Installers view point... (1 Viewer)

poopsie

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 12, 2004
39
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Well, I have been a lurker on here for quite some time and decided that it was my turn to finally talk. First off, I am an installer for DTV, Dish and lately I have been doing some VOOM. I wanna say, thank god I read through some of the posts on problems before doing my first install, it helped SO MUCH. Within the last three weeks I have done 12 installs and I don't know how many cleanup jobs. For those of you who have just had it installed, I wanna say, check the work. I rolled on one two nights ago, the guy wasn't getting his locals. So I got there, and AIMED his OTA ant., getting all but one channel, which he was fine with. He was telling me that he wasn't impressed with the picture. I went inside and looked at the picture and it looked worse then DTV SD. I looked at the install, and noticed that the guy who did the initial install didn't use the DVI cable, just coax to the TV! I fixed that for him also. THen I looked at the whole install and noticed it wasn't grounded either, so I did that for him too. Spent an extra hour working and got a $50 tip out of it, and a REALLY happy customer. My last full install was a four banger so I was a little nervous about it, but 4 hours later they were watching everything no prob. The only prob I have seen lately and it has been posted numerous times here is the mapping. They seem to have a little better grasp on it, at least from what I have seen. One of the installs, the locals didn't work. The CSR told me he would send it to tech, and by tomorrow morning the customer should have them. I called him the next morning and he did have them, but the antenna wasn't fully working so I ran back out and did some tweaking. The equipment is taking forever still, I have had the pleasure of calling my customers (A day early at least) and telling them the equip. wasn't at our place yet and have them reschedule. All and all, it seems to be coming together and they are starting to get their act together a little more. BTW, if you look at the LNB, there is a small sticker right under the horn, if you remove it, it says "Directv LNB". I found that kind of funny. Take care and thanks for the help!
 

squicken

Member
Supporting Founder
Mar 24, 2004
1,046
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Thanks for posting. It's always good to get the professionals' opinions on the subject. I was one of the unfortunate who had a bad initial install, which required a clean-up. I hope Voom realizes how much money it's wasting on sloppy installers, and hope Voom starts dealing with more and more qualified installers like yourself.
 

Walter L.

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Mar 29, 2004
1,855
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Portland, Oregon
Poopsie,
I'm glad that you're taking advantage of the experience of this forum to supplement your expertise. I hope to see more installer doing the same.
 

red ufo

SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 25, 2004
106
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When I had the installers the said they are paid by the job. Thus they will rape the work to leave fast and drink beer. They didn't bother to ground the system until I called them back and I could see they didn't care how the installation might look with wires sloppily running everywhere as they didn't give a sh*t.

But it don't look to fun to have there job I guess.
 

slffl

SatelliteGuys Guru
Nov 18, 2003
124
0
Is a ground supposed to be installed? My installer didn't install grounds on either the dish or OTA antenna. But then again, he started hooking up the STB using composite until I hooked up componant and optical for him.
 

rollerfink

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 1, 2004
294
0
Detroit
Is it customary to tip installers? I'm originally from Australia where tipping is not very common. I've gotten the hang of most of it, restaurants, hotels, etc -- but for stuff like this I never know.

I offered my guy some pepsi but didn't lay any cash on him.
 

Walter L.

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Mar 29, 2004
1,855
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Portland, Oregon
slffl said:
Is a ground supposed to be installed? My installer didn't install grounds on either the dish or OTA antenna. But then again, he started hooking up the STB using composite until I hooked up componant and optical for him.
No ground is a violation of the electric code. Call VOOM to have it fix.
 

Mr. Biggles

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Mar 6, 2004
502
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rollerfink said:
Is it customary to tip installers?

I guess it depends if you feel the person earned it by maybe going the extra mile. Attitude and persona does it for me most times.

My installer did everything right till the very end when he balked about taking the boxs and garbage associated with the install. It cost him a $25 tip I had set aside.
 

poopsie

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Mar 12, 2004
39
0
I would say that 90% of the time we don't get tips, but they are always appreciated :) Make sure that the system is grounded for sure, if it struck by lightning and causes a fire, insurance will not cover it if it wasn't grounded most of the time. What I always do is walk the customer outside with me and show each thing that I did, if they have a question or want something done differently, I can take care of it right then. Leaves them happy and me not having to make another trip out. And your right, we are paid by the job, the faster we get it done, the faster we are done for the day. Some will do what ever it takes to finish a job and be home by 4 pm that day. I like to be home early but I don't compromise safety and cleanliness of the job to do it. The best thing you can do, at least for yourself not the installer, is before you sign anything, I mean anything, go outside, check the work and ask questions about why they did what they did. After you are satisfied with the work, then sign your life away to VOOM, DTV or whoever :)

P.S. One thing that I have to get used to the signal meter. I had read on here to get about 50, and that would be good. I work my ass off on the last few and have gotten around 36-40. Once everything updates, it comes on and says 92-96.
 

Walter L.

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Mar 29, 2004
1,855
0
Portland, Oregon
poopsie said:
...
One thing that I have to get used to the signal meter. I had read on here to get about 50, and that would be good. I work my ass off on the last few and have gotten around 36-40. Once everything updates, it comes on and says 92-96.

Yeah, mine was 41-43 then went up to 90-94.
 

Mainstreet

Satellite Guru
Supporting Founder
Oct 4, 2003
281
0
Texas
rollerfink said:
Is it customary to tip installers? I'm originally from Australia where tipping is not very common. I've gotten the hang of most of it, restaurants, hotels, etc -- but for stuff like this I never know.

I offered my guy some pepsi but didn't lay any cash on him.

If the installer does a really great job and does more than required, a gratuity is a great show of appreciation. It is, however, by no means required, or even expected. That's the way it should be in all service industries.

Unfortunately, certain sects of the service industry (like restaurants, cab drivers, etc) have made a gratuity more like an expected service fee. While most of the time in those businesses a tip is not required, if you do not tip them, it is an insult.

Offering the installers something cold to drink and/or something to snack on if they're working hard is also not expected, but is greatly appreciated!

I personally have been given as much as a $100 tip on a few jobs. Those just happened to be customers who I had put in a lot of extra time and custom work for without charging extra, though. I tend to be the type of installer who doesn't care how long the job takes, and I want it to be as aesthetically pleasing as possible. I suppose that is what has warranted the much appreciated $how of grattitude.
 

Ken F

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 8, 2004
717
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I had a 64-68 signal on the original software with a peaked 24" dish, so it couldn't have been a 0-60 scale. :)

As far as the channel mapping problems, hopefully those will be solved with the new software that adds OTA scanning (~7-12 days). With better access to an OTA signal meter in STB setup, installers will finally have a means to point the off-air antenna in the optimal direction for locals reception. That should translate into fewer service calls and return visits.
 

Ken F

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 8, 2004
717
0
Walter,

About 10 days ago, Wilt told people it would be coming at the end of April or early May. I do expect them to be a bit more careful this time, particularly given what happened with the 5.5c release.
 

slffl

SatelliteGuys Guru
Nov 18, 2003
124
0
Well the installer just showed up at my doorstep last night. He had the upgraded OTA antenna from the stealth. Looks better than the stealth to me, and as soon as he connected it, my signal was high enough to get all OTA channels. Nice!
 

ricks

SatelliteGuys Guru
Mar 6, 2004
144
0
rollerfink said:
Is it customary to tip installers? I'm originally from Australia where tipping is not very common. I've gotten the hang of most of it, restaurants, hotels, etc -- but for stuff like this I never know.

I offered my guy some pepsi but didn't lay any cash on him.

I offered mine Guinness. ;)
 

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