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· AllStar
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What's the best way to request or find a good installer? I have a new HDR 20 on order that should arrive in a few weeks. I want to avoid another unpleasant installation. In the future I would be willing to shell out few extra $$ to hire a qualified installer that is concerned about doing the job right.

It all started with a young installer that was assigned to install 4 new receivers and 2 new dishes at my home.

Qty 2 - Standard IRD Receivers
Qty 2 - DIRECTV HD20 Rec. (Expanded HD Prog. Capable)
Qty 1 - DIRECTV Satellite Dish
Qty 1 - DIRECTV 5-LNB Multi-Satellite Dish
Standard Professional Install

Day 1 (8:30am - 12:45pm) - As soon as he stepped in the house it became apparent that he was not interested in doing the job right, but rather more concerned about how to do the least amount of work in the shortest time. He immediately started to tell me how wall fishing was not included and how expensive it was. He said that he would leave me extra cable so that I could do it myself. I showed him around and told him what I would like done. Once he discovered that I already had cable wired throughout he told me the only way he could get the job done was to use my existing cable TV coax. I agreed to this, since it was apparent the job was not going to be done unless I agreed. He went ahead and installed the Receivers in 4 rooms, but in the process lift 2 additional TV's disconnected. (Note: These 2 TV's had been split off from other cables). At around 12:00, it became apparent that he was not going to do the job that I wanted and he was getting ready to leave. Finally he tells me he is finished and wants me to sign several papers. The first paper he wants me to sign was the approval of his services. He drew a ling through the items to be checked and told me to sign the bottom. I read through the list and noticed that he did not do about 50% of the items on the list, so I initial only the items he did. I went ahead and signed the D* contract and once he got that he could not have ran out the door any quicker. As I started to look around the house and check what he had done, I noticed
1) Furniture was still moved away from the walls.
2) All the boxes and packing was scattered throughout the house.
3) Coax cable clippings and trash around all outlets
4) Out of 7 televisions in my house only 5 where working. Since I still have cable I was expecting all TV's to either have cable or Sat.
5) The DVD players that had previously been hooked up to Televisions had been totally disconnected. The installer unplugged took the easy way out and unplugged the DVD player and plugged the Sat cables in there place.
6) 2 Remotes where not programmed to work with TV's.

The more I thought about it, the more disappointed I became with the entire installation. I called D* and told them that I was not happy with the installation and that the installer disconnected 2 TV's in the process of connecting Sat. D* was very nice about it and told me that the installer should have installed new cables. He then offered to send someone else back out to complete the job. I mentioned to make sure they sent a qualified installer. The CSR said that he would note it and also note that they needed to be able to do a wall fish.

Day 2 (9:00-10:30)- The same installer is sent back to the house. I explained to him that I needed all my TV's working in the house and that I would like to have 2 TV's mirrored. I was willing to pay extra and even tip for a job well done. I went on and made it extremely clear that if he does not have the tools or knowledge, please recommend someone that could? He spent about 10 minutes looking at what I had requested and then I notice he is outside on a ladder running a cable outside the house and into the attic. (I clearly stated that I did not want any cables outside my house). At this point, I decided to not fight it because, he clearly did not care about what I wanted. As he finished up a Supervisor stops by and I explain to him the same thing that I told the installer that I needed to have all 7 televisions working before they left and if there was an extra charge to let me know. The supervisor takes the lead directs the installer to get the televisions mirrored. They both come get me and tell me that they where not going to charge me for the extra work (Which I was prepared to give them $50 Cash as a tip) when the installer starts rushing me again to sign more papers. He wants me to sign with out reading what I was signing. I asked him what I was signing and I needed to look it over before I sign. He begins to become annoyed and starts to disrespect me again. At this point I had enough and showed them the door.

It was apparent to me that the installer was able to make more money doing quick installs than taking the time to do a custom wall fish? From what I understand he got paid by the piece? I read somewhere that they get paid

$40 for the 1st receiver
$12 for the 2nd receiver
$12 for the 3rd receiver
$12 for the 4th receiver
Not sure home much they get for installing the outside dish?

If he can make $100 for each install and I assume this kid was trying to 3 installs per day, he would make $300 each day. Maybe that was the reason he was not interested in even discussing what I wanted or needed.
 

· Legend
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115 Posts
Contact D* and let them know that you have an installer compliant. They will put you in touch to who you need to talk to about the installation issues you have.
 

· AllStar
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74 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dbadone said:
Contact D* and let them know that you have an installer compliant. They will put you in touch to who you need to talk to about the installation issues you have.
I'm done talking to D* and the local installation company about installation. I spent an 1/2 talking complaining to D* after the first visit and then another 1/2 to the local office when they called to confirm the 2nd appointment. I made it very clear to both D* and the local company that this kid was not qualified and lacked any concern about offering a service that I needed. The local office said she would would request another installer, but that the supervisor would probably send the same kid back out to my house and finish the job. It had something to do with the kid already got paid and nobody else would want to finish it since the installers get paid by the piece.

15 minutes after the installer leaves on 2nd visit, I get a call from a CSR that states she is from the installation company. I'm pretty sure the call was from a third party, doing follow ups for D*. The CSR ask if I was pleased with the installation. I told her the story and she then asks me, "how would you rate this employee on a scale from 1-10?" I told her to give him a 10, because its apparent that nobody really cares! I had already spent way to much time complaining to D* and the local installation company. It appears to me that nobody really cares about taking care of the customer or they would have never sent the same kid back to my house when D* and I both requested that they send someone new!
 

· Hall Of Fame
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1,546 Posts
daytoday said:
From what I understand he got paid by the piece? I read somewhere that they get paid

$40 for the 1st receiver
$12 for the 2nd receiver
$12 for the 3rd receiver
$12 for the 4th receiver
Not sure home much they get for installing the outside dish?

If he can make $100 for each install and I assume this kid was trying to 3 installs per day, he would make $300 each day. Maybe that was the reason he was not interested in even discussing what I wanted or needed.
Techs get paid different amounts depending on who they work for, just as with pretty much any other business out there. I don't get paid extra to install the dish. However, I'm not in a market where we put up a second dish. A lot of techs have to pay for all of their tools and supplies, so it is understandable that they would want to use the existing cable if it is RG6. Especially on a job that requires 6 lines such as yours. Factor in time, gas, supplies, etc. on a job like that and the tech can easily lose money. I make a lot more on my installs than the figures you posted above, and I lose money on some jobs. There is no way that I would be a tech for $40/12.

IN NO WAY AM I TRYING TO TAKE UP FOR THIS PARTICULAR INSTALLER. It's obvious that he should choose another career field and probably will be soon.
 

· Hall Of Fame
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3,682 Posts
That is a horrible job and in no way do I want to take it up for him.

But one note I would like to add. and this is not directed to the OP in any way.

But I wish people would clear out the areas they think we need to work in prior to us arriving. Or at least offer a hand. We try to be as careful as possible but some of the folks' homes are just a pile of stuff and especially now in the winter when we are all bulked up to stay warm stuff can get in the way.
If the customer is involved in the install the chances of some of this stuff happening are greatly reduced.
 

· Cool Member
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20 Posts
I am a subcontractor who is a subcontractor for directech who is the main subcontractor for directv.....this is my pay schedule:

installations:
1 box new/former install includes: one 18 or 18x20 dish, ird std or ird DVR
$35

each additional receiver $15 more
have your own truck: $15 extra for each job
used a 40 foot ladder: $40
5lnb/36" dish: $10 more each


upgrades:
additional ird std/dvr $25
each additional ird: $10

upgrade to 18x20 (3lnb) or 36"dish: $35
5 lnb dish + 1 ird-hd upgrade $40
relocate 1 ird or dish: $25

service calls: $20 no matter what you do or how long you take

go to a job cust not home = $0 plus must call dispatch wait on phone....then wait 20 minutes in case cust decides to show up....then call back up dispatch to give a description of the house....

i dont pay for:
my truck, repairs, supplies (fittings, wire, etc)

i pay for:
tolls, gas

benefits: anything extra charged goes to my pocket
examples:
$75 pole mount
$20 old dish removal
wall fishing $60 each line

we dont get paid extra to do a super neat job....sometimes i dont bother doin it neat because most of the time when i do super neat job all wires hidden everything done up to code...the guy still didnt give me a tip.....so if i did that job normally i would have gotten paid the same and it would be done in less time
so heres what i think....if people propose a specfic amount tip beforehand then i would do an extra nice job.
 

· Super Moderator
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12,437 Posts
underpaidinstaller said:
I....sometimes i dont bother doin it neat because most of the time when i do super neat job all wires hidden everything done up to code...the guy still didnt give me a tip...
I certainly hope you always do everything "done up to code" - failure to do otherwise is negligent and irresponsible, and exposes both you and your employer to the possibility of litigation.

I fully agree that your pay schedule does not encourage you to do a professional job, but the limited information from your posts suggests that you are not the installer I would want working at my house. There is also pride in the work you do. I would never do a job that I wouldn't be proud to come back to and show the work off as mine.

As far as tips - that has been discussed here in other threads. I usually do tip for above average service. I do not ever negotiate a tip in advance, and if I ever had someone hint or suggest to me that the only way I would get a professional job done was by providing a big enough tip - they wouldn't even get started on the job.

Carl
 

· AllStar
Joined
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74 Posts
I am an HVAC contractor. If I did any kind of install and discussed a tip up front, I would be fired as I represent a PROFESSIONAL company. It is not my place to discuss any kind of compensation for a scheduled, billable job (I do understand that some service work issues must be explained up front if it wasn't part of a standard install but that can be handled by a representative in our office). Sure, I would talk to the customer beforehand and discuss any options and concerns that customer may have regarding the installation of equipment and try to find an AMICABLE way of completeing that job. 99% of the time, the customer will assist in moving furniture, material , etc. so that I can do my job in a timely, organized manner. I also take the time to CLEAN UP AFTER WORK IS PERFORMED! If that were my house, I want the site left the way it was when job was first started, any other way would be a disgrace. I always explain to the customer that if there are any questions after work is done, after that customer inspects the work, deal with questions before I leave and even afterwards I leave my cell phone number and office number and contact name if any further questions arise. It upsets me personally when I hear of these types of stories because it is not much to ask for any kind of installer to be kind, courteous and hopefully professional in the manner they carry themselves. Otherwise they should look for work elsewhere!
 
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