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


Edit Your Comment

  1. homerjay says:

    This is the kind of service I routinely recieve when I call DirecTV.

  2. bobreck says:

    Don’t mean to point out a potential bad side to this outcome, but this receiver, in all probability, will be a leased unit. That means you’re going to end up paying another $5.00 per month for it. That $300 price at Best Buy, and everywhere else, is a price to lease the unit. To purchase the new DirecTV HD DVR (HR20), it’s about $800.00.

    The upside to leasing… if it breaks, they replace it no questions asked (with a refurbished unit).

  3. LAGirl says:

    we’ve also been having problems with DirecTV. mainly, our PPV doesn’t work. hasn’t worked for months. i’ve made many, many calls. talked to tech support, customer service, supervisors. tried every sort of trouble-shooting. nothing worked. finally gave up and just started using Netflix.

    just over a week ago, we wanted to watch ‘Last King of Scotland’ on PPV. decided to call + try one more time to fix it. got the nicest tech guy. he tried all the trouble-shooting tricks. some that i’d never tried before. nothing worked.

    we have 2 receivers, one regular TIVO and one HD. when we set up service, we weren’t offered an HD DVR box. i didn’t know it was an option, so just had the 2 boxes hooked up to our one TV.

    the tech said for all the trouble we had, he could give us a new HD DVR + new dish needed for add’l HD programming coming out this year. the only charge? $25 for shipping. that’s it! no additional fees. no monthly leasing fees.

    a guy came out this past saturday to install the new dish + receiver. works great! picture looks even better than before. the best thing is that we now don’t have to switch back + forth between the two boxes.

    i’m glad the CEO’s office gave this same offer. but i think anyone having major problems shouild try asking tech support about it. they are now being trained to offer special deals like the one we got. and it was from a very nice, smart guy in Alabama…who spoke english.

  4. MentalDisconnect says:

    It’s fabulous moustache man again!

  5. SaveMeJeebus says:

    @Chase Carey: Who wants a moustache ride?

  6. MikeWas says:

    Is that a disguise?

  7. DontKnowthe411 says:

    “I do! I do!”

    I don’t actually, it’s just the next line in “Super Troopers”.

  8. dieselbug says:

    @SockMonkey – Are you talking about the DVR service or HD service when you say there will be a $5 per month charge? I thought only TiVo had lifetime options . . . and was unaware that DirecTV even offered such an option on their DVRs.

  9. Hawk07 says:

    $20 shipping? How much does the unit weigh?

    No doubt the OP is getting a great deal and hopefull his issue will finally be resolved, but seems like DirecTV is going after peanuts when asking to pay shipping considering they got volume discounts.

  10. mrtest says:

    DirecTV sucks.

  11. bnissan97 says:

    In my job doing Business-to-Business payments we had customers who pay for Directv. My job was to contact the companies and say, “I am calling on behalf of company A and they would like to pay you electronically versus sending you a check.” It took forever to get out of their call center and I only did that after much research. I finally got to their office and everything was guarded. “Oh we can’t give that name out etc..”

    So Directv answer this. My insurance agent can not be on the do not call list at her office because it is a business and you hound her with irritating promotional calls several times a week but you don’t want to be bothered with anyone contacting you? That is soo wrong.

    Go to hell!!

  12. SexCpotatoes says:

    @bnissan97: Just sign up your insurance agent’s account to receive promotional calls at X number and extension (i.e. somebody important at Direct TV or wherever). Problem solved!

  13. jioss says:

    this DirecTV HD DVR is a pile of crap. I’ve had mine since December and had multiple hard freezes during the first week, but the kicker is they send you a refurb thats worse than the one you HAD.

    I filed a complaint with my states attorney general. under hr20 700s for rants.

  14. BenMitchell says:

    Free second line to DVR? If you get a contractor – he’ll charge you upto 65$ for the second line and you’ll have to get refunded by DTV. Just a heads up :)

  15. virstorm666 says:

    I also have a big issue with direct tv, and if anyone can give some advice on the matter I would appreciate it. I am in the middle of trying to get a loan for a home, and am a new home buyer. Through the loan I have, there are tradelines that need to be obtained. I have received letters of credit from most of my home services and utilities EXCEPT direct tv. I have been told several different things about it from them and have yet to get a real, honest DIRECT reply. The most common is that they “don’t do that anymore” and I’m just wondering if that’s is even true and if so what I can do to obtain a letter of credit from direct tv without having to talk to ignorant customer service agents. I am almost to the point now of directly calling the president of the company to investigate the issue. If anyone knows of ANYTHING I can d to get this PLEASE let me know.

  16. TCB2006 says:

    Just sent an email to Mr. Carey after being lied to regarding a cancellation fee, hunted down for that fee, and then asked to come back as a “valued” member of the DirecTV family!

  17. 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.

  18. QMB says:

    You paid the shipping? I had multiple problems with my DirecTV DVR receiver. After talking to numerous techs – who had me run through the same “fixes” (including erasing everything on the hard drive) I had finally had enough. I called and demanded a new receiver. I was transferred over to the protection plan services to “get my info. for shipping”. The phone rep. at protection plan tried to get me to run through “fixes” again and asked me to describe “step by step” exactly how I zeroed out my receiver hard drive. I politely refused all requests at doing fixes or recounting fixes and firmly demanded a new receiver. I got a new receiver within days and sent the old one back via a pre-paid return label. I didn’t have to pay any shipping. I don’t understand why I would pay to have them ship me a new receiver in exchange for the crappy one. The DVR works like a charm now. I also received a credit for the months that the DVR didn’t work correctly.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I just wanted to say thanks for this info! I just started my directv service about a month ago, and my hd dvr and hd service was great for the first week. Then I came in from work on the 10th and had an invalid access card message. After calling, they said they would overnight ship a new one the next morning. I waited 2 days and did not receive it, so I called and they said it was never shipped and said the address was not in the postal records (even though I have UPS and Fedex delivered to my home all the time.) I gave them my PO box, and they said they would ship it and I should have it in 3-5 days. I was upset at the wait time, and was told by both a rep and then even a manager that overnight was not possible. I again waited, and never received the card. Called back and it was never sent again. I tried to cancel my service through yet another manager, and he gave me a $40 discount and sent the card overnight to me, and I received it the next day. the card did not fix it, so I called and was told i needed a new receiver which could ONLY be shipped in 3-5 business days. i gave them my work address and was told I would have it by today, the21st. i did not receive it and called again, and was told it shipped and even given a “tracking number” for fedex. I called fedex and was told that it was not a valid tracking number, so i called directv again and was now told it was not shipped yet, and that the address (which they fedexed the card to) was not valid. I hung up on them and called the office of the president as stated here and spoke to Sherry. I explained everything to her, and she ordered the new dvr personally, agreed to overnight to my address (which it turns out customer service had misspelled) and re-credited my first month service to me as well as the second month. She also asked for the employees id numbers of the personnel I had spoken to, so I gave her those as well (and I truly hope SOMETHING is done about their deception and lies). thanks for this great information; it really saved me!

    PS. The manager who credited me the $40 the 3rd time I called about the card? He had to credit it back to cover their $20 access card charges for the two orders I ad put in already, even though he made it sound like he was hooking me up for all my troubles. No real money was being credited to me, so watch out for this!

  20. Anonymous says:

    The email address for chase carey is worthless. Any emails sent to DirectTV are intercepted by a Customer Advocacy Group. They go no further. They call you and just spew the same company line you heard at a lower level. They are there to support DirecTV personnel, not consumers. The only way to deal with DirecTV is to quit. I did, and feel a whole lot better about it.

  21. Anonymous says:

    After having my house damaged two seperat times by Direct Stat here in Pittsburgh, PA which is the installers for Direct TV. They had damaged my house on two seperate occasions. The first damage claim was settled and the second I was told that the first will cover the second seperate incident. There were two seperate contractors fixing the two seperate damages at two different days. 1st was 800.00 paid by Direct TV insurance company. The second of 900.00 I am being told too bad and thank you for paying for the damages we caused. No luck with the office of the President 310-964-5000 and if you need it the VP’s name is Larry Hunter. So in general go with Dish or even rabbit ears anything to save yourself the aggrivations of dealing with you incompentcy of Direct TV and their customer service who will not help you or the Sub Contractors that have no real idea as to how to do their jobs.