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I really need some help. I have been a 10 yr. DTV customer with 8 receivers (3 HDDVRs) etc. I have recently had TERRIBLE interaction with their customer service department. I had a receiver (HD DVR) go out and it took me 2 months to convince them that the receiver was bad. They then refused to send a service person out to evaluate/ replace and instead sent me a refurbished one in the mail. This is not an easy install (which they did originally), it is connected to several other components in a remote location (cabinet) that requires a lot of work ( and time) to replace. Well I spent several hours (including phone calls) replacing this unit, only to find out that the optical digital audio input is defective. I then called again and got transferred 3 times and got a [Mod Edit:Language] who insinuated that I was an idiot ("it's a simple plug and play installation, you can't handle that?"). I finally got to a supervisor in the insurance plan area who said she would refer me to a case manager who would call me and resolve the issue, since I was having so much trouble. 4 hours later (9 pm) a "case manager" called me back and after explaining my situation, asked "So what's the problem with your receiver now?" I chuckled and asked if she had listened to a word I said. She promptly told me that she wouldn't be treated that way and HUNG UP on me!!!! I have been so pissed about it I haven't even been able to call back. I now find that I can't even get the receiver in question to boot up!

Sorry for the rant. If someone with some inside DTV info could get me a contact person/ number I would greatly appreciate it. I think I will have a stroke if I have to relive the above mentioned situation.

Thanks in advance.
 

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Ugly1 said:
.....Well I spent several hours (including phone calls) replacing this unit, only to find out that the optical digital audio input is defective.....
While it's certainly possible that you received a bad refurb, how sure are you that the optical output is actually defective? If the location is difficult, it is very easy for an optical connector to become unseated from the jack in the back of the receiver, or for that matter for the other end of the optical cable to be pulled out of the A/V receiver. I'd be hard pressed to conclude there was a problem with it unless I pulled the whole mess out in the open where I could actually visually confirm that the connectors are properly seated at both ends and that the A/V receiver is correctly configured for that input.
 

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K4SMX said:
While it's certainly possible that you received a bad refurb, how sure are you that the optical output is actually defective? If the location is difficult, it is very easy for an optical connector to become unseated from the jack in the back of the receiver, or for that matter for the other end of the optical cable to be pulled out of the A/V receiver. I'd be hard pressed to conclude there was a problem with it unless I pulled the whole mess out in the open where I could actually visually confirm that the connectors are properly seated at both ends and that the A/V receiver is correctly configured for that input.
I did pull the whole mess out and reconnect and visually confirm that the install was correct.
 

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I realize that replacing a receiver in a difficult location can be a frustrating experience, only to find out it's defective. The reason the receiver was probably returned initially was because it had no optical output. Bad refurb's are unfortunately all too common.

Nevertheless, your best bet is to start over with a new CSR, explain that you have received a defective refurb, and ask for it to be replaced. There's not a lot of testing for them to have you do, if it has no optical output and if you have confirmed proper connections in a previously-working installation.

Unfortunately, sometimes it's better with receivers that are absolutely confirmed as being defective in some respect to just tell them right-off-the-bat it's "totally stone-cold dead." There's practically no problem receivers/installations can have that can't be pretty much run to ground here at DBSTalk, so I wouldn't be willy-nilly making such claims without being on pretty solid ground. In your case, however, that's no longer an option, since you've already discussed the problem with them.

One thing for sure, regardless of the level of competence of your previous or future CSR's, you can't solve your problem if the result of your interaction is them hanging up on you. Your goal is to get a replacement receiver, because the one they sent you is defective. When properly connected, it has no optical audio. So take a deep breath.....:)
 

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Just call back and tell them it has no power no lights. They will make you move it some were else and plug it in. Just act like you are doing it. I had two bad replacements in a row that were bad. I knew they were bad. They will make you reboot,reformat and so on and I don't have time to play games. So the dead box trick works the best.

Good luck
 

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BTW, this is a good example of why I don't deal with refurb's at all. I maintain my own "Protection Plan," i.e., self-insurance. Rather than go through what you've been through, I'd have gone to Costco and bought a new one for $169. I've only had to do that once, so I figure I'm many $ ahead of their Protection Plan, and have always had new equipment that way with virtually no CSR time.

It may sound crazy at first to do this with their leased equipment, since they'll send you a refurb for $20 s/h without the PP, but $150 ($170-20) for a new receiver is to me a better deal than frustrating time on the phone and a very significant chance of receiving a bad refurb (or maybe 2 or 3), requiring a repeat of the whole wonderful "experience." Not goin' there.
 

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K4SMX said:
BTW, this is a good example of why I don't deal with refurb's at all. I maintain my own "Protection Plan," i.e., self-insurance. Rather than go through what you've been through, I'd have gone to Costco and bought a new one for $169. I've only had to do that once, so I figure I'm many $ ahead of their Protection Plan, and have always had new equipment that way with virtually no CSR time.

It may sound crazy at first to do this with their leased equipment, since they'll send you a refurb for $20 s/h without the PP, but $150 ($170-20) for a new receiver is to me a better deal than frustrating time on the phone and a very significant chance of receiving a bad refurb (or maybe 2 or 3), requiring a repeat of the whole wonderful "experience." Not goin' there.
This whole lease program with DTV is a load of crap. First you should not have to pay for a service contract on top of a lease fee period. Second every time you change or add any new equipment it triggers a new commitment. Third you should have the option to box it up and have them do the troubleshooting. If they find it to bad they should cover the shipping expenses and happily send out a replacement. Or better yet just send a replacement and then test it and only charge a small fee for shipping and handling if its found to be not defective.
Customers should be able to change or upgrade anytime they wish without any contract extensions as long as they meet there original programing commitment. adding a receiver should not extend anything. I think its criminal that they are so disparate to lo lock you in that they have to resort to extortion. Sorry if My rant got off topic.
I feel the original posters pain,:nono2:
 

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Ugly1 said:
.....I think I will have a stroke if I have to relive the above mentioned situation......
davefred99 said:
.....I feel the original posters pain,:nono2:
As bad as it is, it doesn't hold a candle to my recent experience with Verizon DSL "technical support" on behalf of my elderly next door neighbors. It was a new DSL install. Line sync but no data. Took their modem and router to my house and their equipment worked fine. Took my modem and router to their house, connected it all up with a laptop on a table outside at the outside phone jack in the so-called "network interface" box. No data.

Seven trips down the telephone tree to get the first live person. After I finally convinced the second CSR (the first put me on hold for 20 min's, after which I was disconnected) that it was their problem, whoever she was talking with during the dozen or so long holds still wanted to know if I had a satellite receiver hooked up and how many DSL filters I had connected, even though the inside wiring was totally cut free. Finally got a trouble ticket number assigned to make the locals back in the states have a look at it. The next afternoon it started working without the necessity of a truck roll.

Fortunately, by convincing them it was their problem, I was able to avoid the time-consuming process of installing and running their troubleshooting software and whatever else is in their "playbook," which would have caused me to have to reset the modem from bridge mode. Just figuring out how to setup a Westell 6100F with Verizon software in bridge mode was itself a lengthy process with no on-line support that I could find.

Eleven telephone calls, two successful connects with a live offshore CSR. Total elapsed time on the phone: 3 hours. It probably would have been a 5 minute fix had I been able to interact with the local tech staff directly. They probably just had the distance from their equipment to the customer calculated and setup incorrectly.
 

· Superfly
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K4SMX said:
While it's certainly possible that you received a bad refurb, how sure are you that the optical output is actually defective?
Ugly1 said:
I did pull the whole mess out and reconnect and visually confirm that the install was correct.
There is already starting to be a lot of strum und drang in this thread, but before more emotions are spent, I'd still bet the problem is somewhere here or with the optical cable itself. I have a lot of experience with Toslink optical connectors and they suck. Especially as the system is tucked away in a difficult cabinet, either the cable or the connection on one of the two ends is bad. I've seen it before...and before...and before that.

There's only one test, Ugly1. Pull the DVR out of the cabinet. Set it on the floor. Hook up the satellite feeds and a video out to it. Pull the audio receiver out far enough so that it's optical jack is easily accessible, both visually and physically. Get another optical cable, maybe one you are using on another component, and hook up the two using that. Make sure they seat home with a solid click. While your at it, you might as well go through your AV receiver's menu once again and make sure the optical input is correctly assigned. I'd be willing to bet you a steak dinner that you'll find your optical output is good.
 

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Carl Spock said:
There is already starting to be a lot of strum und drang in this thread, but before more emotions are spent, I'd still bet the problem is somewhere here or with the optical cable itself. I have a lot of experience with Toslink optical connectors and they suck. Especially as the system is tucked away in a difficult cabinet, either the cable or the connection on one of the two ends is bad. I've seen it before...and before...and before that.

There's only one test, Ugly1. Pull the DVR out of the cabinet. Set it on the floor. Hook up the satellite feeds and a video out to it. Pull the audio receiver out far enough so that it's optical jack is easily accessible, both visually and physically. Get another optical cable, maybe one you are using on another component, and hook up the two using that. Make sure they seat home with a solid click. While your at it, you might as well go through your AV receiver's menu once again and make sure the optical input is correctly assigned. I'd be willing to bet you a steak dinner that you'll find your optical output is good.
I'll second that... seen the door on optical break realy easy.. and it gets stuck in there blocking the light.. try disconnecting the end from your amp and see if you see a red light..
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
houskamp said:
I'll second that... seen the door on optical break realy easy.. and it gets stuck in there blocking the light.. try disconnecting the end from your amp and see if you see a red light..
The optical cable is the exact same one that worked perfectly prior to this install. There is sound coming from the speakers it is just jumbled and waxes and wanes and you cannot make out words.

Again, my main problem is when DTV initially installed the receiver everything worked fine, when it went out (no fault of mine) it has become my problem to install a new receiver, diagnose a new problem, spend countless hours on this (even though I have purchased the protection plan), be treated terribly by a supposed "case manager' (hung up on) with Zero resolution of my problem. The initial problem with the first HD DVR had been going on for > 2 months prior to convincing them to do anything, in this case mailing me a faulty RECONDITIONED receiver and refusing to send a tech out to diagnose/ replace/ generally resolve my problem. What kind of company allows service reps to treat loyal customers like this? Why am I paying $6/ month for a "protection plan"? I am now going on 3 months with a HD DVR that has not performed properly.
 

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So does anyone have a phone # that I can call and actually get a human that will help me with my situation without being placed on hold, transferred to Pakistan, etc. Better yet, does anyone have a NAME and phone # of someone that I can talk to for resolution of this issue? I don't have another 3 or 4 hours to spend dealing with this frustration. It may be easier to just cancel my service and start over with Dish or something else. The only reason I haven't is the NFL ticket. I guess I will just have to figure out if it's that important to me. You think that having 8 receivers, 4 DVRs, all premium programming, NFL ticket, NBA pass etc. and being a customer for 9 or ten years would mean something, apparently not.
 

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Ugly1,

Welcome to DBSTalk :welcome_s and I am sorry to hear about all the trouble you're having.

Best source of resolution I've read on this site is to e-mail Ellen Filipiak (sorry - not sure of the spelling of that last name, but you may be able to find it using a search of "Ellen"). You might also be able to read of some of the resolutions if you find the right threads.
 

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Ugly -- I understand your frustration. I have a fairly simple set-up, I have have also been given the run-around by DirecTV when the refurbished receivers they sent me were defective.

But since you seem to have a complicated set-up, resolving the issue will become more complicated for you. The DirecTV Protection Plan only covers the DirecTV part of your installation. If it takes several hours to unplug and replug a receiver, it sounds like you have a lot going on there which is not DirecTV related.

It is too easy for DirecTV to point the finger of blame on a non-DirecTV part of your setup, and that would not be covered by the Protection Plan. Also, if it is the receiver that is defective, the Protection Plan only covers shipping a replacement or repaired receiver to you. It does not include installation.

Your best bet is to isolate the DirecTV part of your set-up from the other parts of your set-up. That is why people here are recommending that you run a test install with cables directly between the receiver and television.
 

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Upstream said:
Ugly -- I understand your frustration. I have a fairly simple set-up, I have have also been given the run-around by DirecTV when the refurbished receivers they sent me were defective.

But since you seem to have a complicated set-up, resolving the issue will become more complicated for you. The DirecTV Protection Plan only covers the DirecTV part of your installation. If it takes several hours to unplug and replug a receiver, it sounds like you have a lot going on there which is not DirecTV related.

It is too easy for DirecTV to point the finger of blame on a non-DirecTV part of your setup, and that would not be covered by the Protection Plan. Also, if it is the receiver that is defective, the Protection Plan only covers shipping a replacement or repaired receiver to you. It does not include installation.

Your best bet is to isolate the DirecTV part of your set-up from the other parts of your set-up. That is why people here are recommending that you run a test install with cables directly between the receiver and television.
The Protection Plan covers EVERYTHING Direct TV provides, the dish, cables, switches, receivers & remotes. They will send someone out to fix it if something is not working in my experience.
 

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^ Yes, but it doesn't cover ancillary equipment. If the customer's hookup to his AV receiver is bad, it won't cover that.

Ugly1, I agree Ellen Filipiak would be your best contact. Email [email protected] with your tale of woe and someone will call you back, ususally within a day. They seem to be the best, most experienced CSRs DirecTV has.

But if it was me, I'd also hire a professional to come out and re-hook up my home theater system. It won't cost you much. Assuming there is not a lot of travel time (a bad assumption with Texas), it should be $70 or so. Look in the Yellow Pages under Home Theaters or Stereos for an installation specialist.

It is not part of the Protection Plan to get your home theater up and running, no matter what they did the first time.
 
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