The complainer is telling the truth!! I'm a new DirecTV customer and the ONLY good thing so far is the lower price. I think I've paid for it now by having to spend HOURS (3+ already) on the phone with their customer service, because I've found out that what the salesman told me was blatantly untrue.
Specifically, he told me if I had 2 DVR's, they could "speak to each other". In other words, if I recorded a show on one, I could then watch it on my other DVR in a different room. NOT TRUE!!!
Second, although I made it explicitly clear that I only needed 3 TV's set up right now, but might consider expanding to a 4th in the future, he recommended that I go ahead and have the 4 receivers set up now, because it was free for new customers. He said that after the first month, I could cancel the service for the 4th receiver (having only been charged $5), but would at least have the equipment if I wanted to expand in the future. This directly relates to what the original guy is saying about keeping the equipment. Customer service now says that if I cancel service for the 4th receiver, I have to send it back, and if I want to expand in the future, I will be charged $70 for a new receiver.
Third, the salesman also convinced me to try out HD, because they were offering me a free upgrade to an HD DVR. He made it clear that I could always cancel the HD service, and then the DVR would just function as a standard DVR, and at that point I would only receive local channels in standard def, not HD. Sounded good to me, b/c I would consider getting HD in the future, when money is not so tight, and at least now I would have the equipment. Today, when I called to cancel HD, they told me that I would have to turn in that receiver, because if we have any equipment that is capable of HD, we will be charged the HD access fee ($10/mo).
Basically, after much complaining to customer service reps (who were all very nice), they have managed to cancel the HD service on my HD DVR, but allow me to keep the receiver and just use it as a regular DVR. Obviously this is possible. However, I will have to return my 4th receiver, and I had to spend hours on the phone to get to this point.
I will be calling a marketing supervisor tomorrow and possibly reporting to Better Business Bureau. The thing is, I would likely have still gone with DirecTV if they had been forthright with restrictions in the beginning. But I would have been a happier customer, because I'd know what I was getting and only signed up for the features I knew I would use, instead of being duped into buying more, without being told of the costs that come with canceling them.
So, buyer beware with DirecTV, and if possible, speak to a customer service rep OUTSIDE of sales to verify what a salesperson tells you before you sign a contract for 2 years.