Friday, August 27, 2010
Fraud, thy name is Direct Tv
Eight years ago we were customers of Direct Tv. DVR, and the ability to pause live television, is what brought that relationship to an end. Dish Network was offering it for 'free' and Direct Tv wouldn't match the deal. My husband threatened to leave and Direct Tv said, "See ya" and he vowed never to entertain the thought of that company again.
Fast forward to June 2010. We were basically happy customers with Dish Network. Honestly, it's too expensive for what you're getting, but aren't they all? We were happy owners of a system that would tape all of our shows whether we remembered or not and we could pause live television at any given moment to go to the kitchen and get a snack. The American dream, am I right? This time the issue was 'The Big Ten Network.' (Dramatic music here...duh duh duh!)
Direct Tv knew exactly what they were doing when they sent my husband a flier promising 'free' High Definition for life and his beloved 'Big Ten Network' all for $29.99 a month. Here's what I know: #1. We don't have a high definition television and #2. The Big Ten Network is responsible for stealing my husband's attention for all of Fall and most of Winter. But I'm a sucker for saving money so I reluctantly agreed.
June 11th Tech #1 came out for the initial installation. He talked on his cell phone the majority of the four hours he was here and left several of his tools lying around our yard and on our roof. Quite the professional that one was. And I should mention that five minutes after he left, we lost all satellite service and internet. I received a follow up 'customer service' phone call to see if we were pleased, but since he was calling from India, I couldn't understand a word he was saying. Where's the "Press 2 for English" option when you need it?
Enter Tech #2 on June 14th. He got our internet back up. Score. Spent the better part of the hour he was here bad mouthing Tech #1 and his unprofessionalism. Accurate but that in itself is unprofessional. But when he left, our satellite was on and we were happy. Until the next day when the wind had the nerve to blow and we lost our signal yet again.
Tech #3 didn't show up when he was supposed to and several days after that, Tech #2 returned full of apologies, fixed the problem and assured me that it was 'his mistake.' (Dude, I didn't think it was mine.) Unfortunately, that darn wind blew again and 'his mistake' returned.
By this time we were beyond furious when Tech #4 arrived but he fixed us up and all was well a mere month after this process started. (You know it's bad when the air conditioner repairman shows up and our 3 year old says, "Hi Direct Tv man.")
We weren't happy with many of the differences with Dish Network, but we thought for the money saved we could manage to survive our two year contract. Until we received our first bill. Instead of the $29.99 we were expecting, it was for a whopping $66. Upon further inspection my husband noticed all of the hidden charges, one of which was a $10 fee for that HD tv that was supposed to be 'free for life' and that we don't even need. My husband called 'customer service' (I use that term lightly) and went round and round until he reached a manager named Billy. Here's what Billy had to say...We (as the customer) should have known that HD tv only stays 'free' if you set up an account to pay on-line within 30 days of installation. Our 30 days is passed so our only other option is to replace our HD server with a regular server...for a fee, of course. Basically, according to Billy, we're sh** out of luck. I saw that infamous shift in my gentle husband's eyes and through gritted teeth he called Billy out on the scam. Billy hung up on my husband. (Bad move.) My husband called Billy back. Billy claimed that the connection was lost and that his phone doesn't make out-going calls. (He must have gotten his phone service through Direct Tv.) My husband, with eyes still shifted, calmly and frighteningly said, "Well then it's gonna suck for you when I come down there to kick your a** and you wish you could dial 911."
That was the end of the conversation with Billy and I can only assume that Billy from India, has already reported my husband to the proper authorities and our phone may or may not be tapped. As for Direct Tv, our only other course of action is to contact their corporate offices, which can't be reached by phone, so you have to send an email. (Apparently the phones at corporate can't receive calls. What's up with the phones in India?)
My fuming husband informed me that we'll be sending their equipment back...right after football season. (That topic is still under discussion.) In the meantime, we're stuck with a $66 dollar a month signal from this fraud of a company.
Well, I have a signal of my own for Direct Tv...and mine really is free for life...