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Direct TV / poor quality dvr units

1 United States Review updated:

I have been a Direct TV customer for years. About 6 months ago or so I decided to go with the DVR service(Similar to TiVo). Since that date I have spent many hours of my time troubleshooting the units on the telephone prompt system, troubleshooting over the telephone with technical support personnel, scheduling replacement visits with technicians, meeting with the technician to replace the units, waiting weeks, yes weeks, without TV service for the technician to replace the unit, calling customer service to identify my complaints with no resolution, and I am under a contract for two years of service in which to date has worked properly only 50% of the time. When the units start failing you reset the units a few times a day, thereafter every 15 minutes to the point in which the units will not reset and even lose the ability to turn on and off or select channels or DVR programming. My experience suggests that the DVR units have a bug of some kind that requires investigation by DirectTV. If you are having issues such as this I would ask that you mail letters to the said organizational contact, Ms. Jill LaVigne Vice President of Direct TV, Office of the President, PO BOX 6550, Greenwood Village, CO 80155. I am hoping that if enough of us say we want quality service they will rapidly work on fixing the devices before installing another defective device. Direct TV has lowered the quality of service they in the past had been known for and this is not acceptable.

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Comments

  • Lu
      13th of Dec, 2006
    0 Votes

    I switched to Direct Tv because I wanted to receive programming unavailable with the other provider. I have been unhappy ever since that dreadful decision. The receivers that have come from Direct TV have not worked as promised. I have had to reset, refresh, get new software, and replace each of two receivers in my house and the problems are still not solved. The DVR receivers will stop recording in the middle of shows set to record, a show that lists as having been recorded for viewing is not there, timers set to record a program each week have indiscriminately stopped working properly, the receivers freeze up frequently and have to be rebooted to continue watching TV which causes the loss of parts of other TV shows set to record as it refinds the satellite. Direct TV's solution to my problems are not to allow me as an unhappy customer to quit (without a cancellation fee) using their service, but to provide me with "Brand NEW" receivers that will extend the contract for two years from the date of installation of the new receivers.

  • Ro
      14th of Dec, 2006
    0 Votes

    I agree with the above complaints I have just sent a letter describing my concerns and issues dating back to the beginning of my service. I switched to DirectTV because of there monopoly coverage concerning the football package. I have experience poor customer service, technical support and installation. I have also been mis-lead or lied to on two separate occasions. They are currently trying to charge me $250 for early disconnect for a breech in commitment when there installer refused to install their satellite to my house (didn't feel comfortable drilling holes on side of house, could not mount to slate roof and did not have line of sight in backyard). They informed me that I would not be charged early disconnect (2nd lie). I would also mention that DirectTV sold me a HD receiver that failed under the 30-day warranty window and they refused to replace it. Instead they told me they where going to replace it sent me a new one (and even credit my account) just so I could discover 6-months later that they have been charging me a rental fee, extended my commitment by 1-year (even though I asked not to provide it to me if they where going to do that) and are currently asking me to return the equipment (lie 1). I hope my letter is well received and something is done about the poor quality of service and equipment.

  • Ke
      17th of Jan, 2007
    0 Votes

    I agree with the feedback provided...here's a copy of my complaint I emailed to Jill LaVigne at Directv. No response thus far!

    I have been a direct TV customer for over two years now. Until recently I have been a big fan of your organization. About a week ago I purchased a HD LCD TV at the Best Buy in Frisco, Texas. While there, I was approached by a Direct TV salesperson (sorry but I do not recall the person's name) who convinced me to upgrade my current DirectTV service to HD. He indicated I could be watching the Superbowl in HD. On January 8, 2007 I contacted Direct TV customer service to have them install the HD dish, etc. Well, to my disappointment I was told the earliest available slot was February 9, 2007. To my chagrin I went ahead and accepted that date. My order number is XXXXXX. On January 12, 2007 I contacted customer service again to see if I could push the installation date to Saturday, February 10th. It turns out they never processed my original request submitted on January 8th and now the earliest date is February 12th. I asked to speak with a supervisor who once again told me that there is nothing they could do--the 12th was the earliest date available. I accepted the 12th install date but I asked to speak with a manager to share my frustrations. The manager was unavailable but I was told s/he would call me back within 24 hours. Four days later and no return phone call. Finally, I received a call from customer service on Saturday, January 13th informing me that they had a work order to install a new HD service--they also did not have confirmation of either the February 9th or the 12th install dates...now the next available date would be February 24th. I went back to Best Buy to speak with a Direct TV rep in person. I was told that Direct TV is focused on new business and if I were a new customer I would have my system installed within days not weeks (or in my case months).

    I am very disappointed in the level of support and service I have received of late. I would think that Directv would want to take care of your existing "top" customers. It's treatment like this that led me to leave cable to join your organization. Please, show me that you care about my business and call me to set up a date that is not months away. I can be reached anytime at XXX-XXX-XXXX. I anxiously await your reply.

  • Va
      26th of Jan, 2007
    0 Votes

    After buying a new HDTV, called direct TV to get an HDTV receiver. Waited over two weeks to get a service call. The guy installed a new receiver and told me my tevo dvr wouldn't work with the receiver ,needed to get anew one.Soon as he left couldn't get any picture on either tv The screen just kept breaking up . Called service ,had to wait another week. Second guy said he fixed the problem,WRONG was worse after he left. Called again waited another week . This guy finally fixed the picture. He also said I needed a new dvr. Ok so I called and told the person on the line about my problems with the HDTV. Said they would order one but the soonest I could have service was over a month away. A week before the service,I get a letter telling me there are two types of dvr's.Why didn't the person on the line tell me that when I complained about the HDTV.If you have an HDTV you need an HDDVR. Needless to say I have to wait another month.... I"m soooooo sorry we switched from cable...

  • Jo
      27th of Apr, 2007
    0 Votes

    I have been a direct tv customer for four months. I left dish net work after six years of great service in order to get a minor change in programing, believing that direct tv would be an equitable move, boy was i wrong!!! I have spent hours on the phone with tech support trouble shooting a dvr. I now have my sixth dvr in four months. As direct tv has not upheld their end of the contract i will be seeking all legal means to be released from my two year agreement. My advise to any considering directv is run!!! To dish network. I so regret leaving directv.

  • As
      20th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    I have been a Dish Network customer since 2002, but this is on the verge of changing. Dish charged me $179 for a service and product (the HD DVR), which it refused to provide.

    I set up the installation appointment for Sunday, August 12 between the hours of 8am and 12 pm. The technician arrived around 12:20 pm and refused to install the HD receiver because my HDTV wasn't in place. I explained to him that I just wanted the HD service set up and my HDTV would be coming in later that week. The satellite technician then berated me and told me that in the future Dish would not install until all the TVs were in the proper location as they wanted to avoid having to come back to check their work.

    I explained that I knew someone who had the HD upgrade installed and asked him to go ahead with the installation. Again he refused, told me that I didn't understand his position, and berated again about my failure to be prepared for the Dish upgrade.

    At this point, I asked him to leave my home, but he refused, continued to make calls to his supervisor to complain about my behavior, and then insisted that he needed his clipboard. I asked him to take off his shoes to retrieve the clipboard, which was in my bedroom, but he refused and would not leave until I retrieved his clipboard. You can imagine how upsetting his refusal to leave was as I am five one and he was a much larger man.

    I called Dish Network to complain about his conduct, made it clear that it was unacceptable for me to feel threatened in my own home by a Dish technician, and to complain about the failure to provide services and products that I already paid for. He was not able to tell me the technician's name (the service agreement is for DNS LLC, Long Beach, #054841) and I was told the best they could do was to reschedule the installation with a note that the installer (which he could not identify) should not install the upgrade. In light of the poor customer service I received, I asked the customer representative (JAMES) to have the installers pick up the leased receivers, but he refused to even consider this small concession.

    I cannot understand why Dish is so intent on alienating a long time (and prompt paying) customer with its callous attitude toward complaints regarding physical safety and failure to provide service and products already paid for. At the very least, I am entitled to a written apology, a written assurance that the technician has been properly reprimanded and compensation for Dish's inexcusable conduct .

  • Ri
      9th of Oct, 2007
    0 Votes

    I too, a long time Direct TV customer, am dissatisfied with my service. I was ready to cancel service and then was promised the world twice and finally caved in and upgraded to the new HD service. Boy what a disappointment on so many levels. First, let me say I have the same HDTV as my next door neighbor who has Comcast and my other HDTV is the same as my other neighbor two doors down who has Comcast as well. Their pictures are beautiful, everything you expect from a HD source. Mine looks like crap. I have two HD TVs and both, hooked up to separate Direct TV HD receivers, one a DVR, have pictures that look like crap. I play a regular DVD, it looks fantastic. Looking at a HD program via my HD receiver, looks crappy. Watch a HD football game (keep in mind I am watching a game that is broadcast in HD), the grass looks like a washed out green mottled blotch on the screen. My neighbors looks like an actual picture, where you can distinguish each blade of grass. I have Monster and other HDMI cables. Actually used the Monster cable for the Direct TV receiver and the cheap crappy progressive scan cable is hooked up to my regal DVD player and I get a better picture from this source so I think it fair to assume this is Direct TV.

    Original installation was botched, the guy used the wrong multi switch which apparently fried one of the units. When I called to say my reception sucked they sent a guy out he replaced the multi-switch, didn't touch the antenna and said I was good. Picture still s*cks, called to complain and emailed Direct TV. They called to set up a service call (4 flipping' hour window) so I had to take the day off of work. After the (4) hour window expired, I got a call from the service tech telling me he would be around to see me in 30-40 minutes. I had to leave so I said forget it. I then get an email from Direct TV after another call and email. Keep in mind it usually takes 30 minutes (seriously I timed it) of waiting on the phone to get a person after hearing the same sales pitch on the phone forever. Well the latest I heard from them was via email and it said, "We are sorry about your recent service call, our service tech is on site"... I am not sure what that means as NO ONE EVER SHOWED UP, before or after the appointment. Heard nothing since so I am contacting my attorney service I pay for on a monthly basis for just such crap. I am so disappointed with Direct TV as I was one of their big advocates long ago when we first got it a little over a decade ago I think. Sad that the long term customers are the ones that get ignored and run through the wringer.

    I am stoked I wasted a vacation day, after complaint after complaint with no resolve and a final promise of service. I have written the BBB of Chicago about this. The hardest part is getting the right address to list in the BBB database as there are like 30 of them so for any Direct TV address the complaints look relatively low as they are spread out. I highly recommend to all who post here with a Direct TV Complaint that they use the address provided above so you and I are all consistent and get the complaints to the same person.

    You can write your on-line complaint to the BBB via their website, it simple and fast, so take the time to do this. Ruin their "performance record" they tout on TV and make the masses understand what they are doing to us the paying customers so they get no more business. They need to be held accountable for their actions. The more complaints they get, the worse the BBB will view them. They need to be legitimate complaints, of course.

    Use the address provided "Ms. Jill LaVigne Vice President of Direct TV, Office of the President, PO BOX 6550, Greenwood Village, CO 80155" per the original poster. Note, if you file a complaint, the BBB will send you a letter after they contact Direct TV. As soon as you get the letter, read it and if it is not resolved, send the letter back to the BBB as "unresolved" as they will close the case as fixed if you do not respond. The cost of a stamp to give the pain back to Direct TV (again if they do not fix the problem) is well worth it.

  • Ma
      6th of Nov, 2007
    0 Votes

    I have had a Direct TiVO (Sony SAT-60) for 4+ years and it has been great. It started messing up the picture every once in a while and I figured it was time for a new unit. Since Direct TV severed their connection to TiVO I got a Direct TV DVR. It has been crap since I got it. It locks up when I fast forward or skip ahead, it reboots for no apparent reason and looses the show I was recording at the time. I called tech support and they had me reformat the hard drive, I lost everything I had recorded. It kept messing up so I had them send a replacement unit, again loosing all recordings. It new (refer) unit messes up too. I wish I had my old TiVO back. If I can get out of this stupid contract I am switching to cable and buying a new TiVO.

  • Ms
      10th of Jan, 2008
    0 Votes

    Same problems here. I had Comcast for years but decided to try Direct TV. I WAn't happy with the picture we got so we upgraded to the HD DVR. What a mistake. With all the times the service hasn't worked it probably has added up to weeks without service. They said I verbaly agreed to an extension on my contract when I got the HD unit which I did not. First of all it took me several calls to get smeone who spoke English clear enough to order it and then NO mention of any extension was EVER mentioned. They are simply a company of paid liars. BE smart Do not get Direct TV. you will regret it I assure you.

  • Ka
      12th of Feb, 2008
    0 Votes

    i have tried to call to pay and outstanding bill. this bill was from a divorce of my sons. you have put this bill on his crdit report but it is his x wifes bill. to get this off his report i was willing to pay it but i can not find a person to talk to. they know all the info when come to pay but not when i want to pay outstanding debt. i have talked to five persons all of witch i can not understand. but did not get any answers . all i want to do is find out were i pay this debit. it is to bad you have to go through a lawyer to get info to pay a bill.!!!

  • Mr
      15th of Apr, 2008
    0 Votes

    I was also ripped off by Direct Tv I signed up for one of their programs and was never charged the amount they said I would get the programing for after 3 months I cancelled but after I had paid for a month of service. Almost double what I should have paid. I was told in 6 to 8 weeks i would receive a refund but none came but I did get a bill for 18 cents they said I owed after they deducted some discounts from my money... All they could say was file a despute with them if I didn't agree.

  • Lb
      20th of Apr, 2008
    0 Votes

    I am also having problems with DirectTV and wish I had never left Dish Network and my TIVO. Now I have a service that is far from what I expected and apparently will likely get worse as time passes. I recorded a pay-per-view movie and when I tried to watch it again I was prompted to pay for it again. I selected NO of course since I had already paid for the movie. When I called DirectTV to complain I was told some story that I have not been able to confirm so I believe it is a lie. The customer service rep told me that a new law was passed on April 15, 2008 that required the satelite companies can no longer allow any one to keep a movie they have recorded for future viewing. The rep told me that if you recorded a movie you would only be able to watch it again if it was within the 24 hour period, then the movie would no longer be on the DVR and you would have to pay to see it again. This is where the first lie comes in that I was able to confirm. I had recorded the movie the night before and it was still within the 24 hour time frame and I was not able to watch it again unless I was willing to pay the $4.99 again. I told him the movie had been recorded less than the 24 hours before and I was not able to watch it and all he could say was he was sorry about that. He claimed that if the movie was recorded on the DVR that 24 hours later DirectTV would erase the movie. That is another lie that I was able to confirm because more than 24 hours after recording the movie it was still on the DVR, but we could not watch it without paying for it again. So, we erased it ourselves! I told the customer service rep that we would be getting rid of the service and he asked me if we had a commitment of 1 year or something else. I am glad he reminded me of that because if you stop the service with DirectTV before your commintment is fulfilled they will charge you (according to the customer service rep) $20 per month for the time still left on your contract even though you have stopped the service. So I told him, ok as soon as the contract is up they can take there equipment back. I also told the rep that I would never be renting a movie from them again and I suggest the rest of you do the same. You can get much better movie rental service from Net Flicks and you can watch the movie as many times as you want to.
    I was going to sell the equipment because I cought it, but with all of this and the problems I see others having I would not wish this on anyone else. Who needs it and why would I even want to sell it to someone else when I have not had a good experience with them. The only real reason why I switched to DirectTV is because they are the only ones in my area that offer the "NFL Sunday Ticket" otherwise I would have stayed with Dish Network and my TIVO! I got this sevice before football season was over, but was not even told which channels it was on until long after the season was over. I am being charged $23.99 a month for this season and have not even seen one game to date. I will be going back to Dish even though they do not have "NFL Sunday Ticket", because at least it always worked and they never lied to me!!

    DirectTV is just a big ripoff!! Warning "IF YOU DO NOT HAVE DIRECT TV, DO NOT GET IT" because you will not be happy with it at all, ever.

  • Rr
      1st of May, 2008
    0 Votes

    I changed sat. from Dish to direct. That proves how stupid I am. I never recieved a bill from direct tv. I called and they said one was sent out. I questioned them and found out it was sent to a wrong address. I corrected the address and still no bill. I called them again and was sent to asia by phone to speak to someone I couldn't understand. Good ole American company selling us out to another country to make executive look great?????? at our expense.I was then told that I would receive a bill on 4-18-08. If I didn't, Iwas to let them know. I never got the bill so I let them know. Their next move was to shut down my service. I was with Dish for about three years and never had one problem.

  • Ta
      20th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    On Sunday 8/17/08, I called Direct TV to inquire about service for my new home. The representative I spoke to was Robert at the Texas call center. He told me he needed my credt/debit card info. and social security number to run a credit check. I was hesitant to give both of them, but felt secure at the time that they were a reputable company. I told Robert not to put any charges on my debit account. He said he had to place me on hold and then we would set up an appointment time. Not once did he state ANYTHING about a charge. He hung up on my while I was supposedly placed on hold.
    I called right back and asked for a manager. Spoke to Pat in Miami call center and of course there was NO record of my call. I called back on Monday 8/18/08 and spoke to Tacho an account supervisor who advised me that there was an order number that was canceled from Sunday. However, I called my bank because I had a bad feeling about giving that first representative my debit card number. My bank advised me that there is a charge in the amount of $219.95 on my account from SUNDAY! I NEVER even set up an appointment time, never authorized any amount, NEVER even had an account number. Did NOT agree to even going with Direct TV at this point because I was not told what the monthly rate would be. It is a fraudulant charge and now not even supervisors can credit my account because there in NO account number. They are telling me to fax over my bank statement to them and they will look into it. In the mean time my account is in the negative and I have bills that need to be paid. I finally called the fraud department on the back of my debit card. They are doing a complete investigation on Direct TV. ADVICE to anyone looking for new service---DO NOT EVEN CALL CUSTOMER SERVICE TO INQUIRE ABOUT SERVICES THEY WILL CHARGE YOU BEFORE YOU EVEN AGREE TO SET UP SERVICE and you will be on HOLD for at least an hour each time!!! After 5 hours of being on the phone with them and wasting my cell phone minutes and getting nothing but aggravation. I am in contact with an attorney now and he can deal with them.

  • Ja
      18th of Nov, 2008
    0 Votes

    I had direct tv for about 4 years and i wasn't 100% thrilled with them. i complained because you could litteraly spit on the satellite and my reception would be lost i thought this to actually be amusing until it would rain ever so slightly. i left for school for a year and had it cancelled and had no problems i was actually rather happy with the cancellation i didnt see any charges or nothing. now that was atleast 4 years ago after comming home from school i decided to go back to dtv since cable just seemed to be getting ridiculously expensive so i signed back up and again i was moderately happy. well now here comes what really pissed me off and i would like to know if anyone else has had this problem. i went to best buy and bought 2 or the dvr remote boxes so i could record shows and what not. well when my contract was up i did the bundle thing through my cable company (tv internet phone) and upon cancelling this time dtv told me that i need to send my boxes back to the...uuuuuuhhhhh what i spent $120 each on those things well what best buy and direct tv dont tell you is that even though you bought them from best buy you are actually on leasing the boxes...so you can either get one of thier pos boxes that dont seem to last a month or you can spend a fortune and just turn it back in when you cancel.

  • Be
      1st of May, 2009
    0 Votes

    I am a new Direct TV customer. I got Direct TV due to signing up for the Triple bundle with Verizon. Since signing up 3 months ago, i have had constant problems with my internet & phone line service and had no choice but to cancel my account. Since I got my Direct TV as a bundle I have no choice but to cancel it as well since alone it si too costly. When calling to cancel, I spoke wih Robert in the Texas Call Center. He was very RUDE, not caring about my dificulties at all. He would just repeat, "you dont need to cancel Direct TV, just order internet & ohone with another provider. I explained that it was too costly that way and that I needed to sign up for the triple paly with Comcast to get the best deal. He was only interested in stting that I had to pay the early cancellation fee and did not care if it was Verizon's fault or not. WE would not let me speak to a Supervisor and finally got me one that only spoke spanish!!! After 35 frustrating minutes, I spoke to a guy named Ernesto, which started saying: you must pay the early cancellation fee and not caring about anything else. I do not believe that the cancellation is my fault! I signed up for a package and Verizon did not deliver!! Direct TV technicians have been at myhouse 3 times already!! in the past two months. The representatives like ROBERT # MX1542 are a disgrace to any company. They do not have common sense and should not be working in Customer SErvice. This has been a very dissapointing experience. I am telling everyone I know that thye should NEVER switch over to VErizon or Direct TV, it is not worth the hassle. I am writting to my Congressman explaing this horrible experience. It is in times like this that we should join to help each other and not try to trick you into a package that does not work for you. I am not a technician and would have never imagined that I would be facing all these additional fees and cost for something that is beyond my control. I have asked to contact a Manager and Robert alsways refused without giving me a reason. Is this the Company polciy???? Please avoid this horrible experience by keeping away from these Companies. Robert, I am still waiting for a Manager to contact me. You have my information.

  • Ja
      30th of Jul, 2010
    0 Votes

    Direct TV is a bunch of gangsters. Got their service bundled with Verizon Triple Freedom. It has been a nightmare since Day one. First it was the "bills aren't synchronized, so you are paying more" scam. Then it was "the computer didn't put through the discount" scam. Then it was the "it's Direct TV/it's Verizon's fault" blame game where the customer is bounced like a ping pong ball between the two companies. Now it's the jack the rates even though we had a contract because we still have the $20/month early termination fee hammer over you head.

    Direct TV's customer service is a joke and Verizon by association and guilt is no better with its massive electronic gauntlet to get through to its customer service reps.

    It's a disgusting situation and I would AVOID let alone NOT RECOMMEND doing business with either company.

  • Tr
      12th of Oct, 2010
    0 Votes

    I just got Direct TV three months ago and HATE HATE HATE it!

    Picture this: Bottom of the 10th, Yankees versus Red Sox, Robinson Cano at bat and the damn receiver froze. I had to reboot the receiver and by the time it did all that uploading garbage, the game was over. This has happened regularly since the first week I received their service.

    Direct TV has been out twice. The first technician told me that it was my satellite placement and that my sat would have to be moved ten feet, but HE COULDN'T DO IT because a contractor installed the dish and Direct Tv does NOT guarantee the work of a contractor. He said he'd send out the man who installed the dish. However, a week later someone else came (not the original installer) and this person told me that I had strong signal strength and that the problem was with my electrical outlets and that faulty outlets would cause the receiver to freeze. WTF????? My electrical outlets are fine.

    I HATE direct tv. absolutely hate it so if you are contemplating getting it, DON'T!!!

  • Ja
      10th of Dec, 2010
    0 Votes

    My box has never worked from day one, and all they want is money to fix it, I will not do it. It's a piece of garbage and this company is run by the MOB! Their tech dept is a joke, no help what so ever. I will be signing up with AT&T next month who provide a wonderful TV and they service their equipemt for no charge. They also have the app...and from seeing my neighbors who are all going this route, the equipment is awesome!!!
    I am so angry, Direct TV is the worst business (and I use the term loosly) ever, they make Comcast look like saints!

  • We
      21st of Mar, 2011
    0 Votes

    I too was lied to. It's still a better value than concast, but only w/o the dvr. Their ads tout 6000 movies and shows free on demand for no extra cost. The salesman told me I'd be getting them no problem, as did the tech that installed the 4 boxes. The picture is great, but I did just experience my first signal loss in a light rain(2nd full day of service), so there may be trouble there in the future??. My issue is that even though the salesman and the installer promised me to be able to get the on demand shows w/o the dvr(like concast), their tech support and customer 'service' tell me that this is NOT true. Minor screw up IMO, and easy enough to fix...or so I thought.

    I expected them to just swap out my boxes and get me the service I was promised going. I was even willing to pay the extra $10/month for the service, but they will only replace 1 of my boxes and not all 4. The advert material given at the point of sale clearly states 'no equipment to buy ever', but they want $199.00 for EACH of the other 3 dvr enabled boxes. This is clearly the wrong way to treat a customer. Had the salesman (and the installer mentioned this) not screwed up, I would have been charged nothing but the $6/month rental for each of the extra boxes(same whether dvr or not). I've decided to not pay the extra $10 to get access to what is promised free in both their ads and my sales contract, and I'm not switching my boxes out. I have an old computer(newer harddrive) I use as a dvr, and I have no restrictions on what I can record(or for how long)! It does suck to not get the '6000 movies and shows free at no extra charge', but given that the call center people basically told me that most of the calls they had gotten lately were related to this issue(salesman screw ups), I expect that they will get a class action suit against them, and I can just hop on the bandwagon then rather than waste more of my time trying to get them to do the right thing.

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