My wife & I were happy
Dish TV satellite customers for about 3 years when we received one of many
offers from DIRECTV to change our provider at lower monthly cost. We made at
least 4 separate phone inquiries about the quality of service, availability of
local & some other channels, and various other questions. All customer
service persons assured us DIRECTV had all kinks worked out, specifically local
station reception/transmission problems, prices quoted were guaranteed for 24
months and we would be 'locked in'
for 24 months. In addition, if we wanted to cancel service prior to the 24
months we would have to pay an 'early cancellation fee' of $480.00 prorated
over 24 months. The man who installed the system also said 'all bugs were
solved' (or to that effect. He also explained we were 'locked in' for 24
months. He also showed us on the contract PRIOR to us signing that Genie HD
DVR or any HD DVR, you agree to pay a monthly Advanced Receiver fee ($20,00).
This is exactly as it appears on the contract we have in our possession. As we
were informed on our calls, he stated AFTER the 24 months prices would probably
As I had just started a P/T minimum wage job after being unemployed over 2 years & my wife not working, this lower total cost helped solve some problems.
We had problems with reception
from the first day. As the installer had given us his cell phone number to call
him if any problems, I did. (He said he lived only a mile from us & would
be right down if we needed him.) After several phone calls over 2, maybe 3
days, I called the main DIRECTV number. A repair man was sent out. He checked a
few things & said we should be ok. I believe we were told then that our
problems were 'Known software issues being worked on'. We wanted the Genie
replaced & he said he couldn't.
We continued to have problems.
We continued to call DIRECTV & were being told 'known software issues' with no date
available of when would all the issues be resolved. Over the course of the next
few months, we continued to experience numerous
problems, with some being resolved & some new ones cropping up.
We were told thru many, many phone calls that 'known software issues' &
when one issue is resolved, new problems are created. We were told we could not
cancel service or be charged the $20.00 per month 'cancellation fee' which we
consider PUNITIVE DISCENTIVES. We are/were furious. Remember, we had a well
liked wonderful system with DISH TV & extremely sorry we changed systems to
DIRECTV! Most, if not all, calls to DIRECTV the tech had us 'reset' the Genie
box. This takes at least 5- 10 minutes & screws up anything you are
watching &/or recording on both TV's. Tech usually wants you to do
it at least twice per call. In addition, we have had to reset the Genie many,
many other times too. We have lost, been interrupted, etc. numerous programs
due to this & other problems & the price is going up!! We were
offered & took a $10.00 credit early in the phone calls.
Following is a partial list of problems encountered:
-Called again with NO
TV SERVICE AT ALL Friday Dec, 21st (6 days after
having new service installed) & told no tech could come until 12/23 at
-No TV service on 2nd
TV 12/24 & 12/25 after a service call.
-No TV service on main TV
12/26. Screen said 'Sorry, we are aware of problem, no need to call' (Picture
of screen was taken & is available on request.)
-Screen often goes black for
up to 10 minutes, most only a few seconds or less.
-Take show you are watching
off of pause & no sound for up to 10 seconds or more. Then you need to
'rewind' to catch what you missed.
-Pixel distortion entirely too often.
-12/29 had a lot of sound problems.
-Getting message 'unstable signal' & then 'no signal' on a clear sunny day.
-Unable to access any
programs in morning without resetting the Genie (This shuts off all programs to
the other TV that is in use at the time too.)
-Many movies recorded were only partially recorded do to Genie trouble & useless.
-Could only 'pause' show for 5-10 seconds before automatically starting to play again.
-Even replacing the batteries in both remotes several times, remote would not function at all. Both remotes would work on one TV but neither on the other TV> (We were told 'new software issue'). This went on for at least a week, probably more. Even to the point of not being able to watch any
program at all if you just watched a recorded movie/show. You had to wait until the next day to be able to watch any TV programs.
-On 3rd or 4th tech visit (March 8th) found Genie was 'wired up backwards'. Resulting in a 26 volt feed back to the satellite dish. This did not solve all issues.
-Same area of picture had a small section of pixels black for quite a while. (Months)
-The program 'info' display would not change as you surfed/watched various channels. Each channel had the wrong program name & description.
-Both TVs freezing throughout one day until you reset the Genie every time. From the morning all thru the night.
-TV tells you to change channel due to maximum live & recorded shows being reached when it WAS NOT! (Under 4 total combinations)
-Kept getting 'Get the most of HD TV' message when we do NOT have HD TV's. This took up about a third of your TV screen.
-My wife called 3/12 to report a local channel problem (as instructed by our 'advanced tech' when problem occurring) & person acted like 'why you calling?'
-Almost immediately after the above phone call main TV picture froze with an image of a laptop computer on the screen (picture taken & available). Another call to DIRECTV. Apparently picture was hacked somehow & eventually resolved.
-3/14 called DIRECTV to have free HBO, Cinemax, Starz canceled at end of 'free' term. Tech disconnected it immediately. Considering how many hours of lost, interrupted, unavailable,
partial recordings, etc. due to Genie problems, you think he would have
extended the free service, not cut it off immediately!!
-3/20- advanced tech called us
to advise new software was downloaded & problems should be over. Surprise,
surprise- I was watching a 2 hour plus movie & tried to 'rewind' to an
earlier point. I could not go back more than 10 minutes. Green bar at bottom of
screen when 'pause' button engaged showed only the 10 minutes available even
though I watched over an hour from the beginning. This went on for a couple days or so.
-3/21- remote does not respond again. (Actually the Genie- both remotes work on TV #2, neither on TV #1)
-3/21 Remotes are doing whatever they want. Push a button & it does something else. Both wacky.
Advanced tech found additional problem. Spoke to 4 different techs that day on just 1 phone call! I've spent well OVER 20 hours (maybe 30?) on phone total by now since getting DIRECTV.
-Auto record is/was not recording movies or shows even when we verify the little red 'recording' icon shows on 'guide'.
-When you use the 'pause' option, TV freezes until you reset system. Of course the show is now missing a large chunk of the program you were watching.
On 3/30, an 'advanced tech'came for a service call, checked system, verified all download updates were
installed, he replaced a ground block, checked connections, checked wires, etc.
& could not find any problem. I showed him many pictures I had taken of
various problems that I stored on my computer. We asked again to have Genie box
replaced & was told it (the Genie) wasn't a problem & it would not be
replaced. He announced he couldn't do anything else. As I was signing the
service slip He saw we lost the picture for about 10 seconds & the
sound for about 30 seconds on our TV when he was watching it!!! while
I signed. He had to call in to DIRECTV & after 15-20 minutes he changed out
our GENIE box after consulting with his main office. We had 98% of the
available storage used on this GENIE by now in NON HD recordings.
We had the tech verify this. About 775 hours or more. Many of these were
movies recorded on our FREE HBO, etc. programming we were going to watch over
the next year or so, meter them out so to speak. Including Christmas
movies/shows, stuff only available on non-regular TV channels, etc. Now
it turns out the free HBO, Cinemax, Starz that was a big factor in changing to
DIRECTV has now evaporated! Had this (the Genie) been replaced in December,
when we first asked, it would not be such a huge problem/disappointment. Think
of how many, many numerous hours were spent to review the guide, set series to
record, program manager, etc., etc. that we wasted due to a very defective
'Genie System' & Genie to record these hours of movies. We even had the
tech tell us when he first showed up this day that we shouldnt have this many
hours recorded as it slows it down, etc. WHAT?? This is what DIRECTV sold us
on! This has resolved almost all problems. The few remaining items are no worse
than DISH TV had.
Our non HD TV had been a little blurry &the picture incomplete (about 15-20% of
the picture was not on the screen, the sides were cut off). This was verified
by last advanced tech. He spent about 15-20 minutes playing with the Genie AND our TV settings, etc. to try to get the full picture. He failed to improve it. After the Genie was replaced we immediately
had the full screen! Just think, after OVER 3 MONTHS, we finally get a decent picture!!
My wife & I both feel like we were used to test the Genie system but instead of being compensated for it, (which we did/do not expect) DIRECTV actually raised the monthly fee on the
Genie box $5.00 & $2.00 program fee per month (with $2.00 credited until
Nov. 2013) while we were still experience numerous problems a couple of months
after the increase, & many hours of lost programs & our time spent on
phone with tech's & in tech's visiting our house. The last visit took over
2 hours. Keep in mind we just changed service to DIRECTV Dec. 15, 2012 & our 2nd statement (Feb. 2013 statement) reflected the $5.00 Genie increase with a $5.00 per month credit for only 4 months.
The 'case manager advance tech' 'Ralph' at DIRECTV, did ask after the last tech visit what he could do to satisfy us for ll the trouble. He went on to say 'obvious he couldn't give us the free HBO,
etc., as the original agreement, etc. I asked him specifically several times we wanted the original promises of no price increase as stated by several customer service reps on several calls back in Dec. He kept stating he could not honor this as contract does state DIRECTV can increase the price at any time.
Kind of funny we can't break the contract without punitive fees being assed, but DIRECTV can do whatever they want. I was assured by one tech on a phone call that we were mailed an advanced letter of a fee increase 'last year'. WHAT? We just started last year. DIRECTV knew they would increase their fees prior to us signing up with no mention in any of their mailed advertisements which I still have in my
possession. Extremely deceitful at the least!
In addition, although this is NOT in any of DIRECTVs ad prices, etc. we have an additional mandatory $3.00 sports package. I HATE SPORTS OF EVERY TYPE!!
Why should I have to pay this additional charge? DIRECTV states it is so people who want the package
can have it at a reasonable price if the cost is split with everyone. This
should be included in their advertised price as it is mandatory & should be
optional!! Let those who want it pay for it!
We continue to have some
problems & still have to reset Genie along with phone calls to DIRECTV, but
most problems have been eliminated & re-setting the Genie box corrects
current problems. Pixies will go nuts on any/all channels on live TV only. If you hit the rewind button
& watch the same screwed segment, picture is 100% fine. DIRECTV wants you to
check again for trees, branches, clouds, etc. There are none on a sunny day
& no trees in area, & the DIRECTV test has us above average reception
signal strength EVERY TIME! This has ONLY happened since our Genie was replaced.
I have even filed a complaint
via CONTACT US, on the DIRECTV site:
Response Via Email(David C (ID
U5621)) - 03/25/2013 10:43 AM
Dear Mr. ?,
Thanks for writing us back and
we appreciate your feedback. I understand your concerns regarding the recent
increase in the amount of your bill as well as the technical problems that you
have experienced with your service. I'm very surprised to hear of these
problems that you have experienced, as I have my own DIRECTV System installed
in my home and I have found our equipment to be highly reliable year round. At
DIRECTV, we take pride in the level of service that we provide to our
customers, and we take steps to ensure that your billing is accurate and timely
while keeping your monthly programming costs as low as possible. For this
reason I will be happy to assist you today, and we certainly don't want you to
consider a change in your service provider.
In response to your concern, I
have reviewed your account and I have verified that the information provided in
our previous contacts is accurate and correct.
Because you received DIRECTV
equipment at a discounted price, you agreed to subscribe to up to 24
consecutive months of DIRECTV programming. This agreement does not guarantee
that pricing and programming will not change. You will continue to receive your
eligible monthly discount credits based on the offer you accepted when you
ordered service with us. For more information on programming agreements, please
visit our website at www.directv.com/agreements.
Regarding the technical
problems that you have been experiencing with your service, I see that your
Case Manager has been in contact with you at your number of (607) 776-1480
regarding this matter. You are important to us, and we certainly want to
resolve the problems you have been experiencing with your service as soon as
possible. This is important to ensure that your request reaches the right
person and to resolve this for you as quickly as possible, and your Case
Manager is a highly trained professional service technician who will ensure
that your service is resolved to your satisfaction. For immediate assistance,
we've set up a special phone line with a PIN number that you can use to reach
your Case Manager directly. Please call us at 800-442-1635 daily. When the system
asks for a
f you are considering a change
in your service provider, the best way to handle an issue like this further is
for us to speak with you as we are unable to disconnect accounts via email. You
are important to us and we certainly want to keep you as a customer. We've set
up a special phone line with a PIN number that you can use to reach our team
directly. Please call us at 800-824-9081 between 8:00 AM and 1:00 AM ET daily.
When the system asks for a Personal ID Number (PIN), enter this same 1559
number mentioned above (this PIN is good for five days). This is important to
ensure that your request is processed in one contact by the appropriate person
(not being transferred) at your convenience.
I understand this has been a
difficult situation, Mr. Brockson. We do appreciate you bringing this matter to
our attention, and thanks again for taking the time to write to us.
David C (ID U5621)
DIRECTV Resolution Specialist
P.S. Have a question? Anytime,
any topic, instant answers - support.directv.com The Answer Center provides you
helpful information, 24/7, all at your fingertips.
Customer By Email (James
) - 03/25/2013 06:01 AM
WE can NOT downsize our
packages you suggested to save money as we had agreed to a 2 year 'locked in'
price guarantee' on our program. WE were told Genie would be $10.00 per month for 12 months & $20.
for the next 12 months. AS you
state below it ha/will increase PRIOR to the 2 years, or about only 5 months
into our 'deal'. You lied & deceived us.
Additionally, you choose to
ignore completely the fact that we still have a host of problems that interrupt
or prevent us from using/enjoying our programming. And yet you INCREASE our
iT'S NOT SURPRISING WHEN WE
WANTED TO BREAK THE CONTRACT TO GO BACK TO DISH TV WHERE WE HAD NO PROBLEMS
& A GREAT SERVICE YOU WANTED US TO PAY &20.00 PER MONTH PER OUR
AGREEMENT WITH YOU, BUT YOU CAN VIOLATE THE SAME CONTRACT & RAISE OUR
PRICES IN SPITE OF THAT BEING A MAJOR FACTOR IN US CHANGING OUR SERVICE. We
originally wanted the conventional receiver at $8.00 /month as we do NOT have a
HD tv. We were told you will not inatall it in our area. In addition we were
never told that with non HD tv's we would have a slightly distorted picture as
confirmed since by our seeing the lower quality pic then with DISH TV & per
your at home techs & via over the phone techs.
> Date: Sun, 24 Mar 2013
> Subject: Price Increase
[Reference #: 130324-002937]
Response Via Email(Ashley B (ID
X3244)) - 03/24/2013 08:47 PM
Dear Mr. ,
Thank you for writing us and
asking about our pricing. It's never an easy decision to raise prices but we
believe that it is necessary due to the increasing costs we pay to carry the
channels you see. For several years programming costs have steadily outpaced
the average increase our customers have seen on their bills.
Despite the price increase
DIRECTV service continues to be an outstanding value. While our prices have
changed we have continued to invest in new programming and innovative services
in order to provide you the best possible entertainment experience. We assure
you that we will continue to invest in the quality of your viewing experience
by bringing you more new features and more new programming.
Your base package XTRA
increased to $70.99 along with Advanced Receiver DVR Service, which is now
$10.00 and the Regional Sports Fee of $3.00. Mr. Brockson, while I know you
want to get your moneys worth, one option we may suggest would be to right
size your package. It is possible there are channels included in your package
that you are not taking advantage of or not wanting. We may be able to lower
your package to one that best suits you.
Regarding your price guarantee,
please know when you signed up as part of your introductory offer you are
eligible for monthly rebates. Even though there has been an increase we are
guaranteeing that you will receive the price you agreed upon when signing up.
Therefore on your bill you will see a credit of $2.00 off for 10 months towards
your XTRA package and $5.00 off for 4 months your Advanced Receiver
Mr. Brockson, I apologize for
any misinformation on our part with explaining the bill and amount due. For
your convenience I have attached a copy of your order confirmation letter,
which states the rebate length. To access this file you'll need to have a .pdf
reader. You can download one free from Adobe athttp://www.adobe.com/. Please let us know if you are
unable to view the price information after installing Adobe Reader.
Please remember you can access
your account online at directv.com anytime. If you need further assistance
please call us at 1-800-531-5000 and one of our highly trained representatives
are available to help. Or if you would respond to this email with a good phone
number and time to call you and we would be happy to get in contact with
Thanks again for writing.
Ashley B (ID X3244)
DIRECTV Resolution Specialist
P.S. Have a question? Anytime,
any topic, instant answers - support.directv.com The Answer Center provides you
helpful information, 24/7, all at your fingertips.
Customer By Web Form (James
) - 03/24/2013 07:04 PM
You switched from Dish TV after
several (4) calls to your company with all 4 agents assuring us of a 24 month
price guarantee 12/12. We had had nothing but numerous different problems with
Genie 'known software issues', numerous interrupted shows/movies, etc. remote
freezing very often, etc. & we had our base price going up $2.00 &
Genie going up $5.00/month & still have the problems. We were lied to &
told 24 month price guarantee
WHY?? You should be paying US
for our extreme frustrations, missed programs, & many, many hours of
resetting Genie & on the 30 -40 phone calls about our problems.