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Author Topic: I currently hate Direct TV  (Read 3086 times)
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Arkon
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« on: October 12, 2008, 01:27:08 PM »

  So, for the first year of having Direct TV I didn't really have any complaints.  Would loose my signal now and again in bad weather, but overall it was decent service.  About a month ago we had severe storms with 80+ MPH winds.  After the storms I was constantly loosing my signal and so I scheduled a service call.  The guy came out, claimed the dish was never installed correctly and that he had to completely redo it.  Once done, everything was good, no interruptions and signals looked good.  Fast forward a week and things started acting flaky again, but it seemed to correspond to bad weather so I rolled with it. 
 
  Finally the beginning of this week I had had enough, was constantly loosing signal and was unable to get more than 10 minutes into a show without the screen going grey/freezing and then constant searching for signal.  So I schedule another service call for this past Thursday.  The guy calls me at 7:45 PM and tells me it is too dark so he isn't going to show and I will need to reschedule.  I am now at the point that only 4 channels (Food Network, USA, TBS and Discovery) will come in, everything else is permanent searching for signal.  I call up D-TV and they can't even escalate because the case manager closed my case 4 hours after I talked to him on Monday even tho the service call wasn't completed. 

  At this point I am going to look at getting out of my contract and switching to Comcast.  If FIOS was available I would go with it, but it isn't available in my area yet.  The worst part is if in my job I gave the kind of customer service I have gotten from D-TV I would be fired in a heart beat.
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leo8877
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« Reply #1 on: October 12, 2008, 01:46:11 PM »

FWIW I have ATT Uverse and love it.
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Boudreaux
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« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2008, 01:50:04 PM »

It doesn't sound like a dish alignment problem if some of your channels are working (even 4).  Sounds more like a problem with the receiver itself.

We've had problems with DirecTV and their service calls before, too.  When we had a new HD dish installed our service tech basically never showed up for the appt.  Turned out he got swamped on the prior job and ended up being on that call for the whole day, but the organization and communication on DirecTV's part was pretty bad.  They don't seem to have any contingency plan to accommodate this, or any ability to communicate with the customer as to what's happening.

However, if you do try to cancel be prepared for offers to try and keep you.  I called up and bitched (I lost an entire day's work waiting for a guy who never showed), saying that while we were satisfied with the programming the service was atrocious.  We were given free HD for a year, they waived the service call fee, and gave us a new HD DVR for half price.
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Arkon
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« Reply #3 on: October 12, 2008, 01:58:21 PM »

Quote from: Boudreaux on October 12, 2008, 01:50:04 PM

It doesn't sound like a dish alignment problem if some of your channels are working (even 4).  Sounds more like a problem with the receiver itself.

We've had problems with DirecTV and their service calls before, too.  When we had a new HD dish installed our service tech basically never showed up for the appt.  Turned out he got swamped on the prior job and ended up being on that call for the whole day, but the organization and communication on DirecTV's part was pretty bad.  They don't seem to have any contingency plan to accommodate this, or any ability to communicate with the customer as to what's happening.

However, if you do try to cancel be prepared for offers to try and keep you.  I called up and bitched (I lost an entire day's work waiting for a guy who never showed), saying that while we were satisfied with the programming the service was atrocious.  We were given free HD for a year, they waived the service call fee, and gave us a new HD DVR for half price.

Would a bad receiver cause the signal strength to show 0's across the board for multiple satellites?
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cheeba
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« Reply #4 on: October 12, 2008, 03:30:09 PM »

Had DirecTV at my former apartment for a few years. I loved it. The dish did go out of alignment a couple times. When this happened we did indeed have a few channels work and most not work. Whenever this happened I would just move the dish and have my roommate check the signal and yell to me when it was good (in the setup menu it shows you the satellite strength). This happened maybe once or twice a year.

I have cable now and it goes out far more often than DirecTV did, and the service is horrible. But I never dealt with DirecTV's service so I can't compare.
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Arkon
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« Reply #5 on: October 12, 2008, 03:33:10 PM »

Quote from: cheeba on October 12, 2008, 03:30:09 PM

Had DirecTV at my former apartment for a few years. I loved it. The dish did go out of alignment a couple times. When this happened we did indeed have a few channels work and most not work. Whenever this happened I would just move the dish and have my roommate check the signal and yell to me when it was good (in the setup menu it shows you the satellite strength). This happened maybe once or twice a year.

I have cable now and it goes out far more often than DirecTV did, and the service is horrible. But I never dealt with DirecTV's service so I can't compare.

For me to adjust the dish and try and communicate with my wife would be a nightmare as it is up on the highest corner of our roof.  My whole issue is that the dish should be able to be tightened down so that it doesn't move, it shouldn't go out of alignment in just a few weeks.  Honestly I had Comcast for 6 years before moving to our current house and we never had issues with it.  Honestly if it had been available at our new place when we moved in I would have stuck with it.  It wasn't until just recently that Comcast got their digital cable service out to our neck of the woods.
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Devil
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« Reply #6 on: October 12, 2008, 04:54:03 PM »

Had DTV for 10+ years and love it - The issue is their service, but in the long run, it works to your advantage.

They've rescheduled, f'ed things up, and just not shown up many times for me.

Call them, threaten to leave, and have something in mind that you would like. I'd never go to Comcast, but I've always threatened to on the phone.  :icon_wink

After all the times that they've screwed up I've gotten things like free Sunday Ticket, $20 off a month for a year, free HD DVRs, etc.

Threaten to leave and will do just about anything to keep you.

Give them an angry call.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2008, 05:19:40 PM »

I've been a DTV subscriber since 2002 and have generally been enormously happy.  I did have the dish knocked out of alignment by a hurricane a few years ago but that was understandable.  No issues on the dish since then.  Only other issue I had was that I was quite pissed when I upgraded HD-DVRs only to find out that the new DVRs didn't have an antenna input for local HD channels.  However they finally turned on local HD channels for my area last week so now I'm a happy camper again.

Hell, I was even worried about their new DVRs since I was used to Tivo (especially after expeirencing the horrid DVRs that my local cable company has) but I've been pleasantly suprised by the qualify of DTV's HD-DVRs. 

Now if they would just get AMC HD so I could watch Mad Men in high def, I'd be 100% satisfied. 
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Arkon
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« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2008, 05:44:51 PM »

Quote from: Devil on October 12, 2008, 04:54:03 PM

Had DTV for 10+ years and love it - The issue is their service, but in the long run, it works to your advantage.

They've rescheduled, f'ed things up, and just not shown up many times for me.

Call them, threaten to leave, and have something in mind that you would like. I'd never go to Comcast, but I've always threatened to on the phone.  :icon_wink

After all the times that they've screwed up I've gotten things like free Sunday Ticket, $20 off a month for a year, free HD DVRs, etc.

Threaten to leave and will do just about anything to keep you.

Give them an angry call.

Trust me I am threatening to leave, and the answer they gave me over the phone was basically, "Go ahead we don't care, and by the way enjoy the nice big fat fee you will get charged when trying to leave."   In my opinion they are already in breach of the contract as I am not getting the service I am contracted to get so getting out of the contract shouldn't be tough.  I can understand the dish getting knocked out of alignment when we had the tornado strength winds, but for it to then go out again within a few weeks, with no high wind days at all just is plain horrible service by the technician.
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rickfc
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« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2008, 06:04:07 PM »

Quote from: Arkon on October 12, 2008, 05:44:51 PM


Trust me I am threatening to leave, and the answer they gave me over the phone was basically, "Go ahead we don't care, and by the way enjoy the nice big fat fee you will get charged when trying to leave."   In my opinion they are already in breach of the contract as I am not getting the service I am contracted to get so getting out of the contract shouldn't be tough.  I can understand the dish getting knocked out of alignment when we had the tornado strength winds, but for it to then go out again within a few weeks, with no high wind days at all just is plain horrible service by the technician.

Escalate the call.  Talk to a supervisor.  Ask for the supervisor's supervisor.  If that doesn't work, try going here:  http://consumerist.com.  They usually list all the contact info for a lot of the executives for some of these companies, and if you go that route, only after exhausting all other options, they usually cave in to your demands.
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Isgrimnur
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« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2008, 07:11:46 PM »

Quote from: rickfc on October 12, 2008, 06:04:07 PM

Escalate the call.  Talk to a supervisor.  Ask for the supervisor's supervisor.  If that doesn't work, try going here:  http://consumerist.com.  They usually list all the contact info for a lot of the executives for some of these companies, and if you go that route, only after exhausting all other options, they usually cave in to your demands.

+1.

The other option is to write a letter to the correspondence address.  The magic words to put on it at my last place of employ was  "Office of the President."  The front line reps don't care, some managers are marginally better, and all of the installers work for independent contractors, not Direct TV themselves. 

If your account notes suggest repeated attempts that they had to fix the service, any person truly interested in the customer service of the company will either take the ball and make sure your issue is resolved with them as your direct contact or let you leave in peace.
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Devil
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« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2008, 08:01:39 PM »

Wow - I've never had a problem once I called.

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Boudreaux
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« Reply #12 on: October 12, 2008, 09:37:57 PM »

Quote from: Arkon on October 12, 2008, 05:44:51 PM

Trust me I am threatening to leave, and the answer they gave me over the phone was basically, "Go ahead we don't care, and by the way enjoy the nice big fat fee you will get charged when trying to leave."

You must not be getting through to Customer Retention.  Call the main DirecTV number, and when the little auto voice-recognition program comes on, just say "cancel service".  You get sent directly to Customer Retention.  Tell them your problems, that you're ready to cancel service unless they can fix things, and I'd be shocked if they gave you another "fuck off" answer.
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« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2008, 05:37:22 AM »

I get the loss of signal, searching for signal on channel 2 message every once in awhile even if the weather has been good.  I assume if you have called DirecTV they have had you reset your receiver?  If I do that with mine it always manages to pick the signal back up again.
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Rich
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« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2008, 06:27:14 AM »

I'm on my 8th or 9th year of service with D-TV and still love them.  They've upgraded my equipment for free at least 3 times, this last time just because I sent them an email detailing how I wished they would reconsider a software design element in their upcoming receivers.  Retention called me up and even though I never even mentioned dropping my service they gave me all new receivers and half a year of discounted and free channel upgrades.  The house I'm renting had a bad roof when the guy came to install the new dish, he spent over an hour in cold rain up there trying to get that dish to align but every time he would step away the bad roof decking would shift and lose the signal.  I talked him into trying to move the dish to a different location on the roof from the old mount for a nice tip and I would help him by running up and down the ladder for him to get parts.  It took this guy close to 2 hours in all from when he showed up, a nice tip later and his jacket and gloves dried in my dryer and I had better reception than I'd had in years.  I got the landlord guy to replace the roof the following spring after seeing just how bad it was up there and for the first time I was charged by D*TV since they bought out Primestar my old service.

My first upgrade I did get a bad install from some out of town guys they brought in to help with local demand but after I called and someone else came out and redid it wind wasn't a problem anymore, this was before the roof went to hell.

I did have problems for a while with one dual tuner receiver only working as a single tuner but it turned out the cable I used as an extension when I moved the living room around wasn't good, after I replaced that cable both tuners found all the channels.  So check the cables running from the dish to the receiver and if it is a dual tuner HD receiver make sure both those adapter things you put in line between the cable and the receiver are good.  My dad had a 100' spool of RG6 so I just cut off some and made a new cable when mine showed all 0's on one tuner.
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Arkon
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« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2008, 09:13:09 AM »

Quote from: Zinfan on October 13, 2008, 05:37:22 AM

I get the loss of signal, searching for signal on channel 2 message every once in awhile even if the weather has been good.  I assume if you have called DirecTV they have had you reset your receiver?  If I do that with mine it always manages to pick the signal back up again.

Resetting the receiver does nothing.  Still no signal and going to be 3 more days until they get here to fix it, or at least try to fix it.
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Arkon
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« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2008, 09:15:30 AM »

Quote from: Rich on October 13, 2008, 06:27:14 AM

I did have problems for a while with one dual tuner receiver only working as a single tuner but it turned out the cable I used as an extension when I moved the living room around wasn't good, after I replaced that cable both tuners found all the channels.  So check the cables running from the dish to the receiver and if it is a dual tuner HD receiver make sure both those adapter things you put in line between the cable and the receiver are good.  My dad had a 100' spool of RG6 so I just cut off some and made a new cable when mine showed all 0's on one tuner.

Thanks for the advice Rich.  All the cable is what was installed by D-TV, as well as the adapters.  I don't really have a way to check the converters.
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« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2008, 12:16:59 PM »

I had D-TV but switched to comcast when they offered cable internert access. D-TV, at the time, had better picture quality but I was frustrated with the bad weather = crappy/lost signal. For us it seemed to happen everytime we were watching something we really wanted to be watching.
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« Reply #18 on: October 14, 2008, 06:00:34 AM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 12, 2008, 05:19:40 PM

I've been a DTV subscriber since 2002 and have generally been enormously happy.  I did have the dish knocked out of alignment by a hurricane a few years ago but that was understandable.  No issues on the dish since then.  Only other issue I had was that I was quite pissed when I upgraded HD-DVRs only to find out that the new DVRs didn't have an antenna input for local HD channels.  However they finally turned on local HD channels for my area last week so now I'm a happy camper again.

They didn't offer to install the AM21? It's an add-on OTA tuner that connects to the HD-DVR via the USB port. Works like a champ. I much prefer to watch locals OTA than via the compressed DTV local channels.
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Zero
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« Reply #19 on: October 14, 2008, 03:56:55 PM »

I've had my DTV for a little under a year...the only problem has been the installers.  They suck, plain and simple.  DTV outsourced all installation - and service calls too.  So if you have a technical problem (that you can't fix yourself) you're SOL.  We've had a number of storms that caused some minor problem - one that knocked out service.  But if you know how to get to the "service" menu on your DTV box - you can line up the satellite yourself.  It also doesn't need to be exactly aligned, just good enough to get decent signals.  Just like the other advice here, make sure when you call that you have reached DTV customer service or retention.  Customer service is also partially outsourced, so that might explain the person you spoke to that didn't care.  It sounds like you got a bad installation job.

Also, I've always had cable tv...now after switching to DTV, the picture quality is much better.  I'm not switching back smile
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Rich
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« Reply #20 on: October 14, 2008, 06:22:27 PM »

Quote from: Arkon on October 13, 2008, 09:15:30 AM

Quote from: Rich on October 13, 2008, 06:27:14 AM

I did have problems for a while with one dual tuner receiver only working as a single tuner but it turned out the cable I used as an extension when I moved the living room around wasn't good, after I replaced that cable both tuners found all the channels.  So check the cables running from the dish to the receiver and if it is a dual tuner HD receiver make sure both those adapter things you put in line between the cable and the receiver are good.  My dad had a 100' spool of RG6 so I just cut off some and made a new cable when mine showed all 0's on one tuner.

Thanks for the advice Rich.  All the cable is what was installed by D-TV, as well as the adapters.  I don't really have a way to check the converters.

Flip flop the two adapters on each cable and see if the tuner that doesn't work starts to work and the other one stops.  You can also do this in combination with the 2 inputs.  Try each of the cables combined with each of the adapters on input 1 and then do it also on input 2, it should if nothing else eliminate some possibilities.
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Kevin Grey
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« Reply #21 on: October 14, 2008, 06:31:28 PM »

Quote from: Andrew Mallon on October 14, 2008, 06:00:34 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 12, 2008, 05:19:40 PM

I've been a DTV subscriber since 2002 and have generally been enormously happy.  I did have the dish knocked out of alignment by a hurricane a few years ago but that was understandable.  No issues on the dish since then.  Only other issue I had was that I was quite pissed when I upgraded HD-DVRs only to find out that the new DVRs didn't have an antenna input for local HD channels.  However they finally turned on local HD channels for my area last week so now I'm a happy camper again.

They didn't offer to install the AM21? It's an add-on OTA tuner that connects to the HD-DVR via the USB port. Works like a champ. I much prefer to watch locals OTA than via the compressed DTV local channels.

Nope.  First I've heard of it actually.  Did it exist around Christmas last year?  That's when I got the new DVR installed and all of my research just had lots of people discussing how they could get the older HD-20s that did have OTA tuners.  Had someone mentioned a USB add-on then I would have definitely inquired about it.

I'm pretty happy now though- so far the HD locals via DTV actually look as good as what I was getting via OTA and also seem less prone to break-up during scenes of heavy action. In general, the qualify of their HD picture across the board has jumped dramatically for me in the last few months. 
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Zero
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« Reply #22 on: October 14, 2008, 06:34:43 PM »

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 14, 2008, 06:31:28 PM

Quote from: Andrew Mallon on October 14, 2008, 06:00:34 AM

Quote from: Kevin Grey on October 12, 2008, 05:19:40 PM

I've been a DTV subscriber since 2002 and have generally been enormously happy.  I did have the dish knocked out of alignment by a hurricane a few years ago but that was understandable.  No issues on the dish since then.  Only other issue I had was that I was quite pissed when I upgraded HD-DVRs only to find out that the new DVRs didn't have an antenna input for local HD channels.  However they finally turned on local HD channels for my area last week so now I'm a happy camper again.

They didn't offer to install the AM21? It's an add-on OTA tuner that connects to the HD-DVR via the USB port. Works like a champ. I much prefer to watch locals OTA than via the compressed DTV local channels.

Nope.  First I've heard of it actually.  Did it exist around Christmas last year?  That's when I got the new DVR installed and all of my research just had lots of people discussing how they could get the older HD-20s that did have OTA tuners.  Had someone mentioned a USB add-on then I would have definitely inquired about it.

I'm pretty happy now though- so far the HD locals via DTV actually look as good as what I was getting via OTA and also seem less prone to break-up during scenes of heavy action. In general, the qualify of their HD picture across the board has jumped dramatically for me in the last few months. 

Same here the local channels are definitely better for me, and didn't have to mess with the quality I was getting on OTA signals.
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Arkon
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« Reply #23 on: October 14, 2008, 09:21:57 PM »

Quote from: Rich on October 14, 2008, 06:22:27 PM

Quote from: Arkon on October 13, 2008, 09:15:30 AM

Quote from: Rich on October 13, 2008, 06:27:14 AM

I did have problems for a while with one dual tuner receiver only working as a single tuner but it turned out the cable I used as an extension when I moved the living room around wasn't good, after I replaced that cable both tuners found all the channels.  So check the cables running from the dish to the receiver and if it is a dual tuner HD receiver make sure both those adapter things you put in line between the cable and the receiver are good.  My dad had a 100' spool of RG6 so I just cut off some and made a new cable when mine showed all 0's on one tuner.

Thanks for the advice Rich.  All the cable is what was installed by D-TV, as well as the adapters.  I don't really have a way to check the converters.

Flip flop the two adapters on each cable and see if the tuner that doesn't work starts to work and the other one stops.  You can also do this in combination with the 2 inputs.  Try each of the cables combined with each of the adapters on input 1 and then do it also on input 2, it should if nothing else eliminate some possibilities.

Yeah I have done this and it actually makes no difference.  I get 0 signal strength on both tuner 1 and tuner 2.  In addition it isn't fluctuating, basically 24/7 I am getting nothing but just a few channels.
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« Reply #24 on: October 15, 2008, 04:59:43 PM »

Well the service call just finished, and the diagnosis was that the LMB died.  No clue what exactly the LMB is but after replacing it I now have signal back.  Hopefully this lasts for a while.
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« Reply #25 on: October 15, 2008, 05:19:28 PM »

Quote from: Arkon on October 15, 2008, 04:59:43 PM

Well the service call just finished, and the diagnosis was that the LMB died.  No clue what exactly the LMB is but after replacing it I now have signal back.  Hopefully this lasts for a while.

I think that's the circuit that controls the signal reception - so did they replace the satellite dish or just that part (usually located in a box on that arm that pokes out of the satellite dish)? 
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Arkon
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« Reply #26 on: October 15, 2008, 07:01:30 PM »

Quote from: Zero on October 15, 2008, 05:19:28 PM

Quote from: Arkon on October 15, 2008, 04:59:43 PM

Well the service call just finished, and the diagnosis was that the LMB died.  No clue what exactly the LMB is but after replacing it I now have signal back.  Hopefully this lasts for a while.

I think that's the circuit that controls the signal reception - so did they replace the satellite dish or just that part (usually located in a box on that arm that pokes out of the satellite dish)? 

They just replaced that part, not the whole dish.  The guy said he was amazed it went bad this fast...not a comforting thought.
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« Reply #27 on: October 15, 2008, 11:41:10 PM »

Quote from: Arkon on October 15, 2008, 07:01:30 PM

Quote from: Zero on October 15, 2008, 05:19:28 PM

Quote from: Arkon on October 15, 2008, 04:59:43 PM

Well the service call just finished, and the diagnosis was that the LMB died.  No clue what exactly the LMB is but after replacing it I now have signal back.  Hopefully this lasts for a while.

I think that's the circuit that controls the signal reception - so did they replace the satellite dish or just that part (usually located in a box on that arm that pokes out of the satellite dish)? 

They just replaced that part, not the whole dish.  The guy said he was amazed it went bad this fast...not a comforting thought.

It could have been that it wasn't sealed well, and when weather struck - it killed the circuit board in there.  I don't think that's something that's common to occur smile  Glad that its fixed, enjoy  icon_biggrin
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« Reply #28 on: October 16, 2008, 08:36:08 AM »

On my first dish back when they were still round and not oblong the guy came to upgrade it and asked if I'd been having reception problems, I said I hadn't and he said wait until he got down to show me something.  When he got down he showed me the old dish and one of the LNB's had a big 2" or larger chunk of plastic missing out of it from hail damage and had the innards exposed to the elements, he couldn't believe it had still been working fine.  I may just be blessed by the D*TV gods.
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