About once a week I collect yet another story (comment) about the DirecTV HDTV abomination that I blogged about a while ago. The last comment from Deborah touches on a final screw-you that I too experienced after I wrote the blog post.
You see when you go to BestBuy and buy the DirecTV HD-DVR your not actually “buying it”. Your “leasing it”. So when you cancel service with DirecTV, even if its 72 hours later, you have to send them the DVR back.
Do they send you the $300 bucks back…oh no, that’s the cost of playing..
Before you “Lease” your DVR from DirecTV read the stories from happy customers I have collected so far…
I was browsing for news on directv, when I came across your blog, I also love directv and their programming, but I have had similar experiences with them, plus the frustration and stress you get when asking for service you deserve as customer, I don't need to explain my story, because your story is mine too.. Posted by: Miguel Acevedo | 2006.11.08 at 03:39 PM
I've had the same experience. The HD DVR sent by directtv is junk. This seems that it would be a candidate for a class action lawsuit. Posted by: Richard Walker | 2006.11.28 at 04:09 PM
Ironwood was a no-show for the 3rd installation appointment in a row. I never received a call notifying me that they had to cancel. I finally got a supervisor that was willing to work with me: "Carri" direct line @ Ironwood is 303-209-8969. She admitted that only 2 out of ever 5 HD-DVRs are working properly and that it would be better to just go with the HD receiver and wait for the HD-DVRs to get the bugs worked out- which I'm going to do. Good luck all & Happy Holidays -ed Posted by: Edmund Nichols | 2006.12.05 at 12:53 PM
My story is the same as yours ... but how can I get Directv to take back the piece of junk and credit me the $300 I spent? I will happily go to Tivo, but I refuse to give these guys $300 for nothing but a junk box, crappy service and about 10 lost hours of my time. They won't credit me. How did you do it? Posted by: Deborah Lopez | 2006.12.16 at 01:38 PM
I have been a loyal customer of DirecTV since 2000 when I moved into my current house. Today, AFTER getting an HD upgrade I'm turning off service. It actually became a matter of safety (did I just type that?)..
However, recently a series of events unfolded that were simply unparalleled in my history of service based businesses. Those few who follow my blog will know I have been in search of an acceptable HDTV experience since the beginning of the year. For a long while I subscribed to both Comcast and DirecTV . This allowed me to try different configurations. As the months unfolded it became clear there was only going to be two viable choices. The first being DirecTV HD DVR with the new HD Locals in the Denver area, and the second being the expensive TIVO Series 3 on Comcast.
Being a happy, in fact ecstatic, DirecTV customer I went to great lengths to get my hands on one of the first new DirecTV HD DVR’s. Even though it didn’t have the TIVO interface I was resigned to the favorable economics and what was surely the superior technology involved. I called DirecTV and scheduled the upgrade to my Dish and multi-switch required to make the new HD Locals work. As it turns out, DirecTV has regional contractors that do all the installs for them.
Here is where I take a short break in the story……….
Cut to a board room somewhere deep in Englewood Colorado, not far from where I am writing this. It’s at least 18 months earlier. There are VP’s and product people present. They are all hearing a pitch that a new Satellite must be launched into orbit that will allow DirecTV to broadcast local HD stations into multiple markets. These new birds will downlink everything in MPEG4 and require all kinds of new infrastructure on the part of customers. At the end everyone claps and a new bird is launched and what has to be something like $300M is allocated to this effort, and everyone feels good.
Dude shows up, spends 5 hours at my house. Can’t get the DVR to work and asks me what stations I should get. I tell basically ALL OF THEM and then explain I have to go to a meeting but he is free to stay and work it out. He says no problem. I leave the house, come back in 30 minutes. He has left the house with not only the new stuff not working, but he has broken the rest of the system.
The second Install Date…
I call DirecTV and they apologize for the people that hold their customers in the palm of their hand. They tell me they will send the same idiot back to my house in “about a week”. I explain that this is unacceptable. They are sorry. I ask for the Ironwood number and after some negotiation they give it to me.
Official Ironwood Installation Vehicle
Several days later a professional Ironwood installer shows up in his company issue van. He is going to fix everything. He spent 2 hours at my house and explains that the multi-switch they installed is partly broken, “but works good enough”, and “fixes everything”.
Except its not fixed, the new DVR only half works, some channels come and go, and the second tuner doesn’t work.
The third Install Date….(attempt)
My wife calls Ironwood and attempts to get an installer back out. The installer refuses to come back out to the house and hangs up on my wife. He says the DVR is broken. She calls DirecTV and they make the local Ironwood “moron” call back. At this point he is uncomfortably, (read scary) rude and hangs up again….
So… I call DirecTV and explain that I can’t get anything to work and the installer has turned DANGEROUS. (I can’t believe I just typed that). They tell me they want to get it fixed right away and they need to send the installer out. They also tell me that installers don't like to come out more then once because DirecTV only pays them for the first visit on upgrades. Ok, that’s not happening, there is no way this guy is coming back in my house (I can't even keep him on the phone).. I convince DirecTV to send me a new DVR, they do (after 45 minutes on the phone). I get it, install it, doesn’t work. (remember the broken multi-switch).
Cut back to the DirecTV boardroom, 18 months earlier..
Do you think that during the presentation to the executives at DirecTV about launching $300M local HD Service they thought they would actually LOSE customers with it?
Back to present day….
Last week I installed 3 TIVO Series 3’s on Comcast Cable. Total cost to me around $3,000 (I REALLY can’t believe I just typed that). The DirecTV service and boxes would have been around $300 out of pocket to me. BUT I elected to spend 10 times that amount. And frankly I could not be happier.
Today, after 6 years of being a happy customer of DirecTV I’m turning off the bird, AFTER you guys spent the money upgrading my dish.
What the hell are you guys thinking? If you don’t own the customer you own NOTHING. Some guy named Earl has your BALLS in his hand and is squeezing them…
I bought some TIVO stock today. It’s depressed and their DVR is expensive. And, in my opinion they will save Comcast. Goodbye DirectTV.