DirecTV Install Imbroglio Makes Longtime Customer Want To Destroy Furniture

While we’re waiting on our video boys to harvest the clip of Whoopie’s rant against DirecTV on The View this morning, here’s a little reader-submitted DirecTV install nightmare to tide you over. Andy used to think DirecTV was pretty good, but his experience trying to get them to hook up an HD/DVR to his TV has felt him feeling like he is “going to explode, or destroy pieces of furniture.”

Andy writes:

I’ve been a DirecTV customer for a good 8-9 years. Other than the last few weeks, and my very first installation (had to pay $700 for a professional install throughout the house, and we made sure to future-proof it by having two available jacks per area where we wanted to access a tv), I’ve had, for the most part, been very happy with my DirecTV services, and dealing with DirecTV representatives on the phone. I give them a lot of credit, as my past experience with them until lately has been very satisfactory, and they were very accommodating and patient. With that said, let me tell you of my last 4 week experience with them that has gone from worse to a complete disaster.

Here is a little background information for you. About 4 weeks ago, we decided to purchase another HDTV (we, at the time, had two), and decided we would go the HD/DVR route with this one. We had purchased our previous two HD-Receivers from Best Buy, and after the TV-arrived, and we were satisfied with the Picture Quality, so we decided to do the next logical step and get some toys for it. On August 14th, we bought a HD-DVR receiver from Best Buy. It came to about $169.99 before taxes. I call up DirecTV to activate my receiver, but we had a lot of problems getting it to work; the tech decided that the problem was my satellite, and that I needed to order professional installation. He indicated the HD-DVR would only work with a 5-LNB satellite. I went ahead and ordered the installation, and was charged $99 for it. I had also found out that very same that, that none of the equipment we purchased from Best Buy or Circuit City, or any store that sell these receivers at “reduced” price, we were just leasing! You got that right, after doing a little research after the fact, this is a common misconception! But this isn’t the point of this e-mail. When we found that out, a light bulb went on in my head, and I had called DirecTV a little bit later that day to ask for a free upgrade on those HD-Receivers I paid Best Buy for, but what I’ve been leasing this entire time, and were I to cancel my service, I’d have to return it to DirecTV or pay something like $240 bucks! I was granted the free HD-DVR upgrade, and I had asked for a second one. The DirecTV representative was very nice, I had explained to her that I had purchased them from Best Buy, and was very angry that nobody from DirecTV or Best Buy would straight out tell their customer that these equipments were not there’s to keep. She said the only way to give me another HD-DVR was to cancel out my first order for the install, and charge my Credit Card for $99+S&H. She would then reimburse me the equipment fee, minus the S&H. So she went ahead and did that, cancelled out my first order, and put in another one. I had also decided to activate the HD-DVR that I purchased just to save myself the trouble.

A week later, on August 23rd, the DirecTV installer comes with a HD-DVR in hand, and the first thing out of his mouth was: did you order a HD-DVR, because I only brought the 3-LNB satellite, you know, the one that doesn’t work with your HD-DVR, and is probably only the roof! Yes, even though I know you ordered the HD-DVR which only works with the 5-LNB satellite, I came out here to tell you this anyways, just to waste your time! I was completely dumb-founded and baffled at what I was witnessing. Luckily, the one on the roof was the correct satellite. Luckily, if you want to call it that, the installer decided to look up, on the roof, and figured out it was the correct satellite after all! But here comes the fun part. His work order only shows that he would install the HD-DVR for one he brought out, and not the one I had purchased from Best Buy! He said if I wanted the other rooms installed, it would be $53 per room, and this is most-likely off the books, probably tax-fee, and against DirecTV’s contract with these subcontractors. I said I would not install anything, but we went with the install on HD-DVR he brought. He had no face plates. He has no splitters. Nothing. He said DirecTV does not supply us with any of that, it made me wonder, how the hell would they do a typical install? The HD-DVR has 2-tuners, and it needed two coaxial cables for it to work. But like I said, we future-proof our house with 2 coaxial jacks, granted, our face plate only had one of the jacks showing. He removed the face plates, ran both cables to the DVR, and put the face plate back on. I have a cable running on the right side of the face plate, sticking out, looking ridiculous and half-assed, which is probably very unsafe, but hey, at least the DVR works right? When the work was done, I was represented with the work order and a pen. I declined to sign it, and they were pretty outraged, demanded the HD-DVR back that I had purchased through DirecTV, but I said it was mines and paid for it, and shortly stormed out! What did they expect? I got a half-ass install, no install on the DVR I purchased, and no the guy completely came out with the wrong satellite, and I was supposed to be satisfied?

I called to DirecTV. I tried to stay calm, and for the most part was, explained them the situation where 1 room was not finished being installed, and two other rooms needed installs. The phone representative was very sympathetic and understanding and said he would take care of everything. He would waive the install fee, and schedule another install, with all the problems resolved. This was a good hour into the call, and very detailed, so I got off the phone, thinking everything would be okay. Unfortunately the earliest install date I could get from there was September 12th, a whole 3 weeks later, but there was nothing I could of done about it at this point, so I shrugged my shoulder, with a heavy sigh, just said okay. Now, I am usually not the type who thinks he is entitled to anything, or that I should be treated this much better, or compensated for this, but I figured, I’ve had to go through all the hassle thus far, why not ask for nothing. I called back later, and was given 3 months free HBO and Showtime. I had also inquired about the credit to my credit card for the equipment I paid, and was told I should see that shortly on my credit card, and to call back if there were any problems.

Two weeks had gone by, and I had been checking my credit card statement to if I was ever reimbursed for the equipment, but alas, it was not there, nor on my DirecTV bill. I called in again, and after an hour or two, after trying to tell the phone representative that I was not credited the equipment. He tried to tell me that the HD-DVR was free, and the $124.90 charge on my account was for the installation fee, which got waived *$99* of it, anyways. Well, no, sir, the $124.99 was for the HD-DVR I ordered, plus Shipping & Handling. He tried to tell me my tax was $25! Seriously, I was like, is this guy kidding? My Credit Card statement even says DirecTV hardware, not install, he finally conceded, said I was right, and that he would credit me the equipment fee minus the S&H. I had asked again about the other HD-DVR I was supposed to receive, and he said it should be in the mail by September 2nd. I would see this credit on my DirecTV bill.

September 2nd had come and passed, and still no receiver. A few days later, I had called DirecTV to get a tracking number for my package, they said there wasn’t one, and that the installer that would be coming out. I had confirmed with the phone person that I was suppose to get a FREE HD-DVR upgrade, and that I indeed ordered another one.

A few days later, we decided that we would install the HD-DVR that we purchased from Best Buy ourselves in another room that was already pre-wired properly to receive both signals. It had decided to move it from the basement to the library. I had to call DirecTV again to activate the card and receiver, and there were problems. They were telling me the card did not match the receiver. Are you kidding me? Well, their system was completely messed up because I have the original paperwork in the box that list both the card and the receiver’s # *together*. Well, an hour later, the problem was resolved, apparently some sort of error in their system.

Today, the 12th of September, was the install date. The installer was supposed to arrive between noon and 4PM. I had left work a little bit early so I could meet the installer. Around 5PM, the installer came, and the first thing he asked me was if I have a HD-DVR that I owned. I had answered yes. Let me tell you, the installer came to the door, holding a box for an HD-DVR, but soon as I answered, he said, “well, this is for my next customer, and not you. My work order is only to install a customer’s owned HD-DVR!” I was dumbfounded. I had to endure this crap the first time; do I really have to do it a 2nd time? I figure I would handle the receiver issue with DirecTV after he finish the install, but he did not have a work order to install the other room (or bring a receiver), nor did he have one to finish the first install (put a face plate on). There you have it, 4 weeks since I decided to get a HD-DVR and to get 2-equipment upgrades, my experience has been a complete and utter failure. The installer drew a big X on the work order, and left.

Here is where the real fun happens. A 3-hour phone call with DirecTV! The explained my situation to the first phone representative, very calmly, and she had indicated that there was no free HD-DVR upgrade in the system and that it would cost me another $99+S&H, with no reimbursement, if I wanted one. Sadly, we got disconnected before anything else happened. That was a good waste of 25 minutes. I called in again, got another person, who was very polite, understanding, but unfortunately there was not a whole lot she could do for me because the way the DirecTV system works, and how it flagged things down, or prevents “abuse” I suppose. After some investigation, and having to explain myself again, she tracked indeed that her system shows a free HD-DVR and paid order for a HD-DVR! She confirmed it with her co-worker/supervisor, but unfortunately, it wasn’t like that on the system that goes to the installer. After an hour and a half of trying to figure all this out for me, she said she could order another HD-DVR and reimburse me for it, but then we find out it wouldn’t do that, and I had asked to be escalated to a specialist. The specialist was a real jerk, and very stubborn. He said basically you could only get a free upgrade every 6 months. I can agree with that. I can agree or understand DirecTV’s rules and policies concerning equipment. He apologized, and said the best he could do for me is to 1) call the local office to try to schedule an install for tomorrow, and 2) reimburse me the equipment charge. I was like, what? I’ve already been reimbursed the equipment charge, except for S&H! Well, it turns out, I’ve been lied to from the very beginning, and the middle, and finally got the truth. The first person never initiated a credit for the equipment. I called in again, and the second person said he would credit me the equipment, JUST TO GET ME OFF THE PHONE IT SEEMS, but never did. So all this time, I’ve been thinking I got a free HD-DVR and another one except I had to pay the upfront cost, and be reimbursed everything but S&H. Turns out I was wrong. Very wrong. This is where I raised my voice. This was where I was angry. You’ve got to be kidding me! Do DirecTV just tell people that they will do something, but never do, just to get you off the phone? I’ve seriously been lied to, on numerous occasions by DirecTV’s customer support representatives, and misinformed about a lot of things. I was still expecting my other HD-DVR, and well, an actual install, it being 4 weeks later already, because that’s all he could do for me, I asked to be escalated further more. I did, and basically was told the same thing. The only arrangement that could be worked out that I would have to buy another HD-DVR receiver from the retail store, because somehow, they are incompletely unable to order one for me through their system, and I would be reimbursed $124.90. That still means I have to pay another $45 dollars, and still pay them a monthly leasing fee for each active receiver, and when you aren’t using it anymore (their equipment tend to get upgraded yearly) then send it to them otherwise I’d owe $240. What a crock of–!!! I guess that’s better than nothing, considering I cannot get cable television or television from the phone company. At least I got 3 months of Cinema, and 6 months of Starz? Definitely has not been worth the 4 weeks of headaches and pain. 3 hours. I seriously was on the phone with DirecTV for 3 hours. And now I have to wait for another install come October 4th for the HD-DVR I have to buy from Best Buy or Circuit, only to LEASE IT. 2 MONTH INSTALL???? GREAT!!

Why would I pay for a free UPGRADE if it’s a free UPGRADE? When I asked for a free upgrade? When it’s free? Common sense anyone?

Thank you DirecTV. You earned that #1 Customer Satisfaction Rating… just not today!

I’ve not wrote a letter to DirecTV, but I think I would be wasting my time. I just wanted to share my experience because I feel like I am going to explode, or destroy pieces of furniture. I’ve never had it this bad. Never.

Robert B.

Comments

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  1. usmcmoran says:

    700 bucks gets you a bootleg satelite dish and box, cuts the throat of the cable and satelite companies at the same time and pays for itself in a few months….bad consumer …bad

    • Not Alvis says:

      @usmcmoran:
      Not to encourage this sort of thing but – whoever told you that is getting ripped off. Try $300, tops. If you just want to watch satellite on your PC, under $150 for the dish + tuner card.

  2. zigziggityzoo says:

    *blink**blink*

    I uhh, wow. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised, since this is how just about every corporation treats their customers, so it would seem.

    But, just….Why, DTV? WHY??

    Hey OP, just so you know, Cable isn’t much better in the way of customer service, anyway…

  3. Roclawzi says:

    It’s amazing how much they can complicate the simple matter of plugging two coaxial cables and then authorizing the boxes…

  4. Not Alvis says:

    I THINK I know what you mean, but this sentence isn’t parsable English:

    “I had also found out that very same that, that none of the equipment we purchased from Best Buy or Circuit City, or any store that sell these receivers at “reduced” price, we were just leasing!”

  5. nicemarmot617 says:

    I’ve been having problems with Directv hd too. Since the beginning of the football season I was surprised to find I didn’t have my Sunday Ticket in HD. I quickly added the “Superfan” HD package online. When it totally failed to show up after a few receiver resets, I called Directv, which while making me wait on hold told me to reset my machine. Yep, already did that. As soon as the phone was supposed to ring as it was transferred to the “tech” department, I got a fast busy or hung up on. 3 times. We gave up and watched the last games in HD. At least, our other HD channels were working fine so we could still watch the network and cable games in HD. I fired off an annoyed but polite missive on their website and went to bed.

    The next day, Monday, they called us to apologize for the multiple hangups and wanted us to check the Sunday Ticket channels. Um, the point of Sunday Ticket is that it’s on Sunday. You can’t watch it on Monday because it doesn’t exist! The chick on the phone says oh yeah, call back next Sunday if it still doesn’t work. Yay.

    This time my BF called and went through the phone tree. They had him mess around with the settings on the receiver, and whatever they did has removed our other HD channels!! We are now forced to watch the game tonight in regular definition. We haven’t called back because after the market tonight we’re just not up to the phone tree and multiple transfers. I’m sure we’ll spend tomorrow night on the phone…

  6. adam_w says:

    “Just because it’s futuristic doesn’t mean it’s practical.” -Crow, MST3K

  7. Ickypoopy says:

    Two words: CANCEL SERVICE

    They are unable to complete your install. They are charging you more than was agreed.

    Tell them to come pick up their crap and leave. If they try to say you cant cancel because of a service agreement, return to them with the fact that they have never finished installation and are not upholding the agreement.

    You don’t NEED pay TV service. Especially not with this cost.

  8. The one time I seriously considered getting DirectTV their customer service drove me away. A company that jerks me around before I’m even doing business with them isn’t worth the hassle.

  9. coren says:

    Um. I’m not sure I even understand what happened – does he have like 4 or 5 receivers now? Could someone get me the cliff notes here, this is very confusing.

  10. JiminyChristmas says:

    Is the OP an adult who speaks, and writes, English as their first language? Just curious.

  11. Mr_Mantastic says:

    So can you explain what happened again? I stopped reading at about the 15th paragraph.

  12. cjones27 says:

    Anyone else understand that?

  13. TACP says:

    Can this email be any longer?

    My family and I have had D* since 1996, and never had any major problems. I got my DirecTV HD DVR 2 years ago for $20 and a free install. They were on time and did a great job. They just called back today and said my signal is a little low, and they’re coming out this weekend to adjust it, for free.

  14. WraithSama says:

    I can get past the poor grammar (eloquent writing isn’t everyone’s strong suit), but walls of text are difficult to slog through.

    Problems like these seem to be pretty much par for the course. I consider myself fairly lucky that I haven’t had any problems with my cable company.

  15. MitchV says:

    I was about to pull the trigger on a 2 year DirecTV contract last week. There were some used receivers available for me to purchase – I planned to buy these and add them to the system I was paying them to install. The DirecTV rep informed me that I would have to pay $50 TO ACTIVATE EACH RECEIVER that I had purchased to use with my subscription to their service.

    Something about that is just wrong.

    I gave up and decided to stick with Comcast until FIOS is available.

  16. Red_Eye says:

    The fact you are leasing the receivers is well known and has been in place since 2006, did you bother to read your service agreement or the noteice DirecTv sends? If not then you should in order to know what you have agreed to. It is possible to ‘own’ some DirecTv hardware (like the HD DVR PRO) but it must be purchased from them. The recovery fee if you don’t return a leased HD DVR is $470. DirecTV will send you a box with prepaid shipping (called a recover kit) to return their receivers in when you cancel your account. As for the ‘free upgrade to DVR’ that the customer requested, only a very few with accounts in good standing (i.e. you have not had one single late payment in 6 months) who have been long time customers and have a high base package get sweet deals like free DVR’s and even then not more than one every two years or so. The $99 + $20 shipping/delivery is standard for a good customer. New customers or those without a history pay $200 + $20shipping/delivery.

    Yes, it is normal that the installer is only supposed to install the hardware listed on the work order, sounds like you tried to get a free install of additional hardware. The additional charge is quite normal and allowed for ‘custom installs’ like what you wanted. When you were presented with the work order and pen you should have acted like a grown up and signed it. He completed the job that was required and likely all that was on the work order. As for the wrong dish being on his truck granted that was likely a mistake, so far the only one in your diatribe.

    I thought you future proofed your rooms? Why did you need installs two pieces of coax to go between your wall-jacks and your DVR would be all it took along with phone activation. Unless of course you didn’t have a multiswitch (the so called splitter). If you bought your own receivers and no multiswitch then you’re at fault for not having it. You cant start buying pieces as a DIY person and then when the installer shows up just expect him to finish your half complete purchases off with equipment loaded on his truck for other customers and/or installs.

    Cant speak for the CSR who was wrong about hardware vs/install charges. But again as I mentioned free DVR are only for top customers. As for the next botched install I had to read this post 3 times to understand it. It sounds like you confused DirecTv too. The monthly fee you pay ($4.99) is not a lease fee but a mirroring fee to mirror your programming package from your primary receiver (which you pay no mirroring fee for). Their hardware does not work for any other use, like using the DVR with cable, it just wont work, without service its worthless so whats the point of keeping it anyway? As for their hardware getting upgraded yearly? Thats false. They do come out with new hardware but that doesn’t obsolete old hardware. I have the same receiver that I opened my account with 6 years ago. All DVR hardware is software updatable and updates automatically. Your wait times for the install are likely due to this being a heavy time of year and also being football season so everyone is very busy.

    What you wanted was the free for me package, free hardware (multiple pieces!) free install, free shipping and you found out that DirecTv is running a business. No you wont get everything free, you may luck out and get one DVR free but as much action as there has been on your account I wouldn’t count on it. Oh BTW are you aware you just extended your commitment for 2 years? That is also part of your agreement with DirecTv.

    While DirecTv may have messed up a few things here, what I see is someone trying to get the world for free and when they ran into roadblocks they want to fuss.. Sad. If you need more Info on how DirecTv works you can find forums online such as [www.DbsTalk.com] where you will find a bunch of knowledgeable enthusiasts.

    • pecan 3.14159265 says:

      The e-mail is terribly hard to understand.

      Every experience the OP had, I had the opposite. We got our equipment when the installation person came. He looked at where our dish was going to be, brought in the equipment, ran the lines and hooked it up. He turned on everything, programmed the remote, showed us how to DVR things, add things to the list, etc. He left us a detailed letter including phone numbers if we had problems, and that was it.

      We had ordered all of it through the DirecTV website, so I’m not sure why the OP decided to go to Best Buy and purchase all of it when the equipment was available through the DirecTV website. I get he wanted to own his box, but with technology being upgraded every few years, is it worth it?

      Despite all the extraneous gobblygook of information within the post, I determine that the OP purchased his own equipment, ordered equipment from DirecTV, there was a mixup with which equipment was supposed to be installed, and then got huffy about something that went wrong with the coaxial and the splitting and dear god my head hurts now…

      This part baffles me the most:

      I was represented with the work order and a pen. I declined to sign it, and they were pretty outraged, demanded the HD-DVR back that I had purchased through DirecTV, but I said it was mines and paid for it, and shortly stormed out!

      What? “it was mines”? He was represented? Who stormed out? Did the OP storm out of his own house?

      Oh and I never had an installation fee on my order. I received the DVR upgrade like they advertised when I ordered my service, and never had to haggle with them about it.

      I’m guessing it must be the local contractors not knowing what they’re doing, but also the OP for not being totally aware of the current contract. Leasing equipment has been in practice for years, like Red_Eye said. And Red_Eye is also correct in saying that the additional charge by the contractor is standard. I was even told by a DirecTV CSR that the contractor would be charging, as I did not want my dish mounted to a wall, and wanted it on a tripod secured to my patio. And the OP also seemed to be in contradiction with what he wanted versus what he could do with the company. It seems like (as far as I can tell, again – gobblygook of information) he didn’t understand that there were a set number of services DirecTV could handle, which meant only installing equipment the contractor brought with him.

  17. Jay Gardner says:

    Seriously, what you need is a good Free-to-air FTA satellite receiver. I won’t go into too much detail for fear of running afoul of the moderators here, but if you know how to use google you should be able to find out enough to get you started.

    The way I see it is like this. Satellite signals are like a baseball game. The encryption methods are the walls of the stadium. Is it stealing if you find a way to view the game without paying for it, such as renting a condo next to the stadium that is enough stories up that you get a clear view?

    With an FTA receiver you can get HDTV, DVR, and all the PPV and movie channels you want, with no bill. The only downside is you have to wait for a new key once or twice a month. Takes a couple hours for it to be cracked.

    • johnnya2 says:

      @Jay Gardner: Well the courts have determined the companies CAN stop you from doing this (in much the same way the Cubs can block people from peering into Wrigley. It is also considered theft because they have paid for those signals. Call it anything you want, but cable, satelitte, or music downloads are theft. You justify it any way you want, but it is no different than walking into Target and picking up what you want and leaving without paying.

    • MeOhMy says:

      @Jay Gardner:

      The way I see it is like this. Satellite signals are like a baseball game. The encryption methods are the walls of the stadium. Is it stealing if you find a way to view the game without paying for it, such as renting a condo next to the stadium that is enough stories up that you get a clear view?

      “The way you see it” doesn’t really have much bearing on “reality.” We’ve got a little crazy-far-reaching piece of legislature here called the Digital Millenium Copyright Act. You might have heard of it? It makes it expressly illegal to decrypt something not meant for you. That’s right. The area next to the stadium has been re-zoned as commercial and the zoning board turned down your request for a variance.

      The old “If you don’t want me to receive your signal then don’t broadcast it to me” argument of the analog satellite days doesn’t work anymore.

      • Jay Gardner says:

        @Troy F.:

        *shrug*

        As far as I am concerned, the DMCA is an unjust law.

        Aside from that, it’s basically unenforceable. Short of inviting a representative of the provider of those transmissions into a home to witness the crime of viewing encrypted channels, there isn’t enough probable cause to secure a warrant.

        A dish on the side of the house is not probable cause. There are dishes all over buildings in my area. Some of those buildings must have tenants who canceled their service but never took the dish down. Is that probable cause for law enforcement to search their homes?

        Even if law enforcement were to subpoena the retailer who sold the FTA receiver for names and addresses of their customers, buying an FTA receiver is no more of a crime than buying a VCR or a DVD burner. All have legitimate uses.

        So where is the evidence that a crime has been committed? Even if they somehow managed to find out that someone is in fact viewing encrypted television, good luck proving that the person downloaded a firmware update for their receiver with the intent of decrypting satellite signals instead of fixing sound stuttering issues or improving menu speed.
        Mens rea and all that jazz.

    • MrEvil says:

      @Jay Gardner: What you’re talking about isn’t Free to Air. You’re talking pirate Digital Satellite boxes. The channels available via Free to air are broadcast “in the clear” and do not require any decryption. This is perfectly legal.

      What you’re talking about is not legal and probably falls under your area’s cable theft laws.

  18. coan_net says:

    I have directTV, and it must be the local contractors that suck – because I love ours.

    About a month ago we started having issues with the signal going out when it rained – and quickly discovered that a tree limb when wet was hanging lower in front of the dish – so we went up and cut it down – but we still had issues (thought maybe the limb was low enough to hit the dish and possible moved it) – so we called DirecTV to send someone out – a local contractor. (about 3-4 day wait)

    About 1 day before they were to come out, one of our boxes hard drives decided to stop working. I played around with it some – resetting the box and such and since they guy was coming out, I decided to not mess with it.

    Here is what happened:

    Guy came out, walked around the house – looked up at the dish and pointed to a limb that we missed and was obviously the one still causing us issues (duh – we feel dumb for missing it – and quickly we climb up and cut it off)

    We then tell him about our box messing up – he walks in, and spends no more then about 10 seconds looking at it.

    Walks out to his van, brings in a new box with a bigger hard drive and such – swaps them out – programs it and it works. (He also explained how the older boxes were all going to be replaced over the next couple of years to these newer boxes, so I just got a jump on the exchange… or something like that… I was just happy with the much bigger hard drive) It also comes with a newer remote (with bigger buttons) – which my wife goes, cool – I like the new remote. (and I say how I don’t like it).

    So the installer picks up the remote, walks to the other room where my wife watches TV the most – quickly programs the remote to work with the TV in there.

    He then says “Anything else”

    We say “nope”

    He quickly scribbles down the exchange of boxes on the work order, has us sign and off he goes.

    Could not have been happier.

    Again – it’s not necessarily the bad company – but some of the bad employees which makes everyone else look bad.

  19. gusbuf says:

    All D* equipment is leased, as of 2006. Also, you made the monster mistake of getting the unit from a horrible store like Best Buy. You would have been better off calling D* directly, explaining to them how great and loyal a customer you have been, and ask if there are any promotions for adding an additional HDDVR. You probably could have gotten the DVR for less, maybe even for free. They would have known off the bat that you only had a 3 LNB dish, which is outdated and does not work with the new MPEG-4 HD signal. You would have had a work order for the HDDVR, a new slimline 5 LNB dish, a new Zinwell splitter to handle the HD signal, and maybe even hook it all up with an SWM instead of all those multiple cable runs. Sure, every company has bad people, and Directv’s subcontractors that do the installs are not the cream of the crop, but please, by all means, in the future, stay out of Best Buy!!! Deal with D* directly. Its amazing what you can negotiate with the right CSR on the phone if you are very nice, friendly, and let them know how much you love their service. Give it a shot.

  20. DeepFriar says:

    Two things about DirecTV
    1. the contractors are a different company than DirecTV, which sucks when it comes to coordinating service work.
    2. its still light years better than cable

  21. sspeedracer says:

    Ditch the TV all together. You’re addicted to all the crap shows. Cut it off cold turkey and you won’t miss a thing after 3 months.

    If you absolutely must dumb down on occasion, then rent a DVD or stream video from the internet.

    Grow up already.

    • Ein2015 says:

      @sspeedracer: That’s what I did. I follow only about 2 or 3 shows (Battlestar Galactica, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, etc)… and I watch those online. :)

    • Rhayader says:

      @sspeedracer: Ditching TV and “growing up” are not the same thing.

      Just because you don’t like TV doesn’t mean those that do are immature or overly dependent.

  22. Rhayader says:

    Wow, not only is this story long, but it’s very poorly written. Did anybody actually make it through this mess?

  23. AkakmanH says:

    I was a DTV install tech for 2 years and I was very, very good. I know for a fact that if a tech shows up at the door and the Work Order is wrong that all it takes is a simple call to change it. That is, unless you are dealing with a HD/DVR. Those receivers are treated like gold and HAVE to be accounted for. That being said, any tech worth his salt should have known what to do to solve the problem. Sounds like a few bad techs have soured the situation. I would never have let it get that far. I would have installed the customers equipment because it makes no difference which is installed as long as it is accounted for and activated with serials and card numbers.

  24. scoutermac says:

    Your problem is you are letting a “professional” installer set it up. Do the research and install the dish yourself and run the cables. I always do my own installs with directv. I have always had good service with directv. The installers are the ones that always sucked.

  25. wiggatron says:

    This letter needs serious editing. Andy, we don’t need every little freakin’ detail! I can’t even be bothered to finish the whole thing.

  26. adamondi says:

    I would love to hate on DirecTV also, but that letter makes it nearly impossible to understand the story. Between the run-on sentences, convoluted paragraphs, and typos, I couldn’t figure out what was really happening at all. A little editing would go a long way toward making this rant coherent.

  27. sven.kirk says:

    I love the last paragraph. I’ve not wrote a letter to DirecTV, but I think I would be wasting my time.

    I want my 5 minutes back from reading this.

  28. AyeRoxor says:

    Strangely, after reading this random arrangement of words, the first thing I want to do is slit my throat.

    Please, consumerist, for the love of all that is holy, no more babelfish-translated letters.

  29. AyeRoxor says:

    sspeedracer: “Ditch the TV all together. If you absolutely must dumb down on occasion, then rent a DVD or stream video from the internet. Grow up already.”

    You know what, speedy, there were people like you in Shakespeare’s time. “It’s just a stupid story. Grow up and (do what I do because I’m amazing and you’re not).”

    Speedy, you are not amazing. And by offhandedly ignoring all social commentary of the day, you’re not doing yourself any favors. You’re being an isolationist. That doesn’t make you anything but pathetic. If anyone needs to grow up, it’s people like you who hole themselves up and pretend they’re better than others because they refuse to partake in society.

    The sad thing is, it might be admirable to “be in the world, but not of the world,” but you lose 100% of your high ground when you start behaving like you have here.

  30. angryrob says:

    Incoming wall of text… just go ahead and read the last 3 paragraphs.

    Hello, Angry Rob here of Fairfax, VA. I am the original poster. Let me first apologize for the bad grammar and the wall of text (just had 4-week worth of stuff to write about I guess). It was all that saved my poor furniture from complete and utter destruction; it was either that or sitting down at the computer and venting to the Consumerist. I didn’t proofread it, or spell check it, it was more self-therapy than some expectation of this being posted on the Consumerist… With that said, let me explain the situation a bit. I’ll try to break it down as simple as possible.

    We’ve had DirecTV for about 8-9 years now. The house was built around 1999. It’s on a private street with about 5 other houses on the road; unfortunately we cannot get Cable TV or TV from the phone company. Up until recently, we had DSL that ran on 56K speed!! To say the least, our only option is satellite until the TV companies lay down some fiber, but it would be like 2050 before that happens I’d imagine. Anyways, here goes.

    Less than a year ago, we upgraded our service from Standard-Def to High-Def. So we actually had a flawless install of the new dish, and the other HD-receivers. At one time, we already had 3 HDTV in the house, and 3 HD-Receivers. My brother at the time lived with us; he bought his from a Best Buy, and just recently moved a few months ago to Maryland. He just got married! We just bought another HDTV to fill the void his TV left, and decided to get a DVR as well. While on the call with the CSR on 8/14 after my install was placed, there was a discussion about a leased receiver that needed to be return. It turned out it was the one my brother had bought. Luckily he has Cable TV or he would be even more piss. And that’s when I found out about leased equipment.

    I was not trying to get a FREE DVR, or FREE INSTALL, or FREE SERVICE, well at least, initially. We paid retail for all three previous HD-receivers! I paid for my first HD-DVR, and my 2nd one apparently, and the install. I’ll be completely frank. I’m an ignorant consumer. I didn’t know the equipment you bought was leased until you return them. I asked my peers, my co-workers, and a lot of people, and they were oblivious to this truth. With that said, I found out that night that all the equipment you bought is considered lease, and that you pay a “lease” or “mirror” fee, or whatever you want to call it. In any case, I have to pay $4.99 per active receiver for the life of my service with DirecTV. Something rubs me the wrong way about paying for something, only to find out you’re leasing it, for the life of the service. That’s why I purchased my DSL modem instead of paying them $2.99 every month for the rest of my life. After my initial call to DirecTV on 8/14, a light bulb came on in my head about the whole leasing thing; why not ask for a free upgrade? So I did. The CSR said she put in an order for a free HD-DVR upgrade. Because we have another TV, I’d figure it be worth a shot to get another one free if possible, or get some kind of discount. The CSR said she had to cancel out my first install order, and put in a new one with the purchase on my Credit Card to do that, and she would reimburse me the equipment minus S&H. Basically, the install date came around, and I was expecting 3 HD-DVR to be installed. The installer comes out with 1 HD-DVR, and would only install 1-room even though at this point, there were 2 DVRs. We did future proof our house, yes, but the main device where the satellite signal gets split only works up to 4-lines, and each HD-DVR needs 2 lines each. There are two coax lines behind each face plate but the face plate only has one coax jack. At the very least, the installer had to, and did install the switch to split the signal for up to 8 lines. Yes, I admit it was a little wrong to let the tech go ahead and install the one room and not sign afterwards; but I also didn’t realize he wouldn’t put a face plate on it. I paid for someone to install a new satellite, and HD-DVR service for up to 3 rooms, and I didn’t get that. PROFESSIONAL INSTALLATION. He didn’t speak any English to me. He had a translator with him in fact. Must of have been his sister or wife. They were asking me to pay them $53 per room, onto of my $99 I was paying; even though he didn’t do the other things on the work order like 1) bring the right satellite, and 2) install it! Now, the story very well could have had been: the installer came out with the HD-DVR I had ordered that only works with the 5-LNB satellite, and only brought out a 3-LNB satellite, it was only the coincidence of already having the right satellite despite DirecTV’s CSR telling me otherwise, that saved me this pain. But this pain alone.

    Basically what it came down to is: The CSR’s made a big mistake in putting in my orders. Not once, but twice! By two different people! Even if I couldn’t have gotten the 2nd HD-DVR for free, or at a discounted rate, the two times the installer came out, he only had a work order for one receiver. I had an incomplete install that would have taken the installer all but 5 minutes to complete, but he wouldn’t touch it with a 20 feet pole. I had the face plate supplied, the keystones supplied, and I’m no electrician, and even though I could do it myself, I had appointment setups for them to do it for me. So it’s kind of the principal at that point vs. convenience on my part.

    And beyond that, I WAS LIED TO! On numerous occasions, I was told I’d be getting a free HD-DVR. I was told I would be reimbursed on equipment I ordered directly from DirecTV. That didn’t happen. So I called back, and was told it would be. The CSR lied to me to get me off the phone. He argued that the $124.90 charge on my credit card was payment for installation, when clearly there is no way there is a $25 tax for that, and despite my card statement saying DirecTV hardware. He must have been embarrassed when he realized he was completely wrong. He agreed to put in the credit. He lied to me. He lied to me. They lied to me. I found out no reimbursement was put in the system when I was escalated to the first and second CSR specialist on the day of my 2nd install. That was the kicker. DirecTV CSR will tell you anything to make you happy and get you off the phone. When we worked out that I would be getting another $120 credit onto of the equipment credit, I almost laughed to myself, and asked him: is he serious or he just saying that to get me off the phone? I won’t know if any of this will be shown on my next bill, but I wouldn’t be surprised if I’ve been lied to even by the senior CSR specialist I spoke to.

    I’m completely unhappy with how my install has been going. The next install date is Oct. 4th. 7 WEEKS from my original call on August 14th! But we have no other options unless we go TV-less, or just use over the air stuff. Thank God the one sane thing is being able to watch NFL Ticket in HD. =

    Oh, when I refused to sign the first work order, the English speaking woman that came with the installer demanded that I give back the HD-DVR. I pointed out to her that I had paid for this. Yeah, technically it all belongs to DirecTV, but at that point, you are no longer welcomed in my house or on my property. They stormed out of the house shortly after that. I don’t blame them either, but they were probably one of the shadiest people I’ve encountered.

    -ARB