DirecTV weeds out customers (1 Viewer)

muzzy

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DirecTV weeds out customers
Posted Feb 15 2008, 04:08 AM by Kim Peterson


You'd think that in a slowing economy, companies would be trying to hold on to every potential customer. Not DirecTV. The satellite operator is weeding out customers, and it has no problem with fewer people signing up.

In a conference call with analysts this week, CEO Chase Carey said the company has a new focus on "quality subscribers" (read: ones with money). It finds these subscribers by analyzing their income, age, home ownership, education and other metrics, Carey said in an earnings call with analysts. (Transcript here). DirecTV puts those customers into different categories to figure out who's valuable and who's not, and it's going after the valuable ones.

http://blogs.moneycentral.msn.com/t...ectv-weeds-out-its-customers.aspx?PageIndex=3

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Question: In the Comments to this article, one poster says that DTV's customer service is horrible, and another says that DTV's "HD service is HD Lite which means that the picture is not what it is supposed to be." Is this true? I'm returning to NO this year, and I have big plans -- big plasma TV, DirecTV HD, home theater system, etc. But these comments worry me about about DTV...
 

Saint77

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In my opinion, as a subscriber to DirecTV for going on 7 years, their customer service is indeed horrible.

An example. I have a DVR receiver. I originally had a regular tube TV hooked up to it. Eventually I picked up an Olevia 537H LCD TV. When I hooked it up, I discovered that in normal viewing mode, I got letterbox panels on either side of the screen's picture. I tried all I could to get it to go away. When put in widescreen mode on the TV, everything was all stretched. So after going through all the TVs options in the menu, I turend to the box's settings. In the settings are choices for 19:9, and 4:3. It was set on 4:3. So, Naturally, I changed it, got all excited that it was going to work, and lo and behold, nothign changed. I did this several times, thinking maybe I didn't save the settings properly, or something. No dice on all accounts. So, up comes the dreaded call to DTV, which I am no stranger to dealing with. I get a young lady who proceeds to take my issue, she walked me through the basic dummy stuff, even though im telling her it didint work, and after that, she puts me on hold for 5 minutes, comes back and says theres nothing she can do. and she will transfer me. I get to another girl, who goes through the exact same process all over again, and again despite me telling her it isn't going to work ive already done it (at this point im thinking the first girl simply passed me off to some one else because she didn't care to work at the problem) This second girl puts me on hold for 10 minutes, then comes back with "Sir, that feature is disabled in that box) and has no answer as to why it was put in there yet disabled. (im thinking form a software standpoint, it would cause less customer complaints and calls without a disabled feature, duh) So I am tired of being on the phone at this point, with employees who dont care too much, and leave it at that. About a month later I get re-irked by this and call again, only to get the same answer I got form the first girl above. I rant and rail about this pissing me off and I got no help form this girl. So again, I leave it. Lastly, I talked to a friend of mine who has the same box, he called in about the issue as he just got a new samsung TV, His service rep at the time told him it was because the box was broken.

Nice.

He got a new box, same result.

SO I called in once more and asked for someone to listen to some complaints, because at this point im not veyr happy and ready to cancel this garbage service. The most I could get out of them was that they would send me a new box for $99 an HD box, no DVR, and that I had to pay for it up front(you used to be able to spread it accros your bills). I told the girl no, I don't want that, I am a long time customer and have always payed my bill as you can see from my record, I see all these sweet deals for new customers and I don't get jack? She would not relent.

Honestly, were it not for NFL Sunday Ticket I wouldn't have this CrapTV. I don't have a credit card, and if they come at me with the fact that I need one, and wont take my debit as credit, (not that I want to use that as credit) then they can kiss my arse.

Im really hoping Sunday ticket switches at thier next contract negotiation.
 

buzd

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All cable/satellite HD broadcasts are "HD Lite" to some extent, in that their signals are compressed for transmission and a certain degree of picture quality is lost (as opposed to over the air - OTA broadcasts which are not). That said, I have DTV HD which I watch on a 56" screen and the picture is beautiful.

DTV customer service can be hit or miss. Generally, it's good, but you often have to fight through tier one to get a knowledgeable technician. Their installation guys are subcontractors, so that's kind of potluck, but my experience has been pretty good in the NOLA area. I will say that when DTV screws up (i.e. a tech doesn't show) they are very good about compensating you for your trouble and time, through programming and billing credits.
 
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muzzy

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All cable/satellite HD broadcasts are "HD Lite" to some extent, in that their signals are compressed for transmission and a certain degree of picture quality is lost (as opposed to over the air - OTA broadcasts which are not). That said, I have DTV HD which I watch on a 56" screen and the picture is beautiful.

DTV customer service can be hit or miss. Generally, it's good, but you often have to fight through tier one to get a knowledgeable technician. Their installation guys are subcontractors, so that's kind of potluck, but my experience has been pretty good in the NOLA area. I will say that when DTV screws up (i.e. a tech doesn't show) they are very good about compensating you for your trouble and time, through programming and billing credits.

So you prefer DTV to Cox and Dish Network in NO? Are all of New Orleans' local channels available through DTV?
 

buzd

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So you prefer DTV to Cox and Dish Network in NO? Are all of New Orleans' local channels available through DTV?

I do, yes. No experience with Dish, but DTV has much better HD offerings, and at the time post-Katrina, DTV was having less technical difficulties than Cox. I like that I'm only dependent on the infrastructure on my own property.

DTV has the big 4 - Fox, CBS, NBC, and ABC in HD (NOLA).
 

diat150

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my issue isnt with the customer service, as they all suck, it is with the horrible horrible hd dvr that directv keeps putting out. dish network is light years ahead of directv in hd dvr functionality. the very second that dish network gets the new satellite up i am switching back.
 

buzd

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Admittedly, I went through 3 of the HD DVR's before I got one that works. Since then, I've been totally happy with it.
 

inetnawlins

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I do, yes. No experience with Dish, but DTV has much better HD offerings, and at the time post-Katrina, DTV was having less technical difficulties than Cox. I like that I'm only dependent on the infrastructure on my own property.

DTV has the big 4 - Fox, CBS, NBC, and ABC in HD (NOLA).

Does that mean that with DTV in New Orleans you don't get:

WUPL Channel 2, WGNO- 26, WYES PBS 12- (Best HD of any channel), WNOL- 13, WLAE-13 (secondary PBS), WHNO-20, WPXL-49, WDSU- WEATHER (Channel 6 digital 24 hour local weather station).

Or Cox Sports (Hornets games and other local sports stuff), Channel 15 news (Channel 4 24 hour local news).


Also, I have a question. The FOX, CBS etc. that is received by DTV in NOLA. Are they the actual local stations or programming from the networks?

I'm not looking to start any Cable vs. DTV threads. Both have their pros and cons.

I just recently ditched the Cox HD DVR after three went out in six months and I'm getting a much better HD signal through my cable card. HD looks like OTA HD now.

The boxes, both satellite and through Cox, degrade the signal a bit.
 

Buickman

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I'd have no problem dropping DTV if, and only if, the NFL would allow another carrier to carry the Sunday Ticket. That's the only reason I still have them. I'm tired of being nickel and dimed to death.
 

buzd

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Does that mean that with DTV in New Orleans you don't get:

WUPL Channel 2, WGNO- 26, WYES PBS 12- (Best HD of any channel), WNOL- 13, WLAE-13 (secondary PBS), WHNO-20, WPXL-49, WDSU- WEATHER (Channel 6 digital 24 hour local weather station).

Or Cox Sports (Hornets games and other local sports stuff), Channel 15 news (Channel 4 24 hour local news).


Also, I have a question. The FOX, CBS etc. that is received by DTV in NOLA. Are they the actual local stations or programming from the networks?

Ch 26 is ABC, but no, we don't get the others via DTV, although most of those ARE available OTA with a decent antenna.

No cox sports (hornets) although they're supposedly negotiating that. No Ch 15.

The Fox, etc, stations ARE the local broadcasts, including local news, local HD (where applicable), local sports, etc.

EDIT: DTV, you do get ALL the locals, but only the above in HD.
 
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The Mongoose

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I have direct tv and I get WGNO - 26, WLAE -32, WNOL -38, WXPL -49, and WUPL -54.

I don't watch them though, because I'm busy with all the HD channels.

Customer service sucks everywhere nowadays. My experiences with DTV have been better than most other customer service avenues.

fwiw...
 

Penguin

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I'm tired of being nickel and dimed to death.

Not a knock on you, Buickman, but I find it funny when people say this. They ALL (Cox, DTV, Time-Warner, et al.) nickel and dime you to death.

Back on topic: I must fall into their 'desirable' demographic - called to upgrade to a HD DVR and with one call, no threats to cancel or bargaining, they gave me the upgraded HD DVR, new dish, installation, RF Remote for free - plus 12 months free HD programming, 6 months free premium channels and a $10 credit on my bill for the next 12 months. From what I've read over at Weaknees and TiVoCommunity, most people have to threaten to cancel 3 or 4 times before getting anything close to that.
 
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klm2656

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I do, yes. No experience with Dish, but DTV has much better HD offerings, and at the time post-Katrina, DTV was having less technical difficulties than Cox. I like that I'm only dependent on the infrastructure on my own property.

DTV has the big 4 - Fox, CBS, NBC, and ABC in HD (NOLA).

I have had both, and unless you require Sunday Ticket, Dish Network has better pricing and packages....and a MUCH better attitude.
 

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