My DirecTV nightmare 4/21: Horrible customer service.

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Doug R, Apr 21, 2004.

  1. Doug R

    Doug R Supporting Actor

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    Well, after the past week of buying my first HDTV, getting antennas for local station, and being sent the Hughes HTL-HD from DirecTV, the day came for the DirecTV installer to come and hook it all up so I could get DirecTV's wonderful set of HD channels. Couldn't wait for Discovery HD. Well, I'll be waiting a bit longer after today's debacle.

    Installer guy comes almost an hour late. Well, it was for 1 to 5 pm, he arrives at 6:00 pm. I don't feel he was competent at all. I practically had to show him how to hook up some things.

    The receiver gets installed, mostly by me, and we go through the setup etc. But for some reason the HD channels aren't coming in. ESPN HD has a "purchase pay per view" banner at the bottom. Discovery says it's not available in this area. None of the others work. Regular DTV seems to be working, like CNN, ABC Family, but then we try Channel 400, which is supposedly a Spanish DirecTV ad I think (and I assume a sign the receiver is seeing all 3 dishes correctly) but it's just a DirecTV logo. The installer confirmed that's not correct. I checked my local channels and they were screwed up. They appeared in the guide correctly but when you selected them, it was some other channel, who knows what. Like at 7:00 when "Entertainment Tonight" was supposed to be on, it was showing some movie. It was clearly not my locals.

    So the installer says the receiver is bad. Okay, fine. I try to calm down that it's been a week since I paid DirecTV for the receiver (which I feel I was overcharged at an alarming $398, shipping/tax/install etc seeing Circuit City has it for $299).

    The real horror begins when I try to call DirecTV. I've never dealt with more unhelpful people in all my years with technical support. I am a 4 year customer, spend about $70 bucks a month plus Sunday Ticket and just spent $500 on the HD receiver + a DirecTV Tivo. But I am treated like I am a first time customer...heck, worse than that.

    I literally went through 8-12 people. Most wanted to walk through the usual bullcrap with the receiver. Unplug it and plug it back in; let's go through initial setup again; etc. When we finally convinced them the receiver was bad, all I wanted was a new receiver to be sent out. So they said "installation" has to help you with that. I'd get transfered to installation. Then installation would say "oh sorry, technical needs to help you with that." and FOUR times I got disconnected going to technical. And I would have to call back again and explain to some other newbie my problem all over again. And hang on hold for large amounts of time yet again.

    I even tried to ask for supervisors and supposedly got supervisors but they were equally as rude and seemed to have little interest in trying to help me.

    Finally I just wanted my $398 back. They could come get the broken receiver, credit my account $398, and I'd go purchase one from Circuit City. But no dice. Since the install was done, I was stuck. No refund. Unbelieveable. Here I have paid $400 over a week ago and I still have nothing to show for it. The woman on the phone said I have entered a "verbal agreement". A verbal agreement to get screwed?

    So now I moved back to just send me another receiver. Finally I got someone who would not transfer me into the darkness of space. I was hoping they would overnight it as a sign of courtesy for the trouble I went through for 4 hours. But nope, they say takes 1-2 business days. Given I did this around 10:00pm EST I imagine it won't be here until Monday at the earliest.

    Who knows if it will work. I certainly won't be getting my money back that's apparent now. I spent more on the receiver thinking I was paying extra for quality service. I was sent a barely competent tech and then given the worst customer service I've ever received.

    I have been a total loyal DirecTV customer. I have told all of my videophile friends how great DirecTV is. Little did I know they're great until you actually have a problem then they're horrible.

    If there are any DirecTV representatives out there that can give me a person to call that won't give me the runaround and talk to me like I'm a 5 year old, I'd love to speak with them. If any of you have any advice on how I should proceed, I'd love to hear it.

    Thanks very much and for listening to my rant.
     
  2. jeff peterson

    jeff peterson Supporting Actor

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    If you paid by credit card, contact the credit card company and get them involved by telling them your story. They'll be able to advocate for you.
     
  3. Chuck Mullen

    Chuck Mullen Stunt Coordinator

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    I guess DTV is not great, the greatest, greater than great, etc.[​IMG]
     
  4. MarkGall

    MarkGall Auditioning

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    I sent you a PM.
     
  5. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    Do your other receivers get the correct channel on 99 or 400? If not, then you have a problem with the dish. If they do, then your HD receiver isn't sending the 22Khz tone to the dish.

    -Robert
     
  6. Tim Holyoke

    Tim Holyoke Second Unit

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    I can't help with your HD problem, but as for the helpfulness (or lack thereof) of the DTV people - try calling during the day. This is when I've done any of my dealing w/DTV CS. They've always been real helpful, and I always let them know I've been a loyal customer. They must be able to see this in their system, since they always say "yes, you have been for a long time, we appreciate that" and then they are real helpful and accomodating. Maybe the help at night isn't all too competent. Just an idea.
     
  7. Danny Beck

    Danny Beck Stunt Coordinator

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    Yeah, i'm not expert but i'm willing to be that is not a problem with your reciever. I think you had an idiot for an installer and he just had no clue what was wrong. It was likely the dish or something to do with that.


    In regards to customer service reps:

    I worked customer service for 3 years at a big banking company. The basic rule of thumb is this. During the day (as someone has already mentioned) you get the full time employees. Basically the people who know what is going on. During the night hours you've got mostly part time employees who don't know as much and sometimes just don't care as much about their job since they're only part time. Just my 2 cents.
     
  8. Tommy G

    Tommy G Screenwriter

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    Doug, you can always threaten to switch to Dish. I don't think they would want to lose a customer to a competitor and since each company is offering unbelievable deals against the other, I would think the CS would all of a sudden be very responsive to your needs.
     

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