HDTV in a Box - Installation Diary


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Original poster
Dec 28, 2003
Ok, let me bring you all up to speed...

On Monday December 15th my wife and I decided to spring for the HDTV in a Box for the kids and ourselves. I picked up the phone and called E*. The CSR informed me that the promotion was not for DHP at this time, but to call back on the 22nd and they would have the details for me.

So, I called back on the 22nd of December and got all of the details. $999 package price included purchase of the reciever and HDTV 34 or 40 inch. We would have to commit to 1 year of ATV50 and HD Pack with our current DHP program. The CSR asked me if I would be replacing one of my receivers with the 811 or adding it as an additional receiver. I replied that I would like to have the 811 in addition to my 508 and 301. The CSR said that would be fine. So, I hung up and discussed with my wife.

3 days later (you know how convos with your wife can be!), I called back to place the order. The CSR I reached asked me to hold and then returned to tell me that DHP customers were not elligible for the promo. I emphatically explained what I was told on the 22nd. The CSR stated that they had no idea what I was talking about and that DHP customers could not rent the TV. So, I hung up.

I called 3 more times and each time, DHP cannot qualify for the $999 HDTV deal. I was advised I could return my equipment and then purchase the HDTV in a Box. I hung up and explained to my wife the "new" deal and everything was off. My wife and kids would not and could not part with the 508 DVR. Needless to say, I was disappointed.

But, I was also determined. My wife and I agreed that the CSRs on Christmas must have been in a bad mood or something. I called back the very next day and I was able to get the deal as mentioned on 12/22. I ordered the 811 and 40" HDTV in a Box and gave my credit card. The charge of -999.00 appeared on my online statement and all was set. I had an install date of 01/02, which was nearly perfect. And... we all know about install dates with the 811s.

On 12/30 I got a call from DRS (Digital Reception Services), a E* contracted installer. They advise me that they have the 811 in stock! (Shock and AWE!!) Then... they advise me that no 40" RPTVs are available at this time. They rescheduled me for 02/04, but if something comes in earlier... I would be the first to know.

I was upset... but prepared. I understood the delays of others and decided to just wait it out. I kept calling E* CSRs every few days to check on the status of the 40" RPTVs. On 01/07 I spoke with a CSR that placed me on hold quite a few times while they contacted DRS to check the inventory. I was assured that more RPTVs were in stock and I had a new install set for 01/13 (yesterday).

DRS again called me on Friday, 01/09, to inform me that no RPTVs have arrived, but they still have 811s in stock. (GASP) I was given a new "definite" install date of 01/21 with a "preinstallation survey" to be conducted on 01/14 between the hours of 3:30PM and 8:00PM. As I type this post I have still not heard from or seen an installer from DRS.

I contacted E* earlier and spoke with my first CSR. He told me that he did not know who DRS was but Dish was the one installing my HDTV next Wednesday. He also told me that IF they said they would be here today, then just wait... they would be. I was not satisfied with this and called another CSR.

The new CSR was quite friendly. He stated that he would get the number to DRS from his Supervisor. He went and asked his coach for the number and returned with it in a few minutes. He gave me 813-623-2999 to call and appologized that the number was long distance for me from my 904 area code. I thanked him and began my next journey.

I have free long distance on my cell, so I gave DRS a call. "Thank you for calling Digital Reception Services. This call may be monitored or recorded for quality assurance purposes. Press 1 if you are calling to confirm your installation appointment..." I pressed one and was instructed to leave a message with my name and phone number for a callback confirming my installation. I was not about to do that. I called back and waited for option 2 this time. "Please hold for the next available customer service specialist..." And I did.

I have waited on hold for over 10 minutes with no answer. I am still waiting. No answer, no installer, no HDTV, no hope... <grin>

Well... Thats it for now. I will post more as the events unfold!

- Andreu
What is a "DHP customer?" It sounds like you are having quite a time getting the install done. I am thinking about getting the same deal but I am unsure of the quality of the RCA sets.
Don't get the 40 inch model . I have heard bad things about it and wasn't impressed when I saw it in person.
mdanderson said:
What is a "DHP customer?" It sounds like you are having quite a time getting the install done. I am thinking about getting the same deal but I am unsure of the quality of the RCA sets.

DHP = Dish Home Plan

Basically means one rents the equipment instead of buying. It is awesome if you are wanting a lot of equipment and want to put little or no money down.

The $999 is not really a part of this. I will own the 811 and HDTV set.
Don't get the 40 inch model . I have heard bad things about it and wasn't impressed when I saw it in person.

Is the 40" really a bad buy? I was impressed with the picture for an RPTV of its size. I have a small living room, but the 34" would be a step down for me in size and the 40" will fit my room perfectly.

- A

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