigersFanJJ said:
Please tell me you aren't being serious. The signal levels mean everything. I can get a picture with about 40 percent signal level. However, I will lose the picture if I fart while standing next to the dish.
They don't mean anything in the context of this discussion [ ie 75 vs 90% on a different dish / receiver ]. As long as you get a steady level and uninterupted picture all is well. There is a DTV guide for 70% which you will get in most cases but if all is well with 65 that might be all there is to get.

I was merely pointing out that they are just numbers. No need to bite my head off.:nono2:
 

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Mertzen said:
They don't mean anything in the context of this discussion [ ie 75 vs 90% on a different dish / receiver ]. As long as you get a steady level and uninterupted picture all is well. There is a DTV guide for 70% which you will get in most cases but if all is well with 65 that might be all there is to get.
But the OP isn't getting a dependable picture. Post #1 states his new signal #'s on his new dish are < 75 and he looses the picture when it's cloudy or with light rain. That's were the signal strength #'s do mean something.
 

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Dang I guess I kicked the wrong bucket here eh. I am sure a tech can come over and realign the dish and all will be well.
 

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Mertzen said:
They don't mean anything in the context of this discussion [ ie 75 vs 90% on a different dish / receiver ]. As long as you get a steady level and uninterupted picture all is well. There is a DTV guide for 70% which you will get in most cases but if all is well with 65 that might be all there is to get.

I was merely pointing out that they are just numbers. No need to bite my head off.:nono2:
Sorry, I didn't mean for it to sound as if I were biting your head off. However, you will lose your picture sooner with a 75% reading than with a 90+ reading. I would check the signals with a SD receiver first, before I called dtv just to make sure it's not a false reading. Dtv standard is anything above 70%, but I won't leave a jobsite until I get a reading of 90% or better.
 
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