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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Due to the imminent loss of my distant networks, I'm dropping Dish (after ten years) and switching to Direct. The phone call(s) to set up service today were a fiasco. I ended up talking to six diifferent CSR's, an installation guy, and a supervisor-- they all contradicted the prices and terms quoted by the others.

At any rate, what I finally wound up with (I think) is this:

Total Choice Premier
2 DVR's now, one to be exchanged for an HD DVR when they're available
Total cost now, $99. No charge for the DVR swap when it happens.

Rather than sign me for Total Choice Premier, they signed me up for "NFL Sunday Ticket"- saying it includes Total Choice Premier, and is only $69.99 per month for the first four months, then going up to $99.99. They said that if I signed up for Total Choice Premier itself, it would be $99.99 immediately (in either case, I get an additional $10 per month off for the first 12 months).

If that's the way it works, fine-- they saved me $120. But the boilerplate they read at the end said something about the NFL Sunday Ticket package continuing unless I cancel it. Does it usually cost extra? Ie, if I don't cancel it before the next football season, and am I going to have a monthly charge in addition to the $99.99 for Total Choice Premier?

Also, when the HD DVR becomes available, do they send that out with an installer, or do they just ship it to me? I won't need the installer, but I'm curious as to what the arrangements are for the return of the "loaner" DVR. Has anybody else done this? Do they really make the exchange for free, or are they going to try to nail me with an upgrade charge of some sort?

With all the misinformation I had to wade through this morning, I take NONE of what they said at face value, so I'm hoping you folks can confirm or deny!
 

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DennyC said:
Due to the imminent loss of my distant networks, I'm dropping Dish (after ten years) and switching to Direct. The phone call(s) to set up service today were a fiasco. I ended up talking to six diifferent CSR's, an installation guy, and a supervisor-- they all contradicted the prices and terms quoted by the others.

At any rate, what I finally wound up with (I think) is this:

Total Choice Premier
2 DVR's now, one to be exchanged for an HD DVR when they're available
Total cost now, $99. No charge for the DVR swap when it happens.

Rather than sign me for Total Choice Premier, they signed me up for "NFL Sunday Ticket"- saying it includes Total Choice Premier, and is only $69.99 per month for the first four months, then going up to $99.99. They said that if I signed up for Total Choice Premier itself, it would be $99.99 immediately (in either case, I get an additional $10 per month off for the first 12 months).

If that's the way it works, fine-- they saved me $120. But the boilerplate they read at the end said something about the NFL Sunday Ticket package continuing unless I cancel it. Does it usually cost extra? Ie, if I don't cancel it before the next football season, and am I going to have a monthly charge in addition to the $99.99 for Total Choice Premier?

Also, when the HD DVR becomes available, do they send that out with an installer, or do they just ship it to me? I won't need the installer, but I'm curious as to what the arrangements are for the return of the "loaner" DVR. Has anybody else done this? Do they really make the exchange for free, or are they going to try to nail me with an upgrade charge of some sort?

With all the misinformation I had to wade through this morning, I take NONE of what they said at face value, so I'm hoping you folks can confirm or deny!
At no cost to you the new DVR will be sent to you via FedEx, included with that will be return kits for the units your sending back. All you need to do is call the toll free number and FedEx will pick up the returning units for free, to send back to DirecTV. Also make sure you have two cables for each connection for the new HD DVR (HR20) on each set. Have the installer setup any switches (Zinwell) at the first visit, so you will have everything you need. Keep in mind equipment acquired on or after March 1 2006 is leased, this means it has to be returned when requested by DirecTV. Failure to return leased equipment will result in a charge to your account, which varies depending on model. Unless of course you buy it at full cost from DirecTV ($749 Each for HR20) then you don't have to return it.
 

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DennyC said:
If that's the way it works, fine-- they saved me $120. But the boilerplate they read at the end said something about the NFL Sunday Ticket package continuing unless I cancel it. Does it usually cost extra? Ie, if I don't cancel it before the next football season, and am I going to have a monthly charge in addition to the $99.99 for Total Choice Premier?
Yes, Sunday ticket is an additional charge. This year I believe it was $149 if you were on auto-renew or signed up early. That charge is for the entire football season (not per month). Another interesting note, is that if you want to watch the games in HD, you need to pay for the "Superfan" package as well *even if* you already pay for the HD package ($10 mo). For the latter reason, I didn't buy the Sunday Ticket package this year, and am taking my chances on local broadcasts.

--Mike
 

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Total Choice Premier is NOT included in ST. What you're signing up for, excluding ST, should look something like this.

Total Choice Premier: $99.99/mo
Additional Receiver: $4.99/mo

If you don't go with Premier (Total Choice or Plus) you will also pay a DVR fee ($4.99 or $5.99 IIRC). If you later add the HD package that's $9.99/mo. You pay for ST only during the football season and they divide it into monthly installments. According to DTVs web site they're selling ST for 3 payments of $58. Also as greenie mentioned if you want HD ST that's an additional charge (anywhere from $49 to $99).

I'd suggest calling back and running everything by another CSR. Also, if they're not installing a HD DVR or HD receiver at this time they'll likely install a 3 LNB dish, not the 5LNB AT9. Then when they send you the HD DVR they'll need to come out and also upgrade the dish to an AT9.

Just remember ST is an addon package. You must have one of the base packages such as Total Choice, Total Choice Plus or Total Choice Premier. Not sure what those guys were smokin' when you called.
 

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greenie95125 said:
Yes, Sunday ticket is an additional charge. This year I believe it was $149 if you were on auto-renew or signed up early. That charge is for the entire football season (not per month). Another interesting note, is that if you want to watch the games in HD, you need to pay for the "Superfan" package as well *even if* you already pay for the HD package ($10 mo). For the latter reason, I didn't buy the Sunday Ticket package this year, and am taking my chances on local broadcasts.

--Mike
$149 is not the renewal price for Sunday Ticket. It is around $230 dollars. You are correct, you will either have to call and cancel at the end of the regular season, or log on to your account online to remove the subscription.

With regards to SuperFan, check with customer service as they are discounting the HD add on since the season is half done. I went ahead and paid for the SuperFan and it has been worth it. The only reason why I would not get it is if you are fan of an AFC team. CBS does not carry many of their games in HD. The most I have seen each week is three. If most of your games are on FOX, I would get the SF package. Otherwise it is a waste of money if your team is not getting HD coverage on CBS every week.

Enjoy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Okay, now you guys are really getting me concerned. :)

It seems that my DVR/HD DVR exchange may go as quoted-- thanks for that info, cybrsurfer. And I was very specific that I wanted the AT9, even though I won't have an HD box for a month or so. They assured me that what I was getting.

But the NFL and Superfan stuff (both of which they said I have) may be a problem. First off, I don't watch football, ever (I was a nerd long before it was cool) and have absolutely no use for it-- and I told them that. They insisted that it was still the best deal, by ordering it that way I was simply saving $30 per month on the Premier package for the next four months.

I'll call them back tomorrow and verify the whole thing--again. I did that after I originally ordered this morning and found that it was totally screwed up (wrong receivers, extra receivers, wrong prices, etc.). Several CSR's later they canceled the whole thing and I started over. One of the few things they were consistent on, though, was that the cheapest way to get the Total Premier package was to order the NFL package instead.

Thanks for the help, I'll keep you posted.
 

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I signed up at the end of September for the same thing. It is a promotion you are getting, and it is saving you money (assuming you want all the channels offered by Premier package).

Basically the promotion is this:

$99/mo for Premier pkg
$69.99/mo for 4 months for NFL ST
$9.99/mo for HD service
-$99/mo for 4 months for new customer
-$9.99/mo for 4 months for free HD service

Note: You also save the extra fee you'd normally be paying for DVR service, since it is included with the Premier pkg.

So basically you are only paying for NFL ST each month for 4 months, yet you are getting the Premier pkg. It is a good deal, even if you don't want ST but still want the Premier pkg. If you don't want either, you are better off downgrading to a lower pkg (I wanted this promo for ST< and will likely downgrade when it ends because Premier has so much crap that is useless, like ALL the RSNs, but you don't get the games carried on them, lol).
 

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DennyC said:
Okay, now you guys are really getting me concerned. :)

It seems that my DVR/HD DVR exchange may go as quoted-- thanks for that info, cybrsurfer. And I was very specific that I wanted the AT9, even though I won't have an HD box for a month or so. They assured me that what I was getting.

But the NFL and Superfan stuff (both of which they said I have) may be a problem. First off, I don't watch football, ever (I was a nerd long before it was cool) and have absolutely no use for it-- and I told them that. They insisted that it was still the best deal, by ordering it that way I was simply saving $30 per month on the Premier package for the next four months.

I'll call them back tomorrow and verify the whole thing--again. I did that after I originally ordered this morning and found that it was totally screwed up (wrong receivers, extra receivers, wrong prices, etc.). Several CSR's later they canceled the whole thing and I started over. One of the few things they were consistent on, though, was that the cheapest way to get the Total Premier package was to order the NFL package instead.

Thanks for the help, I'll keep you posted.
Doesn't matter. NFL ST is a big draw for DTV and they put that package together to draw in new customers. If you do not like footballk just dont watch it, no biggie. With this deal you are basically getting Premier for $70 per month for 4 months when it really cost's $100. And NFL ST for free.

So either way for the first 4 months you are saving money.
 

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DennyC said:
At any rate, what I finally wound up with (I think) is this:

Total Choice Premier
2 DVR's now, one to be exchanged for an HD DVR when they're available
Total cost now, $99. No charge for the DVR swap when it happens.

Rather than sign me for Total Choice Premier, they signed me up for "NFL Sunday Ticket"- saying it includes Total Choice Premier, and is only $69.99 per month for the first four months, then going up to $99.99. They said that if I signed up for Total Choice Premier itself, it would be $99.99 immediately (in either case, I get an additional $10 per month off for the first 12 months).

If that's the way it works, fine-- they saved me $120. But the boilerplate they read at the end said something about the NFL Sunday Ticket package continuing unless I cancel it. Does it usually cost extra? Ie, if I don't cancel it before the next football season, and am I going to have a monthly charge in addition to the $99.99 for Total Choice Premier?

Also, when the HD DVR becomes available, do they send that out with an installer, or do they just ship it to me? I won't need the installer, but I'm curious as to what the arrangements are for the return of the "loaner" DVR. Has anybody else done this? Do they really make the exchange for free, or are they going to try to nail me with an upgrade charge of some sort?

With all the misinformation I had to wade through this morning, I take NONE of what they said at face value, so I'm hoping you folks can confirm or deny!
What you were told was correct. If you do not cancel NFL SUNDAY TICKET Next season you will be charged the early renewal rate. Before the season next year you will see on your bill NFL SUNDAY TICKET EARLY RENEWAL with a $0.00 charge next to it. When this comes out call in and cancel the NFL SUNDAY TICKET and you will not be charged. At the end of 4 months if you do not want to keep the Total Choice Premier Package just call in and change your base package. What everyone else has said on the thread is correct with the pricing. Your actually paying for the NFL SUNDAY TICKET ($279 total over 4 payments of $69.99) with the Total Choice Premier free for 4 months.
 

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Offer:
Order NFL Sunday Ticket and get Total Choice Premier FREE for the first 4 months, plus get one free PPV movie. And right now, we also give you the SuperFan package for free.

Price/Credit:
$69.99/month for first 4 months of NFL Sunday Ticket. (Or, 1-pay at $279.96 by request only.)

Autorenew for this season was $209 so it probably will be similar next season.
Around June (usually) there would be a line item on your bill that says "NFLST07 autorenew", you can call in then or sometime before the start of the nfl season to have it cancelled and/or refunded.

And actually the better promo is the $59.99 promo because you get the totalchoice plus, starz and showtime, dvr and hd service at that price for a year. If you want total choice premier you still get the discount but it would be 86.99 for a year plus any additional receivers. That price includes the dvr and hd service.
It's more of a long term promo and you'll actually get services you're going to use as opposed to the nflst.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
After perusing your input, I called back this morning ang got a very competent CSR to review my order:

1. They had switched my order to a 3 LNB dish because I won't be getting HD immediately (since they don't have the HD DVR available yet). I told them I wasn't going to wait around for two dish installations, they need to install the AT9 the first time out. Eventually, with some difficulty, she changed it back to the 5 LNB with the appropriate multiswitch. The problem here seems to be that their computer automatically assigns the dish based on the receivers ordered, so I won't be surprised if that gets kicked back again. I'll double-check the dish they're bringing out when I talk to the local installers.

2. I was signed up for the NFL package, it does work as advertised (and as you guys explained here). I told her that I don't watch football and I was simply looking for the best price on Total Choice Premier, and (like every CSR I've talked to) she was all over this-- "even if you don't watch a single game, you still save $30 per month for the first four months!". I asked how saving $30 per month for four months translated to being a better deal than saving $13 per month for twelve months (the other promotion available that would get me Total Choice Premier). She did some work on her calculator and then allowed as how I was right, that would be a better deal for me and made that change.

3. She then went the extra mile and found that, even without HD on the account yet, I was still getting the deal that serenstarlight mentioned-- "12 months free HD", which will save me an additional 9.99 a month for the first year.

So, I think I finally have what I wanted-- but I'm going to wait until the next shift comes on, then call back and go over the order one more time with a different CSR, just to be sure.

Thanks to you guys for all your help. After ten years of dealing with Dish, this is all foreign territory for me!
 

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DennyC said:
I did that after I originally ordered this morning and found that it was totally screwed up (wrong receivers, extra receivers, wrong prices, etc.).
I don't know how you checked out the prices but the DirecTV billing system does some strange things when you are selecting a promotion. When I ordered an HR20 through retention the CSR warned me that my online statement would look as though I was paying full price for it but with credits added in later it sorted itself out.

In my area the installers only seem to have AT9 dishes and the WB68 multiswitch available, two people I know who had SD-only installs recently got the new equipment. But I would check with the installers when they call to confirm that they do have the right gear.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Andrew_J_M said:
I don't know how you checked out the prices but the DirecTV billing system does some strange things when you are selecting a promotion. When I ordered an HR20 through retention the CSR warned me that my online statement would look as though I was paying full price for it but with credits added in later it sorted itself out.
I just asked what I was getting-- and it was totally different from what I was originally told. I think it started because I accepted their offer to bundle Direct and Qwest DSL (TC Premier + DSL for $103.98 per month). But when they connected me to Qwest, the price went up to $138.98 per month. A call back to Dish yielded not only the information that the original quote was wrong, but that they wanted me to pay $99 for one of the receivers (I'd been told both $99 fees were waived) and that the swap for an HD DVR would cost an additional $199 (instead of the $100 I'd been quoted). So my total cost for equipment went from $100 (to be paid when the DVR swap was paid) to $298 ($99 now, $199 later).

I told 'em to drop the Qwest thing altogether, and started to haggle about all the other stuff. Eventually, after a supervisor first telling me it was "impossible", he came back on the line and said he was wrong-- if I paid $99 for one DVR up front, the exchange for the HD DVR would be free. So that brought my equipment cost to $1 less than originally quoted. They had to cancel my original order and start over to do all that, but supposedly, that's the way it will work. I know I'll never be able to figure out how they bill it-- but so long as there's only $99 charged to my credit card, I'll be happy.

Andrew_J_M said:
In my area the installers only seem to have AT9 dishes and the WB68 multiswitch available, two people I know who had SD-only installs recently got the new equipment. But I would check with the installers when they call to confirm that they do have the right gear.
I'll definitely do that. This last CSR indicated that, in some markets (she mentioned California) the AT9 is all they install, because it's needed to receive locals. But my order showed a 3 LNB, so that must be the standard here in Arizona.
 

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That depends on whether your locals are carried in HD. In Arizona, HD locals are currently carried in the Phoenix DMA only (actually less than the whole DMA due to the coverage of the spotbeam). You may still get the 5 LNB dish, depending on what the installers have in stock. In about a year you will need the 5 LNB dish in any case.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Good news-- for the first time since this saga started, I called and talked to a CSR who gave me the same answers as the one before. They both read off what I'm supposed to be getting, and it's appears to be accurate.

Bad news-- I got not one, but two, "Drect TV Order Confirmation" emails this morning. The first is for the original order that was cancelled about two hours after it was placed, because they couldn't figure out how to straighten out all the problems with it. The second says I'm getting the NFL Sunday Ticket package (which has changed), and the 3 LNB dish (also changed). I'm going to assume that my last two conversations with CSR's reflect the present reality and hope for the best.

Question: My house is on a slab and my RG6 runs are from the back of the house (where the dish will be mounted), through the attic, then fished down between wall studs to wall outlets. I actually have three of the four runs I need already in place-- will the installer climb up in my attic and run the fourth cable, or do they try to run things outside and just come through the wall from there? If they're not willing to do the attic thing, I may try to do it myself before they arrive....

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Okay, the installation guy just left, and things did not go as planned. Main problem, he said that the AT9 can't be installed in the same place as my old dish (stucco wall)-- it would have to go on a post. The post mount would be substantially lower than the wall mount-- and in that position, the AT9 won't work because of trees. However, he had a single LNB dish on the truck, so installed that on the mast from my Dish network dish (same location, on the stucco wall) and I'm receiving the 101 satellite just fine on both of the R15's, so I'm happy with that.

However, I'm on the waiting list for an HR-20 (which they're supposed to swap for one of the R15's, for free). I'm tempted to make the swap for the HR20 even though I won't be able to receive HD via satellite-- if the answers to the following questions are what I want them to be:

1. Once the OTA feature on the HR20 is activated, could I still use it for that? My TV is only "HD ready" so, between HD via OTA, and doubling the size of the hard drive, I think it would still be a worthwhile replacement.

2. Since I won't be able to receive HD via satellite, I don't want to pay the $9.99 per month HD fee. It shouldn't be a factor for the first twelve months (HD is included for free), but after that I'd want to call them and tell them I want to drop the HD service, but continue using the HR20 as a receiver. Will they let me keep the HR20 in that circumstance?

Thanks for any insight!

Denny
 
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