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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I hope this is in the right forum. It kind of touches a lot of topics.


I have an older regular DirecTV receiver I wanted to replace. I hooked it up and called to activate it, and they said to add or change ANY new equipment (new or used) you have to sign up for a year of programming.


Now, say my HD receiver dies, and I spend the big bucks to buy a new one. I also have to commit to a year of programming? If I want to upgrade my bedroom receiver to HD, I have to commit to a year of programming?


Is this a new policy? I know if you buy from a place that makes you sign a commitment contract, then you have to commit, but what if I buy a used receiver, or get one from someplace that doesn't offset the cost?


I think this could be the dumbest thing I have ever heard. Why should I be penalized for wanting to upgrade my receiver, replace a broken receiver, or getting a new receiver that allows me to receive extra programming, such as the HD stuff?


I almost canceled DirecTV right on the spot I was so angry.
 

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I believe you've gotten some bad information...or they recently changed their policy.


I added a third receiver a little over a year ago and there was no mention about a new commitment. I have one that I activate every few months for a week or two at a time, and each time I call to re-activate, they don't mention anything about commitment then either.
 

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I had my Hughes E86 HD receiver die on me a few months ago. Since it was out of warranty I decided to buy another E86 and this time get an extended 5 year warranty. I called D* to get the old E86 deactivated and the new one activated and was told by the CSR that I needed to make a 1 year commitment. Apparently D* now requires a new commitment every time another receiver is added, at least that was what I was told. After again explaining this was a replacement, not an addition, the CSR had to get special permission from her supervisor to waive the commitment. Not that it really mattered since I've been with D* since 1994 and plan on continuing as a subscriber, but the commitment seems unreasonable.


Replacement because of a defect shouldn't require the commitment but just upgrading might. So keep that in mind when you call to activate. ;)


Also I should add, that I had considered buying a used E86 to replace my bad one. Before doing that I called D* and was told they no longer activate used receivers. It has to be a new receiver with a new access card. So I bought a new E86 which was ok since I wanted an extended warranty anyway. I don't know if this is a hard rule but again that's what I was told.
 

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I added my receiver to my dad's plan March 2003, they said we had to stay at the programming level or higher for a year, but the rep told me this not my dad, who holds the account. Pretty stupid considering I had to pay $20 to activate the receiver.


I agree this is a BS policy and I am not sure the reason, I don't see how this would prevent piracy if that is the reason.
 

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I agree that it's BS. I can totally see it when giving out a deal, but to simply require that to activate a receiver that you already own is asinine. The next question is: how binding can that really be? If a better deal were to come along from another provider, and you canceled DirecTV, could they really sue you for a year's worth of programming? I can see them "taking back" any promotion they may have given you if you agreed to a commitment, but I really don't see how they could enforce such a thing for a simple activation. Dan Collins has reported that there is a rumored price increase coming within a couple months. My reaction would simply be "yeah, and I committed to a years worth of total choice back when Total Choice was $xx.xx."
 

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Well, it does say this on the T&C page; you can assume the 'a one-year' sub is an extension.


We may charge you a monthly fee of up to $4.99 for each additional receiver, rather than a full subscription fee on each additional receiver. This reduced rate is available only if all receivers are located at your residence and are continuously connected to the same land-based telephone line. If not, you will be responsible for the full amount of our programming charges for each receiver.


By activating your receiver, you are committing to a one-year subscription (12 consecutive months) of any TOTAL CHOICE® package or OPCIÓN EXTRA ESPECIAL® package (valued at $33.99 per month or above) or Phoenix TV package. If your account is downgraded below TOTAL CHOICE, OPCÃON EXTRA ESPECIAL® or Phoenix TV programming, disconnected or terminated before you meet your one-year service commitment, you agree that DIRECTV may charge you a pro-rated fee of up to $150 depending upon the timing of such action.
 

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This is there policy. I "upgraded" to an HD receiver by swapping it out with one of my standard ones. It is total BS, but they'll try to rope you in for as long as they can. The year went by quickly for me and I look forward to more HD programming in 2004.
 

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Let me see if I have this right. You can go out and buy a new HD receiver at full price and you have to commit to 1 year of service. And if you want to upgrade your box to something new, you can't sell your old box because Directv won't activate it.


Is this correct?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yep, that sounds about correct.


And don't forget, if your receiver DIES, and you have to replace it, you have to commit to a year of programming.


Made me want to cancel DirecTV right there on the spot. What a horrible customer policy.


I'm in the Philly market, and am always a hair away from canceling to get my Sportsnet back, anyway. No way I am signing up for another year. Of course, now I can't sell my HD receiver.
 

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Quote:
you can't sell your old box because Directv won't activate it. Is this correct?
No, you can sell your box, but the person buying it, will need to activate it $20 and then get a years worth of service. Seems fine if you are a new customer but this is just plain lame if you are already a customer and you get a used receiver.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Darin
Dan Collins has reported that there is a rumored price increase coming within a couple months. My reaction would simply be "yeah, and I committed to a years worth of total choice back when Total Choice was $xx.xx."
I committed for a year last Feb when they gave me an oval dish and I upgraded to HD. Shortly after, they bumped up Total Choice by $2, but I got a letter stating that they would honor the old rate since I commited for a year.
 

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There is a very good reason why DirecTV has a one year policy. Piracy. By requiring a 1 year commitment they can deter pirates from easily getting ahold of new access cards.


As for activating used equipment it goes back to the piracy issue. They don't want their access cards being sold, in fact, it's illegal for you to sell or transfer it, because you don't own it. DirecTV owns the access card. So, saying it's legally iffy for DirecTV to not allow you to activate used equipment is moot, because you can't activate it unless you have an access card, and you can't legally have an access card you bought used. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if they start demanding the access card be returned to them if you try to activate it on a used receiver, especially after they have already taken your name, address, phone, etc to sign up.


Now, if you talk to a decent CSR you can sometimes get around this. For instance I purchased a new receiver to replace my failed sony, had the 1year service added. 5 months later I bought a HDVR2, the CSR I spoke to when activating it said "Oh, you are already doing a 1 year commitment so I won't add another one".


Ask to speak with a manager, if you really are a solid customer they can plainly see you aren't trying to pirate access cards, and they will most likely wave it... Unless of course the receiver you purchased had a subsidy built into it, then you might be out of luck no matter who you talk to.


Brian
 

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If you buy a used reciever and call to hook it up, they require you to get a new access card, and they cancel the old one. I did this a couple years ago and had to pay 80 bucks.
 

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It is legally iffy because they require you to purchase the equipment, to do so without allowing you to resell it would be the same thing the music companies tried to do with CDs. They cannot require people to buy new instead of used. They can charge for access cards and activation (same as cell phones), but they cannot forbid used equipment sales.


But it appears used is still okay, just requiring a new access card (which should be $30 currently) and 1 year commitment. Which sucks, but is better then the 2 year commitment required with cell phones, although I don't think you have to re-commit if you already have the equipment (with cell phones).
 

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They don't want their access cards being sold,
As BearGator pointed out, you get a new access card as part of activation of used equipment, I did it twice. If I do sell the old receivers I definitely will not let the buyer have the access cards.
 
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