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Discussion Starter #1
I have been with D* for years and recently emailed them complaining about the PQ of their HD and the sparseness of the programming offered. Basically, I wanted to know when my contract was up as i was thinking about going with cable for the HD and also the DVR. No upfront costs and my doctor tells me Steeler games are in HD. On NFL:ST, all the local games were blacked out last year.


Heres what I received back...


Quote:
Dear Mr. *****,


Thanks for writing. I'm sorry to hear that you are thinking of canceling your DIRECTV service when your annual commitment ends on 10/11/2005. You are important to us and we certainly want to keep you as a customer. A service specialist will call in the next few days to discuss what we can do to meet your needs.


Thank you for your patience, and for giving us the chance to respond to your concerns.


Sincerely,


Adrian

DIRECTV Customer Service
I also received a phone message from D* last night ( I wasn't home) requesting I call back.


The reason I am posting this is for insight and tips as to how I should proceed. I would really like to have a DVR but I tried this last year and it was a fiasco. I ordered one off of their site for $99. The tech ran most of the cabling and then came in and saw I had HD. Said he could not proceed and I would have to call D*. Seems he was going to take my receiver and replace it. D* "kindly" offered to sell me a HD DVR for $999 but stated they could not provide a SD one with my setup. Funny thing is this episode was in October of last year. NEW ONE YEAR COMMITMENT.


Seems everytime I call them I get locked into another year. I hesitate to call them again. Does anyone have any insight as to what they can offer me before I call?


Cable has no contract and will provide equipment for free. The DVR plus paying for an HD package that is the same couple channels plus now only looks slightly better than my other channels is really starting to piss me off.


Sorry for the long post and the tortured reading.
 

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There's a lot of stuff to ask for:

DVR - are ou talking about an HDTivo or regular Tivo?

Do you want another HD reciever?

What movie packages do you have? They will usually offer Showtime free for 6 months, or HBO half price for 6 months.


It depends on what you want. Realize if you get new hardware you are locked into another 12 month contract
 

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24 months for DVR's or HD.

Quote:
Offer valid between 08/01/05 and 11/05/05 for customers who activate DIRECTV DVR service and subscribe to 24 consecutive months (without interruption) of any TOTAL CHOICE programming package ($41.99/mo. or above), DIRECTV PARA TODOS programming package ($29.99/mo. or above) or qualifying international services bundle within 30 days of equipment purchase. In certain markets, programming and pricing may vary. DVR service activation required.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
All I ever wanted was a regular TIVO. D* wanted to take my receiver and replace with their TIVO receiver. I will have to pay for $500 for the HD DVR which will most likely be obsolete soon.


24 months! Seems somebodies a little jealous of the cell phone companies.


Anyone know the charges for early cancelation?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad335
I will have to pay for $500 for the HD DVR which will most likely be obsolete soon.
A few years

Quote:
Anyone know the charges for early cancelation?
I don't know the exact charge, but for every month that you keep D*, it decreases the penalty by 1/24th
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by mx6bfast
A few years
I read on here that they are going to Mpeg4 in November. I admit I am not a techy, but wouldn't this render this unit useless?


Quote:
Originally Posted by mx6bfast
I don't know the exact charge, but for every month that you keep D*, it decreases the penalty by 1/24th
I will have to call them to get the exact figure. They will not give it to me via email. I can easily sell my HD receiver on ebay to recoup some or possibly all the cost.


Goodbye to D* and their seven channels of HD Lite.
 

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So your concerned about one mpeg2 box being out of date but your going to sell the other one on ebay? Also it's close to 100% that D* will swap you hd-tivo for little or no cost.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by harlenm
There is no cancelation fee from d* if you send them back the equipment.
I own my own equipment so this is not an option.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Posty-McPost
So your concerned about one mpeg2 box being out of date but your going to sell the other one on ebay?
Sorry, I don't understand what you are asking. ( Maybe not enough coffee for me yet.)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Posty-McPost
Also it's close to 100% that D* will swap you hd-tivo for little or no cost.
Actually not quite... I just got off the phone with them and they offered a HD TIVO for $649.00 with a $200 discount and a waive of the installation fee. Plus a TWO YEAR COMMITMENT.


Or.


A stand alone regular TIVO for $99 with a $99 mail in rebate. ( Yeah right. Been down the "mail in" road, no thank you) and a waive of the installation fee. Plus a TWO YEAR COMMITMENT.


Also, offered $20 off my bill for six months. Hmmm.... Going to call Adelphia and see what they offer. Thanks for the replies!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad335
I read on here that they are going to Mpeg4 in November. I admit I am not a techy, but wouldn't this render this unit useless?
The November MPEG4 is best case and it won't obsolete your existing MPEG2 hardware. Matter of fact, existing MPEG2 hardware sites won't get replacements of MPEG4 hardware until '06 or '07.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Quote:
Originally Posted by bobm
The November MPEG4 is best case and it won't obsolete your existing MPEG2 hardware. Matter of fact, existing MPEG2 hardware sites won't get replacements of MPEG4 hardware until '06 or '07.
Thanks for clearing that up. Like I said, I wasn't really sure about this. Thats why I come here.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Well, just talked to Adelphia. To quote a Direct TV promo, " Its a No-Brainer."


Can't pass up a deal with HD, a DVR, small setup fee, and no contract! Plus the price combined with internet fees is equal to what I pay for D* alone.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by vlad335
Well, just talked to Adelphia. To quote a Direct TV promo, " Its a No-Brainer."


Can't pass up a deal with HD, a DVR, small setup fee, and no contract! Plus the price combined with internet fees is equal to what I pay for D* alone.
Good. I would call Adelphia and have them come out a few days before your contract ends with D*. That way you can compare PQ of both SD & HD. Then you can sell your old recievers on ebay.
 

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yeah definately give yourself a week with both to compare..... i did the same and to me it was a no brainer cable was better than dbs (cox)
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by mx6bfast
Good. I would call Adelphia and have them come out a few days before your contract ends with D*. That way you can compare PQ of both SD & HD. Then you can sell your old recievers on ebay.
Adelphia set my install date as 8-12-05. Wow! Thats prety fast.


Here is my HD lineup with Adelphia.

Quote:
704 WTAE HD WTAE HD Broadcast HD (High Definition)

713 WQED HD WQED (High Definition) Broadcast HD (High Definition)

725 KDKA HD KDKA High Definition Broadcast HD (High Definition)

748 WPXI HD WPXI HD Broadcast HD (High Definition)

750 HD HBO HBO HD HBO HD (High Definition)

751 HD SHOWTIME Showtime HD Showtime HD (High Definition)

752 HD STARZ Starz HD Starz HD (High Definition)

753 HD CINEMAX Cinemax HD Cinemax HD (High Definition)

770 HD NET HD NET Broadcast HD (High Definition)

771 HDN MOVIES HD NET MOVIES Broadcast HD (High Definition)

772 ESPN HD ESPN HD HD PLUS TIER

774 INHD1 iNDemand HD HD PLUS TIER

775 INHD2 iNDemand HD 2 HD PLUS TIER

776 DISC HD Discovery HD HD PLUS TIER

777 NFL HD NFL Network HD HD PLUS TIER
Sweet! I hope the PQ is good.


I have another month of D*. Also, the guy I talked to said I have no contract now. They were going off of the DVR fiasco last year and my contract should not have been renewed.


I am definately going to compare the two. I think I will keep Adelphia until FIOS is available. D* had better get their **** together or they are going to disappear.
 

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It is interesting to hear such anecdotal evidence about the superiority of Adelphia's service.


Obviously regions vary, but Adelphia has long had the lowest ratings in the cable industry -- and that is in an industry with about the worst customer service record ever known.


As for "...D* had better get their **** together or they are going to disappear..."


It is interesting to note that even in a down quarter, with no action on the HD (or any other programming front), with no internet bundling deals, and no VOD, DirecTV still managed in the second quarter to add more basic subs that all cable companies combined.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa
It is interesting to hear such anecdotal evidence about the superiority of Adelphia's service.


Obviously regions vary, but Adelphia has long had the lowest ratings in the cable industry -- and that is in an industry with about the worst customer service record ever known.


As for "...D* had better get their **** together or they are going to disappear..."


It is interesting to note that even in a down quarter, with no action on the HD (or any other programming front), with no internet bundling deals, and no VOD, DirecTV still managed in the second quarter to add more basic subs that all cable companies combined.
Your comment above does not belong in the HDTV forum because obviously cable is beating D* in the HDTV department hands down for now, D* admits so. The fact the worst cable company is beating D* in the HDTV area should have shut you guys up by now.


D* continues to add more subs who don't know or have HDTV. I found it funny how the D* apologists continue to find any good news, even though has nothing to do with HDTV, to try to brush off their HDTV set back at this time.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Quote:
Originally Posted by fredfa
It is interesting to hear such anecdotal evidence about the superiority of Adelphia's service.


Obviously regions vary, but Adelphia has long had the lowest ratings in the cable industry -- and that is in an industry with about the worst customer service record ever known.


As for "...D* had better get their **** together or they are going to disappear..."


It is interesting to note that even in a down quarter, with no action on the HD (or any other programming front), with no internet bundling deals, and no VOD, DirecTV still managed in the second quarter to add more basic subs that all cable companies combined.
Obviously the first shot in a pissing contest with a D* fanboy. But I digress.


Let me see... How did I get to the place where I decide to see what else is out there. I have been a D* subscriber for 8-10 years. ( Don't remember specifically how long) Despite the lack of HD and the ability to get a DVR from D*, I will describe to you what initially got the ball rolling.


Last year I signed up for NFL:ST. I admit I didn't read the fine print and was unhappy that all the local Steeler games were not in HD and were blacked out for that matter. Can't cancel. No problem.


At the end of the season, I called to cancel ST for renewal. Fine, it was removed. About a month ago my bill reflected NFL:ST so I called again ( also Emailed) and got responses from both saying it was a mistake and it would be removed and it was. ( I checked the D* web site)


What do you think I found last week? NFL:ST was listed in my programming again! It was also added to my bill! I can see the first renewal being an honest mistake but the second? It was an obvious attempt at extorting money from me. Pure and simple. Once the season starts, no cancellation!


Thats your D* customer service for you. Its a different company now. The guy I spoke to in customer retention was likable but one thing he said bothered me. He told me that they going to add 150 channels of HD by the end of this year. Please! Don't lie to me. PLUS... They want to sell me a DVR when the right thing to do is just give me one? A two year agreement? The guy even stated, " Wow. You have been a subscriber for a long time." You would think that I would be on the top tier of loyal customers and they would pull out all the stops but this is what they offer? Sorry. I'll pass on this great customer service of yours.


Hey, if I don't like Adelphia guess what? I can drop them like a bad habit.
 

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I think the statement that D* will "disappear" unless they get their act together is a little much - they're doing pretty well. But, they have lost customers like me for some of the reasons mentioned. When I only had a standard TV, I was very happy with the D* service. That changed when I got an HDTV. Here's my comparison:


HD with D*:
  • NFL Sunday Ticket :)
  • a handful of HD channels for an extra $11/month
  • HD Locals via OTA - reception was ok, but I would need to put up an external antenna to lock in most broadcasts ( I did finally get CBS and FOX national HD feeds)
  • Constant audio dropouts on HD channels with DD 5.1
  • HD DVR at (then) $900, soon to be obsolete


HD with cable (Comcast):
  • HD channels, including my locals, included in package price - plus I have a couple more than I used to (although I miss HDNET) - picture and sound are excellent
  • HD DVR at $10/month rental
  • Combined with my cable internet fee, I'm still spending $25 less per month than I was with D*
  • On Demand (it's all SD - I don't watch it but my kids love the PBS stuff)
  • SD picture is better compared to what I got from D*
  • No Sunday Ticket :( - good news is Steelers have several national games this season


Does that mean I will never go back to D*? No - I said that about Comcast once, and I'm back. Within a year or two, I think/hope D* will have HD programming more in line with what I want, and hopefully they won't still be doing things like charging extra for HD NFLST. Until then, I'll stay with what I have now.
 
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