Direct TV / unacceptable customer service
July 19, 2008
Mr. Chase carey, ceo
Office of the president
Po box 6550
Greenwood village, co 80155
I am writing to you today to make you aware of my recent experience with directv and direc tech holding. I feel compelled to bring this matter to your attention, as the response from your customer service department was wholly unsatisfying, and I believe you should be aware of your employees’ actions.
I have been a loyal directv customer since march 2001; my account number is xxxxxxxx. I have consistently maintained an extensive subscription, and on average, pay approximately $150 per month for my service. During my service period, I have moved twice. Both times, I have moved my service using your & ldquo;way-u-move” option, which has resulted in a 2-year contract extension.
My most recent move, in may 2007 was an absolute disaster. The technician that was dispatched to my home on may 3, 2007 arrived with the wrong equipment and was unable to install my high definition service. A second technician was dispatched several weeks later, and while he was able to install the high definition dish, the installation was sloppy and unprofessional, with cables snaking loosely down the front of my home, creating an unappealing look. While we were deeply unhappy with this installation, we accepted it because we had spent so much time arguing with directv customer service, who wished to charge us for the installation, because they considered this a & ldquo;service upgrade”. (Evidently, they had some difficulty understanding that we were not upgrading to high definition service; your technician just failed to install the proper equipment on the original installation date. )
In may 2008, we decided to put new siding on our home. Our contractor advised us that the siding could not be installed with the directv cables running down the front of our home. We called directv and were told by customer service that the cables could be rerouted free of charge as part of our directv protection plan. We scheduled a service appointment for june 19, 2008, and my husband took a vacation day from work so that he could be home to explain to the technician exactly how we would like the cables installed.
Your technician, jorge did arrive on the appointed day during our appointment window. My husband explained to him what we would like done, and in fact, had our contractor come to our home to discuss the installation with jorge. Jorge made several phone calls to his supervisor and advised us that he did not have the proper work order to complete the job. My husband called directv customer service and confirmed that the proper paperwork was provided to direc tech. At that point, direc tech advised us that jorge could not complete the job, as they did not have the proper paperwork, and jorge would not be paid if he did the installation without a valid work order. The appointment was rescheduled for the following day (June 20, 2008) and jorge personally assured us that he would be at our home no later than noon.
I canceled an appointment so that I could be home on june 20th to wait for jorge. At approximately 10:30 am, I received a telephone call from a gentleman that did not speak english. I assumed that it was a wrong number, until he started shouting & ldquo;directv” into the phone. I asked him who he was and why he was calling and he told me that his name was rafael and he was from directv. He stated that he was on his way to my home, but had been delayed by a flat tire. I asked him about jorge, but he said he did not know who jorge was. He simply stated that he was from ny and that he had a flat tire. Rafael’s english was extremely limited, and I had great difficulty understanding what he was saying. I told him that I was waiting for jorge, and that I did not want him to come to my home.
Approximately one hour later, I received a second phone call from rafael, who stated that he could not find my home (17 xxx lane) so he went to my neighbor’s home (20 xxx lane) but & ldquo; [i} did not answer the door”. Ignoring the fact that this course of action makes absolutely no sense, I opened the door to see a scruffy, middle-aged man with no identification, in a beat up van, also with no identification standing across the street from my home, on my neighbor’s lawn. He did not have even a passing command of the english language, and apparently, he expected me to let him into my home. Obviously, I did not let him in and again stated that I was waiting for jorge. I called my husband, who took the afternoon off from work to come home and try to sort out this mess.
At approximately 3:00 pm, I received a telephone call from marlena at direc tech who indicated that jorge was not dispatched to my home because she did not have a valid work order from directv. My husband again called directv customer service and was, again, assured that directv had provided direc tech with the proper paperwork. Marlena called a second time, at approximately 4:00 pm to tell me that she did not have the proper paperwork, and so had to assign jorge another job, and that he would not be coming to my home. (Interestingly, marlena had no knowledge of rafael; she did not know who sent him, what office he came from, or why he came to my home. )
The end result is that I canceled an appointment and my husband took a half-day off from work to wait for a directv technician that failed to show up. At this point, my husband called directv customer service and was told that he needed to pay $105.93 by credit card prior to the technician being dispatched; apparently, we were having & ldquo;custom work” done, which is not part of our directv protection plan. Shortly thereafter, marlena called our home again, and advised me that jorge would be coming to our home the following day (June 21, 2008). Marlena assured me that we would be jorge’s first job and that we should expect him by 8:30 am. She gave me her direct number in the event that there was a problem.
Not surprisingly, jorge did not arrive at 8:30 am as promised. At approximately 10:00 am I called the number marlena provided to me. A woman with a thick spanish accent answered the phone. I asked for marlena, and she said something to me in spanish and hung up on me. I assumed that I had misdialed, so I waited a few moments and then called the number again. The same woman answered the phone, and again, I asked for marlena. She asked me to hold on and I heard her put down the phone and start banging on a (Presumably closed) door, while shouting & ldquo;marlena, marlena, get up. & rdquo; she came back a few moments later and told me that marlena was asleep. I explained that marlena was supposed to have dispatched a technician to my home and that I needed to speak to her immediately. Again, the phone was put down and there was more banging and more & ldquo;marlena, marlena, get up. & rdquo; eventually, marlena picked up the phone and I advised her that jorge had not arrived as promised. She stated that jorge was unable to come because she still did not have a valid work order, but that she had spent the & ldquo;entire morning trying to straighten out the paperwork. & rdquo;
My husband called directv customer service yet again, and yet again, he was assured that the paperwork was in place and that directv could not help us as the problem was clearly with direc tech. At approximately 11:00 am, marlena called again and indicated that jorge was on his way and should arrive within twenty minutes.
Jorge did not arrive until 3:30 pm. He did complete the installation, however, the work was only marginally better than the initial installation. The cables are still poorly installed and unsightly. Again, we accepted this sub-par work because we really just wanted the job completed. At this point, we had already wasted three full days waiting for a technician to show up, and we had made countless phone calls to both directv and direc tech. Both my husband and I were thoroughly disgusted with the entire process, but we were relieved that the job was done and that the situation was resolved. Unfortunately we were wrong!
As jorge was packing up his truck, he asked my husband for $200 in cash for the & ldquo;custom work” that he had done. My husband explained that he paid for the work over the phone via credit card, and in fact, pointed out that the work order provided to us clearly states & ldquo;this technician does not accept cash!” despite this, jorge said that he had gone above and beyond what was required of him and that he felt he should be paid for this service. My husband again refused to pay him. Jorge then called his & ldquo;manager, & rdquo; spoke to him briefly and then asked my husband to speak with him. This & ldquo;manager” who did not give his name asked my husband to give jorge $200. My husband refused. The & ldquo;manager” then said, & ldquo;why don’t you just give him $100 then?” again, my husband refused and eventually jorge left. My husband and I were absolutely amazed! First the technician fails to show up for three days, then he comes & ndash; several hours later than he was supposed to & ndash; does a sub-par job on the installation, and attempts to extort money from us? Is this the type of behavior directv tolerates from its technicians?
Believe it or not, this was not the end of my problems. At approximately 6:00 pm I received a call from direct tech. The woman that called asked to speak to jorge and stated that he had not closed out the job and she needed to know approximately when he would be done. I told her that jorge had left my home over an hour ago. She seemed confused and hung up. At approximately 7:30 pm a gentleman from direc tech called and asked me the same question. He stated that jorge was still listed as being & ldquo;on the job” at our home and he needed to know when jorge would be finished. I told him that jorge had left at about 5:00 pm, after requesting $200 in cash from my husband. He stated that this was completely inappropriate and that he would escalate this to the highest level, and that I should expect a call from a supervisor within one hour. One month later, I have still not received a telephone call from anyone at directv or direct tech.
As I stated earlier, I am brining this to your attention so that you are aware of the actions of your technicians and your customer service representatives. This entire experience was a nightmare, and the behavior of your employees’ is an absolute disgrace. Verizon is currently in the process of installing fiber optic lines in my neighborhood, and I assure you that as soon as fios becomes available, I will be canceling my directv service. Quite frankly, I am tired of your organization using the two-year commitment, contract extensions, and exorbitant cancellation fees to insulate you from providing even passable customer service. Shame on you, mr. Carey!
Danielle t. Abramson
Cc: direc tech holding co. , inc.
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