Emailing The CEO Of DirecTV Solves All Your Installation Problems

Reader Mark ordered DirecTV and waited patently for the installer. And waited. And rescheduled. And waited. Luckily, Mark knew that he might want to order DirecTV in the future, and he’d made a note of CEO Chase Carey’s email address when we posted it.

A few weeks ago (or possible months) Consumerist published Directv CEO Chase Carey’s email address. I filed it away because I was considering a subscription to Directv for the future. Earlier this month I responded to an advertised offer from DirectSatTV, a Directv reseller, and had a bad install experience. I sent the following email to DirectSat Customer Service but used the Chase Carey email as a “cc”.

Message: Unbelievably Poor Customer Service So Far
I placed an order for a satellite system on 5/7/08. Installation was scheduled for May 20, 1:00-6:00. Agent called but did not come to my house after talking to me. I phoned again at 6:00 PM on 5/20 and rescheduled for today, May 26 between 1:00-5:00. No one called; no one came.

So far I have given up one-half day of work and one-half day of vacation waiting for an installer who never arrived. My prior television provider was disconnected May 18.

I am very disappointed in the lack of service I have received so far and to say the least, I am rather upset. Is this typical for DirectSat and Directv?

What must I do to get this system installed?

The next day I received a phone call from a nice lady who identified herself as “Michelle from Directv”. She told me that Directv was taking over my account from DirectSat and asked when could they have an installer at my house. I told her that the next day at 5:00 PM would be good. She told me that a “master installer” would be there—which he was. Michelle phoned me four times during the course of the install to check on his progress. The installer’s supervisor also phoned him numerous times to make sure the job was going well. The installer truly did an outstanding job going far beyond minimal expectations. I talked with him while he worked and he told me that “everyone” in their company saw my email. He said it was labeled OOP (Office of the President). I said to him, “I’m really ‘nobody’ other than an informed consumer”. He said, “Well, you’re somebody today”.
I could not be more pleased with the service I received from Directv after DirectSat let me down. I also could not be more pleased that I’m a Consumerist reader! I read the blog every day through Google Reader (RSS feed).
Thank you very much!
Mark
Dallas, TX

Hooray! If you’re having problems with a DirecTV installer, there’s no reason they shouldn’t hear about it. Here’s that contact information again.

Comments

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  1. johnwilliams713 says:

    It’s sad that it takes an email from the President of the company for them to treat their customers like a “somebody”.

  2. So this guy works well while reigning, unlike the hardware.

  3. The Great Aussie Evil says:

    That mustache perverts the laws of man and nature.

  4. td0t says:

    Why is it so hard for companies to provide decent service off the top? Glad to hear the situation was resovled, but it shouldn’t even have to get to the point of emailing the CEO to get the unit installed.

  5. serialportme says:

    I have been lurking around for awhile – love it.

    My first post on consumerist is in reference to Aussie’s comment about the mustache is brilliant.

    Thanks for the laugh!

    BTW, I have DTV and Sprint (Sero) and am very happy with both. What a minority I am on here…

  6. krispykrink says:

    I had a similar experience a while back. I’ve been with DTV for about 8 years now and decided to upgrade to HD service back in Nov. 07. I placed an order on their web site for the standard HD box to be installed. When the installer came, he arrived 4 hours late at around 8PM. He started and had no flashlight for night work while installing the larger dish needed for HD service. Insisted on running new coax even though I already had 4 lines running from the old dish, and did an incredibly lazy job of it with the coax just laying loose all over. After he was done, he just took off instead of having me do the standard inspection and sign off on the paper work.

    When I saw what this guy did in the morning I fired off an email to the DTV CSR’s. Got a call back later that day and they sent out a “master installer” that same day. When he saw what the other guy did, he was beyond stunned. He got on his phone and was yelling at some people. About half an hour later he told me he was going to remove everything the other guy did, reinstall everything, and the office had decided to upgrade me to the HD DVR free of charge.

    Throughout the whole time he was here he was taking pictures of the horrible mess that he had to remove, it’s probably in the training materials now on what not to do. After all was done I was very happy. The “master installer” did a super clean top notch professional job.

  7. savvy9999 says:

    So that’s where Rollie Fingers went.

  8. zigziggityzoo says:

    I wish there were some way to tell all corporations out there that good customer service is the best kind of marketing out there. That, and having a good product worth marketing.

  9. rhmmvi says:

    Lesson learned here:

    Don’t use shady DTV resellers. Actually use DTV.

  10. macinjosh says:

    So he missed a half day of work and a half day of vacation… That’s like……. that’s like….*counting on fingers*… 2 days or something! :D

  11. ViperBorg says:

    @serialportme: “What a minority I am on here…”

    No crap dude. But hey, if they’re working out for you, then at least they are treating someone right. :)

  12. Kevin Cotter says:

    I always had good service with DirecTV, but I’ve always heard about poor service from resellers. Calling DirecTV had offers also.

    I had a reseller of Dish call me a couple years back in ’95. I opened up MS Word and kept a running dialog of the events. I explained that I did not do business with fly-by-night companies that call me. The sales-droid insisted they were indeed Dish Network. I said maybe, but I would have to call Dish myself, in order to prevent being scammed. They gave a different number than dish had on the web. I looked up the deal they were offering on the web, and was told I had to use another web address.

    A reverse lookup provided me all the info on who actually owned the site. I strung the sales droid on as long as possible to learn as much as I could. I emailed everyone at the FlyByNight and Dish that I could find. I explained how I was told they were Dish, and the other entire silly BS deal they tried to get for me.

    Dish responded apologetically, and the president of FlyByNight called to apologize as well. I was offered a year of free service. I declined…

    I thing Dish and Direct are both good, it’s their lousy resellers that really muddy their names. Maybe with help from The Consumerist they’ll learn…

  13. ThinkerTDM says:

    I’m glad this situation was resolved, but (as noted above) the fact that he needed to contact the president to get excellent service is not a good sign. However, it is the reality in the world today.

  14. brandymb says:

    The guy has to clean his ear somehow…

  15. DePaulBlueDemon says:

    He looks like Lech Walesa!

  16. zigziggityzoo says:

    @macinjosh: How much do you value your time?

    I bill clients $40/hr for computer consulting. (cheaper than Geek Squad, and I come to your house!) Personally, that’s about how much I expect from companies who waste my time.

    At the very least, I should be paid as much as the drooling idiots they hire as supervisors in charge of some of these call centers.

  17. mitchelwb says:

    I’ve been on DirecTV for over 8 years now… and they have always been the VERY BEST of all the people I send a check to every month. I’ve moved 2x in those 8 years and they’ve happily re-installed both times. I’ve received a grand total of 3 standard receivers, 2 DVR receivers, and 1 HD DVR receiver. And I’ve never had to do anything except ask and re-sign my 1 year contract. Re-signing the contract is easy when you have no intention of leaving the service anyway. They’ve always been friendly, helpful, and patient with me. And any time I’ve been patient with them, they’ve given me something for it. I’ve had nearly 2 years of free Showtime, 9 months worth of $5 credits, and an extra 6 months of free extended HD service. All because of minor inconveniences like longer than normal wait times on the phone. These are things I’ve not even asked for… they just apologize and give them to me. I’d damn near take a bullet for DirecTV. I agree with the above posters that say to avoid the resellers.

  18. Carl3000 says:

    Just when you think that mustache is going to stop, it keeps on going.

  19. DirectAnon says:

    If I was in charge of a company that’s struggling for new customers and see that my employees aren’t taking the opportunity of getting a new one, no matter how big my company is, I would be really pissed off…

  20. Balisong says:

    That mustache = awesome.

  21. Truvill says:

    @zigziggityzoo:

    Where are you based, and do also cater to individuals?

  22. Alex Chasick says:

    Chase Carey inspired my face

  23. Good Cop Baby Cop says:

    I had a similar experience. The day we were scheduled to get an installation, the installation company called and said they were busy and needed to reschedule. The next installation date, we actually got a tech out to the house but then he told us that the installation required him to go under the house and he was too big to fit through the entrance. So, another reschedule. On the day of that installation, they called and tried to reschedule it again. After getting off the phone with the installers, I went straight to Consumerist and got Chase Carey’s e-mail address. Within an hour of e-mailing, I got a phone call from Michelle.

  24. charmaniac says:

    I plan on subscribing to direct tv as soon as I purchase an HDTV. I am absolutely SICK of Comcast – their tv signal breaks up all the time and starts stuttering. I have heard only good things about Direct TV and they also have NFL ticket.

  25. P_Smith says:

    @td0t: Why is it so hard for companies to provide decent service off the top? Glad to hear the situation was resovled, but it shouldn’t even have to get to the point of emailing the CEO to get the unit installed.

    Exactly. This isn’t a “success”, it’s a failure to do the job right the first time.

    In their book “In Pursuit Of Excellence”, Peters and Waterman said that one satisfied customer will tell one person, but one dissatisfied customer will tell ten. A truly successful company would be one you never hear complaints about, only their advertisements, and keeps growing quietly.

  26. CPC24 says:

    @charmaniac: I have had DirecTV for over 12 years now, since I was a teenager living with my parents. When I moved into my own house, I tried the free month of Comcast, and decided I was still being overcharge. I then got my own DirecTV account and have been happy ever since.

  27. pudge44 says:

    I’ve been with DTV for 9 years. They used to kick ass compared to cable, but now I think it’s pretty much a wash. and the HD situation is a royal PITA with all the required new equipment, two-year contracts etc.

    I am going through the process of upgrading my HD equipment from first to second-generation and it’s been messy. They messed up the order, then gave me several lines of BS when I called to have incorrect charges credited. I finally go ahold of a supervisor in retention — the only people at DTV who know how to do anything — who promised to make it right.

    But just to be safe I fired up an email to Mr. Carey with a lengthy explnation of the whole thing. Haven’t heard back yet.

    My advice? Unless you’re like me and are dying to have NFL Sunday Ticket, stick with cable or FIOS for HD.

  28. pudge44 says:

    Update to yesterday’s post – emailed Mr. Carey yesterday afternoon. Received a call from the “President’s office” this morning, and the final credit was reflected on my account within an hour. Hooray for quick respones, boo for lousy low-level customer service.

  29. 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.

  30. 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.

  31. kingofku says:

    I read this story and had to laugh.

    I had a similar situation about a year ago when they came to install my HD Directv. Ironwood Communications (since bought out by Directv) was scheduled to do the install. I was promised that the installer would be there between 9am and 11am and told them I had to leave at 11am due to a prior commitment. At 11:30, the installer was a no show. I left a rather terse note on the door and left.

    When I returned later in the afternoon, there was some rudimentary scribble about something about me writing a rude note. Oh well, my bad, I guess.

    Anyway, I called back Ironwood and told them about the no show. They said the next available appointment was about 4 days later. That was totally unacceptable. I asked the CSR, if she knew who Chase Carey was. She said no. I told her that he was the CEO of Directv AND my old college roommate. I went on to further say that if a sooner appointment could not be found, I would call my “old college roomie” and let him personally know of the situation. She put me on hold, a senior CSR came back on the line and said that someone would be at my house at 9am the next morning.

    Guess it pays to go to college with someone of importance and, oh yeah, have the ability to BS someone so efficiently that they buy into the story. People can be so gullible!