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DTV will NOT install at my home

4652 Views 55 Replies 21 Participants Last post by  joe diamond
I have purchased a newly built 3 story townhome here in NC and originally had my apt scheduled for Thursday am time. The installer came out whipped out his compas and said the dish had to go on the top roof b/c my unit was on the back and that was only way to get line of sight. He needless did not have a 40ft ladder and wouldn't get up one that I got for him either. This ended up in me calling his supervisor and being told his group only had 1 40ft ladder and might not be able to make it out there till saturday or next week.
Next course of action was me calling DTV and i ended up getting a ring from the man that runs all the install crews in NC. he was extremely helpfull and got on the phone with the supervisor and forced him to come out here Friday am with a 40ft ladder.
Friday rolls around today and he comes a lil late and after looking around says he dosen't think it can be done at all. Problem being gutters are on the sides of the roof even though i didn't mind paying for them to be fixed outa my pocket afterwards. He then takes some pics to email his boss and leaves without even taking the ladder off the dang truck.
Now after talking to the Head NC guy again I will be having a actual "DTV In-House Tech" come out to see the situation. hes gonna try to pull some strings for me and get them out today even though its the 4th and all but said itd be monday at the latest if something couldn't get done.

Okay now with all that outa the way what do you guys think about this since you've all had DTV or Dish for so long and all. My other question is what is the situation with them possibly ending up saying that the job can't be done and what not??? Can they do that, refuse to give me service? I can't have a pole mount in the yard b/c im on the back and I can't put one out front b/c its not my property so the roof seems like the only option I have.

Any suggestions on what to do now?

thanks in advance, sorry for the lengthy post.
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i dont understad what you are saying about your gutters. did the tech tell you that he cant lean a ladder up against them? if so, he is probably scared to do the job.
Yeah he said they wont lean it against the gutters b/c he said theyll crush them and he didnt want to pay for em.

heres a pic of the townhome. mine is the one closest in the pic. The units are back to back so Mine is half of the side wall shown there. The gutters on on the front and back of the building so on the left side of the picture shown. The sid of the building has no gutters but he said the ladder wouldn't be good there.

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the ladder will not crush the gutters. that is a lame excuse. if he is scared to do it, that is fine...... but he is just making excuses. you dont want him up on your roof anyway if he is scared, as he will probably do a half a$$ job.
Hey Opie... why again cn'at you have a pole mount? I mean, if you have line of site from a pole on YOUR part of the property then go that route. But if it's because the homeowners association won't allow it then know the FCC has PROHIBITED HOAs from enforcing rules like that!

yeah thats why i wasn't too mad the other tech from the first attempt didn't come back b/c he flat out told me he didn't want to go up on the 40ft ladder.

Even so if gutters are slick and thats his reason i showed him the spot in the pic on the far left where the building has a bump out that the ladder could rest against there too. He insisted the ladder wasnt going on the gutters.

My response was well F me then man if I get a leak in the roof cause from your talk getting up there is not possible.

I even suggested a boom life that I would pay for to be brought out for him to use to get up there and he said no its a liability issue. Then I said hey if you know anyone that would come and do it for an extra $100 cash get em out here cause im that freakin desperate at this point and just want the **** done. At that point id take a crappy alignment and miss a few channels and call for another tech to come out later. Least I'd have some good channels and wouldn't be stuck watching only local **** form my attenae.
I figured when he refused the cash offer and said he knew no one that could do that, that he was just a man without balls and scared to do his job. he mentioned that most times he has to come behined his techs b/c of the need of a 40ft ladder he only needs a 32ft and its easy. But mine really does need it so he pussed out it seemed.
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I dont have line of sight which is why it has to go on the roof. the line of sight from my unit is directly through the other front units and my small lawn dosen't wrap around far enough to get a good line sight supposedly.
opie168 said:

I dont have line of sight which is why it has to go on the roof. the line of sight from my unit is directly through the other front units and my small lawn dosen't wrap around far enough to get a good line sight supposedly.
Nice pic, now we know where the southwest direction is.

Offset Pole mount from the fascia. would put the dish up above the roofline, no penetration of the roof itself. Sounds... simple? Seen (and had done) many installs like that.

'Eave Mount'. Couldn't for the life of me remember the term! That'll do it. Probably run the cables through that air duct and down into your unit as well, so no additional hole in the outside of the building. Make sure they run ALL FOUR cables so that you can expand (multiswitch/SWM) later if you want (or to start).
the southwest direction from what i was shown is kinda the direction that the picture was taken.
Residential satellite installers get paid squat and then can have the squat they have been paid deducted from their earnings if a customer complaint folows.

I don't know the current typical payment for an installation but I have seen a lot of figures in the neighborhood of $70. At that price, an installer is best served by ducking any job that requires a 40 foot ladder, as long as he doesn't get fired.

40 foot ladders are difficult to handle. The one I get stuck using once or twice a year at a commercial property I service weighs just under a hundred pounds. To raise it, I have to put the base against the building and walk under it. I am 6'3" tall and weight 240 pounds and while I am physically capable of handling such a ladder, many people are not. Looking at the shape of your house and location of the fence. it would be more difficult to put up a 40' ladder there than at the places where I have done it in the ordinary course of business. I have been told that fiberglass ladders are much heavier and that often, one person cannot put them up by himself.

If a person does an installation on a 40' ladder and then there is a service call or complaint during the warranty/chargeback perior, he may have to procure another 40' ladder to address the complaint.

There are companies in my market, Washington, DC, that will arrange to install and service on tall buildings needing bucket trucks that will not, under any circumstance, do such an installation for a residential customer no matter what he tells them he agrees to pay for because realistically, when the dish needs service, he will have to call them back because he will have no one else to call. In fact, in another thread, I once adviced someone that if he really does shell out the cost of a high placement, he might as well have them install two dishes with redundant wiring (8 downleads) so that he can use the back-up dish if the first one fails.

In my hungry days, I would have done the installation for you. I carried those stand-off brackets that painters use to keep the ladder about a foot or more away from the wall so as to protect the gutters, and I used to muscle ladders in situations where most others would not, and I am sure you can find someone to physically install the dish for you in the Yellow pages, but you would be paying full fare for the labor, which may be a good deal more than you are expecting to pay. You could buy a dish in eBay for under $80, have it installed and have the downleads run by an independent installer, and then order the DirecTV receivers from an internet dealer and cancel the installation and install them yourself, or even have the installer who shows up put them in for you, but if you order a DirecTV installation from DirecTV, they do not ship the hardware to you: they ship it to the installer and he cannot leave it to be installed by another later. He must take it with him if it is not installed and activated during his visit.
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heres my other situation I have once they actually get out here to do it.

I have prewired coax cable in 3 of the 4 rooms getting tv in them. They all 3 run outside near that bumpout in the bottom left of the pic.
1st floor room near that bump out has 1 coax in it already and is getting an HD DVR so i hear i need another run into that one run to that one.
2nd floor - the two windows are each their own room and one has a coax in it already and only getting a standard reciever, while other has no "free" coax in it now(TWC using it for roadrunner) and is getting a standard DVR in it so i need two new coax run into that.
3rd floor has 1 coax in it already and is getting a regular HD receiver.

Any advice on how it should be run so I can make sure I dont get screwed here on the install?

thanks again for the advice/comments so far.
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Looks like a mess.

The eave mount would mount the dish and, as mentioned, running the cables in the vent would hardly be noticeable. And then some QC wonk drive by and says job rejected,,,,,,,,,the system is not grounded and we aren't paying. The installation company and the tech are out a few bucks because they just did a FREE installation.If the wind (hurricane) twists the dish off signal the first year the installation company and the tech can expect another $100.00 chargback.

The first tech passed on the project and no amount of suite wearing gentlemen are going to make this installation any easier or more possible.

Post back what happens.

where would you be talking about mounting the Eve mount? I am a lil confused b/c the line of sight supposedly is across the building to the other side of it, as if directly going through the building if looking at the photo.
I realy can't blame him.. I have a 39' fiberglass ladder that just reaches my roof.. at 170 and 6'2" it's realy tough to handle and not a comfortable thing to climb (esp carrying a dish).. I would problably try contacting a private installer for a quote.. won't be cheap but they will be more willing..
opie168 said:
where would you be talking about mounting the Eve mount? I am a lil confused b/c the line of sight supposedly is across the building to the other side of it, as if directly going through the building if looking at the photo.
The eave mount would have a couple feet pole, which would give the dish a 360deg look (over the roof) no matter where the look angle is.

Dish could easily be grounded with solid copper ground lead, following under the roof line, down (hidden by) the drainspouts, to a ground rod. IF there isn't a decent grounding point in the attic (again, through the air duct where the cable maybe might/would go).

The 'typical' DirecTV install? Certainly not. Get thee to your phone book and get some independent installer in there. Unless you get REAL lucky and the local contract installers actually want to work.

Since your unit is already 'pre-wired' for cable, your best best would be to figure on the SWM right off the bat. How you would get the output down from the attic (or thereabouts) to the coaxial 'collection point' wherever that is, may be the only problem. But since the SWM is weatherproof (and can be mounted with the dish), the output coaxial could follow the same route as the ground cable, down to (I presume) a junction box at arm height somewhere around the outside of your unit.

You might point out exactly where that 'junction box' is referencing the picture.
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the junction box is on the bottom left side of the picture right on the other(far) side of the little bumpout.
First, the standard "professional" installation is limited to areas that are safely reachable with a 28' ladder (i.e., the roof itself is no higher than about 22' above the ground). A 3-story building is automatically a non-standard job, meaning: not free.

Second, mounting on that roof means mounting over the living space. No intelligent (or even experienced) installer will do that, because if the roof leaks, most customers will try to persue a damage claim against the installer, and leaky roofs can easily run up repair bills in the tens of thousands of dollars.

Third, if the dish is mounted on the roof, EVERY time the dish needs service, it's going to cost the customer custom fees. A 40' ladder requires a minimum of 2 people to use safely. DirecTV doesn't pay for 2 people, so the customer has to. DirecTV doesn't pay for a 40' ladder, so the customer has to. DirecTV doesn't pay for the extra time, safety equipment, etc. necessary, so the customer has to. Since most customers balk at paying, most of these installs simply don't get done. DirecTV is not for everyone or for every situation.

Fourth, a 138 pound 40' ladder WILL crush those rain gutters, especially once you put a man with a tool belt and a dish on it. And it will do so every time someone has to get up there. And whoever has to go up there to replace them is going to charge a bunch of money too. DirecTV will get the blame, and they'll just forward that to the installer's insurance, and he'll have to eat the costs. Smart installers will refuse for this reason alone.

Fifth, no intelligent installer is going to put the ladder anywhere but on YOUR area of the roof. You may not mind a crushed rain gutter to get your TV going, but your neighbor WILL.

My company does residential and commercial installs. We could probably do this install, but I'd probably charge somewhere between $500-1000 to do it. Having worked in these multi-story townhomes, I know what kind of hassles they come with. Running cable is extremely difficult, because it can't be done on the outside, no one wants it visible on the inside, and often there is no attic access from the units themselves, since the attic is shared with multiple units.

But, honestly, I'd advise you just to stay with cable, unless you're prepared to budget several thousand dollars over the next few years for installation and maintenance, and be willing to compromise a bit on visible cable in the interior. Townhomes come with lots of compromises, and getting (or not getting) satellite TV may be one of them.

I can almost assure you that you aren't going to get a free install here from anyone, and if you do, it won't be safe, weatherproof, or compliant with your HOA.
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My dish is on a high roof and my local HSP has no problems getting on roof,they been on it TWICE during the winter.Jan failed LNB,March Realign after 80+ mph winds for 2 days
A 40 ft ladder is required here
IIP said:
My company does residential and commercial installs. We could probably do this install, but I'd probably charge somewhere between $500-1000 to do it
That's about right. I do consulting for three companies in my area that do the same, and they do at least 2-3 jobs per week that are/were either outright refusals by the locals (Ironwood), or were botched by the same.

But if you look at cost analysis, 'cable' would over time far out pace the one-time expense of the dish installation. Paying those 'rental' fees (decoder boxes) on top of exorbitant programming fees (don't go by the timed 'deals' that explode cost wise after a few months), there's always the access to particular programming, i.e., lack of HD, lack of sports programming, you name it.

Everybody's situation is different. Toss the numbers; I think that opei168 has probably already done that, and knows that the one-time cost to install would be easily offset by a year or two vr. cable. Then again, there's that programming access.

How many times have I read here where, for instance SundayTicket was the single most important reason to have DirecTV in the first place? Or ExtraInnings (which most cablecos have access to, but don't carry). In my neck of the woods, there are a large contingent of folks who LIVE for CenterIce. It's all up to personal 'needs'.

Just about anything can be done, anywhere. This is a pretty simple job compared to some. I'm sure a local independent guy would take one look and give you a price in less than 5 minutes. Toss the figures beforehand and get an idea on what it's worth to you.
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What would have saved this one is.....during construction causing a 6" verticle pipe to be run from attic to crawl space in the vicinity of the phone NID and ground bond. The last one I did even had a pull wire run. I saw another with a 12" square pipe & cable chase built into stacked closets.......Just a little planning goes a long way

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