DirecTV reports strong Q4, but many long time customers ticked off

Last month, DirectTV reported that their profits had risen to $1 billion for the quarter ending 2007 and they reported 275,000 net subscriber additions in the US.

At the same time, there is a growing wave of customer dissatisfaction. Take, for example

I was scheduled for a free upgrade. I was told that my account would be charged $199 plus tax but the same amount would be credited. I told her that others on this forum has been promised this, but the credit was never made. She said a call back should correct the problem if it occurred. When I checked my account later, the charge was made but there was no credit. I called back and went through it again. When I was told that no free upgrade was possible despite what I was told earlier, I canceled the upgrade. As a long standing subscriber to Directv’s top programming package, I am very disappointed to be treated like this. I have wanted to believe that the horror stories I have read here were not the norm, but now I believe they are.

Or DirecTV Dumps TiVo, I Dump DirecTV:

I’ve been having various messages hit my HDTV DirecTV (DTV) TiVo (TIVO) over the course of the past month, that I’m going to need to do a required “upgrade” if I want to get my West Coast network TV channels after March 30, 2008.

Unfortunately, DirecTV’s upgrade will require me to lose my TiVo service that I love.

The upgrade is a joke. Although I’ve been relatively happy with my 4 tuner HDTV TiVo, DirecTV wants me to upgrade to a new *non TiVo* DVR that only has 2 tuners, not 4 tuners like my TiVo. It kind of sucks that they are forcing this upgrade after I spent over $1,000 on this DirecTV TiVo box originally.

My response to this forced upgrade? I just called DirecTV and canceled my service.

Sayonara DirecTV and Sayonara to your $87 a month albatross that has been hanging around my neck for the past 10 years.

Or this one:

I have a Directv branded HR10-250. Directv has been ruthlessly haranguing me with phone calls telling me I won’t get their new HD stations on it starting soon. they want to give their “free” DVR, which having had one, know for certain that I don’t want. Finally, one of the salespeople who’ve been calling broke down and told me that if I did accept their “free” DVR, that they would actually start charging me for the HD stations that I now get free (ABC, NBC, CBS, FOX, HBO). So much for free. He said I am “grandfathered in” getting these free if I let things stand. But now I get a “crawl” on certain stations saying that the network HD stations are moving channels. I just want to keep the deal I have and get the HD stations I get and keep my HR-10 250.

That pretty much sums up my take on it as well. DirecTV had a perfectly reasonable service and they decided to “fix” it and here’s where it goes awry:

  1. Must lease the box – cannot buy it – adds to the monthly cost
  2. Additional fees for channels users already used to get
  3. 2-year contract – With the service going down hill, the last thing people want is to get locked up with DirecTV for two long years.

It sort of makes one think maybe we should just wait for AppleTV or some form of on-demand or IPTV. The worst part for me personally is no HD football or other sports in the mean time.

6 comments for “DirecTV reports strong Q4, but many long time customers ticked off

  1. Saw this when you upgraded to 2.5…

    I JUST had a very negative experience with DirecTv. I twittered about it, and blogged about it. Comcast is on Twitter and responded to my questions immediately.

    I saw DirecTv hit my blog post after finding my Tweets. I got a call from the Office of the President. They are sending me out a new receiver in hopes that it’ll fix my audio problem.

    I will say though that their dive into HD and away from Tivo has seriously damaged my opinion of them.

    The whole situation with TV is stupid. The AppleTV can do some things right. But in order to be a real solution, it needs DVR a receiver for cable or OTA and a Blu-Ray DVD playback option. If they could do that I would glady dump DirecTv.

  2. Hey. We are customers in California and just experienced terrible customer service. Tonya, the supervisor at the call center in South Carolina was absolutely no help. I tell you, if I didn’t hate cable TV so much, I would give up this service.

  3. I have had DIRECTV for 3 months now. All the credits and price promises that I got when I signed up are now a problem that I have to spend at least 40 mins on the phone once a month. I was promised a bill of $47.99 a month, my real bill is $73.94, that is a 25.95 differents that they can’t do anything about. I went to directv to save money and now I am spending more and getting less. It is the slowest and most confusing system on the market. If you are thinking of getting directv you better talk to your cable company 1st and see what they can do for you, because direct is not CHEAPER OR BETTER.

  4. I WAS a DirecTV customer but just ended my relationship with them today. They are awful. Credits never appeared, the customer service is awful, and the service is overpriced. I switched to AT&T Uverse. Anything has to be better than DirecTV.

  5. I’ve been a DirecTV customer since I could first get a dish in 1994. Over the past year, my receiver started turning itself off, then back on, but on a different channel. It’s always the same channel it switches to, at least for a month or two, then it’s a different channel.

    I picked up another, older receiver (like mine) so I could have the programming mirrored to my family room downstairs. First, the imbecilic staff at DirecTV (after hours of trying)finally got the programming turned on to the additional receiver. They kept asking questions about the primary receiver, but I repeatedly told them DO NOT MAKE ANY CHANGES TO THAT RECEIVER! As I figured they would, they screwed up and destroyed my access card on the primary, so I had to go several days without programming on my main TV while they supposedly “express” mailed a new card. Then all the ensuing hassles to reset the receiver.

    It didn’t take long to see that both receivers were resetting themselves and switching to the exact same channel, which is FAR more than a coincidence. DirecTV staff assured me that they had no way of doing this and I told them they were liars. The software on the access cards allows them to do pretty much anything they want at any time. The odds of two receivers doing the exact same thing at the exact same time every, single day must be in the billions to one category.

    Anyone with older receivers experiencing these same problems, I believe I know why. They’re trying to get us to upgrade to new receivers so we’ll be tempted into newer features like costly HD channels, etc. If they make us think our receivers are going bad, then maybe we’ll just get rid of our equipment and buy new from them. I don’t know about everyone else, but I’m on a tight budget and cannot afford more costly programming. Especially with all the freeze framing, sound dropouts, etc. and NO, not just during bad weather, ALL THE TIME!

    One last thing is local programming. Our local CBS station cannot even provide a decent signal to people living RIGHT INSIDE THE CITY LIMITS! However, they refuse waivers to ALL OF NORTHEAST MICHIGAN CLAIMING TO BE PROVIDING THEM WITH CBS! This means we can’t get CBS over the air or on the satellite. DirecTV sits on their asses and says they have no control, so contact the FCC. The FCC feeds you the same line as DirecTV. I’d like to start a class action lawsuit against the TV station, DirecTV and the FCC to get this fixed. Most of the network programming WE USED TO WATCH was on CBS! This whole system is a joke!

  6. Now it looks like DirecTV is facing a class action lawsuit for the NFL Sunday Ticket promo:

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