We have been DirecTV customers since April 2012, an experience that has largely been a mixed bag. When we moved last spring, we wound up just outside of the city limits and outside of Comcast’s service area. The cable company that was available instead, US Cable, had universally bad reviews for pricing, selection, and customer service. Everyone we talked to gave the same advice: stay very far away from US Cable.
So instead, we went with DSL and satellite tv. Aside from some random bandwidth slowdowns that last about a day or two, we have never had a single problem with our CenturyLink DSL service. I wish the same could be said of DirecTV. Frankly, the advice I was given for US Cable, I would give for DirecTV as well.
Long time readers may remember my original DirecTV saga when the MDU servicing my neighborhood went out of business. Of course, that wasn’t even the first problem I had with the company, since it took an entire month to get service in the first place. And then the day before, I got a call saying they didn’t have permission to enter the property!
A couple months ago, I went through a
second third, smaller drama with them that lead me to do the research that I am providing next week when I explain how to avoid DirecTV’s fees for moving.
DirecTV Saga part II: Moving Fees
When the situation with our trailer park started to become unbearable in October, our first thought was to move up our original plan of buying land to move the trailer onto, but apparently, there is absolutely no suitable land available in our area. Idea 2: move to our home to another trailer park. The total cost would have been about $3000. That idea died when we found out that we would have to pay off our mortgage to be allowed to move our home off of the property it is on. Suddenly, expenses went from $3000 to $19,000. From imaginable to impossible. But it is during this time when my story begins.
When moving the trailer, I knew that it would not be facing the exact same direction on the compass as before and that the satellite dish would not be aimed correctly. I figured there would be some fee involved for re-aiming the dish but couldn’t find anything online, so I called customer service to ask them.
I was quickly sent to the “Moving” department and I explained my situation to them. I explained that we were considering moving the trailer to a new location in a few months but that no definite plans had been made yet.
I was told that I would be charged at $199 relocation fee. I responded that the entire house was moving and that the dish would not need to be mounted again. It simply would be in need of adjustment. She talked of setting up with a new programming center. I informed her that I was moving just 5 miles and would be in the same zip code and service area. She went on about how DirecTV looses money on each new installation, and they have to try to recoup it when customers move.I can understand that, but I pointed out that the installer would only be spending about 10 minutes to get me up and running again. Similar to if the dish had been moved by wind.
No luck, relocation fee of $199. I thanked her for her time and resolved to figure out how to aim the dish myself.
Game plan in hand, I sat down to watch some TV. And that’s when I discovered that I had not tv service. WTH?! Back on the phone to DirecTV. It turned out that the woman in the moving department had disconnected my service since I was moving. I explained that I wasn’t moving; I had only called to get information in case I decided to move later. My service was turned back on and the moving department woman got a reprimand in her file for being a complete and utter moron.
At this point, I no longer felt like watching television. It was time to get started on my research. In the course of it, I logged on to my DirecTV account and discovered that I had been charged a reconnection fee.
Now, there is nothing that will raise my righteous ire more than getting charged for somebody else’s mistake. So, for the third time that day, I was on the phone with DirecTV. This was actually the shortest call of the day, because 1) it was obvious that I shouldn’t have been charged that fee and 2) it was really obvious that I was extremely upset about getting charged to fix somebody else’s mistake.
Have you ever had customer service issues with DirecTV? Ever experience anything like this where you were expected to pay for another’s mistake?