I am having similar issues. I canceled my service with them after approx 6.5 years last May, simply because I thought my husband and I would be heading to divorce court so I decided to cut out every bill I had that was not necessary. I could keep the dish or the internet and I felt the internet was needed more, especially since the kids to get a lot of assignments they have to research online at home.
A week later, my DH and I reconciled. A few days later, he called them and signed up for a 1 year 12 month commitment in exchanged for DVR's. We had 2 of them. The first one lasted less than 6 months. When he called them, they told him they would send a new one out. He was NOT informed that by doing so, we were agreeing to a 2 year contract with them.
The middle of March, our other DVR died. We get a new one and out of the box, it's faulty. We tried over the course of a month to get the DVR to work. My DH made 4 phone calls and I made 6. Two of those calls I was hung up on, one time it was a supervisor.
If I had the money, I would cancel and go to cable. We already get our phone and internet modem from them, so it'd be cheaper to do so and we thought we'd make that change in May '08 when our original contract was up. But now they are saying it's 23 months and if they send out another receiver, when we activate it, our 24 month contract starts all over again.
I had the DVR receivers. November of '08, we'll have been with DirecTV for 8 years, minus the 1.5 weeks we didn't have servie due to us canceling it. I can not believe this is how they treat their customers, especially long time customers.
My DH doesn't want to change service providers because he really enjoys the NFL ticket program. I am at the point I am done dealing with them and their BS. The day we activated our last DVR, it didn't work that day and that day, they should have sent a new one out. Instead, the CSR told him that was the best he could do for him and wait a few hours to see if it started working out.
I believe I spent over 10 hours on the phone with them trying different things to get the DVR to work and my DH spent close to 4 hours. Several times I asked for a new receiver because this one obviously had problems. One CSR told me it sounded like we had a bad receiver, but unfortunately, their systems were down so she couldn't help and advised me to call back in an hour. It was already 11:30 pm at night and I have to get up at 5:30 am, so I called back at my soonest opportunity, 3 nights later, only to get the most arrogant CSR that hung up on me simply because I refused to unplug my DVR from my power strip and try it directly into an outlet. I refused because my DH had already done that the day it was activated 2 times and it did not help.
I would also like to add, prior to getting the DVR's, we had the same receivers for almost 6 years and not one time did those receivers go bad. But we switch to the DRV's and one made it 6 months, the other 10 months, but to get a new one, you either exchange it with them and that restarts your contract to 24 months again, or you go to a local stre that sells their equipment and pay full price for the DVR. Since the first one only lasted months and the 2nd one only lasted 10 months, there is no way in hell I am paying for one outright.
I thought when you leased equipment, if it went bad, the company exchanged it for free, no cost to you. This company has rewritten what leasing means. With sprint our insured phones are replaced without cost. With our cable company, our modem was replaced for free and they gave us a month free service for our inconvenience.
I am asking for a copy of the contract we supposedly signed that states when we activate a new box, we are renewing our contract for another 24 months. and I am contacting my state's attorney general's office about this. If nothing else, I'll file in small claim court and try to recoup my loss.
I would encourage everyone who considers going to this company, if you do, don't agree to any contract at all, even if you have to pay for an installation fee. You don't have to have them install the stuff, it's easy enough to do.