DirecTV Contractor: No, We Won't Fix Our Botched Installation

DirecTV’s installation contractor, Ironwood Communications, insists on mounting Archie’s three receivers directly to his wood shake roof, even though the subcontractor they retained claims that an under-eave attachment is necessary to avoid damage.

Archie writes:

My wife and I are extremely frustrated. We’ve been DirecTV customers since we got married and moved into our new house 2.5 years ago. A month ago, we decided to renew our expired contract with DirecTV for another 2 years and got HD. The installers from Ironwood Communications came out (employee number #0123) and installed our new HD satellite dish and brought us 2 receivers when we had asked for 3. So they had to come back out a week later (#1682) and bring us the 3rd receiver (we were compensated with one month free HD). We have had issues with our HD channels (some of them were not working) since the first installation, and we finally called about it and had techs come to our house again a 3rd time (we again were compensated with one month free HD). We scheduled for 12/16/2007 from 1-5pm. The tech (#1502) arrived at 4:30pm. He told us that DirecTV had moved the HD channels to a new band and they were told for months that installers had to tune the dish to interact with the additional band and it should have been done when the first installer came out, or at least the second installer. He made the HD channels work, which was great.

But he told us our satellite dish was mounted incorrectly – he said it was poor work and was himself annoyed at the job the installers did. He noted that the dish was mounted on the fascia board of our roof, only attached to 2 of the 5 points the dish plate was supposed to be attached, and was already cracking our fascia board because of the weight of the HD dish. The tech told us per reccomendation, the dish should be mounted at 5 points (though there are 6). This tech told us he would change it for us, however since he was sent out to only fix the HD channels, he couldn’t change the scope of his job. We were fine with that and appreciated the fact he told us the satellite was mounted incorrectly. He told us to call DirecTV and tell them we would need the satellite dish relocated and to tell them a tech advised us to do this.

So we called and asked for installers to come out to relocate the dish. This would be the fourth time in one month that DirecTV had to come out, and all for issues that the tech’s did not cover correctly the first time. We scheduled for 12/21/2007 from 1-5pm. By this time were were a bit tired of all the installers coming at the tail end of their window, so we requested that we be scheduled earlier in the window. The tech (Leo, #352, from Mountain Satellite, subcontractor of Ironwood arrived at 4:10pm). The installer came, and looked at our dish. He noted that it was done incorrectly as the 3rd tech told us, but he told us that he would not be able to relocate the dish that day. Leo said he could not mount it on the roof, since we have a wood shake roof – the best way to mount the satellite was to use an under-eave mount, which needs to be specially ordered from DirecTV. We were not happy about this…we just wanted the satellite dish mounted correctly as they should have done in the first place. Leo told us that he might be able to come back the next day to install it if they get the under-eave mount. He would have his supervisor call at 10am to let us know if they have it and when they could come. He left his name, his supervisor’s name (Marco, #353) and Marco’s phone number.

We are at this point very frustrated. My wife calls DirecTV and we want compensation for the ridiculous amount of time and visits it’s taking to do what should have been done correctly the first time the installers came. She talked to the representative, the supervisor, and finally the manager (Ryan, #3787) of the call center. This manager tells her that there is no one above him, he’s the last person she can talk to, and all he offers is either for us to file a damage claim on our roof, or $100 off an HDDVR. The HDDVR offer was the exact same offer we were given when we were first renewing the contract, and quite frankly, is not an offer that tells us DirecTV values us as customers – we’d have to pay $199 to get the compensation offered us? He was very rude to my wife, and it was then we decided to find someone else to talk to, which is how we found your email. And after looking at The Consumerist at consumerist.com, we come to find out that people have been getting the HDDVR at no cost or for much cheaper only for being DirecTV customers!

10am on 12/22/2007, there was no call. We call Marco’s number at 10:30am and get voicemail. I left a voicemail. I called DirecTV and tried to get through to the local subcontractor to find out what’s going on. It takes about half an hour of back and forth with the representative on the phone to find out that tech’s are scheduled to come out between 12-2pm. We don’t know how that got scheduled since we never agreed on a time and the rep was asking us if we had something scheduled, so it must have happened in the time I was talking to the rep on the phone. While it’s nice to have a 2 hour window instead of a 4 hour window, we’ve essentially been waiting since 10am, so it’s just another 4 hour window to us. Though it takes me a while, I finally convince the rep to let me talk to the local contracting office and get from her that they’d try to come at the beginning of the 2 hour window. The tech’s come at 2:05pm.

It’s Leo and his supervisor Marco. Marco tells us Leo never told him he was supposed to call us. They didn’t bring the under-eave mount as they don’t have one, and only came to look look at the issue and figure out what they could do. They both say again, the under-eave mount is the best option as they’re not supposed to mount on our type of roof. While talking to my wife about what’s happening, Marco calls the supervisor from Ironwood who tells him to go ahead and mount it on the roof, it’ll just need longer screws and they will not give us the j-mount at no cost. I was not comfortable with them putting it on our roof since Leo and Marco both told me it wasn’t a good idea. My wife called DirecTV to find out if there was a general rule about not mounting on wood shake roofs while I continued to talk to the techs. DirecTV customer service was no help as they had no idea the ways that dishes should be mounted. Leo and Marco told me even if they did mount it on the roof, it would definitely crack some of the tiles, and if we were ever to remove the dish, we would have to replace the tiles. I could not understand why they would want to knowingly damage our roof. The techs finally called their supervisor from Mountain (Frank) who told them to not mount it on the roof as it was not safe. I talked to Frank who told me that mounting on the roof was not secure, it could leak even though they’d try their best, and if the dish wobbled even a little, it would affect our signal. He said he would order the under-eave mount and let us know by 12/26/2007 of it’s status and would do his best to get us the mount at no cost (but no promises).

My wife was still on the phone with DirecTV, finally talking to another supervisor (Tony, #100101757), because this time, we at least thought we should get the j-mount at no cost and not wanting to even get into the issue we had the previous night. This supervisor was much more understanding. He was briefed on the situation before he talked to my wife on the phone, and still asked her to describe in her own words what happened. Tony then offered $10 off our bill for 12 months as compensation for the mount. We accepted that offer.

We are filing a damage claim with DirecTV for the damage it’s already done to our roof. It took over a dozen reps, supervisors, techs, and managers before we talked to 2 people who were willing to listen to us calmly and understand our situation. Frank and Tony were more helpful than anyone else had been.

On 12/24/2007, William (from the local Ironwood office in Morgan Hill) came for an unscheduled and unnannounced appointment. He tried to convince me to mount it on the roof and that he would use silicone to prevent leaks. He also said that even if there were leaks, since he’d mount the dish over the part of the roof that isn’t above our living space, that it would be okay! He wanted to show me a dish in our neighborhood that had the dish mounted on our type of roof and proceeded to walk me around our neighborhood looking for one. He found a dish that appeared to be mounted on the roof but short of walking on to the customer’s property he could not tell. I told him we were going to wait for the other mount. He told me that the mounts are very popular and he doesn’t know if he’ll get one anytime soon and we might have to wait a while to get one. After 15 minutes of trying to push me into changing my mind, he left. This was the 6th time DirecTV has come to our house in five weeks.

We got a recorded call on 12/26/2007 that we had a relocation scheduled for 12/28/2007 from 8am-12pm. We expected that meant the mount had come in and we would get the dish relocated. The tech (from Ironwood, #1651) came around 9am. He did not know about the extra mount and did not know our situation at all. He looked at our chimney as an option but decided it wouldn’t work (something about there were no gutters for him to put the wiring). He told my wife that even if we got the other mount, it would be attached to our fascia board from the back, making it seem pointless. He also said it was okay to mount it on the roof – he would use tar to keep it from leaking, but also said he couldn’t guarantee that it wouldn’t crack the tiles. My wife sent him away as it was a wasted trip and another waste of our time. This was the 7th time.

At this point, we don’t know what to do. We are at a complete loss. I left a message for Frank from Mountain to find out what’s going on. We have had 7 visits from techs trying to get our HD system set up correctly when it should have taken only once, maybe twice, and it still isn’t done. Your rudest rep was the highest ranking rep we spoke with – we definitely feel that Ryan is a poor customer support agent.

If we had gone with Comcast, we would have never had a satellite dish to deal with. We are very disappointed with the customer service we received and feel we still haven’t been compensated for the incompetence of your installers. We looked online and saw that many DirecTV customers have had many issues with Ironwood and I can’t understand why you would continue to contract with a company that obviously can’t do their job.

I have attached photos of the installers shody work and damage to our fascia board. These are the same photos we will send in for the damage claim. We have called a roofing company who will come out and asses the damage for the damage claim. We also asked them if it was a good idea to mount satellite dishes to our wood shake roof. He described how it could be done, but the best way to protect our roof would involve removing some of the shakes, installing the dish on the base of the roof with some extra materials, and then putting the shakes back on the roof, which he obviously felt was better handled by a roofer. The techs who came out to our house only ever wanted to mount the dish directly on the shakes.

We just want the dish installed correctly and safely at no additional cost to us (for extra parts or labor or anything) and compensated for the headache this is causing us.

Let Chase Carey, DirecTV’s mustachioed CEO, know that his company is employing incompetent contractors. Send him an email at: chase.carey@directv.com, or call DirecTV HQ at: (310) 964-5000.

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. MumblesFumbles says:

    So happy I’m not a DTV customer anymore. Uncaring bastards they are.

  2. copperheadclgp says:

    Every time I see one of these “install-gone-wrong” tales, I wonder to myself, “what the hell was the homeowner thinking?” I’m not Mr. Ultra-Handy but I only call my service provider (Comcast) after all other options have failed. I hover over them constantly and nothing gets touched without my permission, since I have installed everything inside the house, not them.

    Point is, if you let these types of ham-handed clowns on your property, assume you are going to suffer the consequences. Sure, in a perfect world all installs would be handled by trained inside techs with a smile but this is the real world where oafish contractors damage roofs and cost you time and money.

    Install your own dish or hire someone you know to do so. The parts can be readily had online or, for all I know, through DirecTV (Comcast will give you pretty much anything you ask for at local offices in terms of wiring and splitters).

  3. homerjay says:

    @MumblesFumbles: My experiences with DirecTV over the past 5 years are just the opposite.

    Installation issues all come down to whether or not the contractor is competent.
    I live in northern MA and every time I have one of DirecTV’s contractors out (I’m fairly certain its all from the same company) they’ve been great.

    When you call DirecTV to get compensated, tell them what you want. Don’t just ask for compensation. Be firm and direct and they will respond.

  4. mikeluisortega says:

    I notice in the pic that one of the white lines is spliced without a rubber jacket or protection over the splice. That will need replacing REALLY soon depending how much it rains or snows in the area.

  5. TexasScout says:

    Somebody read all that shit and tell me what happened it a paragraph please?

    Good lord get a publisher…

  6. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    I LOVE DirecTV. I HATE Ironwood Communications. I used to work for Ironwood. Here are a few points:

    1) No, the dish should NEVER be mounted to a shake roof. It is against Ironwood and DirecTV’s installation guidelines, for obvious reasons.

    2) A regular dish can be mounted to fascia, but NOT an HD dish. They are way too heavy (35 lbs vs 15) and pick up too much of a wind load.

    3) Ironwood has very strict standards on their installs. They MUST be perfect, or the installer won’t get paid for the job. The problem is, they only QC (quality check) about .5 to 1% of all their installs. I did well over 1000 installs for them. I was QC’d 5 times.

    4) If the customer had a sturdy chimney, the dish should have been mounted to it. Chimney Mounts are one of the most secure ways to mount a dish, and they are non-penetrating and can easily be removed if the customer cancels. Also, (assuming no line-of-sight problems) the dish could have been mounted on a pole in the ground. Or on the side of the house (assuming it had wood siding).

    Carey, where’s the pictures from the email?

  7. savdavid says:

    Some of us don’t have time to hover over the installer constantly. Nice you have the time.

  8. hn333 says:

    Installing DirecTV is pretty easy, I did it my self in 2 hours.

  9. pyloff says:

    In general I would refer myself back to a previous post. Which goes like this.

    the people who come to your residence to install various telecom services don’t know much. They aren’t worried about your place like you are. A professional doesn’t randomly drill holes to find the wire.

    I’m shocked that people don’t supervise these “installers”. You should be standing over his shoulder and questioning everything he does. He can’t charge you more and you can stop the potential damage to your residence. Keep an eye on these guys, bring a camera too. Seriously, getting some sort of service requires a professional install where I’m from.

  10. telarium says:

    “If we had gone with Comcast, we would have never had a satellite dish to deal with.”

    Ok, so why didn’t you go with Comcast? It seems like you just jumped down further into an already perverted situation.

  11. PassionateConsumer says:

    I had a terrible experience with two Direct TV installers. They rushed through the process. One knocked over a shelf above the wall area he was working on, knocking my dad’s funeral flag and case to the ground (the guy didn’t say a thing -and I didn’t figure out what happened until after they left). The other guy told me that because I was NOT having them hook up a service that allows keypad movie ordering (I couldn’t, we didn’t have a phone jack near the TV) I had to PAY a ten dollar fee. I questioned this, like any sane person would, and he went through a series of reasons why he was required to charge customers who declined to have this part of the service activated. I found it incredibly suspicious, protested, had him put everything in writing, and by that time just wanted them out of my house.

    I called DirectTV customer service as soon as they left, to ask about the weird fee and to complain about the shelf and personal item they knocked over (all they had to do was tell me, apologize, and it would have just been an accident, no big deal) … and the rep said he’d never heard of such a charge. I got an apology and a ten dollar credit and one month free service. Yeah, that fixes it and makes it all warm and fuzzy.

    I told them I wanted the assholes suspended or fired for purposeful deception (not to mention the shelf incident). No response or follow up. So this post does not surprise me, from my own personal experience.

    • Anonymous says:

      @PassionateConsumer: I’ve been a DirecTV contractor for 3 years and while this is no excuse for his actions, I can tell exactly why the tech charged you the ten dollars… DirecTV REQUIRES all techs to connect each and every reveiver to a telephone line so that they can track the locations of each receiver {and other reasons}. Shortly after the initial installation, DirecTV attempts to call each receiver to verify the phone connection. If a receiver does not answer the call, the installer has a 10$ “non-responder” fee deducted from the amount he’s paid for the job. The installer was just trying to make up for what he was going to lose on the install. But as with everything else you already mentioned, the tech should have just been honest with you about it.

  12. scampy says:

    @homerjay:
    Im with you. Ive had DirecTV for 2 years and have had no troubles. It was installed well and the 2 times I had issues getting the new HD channels they fixed it quickly. Im glad I ditched Comcast. They only had like 8 HD channels and no NFL Sunday ticket. If this person would replace their rotting wood 300 year old roof, they would be able to mount it on the roof like 95% of the other people out there. They should probably just stick with cable

  13. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @scampy: “Rotting wood 300 year old roof”?? You can tell that from that single picture?
    What an insightful post.
    No, any dish should NOT be installed on a wood shake roof. Nothing should be installed on a wood shake roof. This type of roof is not designed for walking on or mounting crap onto it.
    And I have plenty of HD channels without your HDLite.

  14. MisterE says:

    @pyloff:

    I agree, and I go a couple of steps further:

    With my Nature Stone install, I also took pictures and hovered over the installers. They didn’t want to prep my basement properly (by sanding the concrete), and when I started quoting from the contract and started dialing their supervisor, they quickly changed their tune. Sure, they were pissed – but at least the job was done right. My wife and I took turns observing them every 15 minutes. It didn’t help when one of them told me he needed to get out of there early and wanted to “hurry up.” Needless to say, I called the company and asked if they could send someone who had some more time since this employee was rushing to get out. I guess they called him to told him to stay…Whether I was the cause of him wanting to “hurry up”, or his bullshit excuse of having to go somewhere is still debatable.

    I know it’s an asshole thing to do, but with stories like this, I feel justified with the extra scrutiny I give with contractors in general.

    • Anonymous says:

      i haven’t done dtv for awhile but your contract states one hole one for each tv and anything more is custom. i would have laughed at you and left. not to say some of these story aren’t missed up but it’s all on the installer. i was one of the best that’s why i left dtv and now installing vsats making 6-8000 a week. dtv installer make little over min wage. if you wanted extra time spent at your home pony up so cash. these guys make $20 something for a install. grow stop being tight with your wallet. as for the guy that started this should have paid for the pole mount because i am sure that’s were the first installer wanted to mount the dish.

  15. sven.kirk says:

    @savdavid: You already have to be home to have the installer to do the work. I might as well hover over the installer to make sure they are not tearing up my house.

  16. jeffeb3 says:

    satellite subcontractors have poor customer service, and they don’t care? I’ve never seen that before.

  17. ldavis480 says:

    DO NOT HAVE IRONWOOD INSTALL YOUR DIRECTV. Tell your DirecTV CS rep, that you explicity do not want Ironwood to handle the job.

    I have had 2 installs, one by IC and one by DirecTV. DirecTV did a good job while Ironwood did a crappy careless install. They’ll never be allowed on my property ever again.

    For more information see [upt.org]

  18. scampy says:

    @doctor_cos:

    You can tell by looking at the picture all the wood on the end is splitting and the paint is flaking off. That mount would work just fine if it was screwed tightly into strong wood.

  19. goodkitty says:

    @pyloff: Because you (or the provider) is paying for the service. Would you insist that you not be put under for an operation so you could supervise the surgeon while she works? Not everyone is a serious DIY’er, and at some point you have to start expecting people to do their jobs instead of doing it for them. Otherwise, if you could DIY, there shouldn’t be a contractor coming out and getting money for nothing in the first place.

    In this case, it sounds like Ironwood simply needs to be disconnected from DirecTV’s installer list. Yeah, it stinks that increasingly we’re all expected to do more, from self-checkout at the store to getting things off the shelf at Home Depot to supervising cable installations to validating reservations with airlines to double-checking small print with energy companies to, uh… wait. This sucks. What the heck has happened?

  20. goller321 says:

    @scampy: You haven’t a clue what the hell you’re talking about. First, there is no indication the shake roof is in disrepair. And FYI… a wooden shake roof is much more expensive than a standard asphalt roof.
    Second, this install is not done properly. The weigh of the newer dishes, combined with wind forces would split any 1″ stock wood- especially since it is even tied inot the fascia completely.
    Third, if you had any clue about wood, you’d know that paint can start peeling after only a few years.

  21. skeleem_skalarm says:

    This kind of crap is exactly why we quit DirecTV. Our signal was crappy and we finally lost it totally, so I called DTV who sent out a tech to see what the problem was. Not only had our dish moved (actually, it had been moved by a deer that was running from my dogs; the csr didn’t believe me until the tech confirmed it), but the tech told me the dish should be moved further away from my house (trees were blocking the signal) and a booster placed on the line since it would be so far from our house. I called DTV to arrange to have this done, and they refused. I told them to shove it, and switched to another satellite service provider.

  22. PølάrβǽЯ says:

    @ldavis480: DirecTV does NOT employ ANY installers. All DTV installers are contractors. So if you had DTV installed at your house, it was installed by a contractor. Also, Ironwood is their biggest contractor, so in most areas you don’t have a choice; it’s Ironwood or nobody.

  23. masdumas says:

    Yeah, i would send an e-mail to the CEO – I did that (to be sent to Consumerist as soon as I can) and got a call within 3 hours from his office and a lead tech to my house to fix the problem in less than 12 hours. It works like a charm – it’s also too bad that it has to come to this- they should stop using contractors and simply have a install team that’s really accountable to DTV

  24. doctor_cos wants you to remain calm says:

    @scampy: “Strong wood”??
    1. That is a 5-point mount bracket, meant to be attached with 5 screws. Less than 5 screws (or 4) you are asking for trouble.
    2. Fascia boards such as the one pictured are meant to cap the end of the roof to keep moisture and critters out of the soffit, not for mounting things to (except gutters which are mounted through the fascia to the roof).
    And yes, I have done roofing and installed dishes, thank you very much. In the situation described by the homeowner, the dish should be installed to the chimney, a pole in the yard, an under-eave mount, or directly on the side of the house. The pictured half-assed fascia mount (as well as mounting to a wood shake roof) is right out. Please stop posing because you saw a show on HGTV once.

  25. stephenjames716 says:

    I had a horrific experience with a third party install company when I moved from LA to NY. They missed 3 appointments, never bothered to call and always insisted that there were no supervisors to speak with. Direct TV finally took care of everything (calling that 3rd party install company themselves to force an install date) and compensated me very nicely as I didn’t have a bill for 2 months.

  26. theora55 says:

    When someone damages your home, you have some options. Call your insurance company to get info on what is or is not safe. They don’t want to pay claims, so they’ll know. You can sue in small claims court, complain to the Better Business Bureau, and call the Consumer Advocate at your state’s Attorney General’s Office. (I Am Not A Lawyer; just an irate consumer)

  27. ExecutorElassus says:

    @doctor_cos: @goller321: just ignore scampy. Just about every post I see from him (her?) is flamebait. Don’t feed the trolls!

  28. elf6c says:

    This thread should be linked to every time someone spams a cable thread with “get a dish”.

  29. elf6c says:

    Looks like at least one ‘turfers in the thread, can you find him. I bet you can. . . .

  30. mikeysjunknstuff says:

    Wow, is this deja vu of my horrible DTV contractor install. First of all, they came out and put the 2 dishes (not one) right in view of where everyone drives up to my 3600 sq ft home. Secondly, they drilled holes everywhere, left crap all over my floor, and mounted a BLACK cable 2 feet out from the corner in my garage right up the solid WHITE wall to where they hung the cable out a ft before going up thru my ceiling in the garage. I asked the DTV main office why they did this, they said they have white cable for one, and they dont know why they didnt try and hide any of the wiring. What makes this crappy instalation even worse and more ironic, they did this to save time and hurry it up. I already had wire from a previous DishNetwork setup, which ran straight to the nice and neat wall mounts that I had in the house. So basically, they only had to tap into those lines since they were still good (I had them checked).

    On a better note, I gave the DTV main office an earfull, cancelled immediately, and told them they need to get better contractors or do it themselves. They said they were in the works of getting DTV professionals to start installing since contractors are costing them a fortune in the long run.

  31. backbroken says:

    DirectTV and especially Ironwood are completely at fault here. But at what point do you say “I am taking my business elsewhere.”

    I would think after the 3rd or 4th botched visit, I’d call DishNetwork or Comcast or look into installing an HD antenna. DirecTV is not selling some magic elixir television content that can’t be roughly replicated from another provider. It’s stories like this that encourage these service providers to continue to provide a mediocre product and contract with shady installers. Why institute sweeping changes to their profitable business plan when they can simply credit you $10/mo for the hundreds of dollars of damage and time they have cost you?

  32. scampy says:

    @ExecutorElassus:
    Actually I just have a strong sense of personal responsibility which most people on this blog do not. They always want to blame big business or “the man” for all their problems when the solution to most is to either spend money or look in the mirror.

  33. KogeLiz says:

    oh man,
    WHAT

  34. hossfly says:

    Pleezzzze, get me started about DTV!!
    I hate ‘em, evrybody that works for them and everyone associated with them!!!
    I was a “bought” customer; when DTV bought Primestar(remember them?).
    “My” ‘first’ ‘bad’ experience was when i bought a fishing camp on a river and called to have the service transferred; they advertised it, didn’t they?
    (I was also going to be staying at said camp, due to work/distance.)
    Something told me this was going to be fun when the ‘rep said that i couldn’t get DTV there because there were no “installers” that could do it there!!
    I told them that, while we were talking on the phone, i could count “8″!! dishes in my view that ALL had DirecTV on them!!!!and how was that possible?
    I can, and have installed many dishes myself, but didn’t have the time right then and that since it was ‘advertised’ for FREE….why not let them do it?
    After SEVERAL calls to numerous oxygen thieves, i finally told them: “THERE WILL BE A DISH AT THIS HOUSE TOMORROW AFTERNOON; WHETHER IT HAS DIRECTV OR DISH ON IT DEPENDS ON ‘YOU’”…and hung up the phone.
    I had service the next day……

  35. Rootman says:

    Just cancelled my installation today after a bad Ironwood Communications experience in Boise, Idaho.

    On December 24 an Ironwood crew shows up and says because of neighborhood trees, the only place on my property to install is at the center of my roof peak. They can’t go on the roof that day because of snow – annoying but understandable, and I completely get why they can’t attach the dish to my shake roof. Not being able to inspect the chimney, the installer questions whether or not he will be able to securely attach to the chimney when they return. I suggest that I mount my own pole through the roof so that when he does return he will have a good attachment point for the dish. The installer agrees and advises that a 2″ diameter pole should work just fine.

    Once the snow melts I install a 2″ pole – bolted to the attic truss and perfectly plumb. This seems to be an ideal location as there is an adjacent plenum that will allow them to easily run cable to a media panel in the basement. I also wired the rooms myself (cable and phone) to avoid the type of problems noted in the comments above. This should have been a no-brainer.

    This morning another installer arrives and tells me that Ironwood policy is not to go on a shake roof at all. They could have saved me a lot of trouble by telling me this 9 days ago. Spoke to the installer’s Field Supervisor and he continues to tow the company line. What is most annoying is that they can’t even tell me who came out to my house on the 24th – they claim it was another firm but DirecTV later confirms that it was Ironwood. I suspect they were just trying to protect the employee who gave me bad advice on the 24th. They offer up an alternate location – a stand-alone pole in the middle of the backyard. I have my doubts that this will even work, but refuse mainly for aesthetic reasons.

    Anyway, cancelled the installation and will go with cable instead. Was a long-time DirecTV customer at another residence but will never go back based on this experience. DirecTV advised I can submit a “damage” claim if I want to be compensated for my time and effort installing the now unnecessary pole.

  36. lolinterweb says:

    Ill never forget my directv installation… I love the service, but the installer was a bit… special.

    He was supposed to come between 12 and 5 the day we moved into our house. He calls me at 6 from his cell and asks me if I still wanted him to do it today.

    “Um… yeah…”

    “Ok, well let me grab some dinner and then I’ll be on over.”

    So anyway, he shows up around 7:30 and starts doing his thing. I tell him to let me know what he plans to do before he starts putting anything up. He comes in a half our later (literally just walks in and starts looking around for me) and tells me he has found some “options”. He then says “The deciding factor is going to be… uhh… how bad do you want your local channels? Cause if i put it here it wont take me very long, but you wont get the local channels. I can put it out back, but ill have to run the cable farther and it wont be as easy for me.” Sorry buddy, looks like more work for you. So he puts the dish up, and by this time its about 9pm. Then I see him walking around outside with a drill and I think to myself “…This can’t be a good sign.” I go outside and he is about to drill into the crawl space. I ask him if he is going down there to run the lines and he says “No… this will come straight out into the room, then Ill put a face plate on it.” So I tell him to stop, I go get a tape measure and a sharpie, and mark the spots outside where he needs to drill to actually hit the room he is looking for. (He missed one of my X’s by a foot and ended up drilling straight through the corner of one of my interior walls) I let him finish up (at around 10:30pm) and then spent about an hour the next day running the cables through the attic instead and installing jacks so that I didn’t have random cables sticking out of the walls.

    Of course, then 3 months ago I ordered a DVR and when they came to install it I has a time slot from 8:00am to 12:00pm… They showed up at 6:45am. I’m starting to think the time slots are the times you *DONT* want then to show up…

  37. kbarrett says:

    I just assume the installers are all crack-addled retarded monkeys.

    Do the research yourself, put in the hardware needed, and have the “techs” do the one thing they need certification for … pointing the dish.

    If you want to do it all yourself, search the RV forums for DIY info. If you pay for one certification class for yourself, you don’t even need a tech.

  38. pyloff says:

    Obviously Scummy is flame bait. Please stay far from any gas lines.

  39. pyloff says:

    @goodkitty

    How does surgery equate to some company installing a sattelitte dish on my house, obviously you’ve found the relation, lol.

    Thanks for your striking review. Please don’t respond to anything I ever say again.

    Oh and by the way it’s called responsibility for ones life.

  40. thelaststraw says:

    Don’t even get me started about DirecTV and their installers! It’s no surprise this happened make sure to write a letter to the Better Business Bureau.

  41. motown15239 says:

    Alright. Let’s start off with this little bit of info. Directv only uses sub-contractors. they have no in house employees to do installs, service calls or upgrades. Directv only employs people that sit in the office that will usually lie to you on the phone.
    Usually when you get a good qualified tech at your house for a call. It’s because he’s been doing it more than a week and knows whats going to be done before he even steps foot out of his truck. The tech turn over rate weekly is something like for every 100 hired in a week 89 of the techs quit because of the bullshit directv and the customers give them.
    Do not think that the techs driving vehicles with directv signs all over them are going to do a better job than the guy that pulls up to your house in a 1982 rusted chevy s-10. The vehicle does not make the work any better. Contractor in ther directv situation does not mean anything. Everyone showing up to a customers house is a contractor of one kind or another.
    When you have somebody come to your house to do work. yes you should “hover” around him. Most techs will not feel comfortable at your residence unless you are spending time with them. Conversation is a wonderful thing when your at an unfamiliar place. Offer the tech something to drink. The guys at your house, doing you the favor of hooking up your tv, so you can sit on your fat ass and watch it.
    For most part, our installs are getting done for free. What are we expecting to get out of this. These days nothing good comes out of free. Do we expect any more from a tv company. I have had nothing but good experiences with directv, I think that the key is when my tech shows up at my door. We introduce ourselves, walk through the job, then I will hand him a twenty dollar bill and ask him to make sure to do a decent job. It works for me every time. Mabee try that method and show the tech that you would want something more than FREE.

  42. rhanzelka says:

    We (wife and myself) entered a two year contract (that we understood at
    the time to be a one year contract)with Direct TV in late 2007. Big mistake!
    I have had problems with the service from the beginning. It started with
    shoddy installation that prohibited me from locking my home and protecting
    my family and valuables from break in. We are plagued with downtime due to
    faulty equipment that won’t even last through the contract period. When we
    request service on their defective equipment, they tell us they are going to
    charge us to fix their equipment. I had cablevision for 30 years prior to
    getting screwed by Direct TV. This is the worst service coupled with the
    worst product I have ever been stuck with in my entire life. The worst thing
    that ever happened with cablevision was being down for 2-3 hours once every
    year or two because of a down line. When I call Direct TV for service, they
    tell me it will be a week to ten days before they can get to me. So I am
    without television for that long but am still charged for it. I am also
    expected to take four to eight hours out of my work day every time Direct TV
    comes to my home. The last time I was told service would be performed
    between eight o’clock in the morning and noon. The technician did not even
    arrive onsite until 12:10 p.m. Service was not performed until after the
    agreed upon time that it would be completed. That was just two week ago. Now
    the service is broken again and we are told it will be another week before
    they can come to fix it. How long will the FCC go on allowing Direct TV to
    cheat and take advantage of customers? I would love to have the opportunity
    to do a commercial for cable television. After being subjected to customer
    service as poor as Direct TV, I know what the worst is. And to top it all
    off, when my wife negotiated this contract with Direct TV she was told that
    it was a one year agreement. Two weeks ago when we had trouble the last
    time, we were informed that it was a two year and not a one year contract
    that we originally agreed to. I suppose we can throw a little deceptive
    trade
    in for good measure… huh? This is the worst experience I have ever had
    with any vendor in my 50 years and I will make sure I tell everybody that
    has ears to hear.