Dateline June 22, 11:00pm
I’m typing this at 11pm on Friday night (yes, I know. I have no life) fresh after being on the phone with DirecTV for 50 minutes including being on hold 8 times and transferred 4 times. What prompted me spending almost an hour of my time talking to multiple representatives? Well, that’s an interesting story.
To start, I need to go back to April, when I first signed up. At that time I discovered that my neighborhood is serviced by an MDU (multiple-dwelling unit) dealer called MultiBand which recently took over the contracts previously owned by the recently bankrupted PrimeCast.
It took 5 weeks from the date of my order to get my equipment installed because this changeover was so new. When the installation happened, I was connected to via underground coax to a community dish somewhere.
At 11:20am, somebody from DirecTV called and left a message stating that my MDU dealer was going bankrupt and that I needed to call back to get an actual DirecTV satellite dish installed. When I got home from work, I discovered that I had absolutely NO tv service.
Not associating the two, I called MultiBand about the issue to discover that PrimeCast had reclaimed the equipment they had previously installed and I needed to contact DirecTV directly.
And just to make life interesting, DirecTV scheduled my account for suspension so I wouldn’t get billed without having service. That little tidbit wasted about 30 minutes as none of the representatives I spoke to could do anything with my account with that suspension in place, and only the Retention department could lift the pending account suspension.
Apparently in the history of DirecTV an issue like this had never arisen before because nobody quite new what to make of my problem. What’s why I got transferred from the support department to the Moving department, to the Technical Service department, to the Customer Retention department.
But finally, I found somebody who knew what to do and started inputting the necessary orders to have a technician come out with a satellite dish and install it for me.
The catch: It would cost a $49 “Relocation fee” to have a new dish installed. This was the “deal” she offered me instead of the $199 fee for a “replacement” dish.
Sorry, but this isn’t acceptable. I’m not moving, not changing my level of service, or the equipment I ordered.Their dealer removed the dish I was previously connected to.Their customer service didn’t alert me to the issue until after I already lost service.
In the morning, I need to call the “Escalation” department and demand a waiver of the fee to have a dish installed and my service returned to the level that I am still paying for.
Dateline June 23,9:30am
The number I wrote down for the Escalation department was apparently incorrect, but I after finding out that the regular customer service people don’t have a number for that department, I quickly made my way back to retention. When I explained the situation and reiterated that shouldn’t be charged a fee because it wasn’t my fault, the representative’s response was that it wasn’t DirecTV’s fault that the MDU dealer went out of business.
Well, no it’s not, but as the service provider, it is your responsibility to ensure that a certain level of service is provided, including through third parties operating in your name.
She also informed me that the $49 relocation fee wouldn’t apply to e because I don’t have a dish to relocate. It would be $99 instead. I informed her I wanted to escalate and was given her supervisor… eventually. The supervisor was apparently not in yet, despite calling 3 hours after they opened.
The supervisor, however, was sympathetic and understood that my request was not unreasonable. I am getting “charged” the full installation fee of $199, but am also getting a credit on my next bill for that amount. I am scheduled for installation on Wednesday the 27th in the afternoon. He also agreed to credit my account for the 5 days I will be without service.
Of course, all of the new shows I watch this time of year air on Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday. But I knew better than to believe that I could get an installer out this weekend.
- “The seven words that could save you $408 a year” (investmentwatchblog.com)
- DirecTV Beams To $54 With Tough Talking CEO (forbes.com)