DirecTV Inc Complaint - Outdated refurbished equipment on new install
I decided to give satellite a try after my cable bill more than doubled. I originally ordered online for their top programming package with HD and DVR access. When I didn't notice any place to enter in my friends account for the $100 refer a friend credit and the $240 AAA discount I sent out an email the very next morning to customer service. Even though I just placed the order the night before they couldn't apply the credit as it had to be entered at the time of order.
I was going to cancel and just reorder but they already charged my debit card a little under $200 for equipment fees(HD box+Adapter to access On Demand). I got the first HDDVR "free", the 2nd box I went with an HD box for $99, and the third box was a basic run of the mill non HD receiver. I wanted to get 2 HDDVR's but D* charges $200 a piece up front. Anyway, instead of waiting for them to credit back my account, reordering, and rescheduling an install date I just decided to lose out on the $340 credit.
The first installer comes and says a few trees are in the way. I rescheduled for a week later and had the trees removed which cost a small fortune. The next installer comes and sets everything up. Now this is my biggest gripe. I noticed when he left all the boxes were silver, not black like they show on their site. I check the model numbers and I got an HR20, an H20, and didn't even bother to check the basic box. The two units I checked were both refurbished and 3 generations old. The HR23s have been going out for close to a year already but I get an HR20!
When I called D* they said the older models carry the same warranty and have the same picture quality so theres no need for concern. While thats all well and good theres still the fact that the newer models are a nice black color, have larger hard drives, run cooler/quieter, and do away with the need for B-Band converters. Its also peace of mind getting new equipment being I want them to last for at least my 2 year contract.
Theres also the face that I would have to pay if the box ever breaks down--so who wants to start their 2 year contract with a refurb? If I ever need a replacement box or decide to upgrade in the future I'll still have to pay for the equipment plus they will renew my contract for an additional 2 years. I just can't get over the fact that they want $200 per HDDVR that is 3 generations old, discontinued, and refurbished on new installs. It got me to thinking how many customers paid the $200 upfront fee on that same refurbished HR20. Maybe they send refurbs to people who don't opt for their $5/month insurance plan so when it does break down they can say, I told ya so! Who knows.
My next surprise was getting my bill after having service for about 5 days. I signed up for their $21/month rebate for 12months when I joined. I got an email saying I will see my rebate on my first bill. Well of course--no rebate on the first bill. I email asking what happened and get a reply saying due to a computer glitch my rebate didn't get applied but it will appear on my next bill. Heres hoping for the best.
As for the picture quality, its great. The HD channels look much better than they did on cable. Theres also more HD content as well. I'm just put off on how customer service doesn't seem to care much about customer problems--I guess 2 year contracts gives them that luxury.
Again, my main gripe is getting such old model used boxes right off the bat as a new customer. It's like signing a 2 year cell phone contract, paying a fee for the phones, and then getting used 3 year old clunkers as big as a shoe. Sure, they can both make calls but the features and cosmetics are surely different. How is that acceptable?