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An open letter sent to DirecTV concerning deceptive practices


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#1 of 34 Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 16 2008 - 11:34 AM

Dear Ellen Filipak,


This is an email I hope you will take very seriously as I feel
it will bring to light a problem I think your company needs to
take very seriously.

I have been a DirecTV subscriber for the past 10 years, slowly
adding new services to the point that the company considered
me a "Premier" subscriber (whatever that actually entails).

You would think as a long-time subscriber in excellent standing
that I would be treated in a respectful and appreciative manner
by the staff and their Supervisor who are employed within the
calling center. I must say, the more I researched the amount
of complaints that were reported across the Internet, the more
my eyes were opened concerning the type of company that I have
been dealing with all these years....but I am getting slightly
ahead of myself, so, allow me to start from the beginning...

Quite simply, I have had intentions of leaving DirecTV for
about a year now. I had a good 10 year run, but with your
escalating prices and a new kid in town by the name of
Verizon Fios, I decided it was time to give someone else
a try. Only thing holding me back was that Verizon Fios
was still negotiating to get MSNBC (which they finally rolled
out this month).

Over the past year I had been receiving mailings to my
home telling me that DirecTV was upgrading their equipment
and that unless I had my current MPEG-2 Tivo and dish
replaced I would lose channels. I hesitated to upgrade since
I did not want to get into a new 2-year commitment knowing
I was eventually going to Verizon. I threw all the upgrade
notices in the trash.

Then your mailings suddenly changed. As of October. You
were offering a FREE "HD SWAP" stating that it was absolutely
a necessity that I upgrade my equipment and that it would be
done for FREE with absolutely NO COMMITMENT. This was
confirmed by your phone rep when I signed up for the upgrade
and by the installer who came to my home. Both told me these
were necessary upgrades, I would lose channels without it, and
that there would be no commitment.

So, imagine my shock this morning when I called DirecTV and
tried to cancel my account and was told I would be slapped with
a $480 early termination fee. I argued my point to the phone
rep who knew nothing of the FREE HD SWAP offer.

Next, I was connected with a Supervisor by the name of Chris
who was the most inconsiderate SOB I have every had the
displeasure of speaking with. He was condescending, kept
cutting me off and was totally unsympathetic to my situation
to the point where I was yelling at him that his company was
a "bunch of F'ing liers." Let me make it clear that I never used
the actual expletitive other than the letter "F." I usually never
get to the breaking point with a customer rep that I feel I have
to say something like that, but Chris made it clear in his tone
and mannerisms that I was bothering him, I was wrong, and he
was not going to assist me.

The next thing I did was pick up the phone and called the office
of DirecTV CEO Carey Chase. It was there I spoke with the
first real humanistic person related to your company, a lovely
lady who took the time to listen without any argument. She admitted
that DirecTV did have a FREE HD SWAP with no commitment, but
that there is a widespread problem of accounts being tagged otherwise
as the DirecTV computers can't tell the difference between a
contract and non-contract account. By the end of the phone
call she made certain that I would not be charged a termination
fee.

I then started doing research across the Internet to see just
how many people out there were having the same problems
I was. Ellen, you should really do this kind of research. From
Tivo to DBS forums alike, there are a lot of angry people out there
who are accusing DirecTV of all kinds of deceptive practices
that could be considered criminal. You should see the amount of
complaints from people whom were led to believe they were being
upgraded without any contractual commitment and then told otherwise.

Here is one of several websites I found that you might want
to browse through:

Consumer complaints about DirecTV


Additionally, there seems to be a disturbing trend amongst the
reports concerning the attitudes of DirecTV customer support and
their Supervisors towards consumers with legitimate problems.
As one phone rep explained to me, "The Supervisors and phone
reps do not have the power to credit accounts." In fact, they
told me to write the Billing Dispute center and then wait up to
two weeks for a response. Is this how you convey satisfactory
service towards your consumers?

I have found Internet forums where Insiders who work for
the company are reporting that reps do their best not to mention
commitments of any kind to customers signing up for service. It
seems obvious that "commitment" is a taboo word to mention to
customers.

Based on my experiences today, I am confident there is a problem
with DirecTV. Phone reps and their Supervisors have no authority
to handle problems so they become argumentive and condescending
towards a customer who should be treated with much more respect.

As much as DirecTV has tried to "woo" me with offers to stay
with them instead of going to Verizon, I must say that I am a bit
shaken by my experiences today. I have never, ever, been
treated so disrespectfully by any company and I feel that Chris
the Supervisor owes me a phone call of apology.

Furthermore, I feel it is my duty to further educate other people
who may be leaning towards going to DirecTV and are not aware
of the deceptive practices that are going on.

I plan to post this letter on the Internet, as well as my own forum
which is one of the largest and most read Home Theater discussion groups. I
genuinely feel that DirecTV is in a nasty decline as far as the manner
in which they advertise to and treat their customers. I feel this is
information that needs to be put out there so that nobody has to be
treated as poorly as I was today.

Thank you for your time.


---
Ronald Epstein
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#2 of 34 Ed B

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Posted December 17 2008 - 07:30 AM

Ron your story just sickens me, I hope that it gets resolved and they make some changes over there.

I too have been a long time DTV subsriber (8 years) and having just purchased a HD set I am hesitant to go with them for a HD signal. I was told I would have to be in contract for 2 years and have to pay $100 for the hardware when new subscribers usually get everything for. I paid the extra money for hardware when I upgraded to a DVR and I was slightly miffed about that. I feel if your a good customer with a company for many years you should get some perks like free upgrades.

U-Verse is coming to my area soon, its about 2 miles away from me, they're looking better and better by the day.

Ed

#3 of 34 Kevin Stewart

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Posted December 19 2008 - 04:51 PM

Every large company has issues with training and CSR's. Directv is no different. In fact, based on most surveys, they're better than most in terms of customer service. Issues happen. You had yours rectified. Should it have taken more than 1 phone call? No.

I received a Wendy's coupon in the mail the other day. The day I received it, the coupon had already expired. Thinking it must be a mis-print, I took it to Wendy's to redeem it. They told me they couldn't take expired coupons. I told the manager I had just received it the day before. He said there was nothing he could do. Terrible manager. What did I do? I went somewhere else for lunch. That coupon IMO was deceptive and probably resulted in an increase in business for them (at full price).

But S**t happens. I'm certainly not going to write a letter to the CEO and then post it on the internet. I'd spend my whole life writing letters to my cell phone company, utility companies, internet provider, etc. They've all given me terrible service at one time or another. Unfortunately, that's life nowadays.

PS. How do you like FIOS? I had it for 30 days and couldn't stand the limitations.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed B
I feel if your a good customer with a company for many years you should get some perks like free upgrades.

I've been with my bank for 10 years and I get nothing free. New customers get toasters and all kinds of stuff. A lot of companies give free stuff to new customers. That's how they get new customers. I never expect anything for free just for being a customer. Besides, isn't the normal price for an HD-DVR $199 or more. So, you are getting a discount, no?
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#4 of 34 Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 19 2008 - 09:11 PM

Kevin,

What sort of limitations?

Long story short we had a fatal car accident on our front lawn
yesterday that knocked power out all day so Verizon could not
install Fios. Install has been moved to next week.

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#5 of 34 cleverland

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Posted December 20 2008 - 01:55 AM

Ron,

I know a lot of Direct TV Customers share your frustration. I've been a customer for a long time I can't remember the exact time but back then we bought Sony or RCA receivers and just paid for the connection. When I upgraded to HD/DVR I had to pay about $280 for the equipment and installation. I was surprised that I also have to pay a monthly rental fee for the receiver (I thought I had bought the dam thing) and a DVR fee and a HD access fee etc. But they did let me keep my old base package. Problem is can't find what channels I'm supposed to get because the information is no longer available. Like would it kill them to just upgrade me to a comparable current package and keep the old price since I''ve been with them almost since the start!!!! I get like 150 channels but only view about 15 of them for sports coverage but have no choice but to buy them all!!!

The only way I know to reward such nasty customer service is to cancel and go elsewhere, problem is this poor customer service seems to be a trend and options are limited.

#6 of 34 Kevin Stewart

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Posted December 20 2008 - 06:55 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein
Kevin,

What sort of limitations?


Small HD in their DVR that only holds 20 hours of HD material (and it can't be upgraded). Inability to set discreet IR commands (Without this ability you can't have more than 1 DVR in the same room). Those are deal breakers for me. Not to mention that I had numerous problems with recordings. In a 28 day period, I had about 100 things set up to record. IIRC, less than 40 recorded correctly (some were missed altogether, some were partials, some had no audio, etc.). I'm a DVR guy (we have 4 DVR's currently) and since you have to pay $17 per DVR each month, that also made FIOS pretty expensive for me.
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#7 of 34 Jeff_HR

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Posted December 20 2008 - 01:29 PM

I've been a DTV customer for many years, mainly because of NFL Sunday Ticket. If not for that I would not subscribe to them. I've not had the kind of issues you have had Ron. I did have a woman rep recently tell me that ONLY DTV makes & manufactures DVRs that work with their service. That is entirely untrue, but the woman was obviously DUMB as a rock! Posted Image Posted Image I'm intending to ungrade my service to HD soon. It will be interesting to see how it goes.
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#8 of 34 Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 20 2008 - 09:24 PM

Kevin,

None of those concerns (which I appreciate you posting) will affect
me as I bought Tivo HD units for Fios. I don't like any DVR that isn't
a TIVO.

So, just to be sure, it's not the Fios service itself that you are
dissatisfied with, but the DVRs.


Jeff, that woman was as dumb as a rock.

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#9 of 34 Greg*go

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Posted December 21 2008 - 06:57 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein
Then your mailings suddenly changed. As of October. You
were offering a FREE "HD SWAP" ...
Ron, it sounds like you had an DTV HD Tivo, correct? If that's the case, another question is, did you own it? If you did, it's questionable if DTV had no right to take it from you. I don't have an HD unit, so I never looked into it, but there are numerous threads in the DirecTV HDTV TiVo Powered PVRs section at TivoCommunity that discuss this situation. I think since you agree to a FREE SWAP, they might be allowed to, but I'm not 100% sure.

edit:
And I'm with you Ron. Once FIOS is available for me, I'll be swithing. After you get everythig set up, let me know how you like the Tivo with FIOS. That is the same setup I'm interested in.
end edit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed B
I feel if your a good customer with a company for many years you should get some perks like free upgrades.
Ed
Ed, DTV agrees with you:
DIRECTV Loyalty Program
Acorrding to DBSTalk, you can often get a better deal if you call them up: Loyal Customer Perks? - DBSTalk.Com

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_HR
I did have a woman rep recently tell me that ONLY DTV makes & manufactures DVRs that work with their service. That is entirely untrue, but the woman was obviously DUMB as a rock! Posted Image Posted Image
Jeff, Not to sound dumb as a rock, but who else currently makes & manufactuers DTV DVRs? Unlike a few years ago, I don't think Samsung, Hughes, Phillips, Sony, etc. make units any longer. Last I heard, there are only 4 new models available, all made by DTV.
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#10 of 34 Kevin Stewart

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Posted December 22 2008 - 04:12 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronald Epstein
So, just to be sure, it's not the Fios service itself that you are
dissatisfied with, but the DVRs.

That's correct. I quickly eliminated that option for me, just because the cost of purchasing 4 HD tivos and the monthly fee for each would have been way more money than I would have wanted to spend.

In terms of the quality of the programming it was fine, but FIOS offered nothing over Directv for me (PQ on Mpeg4 HD was the same, SD quality over those same channels was the same). And considering that Directv had more HD options that I was interested in and it would be significantly cheaper, I went with D* in the end.

But everyone's situation is going to be different.
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#11 of 34 Kevin Stewart

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Posted December 22 2008 - 04:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg*go
Jeff, Not to sound dumb as a rock, but who else currently makes & manufactuers DTV DVRs? Unlike a few years ago, I don't think Samsung, Hughes, Phillips, Sony, etc. make units any longer. Last I heard, there are only 4 new models available, all made by DTV.

Current DVR's are made by Samsung (-200 series), Pace (-700 series) and Thomson (-100 series). Directv doesn't manufacture any boxes.
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#12 of 34 Ronald Epstein

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Posted December 22 2008 - 04:16 AM

Kevin,

I agree. Going this route has proven very expensive. I just
wanted to get away from DirecTV (I hated the compression) and
I suppose that if you want the best DVR available then you have
to pay for it.

I can see why this option is not for everyone.

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#13 of 34 JustinCleveland

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Posted December 22 2008 - 06:27 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin Stewart
Every large company has issues with training and CSR's. Directv is no different. In fact, based on most surveys, they're better than most in terms of customer service. Issues happen. You had yours rectified. Should it have taken more than 1 phone call? No.

...

I'm certainly not going to write a letter to the CEO and then post it on the internet. I'd spend my whole life writing letters to my cell phone company, utility companies, internet provider, etc. They've all given me terrible service at one time or another. Unfortunately, that's life nowadays.
The only way to change that, however, is to make your voice heard. If companies continually provide bad service but people continue to pay their bills then that emboldens companies to continue their poor business practices. What Ron is doing is more than mindless bitching (and Ron knows I'd be the first to call him on it if he was). It's a way to express his displeasure and give a road map for other dissatisfied customers to follow. If it does nothing more than open a dialogue with the company then it is a success.

I think you know your argument about the expired coupon is specious. But if you were to receive expired coupons every day, or once a week, and find hundreds of people experiencing the same problem, then a complaint is warranted to bring attention to the situation.

You're absolutely right, Kevin, that customer service has taken a backseat in the contemporary corporate environment. More often than not I'm directed to Bombay where a rep reads off a script and has no ability to engage in a dialogue to help me solve my problem. But if I just get frustrated and give up then they win. By raising a stink I can draw attention, and perhaps effect change, to the situation.

Quote:
I've been with my bank for 10 years and I get nothing free. New customers get toasters and all kinds of stuff. A lot of companies give free stuff to new customers. That's how they get new customers. I never expect anything for free just for being a customer. Besides, isn't the normal price for an HD-DVR $199 or more. So, you are getting a discount, no?
I absolutely agree that, as an existing customer, I don't deserve anything free. But what I do expect is that I will receive quality service at a fair price. In the case presented here, Ron (and the hundreds of others he cites) presents that he has not received quality service and that is his key qualm.

I hope that this letter starts a chain of events that results in better service from DirecTV and, in turn, improves their product which results in more subscribers.

#14 of 34 Mike Frezon

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Posted December 27 2008 - 05:42 AM

This notice comes at an interesting time for me. I am about to pull the trigger on dropping my Time-Warner cable service (I've had cable service just about my entire life). To go with a cheaper HD service from Dish Network. I have been researching this for a loooooong time (well, months) and keep asking questions about hidden charges, hidden fees for upgrades, etc. and cannot find anything to dissuade me from making the jump.

I have tried to apply all the "scare tactics" that the cable companies tell me about the dish companies service, dropouts, etc. but, again, everything seems to be okay. Yet, I have no real experience to draw from. I fear I may be making a huge mistake...but, at the same time, I have little choice, because I need to cut back on some monthly expenses and moving to this very basic HD package on Dish Network seems to be the best middle ground approach I can find...for the $$$.

DirectTV seems to be set-up pretty much like a cable company. Dish Network seems to be programming a bit out-of-the-box. they have an HD only service available which will keep me in the HD "game" whiale not having me pay exorbitant amounts each month for hundreds of channels I never watch. Of course, the number of channels is limited...but, that's okay, because I have shelves of movies I should get around to watching anyway! Posted Image

Back on topic. Customer service is, simply, customer service. And it should always be good. But it seems to be getting harder & harder to find that to be the case anymore.

With trepidation I clicked on Ron's link about consumer complaints for DirectTV and found a similar thread for Dish Network. I'm a little scared. It seems as if the thing-to-do is get your best deal possible at hook-up time...because they want to soak you for any upgrade. I am also a little worried about the need for service calls after the warranty period expires. I guess I've got to hope that all goes well and the equipment lasts. Kind of like the crapshoot that is the insurance industry.

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#15 of 34 Tom Boucher

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Posted December 31 2008 - 02:18 AM

When I first moved to North Carolina the installer told me there wasn't a line of sight.

After being 'stuck' with cable for a few years I tried again, this installer was able to find a nice line of site without any issues. When I signed up, I asked about the 'price for 12 months' thing and was told to just call back next year and they'd give me whatever the deal was then.

Dumb me, I believed them. When I called a year later I was told no way, no how, and my suddenly more expensive bill was more expensive for life ha ha. I mentioned over and over I was told this wouldn't be an issue when I resubscribed with them, and was told that was incorrect and would never happen.

So, being me, I tried the only other card I had. No more customer from me, I'll go back to cable at least I know I'm screwed but I'm not lied too. This is when I first learn I have a two year commitment on my account. This is when I get mad, because I was never told this, and for the life of me don't ever remember reading any fine print that said I was on the hook for two years. I told them I didn't care, now I'm really mad and I try to shut off my service still.

I managed to get enough free channels to make me stay with that, but in April when my two years is done, so am I.
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#16 of 34 Ralph B

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Posted January 02 2009 - 01:34 AM

is this really a surprise ?


not to me! it seems I have been treated very badly not matter how nice I am or how firm I am. nothing seems to work for me with CSR's.

as for the Wendy's coupon, I am shocked a manager would rather argue with you than honor a lowly coupon. not very smart and he shouldn't be in that position. you would think in this economy with co.'s dropping like flies that these existing co.'s would really bring customer service to a new respectable level.

here are my recent issues in CS, this seems to be a regular thing for me.


I was at Home Depot to get a tree and the section I was in was clearly marked 5-6ft trees $25. I get to the register and was told it was $29.99

I argued my case nicely. in so many words the girl said to bad and wasn't very nice. she told me a customer must have left the tree there by mistake as it happens all the time (well fine then have someone make sure they are put back, is that not their job?). she then went on to tell me a 5ft tree I was holding was 6.5ft (yes I was including the very top branch). it was clear she didn't want to help me. I was leaving and at the last second decided to argue my case to a manager. the lady was soooo nice and very understanding and said she has no idea why she would argue with a customer over $5. she went on to apologize/refund my $5 and wish me a merry xmas and asked who the person was and went to go talk to her.

another recent issue in CS........


at Marshalls this time, I called ahead to find a Harmon Kardon drive N play for my nephew for xmas. the current store I seen them at were out. I called another local store before making the trip. the girl answering the phone said sorry but she cant do my shopping for me over the phone. I was asking to check if they had this one item in stock, I was so shocked by the response I almost laughed and didn't know what to say. so I asked for a Manager, a lady got on the phone said she was the manager (only to find out later she was not) and I asked if it was policy to tell customers checking for something in stock that "you cant do their shopping for them over the phone". she said no but ignored my complaint and asked what item she could check on, nothing in stock she said.

I then called corporate and asked if they could check the whole system instead of my calling every store. the nice CS lady told me the system can't do that and went on to explain why, no problem, I asked before I got off the phone if I could make a complaint (not why I called but figured what the heck), she was floored I was treated that way and couldn't believe that was the response I got and went on to be shocked about it the whole phone call. she couldn't believe thats what response I got and said she never heard of anyone saying something like that and thats the last thing they should be telling customers. she apologized on behalf of Marshalls and said she would like to send me something for my troubles, I declined and said it wasn't necessary and she insisted so I gave her my info.

a few days later I get something from Marchalls, a $25 GC!!!! I expected a % off coupon or maybe $10 but def not $25. goes to show you if corp knew how customers were really treated people would lose jobs. not only did I get the GC but I also got a call from the manager of the store as he got the complaint from corp and apologized and asked to look for the item again just incase. he was very nice and apologized and said that girl shouldn't have gave that response and she would be talked to. he told me the other girl was not a manager and shouldn't have said she was, it was handled very nicely.


sorry for the long wind..... but on a last note. not to long ago my sister in law (who has dish) was told on install she was getting a HD receiver (she requested it) as she was having me go buy her one and install it for her. so wanted to make sure she was geting a HD receiver. I got to install the tv and she did not get one, it was a reg receiver. she called to explain they got it wrong and they basically didn't hear her complaint and tried to sell her a HD receiver for $600

needless to say she was stuck with a HDTV and no HD receiver to finish her commitment. a lovely world of people we live with, eh ? where has CS gone and what ever happened to the customer (most of the time) is always right ? are these complaints really worth the image they get in return ? most happy customers don't complain for no reason. I just don't understand how these people in position don't see that.


BTW: I have been working in CS for years and was considered a top CS rep were I worked and won countless awards for my work, very nice rewards. so I am not just a reg customer, I see both sides and am regularly on both sides. so I see how to treat and how customers are treated. in this economy every business should be bending over backwards for customers. the internet is a very strong outlet and can be a very damaging tool.

#17 of 34 Jeff Willis

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Posted January 24 2009 - 03:33 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jeff_HR
I've been a DTV customer for many years, mainly because of NFL Sunday Ticket. If not for that I would not subscribe to them. I've not had the kind of issues you have had Ron.

Ron, Jeff's quote sums it up for me but with some interesting similarities regarding my recent DTV HD service upgrade that I got last August.

I'm a longtime DTV customer (since '99). Like Jeff, my main reason for staying with DTV since entering the HD market is that they carry the "Sunday Tkt" pkg, exclusive to them for out-of-mkt NFL games thru 2010. I knew about the 2-yr HD upgrade commitment before getting the upgrade but that was due to my knowledge of it prior to the installation. Interestingly, when I was on the phone getting my HD upgrade appt & details lined up, the salesperson didn't mention the 2-yr commitment contract. She confirmed it when I mentioned it but should have done that automatically.

Since I'm also a "premier" DTV customer, I agree with your take on this regarding expecting a min of consideration being a long-time on-time paying customer. My main "beef" about the HD upgrade is the presence of that monthly "HD access" fee. My belief is that there shouldn't be an extra HD charge in their pricing practices.

I've been fairly fortunate during my years of interfacing with DTV Cust Svc with a couple of glitches now & then. I remember when I first started watching with the HD upgrade installed, that I wasn't receiving any MLB HD games. I called one Cust Svc Rep and asked for assistance. At the time I was 99% sure of the reason I wasn't receiving the MLB HD games (that was because it's necessary to purchase a MLB "HD game" option) but that particular Rep wasn't up to speed on the issue and kept sending authorization "hits" to my receiver with no luck. I called back and got another Rep which resolved the issue. I remember she mentioned to me that "DTV regrets some of the poor Reps which were either un-trained or weren't consulting the proper avenues" when confronted with similar issues.

Kevin's info on FIOS is helpful. I imagine that I'll switch to Verizon FIOS after my DTV contract expires since that will be the same time as the "NFL Tkt" pkg comes up for renewal at DTV. My guess is that it will be an interesting bidding story between the various providers in 2010.

Another thing that Kevin mentioned about FIOS is their additional DVR fees. In my area, they're advertising otherwise, at least that's my understanding. I already have FIOS 'net service and am pleased with that.

If I recall, I made out ok with that DTV "free HD" upgrade. It wasn't free but if memory's correct, I paid $50 at the time of the upgrade installation.

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#18 of 34 Dave Moritz

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Posted March 21 2009 - 02:16 PM

Hey Ron,

Sorry you where not happy with Direct TV. Just wondering what problems you where having to made you want to end your service with them before your phone call to them?




I currently live in Phoenix, AZ and currently have a line of site issue in a apartment building that keeps me from getting DTV right now. My problem is with Cox Communications that sucks bad! There internet is a joke as it constantly bogs and is slow as sin. There cable is even worse, and the equipment it the worse I have ever seen. The compression and pixelation is horible and putting up with video that is jumpy is bad. And it is the typical thing with Cox, they act like cable is the only game in town so they got there junk dumped on there store counter and told to discontinue service.

Now I am planing on going back to California and I am planning on moving in with a roommate that allready has DTV. I still need to look into upgrading the dish to HD and getting a HD box with a HD-DVR. I am hoping that I do not get a huge bill for upgrading equipment as money is very tight. Another reason I am set on DTV is getting NFL Ticket as they seem to be the only one and I think they also have channels in 1080p. I do not think anyone esle is offering 1080p programing at this time? I am wondering what to do if there is a big fee for upgrading. I hate cable companies and have never had a cable company that was worth anything and that was not a joke. My only choice when moving to Whittier, CA is a horible company called Charter Communications and there is no way I will ever get cable from them again!

Not sure I want would want to even try Verizon as it is just another cable company only run by a phone company. That is another reason is that they suck at DSL internet as well. And they seem to be pricey on top of it.

Now it will be interesting if others get ahold of NFL Ticket and if DTV looses its monopoly with NFL Ticket. How would the cable companies deal with having to offer more channels that NFL ticket would require them to carry? They seem to have a hard enough time adding HD channels and offering a decent picture quality on SD channels as it is. Maybe I might consider Dish Network if they get NFL Ticket, but what other choice is there seriously.

One of the things I wonder about with Verizon is there Extreme HD Package.

Extreme HD $57.99/month ?
Everything offered in Essentials
Plus up to 41 additional HD Channels
Plus up to 14 Sports Channels
Plus up to 16 additional standard definition channels

Up to is this an extra charge? Or do they give you the ablility to choose up to certain number of channels for that package. The package says $57.99 but does that really include 41 HD channels or is it missleading like many cable companys are? Now I like the offering of multiple ESPN channels, Fox Sports, NFL Network and Speed Channel. But then again there is no NFL Ticket so that is a deal killer. And then there is the other issue of getting the same medioaker service in regards to picture quality. Is 20 hrs. of HD content the max that can be recorded, is there no upgrades because 20 hrs is not enough.
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#19 of 34 Ronald Epstein

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Posted March 22 2009 - 12:03 AM

Dave,

The reason I considered leaving DirecTV was due to the fact that
Verizon Fios was promising better HD content. It made sense to me
that a fiber connection to the home would deliver better HD quality
than the compressed DirecTV that I had been used to. Additionally,
I would no longer have to deal with service outtage whenever there
was heavy rain in the area. This is one of the biggest problems with
dish owners.

What really put the nail in the coffin of DirecTV for me was exactly
what I described in my original post --- their deceptive practices.
They lured me to a "necessary upgrade" with no strings attached, that
is, until I attempted to cancel their service.

Further research on the Internet (and I implore you to do this on
your own) revealed many deceptive marketing practices by DirecTV.

I don't believe you will be taken for a ride if you go with DirecTV,
but I suggest you ask lots of questions regarding contracts and be
certain that you receive promised terms in writing and that you keep
it filed away somewhere just in case.

You mentioned Verizon in your area. Is that Verizon Fios? If it is
Fios, I can't recommend them enough. I am absolutely thrilled with
their television service and even moreso with their Internet. The
quality of the HD channels is superior to that of DirecTV.

Ronald J Epstein
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#20 of 34 Dave Moritz

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Posted March 22 2009 - 10:20 AM

Quote:
What really put the nail in the coffin of DirecTV for me was exactly
what I described in my original post --- their deceptive practices.
They lured me to a "necessary upgrade" with no strings attached, that
is, until I attempted to cancel their service.

I do not blame you there, I think I would have been pissed off as well.

Quote:
You mentioned Verizon in your area. Is that Verizon Fios? If it is
Fios, I can't recommend them enough. I am absolutely thrilled with
their television service and even moreso with their Internet. The
quality of the HD channels is superior to that of DirecTV.

There website says that I could get it where I will be moving. Are you getting the extreme HD package? And how many HD channels do you get with the package? Without paying extra. I have had such negative exsperiences with cable I am a little hesitant about going with verizon. But also there is not having NFL Ticket because I do not want to miss any Dallas Cowboy games this coming season. What is the max resolution that is actually provided via HD content with Fios?

I may actually go with there internet even if I stay with direct tv in California. Isn't there an upgrade for recording more HD content with Fios? I wounder if I couldn't buy a 1 Teribyte hard drive and install it myself to record more HD content?
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