Saturday, October 31, 2009

I Hate DirecTV!

Well, at least the customer and tech support. I do like the programming (better than Dish), but the wrap around support is abysmal. I've lost track of the volume of calls to HQ to address subscription issues, billing, tech support, etc.

Here's my latest. My DVR decided to retire, permanently! I attempted to power up the box on Wednesday only to get no response beyond a 'clicking' from within and the power light dimly blinking. After a call to the crack team that is tech support, "give it a whack was the advice given (seriously!)", I was informed that likely the motor within failed. Say goodbye to all my saved programming yet to be watched; all House episodes from this season, the entire Rescue Me season (grr!), and the most recent episodes of FlashForward, CSI, The Big Break, Project Runway (Kristen, thank you very much!), Income Property (great show!) and Lie to Me. Not to mention a bunch of watched movies I like to reference.

At Best Buy and $99 later I have a new DVR (not HD, that is also another blog post!) and what should have been a five minute install took two days! I won't go into the details, but because I live in a MDU (Multi-dwelling Unit) building, there are specific tech issues that seem to surpass DirecTV's shallow knowledge can grasp. Here's the best part, the set up at the condo is based on a 'stacked approach'. The new DVRs need to be programmed to be 'stacked'. However, to program for the stacked approach, a full signal is needed, but a signal is not possible until the box is stacked. Make sense?

It gets better. There are two models of the same DVR. The R16 - 300 does not have the stacked feature, but the R16-500 does. How the hell am I suppose to know this (or should have to worry about it!) when I'm picking it up from Best Buy.

So, the company that services the building had to come out add a temp splitter to fake the box that it is stacked then reprogram for unstacked only to actually program for stacked and then remove the splitter. What a bunch of bulls***!

I now know more about satellite programming that I thought was needed. Kudos to Vitalyi at USA Wireless for his awesome work and timely response!

Oh yeah, with a new box I had to reprogram all my favorites. I think I lost about four hours of my life that I'll never get back. I wish I could bill someone for that time!

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