DirecTV Installer Arrives, Poops, And Leaves, But Doesn't Install DirecTV

It’s hard to fit everything you need to do into an average day, but this ingenious DirecTV installer found a way to show up late to his appointments, take a break for lunch, and drop the kids off at the pool—all before 5pm! Now if only he’ll remember to bring a ladder with him the next time so he can actually complete the installation.

Elizabeth writes:

After having a horrible experience with Comcast when I moved to my new home, I decided that I would go ahead and give DirecTV a try. So I called up customer service to have someone come to set it up. I should have hung up from the first service person I talked to. I requested to have one HDTV receiver and two standard receivers installed in my home. Customer service kept telling me that I was a previous customer and still owned one of their boxes. (As it turns out, when I was in college, a roommate got us DirecTV and put me on the account – we returned the boxes three years ago, but apparently no one ever updated the system.) After explaining to three different people that I have not had a Directv receiver in my possession in three years, one man finally understood the situation and arranged to have someone come on Tuesday, June 17th at noon with two standard receivers and one HD receiver.

Tuesday arrived and that morning I received a call from the “professional installer” to let me know he anticipated he would be running behind schedule and would be there at 12:30. At 12:30, he calls to let me know that he needs lunch so he will be there at 1. One rolls around and he is not there, 1:30 rolls around and still not there. 2 PM he calls to let me know he is lost and needs directions. I provide him with directions to my townhome and he arrives – with only the standard def receivers. He then tells me that they were not ordered. Not ordered? How is that possible, I KNOW I requested an HDTV receiver for our brand new plasma tv? He claims DirecTV told him that we had one from three years ago. WHAT? I didn’t even know what HDTV was three years ago – I was a measly poor college student with a tv from 1994. I explain the situation and he says there is nothing he can do, but he would install the other two.

So here is where things go horribly wrong. He asks to use the bathroom. I hesitated, because I am very protective of my cleanly home – but thought I had to be gracious. After being in there for twenty minutes – he emerged with the most horrible stench of poo escaping throughout my home. In an attempt to disguise my disgust I started explaining all the locations of the televisions. He asked if I got an okay from my association (because I live in a townhome) and I explained that the association rules approves Comcast and DirecTV for cable. He then tells me that he had to leave because he didn’t have a ladder and wasn’t going to be able to install anything today. WHAT? A satellite installer doesn’t have a ladder?

So now I have taken a half day off work and have no cable.

Hope you can post my story so more people will stay away from this terrible customer service. And maybe you have some advice for how to file a meaningful complaint with DirecTV. Last I checked, professional installation didn’t mean your home turned into a rest stop for the installer to unload in.

Many thanks and thank you for your stellar web site.

We think DirecTV has misunderstood what “having a duty to your customers” means. Ha ha, get it?

Elizabeth, try contacting the CEO of DirecTV. Here’s an example of a success story from another customer who was having trouble with installation, and here’s the CEO’s contact information. If you need more tips on how to get your problem resolved, try our “Ultimate Consumerist Guide to Fighting Back.”

Update: Elizabeth wrote back to us:

I called DirecTV last night and complained and they told me that they were sorry but that all they could do was send someone else to my house. I am hesitant to let them come. What is the etiquette for letting service technicians use your restroom? Can you say no? You should also write something on that topic!

We don’t know if there’s an consistent etiquette for that sort of thing. Commenters, what do you think? Is it okay to just say “No”?

(Photo: iLoveButter)