How One Employee (Almost) Makes DirecTV Look Bad!

After a year of wanting and waiting, I finally have DirecTV and can say goodbye to Comcast. It didn’t happen last year and it almost didn’t happen this year, thanks to one DirecTV employee who easily could have had me stick, but suffer, with Comcast.

I could go on a huge rant and background on why I hate Comcast and their service, their ungodly prices on cable and high speed internet, but most of all their bandwidth throttling. I wasn’t even an issue with taking up bandwidth, yet my connection, downloading and uploading would drop to a crawl while doing any sort of upload (e-mail, FTP, live stream using or

I live in an apartment building and I needed permission to have satellite dishes installed. After hounding the former owner of the building, I finally had the OK, but I had no option of putting the dish on the roof. I could try putting it on my deck, but if it didn’t have the access for the satellite to point in the direction it needed to point, I was out of luck. The DirecTV installer showed up, on time, and left after 10 minutes because of the direction of my deck.

The former owner of the building said he’d see what he could do. This was Feb/March of ’08 when he said this. He said, once the ground warms up, the landlord could possibly build a satellite wall near the dumpster for the tenants of the building to use. I waited for it to get warmer, but my asking, as well as other tenants asking, was always given the answer “Well, I’ll have to look in to it.” Summer passed, so did fall, and the ground froze once again. My luck changed when the building was sold December 31, 2008.

I met with the new building owner and told him I waited and waited for an answer with the previous owner, got ripped off by Comcast month after month ($110 for basic digital cable, 1 normal box and box w/DV-R compared to DirecTV’s 69.99 which included a free HD DV-R & an regular box), and asked if there was a way to have a dish attached to the roof. He and the landlord looked at various areas and I had the okay to do it if I had it installed on the area above the 3rd floor balcony. I called up Qwest to get the DirecTV bundled service and set up an installation date of Feb 21, ’09, with a window of 8 – 12. I was to get one HD DV-R and a regular box with the installation date.

Saturday, February 21, comes along. My girlfriend, Bethany, and I just went out the night before, picked up a new Toshiba HDTV for the living room. We have another (generic) HDTV that we had also recently purchased after the bedroom TV/VCR died on us. My landlord comes up to my apartment to wait for the installation tech to show up. We were hoping they would be early like the year prior. This wasn’t the case. The landlord takes off after two hours of waiting and bullshitting and would come up once the tech shows up. Time passes and so does the 8-12 window the tech was to show up.

At 12:05 I call DirecTV customer service to see where the installer was. It had snowed a decent amount the night before, so it may have set he/she back a little. My account was under my Qwest data line for internet use only, so when they told me they would place a “field service call” to my local office to see where their tech is. I gave them my number and I was told there would be a return call in 20 minutes or less. 10 min later I had a call, to my phone, saying they were looking for the tech and I would get a call back, but there was no call back, but at least I knew they had my number (this is important in this story!).

At 12:30, the landlord runs upstairs saying that the DirecTV van pulled in and he, the landlord, waited for 20 minutes and left. I thought, maybe he/she was finishing up the previous installation notes or something and another 10 minutes go by. I ran downstairs, no van in sight and talked with the landlord and he said he hadn’t seen the van once he went downstairs again. I also ran in to the owner of the building who was plowing the parking lot. He also gave me visual contact the DirecTV van was there, but wondered why left already. The time is roughly 1:20 and I call my friend who works for a sister DirecTV installation company. I let him know of my issue to see what I would need to do if bad turns worse, which would be cancel the order and give up on the Qwest bundle and go through another DirecTV company.

I call DirecTV’s customer service, again. I let them know the van showed up and there was visual contact by the landlord AND the owner. Customer service tells me the following: the tech gave a description of my building: three stories, brick base, white siding and pine trees around the building. Also, it is noted the tech attempted to get in to the apartment and call my phone, but no one was home and no one answered the phone. There is no way, even if I was sleeping in the bedroom, that I would miss the door buzzer for the apartment building, because it is loud as hell. I was sitting in the living room the entire time I thought he was here, the front door was unlocked due to another issue in the apartment that helped make this the worst day I’ve had in two years. The customer service rep. said they would place a second Field Service Call and I would need to wait another 20 minutes (Remember, they have my number because they called me once already and gave it to them again).

Now, if you follow me on Twitter (@itradio) or listen to my podcast, ITRadio (, you would know about my weekday tweets of “H8 of 08” and “Hate of Mine 09” telling you something I hate that I had to deal with for that day. The 21st of February turned out to top something that happened previously during the week and all other hates put together. IT was that messed up and to make my bad day start worse, in the morning, the ceiling in the bathroom was dripping right about the toilet. Not something I wanted to wake up to… at 5:00am!

Another 25 minutes pass and I call back again at 1:45. This time I’m just starting to get tfrustrated. How could my experience so far, get worse, with this one DirecTV installer putting a bad taste in my mouth when it comes to DirecTV? Easy.. I go through the automation on DirecTV’s end, they still don’t have my regular phone number in the system, so the automation system isn’t finding me, again. Finally, the line rings like I’m going to talk to another customer service rep, but to add to my frustration, DirecTV’s phone system hung up on me. So, I called back, AGAIN.

Now the time is 1:48p, I’m really frustrated and this call wasn’t the greatest. The customer service rep. almost made it sound like she was on the installers side because of his notes, yet I had more than one person that saw him show up, but never get out of his van. I’ve waited an extra hour and a half and all she does/can do is offer me a $100 credit and place another service call. No, that’s not good enough. I’ve now wasted almost 6 hours waiting for someone to show up, they did show up, but never showed their face. I had a bunch of work, that I could have made $100 if I was doing it as a freelance job rather than for personal use. I wanted to be compensated for any extra time I had to wait and they needed to credit my account $100 for every hour that passes. She laughs at my request thinking I was out of my mind.

Fine, you won’t refund me for my lost time that I can’t do anything in case the van shows up again? Then give me an extra HD DV-R. She laughs again at this request saying the HD DV-R is a $200 value and I’m already getting one. Umm… Hello… McFly are you there? What’s going to be cheaper in the long run? $100 an hour or a $200 HD DV-R? I understand, in her position as a customer service rep. she probably can’t do anything more than the credit, but don’t laugh at my request. So, I hang up and wait for another 20 minutes Field Service Call.

Fast forward 20 min, again, no response, another call, this being the 5th call and I spoke with an extremely nice customer service rep. Hell, I even told this rep. my day in hell started with the ceiling issue. At the moment, the only thing she could do, which I understand, is make another field call and call back in 20 minutes. This call was much better than the previous. I may have calmed down, but I also realized it wasn’t customer services fault. They did everything they could do, except having me be compensated for even more time I’ve wasted.

In between that call and the next call, I called my friend again who works for DirecTV. I told him that the dude/dudette who showed up claimed they tried calling and making his way in the apartment. He said the dude was bullshit and was to lazy to get out in 15 degree weather and climb up on the roof, which was his job! He said, if they didn’t give me something in return more than the $100, cancel my order 100% and go elsewhere. If that person showed up, I would have gone up and installed myself, in shorts!

I made one last call at 2:45p and I’ve waited over 6.5 hours, in which, I couldn’t do anything, just in case they showed their face at my door. The previous customer service rep. was nice (maybe because she felt bad about the bathroom incident) but the 6th call, 5th rep, I spoke with was the nicest. It was the longest call I had, but it was worth it.

Right away, she puts me on hold to read over the notes. She said 2 min, which ended up to be 5, because my notes were crazy. She comes back telling me she doesn’t want me to call again and needs to speak with her supervisor to have something happen to benefit my time/pain/frustration. She comes back another 5 min later. She explains it’s just this one installer that’s refused to return 4 (soon to be 5) Field Service Calls and they would move my issue to DirecTV’s corporate offices. I was happy for that, but thought I may not get a call until Monday if their corporate office is closed on Saturdays.

While waiting for the phone call, even though I wasn’t mad at DirecTV themselves, except for hiring the jerkoff who claims he showed up, I had my first corporation/consumer reply on Twitter after I started bitching and moaning about my now, 7-8 hour day of waiting and making phone calls. The fact that DirecTV uses social media as a form to keep their customers ideas/thoughts and another way to help with issues was a major plus. When I gave them my account information and a quick run-down of the DirecTV day from hell, they let me know they would also help push my issue further as well as the installation management in my area would be told as well.

Finally, at 6:00p, I said I was done waiting. I’ve been doing a great job at using procrastination to my advantage and the day I finally am ready to officially say Feed This Blog is open, I get nothing done. As I’m pulling in to a parking lot at 6:30p I get a call from the office of DirecTV’s President. We talk about the issue at hand.

She informs me the following: they will work out a new time on my time, I would get the $100 credit, I requested again, just to see if the lady I spoke with had more pull then the customer service reps, another HD DV-R (which I was ‘refunded’ with), but she brings up two things I didn’t know, but were great to hear!

When a DirecTV installation rep. has an issue, such as mine, where they some how screw up a installation, the $100 installation fee, regardless if it’s waived by Qwest w/their bundle, is taken out of that person’s paycheck. Now, you’d think that was funny and great news, but she told me one other thing about the installer. They claimed to door tag my building stating they were there, but I wasn’t told that until now. The idiot didn’t realize he had people watching/waiting for them to show up and those people saw him pull in, but do nothing and I went to the door 30 min after he was spotted.

I’m going to end this now saying, I was called the 22nd, had a time set up for today, the 24th. I was called at 9a to confirm my installation time. I had requested that it be 2:30 or after, but they would show up between 12-2. I let them know I needed it to be 2:30 and they said no problem and I would see them then. I pulled in my parking lot with minutes to spare and at 2:31, the van pulls in and by 4:30, I had DirecTV w/two HD DV-Rs and I can officially say good-bye to Comcast!

So far, with the few hours we’ve had it, we’ve liked what we’ve seen. The guy that installed it did a great job, took his wet boots off and was done faster than what I had expected and explained what I needed to know! If I didn’t take the time and realize customer service did all they could do, including the female I spoke with from corporate, one crap ass employee, who I hope gets more than just a pay cut, DirecTV would be out one more customer and I would have suffered under Comcast’s BS Digital rates!

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