Direct TV / catch offers / installation issues
Watch out the latest direct tv offer. The current catch is that you will be locked into 2 year contract where as the advertised rates are only valid for 12 months. The direct tv reps will not tell you this and you will be stuck with either paying more or forced to cancel hdtv service, return the dvr and down grading your channel line up to keep the costs the same. Also do not pay the 21 dollar fee that every new customer needs to pay, you don't have to, just tell them there is no deal unless that fee is waived. The guy who signed me up was "shady".
Now to the installation. If you live in north-west austin, tx or probably anywhere else do not order direct tv directly from direct tv, you will have to deal with the worst installation team in the business. Instead go thru reseller, they use their own installers which hopefully are better.
Well, first of all, the installers do not speak english, they will not show up on time, they are not trained properly and you will have this "manager" calling you several times to check on how to installation is going. Why isn't the manager talking to the installer directly? I have to tell you the managers don't speak good english either or have hard to understand accent. The 2 managers i dealt with were both absolute ###ed folks just reading a script to me. The language they used was totally incompetent and somewhat rude. For example, the manager called twice about 10 minutes apart to ask if i have a local line phone line... This person didn't even know that he already called me and asked the same question.
I get a call from some one at 9am, i can barely hear words "direct tv". This was the installer, i spent about 5 minutes on the phone asking him to say "yes" or "no" when i repeat back to him what i think i heard him to say. Finally i figure out that he will be at my house at 10.30am... Well soon after i get another call from a person who introduces himself as the installation manager. This person speaks with a heavy indian accent is hard to understand as well (But better, yeah!). He called to tell me that he will be supervising the installation and that i can call him if anything goes wrong. He was reading a script for me... Odd i thought, managers usually don't read scripts and you wouldn't hire a manager that cannot communicate properly.
Around 11.15am the manager calls me again asking if the installer had arrived... I am annoyed by him, don't you know where your installer is? Why do you call me? I told him he has not arrived and that the time is running out... And i need him to show up now! He tells me to call back if the installer hasn't arrived by 1pm... I tell him the installation needs to be done by 1pm at the latest, i need to go to work! Hi tells me he will check where the installer is... He never calls back.
Well time goes by the installation time line is from 8am to 12pm... I hit the lunch after 12 thinking the installer didn't make it. While i am eating the installer calls me at 12.35pm that he will at the house in 5 min... Well, i told him he is late and it is not 10.30am as he told me when he called me in the morning and that i have to go to work now and i have wasted entire morning waiting on him for no reason. He asked to call back when i have checked my calendar to reschedule... I told him i am not calling you back, i am calling your manager... (I was thinking that will do something... So was i wrong!)
At 7pm after i get home i call the manager, he answers the phone just by saying "hello"... I can hear other people on the back ground "hanging out". There is bad noise on the line so i tell him i will call him again, may be we will get a better line. The second time i call he answers with his name and adds direct tv at the end of his greeting. I complain to him that his installer was late and i need to reschedule. I wait several minutes on the phone while he boots up a computer and gets online.. He tells me my installation has been rescheduled on the next day. I tell him that will not work for me... He tells me he cannot reschedule it and instructs me to call the 1800 number...
Reschedule with the corporate
Professional people (Finally), bad english is gone and i get my re-installation rescheduled in no time. I complain about my experience and dealing with the incompetent local installers and about this completely clueless guy "acting" as a installation manager. I still don't know what his role is suppose to be? It cannot be just to call the customers to annoy them... Well i requested an installer that speaks english so that we can coordinate on the installation time a bit better. The reps notes my account with this.
I get a call early at 8am, the installer tells me that he will be at my house in 3o minutes. The installer arrives on time this time. This installer speaks even worse english than the first one and i am struggling to follow him..
After a few minutes the installer tells me that he needs to install 3 wires that go thru the attic each costing $50. I am thinking there goes the "free installation" (My house is as standard as typical cookie cutter home in the suburb, absolutely nothing special in this house). I couldn't understand what the reason for extra charge exactly is - i didn't care - i knew i am canceling the installation now. I told the installer i don't want to proceed with the install and that the fee was ridiculous.
The installer leaves but calls me an hour later and tells me that he only needs to install one wire and that is going to free, but i have to schedule a third installation... I tell him that will never happen...
Second call to the corporate
Again once i get back home from work i call direct tv and complain about the second installation ending in a worse disaster than the first one. I also complain about the totally incompetent installers, problem of communicating with the installer and the manager, the catch in the offer, $150 wire install fee which an hour later is no longer necessary and free, i need to schedule 3rd installation, the fact i've taken full day off from work and installation is still not done along other things... I got offered another extra $10 dollars off a month... I was so exhausted from the experience and just wanted to cancel the whole deal. I couldn't take another hours dealing with the installers.
The direct tv corporate installers are the biggest joke i have come across with any company this far in my life! It is apparent that direct tv is out sourcing the installation to some totally incompetent local company which again uses probably illegal immigrants for the job. Non of the people are trained properly, have serious problems communicating in english and i guaranteed that you will be disappointed dealing with them. Warning, if direct tv is managing the installers on their own, this could be a country wide phenomenon!!! And i can only guess what kind damage can be done to your house if you let these folks to do the installation that involves letting these people to the attic to drill holes and route cables.
Before even calling direct tv, check your local cable provider, you will probably get no contract no hidden fee deal that you can cancel at any time. Time warner (My local provider) doesn't match the hd channel line up and is pricier. I am going out with u-verse from at&t as soon as it becomes available in my area.
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