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Question DetailsAsked on 5/22/2011

Has anyone else in NJ dealt with Direct TV?

The installation yesterday took 9 HOURS because the guy had to come back 4 times since he didn't have the right equipment, and then didn't know how to fix the problems he was having. As if this wasn't bad enough, it was literally the worst customer service we've encountered. And of course at that point, the installation was 3/4 done, and a new dish already installed on my roof. My wife called and spoke with someone later on and told them what had happened and they provided us some lame discounts, including some items which they claimed were freebies but that we were already getting anyway as new customers. We certainly don't want to give them any money, but we are stuck in a contract of course, and don't have much better options with Comcast. What has been your experience?

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    17 Answers

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    Sounds to me like you ran afoul of the independent contractor thing. No doubt DT uses independent contractors, but that's still no excuse for what you went through. We're getting ready to have DT hooked up here in Ohio this weekend, and frankly if I got the behavior you experienced I doubt the guy would get off our property in one piece, although he would get off it and quickly.

    Yes, you have a contract. But the contract was for SERVICE, and what you got was not what anyone would expect. I'd recommend you sit down and decide what it is you want to happen. Do you want to end the contract? Then document all of this, write it down and send it to the president of the company with as many specifics as you can manage. Tell him you consider the contract null and void due to nonperformance on the part of their employee. (And don't let them tell you independent contractors are not employees, because they certainly are. The guy wasn't working for Dunkin Donuts, was he? [:)] You might also ask for a monetary amount to compensate you for time off from work dealing with this guy, etc. - but you probably won't get those.

    If you want to continue with the company, or you feel you have no choice, then speak to a supervisor, tell him/her exactly what happened and demand that the most senior installer be sent to your property. Tell them the time frame in which you expect the job to be completed, along with anything else you need done or not done. Above all tell them the first guy is not allowed on your property. Again, if there are any credits or free services you feel you deserve as a result of this (three months free service sounds about right to me) then tell them you expect all of this too.

    Also, be sure to file a report on Angie's List. People in your area need to know what's up with this company, so maybe others won't have to experience what you did.

    Let us know what happens, okay?

    Answered 7 years ago by Commonsense

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    I have a huge problem with these large companies selling a feature for a low price and you find out there are many hidden costs ! I ordered direct tv on 3/9 . They were out to install within 3 days ...imagine that . The installer was a sub-contractor and left the biggest mess in my home you have ever seen . He did not hook up my boxes correctley nor program my remotes . I came upstairs only to find he had already left !! I paid $239 up front for a DVR recorder (joke this is to rent not buy ) . He left and it did not work . I called ...they sent another installe to fix this mess but not until 4/9 . I then recieved 2 more boxes that were not working ... 45 days into this mess and I called to cancel ! Guess what a $275 cancel fee ...wait . Dont I have atleast 30 days of actual service before I am into a contract ? I am pissed to say the least . Since 4/9 I paid $239 for a reciever that doesn't work which I had to send back........ $180 for 2 months of service which I never recieved ....and $20 for a disconect fee and service cancel fee !! I called and threw a fit only to get no problem we will not charge you a fee for cancel because I know they have 10 pages of calls for me ! I was told they would return my call in 3 days to confirm .... never happened .. Now I am fighting the charge which must go to their higher ups which I cant talk to ..They will call me .. Great customer service !! BS !!! Unbelieveable !!!!!! I will keep COMCAST !!! Run like hell from these thieves ! Anyone else have these problems ?? P

    Answered 7 years ago by Pammiesue

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    all of the cable companies seem to have appalling service. that's why i recently dusted off my old rabbit ears antenna and plugged it in. even though the antenna was partially broken, i got ~10 good channels. even several hi def channels that look beautiful! and it's all free. bye bye cox.

    Answered 7 years ago by blakelock

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    We recently got a satellite installed at our new house because that was our only option (other than watch local TV exclusively). The installation actually went very well, the guys were professional, etc. But the service is appalling. The software is total crap, the system is about as user-friendly as a one-legged mule, and it's even hard to find the channels I want in order to program anything.

    Never thought I'd miss good old Time Warner Cable. Who knew those were the good old days?

    Answered 7 years ago by Commonsense

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    We, too, discontinued our cable because of poor service about two years ago and had a satellite installation. Everytime it rained, or even threatened, the picture went kaput. Needless to say, that lasted about six months and we resumed our cable viewing. Most of our neighbors have satellite dishes but I have no idea why. Comcast bought our old cable company and the customer service has actually been better. I wonder if there's anyone out there who is very pleased with their cable companies. When you don't have a choice, you take what you can get I guess.

    Answered 7 years ago by michelemabelle

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    The only reason we have satellite is that without it we can only get very basic cable. We finally heard from Time Warner Cable yesterday in response to our request a few weeks ago for a quote to run a cable down our driveway, which is more than 500 feet long. They informed us our "contribution" to the installation would be at least $1000!! And here I thought our contribution was the monthly fee. So we have satellite because that's the only way we can get Comedy Channel, HBO, etc.

    The satellite installer assured me that the only reason anyone ever gets bad satellite reception during rain or storms is that the dish wasn't aimed properly when it was installed, but that sounds like something he would say whether it was true or not, doesn't it?

    Answered 7 years ago by Commonsense

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    Yikes!!! That's a pretty nice contribution to the cable company!!! Sorry to say, but , I think they'll say most anything. In their defense though, we do live in a neighborhood built in the early 60's so it is heavily treed and you can't find much open space to "aim". Good luck with your satellite.

    Answered 7 years ago by michelemabelle

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    [quote user="Commonsense"]

    The satellite installer assured me that the only reason anyone ever gets bad satellite reception during rain or storms is that the dish wasn't aimed properly when it was installed, but that sounds like something he would say whether it was true or not, doesn't it?

    [/quote]

    I'm still tied to a long strand of copper but I have some friends with satellite and outages have been very, very rare for them. Might get a blink during a heavy spring thunderstorm but not much else. Biggest weather-related problem they hit is during major winter storms getting ice buildup on the dish or the thinggy in the middle that sucks-up the signal bouncing onto the dish.

    Your cable company probably has a tariff or whatever document guides their work that says normal installations are up to XX feet from either a pedestal, the right of way or the aerial facilities. Beyond that, they get to pass along the "construction" charges.

    Ask them if they will run to the standard distance and let you trench the remainder of the way. Heck ask them if you can lay your own entrance wire from the house to their pole/pedestal. You can get the machine for half a day for one or two hundred and the cable is fairly inexpensive. Then you have the job you want at a price that you can control.


    Answered 7 years ago by Old Grouch

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    "I'm still tied to a long strand of copper. . ." Sounds painful. Is that a condition of your parole?

    (simply COULD NOT resist) [;)]

    I think our solution for the time being is to not watch much TV, and this might be a blessing in disguise. Yes, we could dig our own trench, but we also have other things to do, having just moved. One of the major things (damn you former owners!) is that due to the roof slope and the wind direction, and the fact that the lake out back acts as a heat sink and does crazy things with the wind all by itself, our vent pipes on the roof downdraft into our house whenever there is the slightest breeze. Eww, huh? Our plumber says this just happens sometimes, and my research back this up. We have ordered some charcoal filter extensions that are supposed to be miraculous and they simply HAVE to fix the problem because I sure didn't move to the country to smell poop all the time.

    Compared to that, the minor trouble we're having vis-a-vis the TV is almost not on the radar. . . .

    Did I mention we're also getting the old house ready to sell?

    Answered 7 years ago by Commonsense

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    It seems few companies do not out source. There is only one cable company servicing this area - Charter, and they are not inexpensive!, nor do they offer a Sr's discount. If there is an outage, we report it to the Phillippines (easier to communicate with them than someone in India )

    AT&T claims to bundle TV, telephone land line, cell phone and interne sarvice. Charter has been put on notice, we will change unless their service improves. Friends have satelite and rarely have a problem. lol, decisions, decisions

    Answered 7 years ago by tessa89

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    Previous replies have suggested that you most likely dealt with an installation contractor. That is most likely the case.

    The DTV installer in my area is called Premier Communications. They did an outstanding job with our installation. It is neat and exactly where I wanted the dish to be put.

    I've encountered more and more lousy customer service from all areas of business. For instance, have you noticed how inattentive and even rude convenience store cashiers can be? Many times they don't even greet you. Most of the time your change is just plopped into your hand. When that happens I give it back and ask them to correctly count it back to me. If I use my credit card and they don't ask for my ID sometimes I will sign "Donald Duck". Sometimes I'll explain that checking a persons ID not only protects the merchant but it protects the consumer as well.

    Yup...it's sad but true. Customer service has really gone downhill in recent years. But...when I run into exceptionally GOOD service I point that out as well!!


    Good luck with your DTV. It really is good when it works. I have a much better picture and audio than cable (since it's pure digital and not enhanced analog like cable is).

    Answered 7 years ago by steveg

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    "AT&T claims to bundle. . ."

    And that usually means they have a deal with one or more other providers. When you call to set up this "bundle" AT&T makes all the arrangements, but God help you if you want to make a change to one of the services. We set up just such a bundle with our local provider, Sprint. It included the dish from DirectTV. When we decided a few days later we wanted to add another TV to the mix, we were told by Sprint to call DirectTV. DirectTV told us we had to call Sprint and void the ENTIRE order and start again to add anything. We gave up on doing things the official way and instead just asked the installer when he was here if he could install another box for us. He made one phone call was able to do what we wanted.

    Now if I could only get the DVR that comes with DirectTV to stop going crazy. . . . .

    Answered 7 years ago by Commonsense

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    Forget anything positive I said about Comcast in the earlier post. We just had our third service call in 2 weeks trying to get a "new" HDTV box that actually works. No luck, again. I'm considering standing on the roof with a coat hanger. It couldn't hurt.

    Answered 7 years ago by michelemabelle

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    Sorry folks, I cannot let this statement go without rsponding:
    " We have ordered some charcoal filter extensions that are supposed to be miraculous and they simply HAVE to fix the problem because I sure didn't move to the country to smell poop all the time." GOOD GRIEF! why did you choose to buy a house in the country?

    I'd gladly trade eu d cattle & share space with wildlife instead of city folk! When developers tout country life, no one considers where their food will be produced

    Answered 7 years ago by tessa89

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    Sorry folks, I cannot let this statement go without rsponding:
    " We have ordered some charcoal filter extensions that are supposed to be miraculous and they simply HAVE to fix the problem because I sure didn't move to the country to smell poop all the time." GOOD GRIEF! why choose to buy a house in the country?

    I'd gladly trade eu d cattle & share space with wildlife for city folk and their waste.. When developers tout country life, no one considers where their food will be produced!

    Answered 7 years ago by tessa89

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    "Sorry folks, I cannot let this statement go without rsponding:. . ."

    That's apparently the case, since you posted twice.

    "GOOD GRIEF! why did you choose to buy a house in the country?"

    Well, let's see. We have several mother deer with fawns that hang around our property looking cute. Also other frequent wildlife visitors. We now have five acres of land, and the house sits right in the middle of it overlooking the 3/4 acre lake. The property is surrounded by woods. What we hear 99% of the time is total silence if you don't count the birds' song. When we want to go for a walk we put on our shoes and make a circuit of our own property.

    The house itself is more than large enough for two people. I have a spacious sewing room. My husband has a home office. The kitchen is huge and we have 2.5 baths. It's only ten years old and it was built basically right the first time, which is refreshing after our past experiences.

    Of course there are glitches. We certainly were not expecting the downdraft septic smell, but the addition of two $50 charcoal extensions seems to have fixed the problem. We also didn't expect to have to spend $1000 right away because the former owner planted trees on the dam several years ago and they have to come out yesterday. The unexpected is to be expected in any new situation.

    Mainly, we aren't held hostage by our neighbors being too close and deciding to mow when we want to be outside, or the dog barking nonstop across the street, kids screaming so we can't hear our own TV, or all the other unpleasant things that come from being too close to humans.

    Thank you for your post, Tessa. You have helped me to count my blessings, which are many, and not focus exclusively on the relatively minor irritations.

    Answered 7 years ago by Commonsense

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    For our friends outside Verizon's influence:

    FIOS is referred to by Verizon as both a word meaning "knowledge" in Irish and as FIber Optic Service. It is their label for a technology deployment scheme that runs fiber optic cable all the way to a customer's premises (FTTP is Fiber To The Premises). FIOS or FTTP provides an exceptionally fast connection to the internet and a platform over which Verizon provides high (very high) speed internet, video (e.g. television) and other services.

    Mike - you seem to have taken the option that provides the widest possible availability with the lowest possible regulatory oversight. Satellilte broadcast services have so little governmental regulation that it might as well not exist. The potential for merger of the two (large) providers is subject to the FCC's review and opinion but it's a coin toss as to whether they will do much - if anything. I suspect Direct TV and DISH Network hope I'm right.

    Your short-term alternative is probably to go back to the Direct TV office where you placed your order and sit patiently while they round up someone to admit to being management or a supervisor and tie yourself to that person and make them manage through your issue. When you say you bought from Direct TV, did you buy directly from their offices or did you buy from one of the slew of "agents"?

    I know you are concerned about having a contract...well, the contract has two sides. But, it is up to you to make them perform.

    I'll hush now and defer to any of the others who might know how to make Direct TV dance.

    Answered 7 years ago by Old Grouch




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