DirecTV HD service is a nightmare! Bad receivers, bad support techs and basically bad service!

DirecTV HD receiver complaints

DirecTV HD receivers suck. When are their techs going to understand you can’t keep giving good paying customers equipment that doesn’t work?


DIRECTV – Overall service complaint. This complaint regarding DirecTV is related to their equipment and Customer / Technical Services.

We began service approximately three years ago. Initially we were issued one HD receiver and a standard receiver. This issue relates to the HD receiver and support for the same.
Our initial HD receiver was an H20-100. After approximately 15 months of service, we began having issues (poor reception, resetting receiver, GUIDE not populating or updating consistently). Tech Support scheduled a service visit. The technician replaced our H20-100 with an H20-600. The H20-600 lasted about another 15-18 months before experiencing almost the same exact symptoms.

After three to four calls to Customer Service and Tech Support, we finally received a replacement receiver sent directly to us instead of via a service visit. Low and behold, we received another H20 – 100. Once I realized this from reading the packing documentation, I didn’t even open the box. I was absolutely livid that they would replace any receiver with one to have KNOWN issues. How could you issue a receiver (regardless of manufacturer) that has KNOWN issues. Does one truly believe this is a good move especially for a customer who has had two successive HD receivers and had problems with both (both model H20)?

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I made another call to Customer Service and then to Tech Support. This tech representative I talked with was cooperative, understanding, and helpful or so we thought. She setup a service call for 8.7.10. She all but guaranteed our service tech would be able to provide a different model receiver than what we have had. We agreed to the service visit.

8.7.10 – The tech asked a few basic questions, spent about five to seven minutes checking signals, reception, and checked the access card in our current H20-600 HD receiver. He showed us the burned access card in our receiver and stated this is something the field techs have been complaining about for a while – H20s, burned access cards, shoddy quality. Nothing seems to be done about it. The technician stated he had two receivers in his truck – both H20-100s. Argh! This after the Tech Support rep guaranteed us the tech would have a different model HD receiver than the H20s.

This same tech told us they also have other issues with the H21 HD receivers. The tech told us to call DirecTV, request a return shipping label for the unused replacement receiver, a credit for the replacement receivers shipping, and to purchase a receiver on eBay or a local retailer if we wanted a specific model. We told him we didn’t need a specific model unless there was one that guaranteed 1080p signal reception. The tech stated that we would have to go to HD DVR service to get the 1080p signal. We just do not want to go through a receiver replacement and have these SAME issues every 15-18 months. We just want a receiver that WORKS.

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I waited a full week because I realized just how irritated and pissed off I was. Again, I phoned DirecTV. After just a few minutes on the phone with this tech support rep didn’t help my mood especially when I received DirecTV’s scripted respond – “We don’t control what equipment goes out other than a standard, HD, or HD DVR receiver.” (repeated) “Sir, we do not control what receiver you will get from the distributor’s warehouse.” Nothing more than third party blame game. I requested a member of the Case Management staff.

The tech support rep ignored my request and kept explaining how they did not control their own stock of branded receivers that were provided to THEIR customers. I not so politely told the tech support rep that I will be shopping my TV service and will likely switch providers unless DirecTV finds a way to get us a different model receiver than an H20/21 and it needs to be one that works and is reliable.
All we want is an HD receiver without these issues or other known issues. How hard can that possibly be?


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6 Responses to DirecTV HD service is a nightmare! Bad receivers, bad support techs and basically bad service!

  1. TheMostHappy on October 13, 2010 at 4:56 PM

    I’ve had a great experience with DirecTV. I feel sorry for the people who get your calls. There are known issues with every piece of equipment out there; from HD receivers to Ipods. I think your head is clouded with the typical spoiled American ideology that everything must go your way or no way at all. Your story makes me laugh. :)

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 1 Thumb down 9

  2. Fed Up With Direct TV on October 15, 2010 at 5:08 PM

    Dear TheMostHappy: I don’t know what drug DirecTV is providing you with, but so far they’ve cost me two days of work, 10 hours driving, 3 hours on the phone and after 7, count them, 7 attempts they haven’t brought the receiver and dish the right address yet. They keep going to our billing address, not service address. Oh — and did I mention that we were merely upgrading to HD???? That we’ve been a DirectTV customer for 13 years? And they still can’t find us?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  3. Jason S on January 7, 2011 at 4:09 PM

    Hi my name is Jason I work with Dish Network, but I have had both services and interaction with both. I find it hard to any good interaction with a company that is rated by the BBB as an F like DirecTV is. DISH on the other hand is rated a C-, do bothe need to work on a few things? Yes, but who needs to work on it more? Also looking at package prices, base prices Direct is 19.00 more for basic programming, and with that basic package DirecTV isn’t going to be giving you free HD for life.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  4. Steve on January 19, 2011 at 12:08 PM

    This is why you always go through a local dealer instead of the 1800-number when you sign up. I understand 13 years ago there weren’t any so this doesn’t pertain to you but any new customers, get in the phone book or on dtv or dish website and look up your local retailer. You get fast, friendly, local service and when there is a problem you get the same person or someone who works directly with or for the person you signed up with. They will do whatever it takes to fix your problem because they depend on your positive reports of them to get referrals and keep their business going. Anybody who reads this, “DON’T TRUST A BILLION DOLLAR COMPANY WHO HAS MINIMUM WAGE AND OFTEN OVERSEAS HELP DESK PEOPLE AND TECHS WHO ARE PAID BY HOW FAST THEY GET THE JOB DONE, NOT HOW WELL! CALL THE LOCAL PROVIDER!” Thank you.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  5. Steve on May 3, 2011 at 11:35 PM

    Steve, the local retailers are the reason for sweeping up the horse shit that’s out there. Get an in house tech to do the work and it’s done. Retailers throw in some of the shittiest installations you can imagine, whether you know it or not. Screw them all.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  6. Mike on October 26, 2011 at 9:24 PM

    I signed up with DirecTV 19 months ago, and just had my SECOND receiver go bad. I can understand that things can and will wear out or go bad but it is very frustrating to lose all of the recorded items that were saved on the DVR, AND I DETEST the fact that they want to charge me $21 for shipping out a new receiver!!!! In five months, my contract is up, and so is DirectTV’s time with me as a customer.

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