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· AllStar
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have been a DirecTV customer for about 8 years now and currently have four HDVR2 receivers (dual tuner Tivo units) . Five years ago, we moved to a new house and took advantage of their mover's promotion. They provided a new dish which was connected to my receivers which I had to purchase on my own from Circuit City. I do not believe I have received any other specials or promotions since then.

Recently I switched my internet service from DSL to TimeWarner Cable which worked out well - especially the no contract part. I then switched my phone service to TimeWarner, which again worked out well. So far I have been pleased with TimeWarner.

Due to heat issues, I just started moving my Leviton distribution panel from my attic to a second floor closet and after looking at the wiring mess, I decided to research the latest and greatest in hardware - and thus discovered SWM. Also, one of the tuners in one of our receivers is on the blink, so I thought now was the time to call DirecTV and see what they would offer to keep me from switching over to TimeWarner or Dish.

Now one of the things I hate is the way some companies treat new customers versus their old/valued customers - cell phone service comes to mind, but I am usually able to call and get the situation worked out to my advantage.

After reading about the AAA offers and current deals posted on this and other forums, this morning I called and spoke with a rep in customer retention. This is what he had to offer:
  1. 1) One free HD-DVR
  2. 2) One free SD-DVR
  3. 3) 6 months of free Showtime and Stars
  4. 4) $10 off for 12 months
  5. 5) Free shipping

I would probably go with their "Plus HD DVR" package. A second HD-DVR would cost me $199 and a second SD-DVR would cost me $99. The $300 coupon book is only for new customers and he never heard about twelve months of the free protection plan.

If I waited six months, he could give me the second HD-DVR and the second SD-DVR for free. This is what really bugs me - I haven't asked for a promotion in four or five years, but I would still a have to wait 6 months to get another promotion!

I also wanted a SWM enable slimline dish, but he couldn't promise me that - it's up to the installation company. Anyways, I was at the point of just canceling. So I decided to think about it.

Any comments or thoughts?
 

· Éminence grise
Joined
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8,457 Posts
That sounds like a pretty good offer to me. I got a $100 discount when upgrading to a HD-DVR early last year ($199 vs $299), which made up for the $99 I paid to lease a H20 6 months previously. There was no shipping charge. The SWM8 and SWM Slimline are not that widely available yet and probably are reserved for those cases where it would be less expensive than installing additional cables.
 

· AllStar
Joined
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60 Posts
I recently went through a similar process with a family member that was also a long time customer... Couple words of advice...

If you already have Total Choice , Total Choice Plus, or Total Choice Premier KEEP IT!!! These plans are a little bit cheaper compared to the similar priced new channel packages and usually have a few extra channels. You should have no problem keeping this package and just adding on the 9.99/month HD package.

You are not going to get any SWM technology as an existing customer unless you are very very lucky. I tried very hard to get it, and I am pretty persistent but our local install company refused to give us one. Luckily you can buy a SWM-8 multiswitch from www.solidsignal.com, or a guy named Dave29 on this forum.... you can check ebay as well. Prices should be around $200.

I think the offer is not bad... however this is what we were able to get:

1 free HR21
1 HR21 for $99
12 month 10.99? programming credit
6 months showtime.

So if you can have them add that second HR21 for $99 the 12 month programming offsets the cost. Alternatively you can pickup a HR21 from Costco for $169.
 

· Superfly
Joined
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4,572 Posts
Git said:
Anyways, I was at the point of just canceling. So I decided to think about it.

Any comments or thoughts?
You are basing your decision totally on the free/cheap deal you can get? Picture quality or programming have nothing to do with your decision? It's all what you can get for free? :ewww:

Dish will have a shorter commitment than DirecTV, and as you have discovered, other companies have none. Dish will also give you stuff that DirecTV won't initially, like two HD DVRs upon sign up. Cable I'm sure will match that offer. I think you should strongly consider one of them.

Back when I rented a house, the dumps were the ones with no or short leases. Any place I wanted to live in had a one year lease and cost me more. But it's your TV experience, not mine.
 

· AllStar
Joined
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60 Posts
Carl Spock said:
You are basing your decision totally on the free/cheap deal you can get? Picture quality or programming have nothing to do with your decision? It's all what you can get for free? :ewww:
I agree with the OP...

DirecTV is a service provider and in the business of providing a service. The OP never said he didn't want to continue to pay for the service, and in his 8 years as a customer has most likely spent at least $5000 on this service minimum.

Now that the OP wants to upgrade to HD he is willing to pay the new service charge for it, but why should the consumer have to pay all of the infrastructure costs?

Since DirecTV only leases equipment now I would think the savy consumer would not want to pay out of money for proprietary equipment that they don't even own --- is this really unfair to think that way?

As far a new Dish or multiswitch... this is all equipment costs related to be able to utilize the *service* that you are paying for... It should be subsidised as well.
 

· Registered
Joined
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15,592 Posts
Since you have to get a new dish/LNB maybe they would install a SWMSlimline vs pull new cables, as long as 5 to 8 tuners are involved. Right now they're using the SWMSlimine in:

Phase 1 Markets (HSP Markets, Not DMAs):
Austin
Boston(Manchester, NH & VT)
Chicago
Dallas-Fortworth
Denver
Detroit
Las Vegas
Los Angeles
Missoula, MT
Monterey-Salinas, CA
Phoenix
Reno CA, NV
Sacramento-Stockton-Modesto
San Diego
San Francisco-Oakland-San Jose
Santa Barbara-Santa Maria- San Luisobispo
Shreveport, AR, LA, OK, TX
Washington DC (Hagerstown) DC, MD, PA, VA
West Palm Beach - Fort Pierce
 

· Beware the Attack Basset
Joined
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26,595 Posts
Most offers only last for a few months and then you're back to paying full boat.

If you don't like to switch around often figure out what the payback is with all of your alternatives and weigh that against the currently available (or at least very likely) programming.
 

· AllStar
Joined
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
bobnielsen & beesta - thanks for the advice. I didn't realize I could buy the receiver at Costco - would there be an advantage to me buying it outright versus buying/leasing from DirecTV?

Carl Spock - maybe I am wrong, but isn't a digital signal a digital signal? I don't watch a whole lot of TV, but the channels I do like to watch are available from TimeWarner or Dish. No commitment = more options, if you don't like the service, you move on. That why I changed from my $100 per month dsl from Speakeasy to TimeWarner. I got a faster download speed for half the cost. I am happy with there service, but if I don't like it, I can move on to something else. Their "no contract policy" is one of the reasons why I tried them in the first place.

boba - do me a favor and keep your negative comments to yourself, or is that how you drive your post count up? It's not about "buying my loyalty". It's about rewarding a loyal customer - Why do the offer better deals to newsubscribers? (Didn't your mother ever tell you if you didn't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all)
 

· I used to be a rocket scientist
Joined
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11,448 Posts
Now that the OP wants to upgrade to HD he is willing to pay the new service charge for it, but why should the consumer have to pay all of the infrastructure costs?
That's something most customers don't understand. Read the financial reports: Directv still loses money on each HD DVR at the $199 cost, let alone if one is completely free to the customer. That's why they require the two year commitment.
 

· Superfly
Joined
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4,572 Posts
beestea said:
Now that the OP wants to upgrade to HD he is willing to pay the new service charge for it, but why should the consumer have to pay all of the infrastructure costs?
Because that infrastructure costs DirecTV money? Just a crazy guess. It isn't like Git's not getting free stuff. He just isn't getting as good a deal as a non-subscriber.

I have no problem with Git trying to get the best deal he can. Go for it, Git. But to base a purchase of something that is designed to give you entertainment and not to consider the quality of that entertainment, seems just ludicrous to me. I don't consider DirecTV, Dish, Cable, or any other service provider to be exact equivalents. Nowhere in his calculation is that shown. It's only price. What's the price of putting up with a crappy cable picture? What's the price of not receiving the channel in HD you want to watch? Those are worth at least as much as a free DVR to me any day.

Git, there is an old joke. I've told it here before but it's been a while.

A guy dies and goes to the Pearly Gates, St. Peter tells him we've got it all wrong down here on Earth. When you die, you get your choice between Heaven and Hell. St. Peter hands the guy 24 hour passes to both places so he can check them out and sends him on his way.

The guy first goes to Heaven. It is exactly what he expected. It's beautiful, with babbling brooks and pleasing music. Relaxation and contentment are the norm. It is Paradise.

The guy then takes the express to Hell and it's nothing like he thought it would be. It's one giant party. There is a Super Bowl every day, the best booze on tap, first run movies constantly playing, and with naked women and old friends everywhere, Hell turns out to be the best 24 hours of this guy's life.

Sobering up, he goes back to St. Peter. While he could certainly enjoy Heaven, he tells St. Peter that he chooses Hell. After making sure that's what he wants for eternity, St. Peter sends the guy back to Hell. This time when he walks into Hell, it's fire, flames, burning flesh and screams of agony. Running up to the Devil, the guy says, "Hey, Beelzebub, what happened to the great times, tap beer and easy women?"

The Devil looks at him and says, "Back then you were a prospect. Now you are a customer."


EDIT: Git, hardly is digital just digital. I find differences between all service providers when it comes to picture quality. This is not the time or place for a discusson of bandwidth and compression, but do some searching around these boards. You won't find all things equal. I hate cable's picture in general. I even find a difference in service provider's HD quality. DirecTV, Dish, cable and off-air all look different on HD, and these often aren't subtle differences. Plus, considering the DirecTV-11 satellite will coming on line in just a few months and by the end of the year we could easily be seeing 150 channels of HD, they will be clearly the leader in providing HD channels for the immediate future (18-24 months) and maybe longer. DirecTV is in the process of readying DirecTV-12 for launch. Who knows what services and products they will be offering us in 3 or 4 years? You are making this move to step up to HD. Why not get the most and best looking HD stations you can?

And Git, regarding commitments, not to be crude, but if you want to sleep with her every night, you better marry her.
 

· Tain't ogre til its ogre
Joined
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14,768 Posts
Git said:
Carl Spock - maybe I am wrong, but isn't a digital signal a digital signal?
Digital is digital yes, but the number of bits in the stream to produce a decent picture varies with each provider. And then there are the bits that get produced as a result of the compression streams and those are the ones that really matter. Not all providers are the same. I would recommend, if picture quality is a criteria for your viewing, that a simple trade study be done (list all your criteria and assign levels of importants compare the differences in total value to you).

-smiddy
 

· Legend
Joined
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124 Posts
Git said:
bobnielsen & beesta - thanks for the advice. I didn't realize I could buy the receiver at Costco - would there be an advantage to me buying it outright versus buying/leasing from DirecTV?
While you may be paying a slightly lower price on the receiver, you would still have the 2 year commitment.
 

· Icon
Joined
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555 Posts
If D* subsidized full cost of everything, they'd "need" to make that up somehow.
Somehow would be bigger monthly charges.
bigger monthly charges would lead to greater numbers of people wanting to leave for cheaper alternatives.

I don't see them doing that.

If D* had everyone pay 100% of cost for all equipment and repair, it would be far cheaper monthly, and no-one with working equipment would ever want to leave....of course, only those who could afford the start-up cost could join.

(like the old days of directv)

Every perk costs you somewhere. "free installation" is definitely not free.

Sadly, new customer startup offers work. It's a dirty trick, but consumers consistantly "fall for it", the same way they fell for mortgages with disgusting interest rates, and low payments that don't pay principal...then these payments balloon after a few years. These yokels assume to themselves that by then they'll have surely gotten that promotion they have been after for the past few years.
 

· Hall Of Fame
Joined
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4,787 Posts
Git said:
I have been a DirecTV customer for about 8 years now and currently have four HDVR2 receivers (dual tuner Tivo units) . Five years ago, we moved to a new house and took advantage of their mover's promotion. They provided a new dish which was connected to my receivers which I had to purchase on my own from Circuit City. I do not believe I have received any other specials or promotions since then.

Recently I switched my internet service from DSL to TimeWarner Cable which worked out well - especially the no contract part. I then switched my phone service to TimeWarner, which again worked out well. So far I have been pleased with TimeWarner.

Due to heat issues, I just started moving my Leviton distribution panel from my attic to a second floor closet and after looking at the wiring mess, I decided to research the latest and greatest in hardware - and thus discovered SWM. Also, one of the tuners in one of our receivers is on the blink, so I thought now was the time to call DirecTV and see what they would offer to keep me from switching over to TimeWarner or Dish.

Now one of the things I hate is the way some companies treat new customers versus their old/valued customers - cell phone service comes to mind, but I am usually able to call and get the situation worked out to my advantage.

After reading about the AAA offers and current deals posted on this and other forums, this morning I called and spoke with a rep in customer retention. This is what he had to offer:
  1. 1) One free HD-DVR
  2. 2) One free SD-DVR
  3. 3) 6 months of free Showtime and Stars
  4. 4) $10 off for 12 months
  5. 5) Free shipping

I would probably go with their "Plus HD DVR" package. A second HD-DVR would cost me $199 and a second SD-DVR would cost me $99. The $300 coupon book is only for new customers and he never heard about twelve months of the free protection plan.

If I waited six months, he could give me the second HD-DVR and the second SD-DVR for free. This is what really bugs me - I haven't asked for a promotion in four or five years, but I would still a have to wait 6 months to get another promotion!

I also wanted a SWM enable slimline dish, but he couldn't promise me that - it's up to the installation company. Anyways, I was at the point of just canceling. So I decided to think about it.

Any comments or thoughts?
Sure you want the best deal DirecTV can give?.You will need to call up DirecTV and say"Cancel my service".Now they should transfer you to Retention.But beware doing this you should be serious in other words DirecTV may just cancel your service.But if you are serious and DirecTV doesn't give you a deal you can live with you leave.To be a new subscriber elsewhere.It's not like this doesn't happen every day.;)
 

· Legend
Joined
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124 Posts
Jhon69 said:
You will need to call up DirecTV and say"Cancel my service".Now they should transfer you to Retention.
This plus the OP's original conversation with Retention are just more examples of the gross misuse/abuse of it. There are too many subs out there that aren't getting the price they think they should or the deal on upgrade that they think they should and just say "let me threaten to cancel... that'll show em!"

Its reasons like this that D*, E* or any of the several providers can't afford to give those "choice" deals to those loyal and long-lasting customers, as well as having to do the necessary rate increases just to be able to stay in business. I personally am glad that D* has started to ignore the idle threats and has been calling people's bluff on this. It ends up costing more money for those that know the cost of things is just the nature of the beast and are willing to pay that amount.
 

· Icon
Joined
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528 Posts
MrMojoJojo said:
This plus the OP's original conversation with Retention are just more examples of the gross misuse/abuse of it. There are too many subs out there that aren't getting the price they think they should or the deal on upgrade that they think they should and just say "let me threaten to cancel... that'll show em!"

Its reasons like this that D*, E* or any of the several providers can't afford to give those "choice" deals to those loyal and long-lasting customers, as well as having to do the necessary rate increases just to be able to stay in business. I personally am glad that D* has started to ignore the idle threats and has been calling people's bluff on this. It ends up costing more money for those that know the cost of things is just the nature of the beast and are willing to pay that amount.
Agreed. I'd love to see the look on someone's face as they're talking to retention.

"I want this, this and this or I'm cancelling!!"

"Okay, just a minute sir." A few keystrokes later.... "Okay, you're disconnected."

"B..b...b..but don't I get any offers to keep me??"

"No."

!rolling
 

· Hall Of Fame
Joined
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4,787 Posts
MrMojoJojo said:
This plus the OP's original conversation with Retention are just more examples of the gross misuse/abuse of it. There are too many subs out there that aren't getting the price they think they should or the deal on upgrade that they think they should and just say "let me threaten to cancel... that'll show em!"

Its reasons like this that D*, E* or any of the several providers can't afford to give those "choice" deals to those loyal and long-lasting customers, as well as having to do the necessary rate increases just to be able to stay in business. I personally am glad that D* has started to ignore the idle threats and has been calling people's bluff on this. It ends up costing more money for those that know the cost of things is just the nature of the beast and are willing to pay that amount.
Well personally I think DirecTV made the OP a very good offer.But I believe if he's not happy with that then he should examine offers from all the providers he can .Then subscribe to the best offer.:)

Even though it's a known fact the best offer sometimes is not the best deal.:sure:
 

· AllStar
Joined
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59 Posts
Discussion Starter · #19 ·
This whole thing really reminds me of the cell phone business. The offer attractive deals to new customers and subsidize the handsets because they have a guaranteed revenue stream for 2 years. A couple of months ago, I found myself in a similar situation - I had four Verizon cell phones, that were a couple of years old and were starting to act up. I went to the Verizon web site and looked at the costs of new phones if I upgraded and I also went to Amazon.com and looked at the costs of the same phone if I was a new customer. Well guess what, the new customer was getting a lot better of a deal! However in this case, I called Verizon up and they were able to match the Amazon's prices and I was happy with it and stayed with them.

It's the same with DirecTV. I don't really expect to get something more that anyone else, but I would like to think I am getting the best deal available. Also,they are more than willing to offer me another incentive - 6 months from now, I guess the last eight years meant nothing to them? I mean whats up with that - I guess I should have called up every 6 months and asked for something free????

Carl Spock - I like that joke, because that is how I feel right now

Jhon - that is exactly what I am doing, I will look at what is available and then make an educated decision
 

· Registered
Joined
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8,035 Posts
Yay! Another entitlement thread. :rolleyes:

Got to love the "I've been a customer for X years paying Y a month, the OWE me free Z."

Please.

They don't owe you squat. They provide a service, you pay for the service.

Try the same thing with your local gas/water/electric company. See what sort of response you get.

I've got no issue with someone asking for freebies. What I do take issue with is people getting all upset when they are told no, then pissing and moaning on internet forums that they didn't get freebies.
 
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