How good / bad is Directv? (1 Viewer)

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tpicciani

Member
Aug 2, 2008
8
0
Lancaster, Pa
After a visit today to Comcast's Office and finding that it will cost $8.90 to add a standard def box per tv I started thinking seriously about Directv.

Then I started reading all these complaints and gripes about lost signal in storms, lousy customer service, and overbilling. It seemed like there were a lot of angry customers with Directv.

Then I started reading this forum and didn't see the complaints that I saw elsewhere.

Is any of these gripes and complaints true?

Right now I'm thinking of dumping Comcast and getting service from DTV for 1 HD set and 3 standard def sets. I have more tv's but we don't use them often enough to justify hooking them up.

Thoughts?
 
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mikej0530

Active SatelliteGuys Member
May 13, 2008
15
8
I have Hd through Directv. I rarely lose signal when it storms. I recomend Directv. Prices are not bad and there are a great deal of good channels. I think you would be making a good choice by going with directv.
 

JerryVolunteer

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 30, 2004
637
13
Memphis, TN
After a visit today to Comcast's Office and finding that it will cost $8.90 to add a standard def box per tv I started thinking seriously about Directv.

Then I started reading all these complaints and gripes about lost signal in storms, lousy customer service, and overbilling. It seemed like there were a lot of angry customers with Directv.

Then I started reading this forum and didn't see the complaints that I saw elsewhere.

Is any of these gripes and complaints true?

Right now I'm thinking of dumping Comcast and getting service from DTV for 1 HD set and 3 standard def sets. I have more tv's but we don't use them often enough to justify hooking them up.

Thoughts?



Comcrap is my cable provider as well. I would take D* over them any day. D*s HD looks extremely well. I have no problem with my dish going out except in extreme storms and then comes right back as soon as it clears the area. As far as overbilling, I have never once had that happen to me and I have had D* for well over 10 years. Their customer service is not lousy. Granted they need some work but I had worst look with Comcast. Just be nice when you talk to D* reps and always get the reps name and ID #. Take the jump, its worth it.
 

DodgerKing

SatelliteGuys Master
Nov 14, 2007
16,776
26
SoCal
As far as costumer service goes, nothing in perfect and each provider will have good and bad CSRs. They will also be willing to deal to a certain extent. Direct is however usually rated higher in costumer service than any other provider

As far as signal loss goes, I rarely loose a signal
 

jokeworm

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jul 29, 2006
1,118
0
Tulsa. Ok.
Yup - here in Tulsa, only the very worst storms knock out my signal on Directv ... (I would say it is around twice as stable as Dish Network) .. over the past few months (storm season) my cable connection has probably been down around 6-8 times longer than my total downtime on my Directv service... My guess would be around 30 mins total downtime for my directv service throughout the entire storm season.

Customer service seems to be just fine whenever i have had to call them ... I seem to always get English speaking techs ... and they have all seemed pretty knowledgeable.

The worst service you will probably get will be the sales pitch .. the sales guys will tell you pretty much anything to get you signed up .. so make sure you are certain that you are clear about the discounts and deals that you should be getting before you get your install date ...

As long as your install goes according to plan - you should be good to go from there .. the most common complaint that i have seen on these forums seems to be with scheduled install dates that for one reason or another .. don't happen ... i guess as long as you stay calm and know in the back of your mind that once you have the Dish on your roof and properly aligned .. the programming and service from there on out should be top notch.

Good luck.

:)
 

tpicciani

Member
Aug 2, 2008
8
0
Lancaster, Pa
New customer questions

Thanks gang. I thought the gripes sounded a little like a group bitch session. BTW, I'm a Help Desk guy at a University so I know all about customer service :)

Anyway, I'm probably going to spring for it.

A couple other questions:

Does DTV have something equivalent to Comcast's Free On Demand?

What about those cloth covers for the dishes?

Thanks.
 

DodgerKing

SatelliteGuys Master
Nov 14, 2007
16,776
26
SoCal
Thanks gang. I thought the gripes sounded a little like a group bitch session. BTW, I'm a Help Desk guy at a University so I know all about customer service :)

Anyway, I'm probably going to spring for it.

A couple other questions:

Does DTV have something equivalent to Comcast's Free On Demand?

What about those cloth covers for the dishes?

Thanks.
Direct has free and pay VOD. The VOD channels correspond to their channel counterparts with a "1" in front. IOW, the Discovery channel is on channel 278 and Discovery channel on demand is on channel 1278. Most of the programs on these channels are free except for the PPV movies on VOD.

Unlike cable the on demand is accessed through the internet. This means you need a LAN line connected to your receiver. Also, on demand only works with the DVRs since the programs must be downloaded from the internet.
 

gadgtfreek

SatelliteGuys Master
May 29, 2006
22,105
862
Lower Alabama
The Slimline is a good dish, takes a thick storm to take the signal down. The dvr is better than anything cable has, nuff said there.

The HD pq is great, the SD not so much. Being you have cable, you are prob used to a crappy SD signal anyways.

I've had Comcast(2 cities), Dish and D* over the last 3 years. D* all the way.
 

IRS

New Member
Jul 27, 2008
3
0
I'm making the move from cable as well. Charter in my case. I'm tired of having only 18 channels, no On-Demand and only 8 channels of PPV. Also, we use the Moxi DVR and while it's very nice to use (for the most part) I'm tired of all the artifacts on my screen when there is any kind of movement.

My install is tomorrow and I'm VERY excited I went with D* instead of E*. I almost went to E* for the DVR, but after hearing about their recent station troubles (Charlie not wanting to pay contract prices), I'm happy to be with D*.
 

gadgtfreek

SatelliteGuys Master
May 29, 2006
22,105
862
Lower Alabama
Dont sweat not getting Dish. The 722 is great, but the HR20 has been turned into a damn fine DVR too. If HD is your thing, D* is a better overall choice.
 
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IRS

New Member
Jul 27, 2008
3
0
Hmmm, since I'm getting the HR21 - I'm not sure if I should be happy or sad. :) I'm also hoping that my installer will hook me up with the SWM and not dual wire everything (as happened to a friend of mine a few months back). I ordered via direct, so, I'm not sure what I will get for an installer.
 

gopherscot

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 8, 2003
425
1
Davenport, Iowa
Thinking of switching from E* and want to be able to use my OTA antenna for locals. Which receiver allows this and does this appear in the guide? E*s 622does a great job so I want the same from D*.
 

gadgtfreek

SatelliteGuys Master
May 29, 2006
22,105
862
Lower Alabama
HR20 has it built in, youll most likely get the HR21 which requires the OTA tuner. From what Ive seen it works well, and yes the channels appear int he guide.
 

JAG72

SatelliteGuys Master
Feb 16, 2006
8,524
57
Earth
Thinking of switching from E* and want to be able to use my OTA antenna for locals. Which receiver allows this and does this appear in the guide? E*s 622does a great job so I want the same from D*.

You would need to get the HR21 with the AM21 add on tuner to get your locals. It is 100% integrated with your guide and allows you to record the OTA channels.
 

bobroth

New Member
Aug 3, 2008
1
0
DirecTV Going Down the Tubes?

Being in the middle of a cross-country move, I suspended my DirecTV service for six months until I could purchase a new residence. And this is where we begin our story...

On a hot mid-western morning, I called DirecTV to extend my suspension for one more month since my condo construction had been delayed (which is a whole different complaint).
“Hi, I’d like to continue my suspension one more month.”
“I can go ahead and restart your suspension from now until August, Sir. But I can’t remove the charge that is already in the system for July.”
“That doesn’t make any sense,” I replied. “You can’t remove a charge for a service that we both know that I don’t have installed anywhere?”
“Yes Sir, that is correct. The system won’t allow me to do that.”
Does anyone else get absolutely peeved when supposedly advanced technology trumps good customer service? This is like closing the grocery store when the power goes out because they can’t open the cash register.
I continued, “I’m sorry, but I just can’t believe that there isn’t some way to remove or credit a customer that has been with you for 7 years. Do you have someone else that I can speak with?”
“I’ll find a manager for you, Sir.”
After a lengthy wait, the service representative returned to the phone and said, “I’ve spoken to my manager and I’ve been informed that I can ‘trick’ the system to remove the charge that has already been billed.”
“Great!” I said.
As I waited for her to remove the charge, she began to complain that it wasn’t working. She tried a number of times, then said, “I can’t get it to work, but I’ll get my manager and we’ll take care of this for you.”
I simply said, “Thanks!” and decided not to bring up the fact that there was a solution to be found where she said none existed. Nor did I say anything else about a billing database that must be “tricked” in order to provide god customer service.

The phone rang. I look at my iPhone and saw that it was an 800 number that I didn’t recognize, so I let it go to voicemail. A few hours later, it was the same number so I answered and found nothing but silence on the other end. A few hours later, it happened again, so I decided to call the 800 number back and see where it was coming from.
DirecTV marketing.
So I decided to visit DirecTV.com to complain about the calls. What did I find when I got there? I found an outstanding balance for the time between the end of the original suspension and when I called to extend it one month. I had been assured that this was going to be taken care of! The charge was about $30.
I sent an email to inform them of their errors. Their reply informed me that I had an outstanding balance from when I’d canceled my account on 7/7. Canceled my account? I never canceled my account, I called to extend my suspension for one month! They also said that it would take 2-3 weeks for the daily 2-3 silent marketing calls to cease.
My reply to their email, which was meant to correct their assertion that I’d canceled my account was returned to me as a bounce back from their server.
What is going on with DirecTV?
So, I sent another email through their web site to re-establish communication.
Here is their response:

“I reviewed your account (150*****) and found that you originally suspended it until 7/1/2008. On that date, your programming and billing restarted automatically. You called us on 7/7/2008 to further suspend your service until 8/7/2008 and your request was processed. The partial month charges for the period, 7/1/2008 to 8/6/2008 are valid.”

The charges are valid? They may be valid to you, May P., but I was informed during an aforementioned call that they wouldn’t exist at all. Apparently, the rep that I spoke to previously never figured out how to “trick” the system properly.
May P. was also kind enough to inform me that:

“I also see that you were charged $42.25 for MLB EXTRA INNINGS. This is the first installment since you have the 2008 MLB EXTRA INNINGS Autorenew Package billed over 4 payments of $42.25. The season is until 9/28/2008. All DIRECTV sports subscriptions automatically renew at a special low price each year and are not refundable once the season starts. The renewal information for MLB EXTRA INNINGS was included on your DIRECTV bill prior to the season starting and we also notify all renewing customers with a letter. Since you did not contact us to cancel prior to the start of the season, we cannot credit, cancel, transfer or refund MLB EXTRA INNINGS.”

This is surely adding fuel to the fire, isn’t it? I’m almost positive that turned auto-renew off of this package last season, but the real point of the matter is that DirecTV wants to charge me for another service that we both know that I’m not using because I don’t have a system installed anywhere.
About 3 years ago I had a similar problem with the MLB package, where I did actually forget to turn auto-renew off. When I called their service department, they had no problem removing the charge. So, I ask, what is going on at DirecTV that they have thrown flexibility and good customer service out the window?

In my reply to May P., I informed her of the ridiculous nature of the above and that I’d like to have both charges for un-used services removed.
A new rep, Margorie P., informed me that:

“A specialist will respond as soon as an agent is available (likely within 24 hours).”

A specialist? First of all, use of the word “suspension” makes me feel as if I’ve done something wrong. Second of all, being informed that my issues would be “taken care of” sounds like they are going to take my account out back and shoot it. With the combination of words that they are using, I feel like a “specialist” is going to show up at my house named Sylvester Stallone and “take care” of me.
I’ll be honest, I like the way DirecTV organizes their channels and I really like the NFL Sunday Ticket. You can’t get the Ticket anywhere else and that causes me to put up with more poor service from them than I would otherwise. However, my new condo is two blocks from a fantastic sports bar and I’ve moved home where I can easily go see my favorite team play a few times per year. Therefore, Sunday Ticket is no longer a big reason to stick with DirecTV so that I can watch my favorite team play each week.
DirecTV has a choice. They are demanding about $80 from me and they can have it. It that continues to be their stance, then it will be the last $80 they get from me. On the other hand, my monthly bill on two receivers, HD and DVR service, plus the Ticket amounts to more than $140 per month. We can all do the math. If they can figure out how to be flexible enough to remove charges for services that I didn’t use, then they can begin to collect $140/month from me again. If they remain inflexible, it will be the last $80 they ever get out of me.
DirecTV, are you listening? It’s your call.
 

gadgtfreek

SatelliteGuys Master
May 29, 2006
22,105
862
Lower Alabama
Better PQ. I've seen you complain at times about E*'s PQ.

When I switched in April, I complained a lot but was mostly ignored. Then as people added both and we progressed into May and June, more complained about E*'s PQ. Its funny, Ive talked with people via PM who have both, and they ALL said D* is sharper, yet in public noone wants to admit it.

Quality PQ is more important to me than Quantity of channels. I have a lack of faith in Dish, which is why they have lost my business for good.
 

gadgtfreek

SatelliteGuys Master
May 29, 2006
22,105
862
Lower Alabama
Ill add this, I just didnt pay E* $230 to cancel because I'm in love with D*. Its because the PQ is better, and they are much more organized than E*.

Many of you will be D* subs soon, once a few of their other sats die in action. E* is keeping up but using space junk and compression, and you guys love them for it . Funny.
 
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