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4373 Views 15 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  tcatdbs
I was an "Absolute" customer and all my "freebie" offers are about to expire. I cringe when I hear their ads that your costs won't increase for 2 years... well going from $30 "all" HD to $60 "all" HD (with free Platinum, minus $10 bonus discount)... to soon to be $70... all all those are plus any "extras" (like equipment and taxes)... my bill has really gone from $46 to $72, soon to be $92 (and that's with free Starz dropping off), for pretty much the same HD content (with a 3 or 4 good channels added).

I'm thinking it's time to start thinking about alternatives. Or has anyone been able to negotiate better deals for the AT200 with BB (Platinum) once their freebies expired?
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I'm in the same boat as you. I had Absolute and when they switched me to AT200 I was able to negotiate $20 in monthly credits plus free Platinum all for one year. Since I don't need all the channels I'm getting now I will probably switch down to AT120 and try to negotiate something on top of that like free Platinum for another year. The only thing with free Platinum is that you can't use any of the Blockbuster stuff, unless something changes.
Yeah, wish they had an "HD Only" deal. I'd rather pay the BB $10 and try for a $10 credit on something else. I get 1-2 disks per week with Netflix and would like to drop it for BB. I just have this bad feeling my bill is going to jump 40% any day now...

Never could understand why they offer "New" and "Previous" customers specials (like $39.99 Top 200), and don't make much effort to retain existing 2-10 year customers. I've been from TWC to Dish to TWC back to Dish because of this poor marketing tactic.
I'm a x-absolute and lost all the freebies too, but I'm not seeing much reason to stick around for maybe 10 channels I watch. I'm considering streaming options, and maybe just go OTA until the NFL restarts next season. I'll do the CSR roulette thing to see what I can get, but going to Directv for a new customer deal maybe the best way to go to save money.
My free Starz just ended. I notice Encore HD went away. I was thinking it was part of the "200" package when I signed up. What's the closest to the old Absolute these days? Silver + BB? Not happy with price increases from the old package. Have to switch to Direct to stay in the ballpark, and then back in a year or two to get the special here... rediculous!
tcatdbs said:
...Have to switch to Direct to stay in the ballpark, and then back in a year or two to get the special here... rediculous!
You wont be a "new" customer when you come back. Let me get this straight - you got a freebie and your upset that it wasn't forever, bye!
Encore East, sd and HD are part of Starz, Encore West, sd only (no HD) part of Encore pack.
Not upset about losing the freebie, just the rate increases. "Absolute" wasn't a freebie, was a $30 "all hd" package, that's now over $80 to get approx the same programming. IMO it's just not logical marketing to not offer 6 year customers similar deals to new customers.
I am a 12 year customer of DirecTV, who will be switching in the next few weeks. It is the same with both companies. I called DTV several months ago looking to add HD and add a few more RCVRs for the kids. To go from 2 to 6 sets, all DVR + HD on 4sets would have cost me about $380 up front costs and $128 a month. I was amazed that a new customer fresh off the street, would have to pay little or NO up front cost and about $65 a month. I called and called and emailed for several weeks saying that I thought that this was stupid business practice. I am a 12yr customer....doesn't that mean anything to you people I proclaimed !!!!!!! Well apparently it doesn't ... I eventually did reach senior managers who did try to work better deals on the equipment, but the programming is pretty set in stone. I was amazed that they were finally willing to work with me a little bit on the equipment costs. During that period I looked at several other options for my TV viewing, I worked a good deal with Dish on (3) 722 RCVRs and the A200 package. I was all set to go when I read about the Hopper/Joey system, I am currently waiting to order 2 Hoppers + 4 Joeys + 2 sling adapters. I may also get another 1 Hpr / 1 Jy system for my mom. All I am saying is that all the companies are the same, and the big difference is what you will pay in the equipment costs. Their programming fees are listed on the web site, the freebies will vary and they change as I noticed in my 5 month journey. But they will all end someday and your 12 month special pricing will end and the regular costs will kick in..... So you can't complain too much it is all in writing on their web site.
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Eddwall - could you provide a link to the Hopper/Joey prices on Dish site? All I am offered when checking the prices, are the DVR's. And FWIW, the equipment costs with Dish were much higher than Directv on a recurring basis. So, you either pay up front for the equipment upgrade (DirecTv) or higher monthly fees (Dish). Guess which one is a better deal depends how long you plan to stay.

I do know, with DirecTv, you can get a HMC for $99 (5 tuners), and three H25's (which can schedule shows on the HMC, watch shows from the HMC, and watch live tv from their own tuners, for $99 each. That would be $400 one time, and add four $6 additional TV charges to the monthly bill ($24). It would also allow you to watch video from any current DVR you have.

Now depending on what Dish charges for Hopper and additional Joeys (do they charge a DVR fee for each DVR, or one fee for as many DVRs are you want like DirecTv), it might be worth paying the upfront upgrade charge to DirecTv to save on monthly charges later.

It would all depend on how they are going to price their new system, and what the recurring costs are going to be. I could not find it on their site.
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At this point, there is no pricing on the Hopper/Joey system on Dish's website.
tcatdbs said:
Not upset about losing the freebie, just the rate increases. "Absolute" wasn't a freebie, was a $30 "all hd" package, that's now over $80 to get approx the same programming. IMO it's just not logical marketing to not offer 6 year customers similar deals to new customers.
Absolute is gone so new customers cannot get that. They too have to sign up for the same ~$80 package as existing customers to get that content. What new customers can get is a discount off of the first year of service and some other bonus such as free premiums for three months.

Existing customers got a bonus for the past year ... consider that your "discount for one year". Your year is up! Or are you expecting a never ending new customer deal every year?

Other than Free HD, no new customer gets any discount for life - and Free HD for Life is available to all existing customers under the same terms as new customers (commit for 2 years, paperless and autopay) or you can buy in by paying a one time fee.
This thread lists some prices.
I do realize Dish has decent rates if comparing "full price" of all providers. I just think they should all just drop the "bait" and offer the best price (and still make a profit). It would certainly be nice to get hd for life, just all hd channels, for "$xx" say $60, with 5% increase per year, for life. This would let you know what it's really going to cost you. I'd happily sign a 10 year contract (or grandfathering contract)... Much better than 30% per year that i've been seeing.
tcatdbs said:
Much better than 30% per year that i've been seeing.
The only way to see a 30% swing is to change your package or equipment.

What package did you have before Absolute? What sort of price drop did you see changing packages to get Absolute? If you would have stayed with the package you had before Absolute what would have been the average increase?

What you have asked for, a decent price that goes up about 5% a year, is basically what DISH offers - as long as the customer stays in the same package.

The new customer deals are just part of the current marketplace. When I started with DISH they didn't offer such discounts ... the best one could do was a few months of premiums (offered by the premium channels) and free equipment paid back over 12-18 months. The marketplace pushed them into where they are today with a 1st year discount (and DirecTV is pushing beyond that with a 1st year and lower 2nd year discount). At this point, being the company that doesn't offer new customer discounts would not be a good thing.
I believe I was with Dish for 5 or 6 years (until costs got higher than TWC), switched to TWC for 2-3 years (until costs got higher than Dish)... then the Absolute package hooked me back to Dish early 2008.

I was happy on Absolute for the 2 or 3 years it ran. I was just expecting a "gradual" price move into some similar "all HD" package. I think it went from $30 to $55 (actually $45 with $10 discount), then to $60 with no $10 discount, them to $70 adding BB (Platinum) back in to make it close to Absolute. These are just "base" rates with no other fees or receivers. But even if spread out over 4 years $30 to $70 is quite a hike. Yes I am getting a few more HD channels in Top-200, which was the closest thing that had all the Absolute channels.
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