DirecTV Is A Bird Turd

Susan L. wrote us about her extremely unpleasant experience with DirecTV… an experience so unpleasant she’s willing to give them money just to never have to speak to them again. Reminds me of the last time my father talked to me.

It’s the usual story: Susan scheduled DirecTV to install her dish. They didn’t, then blamed her. She rescheduled and had the dish reinstalled, only to discover it didn’t work. She scheduled a repair appointment, which took two weeks, then had to fight tooth and nail to get reimbursed for the money she was spending for non-working cable.

Of course, it didn’t end there: DirecTV then decided to spam her with phone calls from their sales team. Did Susan get off of their call list? What do you think? Susan’s email, after the jump.

So here’s my saga about my very unpleasant interactions with Directv to date. Sorry for the length …

I had been a long-time customer of Comcast when I decided it was time for a change — mostly because the cost of their services had gone up an estimated 68% in the 7 years or so since I had been a customer.

So I did some due diligence. I work for a high tech company and talked to several of my friends to see what service they used. The general concensus was that the people who had satellite television recommended Directv over The Dish. I did a search on the web — and it seemed that Directv got better reviews than The Dish.

So I called them up and arranged to start my service. Because of my busy work schedule, I couldn’t schedule an installation appointment with the salesman on the phone. Two or three days went by and someone from Directv called and left a number to call to schedule. Five days from the date when I first ordered their service, I called to schedule an installation appointment and was told that they had cancelled the appointment because they had called three times and had been unable to reach me. They only left the single message. They told me that even though I was calling to schedule an appointment, since the order had been cancelled (by them), I would need to re-call the sales office and set it all up again. I fired off an angry e-mail.

A week or so went by and then I was contacted by someone at Directv — whose job it was to placate me. I decided to go ahead with the order at that point — and I’ve regretted it ever since.

The service men arrived to do the installation. They installed the stuff and left. After they were gone, I discovered that I only got a few local channels. All other channels began to flash and go to black intermittently after a couple of seconds. I called – and after being on hold over 30 minutes, was connected to someone whose trouble shooting skills involved turning the satellite receiver off and on. When that didn’t work, she was fresh out of ideas and put me on hold for a “specialist”. The specialist had me unplug the receiver, plug it back in and then go outside and look for “loose wires”. Again, after these steps failed to work, she forwarded me to someone else, putting me back on hold for another period of time. The person who finally picked up the phone was someone who sold the extended warranty package. When she discovered that I was most definitely not in the market for an extended warranty — she put me back on hold. To her credit — she did ultimately connect me with someone who set up a repair appointment.

Two weeks later, the repair person showed up and after some effort figured out what the problem was and fixed it. I called Directv to make sure that I would be credited for the two weeks when it wasn’t working. The first person with whom I spoke told me that she was sorry for my difficulties and offered me three months free Showtime and $5. I told her that I wanted credit for two weeks of service — I was not interested in Showtime. (Two weeks comes roughly to $25.) She then suggested that Directv would credit me $5 per month for three months. I suggested that perhaps I should talk to a supervisor and she put me on hold. Thirty minutes later, someone picked up the phone and hung up on me. I called back again. This time, (after being on hold 20 minutes or so), I started out the conversation indicating what my expectations were. She put me on hold while she did the calculations, and when she came back to the phone, she agreed that, indeed, my calculations were correct. She graciously offered to credit me $5 per month for the next 5 months, but I indicated that I preferred the entire amount in one lump sum.

Now, I am getting daily — sometimes three or four — calls from the Directv promotional department. I called the customer service number and asked that the calls stop and was assured that my name would be removed from the calling list. The person with whom I spoke indicated that perhaps the calls were about my bill — but then he quickly reversed this statement when he saw that the account was up to date. When the phone rang again tonight and I answered it and it was Directv, offering me a “new member” package, I got angry and told the person that I did not want to receive another single call from Directv. She told me that it could take 30 – 60 days before my name would be removed from the list and that it wasn’t her fault that I was being called since it was a computer doing the calling.

It will cost me $150 to get out of the contract, but at this point, it seems like it would be a small price to pay to sever my ties with this horrific company. Rupert Murdoch was right on. Directv is a bird turd.