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Has anybody recently received an unsolicited call from DirecTV offering an equipment upgrade and bill reduction? They offered to cut $35 off my package and send me a new Genie DVR, no commitment. Which is great, but I'm naturally skeptical that the company would voluntarily take less money from me. Plus, I thought that with the merger they'd be pushing me to combine bills with AT&T. They seemed to have account details right, but when it came down to the process, they wanted the cc info, which I figure they should already have. For some reason, it seems like they have to create a new account or something. I do have a phone number to call back, and it corresponds to the location he told me he was at (Brooklyn, NY) and it displays on caller ID, fwiw.

Has DirecTV done this for anybody else, or is it a weird scam?
 

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west99999 said:
Nope, no way. If they got an upgrade they got a commitment. Guaranteed!
I'm starting to get a bit concerned...one person says that DirecTV installed a second Genie, another says they got called with an offer for a Genie with no commitment and says they got the offer when they called in.

Either there's some confusion on the customer end or AT&T is making things a lot more interesting for those of us that think we know how it all works :)
 

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I think with an acquisition as large as DirecTV into AT&T, there are bound to be lot's of isolated examples of non-standard experiences. Especially if the supporting computer systems are being modified/transitioned along the way. How easy would it be for the double check "is there already a genie on this account" to not make it into some revision of the software, so a new CSR who doesn't know any better grants one, and the software doesn't catch it. Ditto the commitment, although the latter is more likely to be a CSR saying you don't have one, but the system actually applying it when the order is processed.

But these are isolated incidents. There is no indication (from posts on this forum anyway) that many/most/all customers are able to get a second genie, or a genie with no commitment.

And of course, there is absolutely no reason that AT&T could not change the policies if they wanted to. But I think we'd see a whole lot more chatter about it if they actually did.
 

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carl6 said:
I think with an acquisition as large as DirecTV into AT&T, there are bound to be lot's of isolated examples of non-standard experiences. Especially if the supporting computer systems are being modified/transitioned along the way. How easy would it be for the double check "is there already a genie on this account" to not make it into some revision of the software, so a new CSR who doesn't know any better grants one, and the software doesn't catch it. Ditto the commitment, although the latter is more likely to be a CSR saying you don't have one, but the system actually applying it when the order is processed.

But these are isolated incidents. There is no indication (from posts on this forum anyway) that many/most/all customers are able to get a second genie, or a genie with no commitment.

And of course, there is absolutely no reason that AT&T could not change the policies if they wanted to. But I think we'd see a whole lot more chatter about it if they actually did.
They need to drop commitments down to 1 year max. Maybe 2 for new subs / 2 year price lock. Cable does not force you for 2 year just to upgrade an box / add an outlet.
 

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JoeTheDragon said:
They need to drop commitments down to 1 year max. Maybe 2 for new subs / 2 year price lock. Cable does not force you for 2 year just to upgrade an box / add an outlet.
It's one year for a self install drop ship, two years if an installer is needed.
 

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As to the commitment, you can leave any time you want, you are not locked in. But there is a cost to you to do so (pro-rated over the term of the commitment). The commitment is in return for their funding the up front cost of providing you the equipment, and making sure you stick around long enough for them to recover that cost.

Cell phone companies do the same thing (as do others). If you don't want a commitment, you can probably pay a higher price to start with (or be willing to pay the early termination fee). I recently changed cell phone carrier (after many years), which unfortunately required getting new phones, a significant cost. I chose to pay the full price up front rather than a heavily discounted price, or a $x a month recurring price, to both avoid a commitment and reduce my recurring monthly cost. So it was my choice (1) to make the change resulting in the cost, (2) to pay up front to avoid a commitment.

The other really easy, obvious, solution to the issue of commitment is to do away with them entirely, and also do away with any underwriting of the cost of equipment. You want to be our customer, pay us the $500 or $1000 or whatever the number is for the equipment and cost of setting you up in our system, and you are welcome to leave whenever you want. Of course, if they do that I would also argue you should own the equipment.
 
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