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    Playing games with DirecTV

    So I am going to throw out some rambling thoughts.

    Years ago, I agreed to save some trees at the prompting of DirecTV and go with paperless billing. No doubt, many forests have been spared. However, paperless billing goes right into the "out of sight, out of mind" file. I was paying $97 a month for DirectV a year ago. Today, I am paying $167 per month, and with fewer channels than I had a year ago.

    This is on me. I failed to "re-up" to DirecTV's latest and greatest offer, and I wasted close to one thousand dollars in the process.

    In the meantime I found youtubeTV, $50 a month, from now on, no contracts. So on Tuesday, I begin the process of trying to cancel DirecTV. I have logged over 8 hours trying to cancel it, and today it is finally done.

    When I first called DirecTV on Tuesday, I got put on hold for over an hour and finally gave up. Same thing an hour later. I then tried and tried to log in, resetting my password, etc., to no avail. So today i took a trip to the AT&T store (ATT owns DTV). I wanted to cancel my DTV. "We can't cancel DTV in person." Of course you can't, I thought. But the rep said he could get DTV on the phone if I had my DTV account number. I said "account number? I haven't even seen a statement in 2 years." So after more stalling, he finally figured out my account number and we together called DTV.

    Well, I found out if you just say "cancel", you're moved to the top of the call list and your hold time is minutes rather than hours. The rep came on, I told him I wanted to cancel, and then he went into this deal about how they really wanted to keep me as a customer. I said "if you wanted to keep me as a customer, you wouldn't have been bilking me for a year." He said "we don't intend to bilk you." I said "then why did you? someone made that decision?" He then went on and on about discounts they could offer, blah, blah blah. 15 minutes later, I FINALLY got my service cancelled.

    Companies like DirecTV are going the way of the Dodo bird. Their business model is old and rusty. It's based upon being a monopoly and telling customers what they are going to do. It's about sneakiness. Gradually reducing channels simultaneous to gradually increasing rates. It's about paperless billing so you don't notice for a long time. It's about being completely unreachable so that you have to take a day off from work to cancel. It's about not being able to help you in person to further frustrate you. There's new sheriff in town - many options that offer much more for much less.

    Coronavirus is going to force us all to take a fresh look at who is doing business the right way. The ones that are not are headed for bankruptcy, and it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.
    Last edited by TexasHusker; 03-20-2020, 12:02 PM.
    Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.

    -George Carlin

    #2
    Originally posted by TexasHusker View Post
    So I am going to throw out some rambling thoughts.

    Years ago, I agreed to save some trees at the prompting of DirecTV and go with paperless billing. No doubt, many forests have been spared. However, paperless billing goes right into the "out of sight, out of mind" file. I was paying $97 a month for DirectV a year ago. Today, I am paying $167 per month, and with fewer channels than I had a year ago.

    This is on me. I failed to "re-up" to DirecTV's latest and greatest offer, and I wasted close to one thousand dollars in the process.

    In the meantime I found youtubeTV, $50 a month, from now on, no contracts. So on Tuesday, I begin the process of trying to cancel DirecTV. I have logged over 8 hours trying to cancel it, and today it is finally done.

    When I first called DirecTV on Tuesday, I got put on hold for over an hour and finally gave up. Same thing an hour later. I then tried and tried to log in, resetting my password, etc., to no avail. So today i took a trip to the AT&T store (ATT owns DTV). I wanted to cancel my DTV. "We can't cancel DTV in person." Of course you can't, I thought. But the rep said he could get DTV on the phone if I had my DTV account number. I said "account number? I haven't even seen a statement in 2 years." So after more stalling, he finally figured out my account number and we together called DTV.

    Well, I found out if you just say "cancel", you're moved to the top of the call list and your hold time is minutes rather than hours. The rep came on, I told him I wanted to cancel, and then he went into this deal about how they really wanted to keep me as a customer. I said "if you wanted to keep me as a customer, you wouldn't have been bilking me for a year." He said "we don't intend to bilk you." I said "then why did you? someone made that decision?" He then went on and on about discounts they could offer, blah, blah blah. 15 minutes later, I FINALLY got my service cancelled.

    Companies like DirecTV are going the way of the Dodo bird. Their business model is old and rusty. It's based upon being a monopoly and telling customers what they are going to do. It's about sneakiness. Gradually reducing channels simultaneous to gradually increasing rates. It's about paperless billing so you don't notice for a long time. It's about being completely unreachable so that you have to take a day off from work to cancel. It's about not being able to help you in person to further frustrate you. There's new sheriff in town - many options that offer much more for much less.

    Coronavirus is going to force us all to take a fresh look at who is doing business the right way. The ones that are not are headed for bankruptcy, and it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch.
    Texas - DirecTV has a terrible consumer reputation. Your experience is probably not at all unique.
    james.c.hendrickson@gmail.com
    202.468.6043

    Comment


      #3
      I think it's a generational gap, or at the very least, "paperless" requires a shift in habit. We review all our statements and bills every month whether they come via inbox or in the mailbox. It's easy to lose track of a paper bill or an e-bill, key is, we set aside time every month to review while we pay bills, even if we have to go find those things.

      Password management has become an issue with all the portal logins and varying password requirements. Consider a password management tool like Codebook to keep them all and update as necessary and to track security questions, PINs, customer/account numbers, etc. Every password should be unique and every security question should be different; use cyphers whenever possible.

      Edit: DirecTV does suck, as do all the major media providers--yet people continue to use them anyway.

      Comment


        #4
        Originally posted by ua_guy View Post
        I think it's a generational gap, or at the very least, "paperless" requires a shift in habit. We review all our statements and bills every month whether they come via inbox or in the mailbox. It's easy to lose track of a paper bill or an e-bill
        I'm sure some of it is generational.

        I never have any trouble with losing track of a paper bill. The mail comes, I open it, and it goes to the same spot on my desk until it's paid. Then it goes into the file drawer. We only get a few pieces of mail each day, 95% of which is junk and goes directly into the recycling bin, so rarely is there more than one or two items that need to be addressed.

        However, I get 100+ emails a day. Most are junk but a fair number are not and need to be read and processed. It's much easier for an important email to get buried in the sea of emails that come in every day or to accidentally get clicked on when deleting the junk stuff, or to simply get pushed way down to the bottom of the in basket and missed for a while.

        I had a problem last year with our cable bill, which was paperless. Once I discovered the problem, I immediately switched back to paper bills and haven't had an issue since.
        Steve

        * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
        * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
        * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

        Comment


          #5
          Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
          I'm sure some of it is generational.

          I never have any trouble with losing track of a paper bill. The mail comes, I open it, and it goes to the same spot on my desk until it's paid. Then it goes into the file drawer. We only get a few pieces of mail each day, 95% of which is junk and goes directly into the recycling bin, so rarely is there more than one or two items that need to be addressed.

          However, I get 100+ emails a day. Most are junk but a fair number are not and need to be read and processed. It's much easier for an important email to get buried in the sea of emails that come in every day or to accidentally get clicked on when deleting the junk stuff, or to simply get pushed way down to the bottom of the in basket and missed for a while.

          I had a problem last year with our cable bill, which was paperless. Once I discovered the problem, I immediately switched back to paper bills and haven't had an issue since.
          Mailbox rules and folders have really helped me. It keeps the important stuff filed in its proper place, and out of the normal inbox churn. Come bill paying time, I can go through each of the folders and the latest statement is right there.

          Our bills are hybrid too - some come in the mail, others as an e-statement. We also have a spot where paper bills go when they come in so they can be looked at and paid at the end of the month.

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by ua_guy View Post

            Our bills are hybrid too - some come in the mail, others as an e-statement.
            Same here. We do get some bills electronically but each of them sends a short clear email saying, "Your monthly bill is ready. It is for $xyz." They are all on auto-pay so I don't need to do anything with them but if the amount in that email is different than usual (they're all fixed bills), I know right away that something is out of whack.
            Steve

            * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
            * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
            * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

            Comment


              #7
              I have a credit card that I use for recurring bills only. If I ever had problems like that cancelling a service, I'd just cancel my credit card and get a new one. They'd cancel your service soon enough after not getting paid

              Spectrum is moving to paperless billing, got my last paper bill this month. Oh I'll still look at it online, and read it too. They usually tell you the month before they're going to raise your rates and I'm on the phone with them that day. Was gonna cancel but they gave me a slightly lower price than if I streamed with someone else so I stuck with them for another year.

              Comment


                #8
                My mother actually canceled her DirectTV service this past week, we had been customers for the better part of 25 years.

                She had been threatening to do this for some time, and had gotten DirectTV to knock her bill down on a couple of occasions when she called to cancel.

                My sister has her set up on a free month trial of Netflix. Currently she can only view on her tablet, we have to figure out her WIFI or run ethernet cables to the TV sets.

                I've been told that Verizon customers also qualify for a free year of Disney +.

                I've had a fundamental dislike of DirectTV for several years now when I considered the fact that you pay for the service and half of the viewing time is commercials, and even more while you are viewing an episode, they continue with pop up / push advertisements in the corner of the screen.

                Comment

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