Friday, May 9, 2008

Rant against DirecTV

I will make this as short as possible.

In late March we signed up to switch from cable tv, cable internet, and digital phone to Verizon phone (land line), Verizon DSL, and DirecTV. The monthly savings were significant (>$65 a month). We knew the internet would be somewhat slower, but that seemed okay.

It's been a nightmare.

First the internet connection crawled. We weren't getting the 1.5 Mb promised. In fact, at one point we were getting less than a third of that. Will finally got that fixed (hour-long service call later, after I'd already spent an hour earlier in the week). (Head's up: 1.5 Mb isn't fast enough for 8 computers, especially when you have several teens downloading games and videos.)

But the frustration over slow internet is nothing compared to what we've been through with DirecTV.

Short version:
April 8th- satellite installed, good signal. Signed the contract.
April 20th (or there about)- signal starts breaking up....losing channels.
May 1st (or there about)- no signal on any local channel. Almost all channels have deficient quality and pixilation problems.
May 9th- Technician comes out and says we have "no line of sight" since the leaves have come out on the trees. (Are you getting this??) He may be able to get a line of sight if we agree to put it right smack on the front of our house, but he can't promise how long that will last since the signal would barely be making it over the tops of two sweet gums in our back yard. If they grow any, the signal would be lost. Plus, it would be on the FRONT of my house.
May 9th- a few minutes after the tech left- called DirecTV with this information, asking to cancel service since we have no lone of sight. But guess what? If we "break" the contract we signed, we have to pay them $480. Even if their technician is the one who screwed up and placed the satellite pointing through bare trees that got their leaves two weeks later. Since there was a line of sight when the dish was installed, the contract is valid. We lose $480.

Keeping the dish is no option, since we aren't getting service. We'd do better with an antennae.

I am ashamed to admit I totally lost it with the service rep on the phone. I was screaming at him. He hung up on me.(He was being an arrogant jerk, but.....) I called back and talked more calmly to another rep. She said she'd "appeal" the action with the "back office." We should hear in about two weeks what they decide.

I call it fraud. BTW- the tech that was here today said he's going on all kinds of calls in the past few weeks moving dishes for people who had their dishes installed in the winter when there were no trees. If your are out of warranty, the service call is $80. DirecTV is making money by duping ignorant customers.


Kansas Bob said...

What a sad story.. at&t is coming to ur neighborhood soon with their uverse product.. after reading this not sure if I want to switch from cable.

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