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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking through the "Special Offers" on the DirecTV website when I noticed the "Upgrade your receiver for only $49." Nowhere in the DirecTV website does it say the HD receivers are not upgradable. Therefore, I called the 800 number to inquire. The following letter was sent to the office of the president of DirecTV because of my experience.


Quote:
I was browsing the DirecTV.com web site earlier and was excited about a new offer to upgrade my receiver for $49. I called the customer service number @ 1-800-DIRECTV to inquire about this offer:

http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/buy/SpecialOffers.jsp


Upon reaching a customer service agent, I was told that the high

definition receivers were not available as an upgrade. Nowhere in the

offer does it state that the HD receivers are not available for upgrade.

I searched all the terms and conditions, the CSR (and supervisor)

searched all terms and conditions. None of us could find a disclaimer

stating the HD receivers were not available for upgrade.


The first CSR (D*) I spoke with passed me off to another company

(American Satellite) entirely and said they should be able to help.

Needless to say, this did not happen.


I then spoke with S* M* (who was trying to be as helpful as

possible), but he could not show me where it stated I could not upgrade

my HD receiver either. I have a Sony Sat-HD100 that I would like to

upgrade to a Sony Sat-HD200. This seemed like such a simple request and

the offer was too good to pass up.


I am trying to be patient here; however, I believe this practice (or

lack of attention to detail) could result in legal action against

DirecTV, a letter to the Better Business Bureau, and a call from my

attorney.


While I realize there are many other things that may be more important

matters, I would respectfully request contact from one of the people who

I have named in this feedback within 48 hours of sending you this note.

The current time is approximately 6:00 pm EST on April 28, 2003.
Perhaps I'm being a bit harsh, but the website needs to be updated. Do with this information as you will.
 

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Granted, their terms don't specifically exclude HD STBs. However, it would appear that Directv has an out...


"Make and model of receiver at DIRECTV's sole discretion."


I'm sure for $49 they will swap out your HD100 for a state of the art SD STB, but don't expect more than that. They don't reference Directv/TIVO STBs either, but I don't think they're included either. That being said, they do need to update the terms and conditions of this offer to more clearly define what types of STBs are not included in the offer.


Call Customer Retention and call enough times b*tching and moaning and they'll probably do something for you. Especially if you threaten to cancel. Of course, if you get an unhelpful Customer Retention rep, like I've gotten the couple of times I tried, you'll still get nothing, but other people have gotten credits and discounts of a couple hundred bucks. But, keep in mind, strings are always attached. At a minimum they'll require a one-year commitment and will hit you with a $150 fee for cancelling early if you decide to switch to DishNetwork or HD cable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The sad thing is, I thought they would say, "You know, you're right. Although the HD boxes aren't available what can I do for you?"


My answer would have simply been, to change the website to reflect the change to avoid further confusion. I was really taken back by being shipped off to another company to avoid conflict.


I used to work on the phone as a CSR for a nationally known company. I do understand how to do business. Am I just being petty?
 

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Well, keep in mind that Directv (unlike Dishnetwork) doesn't sell their equipment directly to the consumer. It's all handled through 3rd party companies. American Satellite is one of Directv's two online retail partners that are promoted on the Directv website under equipment/hardware. I have a feeling they refer all the people calling for the offer to American Satellite to place the order. If it bothers you enough, call Customer Retention and tell them you're upset by the misleading offer on the Directv website, that you're wanting to upgrade your HD STB, but now you're going to cancel and switch to Dishnetwork because of the way the situation was handled. Who knows, they may throw you a bone to keep you happy. I think it depends on which rep you get in Customer Retention.


They wouldn't do anything for me, but apparently a lot of other people have gotten sizable discounts/credits. If you're persistant enough and eventually get to an aggressive rep who doesn't want you to cancel, you'll probably get something.


When I purchased and activated my Hughes E86. I didn't find out about the deals Customer Retention was doing until after the fact. I had very little leverage with them since I had already agreed to a one-year commitment when I signed the purchase agreement (somewhat unknowingly at Best Buy). I was still pretty hacked. I had called Directv a number of times leading up to my purchase with a variety of questions and asked about discounts and promotions to help with the cost of HD equipment and was repeatedly told that there weren't any. As a Directv subscriber since 1996, I thought it was ridiculous that Directv wouldn't do anything for me when other people who pushed the magic "Customer Retention" button routinely seem to get $100, $150, $200 even $250 credits for upgrading to HD and staying with Directv. That being said, I tried a couple times and got no where with Customer Retention and gave up. If Dishnetwork gets a jump on Directv with a number of additional HD channels or HD cable ever gets introduced in my area, I may play the cancellation card again with Directv Customer Retention, but I've wasted enough time on hold with them that it's not worth it right now for me to keep trying.
 
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