Everyone But Me Gets To Watch TV, A DISH Install Horror Story

“July 25 – So, I recently moved and have had one hell of a time with DISH Network. Apparently my new apartment building has an “exclusive contract” with ATT. So I call up those guys to get some TV in my new apt. ATT tells me to call DISH directly (their partner) and I oblige because ATT doesn’t deal with apartment complexes. I get on the phone to DISH with a guy (I think his name was Sam) who happily placed my order, until he asked me what floor I live on and I told him third. Sam proceeded to tell me that because of insurance reasons their DISH installers will not install on third floor or higher. I was a little baffled by this and Sam told me to goto a DISH reseller, like Radio Shack.

So I, still shocked, goto Radio Shack and they tell me they don’t do installs and gave me the card of some scummy a/v installer. So I go to sleep and decide to deal with it later.

The following day I received an extremely helpful call from Duke, who is a DISH guy at the Austin service center who basically told me that Sam was full of shit and DISH installers can do floors above the second…”

…Terrific, right? Well, kind of. I got everything setup with Duke (damn, that is an awesome name) to only have him tell me that the earliest time to get it installed is August 10. Are you freaking kidding me? I have to wait two and a half weeks to get television besides ABC, which is the only channel I receive over the air.

I accepted the August 10 date because well, there are no other options, but I’m still pissy that I had to jump through a bunch of hoops to get this worked out.

August 14

I was told to be home from 12-5 on the install day, this past Friday, and the DISH guy showed at 6:30 (of course) to tell me that he wouldn’t do it because of the trees outside of my balcony (even though there are some clear shots of the sky around the trees. And DISH charged me all of the installation fees, even though it didn’t get done (they supposedly will be refunded within 5-10 business days).

At that point I called my landlord who told me that the coax lines in the apt are functional and to call AT&T back. She also gave me the option to move out (even though I just moved in a few weeks ago).

I call AT&T and am told that their digital cable package, U-Verse, isn’t offered for my complex. Call the landlord back, who yet again doesn’t know a damn thing about the cable system she manages and she continued to hint that I could move out.

I finally found the right division, which is “AT&T Home Entertainment”, who apparently has giant DirecTV dishes on the roof of the complex that feeds the coax lines through all of the apartments. ( http://www.attheonline.com)

The website said that they offer an “analog programming package” with no satellite set-top box required. So I go buy a TiVo over the weekend so I can get that ready for the basic analog package. Then I call AT&T HE yesterday to place the order and I find out that that package is no longer available and I HAVE to get a programming package with a satellite set-top box, therefore deeming my new TiVo worthless.

Also what pissed me off is the fact that they don’t have an HD DVR box for this ghetto DirecTV setup. You can either get an HD box, a DVR box, or both (but no HD recording), or none. So the AT&T HE guy is installing everything today, and I’ll have to take back the TiVo this week (which is a heart breaker, I’ve become a TiVo junkie just over the weekend of watching over-the-air programming).

It’s still just ghetto how this entire building partnership works. Why can’t the damn coax lines work with Time Warner or Comcast like the rest of this giant ass city. I’m not too fond of all of these satellite shenanigans. It just makes me wonder how much AT&T is paying Post Properties (which has buildings in multiple states) to exclusively have AT&T, even though their properties are surrounded in trees.

I would consider moving if I hadn’t already moved twice within the past 2 months. I guess I never knew how good I had it with Cox back in Kansas.

– Travis H.
Dallas, Texas

Wow Travis, that really sucks. Here’s an idea: dump all the equipment and get everything refunded, buy a Slingbox, and convince/pay a friend with cable to let you hook it up to his system. His customer service can’t be any worse than what you’ve already experienced and if you fall behind on your bills you can make it up in beers.

(Photo: Leila Carioca)