Dish Hopper or DirecTV Genie?????? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 146 Old 02-15-2013, 11:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey Everyone,

I am about to make a move. I had Dish service with a VIP722K powering two TVs. I love the way it works and I especially like the user interface for everything. Most of my family has DirecTV and I hate the channel setup and menu system compared to the 722.

I am moving away from my team (49ers) to southern California and want to very badly to get DirecTV so that I can see all the games...but I would not make the change utilizing the existing hardware.

With that said, can people who currently have either the Hopper or Genie give me some positive/negative feedback?

If you have used both please share which you think is better.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 146 Old 02-15-2013, 11:34 AM
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I haven't used both, but I can say that the Hopper is wonderful!

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post #3 of 146 Old 02-15-2013, 01:14 PM
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I switched to Dish in August. One of my reasons was to get the Hopper (and lower my TV bill). I liked the Hopper, but I felt deceived by the way that Primetime Anytime is advertised, as well as a few other features. I also found that I missed some of the HD content that DirecTV has.

I had been a DirecTV customer for about 4 years before switching, so DirecTV sent me a lot of offers to come back. I switched back to DirecTV in December and now I have the Genie (It was a tough, and somewhat embarrassing, decision to make considering the cancellation fees). The Genie isn't perfect, and I have rebooted a few times in the past couple of months to resolve issues, but I like it better than the Hopper.

My main complaint with both devices is that they are both glitchy, which should probably be expected with any early adopter technology.

The Hopper was really slow to respond when fast forwarding or rewinding, especially from the Joeys, so by the time that it recognized that you hit play you needed to rewind or fast forward the other direction to try to get to the point that you wanted. The Genie doesn't do this. When you are fast forwarding with the Genie, you hit play and it jumps back a couple of seconds, usually to the point that intended to hit play. I like that.

Dish advertises that you can record 6 shows at once, but this is only true if you are recording the 4 networks plus 2 other channels. We watch at least one show on every network, and we watch something almost every night. This means that we had to record all 4 networks every night. I really would have liked to only record certain networks on certain nights, but you can't customize Primetime Anytime that much. If you want to use Primetime Anytime then you have to select which networks you want to record, and you have to record each network you select for every night that you want to record. You can customize the start and end times, but those are effective every night, for every network also. If you want to record non-network channels then you can only record up to 3 at a time. With the Genie you can record any 5 channels at once. The only Primetime Anytime feature that I miss was the autohop, but will Dish win the fight to keep that feature?

I would definitely recommend the Genie over the Hopper, especially since it is paired with DirecTV. DirecTV has surpassed Dish in the number of HD channels, the channel layout makes much more sense than Dish, and it is a lot easier to customize the guide with DirecTV.
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post #4 of 146 Old 02-15-2013, 01:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback. I think I am definitely leaning toward DirecTV.
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post #5 of 146 Old 02-18-2013, 08:35 PM
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Ive had directv for about 5 years. I recently upgraded to the genie with 3 clients. I love dtv hd. Its amazing. The numbrr of channels is nice. BUT! THE GENIE IS TERRIBLE! ! IT IS SO SLOW. LITERALLY IT TAKES ABOUT 45 SECONDS TO CHANGE CHANNELS. if it wasn't for the genie being so laggy i'd highly recommend dtv. But seriously the hopper is way faster. My in laws have it and I love it.
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post #6 of 146 Old 02-18-2013, 08:37 PM - Thread Starter
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The first guy says the hopper is slow. Then the genie is slower.

I guess I am just going to ee-ni-mo it!!
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post #7 of 146 Old 02-18-2013, 10:39 PM
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Here let me do this from my laptop. it was kind of hard posting a long reply from my phone. haha.

First off like i said before i have been a directv customer for 5+ years. love their service. love their HD quality. love their channel setup. (might just be because i am so used to it by now too tho) Love their customer service. Their price isn't bad either. I pay 69.73 a month for HD service, the top of the line channel line up(excluding the premium sports stuff), and i have 1 genie(living room), and 3 clients in other rooms(I know you're looking for a review and an opinion on the hopper vs genie, but i am just giving you this info to show that i love dtv and i am not just a dish fan boy talking bad about dtv)

about 3 months ago my cousin who is an installer and installs both dtv and dish suggested to lower my bill i put the cable in my girlfriends name to upgrade to newer equipment and lower my bill. so that's what we did. he highly recommended the hopper over the genie. but i have had dtv for years so decided i didnt want dish.

What i like about the genie. you can record a bunch of crap and not have any conflicts with recording too many things at once. you can watch all those recordings in any room. if you have high speed internet(who doesn't these days?) your installer can hook up your system to the internet and you get access to an extensive on demand library. So i like my genie. I just hate how it lags! and is extremely slow. Like literally my clients take about 2 minutes to actually put a picture on my damn TV! it drives me nuts. and switching channels? o man that takes about 45 seconds minimum. some times longer.. much longer. this even happens on my main GENIE. The overall laginess of the system is what kills it! if it were fast it would be top notch.

Now i don't have much experience with the hopper so i cant speak on rewinding or the prime time anytime like barca1. But i can say changing channels is much faster. and the system to me didnt seem laggy at all. Now remember my cousin the installer. .?? well he installs and sells both for a living. and he swears that dish is way better as far as their equipment goes. he himself has the hopper. and he loves it. also i heard the hopper has twice the recording capacity as the genie. So in my opinion and if i could do it over again.. based solely on which equipment is better i would have chosen dish.

Good luck with whichever company you choose. haha
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post #8 of 146 Old 02-19-2013, 10:05 AM
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I've never had DirectTV. However, I do know that a lot of the lag that occurs when switching channels is due to the settings on the receiver/cable box. If the box is set to display at the "native" resolution of the channel, each time you switch channels and change resolutions, the TV and the box need to renegotiate "handshakes." To get around that, perhaps one should set his or her display output to one resolution (most likely 1080i) rather than native. Yes, this means the box will upscale and interlace 720p channels to 1080i, but this should resolve channel lag.
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post #9 of 146 Old 02-19-2013, 10:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian209 View Post

Ive had directv for about 5 years. I recently upgraded to the genie with 3 clients. I love dtv hd. Its amazing. The numbrr of channels is nice. BUT! THE GENIE IS TERRIBLE! ! IT IS SO SLOW. LITERALLY IT TAKES ABOUT 45 SECONDS TO CHANGE CHANNELS. if it wasn't for the genie being so laggy i'd highly recommend dtv. But seriously the hopper is way faster. My in laws have it and I love it.
I have the HR-34 and while it isn't the peppiest machine in the world, it doesn't take mine 45 seconds to change channels. It does bog down occasionally though.
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post #10 of 146 Old 02-19-2013, 11:35 AM
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Originally Posted by allargon View Post

I've never had DirectTV. However, I do know that a lot of the lag that occurs when switching channels is due to the settings on the receiver/cable box. If the box is set to display at the "native" resolution of the channel, each time you switch channels and change resolutions, the TV and the box need to renegotiate "handshakes." To get around that, perhaps one should set his or her display output to one resolution (most likely 1080i) rather than native. Yes, this means the box will upscale and interlace 720p channels to 1080i, but this should resolve channel lag.

This is most likely the issue. If you don't want to deal with the longer channel changes go into the settings and pick one resolution (most likely 1080i if you have a 1080i or 1080p TV), and turn native off. If you have a 1080p TV you can turn on both 1080i and 1080p and leave native off. This will make your receiver upscale all non 1080i content to 1080i, and you won't have to deal with the delay from the receiver switching resolutions and the HDMI handshake taking place again. If you have a 1080p TV keep 1080p checked and the DirecTV receiver will still output 1080p when you are watching the limited 1080p content available (only for PPV and VOD), everything else will be scaled to 1080i and you don't need native on. I will note however, that you may notice a slight reduction in picture quality of standard def and 720p channels if your TVs upscaler is better than that in the DirecTV receiver.

Another thing you can try if you don't want to quit using native output is switching from HDMI (which I assume you are using) to component. This gets rid of the HDMI handshake, which can speed up channel changes somewhat.

You may want to also think about resetting your HR34 twice withing 30 minutes. This will flush all the guide data and cause it to be downloaded again. That will slow it down for the first 24 hours or so until the guide data is downloaded again, but it might take care of some issues if the data on your reciever has somehow been corrupted.
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post #11 of 146 Old 02-19-2013, 12:33 PM
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Thanks ill try it out.
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post #12 of 146 Old 02-19-2013, 03:19 PM
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The 49ers will be on a lot of prime time and late games. With Dish's redzone the few late games you see most of them. Frisco being in the Bay are the late gaes at least 50% plus, Sunday night and Monday night.

I'd stick with Dish.
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post #13 of 146 Old 03-26-2013, 12:20 PM
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So frustrated with Directv and their upgrade policy. I've been a Directv customer for 12 years at the same location and 4 years before that at my previous location. I pay just under $200 a month for service. That's Premier + HD Extra + Fox Soccer Plus + some fees. I shared my history with the first level CSR and then the supervisor and both told me there is no way to wave the $299 upgrade fee until November for my account. Given that Dish will give me all those channels for $85/month and no installation fee including the Hopper I'm just about to tell these guys to go take a hike. This thread has helped me think about making the switch. Oh...and Slingplayer built-in?? I was a Sling early adopter and would definitely see that as a plus!

I also normally sign up for Sunday Ticket Max but this year I told them to take me off the automatic renewal. If it doesn't go well below the $300/yr pricing I'll skip that for the first time since it's inception. I love my 49ers but I can find a local sports bar when they aren't on a national broadcast.

[/RANT]

Thanks for listening.

Update: Called Direct to cancel yesterday. Got the very helpful retention lady who gave me Genie for free including installation, gave me a discount on Sunday Ticket, lowered my package price by $55/month for 1 year, and had me sign up for Verizon wireless which gave me better bandwidth (especially up) and eliminated my landline phone bill forever.

I'm in a better place today as everything has been installed already!

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post #14 of 146 Old 04-12-2013, 08:18 AM
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I picked up a Genie a few weeks ago and have had zero issues with it. It works very well for me.
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post #15 of 146 Old 05-03-2013, 07:59 AM
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I am switching from DirecTV to Dish for one major reason - streaming from the DVR to a mobile device. I bought the DirecTV Nomad to download shows (its and extra cost) to my portable devices and am Very disappointed by it. Half the time it doesn't see the recorded shows and when it does it fails to transfer them most of the time. I frequently spend an hour trying to transfer a show to my iPad. Forget about using Android devices because DirecTV doesn't support viewing on Android - even though they've been promising it for over a year on their web site.

Streaming DVRed shows to my phone and tablet - impossible with DirecTV.

I don't foresee being limited to 3 tuners (including all 4 networks) as a problem for 3 people - we almost never watch live shows, but the benefits of the Dish streaming technology is very compelling.

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post #16 of 146 Old 05-03-2013, 08:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian209 View Post

Thanks ill try it out.

Brian,
Did you try it out and if so, did it turn out any faster?

I'm also considering a switch to Direct TV with the Genie or stay with Dish and get the Hopper but I would not want the kind of delays you guys are talking about.

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post #17 of 146 Old 05-22-2013, 08:35 PM
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As a dish technician I can say that a 2 hopper setup you can record 9 shows during prime time and 6 different shows not during prime time and it doesn't matter which hopper your joey is linked to, you can watch any show on any TV... Either way you will probably experience ups and downs...good luck and let us know
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post #18 of 146 Old 05-22-2013, 08:58 PM
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I have had DISH for 2.5 years now, using the VIP722k DVR. I have loved the functionality of this box very much except for a couple of things. One, I get annoyed every single time I watch a recorded show because at the end, the show is cut off. I don't know about all shows, but 5/5 of my favorite shows (family guy, the office, big bang theory, south park, game of thrones) get cut off in the end so you can NEVER see the ending or hear the punchline. This can only be resolved by setting the show to end a minute or two late, but this conflicts with upcoming recordings, which you cannot set to start recording a minute or two late. I read on another forum that only DISH has this issue. Does anyone know if the newer box (Hopper) from DISH also has this problem?

I am currently researching about DirectTV because I want to switch to the Genie to be able to record multiple channels/ rooms in HD. I am interested in little technical things about the Genie that people find, such as one I have stated about the box I have. I already learned the Genie guide is customizable which is a huge plus, it has lots of storage space, and it skips back a few seconds after pressing play. Any other pros or cons about this box, besides being slow for some people? Thanks.
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post #19 of 146 Old 05-23-2013, 01:46 AM
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Just remember there are two Genies now. The new one is much faster.

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post #20 of 146 Old 05-23-2013, 03:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x100xPercent View Post

I have had DISH for 2.5 years now, using the VIP722k DVR. I have loved the functionality of this box very much except for a couple of things. One, I get annoyed every single time I watch a recorded show because at the end, the show is cut off. I don't know about all shows, but 5/5 of my favorite shows (family guy, the office, big bang theory, south park, game of thrones) get cut off in the end so you can NEVER see the ending or hear the punchline. This can only be resolved by setting the show to end a minute or two late, but this conflicts with upcoming recordings, which you cannot set to start recording a minute or two late. I read on another forum that only DISH has this issue. Does anyone know if the newer box (Hopper) from DISH also has this problem?

I am currently researching about DirectTV because I want to switch to the Genie to be able to record multiple channels/ rooms in HD. I am interested in little technical things about the Genie that people find, such as one I have stated about the box I have. I already learned the Genie guide is customizable which is a huge plus, it has lots of storage space, and it skips back a few seconds after pressing play. Any other pros or cons about this box, besides being slow for some people? Thanks.

I experience the same problem with the VIP 722. Doesn't bother me when it's a preview for the next week or commercials but like you said, it sometimes chops off content you'd want to see. It'd be interesting to find out if DirectTV devices do the same.

I've been looking at the Hopper and the Genie. I wouldn't consider a customizable program guide a plus as you can do that with the VIP722. The key feature for me regarding the Genie (from what I understand) is that you actually have more tuners to record what you want. It's not the Hopper deal where 4 programs have to be off the same transponder and I don't know that I wouldn't rather just record what I want and not have to go wading through the field of shows to find just the ones I'm interested in.

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post #21 of 146 Old 05-26-2013, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x100xPercent View Post

I have had DISH for 2.5 years now, using the VIP722k DVR. I have loved the functionality of this box very much except for a couple of things. One, I get annoyed every single time I watch a recorded show because at the end, the show is cut off. I don't know about all shows, but 5/5 of my favorite shows (family guy, the office, big bang theory, south park, game of thrones) get cut off in the end so you can NEVER see the ending or hear the punchline. This can only be resolved by setting the show to end a minute or two late, but this conflicts with upcoming recordings, which you cannot set to start recording a minute or two late. I read on another forum that only DISH has this issue. Does anyone know if the newer box (Hopper) from DISH also has this problem?

I am currently researching about DirectTV because I want to switch to the Genie to be able to record multiple channels/ rooms in HD. I am interested in little technical things about the Genie that people find, such as one I have stated about the box I have. I already learned the Genie guide is customizable which is a huge plus, it has lots of storage space, and it skips back a few seconds after pressing play. Any other pros or cons about this box, besides being slow for some people? Thanks.

With the hopper set to record primetime anytime and you want the 4 networks ( big bang south park family guy) it would not cut them off because it records the complete primetime lineup for the 4 networks without breaks. if by chance it gets cut off just start the next show and the last 2 minutes are there (that happens a lot with pres speaking long ball games etc) then you have to manually record the news after the primetime shuts down... A very bad thing about the hopper is you cannot switch a channel and backup to the beginning of the show, it starts where you join it. I personally am getting tired of the 3 tuners, I had direct tv for many years and had 4 dvr's(8 channels) 2 were stacked in the main room hooked to the projector so we could record 4 shows for viewing in there and the wife had her own in her craft room for the crafty stuff. I asked about a second hopper but they said the remotes would fight each other. With direct i had one ir remote and one wireless so that solved that prob. And with the hopper you can only cancel primetime anytime 15 min BEFORE your prime time to free up the 3rd tuner, then you can only record 3 shows.
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post #22 of 146 Old 05-27-2013, 10:44 AM
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I asked about a second hopper but they said the remotes would fight each other.

They LIED to you; with these new zigbee remotes, it's almost impossible to have a remote conflict in the SAME house. FWIW, I have 3 Hoppers/2 Joey's in the same house; NO remote conflicts whatsoever.
DISH just upgraded me to 2 H's/2 J's at NO charge; I purchased my own 3rd Ho@$199, as I wanted to beat the monthly price increase on all added Hoppers on an account. They cost me only $7/month each - unfortunately, anyone now adding additional Ho's onto their accounts will pay $12/month each.
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post #23 of 146 Old 05-28-2013, 09:00 AM
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Thinking about moving to Direc. What is the model # of the "New Genie" to ask for???
Looking at the cost structure compared to Cable, it appears I will only be saving money for the first 3 months...
1 Genie, and 3 Mini's = 4 Total TV's... Thanx..
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post #24 of 146 Old 05-28-2013, 09:12 AM
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post #25 of 146 Old 05-28-2013, 08:07 PM
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Thinking about moving to Direc. What is the model # of the "New Genie" to ask for???
Looking at the cost structure compared to Cable, it appears I will only be saving money for the first 3 months...
1 Genie, and 3 Mini's = 4 Total TV's... Thanx..
You can ask, but they'll send you whatever they send you. There's no guarantee which model you'll get.

It seems the sales people have no control over what the warehouse sends to the installers.


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post #26 of 146 Old 05-29-2013, 03:57 PM
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I'm thinking of upgrading my 722k to a Hopper. My only desire is to get a Hopper with Sling for minimal cost.
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post #27 of 146 Old 05-29-2013, 05:15 PM
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I have had Direct TV for 13 years and at the same location. I called to see about the Genie and was told it would cost me $299.00. I told them to forget it. They then offered it to me for $99.00 and I still said no. I pay over $150.00 a month for DTV with only HBO, and that is too much. I told them that I was going to switch to Dish Network, and they sent me to another department. This person says since I have been a loyal customer for 13 years, they will upgrade me to the Genie in January of 2014. I asked why I had to wait until then, and they told me that I was under contract until that date. If I choose to leave now, it will cost me $160.00. I had a receiver go bad last January, and DTV replaced it at no cost, but when I signed the receipt, I did not know that I was agreeing to another 2 year contract. I pay for the monthly service guarantee so that I don't incur any charges for failing equipment. I argued with them for over 30 minutes, and they would not back down. So, at this point, I am considering dumping DTV and going to the Dish Hopper. I called Dish, and they quoted me a price of $49.99 plus $16.00 for HBO, after a free 3 month period of having all the movie channels, for the same programing I am getting at DTV. So, if you take the $49.99 away from what I am paying DTV, there would be $100.00 difference a month. My bill after one year would go to $119.00 and that includes a special RV 211 box and an automatic satellite finder dish to use when we go camping. I think I have seen the last of DTV. They don't appreciate their long term customers, and that is my 2 cents.

AMENDMENT
After a week of talking to DISH NETWORK, I have found out that they lie just like Direct TV. In the past week or so, I have talked to three separate agents at DISH, and all three promised me something different, with different prices. Each time I called an agent, the price went up and the services changed. As you can see from the above post, they promised me a lot of stuff. The last one, even promised me a $25.00 gift card, along with an I pad2, the Tailgater camping antenna, the prime 200 package, HBO and all the movie channels for 3 months free, $70.99 a year. After a year, my bill would go up to $113.00 a year, still cheaper than DTV. I told the last agent I talked with, to call me back on Thursday morning and I would decide what to do. Something told me to go to Dish.com and look at their contract. I am glad that I did, as all the prices and free stuff he promised, was not in their contract. When he called this morning,
I asked him again what I would be receiving for joining Dish. He repeated all the items that I have listed above. I told him that I had just finished reading their contract, and what he was telling me was not true. He stated, "How did you read our contract?" I told him that I went online and read it on their web site. There was silence on the phone. I then told him that the contract clearly states that you can't have more than one promotional deal at a time, and that he was offering me three. He stated that the $25.00 offer was separate from the others. I then asked him about the automatic satellite camping dish that he offered me for free, if I bought the 211 box for $99.00. He then replied that he had to talk to his supervisor. When he returned to the line, he told me that I could have the Top 200 for $79.99, plus $16.00 for HBO, and no I pad. I asked him again about the Tailgater Satellite Dish he promised, and he stated, " Oh, I thought you already had one of those, so it would cost you another $399.00." I told him that he had lied to me from the start, and I was not going to switch to DISH NETWORK, He replied, "Well, it just was a misunderstanding, and I will talk to my supervisor and see what can be done." CLICK, he was gone. To conclude, DISH AND DIRECT TV are both bad, but you have to have one of them or go back to the crappy cable. If it is too good to be true, than it is a lie. BEWARE OF DISH NETWORK, AND READ THEIR CONTRACT ON LINE AND ASK LOTS OF QUESTIONS.
mad.gif

AMENDMENT 2
Something else he forgot to tell me was about the DVR Charge of $12.00 a unit in addition to the $79.99.
mad.gif
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post #28 of 146 Old 05-29-2013, 09:26 PM
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I agree DTV pretty much doesn't care about loyal customers, I've been with them on and off over the years only to piss me off every time. I think they call your bluff, figure you would have been gone by now, will stay with them or return in the future. My one year just passed and my bill increased $30, I called and complained about that and my crappy DVR. the best they did for me was $10 per month off and a Genie for $49 and install for $49. I hate starting another 2 year contract, I hate paying $98 but for my needs and pic quality I can't beat it.
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post #29 of 146 Old 05-29-2013, 09:30 PM
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Originally Posted by colour View Post

I agree DTV pretty much doesn't care about loyal customers, I've been with them on and off over the years only to piss me off every time. I think they call your bluff, figure you would have been gone by now, will stay with them or return in the future. My one year just passed and my bill increased $30, I called and complained about that and my crappy DVR. the best they did for me was $10 per month off and a Genie for $49 and install for $49. I hate starting another 2 year contract, I hate paying $98 but for my needs and pic quality I can't beat it.
Technically it's only another 1 year on your contract since it starts now instead of after the old contract ran out. You would have a year left anyway, so this only adds one year to that time frame.


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post #30 of 146 Old 05-29-2013, 09:35 PM
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Originally Posted by grandpagator View Post

I had a receiver go bad last January, and DTV replaced it at no cost, but when I signed the receipt, I did not know that I was agreeing to another 2 year contract. I pay for the monthly service guarantee so that I don't incur any charges for failing equipment. I argued with them for over 30 minutes, and they would not back down.
If indeed all you had done was replace a defective receiver for a replacement of the same or similar model, it shouldn't have started a new contract. The only way it should have done that is if you upgraded in the process, such as getting a DVR in place of a non-DVR receiver or a Genie to replace a standard DVR, for example.

The only other possible way it could have started a contract is if the receiver was one old enough that you bought it yourself instead of being one of the leased models. For anything under the new lease structure, it's on them to replace the broken stuff.


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