DirecTV Raises Rates, Warns Customers Not To Switch To Cable

DirecTV is jacking up rates by 4% as of February 27 and is reminding newly disgruntled customers that DirecTV still ranks higher than cable according to the American Customer Satisfaction Index. Most customers can expect a $3-$5 increase, but don’t count on award-winning customer service.

Here are the new rates:

  • PREMIER™ $104.99/mo.;
  • LO MÁXIMO™ $104.99/mo.;
  • PLUS HD DVR™ $72.99/mo.;
  • PLUS DVR™ $62.99/mo.;
  • CHOICE XTRA™ $57.99/mo.;
  • FAMILIAR ULTRA™ $54.99/mo.;
  • CHOICE™ $52.99/mo.;
  • FAMILIAR™ $45.99/mo.;
  • PREFERRED CHOICE™ $32.99/mo.;
  • SELECT $45.99/mo.

Everyone with a package that isn’t still offered will pay an extra $3. Customers with a promotional rate won’t see an increase unless they switch packages.

DirecTV’s email to customers:

Effective February 27, 2008, the monthly price of some DIRECTV® programming packages will change.

Please click here (PDF) for pricing information in English and Spanish.

[…]

For seven years running, DIRECTV has had higher customer satisfaction ratings than cable, thanks to loyal customers like you. Thank you for your business.

Sincerely,
DIRECTV, Inc.

According to the ACSI, DirecTV earned a D- in customer satisfaction, slightly beating out cable’s failing grade.

http://consumermediallc.files.wordpress.com/2008/01/acsi_truth-thumb.jpg?w=463&h=169
Not exactly service to boast about.

Q1 2007 and Historical ACSI Scores [American Customer Satisfaction Index]
(Photo: cmorran123)

Comments

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  1. HykCraft says:

    1 year ago, I was paying $50 for DTV. Now, 6 months ago, they jacked up the price to $55.. so now.. I can expect to pay $60 now? Grr…

  2. timmus says:

    Rates are going up with a lot of stuff lately, it seems. I think Old Man Inflation is at it again.

  3. ToadKillerDog says:

    So is this a material change in the contract? Can we get out from the contract?

  4. create says:

    i am simply glad to see that for once its not just the cable companies getting the bad press for this

    if you don’t like it, don’t take it up with the service providers, take it up with the networks

    for too long these networks get away with extorting the service providers by raising rates and resigning contracts every year which in the end screws the consumers

  5. Stravos says:

    67% is a D-? C- maybe (or if you were in my physics class, an A). Even so, staying above the rest actually means something in this case, as there’s no kinder company to run to.

  6. manok says:

    I cancelled DTV 9 months ago. I can watch all the shows I want on the internet.

  7. gopher1978 says:

    I can’t blame anyone but myself. DTV has the worst customer service of any company I have worked with……….including those based in India. I lasted less than three months and took a hit. Done with them

  8. formergr says:

    I’m really over DirecTV now. I’ve had it for about 5 years, and for a while really enjoyed the far lower rates to cable, better channels it offered (BBCAmerica, etc), and my DirecTivo.

    But when I got an HDTV in November and called to look into upgrading my service and DVR, I just couldn’t justify it. $300 just just to **lease** (not even own) a DVR/receiver, no Tivo service any longer, and much higher monthly rates. When I called retention and threatened to cancel, the best they could offer me was $200 to *lease* their receiver.

    I’m moving to a new house in 2 months, and given this latest subscription increase Comcast HD service is looking better and better (along with a purchase of an HD Tivo that I will then actually own, at the same price as leasing the DTV HD DVR).

  9. brent_w says:

    @Stravos: 67% is a D unless you are in a class for the mentally feeble.

  10. brent_w says:

    @brent_w: *looks at chart*

    Oh wait … I guess they are … *facepalm*

  11. kittenfoo says:

    well that’s just peachy. my promotional rate just ended, meaning my bill went up by $8, and now another $3 to $4? i doubt i’ll switch to cable, though. my local electric utility is going to be offering fiber optic internet, phone, and tv service starting in the fall. if it’s comparable, i’ll probably switch to that. it’s supposed to be a lot faster than my dsl (which i have as part of my phone/tv/internet bundle).

  12. CPC24 says:

    Still cheaper than Comcast.

  13. qitaana says:

    @brent_w: @brent_w: Or in a class with one hell of a curve. Which happens, frequently, in college-level science courses.

  14. rkm12 says:

    Ug. My parents are fed up with their current cable provider, WOW and are looking into Direct TV.

    They used to have Comcast but dropped if after they raised rates. Now WOW is raising their rates AND dropping three channels.

    Does anyone have a general opinion on Direct TV I can give them? Thanks

  15. HykCraft says:

    Even with the increase, it’s still $25 cheaper for what I pay with DirecTV than going with Comcast. No joke.

  16. brooksa says:

    Interesting. I am a DirecTV customer and I didn’t get that email.

    I have only had positive experiences with them. I wanted to upgrade to HD. I called them up and when told of the $300 fee for the HD receiver, I told them I could switch to Dish Network, they had a promotion for a free HD receiver at the time, and save $300. When they said that I would have to pay the ELT, I said, “Well, the way I see it, the ELT is cheaper than upgrading with you.” In the end, using information I learned here, I got 1 year of free HD programming and a free HD DVR upgrade.

  17. stinkingbob says:

    Actually, I have comcast, regular cable. Ho HD, just plain old regular cable. I have it hooked up to 4 tvs. Right now, I am paying $59 month. I looked into DirectTv and the other major one whose name I forget. Comcast is still cheaper because for each television that has a box, they charge a monthly lease fee of $5, so with 4 tv’s that’s an extra $15. I hate to say it, but Comcast is cheaper.
    Also, the satellite tv providers have not raised their prices in a long time, so when they announced that there would be an increase, I would be ok with it. COmcast on the other hand raises prices 1 -2 times a year and do not even provide more channels! I support the idea being thrown around that we pay only for the channels that we watch.

  18. SmoovyG says:

    @Stravos: Anything under a 65 was an F in my high school and college. YMMV, I suppose…

  19. HykCraft says:

    @stinkingbob: Comcast is not cheap where I’m at. =)

  20. @brent_w: lol

  21. theslik1 says:

    Would this be considered a “materially adverse” change to my contract, since they are raising the price of my package by $3/mo? I’m looking for an excuse to dump DirecTV without paying the ETF. I refuse to pay one thin dime for a leased equipment upgrade to an HR-21, and they absolutely refuse to give me any kind of a deal. This might just be the way out…

  22. darkclawsofchaos says:

    @qitaana: but then there is always one prson that destroys the curve, and hell as great as it feels to know that much, the hate is painful, good thing I’m not that guy to often, Imagine if an 80 was thrown in there, that would make everyone else attack that companies rep

  23. zentec says:

    I used to love DirecTV. They were always about $10 a month cheaper than cable even with three extra receivers. Now, in order to lock in customers, you can’t buy receivers, you have to lease them. And that pretty much involves some sort of programming contract.

    The pricing isn’t that competitive any longer. The packages have been manipulated so that popular basic cable channels like National Geographic are in higher tiered rates. And the receiver “mirroring” fees, while always there, add $15 a month to my bill. Throw in a Tivo and we’re approaching $20 a month more than cable.

    I’ve been able to call each year and get the DVR and mirroring fees waived, but I don’t know how long they’ll continue to do that. And it’s clear to me the increases are a result of DirecTV passing along the expenses of the NFL Network and BigTen networks to the customer. Great, more channels I pay for and don’t watch.

    That’s the nice thing about Charter; they told both BigTen and the NFL to go get bent. I like that; maybe I should switch just on general principle.

  24. balthisar says:

    I have both DirecTV and Comcast. I’ve been DirecTV since about 1997, and Comcast since their internet arm was @Home. I’m 100% happy with both. Honestly, if Comcast had the Spanish stations in my area, I’d dump DirectTV, but not because of lack of service, but just economy. I’ve not gotten a notice of a $3 increase, but who cares? If you can’t afford a measly $3 per month, then drop it.

  25. MoCo says:

    Speaking of DirecTV, anybody tried to cancel it lately? I couldn’t get through to anyone on the phone after long hold times, so I finally emailed them to cancel. They responded by having their representatives call me to try to talk me into keeping the service. When I insisted that I wanted to cancel, they refused to accept my cancellation order. (I’ve long since fulfilled my contract.) They would only “suspend” my service. So, after suspending my service, they stopped billing me for one month, then resumed billing me after one month. My DirecTV receiver was disconnected so I had no idea that they reactivated my service. When I refused to pay the bill, they turned my account over to a collection agency.

    I will say that they chose the wrong customer with which to play these games, though, as I’m turning the matter over to my state’s Attorney General.

  26. manok says:

    I cancelled DTV by calling them and telling them I was leaving the country. They send me a bill every month for zero dollars. Wonder why they do that?

  27. mopar_man says:

    Great. Something more for my mother-in-law to bitch about. Every other week she says she’s going to turn off the service (too many commercials, too expensive, etc.). Maybe this will be the straw that breaks the camels back and I won’t have to hear about it anymore.

  28. stinkingbob says:

    Thats why the industry needs to be regulated.

  29. warf0x0r says:

    @CPC24: Comcast just raised rates in our neighborhood. 10 bucks for me.

  30. markrubi says:

    @theslik1: Nope Directv has in the contract all ready. They can raise prices anytime without notice. Dish and Directv raise prices just about every year this time Feb_March.

  31. Trojan69 says:

    I’ve had good dealings with DTV customer service. They’ve accepted responsibility for a couple of screw-ups and have generously waived several fees and reduced rates.

    The problem is that one hand often doesn’t seem to know what the other hand is doing. The misinformation I’ve run into is staggering.

    But any trouble I may have had with DTV is dwarfed by the mendacity of Adelphia and Time Warner cable. It’s gonna take a lot for me to ever revert to a cable system for any service. Ever.

  32. DJC says:

    I can’t believe you guys are quibbling over a $3-5 increase. If you aren’t happy with it or can’t afford it, then cancel your DTV or Cable service. Its as simple as that. I really dont get it; a lot of people who really can’t afford cable/satellite TV in the first place buy the service and then complain about the prices.

    And no, I don’t have cable or satellite TV, I get over the air broadcast. (and I save $50/month)

  33. cronick says:

    That’s exactly why I am switching to AT&T U-Verse: No long-term contract and competitively priced services.

    On the other hand, after getting locked into a 2 year contract, D*TV treats their customers like idiots: 3rd rate DVRs and insulting CS reps.

  34. loueloui says:

    Overall I think Directv, and my local cable company (Brighthouse) are about on par though Directv is slightly cheaper. The big problem for me was the install when I moved.

    I previously had Directv, and was pretty happy with them until I bought my current house. Invariably, Directv installers are some guy with a pickup, a ladder, and a t-shirt that says Directv on it. This guy cut down part of my tree without asking, and almost fell off the roof before I kicked him out. That, coupled with the very good internet install I received from Brighthouse sealed the deal.

    A word of warning to former customers- you will never get Directv to stop soliciting you to come back. This is going on 2 years now. I am far less tolerant of sales pitches, and far more agressive in combating them than most people, and no matter what I’ve tried they still call about every 90 days. I’ve threatened, cajoled, cursed, and pleaded to no avail.

  35. 3DLADY says:

    I have had DTV for 3 1/2 years, after cable for over 15 years.
    I changed after I got sick and tired of losing cable service for 8-12 hours during every storm. The reliability of the signal is great. Sometimes during bad storms I lose signal for 15-30 minutes until the large clouds blow away. But I don’t have to wait until someone who is sleeping on the job at Comcast presses a switch to restore or reset the service. I
    don’t have their DVR, I bought Pioneer DVR-533H combo hard drive and disk recorders, which I just love. I have 3 DTV receivers, so I have a splitter on the back of the house. My only complaint on DTV is the splitters are such pieces of crap, the last for only 1 year and then rust out which ruins the ability to receive the signal. So I pay the 5.99 a month for the protection plan which covers all their equipment. I have had the splitter replaced twice already with no cost to me. Lightening struck a tree in my front yard and zapped the splitter and 1 receiver with no cost to me. Once when a service tech failed to show up at an appointment, I received a $135 credit, which paid for 1 1/2 months of service. So over all I am very happy with DTV. Of course I wish it was cheaper, I pay 91.92 a month for 3 receivers, protection plan and 2 premium channels.

  36. mac-phisto says:

    @stinkingbob: do you currently have a box hooked to every tv, or just 1 or 2? i know when i had cable, i could just plug into the wall to get the stations <100, so i got away with just 1 box.

    next year, you will need a box for every tv – whether you are with comcast or dtv. next january might be a good time to think about switching if all your tv sets aren’t boxed yet.

  37. YeaYuh says:

    Comcast just sent a rate change notice in my last bill. Looks like cable rates are increasing in my area to be about $8 more a month for my digital/hd dvr service. Broadband stayed the same.

  38. HOP says:

    another good reason to let us choose the channels we wish to receive…………..

  39. rewinditback says:

    verizon just sent me my rate increase notice. how fun!

  40. boatdoc1963 says:

    I have had Direct Tv service for over five years. I had my service moved and upgraded to my new home on Dec,7th.2007. The installation was very messy, they left wires hanging everywhere inside and outside the house, never connected the ground cable outside for electrical safety, and we lost signal every few minutes. I called and complained and Direct TV sent another tech out almost two weeks later. He stated the first tech was fired and he “fixed the service”. Within 15 minutes we began to lose signal again.
    I called and e-mail Direct TV about this, offering pictures to prove the service was installed sloppy and didn’t work.
    I e-mailed them several times, it’s easier because their call centers have people that can’t speak clear English and are very hard to deal with and understand. Finally I told them to cancel my service because they couldn’t meet there commitment to me and provide a working service. I also asked for a return autho# to send their receiver back to them.
    Around a week later Jan 11th.2008 I received a disconnect e-mail and bill for 93.00 .I e-mailed them saying I had no service for that month so how do I owe them.
    On Jan 18th.2008 a box with return instructions was delivered to my house for the receiver.
    On Jan 22nd. 2008 I saw Direct TV was pulling $562.83 from my checking account.I took of work and went to my bank to stop this from happening, I signed a stop pay but my bank had to investigate it first. I was told to contact Direct TV and ask them to stop the transaction.
    I called Direct TV several times, I was told the charges were for an early termination of service.I told them again I never had a working service to begin with.I got nowhere with the call center, the language problem was just to much, I asked for some one that could speak better English and I was repeated the same thing again. Direct TV used a check card I had used before to pay my bill on-line and charged my account without my authorization $562.38.
    When I got home that evening I received a bill from them stating what the charges were and it was due immediately.
    No one that speaks good English will talk to me from Direct TV, THEY broke the law pulling money from my account without authorization, caused my account to bounce checks, left me unable to buy groceries this week for my family, I’ve lost two hours work as of today trying to clear this up.Tommorrow I have to go to my bank again and to an attorney .
    What a nightmare, please pass this on to everyone to warn them about direct tv’s practices
    Richard C. Morrison
    Boatdoc1963@yahoo.com

  41. Bye says:

    @HOP: Because you think that will make rates go DOWN?!

    I can guarantee you that a la carte pricing will result in much higher prices for an inflexible lineup of channels.

    That said, it’s pretty crappy that when DirecTV sent us a letter last year saying they were raising our rates, they made it sound like they hadn’t done it in years and wouldn’t have to do so again for awhile.

  42. chicagojim says:

    While I’m not happy about the increase, it is happening across the industry. I definitely have to praise DTV’s customer serviceand the commitment that they ahve made by launching new satellites and programming.

    I just called last week becasue I was having a problem in cold weather with my dish receiving some channels intermittently. I had a tech out in two days. Ten mintues later, I had a replacement dish on the way, professionally installed. There was no fuss, no questioning the issue even though it was not happening at the time the tech was there and no cost to me.

    Try that with Comcast. I just wish DTV would roll out their high-speed terrestrial solution so I could ditch Comcast all together.

  43. riverstyxxx says:

    Ranks higher? Says who?? I don’t remember taking a survey!! Fuck you Frank!!

  44. lawnmowerdeth says:

    DTV used to have excellent customer service, until Rupert Murdoch bought the company. It really went downhill after that. I’ve had them since 2000, and near canceling after all their changes lately (the last straw being dropping HD MPEG-2 support for the HD-TiVo and forcing a non-TiVo DVR)

  45. mac-phisto says:

    @Rey: i think that’s a shill argument. some channels might cost more if they can’t sustain a subscriber base, but i think the average customer would save money on their bill & get the channels they want to watch.

    even if channels cost upwards of $7/mo. (keep in mind that subscriber channels such as hbo/cinemax would create an artificial cap ~$10/mo that commercial-based channels would not be able to exceed), i know my bill would be about $30 less/month.

    realistically, we won’t know if a la carte works or not until someone gives it a try.

  46. nick_r says:

    I’m not a fan of price increases in any form, of course, but I’ve never had a single problem with DirecTV in almost 5 years of service. Meanwhile, my parents with Comcast cable have had channels go out, the DVR malfunction or refuse to record, and all sorts of other crap on a regular basis even though they pay more. I feel pretty good about staying put.

  47. ToddGR says:

    You think this price hike has anything to do with the Big Ten Network and NFL Network being added to the line-up. I’ve been reading that if DirectTV or the other cable companies have to add these channels, with virtually no original programming and very few actual games, prices will go up.

    Maybe this is the first sign of it?

  48. sulu9999 says:

    DirectTv is by far the worst company I have ever dealt with. The service worked — spottily — for only about 3 months and then quit altogether. Every time I called, it took a minimum of 2 calls (which meant 40 – 60 minutes of hold time) to achieve anything — including cancelling. Everyone — including the on-site installation/repair folks were clueless. Yes, Comcast is more expensive — but at least it works.

  49. Pipes says:

    Sorry, no curve for these grades. There is no way DirecTV or any of the cable providers deserve anything less than a C. In my school, 77% was the lowest range for a C…

  50. gregk77 says:

    I’m wanting to get out of my contract with DirecTV as well. What can be done?@theslik1:

  51. umpazump says:

    I got Directv for the HD DVR. Now I find out that cable has local channels in High Def, Directv does not in our area. Cable also has this “on demand” thing – Directv does not. Directv says that they have more channels in HD than does cable. Who cares if the lizard channel comes in in HD on Directv. Cable has HD on local channels in our area – Directv does not. Also DTV has pitifully slow phone support, reminiscent of 70s-style cable telephone operators. I would get rid of the dish but am stuck with this 2-year commitment deal. A nightmare. Never again will I obligate myself to a long-term deal. I feel like a chump.

  52. rhanzelka says:

    They have sent 3 technicians out here to repair and it still doesn’t work.I
    have currently notified FCC, BBB, and Attorney General for the state of
    Texas. I will continue to complain to everybody that has ears until the
    issues with your service are resolved one way or the other. Also the last
    technician that came to my house treated our property like a trash dump.
    There are connectors in the yard under the switch box on side of house that
    he cut off (great shrapnel for lawn mower to kill or harm children and
    unsuspecting passers by) and trash on floor from stripping wire etc behind
    living room TV. We have been promised a visit from a supervisor for over a
    week now to settle the issues that have gone on since the poor installation
    in November of ’07.

  53. 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

  54. rhanzelka says:

    Purchasing DirecTV service is as pleasant as sliding down a razor blade into a bottle of alcohol. There service sucks worse than anything I have encountered in my 50 years. Once they get your comittment to a long term contract, you’re screwed! If it ever breaks, be prepared for a 7-10 day wait for a service call. And then be prepared for an outrageous service charge as their arrogant jerk of a technician comes to your house to tell you the problem exists because of something that you did that caused their cheap second hand equipment to break.

  55. Anonymous says:

    You people do realize that all DirecTV customer service is outsourced right? About 1000 of their people are with a company called Convergys and they are adding more. Almost a quarter to a half of the agents are now home based workers working from their house. Not a bad thing, except the phone connections are extremely bad and it was explained to me but a customer service person that it is all VOIP and connection quality is always a problem due to the network Convergys has in use but they blame it on their employees. So the service is about as well as 8 bucks an hour will buy from employees that don’t receive any other compensation for needing high end internet connections or forced overtime (everyone is scheduled for 30 hours but are mandated “overtime” during peak days with no additional compensation).