The DirecTV Customer Service Experience. Or how DirecTV is worse than Time Warner Cable ***UPDATE***

I have a deep, seething dislike of Time Warner Cable.  From their piss poor customer service, their special services that never worked as billed and their inability to ever get my internet right.  Needless to say Jason and I decided to make a change and when I found DirecTV’s December special we decided to jump ship, and sign a 2 year contract.

Our experience did not start off on the right foot.  I had decided, rather optimistically, on my part to have our new service installed the day of the Sherwin Christmas Party.   The window was from 12-4pm, and cocktails began at 5, dinner at 6.  Even if the installer came at 4 we still had time to be seated for dinner.

The installer, however, did not show up until quarter after 5.  At one point I called DirecTV’s customer service to be told to “look out your window, he’s there.”  He arrived 15 minutes after that phone call.  Pierre, the installer, did a great job.  Hustled and did his best to get us out as quickly as he could.

Driving to the party I had my first encounter with DirecTV’s customer service as a new customer.  I was promptly informed that the time I had signed up for was only a window and that the installer could pretty much show up when he wanted and as far as DirecTV was concerned all was good if the installation was allowed to be done.  Nope, no credit, nope, no equipment upgrade.  No, no supervisor.  At one point the rep told me I’d asked a question the wrong way to get an actual answer from her.

I, who sit on the phone and reason with medical insurance companies all day long, became so irate I handed the phone off to Jason.  He proceeded to argue another 30 minutes only to have the phone drop the call.

The following day, Saturday, I again called DirecTV.  This time the rep was very sympathetic.  I was informed that at a minimum a $50 credit should have been offered but he was going to escalate this to his supervisor who would call me back.

By Wednesday I’d received no phone call and no credit, so I called again.  I was told that it could take a week for a supervisor to call, by now I was becoming completely disgusted with how the situation was being handled.  I’d had high hopes after hearing many good things about DirecTV and how they tried to keep their customers happy.

Two weeks after the late install, no credit and no phone call.  So I called again.  This time I was informed, rather snottily, that they were an inbound call center, not an out bound call center and that supervisors don’t make phone calls.  I pressed the issue and was told rudely that a credit was on my account.  When I went online and saw it I thanked the rep and gave the cause of an actual apology up for gone.

When I’d placed the order I had mistakenly mixed up two packages, one that gave either a DVR or HD receiver and one that offered a HD/DVR receiver and chose the HD not the DVR.  As we got used to the new service Jason and I realized we really missed the DVR and that we were willing to give up the HD to get that.  The catch?  I had to pay for a new receiver.  The switch would run $100.  I figured the cost, the monthly fee and the change to our monthly bills by starting an order on the DirecTV website.  Somehow, I had ordered the new equipment, though.  When I realized what I’d done I called  to cancel the order.

The rep was helpful and told me the charge wouldn’t post because he’d canceled the order out.   I found that the information I was given over the phone wasn’t correct when the charge did hit our checking account, causing over drafts.  By this point I was aggravated and called, this time around I was told that, yes, the order was canceled and that the charge had to be credited, which takes 3-5 business days.  Really?  Fine, whatever.

I think, by now, you can see where this is going.  Yep, no credit in a week.  Now I called my bank and disputed the charge.
A month went by and DirecTV still hadn’t issued a credit, even with my bank involved.  When I called again I was told that the instillation had been canceled but not the actual equipment, 2 reps had told me everything was canceled and that I was supposed to be getting a credit.  Now  I was being told that nope, they hadn’t removed the actual equipment from my account.    I was assured, that a supervisor would be calling me back.  That was Monday and I’ve already been told that supervisors don’t make outgoing phone calls.

Today my bank resolved the dispute, in my favor, refunding the over draft fees but DirecTV hasn’t done anything except offer piss poor customer service from the start.  Over and over their reps give bad information, over and over they make promises they have no power to control.  My bill is paid faithfully each month, in return we enjoy the service we pay for but I laugh when I see the friends and family promotion commercials.  I would have to hate my friends and family to suggest they sign up, and get into a contract with, a company who can’t find their head with both hands.

In fact, the general feeling I’m getting from them is “Too bad, so sad, you’re in a contract.  Kiss it.”  So, as a consumer stuck in a contract for almost 2 more years, I have little power except this.  Do not sign up with DirecTV.  They don’t care, their customer service reps are poorly trained.  They don’t take responsibility for their errors, they will string you along until it’s too late for you to change your mind then hang you out to dry.

****UPDATE***

This is another post, but because Google seems to be landing people only on this one, I wanted to update here as well

Right after I posted a link to my blog on Twitter and included @DIRECTV in the tweet, I received a response.  Currently a lovely lady named Rita is emailing with me in regards to my ongoing issues.  The email I received from her also included a note from another CSR that clearly pointed out that so far my experiences with DirecTV had soured me on the company.

So, while I’m not all that proud of basically having throw what amounts to a temper tantrum, it seems like I might have the attention of people who might actually want to see me have a good experience.

And because I try and be as fair of a person as I am able, to not follow up and point out that I’m currently working with them and so far that experience has been a somewhat positive one, and point out that DirecTV seems to take customer issues seriously, well, that would be wrong.

I’ll keep you posted.

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3 thoughts on “The DirecTV Customer Service Experience. Or how DirecTV is worse than Time Warner Cable ***UPDATE***

  1. I know how you feel. I finally got tired of their crappy service and canceled my service. I waited for the stupid return boxes. I finally got one on Thursday night. By Friday, they’d charged me a non-return fee for the receivers. charged my acct $200+. Which caused over draft, etc. I returned the darn things to FedEx on Monday, called them right after and was advised “once they’d received them back it would take 5-7 business days to refund my $. SURE. they can charge me before I’d had a chance to return the stupid things but I have to wait a week + on getting the $ back. And any thought to giving me credit for the overdraft??? NOPE.

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