In April of 2006, Deborah replaced her daughter’s DirecTV receiver. When the technician was installing the line to her daughter’s bedroom, he accidentally shoved his foot through the Deborah’s ceiling.
As you can see, the damage was pretty severe. In the 1 year, and 9 months since the foot went through her ceiling, Deborah has being trying to get Ironwood Communications and DirecTV to properly repair the damage. As you can see from the photos, she hasn’t had much luck.
She managed to get someone to come out to temporarily patch the hole, but the guy never showed up for any subsequent appointments. She called DirecTV/Ironwood again to request that someone come out and repair her ceiling and, instead, they sent a technician out to repair her cable.
I have been a customer of DIRECTV [redacted] for 7 years now. In April 2006 I replaced my daughters receiver with a dvr receiver. The replacement cost me $99 and there was to be no installation fee.
DIRECTV sent out Ironwood Communications to take care of the installation. While the technician was in the attic installing the second line to her bedroom, we heard a loud crash. The technician slipped and came through my ceiling in the hallway, leaving sheetrock and insulation all over the hallway floor. He was sincerely upset and worried about me being mad. I asked him if he was OK and let him know that I understood it was an accident and I just wanted them to repair my ceiling. He called his office and reported what had happened. They said they would send someone out the next day for the repair. He tried to tape the sheetrock back up but it kept falling down. I was also charged a $49 installation charge by Ironwood and they said this was standard, even though it is “free installation.”
A couple of hours later, I called Ironwood Communications myself and asked them to send someone out right away as the tape was not holding the sheetrock in place and insulation and other debris was blowing through the ceiling hole. They said they would get back to me. I then called DIRECTV and explained the situation and they sent someone out the next day and he temporarily patched the hole. The repairman told me it would be a 3 day job because of the insulation, sheetrock, texturing, and 2 coats of paint. The repair would also involve painting the complete hallway. He set up the appointments for a few days later. He never showed. I called him again and setup another appointment and once again he was a no show. After that he could not be reached.
I then called Ironwood Communications and DIRECTV again. I tried to explain the situation to them and told them that I had already talked to them and they had sent someone out to temporarily patch the hole. They said they would send someone out. They sent a technician to fix the cable connection. I explained to him that I needed a hole in my ceiling repaired and showed him the hole. He called Ironwood and told them that there was in deed a large hole that needed to be fixed, not the cable. I heard nothing back for 2 months even after several calls. Once again I contacted DIRECTV and this time was transferred to someone who told me that I needed to file a claim and send photographs of the damage along with a letter explaining what happened. They told me I had 90 days to file the claim. I asked why I had to go through all this when the technician and I had already talked to them about it and they had already sent someone to do a temp repair, but I followed their directions and filed the claim with the pictures and letter. After waiting 90 days and hearing nothing back, I called again and got the same information. So once again I sent in a claim, pictures and letter, but this time I was told to add an estimate for the repairs. Still I have had no response even after numerous phone calls and letters. Apparently they have no record of my claims so they must be filed in the round file (trash).
It has been one year and 9 months later and I still have a patched hole in my ceiling. Because the patch is temporary, there is a gap of about an inch all the way around and in one corner an open triangular area about 2x2x3 inches. So whenever I have used my heater or air conditioner over the past 21 months, I have also been hearting my attic because of the hole. This has caused larger heating and cooling bills because they have to run more to heat or cool the space in the attic from the hole. I feel that I have been very patient with DIRECTV and Ironwood Communications but it is getting me nowhere. I am also in the process of selling my home and this hole has lowered the value of my home.
I have paid DIRECTV $99 for the leased dvr receiver along with $4.99 per month and a $49 fee to Ironwood Communications for their service call and for their technician to fall through my ceiling and leave a hole. Neither DIRECTV or Ironwood Communications is interested in repairing my ceiling back to its original condition even though I keep having to pay my monthly cable bill on time each month and now have to pay $199 for a HD dvr receiver if I want to upgrade.
Thanks for your help in getting this resolved!
We’re not lawyers or anything, but you might want to consider getting a few estimates from contractors and then filing a lawsuit in small claims court for the amount needed to in order to get the repairs completed. The amount you can sue for in small claims court depends on which state you live in. Delaware, for example, allows for claims of up to $15,000. In Tennessee, you can sue for $25,000. Most states hover around $2,000-$7,000. In any case, it should be enough to fix your ceiling.
You might also want to file a complaint with your local BBB, your state’s Attorney General’s office, and/or your state’s Department of Consumer Affairs.
Also, you should probably hurry up. The statute of limitations for property damage is 2 years in some states.
Anyone else have ideas for Deborah?