Calling DirecTV President Results In New, Non-Broken, HD DVR For Nearly Free

I’ve been a Consumerist reader going on a year now. I haven’t missed an article. Reading my Consumerist RSS feed is a standard part of my daily routine. Come to think of it, maybe I have a problem. Ha ha ha

You had recently provided the contact info for Chase Carey’s office, the President of DirecTV, and I decided to give it a call yesterday. I thought I’d let you know how everything turned out.

Some background info…

Over the past 2 years, I have had several problems with one of my DirecTV receivers (I have two total). Over time, DirecTV had replaced one of the receivers several times – with refurbished units. Of course, I still had to pay a fee for the replacement receiver. To date, every refurbished receiver has malfunctioned at some point. When asked them why I couldn’t get a new receiver, I was told they don’t supply those to customers unless they wanted to pay full cost for them. Sounds like DirecTV, doesn’t it?

I recently decided to call for another receiver again….

My current one is now malfunctioning and won’t stay on for more than an hour. It freezes up and must be reset at some point nearly every hour it’s on. Over the past 2 weeks, I made 8 calls to DirecTV’s customer service area. During that time, they hung up on me three times, I was told their system was updating another three times – and that they’d take my contact info and call me back within 48 hours – and was told there was nothing they could do for me the other two times. Regarding the three times they hung up on me, I have no clue as to why they did it. We weren’t in a confrontational call and they weren’t trying to transfer me to someone else. It seems like they just didn’t know what to do so they decided to hang up on me. On the other calls where I gave them my contact info, I never received a call back.

So – I remembered Mr. Carey’s contact info was on the Consumerist website and I decided to give his office a call. In my most professional voice, I asked for ‘Mr. Carey’s office, please’. I was immediately transferred to ‘Shannon’ in Mr. Carey’s office. When asked if he was available, Shannon indicated he was not available (of course) but that she would do her best to help me. I explained my situation to her and she was very apologetic for what I had recently been through. However, she said she needed to call me back the next day. Why, you wonder? Well, of course, their system was updating and she wasn’t able to view my account information.

To my delight, I actually did receive a return call from Shannon this morning. In the end, she apologized again for what I had been through and said they were sending a brand new DirecTV HD DVR to me for $20 (shipping cost). Additionally, she is crediting to me the $5.95 fee for the DVR service for 1 year and they are installing the 2nd line into my home at no fee as well. Mind you, the HD DVR receiver is a $300 unit at the local Best Buy – unless they’re choosing to quote you a price off of their internal intranet site. We all know the price would be $400 at that point. Ha ha ha

By the way, Shannon assured me they would be discussing my experience with the leaders in charge of their customer service areas. However, you’ll have to forgive me for my lack of confidence that anything will dramatically improve anytime soon.

Thank you, Consumerist. Without your help, I would have been stuck in a never-ending cycle of terrible customer service.

You’re the best! Keep up the great work. Rock on!

– Dave

That’s awesome! Taking your issue to the place where the buck stops is a great way to make good customer service happen.

Chase Carey’s contact info:
800-666-4388 or
310-964-5000 (wait through the recording and hold for the operator)

The super calm and professional voice is key. We even try to sound like we’re actually bored sometimes. Works like a charm. Reading this post so you know what to do once you’re talking to the executive assistant also works like a charm. Remember, you’re not actually calling Chase Carey, you just want to speak with the highest ranking minion directly under him. She/he is the one that is going to make the magic. Be firm, but polite. — BEN POPKEN

PREVIOUSLY: DirectTV CEO’s Contact Info