Why does Dish, VOOM and even cable have no commitment...but Direct does ??


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Original poster
Jul 6, 2004
I am confused as to why Dish, VOOM and even cable will let consumers use the service WITHOUT a year commitment, and Direct TV requires it.

I have been reading everything posted on these message boards that indicate Direct TV is much more superior to the others (in picture quality, customer service.....and on and on). Seems to me that if Direct TV was really that much better than the others, they would NOT require any forced commitment. Once the consumer gets Direct TV, they should be able to see for themselves how much better it is over Dish, VOOM or cable and never want to leave.

It seems (at least from a marketing standpoint), Dierct TV would like to get into as many homes as possible and have the service speak for itself. Where as if Dish and VOOM are really that bad, THEY would be the ones to force a commitment on the consumers (to trap them into something inferior for a period of time).

Seems a little backwards to me.

Kinda like if Mercedes started giving test drives of the 300S away for free, while Yugo was charging $25 to test drive one of their cars.
The Dish and VOOM programs are equipment lease programs without commitment. Dish is actually a lot better than VOOM's since Dish charges $5/month per box for the rental/lease instead of the mirror fee.

With DIRECTV at the end of your year you get to keep the equipment.

With both Dish and VOOM you can buy the equipment, Dish then has a cancellation fee. VOOM will let you keep the equipment, but does not seem to let you sell it at this time because they will not authorize the box for a different person.
If you order directly from DirecTV you can return your equipment to them instead of paying the cancellation fee if you want out
BFG said:
If you order directly from DirecTV you can return your equipment to them instead of paying the cancellation fee if you want out

Says who? I wasn't given that option when we were thinking of switching to Voom full time.
Well they probably wont go out and tell you but it's in the fine print of their TOS
Not that I should post this but my neighbor "cancelled" as he could not pay his bill. So he didn't and they shut him off.

Next fall (7 months later) he called THEM and got the NFL ST promotion that was available ... I was like WTF!??!
From the Direct TV Web site:

"Consequences of your Failure to Maintain Programming Commitment: If you fail to maintain and pay for twelve (12) consecutive months of the required programming package, you agree that DIRECTV may charge you a prorated fee of up to one hundred fifty US dollars ($150.00); within 14 days of downgrading or disconnecting your programming, you have an option to send all of your DIRECTV System Equipment (receiver and remote control) to DIRECTV in lieu of this payment. The Equipment, including the Access Card inserted into each DIRECTV System receiver unit, must be returned to DIRECTV in good working order, normal wear and tear excepted. See DIRECTV.com or call 1-800-DIRECTV for details. "
Kinda like if Mercedes started giving test drives of the 300S away for free, while Yugo was charging $25 to test drive one of their cars.

I think you got that backwards... saying Directv is the best (or the Mercedes of satellite) then Mercedes should be charging for the test drive just like Directv makes you commit which is going to definitely cost you for a minimum of a year. Your analogy would make more sense if Voom and Dish Network were requiring a commitment and Directv had no commitment.

I have no idea if it works for Directv but it's makes sense that they offer their services the way they do if they are in fact the best. Do I like it... no... because I just purchased their receivers and am about to have to sign a commitment myself and don't really want to. Then again it really doesn't matter because as steaker just posted it's seems like there's really no difference between the cancellation policies as long as you return the equipment. No different that E* or V*... if you don't return the equipment when you cancel they charge you a hefty fee.

Understand this is not something that I would advocate doing. It is my full intentions to stay with Directv (with at least the minimum required package) for at least a full year as I have signed and agreed to do. A commitment is just that and if you make an agreement then you should respectfully honor it.
If you purchased the receiver outright, (say about 600.00 for a HD box), why in the world would you want to just send it to them? And why should there be a commitment if you already shelled out that much $$$ ?

I really don't get it. Again, I understand if you got something for free like a receiver or a free install, but if you pay for the receiver and self-install, there should be no commitment. Costs them very little to have a CSR fill in a couple of fields on their screen, press a button and activate your box.
Well in that case pay the pro-rated cancellation fee and you'll come out much cheaper... then you can sell your HD STB... although if I pay $600 for an STB then I'm probably going to keep the service for a year or longer. HD STB's don't usually cost that much though, most are $300 (or if you are lucky you can get the $99 upgrade) unless you opt for the $1K HD DVR/Tivo boxes and certainly if I spend that much I've already tested out their programming and know that I want it and plan on keeping it for a while. But still I'd like to see Directv go to the non-commitment programming.
Again, why should they need to trap you into anything if you basically "bring your own" as in box AND self-install??? Also, if you buy the box, dont like the service, you can sell the box. It's not like you are stuck with it.
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