DirecTV Sucks

Yes, they suck, yet they get my money every month because they’re the only game in town if you’re an NFL fan.

It’s such a scam.  They are exclusive providers of NFL Ticket and charge you an inflated amount for it.  Then, they charge you another C-note if you want the games in high definition.  And they charge for just about everything – leased receivers, service calls, etc.

The greedy NFL is also to blame, I’m sure

This is all bad, but even worse is the DirecTV customer service.  Once you get a rep on the telephone (usually after a long wait), it’s hit and miss whether or not you get a competent, knowledgable rep.

They evidently won a JD Powers award for their exemplary customer service. Unbelievable!  Who’s this JD Powers guy and how much did they pay him?

Here’s my experience:

They don’t offer local channels in my area, which also sucks.  So, I go out and buy an expensive HDTV antenna, mount it in my attic, and plug it into my DirecTV receiver.  It worked fine….for months….until we got an “upgrade” pushed to us.  After the “upgrade”, the receiver would not detect all our local channels and confused one for another (the local CBS affiliate appears as Fox on the guide).  ABC and Fox are nowhere to be found, even though the DirecTV set up screens display it as available and with excellent signal strength.  So we’re out of luck if we’re looking forward to the next season of Lost or 24.

I call at least three times to get this resolved and they go over the same troubleshooting techniques I’ve told them I’ve already gone through.  I tried telling them that it was related to the software “upgrade”, but they don’t listen.  Finally, they decide they’ll send me a brand new (actually, a reconditioned) HDTV receiver.  I’m willing to give it a try on the off chance that the problem is hardware related.

The first receiver they sent didn’t work.  This, I found out after swapping out the old receiver, with all its tubes and wires.  They send yet another one.  This one works and, lo and behold, all my local channels are coming in…but then, since this new receiver evidently had an older version of software pre-installed, the current “upgrade” is pushed out and corrupts my local channels again.


This proves that the problem was the software “upgrade” all along, right?  The customer service reps maddeningly still don’t see this.  It’s almost like they don’t believe me and think it’s something related to our antenna, even though I repeatedly tell them I get perfection reception with it on other TVs in the home.  I ask the rep to send a service man over to confirm my diagnosis, and they will, but will charge me $70 for the service call….even if they find it’s a DirecTV problem.

And those two receivers they sent me?  They charged me shipping and handling for both.  That required yet another call to customer service to remedy.

Also, at one point, they agreed to give us a partial month’s credit, which was appreciated.  Only thing is, a credit never appeared on our account.  So, another call to DirecTV was required.

The latest: I’m enjoying the Oakland Raider game in week one and both the HD and non-HD signals go out in the first quarter, not returning until an hour later.

I’m spending more time on the phone with them than my own mother.  But if you want to see your team each week, you have to pay up and put up, or go to a smokey bar where your team may be playing on one of the TVs on mute.

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