Posts Tagged ‘DirecTV’

When I was young, my wardrobe was delivered by truck to our door.  Each August, my mom would order “school” clothing and our helpful Sears delivery man would arrive at our door.  He would wait for us to try on the two different sizes of shoes and pack up the one/s that did not fit to return to the store.  Now, THAT was Customer Service.


I have been a loyal customer of DirecTV since before they were DirecTV.  When Dad moved in with us, in Wyoming—in 1998 he purchased three boxes from the original Satellite Company.  I do not remember their name.  We did not have Satellite before then, but Dad lived for his TV.   So, we have been a loyal customer for eleven years. 


We now only own one box and rent two.  For a long time they were replacing your owned boxes, when they went out, but now you do not own them, you pay $5.00 a month to rent them.  I learned this after replacing one in December.  This is why dad bought them, he did not want to pay that rent. 


It was stupid of me to replace the receiver.  We have been talking about dropping DirecTV for a long time and I could have borrowed Gaffer’s receiver, as he is now looking for work in Duluth.    But, I had it replaced and hence had to sign another year and a half contract and they began charging us, which they did not inform me of on the phone, $10 for our two, now rented, boxes.  Guessed they missed that last replacement.


I also wanted to drop Starz.  They used to show movies right after they were at the theatre.  It was always our decision whether to go to the show by whether it was a “Need to see on a Big Screen” or not.  Now, Starz shows them slightly after they have aired on public television and before they are in the $5.00 bin at WalMart.  This is one reason we have seen The Rock and Gone in 60 Seconds about fifteen zillion times.  With three hundred plus channels available to us, and my husband unable to move much as the day wears on, we watch reruns a lot.  Well, he does.  I sit and type Blogs or on my book.


I did not drop Starz, however, because I was told we were “grandfathered” in and that if we drop Starz, our bill will actually increase.  Now, isn’t that special? 


But, this did not start out to be a blog knocking DirecTV.  This is a blog complaining about all the companies who treat their new customers and let their long time customers foot the bill. 


AT&T, my cell company, and I will say that they have done some great things for us when we had high charges that they wrote off, so I do like them.  They do treat their customers well, but they have their own foibles, such as the long time customer, paying more for a particular phone than a new customer.  That means that I, the long time customer, is subsidizing a gift to a new customer. 

 AT&T is also my land line company and I have to say they do not treat us like royalty.  One time, when I called about our party line phone (happens when it rains), I was told that “Yes” I had to pay my bill but “No” they did not have to repair my line any quicker than six days and if their man deemed it was in the house, as he did last time, when the phone company before him said it was definitely in the ground somewhere, I would have to pay $51 for the privilege of not getting it fixed.  Wish I could make money that way.

Oh, for the days when the Sears man came and treated you like royalty; for the loyal customer you were.

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Yesterday’s blog was supposed to be about Margaret and Helen‘s post “We Have A Dream.”  However, it may have been the biggest digression on record. So, I shall try to stay on-track today.



Their blog is a list of ideas that they think everyone can get behind.  Well, maybe if you throw out the extremes of both parties and definitely take Rush Limbaugh’s cookies away from him. 



I am not going to copy their list here, and if you have not read their blog, you are really missing out on a great time.  I just want to add some points of my own.



Helen wants a good, inexpensive health care system.  Margaret wants vision care included.  I want to add dental.  Since when, does the fact that you need dental work, NOT impact the rest of your health?



And, while they are at it, I want it to be run by workers and bosses who are intelligent people.  I have been fighting since January with my Healthy Indiana Insurance because they think I still have a tiny AARP policy that was terminated 12/31/07.  So they have decided they are kicking me off and I will have no more insurance in April.  I’m working on it folks.  That, and everything else.


Margaret and Helen say that no child should go hungry and without insurance.  I say, Amen to that.  With husband’s disability income, we have cut down on extras (and, I wish we could cut down on the DirecTv bill but we have another year and a half to go on a contract), but we do not have insurance for the 17 year old. 



Their blog covers tax on cigarettes, where Larry King belongs, religion and politics and the fact that when you call an American company, they want to speak to an American.  I think the point is also that if you are going to call a help desk, you should get someone who is fluent in your language, no matter where they are sitting. 



Now, that may not be good for the economy but let’s face it, there are very few “Just American” or any other country companies now.  It’s a global world.  Just please screen your staff to make sure you can understand them when you are not reading their lips.  I have called and not understood people who I am pretty sure are speaking English.



There is a lot else on their blog.  Some, I kind of agree with, some I totally agree with, but it is a good discussion.  I would love to be invited to Helen’s house for Thanksgiving some day.  I promise to clean my plate, not drink soda (I like water and iced tea better anyway), throw in a few dollars, carry out my trash, and not to bring pie.

By the way, Helen is admitting to being near 83 now and believe me, that lady has it all together. 

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I vent – Part 2

I have come to hate opening the mail. It is not just that bills come in the mail; it is that bills come in the mail that are obscenely higher than they should be.

In the month after my open heart surgery, I opened the AT&T land line bill (normally $30) to find they had charged me $51 for the privilege of having a party line every time it rains. They seem to think it is a perk. It happens every time it rains and the company, who owned our phone lines prior to AT&T buying it, was working on fixing it. They never charged me $51 to come out and say, “Duh, I don’t hear it, because I came out four days after the rain and the lines are dry.” Even though they heard it when they tested the line.

That same month, Cingular cell phone company had a bunch of charges on our bill for features that I had specifically told them to make sure were shut off, so I would not open the bill and have a heart attack. They wrote these off our bill; bless their little heart.

And, finally, that same month, I opened up our DirecTV bill to find an additional $500 tacked on for certain movies. Not a thing that someone who has just had open heart surgery wants to see, trust me. The next month, as I fought the first bill, they charged me an additional $300, for more movies.

Okay, I have a husband and three grandsons in the house. I understand that they like to look at girls and I’m sure that girls sans clothing would be even more attractive. But, none of them are stupid enough to purchase six movies at one time (for which we were charged), nor to watch the movies for a month, in a room that everyone walks through and can see, nor to spend $800 on movies of any kind.

During the time of the purchases, we had company for Thanksgiving and we were gone for Christmas, and some of the movies were bought while the boys were in school. And, yet, DirecTV told me they must have watched these movies, because that is what boys and men do, and we must have had someone come into our house and watch during the time we were gone.

Well, what I do, in these situations, is turn to the internet and find out how many other people have the same problem. LOTS!! In fact, I found class action law suits against DirecTv for the same charges. I found a person who did not even subscribe to DirecTV and was still billed for watching movies “men like to watch.”

I also found out that you cannot find the address of the CEO of DirecTV. I am sure there is a way, but I have no idea what it is. I fought this for six months. I had automatic debit to pay that bill, as I used to do when a bill is the same amount every month and I cancelled that, and will never trust them again with my card.

During the fight, I had at least three operators tell me that the movies were watched in a pattern that people do when they steal your signal and information. And, how do they do that? They do that by the phone line that DirecTV tells you to have it plugged in. Did you know that you do not have to have it plugged into a phone line? None of our receivers are now. That was the only receiver plugged into the phone line and all movies were supposedly watched on that unit, despite the fact that one other unit is in a bedroom, where you can shut the door and have privacy.

The end of the story is that I fought long and hard enough that, while they refused to refund the money (Thank goodness our mortgage payment did not bounce.) they did give us a credit on the money and so we were paid up for about ten months of DirecTv bills. I think they made us promise to keep the service for another year too.

And, after this was settled, they sent us a very nice (sic) letter, informing us that, while they were crediting us for this bill, they, in no way were admitting that the service was stolen from our unit, we must have watched $800 in movies in, what amounted to, a one month period.

The lesson is. No direct billing for DirecTV. Do NOT hook your phone line into their receivers. And, put a password on your account.

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I really enjoy family night.  Movies and popcorn are a favorite with us.  We do not have any small children but even the teens enjoy these movies and they are good fare for little ones too




You never know what a kid is going to find fascinating. Kid Gaffer went through a spell where he must have watched Flight of the Navigator a hundred times, in a week. Of course, he did that with a bunch of movies.


I’m trying to figure out how to describe this movie without giving a spoiler. All I can say, is there is a kid and a space ship, and funny alien creatures and it is just a really neat family film, with a twist at the end.


It is a Disney film and one of the best. It is rarely seen on DirecTV and it is well worth watching with the kids. So, find it at your rental store.




If you have never seen Wallace & Gromit, WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN???

Run, don’t walk, Run to the nearest rental and bring any of their several movies home. Wallace & Gromit is fun for the whole family.  I have been a fan since I first discovered BBC on American TV.  


The creators of Chicken Run were a claymation team in Britain, where they produced, I believe, short claymation features. I know I saw these long before Chicken Run came out. DreamWorks turned it into animation.


The Curse of the Were-Rabbit is (now don’t groan-let me finish) sort of a “Killer Tomatoes” film, only really funny (and you do not have to be in an altered state to enjoy it).


The town’s prized produce starts disappearing and Wallace and Gromit try to capture the “mysterious beast of epic and fluffy proportions” who is stealing it. 


Check it out.  Everyone can use a good laugh.

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