Potential new customer - is this typical?

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rugbyqueen

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Aug 25, 2007
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We'd like to get DirecTV because it seems to be the only provider that is offering both Universal Sports for the upcoming Rugby World Cup AND Fox Soccer Plus to watch matches the rest of the year.

So I called them and they wanted my Social Security Number to run a credit check to see if I qualified for some deals. Is that typical? I'm VERY wary of giving my SSN to people, especially random call center people over the phone. Is this a normal procedure for DirecTV?

I declined to give my SSN. She ran a credit check with my name/address (I guess) and then said I could get various things for free (installation, dish, DVR, remotes) but wanted to charge me $200 for something. I asked if other people were NOT charged the $200 and she said yes, some were not depending on their credit history.

I know my credit is very good, so I don't think I should be charged $200 if others are not. Is there any way around this without having to give my SSN?

Also, as a potential new customer, is there anything I should know to ask for? I'm interested in HD, one DVR (is there one in particular that is best?), and outside of that I don't need too many special channels. Our household will want ShowtimeHD (is that available?), BBC America (do they offer it in HD?), and Fox Soccer Plus. That's about it for shows we watch regularly.

I'm also frustrated because they couldn't give me any indication of how long I'd have to wait for installation. She said she couldn't do that until I completed the order. But once she got to the $200 part I cancelled the order. Is there any way of knowing how long it takes to get the installation?

I appreciate any insight from those familiar with DirecTV and their policies and procedures. Thanks.
 
lparsons21

lparsons21

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Without knowing what DirecTV was looking at when they ran your name and such, it is hard to guess. But I suspect that without your SSN, you are going to have to put up a deposit, which may be what they were talking about. Or it could be because of the equipment that you are wanting.
 
charper1

charper1

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To be able to provide a better answer can you tell us what exactly you were ordering? How many HD-DVRs, how many HD units, how many rooms total, etc.


Also, I do not know YOUR credit, but what one person thinks is good, another may not, did the CSR say the $200 WAS for a deposit because you were under their minimum?

Providing a SSN is normal; maybe that's why you got dinged the $200?

These are all guesses based on very limited info.


The installs are done by contract installers in or around your local area. Until you go through the process they very likely cant get to the install scheduling calendar.
 
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rugbyqueen

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SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 25, 2007
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I know it's typical to use SSN for a credit check. Is it typical for DirecTV to ask for the SSN? I don't recall Dish Network, which we had before, or ATT Uverse, which we have now, asking for it. It really caught me off guard.

When I tried to ask if I gave my SSN if I'd get a better deal, she had no answer for me. She couldn't tell me if they'd be able to run a more complete credit check if they used the SSN. I suspect they would, but she was not authorized to tell me that or anything about it.
 
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rugbyqueen

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SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 25, 2007
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Houston, TX
To be able to provide a better answer can you tell us what exactly you were ordering? How many HD-DVRs, how many HD units, how many rooms total, etc.
One room, one TV (an HD TV), one HD DVR. I think that's a fairly simple order.

Also, I do not know YOUR credit, but what one person thinks is good, another may not, did the CSR say the $200 WAS for a deposit because you were under their minimum?
Recently opened a bank account and got a copy of my credit report as a courtesy. Without saying what it was specifically, it was in the highest bracket available and near the top of that. Unless something has changed in the last six weeks, my credit is excellent.

Providing a SSN is normal; maybe that's why you got dinged the $200?
I guess so. It just creeped me out that they asked for my SSN. As I said above, I don't remember Dish Network asking for it, nor did ATT Uverse. It felt very unsafe just volunteering that info to someone in the Philippines in a call center.

The installs are done by contract installers in or around your local area. Until you go through the process they very likely cant get to the install scheduling calendar.
That's what she said. It seems like they could give you an idea rather than make you sign up for everything.
 
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rugbyqueen

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Aug 25, 2007
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Houston, TX
did the CSR say the $200 WAS for a deposit because you were under their minimum?
Forgot to add, when I asked why I was being charged the $200, the representative just repeated the entire "You are getting the receiver, DVR, dish, remotes for FREE!" spiel, rather than answering the question. I asked if there was anything I could do to avoid being charged the $200 and she repeated the "you're getting these things for free" thing for the THIRD time. At that point I asked her if other people were NOT charged the $200 and she said that yes, some were not and some were charged $300. I asked how I could avoid being charged it and she didn't have an answer.

I tried asking specifically if not giving her my SSN was part of the issue and she just repeated AGAIN the "you are getting these things for free" mantra, followed by the "you get the $200 back in $5/month credits" offer. It's going to take quite a few months at $5/month to get $200 back.

Color me very underwhelmed and unimpressed with DirecTV.
 
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JerseyMatt

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Sep 17, 2010
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Dish DOES take your SSN. Not only do they run your credit, they do a hard pull (as if you were applying for a credit card) that stays on your report for two years. Directv is a soft pull, so only you see it and it doesn't affect your score. It's pretty much standard that all utilities and services run a credit check. Power company, gas company, phone company, cable company, they all do it now too, and they all require a deposit if you appear to be a risk. That said, when I started my service last year, I wasn't required to put down a deposit, and my credit score was in the low 700s at that point.

As far as the install, it really depends on how busy things are in your area. I waited 4 days, I think the average is about a week, but could be longer because of the Sunday Ticket promo.
 
charper1

charper1

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Forgot to add, when I asked why I was being charged the $200, the representative just repeated the entire "You are getting the receiver, DVR, dish, remotes for FREE!" spiel, rather than answering the question. I asked if there was anything I could do to avoid being charged the $200 and she repeated the "you're getting these things for free" thing for the THIRD time. At that point I asked her if other people were NOT charged the $200 and she said that yes, some were not and some were charged $300. I asked how I could avoid being charged it and she didn't have an answer.

I tried asking specifically if not giving her my SSN was part of the issue and she just repeated AGAIN the "you are getting these things for free" mantra, followed by the "you get the $200 back in $5/month credits" offer. It's going to take quite a few months at $5/month to get $200 back.

Color me very underwhelmed and unimpressed with DirecTV.



With an order that simple do the online method and before you confirm compare the costs. I can't recall ever being directed to an Asian (offshore) call center in 15 years. Go the online route or check one of the sponsors here. If you got a call center; you weren't dealing with DirecTV exactly; you know how CSRs can be, 1 bad one out of 100 good ones; maybe call back if you want the human experience. Also note that most all installers don't work for DirecTV either.


Give it another try. After getting an install date setup, you can go to directv.com and setup an account and actually change your install date on the fly. PS make sure you get everything you think you may want NOW and the next couple of years out, as it will be MUCH less hassle and cost.
 
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rugbyqueen

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Aug 25, 2007
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Houston, TX
Dish DOES take your SSN. Not only do they run your credit, they do a hard pull (as if you were applying for a credit card) that stays on your report for two years. Directv is a soft pull, so only you see it and it doesn't affect your score. It's pretty much standard that all utilities and services run a credit check. Power company, gas company, phone company, cable company, they all do it now too, and they all require a deposit if you appear to be a risk. That said, when I started my service last year, I wasn't required to put down a deposit, and my credit score was in the low 700s at that point.
Thanks for the info. I guess I'll have to give them my SSN. It's been four years since I started Dish and I don't remember them asking for it - maybe they did. I'm pretty sure ATT Uverse didn't ask for it at all.

As far as the install, it really depends on how busy things are in your area. I waited 4 days, I think the average is about a week, but could be longer because of the Sunday Ticket promo.
Yeah, the Sunday Ticket thing is probably going to increase demand for installs. I don't need it installed for a week, so hopefully they can do it by then.


With an order that simple do the online method and before you confirm compare the costs. I can't recall ever being directed to an Asian (offshore) call center in 15 years.
I called the 1-888-773-8162 number in one of their ads. I figured it would be DirecTV, not some subcontracting group. It was definitely the Philippines.

Go the online route or check one of the sponsors here.
Thanks for the tip on the online route. I might do that. Sorry, could you clarify about "one of the sponsors here." I'm not sure what you mean. I see the "Proud Gold Sponsors" at the top. Is that it? Are they DirecTV vendors or something?

If you got a call center; you weren't dealing with DirecTV exactly; you know how CSRs can be, 1 bad one out of 100 good ones; maybe call back if you want the human experience. Also note that most all installers don't work for DirecTV either.
Like I said above, I figured the sales number would go to DirecTV people, but I guess it didn't.

Give it another try. After getting an install date setup, you can go to directv.com and setup an account and actually change your install date on the fly. PS make sure you get everything you think you may want NOW and the next couple of years out, as it will be MUCH less hassle and cost.
Thanks for the tip. Is there anything specific I should get now to save money?
 
lparsons21

lparsons21

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The national offer allows for one hddvr free and one hd receiver free. Or you can get one hddvr free, and one for $99. So of you have a second tv, that could be a consideration, and then you could consider dong the whole whom dvr setup.
 
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JerseyMatt

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Sep 17, 2010
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Call 1-800-DIRECTV or 1-800-531-5000.

Basically get HD receivers for all your TVs, whether they are HD or not. The HD boxes can support SDTVs just fine. They don't cost anything extra per month (although you may have to pay extra up front if you have three or more), and if you upgrade TVs down the line you won't have to order new boxes and extend the contract.. Also consider if you might want a second DVR. It's great to be able to record 4 satellite programs at once.. The MultiRoom Viewing (whole house DVR) only works on HD boxes, so that;s another reason to skip the SD boxes altogether. And also tell them you want the Cinema Connection Kit for On Demand.

There are also a few other discounts that can be stacked - for example if you have AAA there is a $10 a month discount for 20 months, if you know someone who already has Directv there is a refer-a-friend discount, which is $10 a month for 10 months, and I believe Costco might still have the $180 cash card, but I;m not positive on that one. Those all require you to call a different phone number though.
 
charper1

charper1

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"Sorry, could you clarify about "one of the sponsors here." I'm not sure what you mean. I see the "Proud Gold Sponsors" at the top. Is that it? Are they DirecTV vendors or something?"



Sorry, I guess none of the site sponsors deal DirecTV; I thought they did.
 
andrewj0781

andrewj0781

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When I signed up for D* the other day I was never asked for my SSN number. I don't know if it's cause I signed up for Autopay so I could get the Free HD.

Sent from my iPhone using SatelliteGuys
 
HiDefRev

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I moved from Georgia to Alabama two months ago and switched from DISH to Directv, primarily to get the 5 3D channels that Directv has. I actually ordered online BEFORE I moved so that the installation would take place the day after I moved in my new house. And, yes, I was asked for my SS#, even though I had signed up for Autopay and Paperless Billing. I ordered 1 HDDVR and 2 HD receivers, along with the MVR and internet connection. I didn't pay anything up front, and of course, received the monthly discounts to my bill. I also had to give my SS# to Charter with whom I have my internet and phone. No biggy, as I received the best deals available from Directv and Charter. I am one happy dude ! . :eek:k:
 
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JUCJ85

JUCJ85

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Aug 13, 2010
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I think they need the SSN, to verify who you are and such.

When I signed up I had to provide mine, I had at the time fine credit, until 5yrs later and tons of student loans.

Even if you have Loans not paid off, that goes against you. Unpaid credit cards, against u. It sucks, but it happens. And when we switched to Dish for 1 yr we had to pay the 200 due to credit.
 
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bbixler

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When you call in, try to get all HD DVRs for your receivers without paying any upfront lease fee. You only pay the DVR fee one time on your account so once you have 1 DVR the rest are charged the same $6 monthly programming mirror fee as a standard, non HD non DVR, receiver.
 
costanzas_wallet

costanzas_wallet

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The credit check at my telecom is mainly interested in utilities and payment history.you can have a low score but if you pay your bills and don't have utilities/cable in collections, you have a good chance of not paying a deposit
 
spokybob

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While I was with DISH. I too called an 888 number from an ad in a local advertising circular. They were elusive & could not answer every question. "No thanks." I later called a CSR at Directv. "Peggy" answered all my questions and offered me the same deal as the other people. When I said I would have to think about it, he sweetened the deal. In my case I needed extra HD receivers and some trenching. I was required to give a credit card number, but then I got the complete installation for free, with new equipment.
 
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