Tag Archives: directv

Final chapter in the DirecTV saga

This morning, I decided to cancel DirecTV without having them try to fix the problem. There were two reasons for this. First, I’m not convinced they would be able to figure it out in one visit. Second, was a matter of cost. Third, was how the problem has dragged on all summer.

I mentioned how Comcast had an offer for current satellite customers. The offer was: cable, internet and phone service for $99/month, plus HBO and Starz service for a year, plus a DVR and DVR service for one year. This morning, I called Comcast and asked some more questions. I don’t need home phone service so I asked them how much the offer would be, per month without the phone service but with the cable, internet and the rest of the package. My monthly bill would be $83. Now my DirecTV monthly bill is $72 and so at first glance, this doesn’t seem like a great deal. However…

I am also paying $57/month for Verizon. About $30 of that is for DSL and the remaining amount are the minimum fees required to maintain a phone line for the DSL. But if I get internet through Comcast, I no longer need these services. Looking at it this way, I currently pay $130/month for cable/internet services. Switching to Comcast, that will drop to $83/month, a savings of $47/month or $564/year!

Since I already have Tivo, I can put the DVR they are giving me on the TV in the bedroom and that means I can record shows on different station, if I so choose. I also asked about what my bill will look like after one year has passed and the offer has ended, assuming I keep the same services I have with DirecTV right now. I was told that the bill will be around $100/month, which is still a savings of $360/year from what I am currently paying. Finally, I checked to make sure that I could still get the MLB package so I could watch baseball games. That’s no problem.

So I made the switch. The Comcast people are coming to my house tomorrow morning between 8 – 11 AM to get everything set up. I canceled my DirecTV service call for tomorrow and I also called to cancel my DirecTV service, which now ends on December 8. They were very nice on the phone and offered me discounts on my service to stay as a customer. But discounts won’t solve my technical problems so I thanked them for the offer, but declined. I have to call Verizon and cancel my phone and DSL service, and I will do that as soon as I am certain that I have Internet access through my cable modem.

I am hopeful that this concludes the months-long saga of my reception problems and I’m looking forward to not having to worry about this problem anymore.

Rescheduled service call

I had to reschedule my DirecTV service call tomorrow because it turns out I have to be in the office for the interview that I am supposed to do. As luck would have it, however, the next available slot that I got was Saturday between 1-5 PM, which works for me.

When I called to reschedule, I had to look up the phone number on the DirecTV website and they had my account information posted. I noted that my bill due in December was just about twice what it normally is. I asked about that and it turns out I was charged $70 for the service call I had back on Halloween when my dish was knocked over. I pointed out that I pay a monthly fee for service protection insurance and that I should not have been charged. The very helpful service girl agreed and corrected the error immediately. Now when I look online, the amount due is correct.

I’ve been a little stressed out about what DirecTV will do to get my problem fixed, but I’ve decided I’m not going to worry about it any more. They are the experts, and they’ve seen these problems countless times, so I’m sure they will know what to do; I won’t have to troubleshoot things for them.

Nadir

I am approaching the low point of laziness in recent memory, and I am hopeful that I will reach the nadir this weekend and somehow turn it around. First, there is my gym truancy, which has taken physical manifestation in the gaining of a couple of kilograms of mass around the middle of yours truly. Second, there is the fact that my eating habits have more or less devolved back to what they used to be. Third is the fact that I am not very productive. I come home from work and watch TV. Even my reading has almost crept to a halt. I am told that this is not uncommon around Thanksgiving, but it is uncommon for me. I’m usually good with habits. I stopped drinking caffeine cold turkey on February 14, 2004 never to return. I stopped biting my nails cold turkey on August 21, 2001 also never to return. I mention dates to show you that I’m serious about my habits. But this eating and workout habit is a tough one. And this laziness has got to stop!

Ordinarily, I wouldn’t be so open about it, which is one of the reasons think I am approaching the nadir. I keep telling myself, tomorrow, you’ll get back on track. And of course, tomorrow rolls around and the cycle repeats. The toughest part of any habit is breaking the old cycle. Well, I’m not saying that I’m turning it around tomorrow, and tossing off this mossy laziness, but I soon… very soon.


After nearly 48 hours without a problem, the DirecTV signal issue reared its head this evening. That pretty much rules out the satellite box, and diagnostically, any new information is good. I’ve got the service call on Friday. It occurred to me that it’s going to be a real hassle if they have to re-cable because the cable runs behind my book shelves and I’d have to take my whole office apart for the service people to get to it. If that ends up being the case, I may send them home, cancel DirecTV and order up Comcast (yet another sign of laziness?)

DirecTV solution?

More than 24 hours after swapping satellite boxes between the bedroom and living room, I haven’t had a single problem with the satellite signal. It looks like it may have been the box after all. I don’t check the box in the bedroom as much but I’ve checked it several times and the signal seems fine in there too. It could be that I jogged something back into place on the box when it moved it. I’ll give it until Thursday and if things still look good, I’ll ask the DirecTV folks to bring a replacement box.

DirecTV problems, take 3

On Sunday, I was having my problem with not getting a signal on certain channels again and I called DirecTV ready to tell them I had it and I was giving up and switching to Comcast. But the tech support person I got, Liz, was very nice and worked methodically through the issues. She was very understanding and when all was said and done, she scheduled a service call for me on Friday afternoon. (She actually said it could be done tomorrow, but I’m in meetings all day long.) So I’m giving DirecTV one more chance to fix the problem.

In the meantime, I am attempting to narrow down the problem myself. The channels go out several times a day and unplugging the co-ax cable and plugging it back in fixes the problem every time. The troubleshooter in my says its either a problem with the cable or a problem with the box. The last DirecTV guy I talked to said, “In the 2-1/2 years I’ve been with DirecTV, I’ve never seen a box fail.” Fine, but it’s a post hoc ergo propter hoc argument. If I can rule out one, I know it’s the other. When I got home from work this evening, I swapped the satellite receivers in the bedroom and living room. If the problem continues to happen in the living room, I know it’s the cable. If it stops happening in the living room, but starts happening in the bedroom, I know it’s the satellite box. In the latter case, at least, I can call the service people and tell them to bring a new box on Friday.

I should know one way or another in a day or so. The problem happens so frequently that if it doesn’t happen in the next day or so, I think I’ve got my answer. In the two hours since I switched things around, so far, so good.

DirectTV Protection Plan

I woke up this morning to find that the post with my DirecTV dish had blown over in the winds last night (strong winds). I remounted the post as best I could but it is not aligned properly and so naturally, I’m not getting a satellite signal on my TVs. I pay an extra $6/month for DirecTV’s Protection Plan. I called them up, explained the situation, and they are going to have a technician out here sometime between 8 AM and noon on Tuesday morning to fix the problem. Since I pay for the Protection Plan, this is done at no charge to me, even if the hardware is damaged. I would have liked to get someone out here a little sooner, but now that I think about it, it will probably be good to have no TV for a few days. I can get caught up on all of the reading that I missed this weekend.

DirecTV followup

Two days ago, I grumbled about the MLB Extra Innings broadcast of the Yankee game going out at exactly 11 PM in the middle of the bottom of the 10th inning. I was fuming and emailed DirecTV. Today I got a response, and it was friendly and specific enough that it satisfies me.

Read what they had to say