Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Oh, DirecTV, why are you such a mess??

There's nothing quite as painful as switching providers. I had DirecTV for years until Comcast got me to switch with a classic "bait & switch" that was supposed to more affordable. Ha! In the end, I was paying more for Comcast than I ever did for DirecTV. So, I decided to switch back.

I got a direct mail offer from DirecTV that would give me a great package called "The DVR Plus" package. I signed up and got a date for the installation. It was supposed to be pretty simple: just bring in a new DVR and cables and be done with it. I already had the dish, so no need for a new one. They would be coming to my place on February 13th between noon and 4 pm. 

At 3:45 on Saturday, I called customer service to inquire why no one had called or shown up. I was informed that they had stopped by, but no one was home. Granted my condo is a bit off the beaten path, but I was home the entire time. I was ticked off, but they told me that they could do it two days later.

The installer showed up at 3 p.m. Monday and he informs me that he needs to replace the satellite dish because mine didn't work with the HD system. I felt bad for the guy because he had to crawl up to the top of my deck and pick through all the ice on top of the dish. He finished with the dish and then set up the receiver. When he called DirecTV to finish the set-up of the receiver, they informed him he had put in the wrong receiver - I had ordered the non-HDTV DVR receiver. He didn't have that type of receiver with him and the work order that DirecTV had given him wasn't correct and he had installed exactly what they told him to install. I can verify that.

He told me that I would need to straighten it out with DirecTV and that he needed to leave - never mind that he had handed me his cell phone to talk to the customer service agent. I could just call them back on my own phone... Thanks. He had left the old dish on my deck, so when he started to leave, I asked him if he was taking it. "No" that wasn't his responsibility and I would have to dispose of it. (Never mind that I hadn't even needed to have it replaced because I hadn't ordered HD! The old one would have been fine.)

I had to call customer service back. I was pretty pumped up and not in a good mood. I talked with the poor customer service rep that was unfortunate enough to pick up my call. I asked if they could just send me the correct DVR receiver and I could just switch it out. "No, a technician would have to come out to install it." Did I like the HD and would I want the HD DVR? Sure, that would great. "It's only a one time charge of $199." Um, no, on second thought..I don't think so. 

Okay, so I have to have a technician come out. How soon? The earliest date available was a week away (Feb 23rd). Seriously? Don't you have evening installation hours? I do work for a living and my office and home are NO WHERE near each other. No, sorry. 

I asked to talk to his supervisor. He put me on hold for about a minute and then when he comes back on line, he tells me that it would be a couple of minutes for me to talk to his supervisor because he was already on a call. (Hmmm) "But good news," when he had logged off and then back on, installation dates sooner than next Tuesday opened up. Lots of openings Wednesday, Thursday, & Friday of this week. 

So, I'm set to work from home tomorrow morning, so the installer can come out to switch out the receiver. 

I wanted it done ASAP because there is no way I want to live without a DVR. You don't realize how much you rely on it when you don't have it anymore. I can't pause or rewind live TV and excuse me, the Olympics are happening for the next two weeks! I need instant replay and the ability to record something if I can't be at home to watch it live. 

So, DirecTV -FAIL on customer service. 

And what the heck am I going to do with that old satellite dish on my deck??

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