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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last week I got a call from a local DirecTV sales company. They offered me the DirecTV HD Tivo at $299, but a $50 rebate for activating the DVR and a $50 Visa Gift Card. With the going price of this thing, wow, what a deal. So I signed up for that and added an SD receiver for my bedroom.


So they billed my credit card. I hired an installer to run the extra coax and phone line. I cancelled my Dish Network. I took a day off work for the installation.


Then yesterday the installer shows up with a NON-Tivo HD Receiver and a NON-Tivo SD receiver. No Tivo at all. I refused the installation and sent the guy away. I immediately called the salesperson who sold me the setup.


They suddenly didn't even know there WAS such a thing as an HD Tivo. "We don't carry anything like that. They don't even make one." Needless to say, I was PISSED.


So after a long conversation where I educated them that there WAS an HD Tivo and reminding them that I repeatedly gave them the model number of the HD Tivo when I was placing my order, they finally relented and admited that there WAS an HD Tivo, but it was going to cost me a lot more.


So... I very sternly, but politely asserted the following:


"I have made additional investments of both money and time based on what I was sold AND you have already billed me. Legally that puts everything in my favor. I am willing to accept that your salesperson commited a blunder, not a lie. However, I am not going to pay for that blunder. YOU ARE.


Therefore, there is only one solution I will accept-- You will fulfill the original order you sold me, at the price I've already paid, in a timely manner. Period. If you propose any other solution, I will use every avenue available to me, including insisting that DirecTV pull your contract, contacting the Better Business Bureau, and using the courts to get what I originally was sold.


However, that's NOT what I want. What I want is to be watching and recording HDTV tonight, happy with my new system. And that's what I paid for. So my hope is that your company will choose to honor the original order you sold to me."


So folks... what's your take on this? I feel that I'm making a sound and reasonable argument. But I know that some of you ARE the resellers and installers affected by this sort of thing. So I'm interested in everyone's perspective. I invite you to comment, and I pledge not to argue against the points you make. I really do want your straightforward opinions.


Thanks,

Dale
 

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Hey there Dale! Good to see you here!


I think you did absolutely the right thing. Please let us know how it turns out...


Dan
 

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Yo,kiddo;most everybody here knows the price of the piece you were hoping for. They'd be out of product in a day if it were available at that deal/price. Sometimes when it seems to good to be true; it is.Also, generally your average sales folk are not familar with the upscale versian of most everything audio or video.---Sorry you got your hopes up. Geo.
 

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I am not a lawyer. However, it my understanding that contract

law does not require that a deal is

reasonable, only that consideration - money -

is paid to bind an agreement. I think

they owe you the product and services

you paid for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dave:


I totally agree... I should have got the offer in writing. But since it was a phone-in order, there was no opportunity to do that. Lucky for me, Texas has laws that make verbal contracts considerably more binding than in most states. And the fact that they billed me already really helps my case, should it go to that annoying extreme.
 

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My take is that the deal you feel you were offered was not a reasonable deal and no reasonable person would believe it was as you understood. I say accept an immediate refund and deal with a company that will provide you an acceptable offer in writing. Although I am not an attorney, I don't believe for a second you have any basis for requiring the HD TiVo be given to you for that price. I believe that any verbal offer where there is disagreement would certainly have to meet a test of reasonableness.


Chris
 

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One thing they can do is just refund your money. However, since I'm all for teaching folks a lesson who oversell what they have, you may also want to contact the AG's office and your local District Attorney. The complaining to the licensing board is also a good idea if they don't come through.


My guess is that they will refund your money, thus fulfilling their obligation (as I understand it; IANAL) under Texas State law. However, if they have done this a lot (presumably their pitch was pretty scripted), then you have something that an ambitious attorney in the AG's office might want to pursue (voters love stopping fraudulent sales practices).


Later,

Bill
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Chris:


Thanks for your input. I guess I should also point out that before this deal was offered to me, I had no exposure to either DirecTV or Tivo whatsoever. During the initial call, I logged on to DirecTV's web site to learn about the box, but no price was listed. So although I did think I was getting a great deal (based on my knowledge of the cost of the DishPlayer 921), I honestly did not know that the deal was as good as it was. I assumed that the cost of the box was being defrayed against the cost of service, as with cell phones.


This isn't an argument against your point. I just wanted to provide that additional information. Again, thanks for chiming in.


Dale
 

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Prices of hardware boxes are often discounted significantly (and at a loss) to get customers into long-term contracts. Hence we have "free DTV" boxes etc. So it's not that fanciful to imagine a big discount on an HD Tivo.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Pradeep
Prices of hardware boxes are often discounted significantly (and at a loss) to get customers into long-term contracts. Hence we have "free DTV" boxes etc. So it's not that fanciful to imagine a big discount on an HD Tivo.
Not unless you don't understand math. Yes SD receivers are given free and HD receivers discounted a couple of hundred dollars with the subsidy recovered from programming profits. The discount he believes he was offered to get everything including an HD TiVo and second receiver and installation for $199 after rebate and giftcard is absurd. The approximately $700 subsidy couldn't be recovered in 4 years much less over the one-year programming commitment that is required with receiver purchases. The profit on programming subscriptions hasn't been sufficient to offset the subsidies given to allow DirecTV to show a profit as is.


The offer was idiotic and obviously not real.


Chris
 

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Quote:
I totally agree... I should have got the offer in writing. But since it was a phone-in order, there was no opportunity to do that.
Sure there was. You tell them to send you the info in the mail and then you'll order.


Still, it sucks to be told the wrong info. They need to step up or at least offer a refund for all your outlay. Unfortunately it's very hard to prove just what the CSR said. I hope you kept receipts.
 

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Funny how every car at the used car lot was only ever driven easy commute freeway miles, or to church by a little old lady on Sundays.


You need a very large grain of salt with many salespeople... Particularly when they start throwing acronyms or brand names around.


I wonder how many people (over the years) bought a non-Xerox copy machine with the term Xerox used in the sales process?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Okay... well apparenlty some folks are downright taking offense to the idea that I trusted someone who was trying to sell me something, and that I think its reasonable for them to follow through with what they pre-billed me for.


It's not like I called the people and tried to hornswaggle something for nothing. They called me, and they already had this offer up their sleeve. (Specifically, they initially were just trying to get me to sign up, but when I mentioned that I was interested in HDTV, this was the card they played.) Although I didn't know what the price of the unit should have been, I WAS surprised at how low the price was. That's why I asked, over and over, for confirmation that we were talking about the HD Tivo. I specifically asked, "This is the high definition Tivo, not just a high definition receiver, right???"


I'll be the first to say that if I had somehow pulled the wool over some poor salesperson's eyes and they later realized their mistake and refuted the deal, I'd be getting my just reward. But this was an offer laid before me, point blank. I took the offer, and they charged me for it. I truly believe that the fact that the offer was "absurd" becomes their problem at that point.


I do understand, and expect, that some people will disagree. I don't take issue with that. However, I would prefer that we keep the discussion civil. None of us will benefit in any way if we choose to be rude simply because we take an alternate stand from the one we're reading about.


Thanks,

Dale
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Quote:
Originally posted by DTV TiVo Dealer
I hate to say I told you so, but here we are http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...79#post4540579

Robert:


It looks like you were right on the money with this one. Thanks for the early heads-up. Unfortunately, I lost track of that thread for a few days and didn't see your reply until now. To answer your question, I placed the order with a local reseller, not with DirecTV.


I'm curious; How would you handle this situation if one of your salespeople made such a blunder? (And yes, from your perspective I expect and understand "I'd refund your money and apologize for the mistake.")


I'm cool with that answer. I'm just not planning on leaving it at that. Preparing for this installation cost me several hundred dollars, and I'm not just going to walk away quietly without doing everything that I consider to be moral and legal to turn the situation back in my favor.


Thanks,

Dale
 

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Dale,


Very good question and personally I tend to take care of mistakes made by anyone in my company.


Also, do I understand that the technician was going to install a three room basic system, no HD set top box, no DVR of any kind? That system is free from most dealers.


I absolutely can't imagine anyone at my well trained company making a mistake like this.
 

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Thanks, that make some sense as it's the normal price for a non DVR HD system.


I am sorry you had this experience and I appreciate your position. I guess it's up to the management if they want to accept the order.


If they turn you down I'm not sure about any league rights you have to force them to do anything better so if they turn you down you might want to offer a compromise to avoid spending time, getting upset and likely not getting anything better in the end anyway.


I know it's not much compensation, but remember, DIRECTV will give you a $50.00 rebate for activating new DIRECTV service with a DVR and you will get 6 months of Free HD programming and you can also still take advantage of the NFL Season Ticket with 4 months of free PREMIER Programming.


-Robert
 

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Sorry if my comment suggested that people are responsible for being overly gullible by succumbing to repeated incorrect sales hype.


Part of my point is that the term "Tivo" is overused.


I have heard people say stuff like "I Tivoed the game the other night, and watched it last night". Then when I ask "which Tivo model", the response is like "I don't know, some ReplayTV thing...", or "The Dishnetwork Tivo"


"Tivo" has gotten a bit overused as a generic term just like Xerox used to be used for all kinds of copiers.
 
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