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.

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