More Ways DirecTV Screws Their Customers

I’ve been screwed before by DirecTV.

Seems that the satellite TV mega-corporation just continues to want to find ways to screw over its customers, evidenced by my most recent experience…which I would like to outline here in an effort to make others aware.

Here’s the Cliff Notes’ Version:

  1. HDTV is becoming commonplace so Pauly D buys an HDTV Tivo receiver for DirecTV. It costs him $399.
  2. One day DirecTV tells Pauly D that they are going to be rolling out tons of new HD channels, but unfortunately that means that his current HDTV receiver isn’t prepped to receive them. Pauly D is going to have to buy a NEW one, which he can pay $99 for. The other receiver he has, he can hook up to his other HDTV (which had been a basic receiver) and at least get the HD channels he’s had so far.
  3. One day, the older HDTV receiver doesn’t get any HD channels. DirecTV tells Pauly D, he should have read it on the website, but that HD receiver no longer gets HD channels. Let me repeat that: my HIGH DEFINITION TIVO for DIRECTV no longer gets HIGH DEFINITION CHANNELS. He can buy a new sparkling nice HD receiver for $199 if he wants to get HD channels on his HDTV.
  4. Oh, and by the way — the $199 you pay (whether you pay DirecTV or buy it at Best Buy) doesn’t mean you own the HD receiver. It’s just a “lease fee.” And you also have to sign up for two years, and if you end before those two years, you’ll also have to pay $480 in early termination fees. Oh, and you also have to pay $5.99 a month for an extra receiver. Oh, and f*ck you.
  5. I complain. I ask for the manager’s manager in customer service. She tells me before she transfers me that he’s not going to give me anything more and that I should have just given up. When the new guy comes on, the main floor manager at DirecTV customer service, he tells me the same thing, then I get his badge number for future reference.
  6. The next morning all my HDTV channels, on every receiver are gone. DirecTV tells me on my TV that I am not authorized for any HD channel.
  7. I call DirecTV, seems someone mysteriously removed all the HD access from my receivers the night before. They reactivate them, but I smell a rat.
  8. I have no recourse. Screwed again.

Catching Another India-Based Technical Assistance Representative In A Lie

Me: “What’s your name?”

Him: [In Indian Accent] “Rick.”

Me: “Rick…what?”

Him: “Rick P. I cannot give out more information than that.”

Me: “And you’re based where…?”

Him: [In an Indian accent nowhere near resembling any accent from Texas] “Dallas, Texas.”

Me: “What kind of things do you do for fun in Dallas, Texas…Rick?”

Him: “I like cowboys.”

Me: “So, what — you go to the rodeo?”

Him: “I’m sorry, what?”

Me: “You said you liked cowboys.”

Him: “Yes, very much.”

Me: “I asked if you liked rodeos.”

Him: “I like cowboys.”

Me: “And you do cowboys for fun in Dallas, Texas?”

Him: “Exactly.”

Today’s Actual Fully-Real Conversation with Earthlink Technical Support

Them: Hello, welcome to Earthlink technical support, how may I help you?

Me: Hi, I’m having trouble with my DSL. It was just installed last week and is very very very slow. I’m getting about the same speed on my DSL as a dial-up modem.

Them: Let’s take care of this right away. What’s your name?

Me: Paul Davidson.

Them: Great, Paul. We’re going to take care of this right away and get you all set up perfectly. Do you have your four digit code for the account?

Me: ****

Them: Wonderful, Paul. That’s great. This problem will be wrapped up in no time. What’s your e-mail address??

Me: paulseth at earthlink dot net.