DirecTV Inc Complaint - If you value your sanity....avoid DirecTV
POMPANO BEACH, FLORIDA -- Fall is almost upon us again and inevitably our thoughts turn to the season of cheer. The season of good will towards men. The season of the Cheese Heads and the Dog Pound. The season of Reggie and TO. Football season is here at last. As familiar as family, with all of it's foibles and flaws, thousands of the faithful are pushing the small stuff like war and gas prices aside in anticipation of what really matters. Game 1. Week 1. Dolphins. Steelers.
And how do we as Americans prepare for such a highly anticipated event? We buy things. Not wanting to miss a moment in the action we acquire DVRs and have games bounced to us from outer space directly to our (0% until June financed) LCD, HD TVs. We TiVo games and Google stats. We have game results “texted” directly to our cell phones. The frenzy is intoxicating! I too must join the masses and see 14 games every Sunday at 1:00 p.m. (Yes, the fact that there is only one TV has crossed my mind, that can be solved, by getting …… MORE TVs!) .
And how do I get 14 games every Sunday at 1:00 p.m.? What’s that? I cannot purchase the NFL package through my cable company? But why? MLB does it. The NBA does it. The NFL has granted exclusive rights to DirecTV, blah blah, revenue, blah, blah. The NFL would like to thank you for your interest, blah blah. But we couldn’t care less that you are willing to pay through the nose so you can see the football you want to see blah, blah. OK, OK, I’ll do it, I’ll get my programming delivered in an entirely different manner so that for only 17 weeks, only on Sundays, I can watch football. And this is what happened next….
Day 1 (Thursday, 1200 hours): Called DirecTV to clarify a few things that I could not find on their site, for example, how long is the contract and when will you be picking up my first born? By the way, I was expecting the answer to the first part of that to be “1 year.” Wrong…. it’s 2 years. I tell the sales person/zombie that I would like to have it installed by Monday at the latest because there is something coming on that I would really like to see. She says that will not be a problem (LIE #1). After a few other questions, I tell the sales person/zombie that I am going to order it online, she states that it would better if I ordered with her, she could get the order in immediately and give me an installation date and time (LIE #2). After processing the order, she says the installation date looks like Saturday but then quickly changes it to Tuesday. She says she will contact the installers and get a firm installation time that is before Tuesday. She says she will call me back in a few minutes (LIE #3). A couple of hours later, I call the customer service center. The operator tells me that there was a glitch in the computer system and it failed to reconcile the order with an installation time. She says that this happens sometimes with their computers, maybe 1 in a 1000 (did I mention I am an IT Manager with over 20 years experience? IMHO, seems they should get that fixed). Then the catch, it usually takes 24 hours to clear, so call back tomorrow and maybe they can schedule the installation before Tuesday.
Day 2 (Friday, 1400 hours): Called DirecTV to schedule an installation. On hold for 10 minutes. Get a guy who sounds like under his breath he is saying “Shoot me. Just put me out of my misery. Honest, I want you to.” But, lo and behold, I get an installation date of Saturday between 1 and 5. It blows most of my Saturday but hey, I’m getting 14 games every Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
Day 2 (Friday, 1800 hours): Shortly after arriving home from work, I get an automated message on my answering machine. It is DirecTV telling me I do not have an installation date and I should call to schedule one. Called DirecTV to schedule an installation. On hold for 20 minutes. Get a girl who says the installation is indeed already scheduled for Saturday between 1 and 5 and she does not know why I got the recording. Instead of reading these signs that are clearly telling me not to go ahead with this, I shrug it off and I am happy that in less than 24 hours I will have complete access to 14 games every Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
Day 3 (Saturday, 1400 hours): Receive a call from the installation technician confirming the installation and the equipment, 1 receiver. I say, “No, I ordered a DVR.” He says: “Oh, don’t tell me that, the work order says a receiver.” I say, “No, a DVR.” He decides to come by anyway.
Day 3 (Saturday, 1420 hours): Two technicians arrive and walk to the back to look around. They speak among themselves and on a cell phone. About 10 minutes later one technician says that they will try to have someone bring a DVR to them but in the meantime they are going to go on another service call. They will be in touch.
Day 3 (Saturday, 1445 hours): Technician calls to say that because it is Saturday, he does not think he will be able to get the DVR and another installation will have to be scheduled but he did correct the work order to read DVR instead of receiver. I call DirecTV and talk to Armando. I explain to Armando that the tech came with the wrong equipment and he said that the work order was wrong but he fixed it and I would like to have my installation done today by someone with the correct equipment. Armando says he is going to call the technican (LIE #4). He puts me on hold for 30 minutes and then the line went dead. I call back and speak to Sean (or Shaun or Shawn). Explain the situation again to Sean and tell him that Armando hung up on me. He says he has to call the technician (LIE #5).. Sean puts me on hold for 10 minutes and the line goes dead. Argh!
Day 3 (Saturday, 1530 hours): I call back again and get a very nice woman whose name I will change to protect her from being associated with the other imbeciles that work at DirecTV. Let’s call her Daisy. I explain to Daisy in what is now my shaky, frustrated, busting blood vessels so as not to yell voice, what has happened thus far and I tell her that while I understand that this is not her fault I am having issues with the way this is being handled. She assures me that not only is she going to help resolve the situation but she is definitely not going to hang up on me.
- She says that the technician has noted that I had to get the landlord’s permission. I said “what?” She said that tenants of an apartment have to have permission from the landlord for the installation. I said that even under the best of circumstances, it would be hard to get in touch with the landlord who lives out-of-state, but certainly, getting in touch with her between now and the time a technician gets back would be impossible. I said it was a condo and that they had given verbal permission for the installation. She says that would be sufficient (LIE #6). On top of that I said that the technician did not mention anything about this when he came by so how did he know that I did not have it? I said he came, he said he didn’t have the DVR, he looked around and he left. She said, “I guess he didn’t say anything about the tripod then.” I said “What tripod?” She said that he also noted that we would need a tripod which is an additional piece of equipment that we would have to pay for. I proceeded to accept these things and push forward on the installation.
- Daisy said we would call their office in Miami. This office metes out the work to sub-contractors and we would track down a technician that would come to my house with a DVR (and a tripod). Daisy calls Miami and conferences me in. Miami transfers the call to the sub-contractor. The sub-contractor says they will check the paperwork and soon cuts off the call. Daisy is shocked that they hung up on us. She starts the call to Miami again and again they transfer us to the sub-contractor, and again, the line goes dead. Daisy is even more shocked that they hung up on us again. Me? Not so much, I begin to laugh hysterically. We call back again and speak to the sub-contractor and, wait for it, the sub-contractor says that work order did not come to them! The technician number that the job was assigned to is one of their technicians but the work order did not get to them.
- Daisy checks with her supervisor who tells her to ask for a manager in Miami. The Miami office checks it and accuses Daisy of altering the order! While we are on hold with Miami who is now trying to find out where this work order actually went, Daisy rechecks the order and finds that it is exactly the same as it was when I placed the order on Thursday, including the DVR! What does this mean? It means that the equipment on the order was right. The technician either had the wrong order or lied to me (liar).
- Miami gets back on the phone and says they tracked down the technician who has the equipment and, get this, he told me he would be back out this afternoon to do this install - a) I wouldn't be on the phone right now if he told me that and b) he couldn't have told me because I've been on the darned phone for over an hour now! (liar). Miami asks about the permission. I say that I understand that permission from the condo is sufficient, she says that it is not and the permission has to be in writing. I ask how I was supposed to know about this and she says that I should have been told when I placed the order!!!! Well, I wasn’t!!! At this point I got quite angry. I asked why I wasn’t told this? How was I supposed to get this kind of paperwork? Miami tries to lay all of the blame on the person who took the order but I point out that her technician did not say word one to me about this. I tell Miami to back off and I tell Daisy I want to speak to her supervisor.
- I tell Daisy that I appreciate her help but this fiasco is unacceptable. I do not want to yell at her but I do want to speak to her supervisor. Daisy tries to calm me down but now I am furious. I sit on the phone with her while we wait for her supervisor to become available, that took another 10 minutes. Then, she goes to transfer me and I am on hold for another 15 minutes. I guess they didn’t think I would notice that they were trying to give me time to cool off before putting me through to the “Resolutions Specialist.” I noticed. And, after two hours on the phone, I was not happy to be on hold AGAIN.
- Denise, the “Resolutions Specialist” tries to control the situation from the get go by telling me, in a very calming voice, what I’ve been doing for the last two hours. Obviously, this was not going to work for me. I interrupt her and explain about what is now at the crux of the situation, the permission form. She puts me on hold for 5 minutes and then tells me that there is another form that I can sign which essentially puts the responsibility on me. That made complete sense to me and by now I would’ve signed away my soul. She says she has to call the technician to make sure that not only did he have the DVR and the tripod with him this time, but he should have one of those forms for me to sign. Back on hold again. Eventually she returns to the phone with David who now tells me that I have to have a signed permission form from the landlord AND the condo association!
Day 3 (Saturday, 1800 hours): I’ve had it! Cancel the order…. I do not want anything to do with this company EVER! Even 14 games every Sunday at 1:00 p.m. is not worth this.