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Hall Of Fame
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This thread is not meant to complain or rant. I'm just looking for some sympathy here. And this is kinda tongue-in-cheek, even though it's true. Twice I have recommended DirecTV to someone, and both times I've regretted it, through no fault of the satellite provider.

The first time was to my 83-year-old father, who moved into a new home and was fed up with cable outages. I have had satellite of one kind or another since 1990 and have always loved it. DirecTV has given me a lot of equipment at very little cost and it has been near-perfect. So it was a no-brainer for me to recommend DirecTV to him, giving my credit card number because he didn't have any credit cards.

Time came for his install...and went. In fact, two appointments were missed. On the third, the installer put the dish on my dad's electric pole (which is a no-no) and caused his roof to start leaking! That was strike one. Strike two was the occasional outage due to weather, and strike three was...Too many channels! Really! They couldn't find their favorite channels, and there was "never anything on" the channels they could find! Remember, these people were adults when Fibber McGee was popular...

Anyway, my dad passed away a couple of months later. I did not get his death certificate from my stepmother in a timely fashion, so my credit card got charged the early termination fee.

Next case is my wife's best friend, who lost her locals from Dish Network because they moved them to the 129 satellite, which is not visible from her house. They're on the 119 with DirecTV, which barely has LOS. All was good, and it got better when she could still see Passions after NBC cancelled it. But the weather thing came in to play, plus the fact that signals from the 119 satellite are going up and down in the late afternoon on some spot beams, making us lose our locals at newstime (I started a thread about this, by the way.)

Third strike for her is in progress now...one of her TVs is displaying "Unusable Signal," which means no good video from the receiver. I told her to change cables and then try a swap with a different receiver, but even if the receiver is at fault, they may send out a tech. "They'd better not charge me," she snarled. "I'm renting these boxes! I really don't like DirecTV!" I'm quite sure she doesn't have the protection plan, so I see what's coming.

I guess the moral of this story is, satellite TV is not right for everyone. I have had great service and really have no complaints. I know all this is my fault and I should have thought my recommendation out a little better. But I will never recommend DirecTV again!
 

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Hall Of Fame
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Both your father and wife's best friend's experiences would have been 200% better had the install be done properly. Unfortunately, installations is DirecTV's worst "feature" because it's the part of the "DirecTV experience" that they have the least amount of control over. I, too, wish that would change.
 

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Godfather
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Yep, I feel the same way. I haven't had the bad experiences like yours but I fear situations exactly like yours. People I know just want to come home after work plop down and turn on the tube. They don't want to know about things like rain fade, LNB drift, azimuth etc. etc. If there is a problem just call the cable company.
 

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Lifetime Achiever
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Ouch.

I'm sorry about your Dad's passing.

As for the early termination fee, I hope that did get reversed after the death certificate was received?

I also understand the too many channels problem with a variant--too many boxes. My mother-in-law has reached the stage where turning the TV on is almost too much for her. She couldn't handle a set top box from cable or satellite at this point unfortunately.

At the moment, she gets DIRECTV via 3 receivers that are dedicated to her most favorite cable networks and modulated to 3 RF channels, odds 121-125. Then we told the TV to only display those three plus few channels that basic, basic cable has (comes free with Internet). Since she lives in our house, this isn't as expensive as it might sound; $15/month for her enjoyment is a pittance.

Cheers,
Tom
 

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paulman182 said:
This thread is not meant to complain or rant. I'm just looking for some sympathy here. And this is kinda tongue-in-cheek, even though it's true. Twice I have recommended DirecTV to someone, and both times I've regretted it, through no fault of the satellite provider.

The first time was to my 83-year-old father, who moved into a new home and was fed up with cable outages. I have had satellite of one kind or another since 1990 and have always loved it. DirecTV has given me a lot of equipment at very little cost and it has been near-perfect. So it was a no-brainer for me to recommend DirecTV to him, giving my credit card number because he didn't have any credit cards.

Time came for his install...and went. In fact, two appointments were missed. On the third, the installer put the dish on my dad's electric pole (which is a no-no) and caused his roof to start leaking! That was strike one. Strike two was the occasional outage due to weather, and strike three was...Too many channels! Really! They couldn't find their favorite channels, and there was "never anything on" the channels they could find! Remember, these people were adults when Fibber McGee was popular...

Anyway, my dad passed away a couple of months later. I did not get his death certificate from my stepmother in a timely fashion, so my credit card got charged the early termination fee.

Next case is my wife's best friend, who lost her locals from Dish Network because they moved them to the 129 satellite, which is not visible from her house. They're on the 119 with DirecTV, which barely has LOS. All was good, and it got better when she could still see Passions after NBC cancelled it. But the weather thing came in to play, plus the fact that signals from the 119 satellite are going up and down in the late afternoon on some spot beams, making us lose our locals at newstime (I started a thread about this, by the way.)

Third strike for her is in progress now...one of her TVs is displaying "Unusable Signal," which means no good video from the receiver. I told her to change cables and then try a swap with a different receiver, but even if the receiver is at fault, they may send out a tech. "They'd better not charge me," she snarled. "I'm renting these boxes! I really don't like DirecTV!" I'm quite sure she doesn't have the protection plan, so I see what's coming.

I guess the moral of this story is, satellite TV is not right for everyone. I have had great service and really have no complaints. I know all this is my fault and I should have thought my recommendation out a little better. But I will never recommend DirecTV again!
I feel your pain,

As you correctly stated, "...satellite TV isn't for everybody..." As an installer I have seen folks ready to cancel because the first installer never put the batteries in the remotes, "too many channels" and a long list of confusions related to input feeds for the antenna, VCR, DVD and using two (or more) remotes. It is a lot to take in for someone who was young before WWII.

But I note the grandchildren........who have never been without computers, satellite tv in color and sliced bread........can run off their room with a new receiver and get it running in a rat nest of other cables without reading the instructions.

So you have learned that no good deed goes unpunished. Just say "ahdonnonothinaboudit."

Joe
 

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Some people will never be able to effectively use a sat box without a "script" andcontinuinghelp. When I recommend D* to a non-tech savvy person, I tell them to get the service plan...they will need it. I don't recommend sat services to anyone who doesn't understand what the "input button" on their remote does.

Secondly, in situations where I have some "control" or I have a personal relationship with, I set things up for them, and understand from that point on, I'm on the hook for every time they hit the wrong button on their remote.

Nevertheless, there is a group of people who can't do ANYTHING other than turn the TV on. They are dumbfounded by the concept of a TV having "inputs", and needing to switch to one or the other to see a device someone else connected for them.

Digital converter boxes are causing a nightmare, unless they only use the RF-Modulated connection...and even then, people don't understand that they have to use Ch 3 or Ch 4. (and have given up a reasonably nice picture available via composite video)

I'm reminded of Colin Powell's rule: You break it, you own it. In this case, you advise it, you're now the installer and first line of help.

HD, Sat, etc. is indeed not for everyone. Be careful what you recommend, you may be indirectly committing yourself to a long term involvement.
 

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After spending some time at my house and not having anything but OTA, my parents decided to jump into the DirecTV pool. They did this with out any warning that they were going to do it. Just a piece of a conversation"Oh by the way we got cable.. I mean Dish.. I mean DirecTV". I lost the referral discount but oh well.

Fortunately for my parents they had a decent installer(the only thing he didn't do was ground the Dish), he gave them a good explanation and a break down of channel locations(My mom wanted the religious area) and setup the remotes properly and had good signal levels. Fortunately these are just simple D12s so nothing super radical for them to learn. But I'm sure the first person they call when something goes wrong will be me. Not that I'm complaining mind you. But my father does like to b!tch about any little thing when he can. And I'm sure the first call will be out signal loss during a storm. But I'm sure I'll be able to tell him I'm in the same boat.

But I think you are right. I don't do a hard recommend for DirecTV, I tell others I am happy with it, but don't do a hard sell. I don't want to be on the hook when something happens to their install. Basically the same reason I would never sell a car to friend. Sure they may have been nothing wrong with it when I sold it, but a week later they are calling me saying "Why didn't you tell me X was broke", well because it wasn't when I sold it. Better to stay away from thing like that. IMHO.
 

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Impossible Dreamer
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Azalo said:
I reccomended Dish to someone and then they lost MLB-EI and he was pissed, I reccomended D* to another friend and he hates it. I don't reccomend anything anymore.
I generally don't, either, unless I am quite familiar with their needs and wants. For example, if someone is a major (out of market) sports fan, DirecTV is really the only way to go IMHO. But when I recommend DirecTV to such a person locally, I also recommend an independent installer -- Mastec is just too hit-or-miss, and a poor install can ruin the entire experience.

If I weren't such a sports fan, I would seriously look at FIOS myself -- even though they don't have all the HD that DirecTV does, they have great PQ and don't have the rain fade issues that are a bit of a PITA this time of year in this area (especially with the new Ka-band channels). But I have heard some horror stories about their installs and service as well -- no company is immune to such issues.

So instead of recommendations, I give people who ask what information I have, talk about some things that they might want to consider, and wish them good luck. :)
 

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Godfather
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Recommended D* to my in-laws. They jumped on it (at the time our cable co was dragging feet on HD, etc).

I know they hated it, but Im almost positive it was due to a bad install......one day brother in law called me and asked if I wanted his receivers because he cancelled D*. I asked why and he told me about how it always went out during windy periods, etc. Probably coulda fixed it in an hour with better dish install and/or re-aim. But oh well, he didnt hold it against me.

Right now I only recommend D* to people around my age (i.e. my friends, etc). I dont think its quite there for my parents, grandparents, etc that just want to come home and turn the thing on. My dad is still angry that he would need receivers for each TV (yet, when his cable co. goes digital and forces the same thing on him, he might just accept it anyway). My friends understand HD, why you need receivers, etc so I dont mind recommending to them.

-Chris
 

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paulman182 said:
This thread is not meant to complain or rant. I'm just looking for some sympathy here. And this is kinda tongue-in-cheek, even though it's true. Twice I have recommended DirecTV to someone, and both times I've regretted it, through no fault of the satellite provider.

The first time was to my 83-year-old father, who moved into a new home and was fed up with cable outages. I have had satellite of one kind or another since 1990 and have always loved it. DirecTV has given me a lot of equipment at very little cost and it has been near-perfect. So it was a no-brainer for me to recommend DirecTV to him, giving my credit card number because he didn't have any credit cards.

Time came for his install...and went. In fact, two appointments were missed. On the third, the installer put the dish on my dad's electric pole (which is a no-no) and caused his roof to start leaking! That was strike one. Strike two was the occasional outage due to weather, and strike three was...Too many channels! Really! They couldn't find their favorite channels, and there was "never anything on" the channels they could find! Remember, these people were adults when Fibber McGee was popular...

Anyway, my dad passed away a couple of months later. I did not get his death certificate from my stepmother in a timely fashion, so my credit card got charged the early termination fee.

Next case is my wife's best friend, who lost her locals from Dish Network because they moved them to the 129 satellite, which is not visible from her house. They're on the 119 with DirecTV, which barely has LOS. All was good, and it got better when she could still see Passions after NBC cancelled it. But the weather thing came in to play, plus the fact that signals from the 119 satellite are going up and down in the late afternoon on some spot beams, making us lose our locals at newstime (I started a thread about this, by the way.)

Third strike for her is in progress now...one of her TVs is displaying "Unusable Signal," which means no good video from the receiver. I told her to change cables and then try a swap with a different receiver, but even if the receiver is at fault, they may send out a tech. "They'd better not charge me," she snarled. "I'm renting these boxes! I really don't like DirecTV!" I'm quite sure she doesn't have the protection plan, so I see what's coming.

I guess the moral of this story is, satellite TV is not right for everyone. I have had great service and really have no complaints. I know all this is my fault and I should have thought my recommendation out a little better. But I will never recommend DirecTV again!
"Unusable signal" usually means TV is on a wrong input. If its an HD system then problem can also be that receiver is on a resolution that is not supported by TV.

Saying "satellite is not right for everyone" is incorrect. Satellite used to be easy and today its more complicated and there are more channels. Technology advances all the time. Digital cable is also complicated, you need a box in each room instead of just connecting a cable.
 

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Godfather
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I will also no longer recomend D*. My son lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming. He just visited me and was impressed with my setup so when he went home he called to see what he could get. He e-mailed me all excited saying he's getting it installed Sunday. Sunday Ticket, HD, Free DVR all for about 80 bucks a month. He said the CSR told him he would get East or West coast feeds, whichever he wanted. (D* doesn't do locals in that market). I called him right away. "Are you sure that's what he said"? Absolutely. Once he was activated all he had to do was call them back and tell them which he wanted, East or West. And all the football games would be in HD. I told him I thought he would have to get superfan to get them all in HD. He said the CSR didn't say anything about that, just that they would all be in HD. I told him what I knew about getting local station waivers and all that crap and that none of this sounded right. He called D* to confirm everything he was told and guess what...
IT TURNS OUT THAT THE CSR LIED TO HIM. There is no way he was going to get distant locals. This company is without morals. It's just about enough to make me cancel my service just to not support a company that does business like this.
If my son hadn't known somebody somewhat knowledgable about this he would have gotten screwed. Thankfully, he cancelled his install and will go with cable.
 

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Hall Of Fame
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ironwood, I doubt the TV is on the wrong input as she ended up watching a movie, so she cycled thru the inputs. If it's the TV I think it is, the problem is probably with the TV, but who knows.

My major point is I recommended DirecTV to first, someone with no electronic knowledge or ability (although in his day he could fix ANYTHING mechanical,) and second, to someone with no patience whatsoever if something is not working perfectly.

It means that what are molehills to me are mountains to them, and somehow its all my fault.

I do appreciate all the comments, folks.
 

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Hall Of Fame
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My mother-in-law is always griping about how her Charter Cable goes out all the time and the bill goes up. She’s asked me several times about D*. I’ve explained to her that she’ll need a “box” for every TV (which is a big negative to her) and that in the long run, it will cost her more because right now, she pays $99 for cable with all the movie channels and high-speed Internet. The same programming with D* would cost her almost that much and then she’d have to pay another ~$40/month for Internet. I’d probably do the install for her (well, I’d have the installers mount and align the dish). Still, I really don’t feel comfortable recommending D* because for most people in our area, it’s more expensive plus you have the issues with a bad installation and poor D* customer service.
 

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Cool Member
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I am in the same situation. I convinced my parents to get D* six months ago. Locals are not available in their area. Having to change inputs to get locals on antenna is really confusing. The TV's receiver is much better than HR20. They have recently had a box go bad. Constantly getting so many phone calls from them about not being able to find programming I may have to bump up minutes on cell phone.
 

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Legend
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No,satellite is really not for everyone!!!Did an install 3 weeks ago for this lady's parents.I spent a good hour on customer education.She still don't get it .I had gave her my cell phone number in case she had problems ,and twice she's called about the same problem ;tv on the wrong input!!!:nono2:
 

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Godfather
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Telstar12 said:
No,satellite is really not for everyone!!!Did an install 3 weeks ago for this lady's parents.I spent a good hour on customer education.She still don't get it .I had gave her my cell phone number in case she had problems ,and twice she's called about the same problem ;tv on the wrong input!!!:nono2:
Haha. Some people will never see beyond channels 2-69. :lol:
 

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RF Engineer
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kw2957 said:
Haha. Some people will never see beyond channels 2-69. :lol:
I'm just thinking to myself how much fun it's going to be next February when they shut down analog OTA broadcasting. Of course, everyone will be totally prepared with a converter box or ATSC tuner, right?

Watch DTV and the other providers go crazy disseminating incorrect information to get customers that panic when their TV goes to snow on all the channels....

Yup, you gotta get an HR21 and the HD package so you can get DIGITAL TV. Or, yup, you need DIGITAL CABLE if you want to watch TV from now on. I can't wait.
 

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ThomasM said:
I'm just thinking to myself how much fun it's going to be next February when they shut down analog OTA broadcasting. Of course, everyone will be totally prepared with a converter box or ATSC tuner, right?

Watch DTV and the other providers go crazy disseminating incorrect information to get customers that panic when their TV goes to snow on all the channels....

Yup, you gotta get an HR21 and the HD package so you can get DIGITAL TV. Or, yup, you need DIGITAL CABLE if you want to watch TV from now on. I can't wait.
No kidding, its gonna be insane.

The problem is no company or group seems to give a straight answer to people. They just like to make it more confusing and make more standards and then pump them. Like Full HD! (1080p) that made everyone have no idea what is going on and what this crap 720p and 1080i is :rolleyes:

People just dont understand it, and companies just make it more and more and more and more confusing with new standards, marketing terms, models, yada, yada, yada.

Makes some people spend waaayyy too much money, some people not get what they need, and others just close up completely to it all and then they are gonna wonder what is going on when their TV is all static come 2009!
 
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