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)


Edit Your Comment

  1. B says:

    Next time put glue on the toilet seat. That way he won’t be able to leave.

  2. HIV 2 Elway says:

    Hey, at least he didn’t top shelf them.

  3. weakdome says:

    Meets, poops, and leaves?

  4. weakdome says:

    @HIV 2 Elway: You mean upper deck them?

  5. midwestkel says:

    That sux. I would of told him to turn on a fan.

  6. B says:

    Well, what do you expect when you hire this guy to install your satellite:

  7. luz says:


  8. Rock79 says:

    He spent 20 minutes in the bathroom? That’s just… wow.

  9. catnapped says:

    Did you at least send him a bill? Water, TP, electricity, and, just the privelege of using the toilet ain’t free, you know!

  10. lalaland13 says:

    If it was a cable company, they would pooped all over your house, then increased your rates.

    (Sorry, a bit tired of the DirecTV commercials).

  11. catcherintheeye says:

    @Rock79: As a red-blooded American male who has a magazine collection in the bathroom, 20 minutes is not totally unheard of.

  12. DrGirlfriend says:

    The pooping really is the cherry on the sundae, if you will. Masterful.

  13. JeffM says:

    You can bitch and moan, but this is just par for the course- how big of a ladder did he need? It could be that she needed a really long ladder that the installers don’t carry.

    It happened to me- what can you do? None of your 3 major options (cable and the two DBS companies) are very good- and you’ll find stories like this about all of them.

    What is truly wrong is the gift he left…

  14. Shappie says:

    I thought it was called an “Upper Tanker.”

  15. Bagels says:

    This truly sounds horrible..I’ve been a Directv customer for quite awhile. The last time I had an installer over (to convert to the new HD receiver) he was one of the nicest service techs I’ve ever had. He helped me solve another unrelated problem without any hassle or question. I think certainly Directv owes you an explanation and to rectify it but it seems like it’s pretty much a crapshoot and just depends on the person that shows up. Obviously you got one that should be working somewhere else.

  16. EyeHeartPie says:

    @Bagels: Heh heh….you said “rectify”. :p

  17. madrigal says:

    Well, when you have to go, you have to go. Did you want him to just leave, find another bathroom somewhere, and get lost again?

  18. RodAox says:

    Does the dish have to be installed on a roof top or can it be installed on like a porch or some place lower ?

  19. evslin says:

    At least he didn’t ask for a tip?

  20. forgottenpassword says:

    twenty minutes takin a crap? Musta had IBS.

  21. BlondeGrlz says:

    @EyeHeartPie: Bagels said “crapshoot” too. Brilliant punnery or hilarious coincidence?

  22. buyer5 says:

    You’re lucky he didn’t smear it on the walls

  23. EyeHeartPie says:

    D’oh! Can’t believe I missed that one…

  24. nick_r says:

    All these companies (DirecTV, cable, etc.) use independent installers, so it is a gamble. That said, I’ve had nothing but stellar service from the contractors who have come to set up my DirecTV in past years.

  25. hatrack says:

    Whatever happened to going first thing in the morning after you get up?

  26. tech10171968 says:

    I wouldn’t be so quick to blame this one on DirecTV just yet. As I’m sure everyone knows, DirecTV has its own professional installers but sometimes your job may be parcelled out to an independent subcontractor, and even the cable companies do the same thing. I have the feeling that Elizabeth may have run into one of these guys, but she didn’t make that clear in her story. The problem is that there’s no telling what you’re getting into with these independent guys; some are extremely professional and knowledgeable (sometimes more than even the corporate installers), but then there are some *clowns* out there which I wouldn’t even allow in my driveway, let alone inside my house. My satellite was installed by an independent but I was fortunate enough to have a real pro sent to my door. Some others I’ve known were not so lucky.

    I will say, however, that DirecTV should be much more careful about which subcontractors they allow to operate in their name; after all, their own reputations are on the line (and this guy didn’t do very much to help that situation). A visit or phone call to DirecTV’s complaint department is certainly in order here (just don’t forget to include the name of the contractor who botched your job).

  27. bovinekid says:

    Bah. 20 minutes is nothing!

  28. am84 says:

    GROSS. You didn’t ask for smell-o-vision.

  29. MeOhMy says:

    The driver getting lost reminded me of a conversation I once overheard in a McDonald’s…a Comcast tech was on the phone with, presumably, a dispatcher or supervisor. In this conversation he explained that he did not get “lost” on the way to the client, he was “misplaced.” Throughout the conversation he adamantly corrected the person on the other end of the phone any time the word “lost” was used. “Bob, I was not LOST, I was MISPLACED. For 45 minutes…”

  30. phelander says:

    DirectTV?? More like DirectBM.

  31. Trai_Dep says:

    @weakdome: I bow in simple, grateful awe at your comment. Seriously. It’s so good that I request Consumerist begin weekly awards for best comment, just so other comments can be compared to your awesomeness every week.
    And found lacking.
    Frustrating for the rest of us, but worth it to see yours appear again, and again, and again.

    Well, in DirecTV’s favor, the installer did use the toilet. He gets some points for that, right?

  32. Rippleeffect says:

    @hatrack: You are assuming that everyone is on that “schedule”

  33. kthxbai says:

    Did he at least flush?

    And was there spray avalible in the bathroom?

  34. HIV 2 Elway says:

    @weakdome: You say 6 I say a half dozen.

  35. scooterist says:

    20 minutes does seem to be slightly excessive. I think I would have been banging on the door asking for a courtesy flush at least.

  36. christoj879 says:

    I would say there’s a problem with the water coming in the house and a plumber is coming later to fix it.

    Come to think of it, Comcast did this to my girlfriend. So it looks like you’ll get crappy service no matter where you go.

  37. Skankingmike says:

    bathrooms are off limits to service people.

    Don’t care if you have IBS and you just ate Indian food. You will not be using my bathroom.

    I wouldn’t get D-TV after that.

  38. Gopher bond says:

    I’ve had the same Comcast tech for the past 4 years. I’ve only needed one 3 times, intitial move, one internet problem, and one conversion to HD but I got the same guy each time. Apparently I live in between him and the local office so I’m the first appointment whenever a tech needs to be at my house. He just comes right from his house in the morning. He’s great, even put ends on a bunch of unfinished cables I had just for the hell of it.

    Point is it’s always a gamble.

  39. @catcherintheeye: Uh, yeah, maybe 20 minutes is normal if your poopin in your own bathroom with your mags, but not when your working at someones house installing DirecTV!

    @evslin: Hah! no shit

  40. annab says:

    I once let a Rooms To Go delivery man use my restroom. He not only left the seat up (which had been down and closed), but also dripped urine on the floor and down the side of the bowl.

    So, YES, it’s OK to tell them no!

  41. Edge231 says:

    How about saying “no you can’t use my restroom”

    What annoyed me about her smell comment….of course poop smells…but them again women’s poop and farts smell like flowers right?

  42. A.W.E.S.O.M.-O says:

    The poop thing is unfortunate, but really, what was he supposed to do? If he had left to take a dump, this story would be “this guy came, messed up the installation, and on top of it all, left halfway through to drop a deuce, wasting even more of my day.”

  43. Tiber says:

    To be fair, he normally wouldn’t need a ladder; it’s just that his partner, Spider Man, called in sick. It had something to do with noxious fumes, or so I’ve heard.

  44. kimshot says:

    I had terrible service with DirecTV a couple years back. When the (looked like) 19-year-old installer showed up, he told me right off the bat that he couldn’t install on a stucco house. I asked why, if this was a known problem, the phone rep didn’t ask me what kind of house I lived in when I scheduled the appt. In my part of town, almost all the houses are stucco, so obviously they would have dealt with this before. He apologized and said he’d mention it to his boss, I said don’t worry about it, I’ll call Customer Service directly. He asked me not to:
    “You don’t have to do that. If you call, they’ll call me right away and tell me to install it anyway and my boss told me that if anyone tells me to install on a stucco house I should tell them I’m gonna kick them in the balls.”
    Nonetheless, I called immediately, and followed up with an email quoting this conversation.
    So a second installer came out a few days later with a tripod (cost of $75), since they would have to install another way. He asked why the prior guy didn’t just install on the roof. I said I didn’t know. Then he notices I have an HDTV receiver and he says that the HD dishes are too big for a roof. So he tells me my only option is to install on MY FRONT LAWN. I agreed to this, without realizing how huge the dish was and how ridiculous it looked on my lawn. After he left, I notice I am missing about half the HD channels. I call again, they apologize that he left wihtout finishing programming. So we schedule a third appt. with a “Master Installer” to make sure it gets done right. He shows up and the first thing he asks is, “Why didn’t they install on the roof?” He says that the HD dish is no bigger than the regular dish, and actually takes the time to go up on my roof and try to install. Turns out, the reception wasn’t great, but neither of the other installers even bothered to check my roof. So he installed a tripod in my back yard, made sure all my HD came in and I finally had TV! DirecTV waived the tripod fee for my trouble. Not nearly enough considering I had to take 3 days off work for these visits.

  45. JN33 says:

    Well, I guess a shitty job was promised and delivered. I blame the OP. :D

  46. emich27 says:

    I love when people are disgusted by the “horrible stench of poo” as if “poo” isn’t supposed to smell bad. Has there ever been “poo” that smelled good? Now that would be shocking! And those sprays never work. I frequently would drop a deuce in my friend’s bathroom and they stocked “Cinnamon Sticks” air freshener. All it did was make the bathroom smell like Cinnamon “poo.”

    It isn’t too shocking he didn’t have a ladder. Don’t most townhome communities restrict putting a dish on the roof? He probably thought he wouldn’t need it. That, or he needed to continue his “poo” somewhere else and needed an excuse to leave.

  47. TVGenius says:

    This is the crappiest discussion I’ve ever seen here.

  48. bleh says:

    They are just trying to compete with Comcast for all the great publicity that Consumerist provides.

  49. @weakdome: I’ve always referred to that as “top-tanking”. Interesting to hear other variations.

    Seriously, DirectTV is a horrible company for customer service, and having been a customer of both Comcast and DirectTV over the years, I can say that the latter makes the former look like Costco on the service scale. Any DirectTV CSR I’ve spoken with is not only lacking in basic knowledge about the companies products and services but also seemingly illiterate. I know Comcast is pretty crappy, but I would go back to them in a second if I had the choice (my current apt complex is satellite-only).

  50. Did he flush?

  51. HrPingui says:

    Silly Consumer, I blame you

    You should just make your own cable/satellite, it costs less per serving than the national chains or find your own hole-in-the-wall cable/satellite provider and support them instead. Or why don’t you let directv check your receipt? Civil rights, who needs them? And you should have given him better directions and then given him a tip, access to your fridge, the deed to your house, some buried treasure and your first born kid.
    Serves you right for posting to a pro-consumer website


  52. sagakontinues says:

    Here is the phone # for the “Office of the president” as they answer when you call. 1-800-666-4388. I had a huge ordeal w/this company. I actually emailed the CEO and 2 hours later I get a call from a rep. He gave me this # so good luck!

  53. ekthesy says:

    Perhaps his lunch made him sick, and he really needed to use the bathroom, and then left right afterwards because he didn’t want to have to do that to her bathroom again.

  54. Just one of the many reasons I don’t bother with Cable.

  55. wiggatron says:

    Did you remember to tip him? LOL

  56. mitchelwb says:

    Sorry to hear you had a bad run in with DirecTV, I’m willing to bet that if you call, discuss it politely with a service rep they’ll make it better. Sounds like your installer probably was NOT a direcTV employee.. but a subcontractor.

    In your defense, it sounds like he did a terrible job all the way around and someone should be held accountable for it. In his defense, there is nothing worse than suddenly finding yourself in a panicky sweat and needing to cleanse yourself of an inner demon that you had no idea was about to appear. I’m guessing he probably didn’t want to bomb your harbor any more than you wanted it bombed, but he may have found himself in a position of needing to swallow some pride. He may have been in there for 20 minutes doing nothing by trying to fan the stink out. If he comes back, I don’t think anyone, including him, would think you were a bad person to deny him a second chance at the can though.

  57. Meemaw Bootz says:

    You know, I’ve had my share of problems with DirecTV (absolute refusal to repair a dish that was installed improperly/facing the wrong direction; Service disappears completely in a drizzle; ETC), so I sympathize.
    But there are certain points at which basic human etiquette or, depending on how badly someone needs to blow a deuce, compassion takes precedence over all else. It borders on severe character flaw that you would even ask if it’s cool to block access to the Eye of Neptune in an emergency situation.
    Poo stinks-granted, at varying levels of offensiveness. Maybe the guy was nervous. I’m sure he wasn’t proud of being late or forgetting a ladder. Sometimes you just lend a hand to fellow man with a clothespin and a smile.

  58. SkittlesMcGee says:

    The Comcast installer peed all over the toilet, left the seat up (in a house with 2 girls), and didn’t wash his hands. Still, I’d take him over the Direct TV guy any day.

  59. xanadu1979 says:

    If it were me I would let the guy use the bathroom. I wouldn’t want the guy that has the fate of my TV service in his hands to be pissed off at me.

  60. catnapped says:

    @annab: Did he also rifle through the medicine cabinet?

  61. TheaNoppa says:

    So what did you end up doing? Staying with DirecTV, switching back to
    Comcast or go with another provider?

  62. karlmarx says:

    I cant evern get a credit card, from anyone that doesn’t want to charge me obnoxious fees, or a secured card…

  63. phelander says:

    I guess you got some shitty service from Direct TV huh.
    Get it? Like the deuce he dropped in your tarlet was shit and he was a service person. Get it.

  64. Phreggs says:

    Just to drop a note here, Comcast techs can, and have been fired for using the bathroom of a customer. Reasoning? If the toilet is to stop up, or any damage is caused to the bathroom itself then Comcast is at fault.

    Previous roommate is a Comcast CommTech I (installation technician). Hes actually one of the good-hearted techs out there. Hes had to put up with receivers covered in rat shit, being attacked by dogs in houses, children throwing food and crap at him (seeing his toolbelt caked in shit personally).

    Anywho, Comcast techs can cause a lot of problems, but damn do they deal with a lot of shit themselves (har har har)

  65. Gopher bond says:

    @AtomicPlayboy: “I’ve always referred to that as “top-tanking”.”

    That’s too literal, why not just call it “Crapping in the Water Tank of the Toilet”? Upper-decker is much better when telling a story, like this one.

    Friend: Dude, that party last night was pretty good.
    ME: Yeah, but the girl that lived there was kind of uptight.
    Friend: No, she’s OK, she just seemed upset last night, I’ve known her for quite a while.
    ME: Oh, is she a friend?
    Friend: Yeah, she’s actually quite nice.
    ME: uh-oh
    Friend: What.
    ME: I don’t think I can go back there, I left her an upper-decker.

    True Story.

  66. AMetamorphosis says:

    Did they flush ?

  67. Zeniq says:

    When I worked for Firedog, there was a rule that in-home techs were not to use customer’s bathrooms. They were to go out of their way to find a convenience store at a gas station BEFORE an appointment.

  68. SanjushreeHaphy says:

    When I worked for Firedog, there was a rule that in home techs were not to
    use customer’s bathrooms. They were to go out of their way to find a
    convenience store at a gas station BEFORE an appointment.

  69. Raving Rabbid says:

    News Monitor fodder for sure.

  70. spryte says:

    @emich27: I would agree that there is probably no poo that smells lovely, but there is a definite spectrum of stinkiness. Some people – depending on their diet or just their natural body chemistry – have far worse smelling droppings than others. Plus, I think perhaps the OP also meant to show that the guy obviously didn’t give a courtesy flush.

    As far as techs using the bathroom, hmmm…I’m very germaphobic and don’t like the idea of strangers using my bathroom (especially guys…sorry dudes, you’re more likely to sprinkle). However, I would feel kind of rude saying no. A friend of mine used to close her bathroom door and say that her boyfriend was in the tub…I suppose that could work.

  71. JB Segal says:


    I gotta agree… letting people use your toilet in case of emergency is the basest human kindness. All of you who are advocating against this strike me as petty and vindictive… and if he’d left to find a different one, the original poster would’ve just complained about that.

    Sure, this guy had major intestinal issues. I’m betting he didn’t choose for this to happen to him.

    And also sure, he did a bad job, but that’s a totally separate issue.

    I’m betting y’all never offer installers/workers/whatever drinks or snacks, either?

  72. Nelsormensch says:

    Obligatory Penny Arcade link:


  73. MyPetFly says:


    And why would someone crap in the tank?

  74. Jabberkaty says:

    Can’t. Stop. Giggling.

    So very wrong. So very immature. I think I would have laughed the laugh of the horrified right in his face after he came out of the bathroom. I have a problem laughing in situations that involve poop.

  75. snoop-blog says:

    Shit Happens…

  76. Squeezer99 says:

    i take 20 minute poops all the time. usually i bring a magazine and it just takes a while to squeeze everything out

  77. Gopher bond says:

    @MyPetFly: It’s a funny prank. As a rule, if a party ran out of beer, you generally left the party holder an upper-decker for his transgression.

    Then maybe he’ll think about the quantity of beer he should be providing as he fishes a turd out of his water tank.

  78. Mike8813 says:

    Wow, that’s terrible. I tried to get DirecTV once, and the installer never showed. I was pretty pissed, and canceled the installation. But at least I didn’t have THIS happen! Yikes!

  79. saltytoast says:

    He sure didn’t install anything, but he did lay some cable.

  80. Trai_Dep says:

    @testsicles: Frat? Republican? Out of curiosity.

  81. lafevapdx says:

    I had something similar happen to me a few years ago. The guy came over to test the air quality in my house, uses my restroom without asking, takes a dump, then DOESN’T FLUSH! What’s wrong with people?!??!

  82. Gopher bond says:

    @Trai_Dep: Neither, but it sounds like you’re hankering for an upper decker yourself.

  83. nadmonk says:

    I actually had a pretty good experience with DirectTV. Though the installer was contracted and not a DirectTV employee. And when I had TimeWarner cable installed the TimeWarner employed installed told me the cable box was HD-DVR…which it wasn’t.

    So which is worse? TimeWarner’s metaphorical poop, or DirectTV’s literal poop?

  84. Trai_Dep says:

    Dude, if you’re a guest at a party, you should bring enough booze for you and your crew. And if it’s a girl that’s giving the party, you should be a bit… Nicer.
    I thought those were universal party rules.

    Sorry about getting the guess wrong, though. I apologize. :)

  85. Gopher bond says:

    @Trai_Dep: Really? If someone invites you to a party and says they have beer and then you pay for some beer and you look and he has like two crappy cases for 40 some people? He’s getting an upper decker. And I don’t discriminate so same thing for women.

    Now, at fancy wine and cheese party I wouldn’t do such a thing.

  86. freejazz38 says:

    I beg to differ. Since POOP is the EXACT SAME THING as Direct TV. You got what you ordered.

  87. freejazz38 says:

    I beg to differ, since POOP is the EXACT SAME THING (tests prove) as Direct TV. She got what she ordered

  88. Mudpuddle says:

    Wonder if that guy still works for Direct2. I wouldnt bother with them after that. Hopefully they dont send her a bill for the box they think she has.

  89. Alex Chasick says:

    Hey now, this DirecTV tech was only following the very advice set forth by a comment on this very website.

    Also, @weakdome: amazing.

  90. AnxiousDemographic says:

    Should you let the installer use your bathroom? Sure! Just insist that they complete whatever installation/repair they’ve showed up for BEFORE using the bathroom.

  91. dualityshift says:

    C’mon. Drop the kids off at the pool is a highly racist comment, degrading black and indian people. I thought Consumerist had more tact than this. We all know the proper term to use is pinching off a loaf.

  92. snoop-blog says:

    maybe I’m the minority, but I can’t shit in someone else’s/public restroom. Hotel rooms are different because at the time I’m there I consider it to be “my place”. But the only restroom at work is public, so I don’t even shit there. Am I the only one with my own set of shitting guidelines?

    obtw, If I do ever have to shit in a public restroom, and I’ll avoid it at all costs, there must be a barrier of t.p. between me and anything in the stall. That is after I clean it the best I can.

  93. EBone says:

    @dualityshift: Or you could use the ever popular, “Taking The Browns to the Superbowl.”

  94. arl84 says:

    @testsicles: Remind me to only invite you to my BYOB parties. And you can’t ever use my bathroom, you can pee on the lawn.

    Seriously. I’m not gonna have someone come over, drink all my beer for free, and then shit in my tank when I didn’t buy enough.

    ~*Anyway*~ The DirecTV tech was unacceptable. It doesn’t matter if you’re “not feeling well” You can still leave and find somewhere else to go poo. Don’t use your customers bathroom, especially for that. Let’s not even mention the fact that he was what, an hour and a half late? 2 hours? That wasn’t enough time to go poo?

    That and the customer service over the phone was bad too. Thanks for the story, I’m certainly not gonna go with direcTV. Thank GOD I don’t have to have Comcast. Astound cable FTW!

  95. FCL says:

    I used to locksmith for a fair-sized local company, and we were discouraged, but not forbidden, from using a residential customer’s bathroom. The boss understood that sometimes, you have to go during a job, but wanted us to try to avoid it lest someone accuse us of trying to steal their prescription drugs or something.

    The few times I had an emergency pee crop up on me, the customer was courteous enough to allow me to use the bathroom. I’d never, ever use a customer’s bathroom for more than that, though, because I am a girly girl and I would be super deeply embarrassed if I’d left an odiferous cloud floating in the bathroom behind me on a job.

  96. MercuryPDX says:

    @HIV 2 Elway: Top shelf? It’s called an “Upper Deck”

  97. I had a similar issue with Comcast recently. Tech arrived with no badge or I.D. dressed in a thugged out street clothes. He asked to use the bathroom and emerged 15 minutes later and went back out to his truck.

    Half an hour passes and he comes in with the cable box and modem. He asks for a glass of water… Now I am starting to get annoyed. Next he has my pull out my TV, no problem since I would rather move it than have this idiot do it. Then he proceeds to tell me how to hook up the cable, literally step by step and expects me to follow. I asked if he was serious and he said “Yeah, why wouldn’t I be? Just give me a hand.” In order to get him out of my house and stop wasting my time (we are at 1 hour now) I help connect the cable and power wires to the splitter, TV and modem.

    He leaves again to his truck, this time driving away and coming back 15 minutes later leaving me to install the Comcast internet service on my laptop. He comes back in takes a roll of paper towels from the shelf tears off a few and wipes his head off since he is sweating all over the place. Back to my computer he sees an error and accuses me of messing it up (the app is literally clicking a “Next” button) He called tech support, another 20 minutes go by to find out the modem MAC was never linked to my account.

    After that he has me watch a intro video on the On Demand saying I must watch it all the way through or the box won’t work while he is watch Basketball videos on my laptop much longer than to ensure the connect is active.

    Finally he leaves and I realize I was given the wrong cable package. Fucking epic.

  98. JohnMc says:

    Why would one even consider a ‘no’ an improper response? By God it is YOUR house or apartment. To say ‘yes’ is up to your grace as an individual.

  99. Gopher bond says:

    @arl84: Shit, man, I’m not an animal. If you invite me to a party and its BYOB, i’ve got no problem. If you tell me to come over because you’re having a beer party and all you have is a Coors Light party ball, well, you’re getting upper decked.

  100. 3drage says:

    DirecTV sued their own customers, they are a terrible company. They’ve lost a multitude of business from me after trying to extort a $3500 settlement out of me. Now I tell people every chance I get to stay far away from them.

  101. cccdude says:

    Evidently, the OP’s shit smells like roses. When you got to go, you got to go. Can you say “no”? certainly – but what kind of installation are you likely to get when the service tech is so busy squeezing the cheeks or doing the gotta-pee dance that they can’t concentrate on doing the job right. Unless you want them to relieve themselves in your yard?

    I hope the OP never finds herself in a potty-emergency where *she* has to depend on the kindness of others.

  102. GregGates says:

    Subbed out work, free installation, you get what you pay for. I had ex-con looking dudes show up at my grandma’s place when I went to supervise the install about 5 years ago.

    I advise not getting premium TV and using broadcast + Internet instead (the less TV one watches the better). If you do want it, find someone who can run wires in walls and out to the dish loc properly (this will cost you a bit). Once again, you get what you pay for, do not expect much at all from their free install.

  103. redsoxgirl1 says:

    We’ve had nothing but problems with DirectTV ourselves. Major Problem: The technicians can barely speak English. Second problem we had was that we needed the dish installed and the technician would not go on the roof because he was AFRAID OF HEIGHTS. Yes, you read that correctly. Someone came to install a dish but wouldn’t get up on the roof. Unbelievable. My husband ended up having to go up there himself with the tech directing him. We have had numerous problems with our service but they have us over a barrel because we want to watch football.

  104. AlphaTeam says:

    First time installing; guy came, installed the wrong dish; I paid for my dish mind you, so I wasn’t happy. However the installer was courteous enough to run and get me the right dish. When I got a replacement dish, install came a bit late as usual, and installed the dish wrong; you know the main support and those 2 supports on the side that hold up the dish? Well they only installed one; I told them there should be two and he told me he was installer; a phone call to a CSR got it resolved with a veteran technician. He apologized and DirecTV gave some “compensation” for the trouble.

    So far I haven’t had to call them, but I do mind DirecTV a bit on the expensive site. Right now I’m spending $400 for TV, Internet, and Phone service; that’s a lot if you ask me.

  105. Meathamper says:

    Why are you using DirecTV? Yes, compared to the worst cable company in thw world, DirecTV looks promising. But seriously? Next time, move to Dish Network. Good selection, and those guys don’t poop in your house.

  106. atypicalxian says:

    Although DirecTV didn’t leave me a stink bomb, I did get stinky service:

    I made an appointment to upgrade my current DirecTV subcription to HDTV, which means a new satellite and box. I took a 1/2 day on a Monday as DirecTV had said an installer would be at my place between noon and 4 PM. The installers showed up at noon on the dot — great, I thought. I live on the upper floor in a 2 story building with a flat roof. The installers said they need to install it on the roof (my current dish is on the side of the building) but can’t install the satellite on a flat roof without drilling holes in it. My landlord understandably didn’t want any of that. They said they could install it with cinderblocks and a bracket which they didn’t have. I rescheduled for the following day and took the day off.

    Someone with a van with no DirecTV logo shows up within the time window. He takes a look at my roof and said, “You have a flat roof? I’m not going up there!”. I demanded to talk to a customer service rep. The rep apologized and I rescheduled for the following Saturday, between 8 and noon.

    I had made plans to see a 1:45 matinee with some friends that Saturday, so I figured even if the installer was a bit late, I should have time. Silly me. At 12:10, no one shows up. I call customer service and was told that the installer was running late and would be there by 12:30. At 1 PM, no one shows up, and I’m steaming. I called DirecTV and canceled the installation and told them to inform the installer. I figured that would be it, but they told me to stay on the line, otherwise the credit wouldn’t go through. After 20 minutes, everything is done. I make the beginning of the previews before the movie.

    I had put my phone on vibrate and it went off at about 2:30. After the movie, I returned the call and found out it was my landlord. A guy in a pickup showed up at 2:30 to install the dish and said he could install it on the side, but since I wasn’t home, my landlord sent him on his way. He did me a huge favor. I lost a day and a half of vacation time, unfortunately.

    I’m in a quandary as whether it’s worth it to contact DirecTV, or if I should switch to Dish. I just got a flat-screen and want to experience the joys of HD. Fios is in my area, but for some reason Verizon can’t put it in my building. I refuse to do Comcast. Any suggestions?

  107. JusticeGustine says:

    Be careful if you refuse to let the tech use the bathroom. Especially if he/she suddenly needs to get to the basement or crawl space . . .

  108. welsey says:

    Ok, the woman on “You Are What You Eat” always harasses the people for having smelly poos, apparently due to all of the terrible food that they eat. She makes it sound as if you eat all organic veggies and very healthy portions, poo doesn’t smell anymore. So perhaps this non-nasty poo is a reality.

    In other news, DirecTV is really annoying to use.

  109. planet2334 says:

    Wow, I had the very BEST service from Direct TV the whole time. Maybe this guy was not an employee at all, but just someone full of sh*t.

    I hope DTV’s customer service line helps in every way possible. They were really great with me in the past.

  110. thelushie says:

    @JB Segal: I was always taught that it is polite to offer a visitor to your home food or something to drink. Workmen and women qualify as visitors. Of course, when I was a child, our housekeeper was also called family so I guess I had a different upbringing than most.

  111. I’m sorry, but if you say to a service tech “No, you can’t use my bathroom,” you look like a royal asshole. There’s no other way to take that answer other than “My bathroom is too good for you. Unlike mine, your shit is likely to stink. Only my beautiful and perfect poop may be deposited in my toilet.”

    Sure some service people, just like some of any group of people, might have bad bathroom manners. I don’t think the OP’s installer was one of them. So sue him, your bathroom stunk for a few minutes after. Big whoop. I agree with the poster above who said that he was probably taking so long trying to fan it out, or wait it out. Bitching about that makes you stound pretty lame. “Damn him, when he took a dump it SMELLED BAD!!”

  112. @atypicalxian: IMO you should probably go with Dish. I had them for about 18 months and I had no problems with the service. My installer was smart and did a good job.

    This was in San Francisco.

    The only glitch came after I cancelled (due to moving to a place I couldn’t have a dish). Protip: When you cancel your service send ’em back their receiver+LNB, make sure you keep that tracking number! They charged 100 bucks to my CC, when I called to say WTF, they claimed they never got it back. With the tracking number I proved that it had in fact been signed for by so-and-so and eventually they gave me my $100 back.

  113. LordofthePing says:

    Yes, allow them to use the toilet. Hopefully they’re professional enough to know that they should only ask to use your washroom in an emergency, it definitely shouldn’t be routine.

  114. Speak says:

    Yeh, poo stinks, but the OP writes that this was the “most horrible stench of poo escaping throughout my home.” If the smell is so strong that it can be detected from well outside the bathroom, I think it’s fair to complain.

    Anyway, maybe this technician was just being passive-aggressive.

  115. tapehands says:

    You can tell them no, but that only means they can reply with, “Well, I really need to take a crap. I’ll be back in five minutes.”

    …Which usually is code for, “You’re going to have to call in and reschedule your order, because there’s no way in hell I’m coming back.”

    Probably the best thing to do is call customer service, politely ask for a supervisor, then file a complaint and ask for compensation if you still want satellite. You’ll probably have to explain the reason you’re calling multiple times to multiple people, so it’s probably best to have a short story and a long story prepared.

  116. dave731 says:

    I was so disgusted with paying for television that I “dumped” (no pun intended) cable and satellite completely about a year ago and set up an antenna in the attic. Now I get all my locals in better HD than the cable co could ever provide and with my MythTV box and I can watch all my favorite trashy cable reality shows for free.

  117. SJActress says:

    Sorry, but I have IBS, and if you’d have told me I couldn’t use your bathroom, I’d have left and not come back.

    That being said, it shouldn’t have taken him 20 minutes, and he should know better than to eat a heavy meal in the middle of his workday!

    Just get regular cable and a TiVo, and watch HD movies. Makes life easier. What do you need 3000 channels for? How could one who can afford DirecTV actually have time to watch the things it offers? Aren’t you busy working?

  118. skeleem_skalarm says:

    A Time Warner cable installer asked to use my bathroom years ago, and I, being the kind person I am, allowed him. After he left I went to the bathroom and discovered he’d peed in my bathroom sink! He even flushed the toilet to make it seem like he’d used it instead. Boy, was I pissed! I called TWC Columbus, Ohio, and the csr, after screaming about how disgusting he was, etc., started laughing. I had to laugh, too, because the situation was soooo bizzare. Hope the idiot lost his job.