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I have had a DTC100 that I have been using for OTA signal for about 8 months. Just last month I activated the card with DTV for their HBO and HDnet broadcast. The other day while surfing through the menu I noticed a software upgrade was scheduled. My previous revision was like 40b. Will I was watching when the upgrade came and I selected now on the pop up display that asked if I wanted to accept now or later. Will it ran its course and powered down, but it never came back on. The unit has power as the fan comes on and the HD monitor light, lights up but that's it. I tries hard resetting by unplugging for 24 hrs and still no go. I called RCA and they want me to pay to swap it out. They claim that it was only coincidental that the unit failed then and the update had nothing to do with it. That BS as it worked fine until then. They said that the unit is still covered by the parts warranty, but not by the labor portion. This is such a racket as it was their update that they gave to DTV to send down from the sat that took the unit out. I have read elsewhere that quite a few others had this same thing happen. I next contacted DTV and they were even less helpful than RCA. Is this not a great world when you support a company and buy their products and then maliciously destroy it via an update and then want you to pay to have it fixed. It guarantees company growth and profitability by taking advantage of those who keep you going. I will never buy another RCA product if they do not resolve this with no additional cost to me.
 

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Everyone has a boss.


Keep asking for supervisors at RCA untill you get one that agrees to pay for repair.

Quote:
Originally posted by lisnup65:
I have had a DTC100 that I have been using for OTA signal for about 8 months. Just last month I activated the card with DTV for their HBO and HDnet broadcast. The other day while surfing through the menu I noticed a software upgrade was scheduled. My previous revision was like 40b. Will I was watching when the upgrade came and I selected now on the pop up display that asked if I wanted to accept now or later. Will it ran its course and powered down, but it never came back on. The unit has power as the fan comes on and the HD monitor light, lights up but that's it. I tries hard resetting by unplugging for 24 hrs and still no go. I called RCA and they want me to pay to swap it out. They claim that it was only coincidental that the unit failed then and the update had nothing to do with it. That BS as it worked fine until then. They said that the unit is still covered by the parts warranty, but not by the labor portion. This is such a racket as it was their update that they gave to DTV to send down from the sat that took the unit out. I have read elsewhere that quite a few others had this same thing happen. I next contacted DTV and they were even less helpful than RCA. Is this not a great world when you support a company and buy their products and then maliciously destroy it via an update and then want you to pay to have it fixed. It guarantees company growth and profitability by taking advantage of those who keep you going. I will never buy another RCA product if they do not resolve this with no additional cost to me.
 

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Try this:


1) power the unit on and hit the menu button (on the reciever) a couple of times. and then try to turn the hd button off. This may work for you....WHat happens is that the unit can get stuck on a prompt for user input with a button on it, but you can't see it when the unit is locked like this. Hitting the menu button can click past the prompt and unlock the unit. (this is sorta voodoo tech support)


2) If 1 didn't work try hitting the power button and the down arrow button (on the reciever) at the same time. This is a reset.


Let us know how it goes.



EAS


[This message has been edited by EAS (edited 09-23-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Everyone has a boss.

Keep asking for supervisors at RCA untill you get one that agrees to pay for repair.



I was informed that I could write to some commitee at RCA. I want action yesterday, not in weeks!!! Their service sucks and their products will never be supported by myself again even if they agree to replace the unit. This whole ordeal just leaves a bad taste in my mouth. If the unit would have died on its own I would honor the warranty terma and pay for replacemnet, but not when it was being updated with their update!!!! I have spoke with 2 other local persons that this has also happend to. Its time they step up to the plate and take responsabilty for the problem. I understand that thousands of receivers took the update just fine, but it does not excuse that fact that this 1 did not.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Quote:
Originally posted by EAS:
Try this:


1) power the unit on and hit the menu button (on the reciever) a couple of times. and then try to turn the hd button off. This may work for you....WHat happens is that the unit can get stuck on a prompt for user input with a button on it, but you can't see it when the unit is locked like this. Hitting the menu button can click past the prompt and unlock the unit. (this is sorta voodoo tech support)


I have tried almost everything. I tried the soft reboot and I hit every button on it. Its like the eeprom was erased, but nothing was rewrote to it.


2) If 1 didn't work try hitting the power button and the down arrow button (on the reciever) at the same time. This is a reset.


Let us know how it goes.



EAS


[This message has been edited by EAS (edited 09-23-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Quote:
Originally posted by EAS:
Try this:


1) power the unit on and hit the menu button (on the reciever) a couple of times. and then try to turn the hd button off. This may work for you....WHat happens is that the unit can get stuck on a prompt for user input with a button on it, but you can't see it when the unit is locked like this. Hitting the menu button can click past the prompt and unlock the unit. (this is sorta voodoo tech support)



2) If 1 didn't work try hitting the power button and the down arrow button (on the reciever) at the same time. This is a reset.


Let us know how it goes.



EAS


[This message has been edited by EAS (edited 09-23-2001).]
I have tried almost everything. I tried the soft reboot and I hit every button on it. Its like the eeprom was erased, but nothing was rewrote to it.

 

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Quote:
I have tried almost everything. I tried the soft reboot and I hit every button on it. Its like the eeprom was erased, but nothing was rewrote to it.


Well...yes this is likely just about what happened. There are two TSOP chips on the unit. One holds the firmware and the other is for the upgrade process. The unit accepts the firmware upgrade to the second chip and then moves it to the chip where it runs from. Somewhere in that process some units choke. I always hear of fried DTC-100's after every upgrade. This is why I have locked my unit not to accept upgrades. I know this doesn't help you now, but others may be interested.


Thread on the latest upgrade and post on locking the firmware


Mr Landis may be able to give you some pointers on interacting with DirecTV. He had this same problem a few upgrades ago. My technique for getting what I want is calling back endlessly AND during different work shifts, this way you can talk to many different supervisors until you get a sympathetic one or one that gets a litle scared of you http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif


EAS




[This message has been edited by EAS (edited 09-24-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Here is my letter to the Digital Review Board at RCA that I was instucted to write to. Anyone have any usefull input on what I need or should change before sending this afternoon.



9/24/01

To Whom It May Concern:

As a disgruntled consumer of RCA division of products, I would like to alert you of the reasons for my dissatisfaction. In November of 2000 I became the proud owner of a RCA DTC-100 HDTV set top decoder. I had used this unit for 8 months to receive Over the Air (OTA) signals only and just recently did I sign up with DirecTV for the satellite capabilities of the unit. During this time the unit has worked flawlessly offering a good reliable product that I deemed was worth the expense. Will on Saturday 9/22/01 and around 1:30A.M. CST, I received a message window on my screen that indicated a software upgrade was about to be completed and it asked if I wanted to continue now or later. I accepted to continue now and the unit began to process the update that was being sent to the unit via the DirecTV satellite. Upon what I thought was completion of the upgrade the unit powered itself. Upon turning itself back on is when the problem occurred. The unit never fully powered up, but seems to be in a stuck mode. The internal fan is operating and the only other display that is visible is the HD MONITOR light located on the front of the unit. This light is illuminated at all times now and the receiver will not respond to any of the buttons located on nor will it respond to the remote. The unit in essence is a dead unit that does no longer work.

I first contacted DirecTV and inquired about what the problem may be and they walked me through some basic trouble shooting steps that included unplugging the receiver for 10 minutes to do a hard reboot. None of the steps offered any form of help so they then gave me the RCA technical support number. Upon contacting the technical support group on Saturday morning I was informed that this unit is only covered under the parts warranty that RCA offers because the labor warranty has been expired beyond its 90 days. When I insisted that the warranty coverage should be reconsidered as the unit only failed after a software update attempt was made and it appeared the update went ok but the unit never even turned on again. I was then informed that would cost me a sum of $129.95 to have the unit replaced or repaired and it could take up to 6 weeks. As a consumer I feel that this is an outrage!! This unit worked and extremely well I may add before the failed software attempt and then to ask the consumer to bear the financial responsibility to fix the unit that failed is ludicrous. I was informed that this is the RCA procedure and if I was unhappy with it that I should contact you, The Digital Review Board.

I understand the terms of the warranty and I would honor the terms and be happy to pay the labor portion if the unit would have quit working at any other time than the time that it did. I understand that thousands of units may have taken the update successfully, but after reading message boards all over the Internet I see that I am not the rare case and that quite a few others are having the exact same problem that I am. I expect RCA and the Digital review board to step to the plate and take responsibility for this problem in a timely manner. I do not have a case number or any other form of identification for your records, but I did speak with a Jim Silverman that said he was a supervisor on Monday 9/24/01 and on Saturday I spoke with the shift Supervisor that was on duty at 9A.M. CST. Please respond ASAP as your response if needs be will be forwarded along with a copy of this letter to the Wisconsin Attorney General, DirecTV, as well as several news agencies. I simply want the unit repaired or I want my full purchase price refunded!


A very dissatisfied former RCA consumer,


 

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Hello?? call RCA? That isnt the advice this man needs. Here is how to get a new DTC-100 TONIGHT.


Go purchase one at Best Buy. Swap your bad one for the new one. Return it to Best Buy and say that it didn't work. They will gladly give you your money back, and RCA will be stuck with the bad unit like they should have been in the first place. I have done this NUMEROUS times with various pieces of electronics. Those 16 year old kids dont care, and I don't feel ONE bit bad about it.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by policy:
Hello?? call RCA? That isnt the advice this man needs. Here is how to get a new DTC-100 TONIGHT.


Go purchase one at Best Buy. Swap your bad one for the new one. Return it to Best Buy and say that it didn't work. They will gladly give you your money back, and RCA will be stuck with the bad unit like they should have been in the first place. I have done this NUMEROUS times with various pieces of electronics. Those 16 year old kids dont care, and I don't feel ONE bit bad about it.


I normally would do that, but when I first got the DTC-100 it came from BB and it did not work out of the box. When I returned it they verified that the Serila # and the Access card ID matched what was on the box. I do not have the priginal box for mine and the access card is activated. I was thinking of changing the circuit boards and then returning it. If I'm not mistaken the eeproms are on the upper board which only has about 7 plugs and 6 screw holding it down. RCA SUCKS and their service is even worse.
 

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You need to go to a different best buy then, I've NEVER been to one that cared about what I was returning.
 

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lisnup65-


I went through this a year ago in November.


You have to understand how this works legally and you will get restitution. Its what lawyers call a "slam-dunk"!


First of all forget making any claim against RCA as they did not fry your DTC-100 which is the basis of your claim. They may have written the code for the update but it was DirecTV that sent the upgrade that directly killed your receiver. Let DirecTV worry about RCA. The best you can do with RCA, is get a named tech to state for you that if this update didn't "take" perfectly, it could do the damage you observe now. This is very important for you to realize this if you expect to get restitution as this is a legal issue and not a technical one at this point. However, you will want RCA on your side as it will be their statement you will reference when you make your claim either to DirecTV or to the judge in your local court. In my case the RCA tech's statement was quoted in my letter and coming from the people that wrote the upgrade code was the most credible witness against DirecTV I could have acquired.


Next, don't waste your time with the phone calls except to obtain the name and address of the individual you will be sending your claim to. Then send a snail mail letter, certified return receipt requested as soon as possible putting DirecTV on notice that you expect to receive a replaced DTC-100 within 72 hours or you will be suing them in your local small claims court for same.

You should get a response from them rather quickly. DirecTV will make a counter offer and it will be up to you to accept what you feel is fair. Be cooperative with DTV as they will ask lots of questions to verify the damage was caused by their upgrade as you claim. IF you reach an impasse with them, politely excuse yourself and advise them they will be notified of the small claims court's ruling.

Understand that they will not go the expense of sending legal council to your court and they know they will lose. This is a darn near certainty. You don't even need to hire an attorney but if it makes you feel better go ahead and do that but understand that most small claims courts will not compensate you for the legal costs as this court in most communities is designed to use without presence of council.

Actually, I doubt you will end up in court anyway as DirecTv will simply want a settlement with you on it.

I won't discuss the details of my own case and the 3 week impasse I had with DirecTV but I will tell you that I did accept one of their offers and now receive my movie channels free for about 18 months. My DTC-100 was totally out of warrantee as well. I replaced it with a real bargain used DTC-100 to exercise my settlement with them. Over the long haul, I believe I got a better deal. You should try to get them to make you different offers. If you have to go to court, take the receipt showing what you paid for the receiver, What you pay for each month's service and what the estimate to replace the receiver will be. Also take a log of each phone call you make and what was discussed, whom you spoke with date and time for the judge to review. The more you have the better your claim will be because I can assure you DirecTV will not have a case against you. It isn't worth their time to make one!


Note: I am not giving you legal advice here, as I am not a lawyer. I am simply telling you that the above strategy worked for me and I am happy with the settlement that I think was fair.


I wish you luck and e-mail me with any questions you may have. I'd like to see you get what's due you.




------------------

Don Landis

Home Theater Pics at: www.scubatech.com Last updated 3/25/01
 

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I think what is needed here is a temp boycott of Direct TV

from many of the RCA DTC-100 user's.


If Direct tv feels that the lost revenues over this issue would far exceeds the losses that will take replacing those few dead DTC-100's, They just may take an active role on correcting this problem. Yes, not all firmware upgrades are 100% fail free.

As a DTC owner you have no way to decline the upgrades short of making modifications to your hardware.

So we have no opportunity declining these inherited risk's.


This is the same as if your computer manufacture using the internet to find your computer and upgrading the firmware just because they can. (They can not do this without your permission)


I will offer my direct tv service to this cause,

I can live without direct TV for a month or so.


If everyone set up a date to all call in to cancel

service because of this problem, I think things will get done. Yes many have had no problems with the upgrades,

But what if yours is next with the next upgrade?


A letter to Direct tv from all AVS DTC users' with names may help.



[This message has been edited by Diode1 (edited 09-24-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Don,

Thank you for the reply. I thought it was kinda funny when DTV offered me 6 weeks of service for nothing when I initially contacted them about this. I declined as I am still PO'd that I have a dead receiver. I understand the fact that DTV sent the update, but I also feel that RCA should step to the plate and admit that the update could cause these problems. They are the ones that create the updates and then they work with the DTV engineers to form the update packet that is sent through the data-stream. I'm upset because they are claiming that it is just a coincidence that the unit went out at that time which is speculation on their part. Its a flash upgrade and if any of the variables are interrupted then you have what I have, a fried receiver. I am not done pursuing this one and I expect some for of compensation as well as a genuine apology for the inconvenience that I am going through.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Diode1:
I think what is needed here is a temp boycott of Direct TV

from many of the RCA DTC-100 user's.


If Direct tv feels that the lost revenues over this issue would far exceeds the losses that will take replacing those few dead DTC-100's, They just may take an active role on correcting this problem. Yes, not all firmware upgrades are 100% fail free.

As a DTC owner you have no way to decline the upgrades short of making modifications to your hardware.

So we have no opportunity declining these inherited risk's.


This is the same as if your computer manufacture using the internet to find your computer and upgrading the firmware just because they can. (They can not do this without your permission)


I will offer my direct tv service to this cause,

I can live without direct TV for a month or so.


If everyone set up a date to all call in to cancel

service because of this problem, I think things will get done. Yes many have had no problems with the upgrades,

But what if yours is next with the next upgrade?


A letter to Direct tv from all AVS DTC users' with names may help.



[This message has been edited by Diode1 (edited 09-24-2001).]
Thank you for the support, but I truly don't belive that this would work. I don't think that their would be enough supporters for this to raise any concerns with any of the parties involved. As upset I am that it happened to me this time, I just wonder how many more will have this problem and not even realize that a update is what destroyed their unit. Remember if the update comes and say you are sleeping, it runs automatically. How many people woke up this morning to a DTC-100 that only the HD Monitor light lit and they figure that their must have been an electrical spike that destroyed their unit. They will bite the bullet and pay RCA to swap it out or they will go and buy a new unit. If only all owners could be made aware of this, and only then could a large group action be persuasive.
 

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Forget an apology! That is the makings of nothing beneficial for you except to possible make you feel good. I think you need to learn how to ask the right questions of the RCA tech so you get an answer you can use legally.


Instead of asking RCA: What happened? or Why did my DTC-100 go dead? ask them: If there was a power failure or a DirecTV signal failure during the time when the download of the upgrade was being done, would this result in a complete failure of the DTC-100 or would the upgrade download just abort and wait until the next scheduled time and try again? When I asked the RCA tech this question, he said: The way this upgrade works is that due to the size of the upgrade code and the size of the memory in the DTC-100, the first step is that they erase most of the memory in the DTC-100 where the old code resides, but still maintain enough code to continue to accept the new code swapping out portions until it is all complete. If the signal were interrupted by weather, or a momentary power failure the DTC-100 would not be able to continue to get the download and would not have enough software to restart the process over again. The DTC-100 would then need to be reprogrammed at the factory via a direct connection inside the case. "

Due to the out of warrantee cost of having this service performed plus the shipping charges, I decided not to go this route. Forget about your disdane for RCA. This approach will not result in getting you restitution. It was DirecTV that is responsible for your loss. IF RCA had performed the upgrade independent of DirecTV then you would have a case against them. Remember, If I buy a baseball and throw it through your window and break it, would you blaim the manufacture of the baseball or me? There is a certain liability and risk in DirecTV's decision to execute the upgrades via remote signal like this. While it may be a joint venture in the execution, clearly DirecTV knows who is liable in this and that is why you were quickly given a token settlement offer.


Having said all this, the bottom line is you have the final say and never forget it. If they decide to play hardball with you, just know they will not try to fight you in small claims court were you are sure to win, most likely, a brand new receiver. They will not spend 2-3 thousand $ to fight a $300 claim. Their loss insurance won't permit it.


------------------

Don Landis

Home Theater Pics at: www.scubatech.com Last updated 3/25/01
 

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If the receiver was "damaged" by the upgrade, it's not really damaged or "fried" as some may put it. The flash RAM is simply corrupted. All that needs to be done is a total re-flash. I doubt this can be done over the satellite however. But a factory service center probably has some test jig running on a PC they clip into the receiver someplace and re-flash it.


You may just have to take it to a local service center and no you should not be charged for this.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Glimmie:
If the receiver was "damaged" by the upgrade, it's not really damaged or "fried" as some may put it. The flash RAM is simply corrupted. All that needs to be done is a total re-flash. I doubt this can be done over the satellite however. But a factory service center probably has some test jig running on a PC they clip into the receiver someplace and re-flash it.


You may just have to take it to a local service center and no you should not be charged for this.
I'd love to know if anyone finds a service center that can do this. This is technically possible. Actually any tech with a good unit and a 56 pin test clip and some eeprom read/write software could do this....actually 169time could do this if they ever got enough nerve to interface with the public again. Let's not go there http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif . If someone finds a place that will fix their unit without removing the tsop chips and replacing them please let us know.


EAS

 

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Before you start filing lawsuits, may I suggest that you first try to get this resolved within DirecTV? Not RCA, they already have your money. DirecTV has to keep you as a customer.


Call them and explain what happened. Don't start threatening them. Don't get angry with them. Don't cuss them out. Just explain what happened and ask them if they can help you.


Now, the front line CSR's will probably not be able to do anything for you. Expect that. After they tell you that, ask to be connected to the Resolution Management Team and/or get the phone number for it.


This will be a toll call and it is a small office with about 4 people in it. BUT, they are in the business of resolving problems and they have the power to intervene when there is a problem that involves a contractor or partner.


I would try going through this route first, before you start filing or threatening legal action.


One thing I can tell you is that, in business the first thing your lawyer tells you is that if someone threatens a lawsuit you should immediately cut off all communications because they can use it against you.


Legal threats are one way to assure that you will not get any cooperation from them. Use it only when all else has failed and you have nothing to lose from doing it.


My 2c. I am not a lawyer. This isn't legal advice.
 
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