William writes to tell us about an asinine DirecTV contractor who demanded a tip before starting work. The contractor was dispatched by Halstead Communications, DirecTV’s unfortunate installer of choice in New York. After being denied an entrance tip, the contractor noticed an easily movable table blocking his way and declared to his partner, “I can’t work like this, let’s get the fuck out of here.”
I write in the hopes you will expose the abusive practices of Halstead Communications, the contractor DirecTV uses to install service in New York. As an initial matter, running a search on Google for “directv halstead communications ltd” pulls up many complaints regarding this subcontractor. I am not the only one who have been abused by this company.
I use the word “abusive” because the technician who showed up this morning did not have equipment and had parked his van a few blocks away even though we have a driveway. He clearly was not ready to work, and he asked my mother for a tip upon coming in–she had tipped him when he came in on a service call a while ago. (He cut a DirecTV line and was not able to install a dish on that service call.) My mother said that he would be tipped after he finished. The technician got angry and said that he couldn’t work because there was a table in the way. My mother had the table moved immediately, but the technician said to his co-worker, “I can’t work like this, let’s get the fuck out of here” and walked out.
I contacted DirecTV and all they could offer was the phone number of the contractor, Halstead Communications. I called Halstead and they said they would have the local office call me back. Of course, the local office has not called back. Halstead refused to tell me their address, or the phone number or address of the “local office.” It’s understandable why they do not want to disclose this information–they’d otherwise be buried in complaints. The consumer is powerless to do anything, and the technicians know this because they would not act like that if we had any power.
It is unbelievable that a large corporation such as DirecTV chooses to do business through such a contractor. I really hope you choose to do a story on Halstead, if only to let DirecTV know that they have to be responsible.
Thank you very much for your time.
The consumer isn’t powerless. Take your complain straight to DirecTV’s mustachioed CEO, Chase Carey. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.