DirecTV Needs A Lesson In Customer Loyalty

January 2, 2010 by  
Filed under General

Television has become almost a staple in everyone’s home and because of that you are at the mercy of the cable and satellite companies if you would actually like to see a real picture on your television set.  Steadily over the years the costs associated with watching TV have risen as well the plethora of channels to choose from.  You can choose to have satellite or cable, a DVR, the sports package, the premium channels, do your laundry package, or just about anything you can imagine for a price and mostly for a complete rip off.

I don’t watch as much TV as my husband, but I do have have some shows and channels that are my favorites.  The boys love Discovery Kids, and Sprout, and a few of the other channels, and it is nice to have some programming geared for them.  It wasn’t until recently, that me and my husband began lamenting over what to do about our current television service.  We had received a new fancy TV as a gift for our finished basement, and two of the receivers (not sure if this is what they are called) on our actual satellite dish died.  So up until getting this new TV we have been limited to watching television in our living room.

So what’s the big deal you ask?  Well we have been stuck in a holding pattern on getting our satellite fixed because we are no longer in a 2 year mandatory contract with DirecTV.  We have been debating on whether or not to call them because they would rope us into another contract that would inevitably cost us more.  We currently have a TIVO which we love and if we switched to cable we would lose that as well.  We would really like our satellite fixed so we can have TV in other rooms of the house.  That isn’t without a few minor hitches either since, in order to watch TV you need their handy dandy receiver as well.  It sounds easy, but not so fast my friend, you better be willing to pony up an additional $6 per box each month.

I am ok with paying for the receiver, it took me a little while to adjust to the idea but then suddenly our monthly package magically changed.  We originally  had Discovery Kids, and all of a sudden it magically disappeared.  I quickly asked my husband if he had changed anything and went to view the packages.  We are paying around $64 a month for our satellite package which originally included Discovery Kids.  I checked the packages and they all included Discovery Kids (what the heck!).

So after many discussions, I am talking about a hundred, my husband decided to call DirecTV up.  We wanted the satellite fixed, wanted to know why we no longer have that missing channel or several and to see if they could offer a better deal for signing into a contract for 2 more years.  No big deal right?  You would honestly think that they would be thrilled to keep us on as paying customers.  Well pardon our delusional thinking, but boy were we ever wrong.  They offered us a few dollars less but only for a year and then we would be paying more for the same package we have today, that we currently pay less for without a contract.  We still wouldn’t have Discovery Kids (which I am still baffled about) and I don’t know how my package magically changes without me knowing.

Actually, if you are a new customer you can get a stunning deal, way better than anything you have as an existing customer.  How does this offer me any incentive to stay with you as a company?  I can see no reason to stay or come back.  DirecTV go back to school and pass the class on customer service, you obviously failed in this department.

Update:  I also ran across an interesting article by Bob Sullivan (The Red Tape Chronicles) on DirecTV and a deception lawsuit.  It is an interesting read and will definitely make you reconsider jumping in as a customer of theirs!

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21 Responses to “DirecTV Needs A Lesson In Customer Loyalty”
  1. Matt says:

    Wow! I’m fighting with Time Warner Cable about pricing and lack of channels in the lineup. My bill has gone up each month for the past two months without notice. They can get me a better price…by lowering my Internet speed and limiting me to local phone calls only and keeping my same cable package. I just laughed at them. I’m currently looking at switching my “standard cable” to Dish Network. I can get a ton more channels for way less than I’m paying Time Warner.

  2. We have cable, but I can understand your issue with customer service. Why don’t you contact he Consumer Services Division of the FTC which has jurisdiction over Telcom and Cable matters? You might get some satisfaction there.

  3. Laurie says:

    I am amazed at the way these companies handle their existing customers! Can they afford this? I guess since we are at their mercy in order to get programming they can choose to raise and lower pricing.

  4. Jammie says:

    I am shocked you are going through that. We have had Directv now for going on 5 years. I called last year to cancel it because we was having rough times, they canceled but left one receiver active, they called me later that day and asked why I wanted to cancel. I explained my issues and they gave me 70 dollar credit so I didn’t have to pay my month bill and some off the next, plus they gave us dvr for free for a year and they dropped our package price by 10 a month.

    Well then we got a call to sign up for nfl package, my husband told them we do not watch football but it ended up being cheaper for all channels and the nfl for 6 months and free dvr our bill is only 54 bucks and thats with all the premium channels. They also told me I could customize my package with them since I am a preferred customer. I personally love directv I am sorry you are getting shafted.

  5. Lauralee Hensley says:

    I agree. We wanted to get the TIVO etc., and were already DirecTV customers who had finished our original two year contract period, and they wouldn’t upgrade us for the same deal as a new customer either. New customers get better dishes and everything, but an existing loyal customer gets squat. They do need customer service lessons.

  6. Denise Roberts says:

    Directv has good customer service but terrible customer retention practices. They won’t offer you anything good until you are no longer a customer; then they’ll offer you good stuff again. That’s why I stopped being a DTV customer, and I’m not going back either.

  7. Laurie says:

    That’s exactly my point, wouldn’t you want to hold on to the customers you have in addition to the new ones? You would think in this economy that they would. Signing up for 2 more years should have the same if not better benefits of becoming a new customer.

  8. Wow..that’s terrible! I have heard bad things about them…they will not be getting my business! We have been without tv for a year now and just decided to bring it back in our home..for various reasons. We went with AT&T U-verse and we now have cable with hd, phone and high speed internet for about $100 a month…so if you have that in your area, def. check that out ;)

  9. Penelope says:

    That is a shame. Unfortunately we’ve had issues like this with past providers of services (note past tense… we don’t stick with them)

  10. Agh! They always offer the “new” customer the wonderful package and if you are already the customer, forget about it!

  11. Katie says:

    There are so many monopolies in the cable/satellite business and they all seem to think they can get away with doing things like that to longtime customers. It sucks.

  12. I never understood how new customers get so much more than a loyal customer they’ve had for years. We dealt with this in the past and were not happy.

  13. Brittany says:

    I can’t lie – we hate Direct TV. We moved to Dish immediately!

  14. Kasandria says:

    I’ve had trouble with them too. Their customer service is VERY lacking. We ended up switching to Dish Network. Not as nice, but they are honest.

  15. Robert says:

    I had the same problems but with another company. They would change channels and delete some at their will. I looked at the fine print and on the contract it said the thing that is almost on anything you buy “We do not guarantee,..blah,..blah…that the content or programming will not,…blah, and we reserve the right to change without notice…blah end.
    Well I had perfect credit, around 785 and I thought to myself, “what if I was a finance person or a loan officer, and seen that someone paid all their bills on time for years, was never late, ever. And a collection for TV service popped up and it was only for several hundred dollars”. Would I think that that person had a sudden lapse of sanity and just decide to pick a bill at random not to pay?….No! I would think it was either a mistake, or fraudulent and either go on or ask the borrower about it and chances are he would have had a bad taste in his mouth also at some point. I would proceed to tell the lender that yes it was fraudulent or unfair business practices and who in their right mind would mess their credit up if there wasn’t a real problem that I just couldn’t solve and wouldn’t pay for it even if it were $5.00. Well that happened to me, and it in no way has affected my credit in any way because of the amount of time I have had and used credit before and after the one bill was sent to collections. In no way. As a matter of fact, I would have done it with so-so credit, same logic would apply. So I will never be held to something I didn’t agree to or I fel like I was lied to or taken advantage of. Just call them and tell them to send it to turn it off, send it to collections as a favor to me, and get something else. Too many people are scared to “break the rules” I guess it is because I own a business that I know that their are no set rules to business, everything is negotiable and people lend credit based on your score and it’s history, never just on the number alone.

  16. Joleen says:

    The new customer gets all sorts of perks, the existing customer is treated like dirt and taken for granted. How’s that for customer service!

  17. Allen says:

    you should try working for these crooks as an installer they will steal your wages and have you sign a contract for 365 days then hold most of your wages and find way s to screw you out of it thats contractors but they have the graces of Directv they are all in the same bed

  18. Monica says:

    Try working as a Customer Service Rep. They hire you on until 89 days into your employment then fire you before insurance can kick in. They messed with the wrong person this time though, that’s why you don’t get good customer service— because the reps are hired and fired in such a short time no one knows what they are doing! And as far as existing customers go, DTV doesn’t want you to know this but they go by a ‘heart’ guideline… between 0 and 5 hearts (5 being the best) it’s based on how long you have been with the company and YOUR CREDIT! Of course they will give you a free dvr, if you don’t already pay the 7 a month for dvr service and an additional ‘leased receiver fee’ of 5 makes up for the amount they just gave you. Plus if you are a 0 heart you don’t get any credits on your bill, NONE and have to pay around 300 for an hddvr that others (5 hearts) can get free and that 300 includes a ‘new customer fee’ of 50! Any questions on anything? I’m in open book with tons of insider information and jobless when I was the ONLY person on my team that would TAKE THE TIME TO PROVIDE CUSTOMER SERVICE AND REFUSED TO TRANSFER CALLS JUST TO GET THE PROBLEM OFF MY HANDS!

  19. Nancy says:

    Direct TV has a long way to go when it comes to customer service and truth in advertising. I work at DISH Network and absolutely believe in our product and pricing strategy, it is the best in the industry. We offer free HD for Life to new and EXISTING customers.  We offer free HD equipment upgrades for new customers and EXISTING customers with good credit history for DISH. We have live customer service agents 24 hours a day who can provide you with pricing, package information, and technology advice. Did you know DIRECTTV is tied up in court litigation to face charges of “unfair sales practices”, including “hiding fees, planned rate changes, and terms that call for automatic renewal”? For more information visit DISH’s website at and then call DISH’s excellent customer service staff at 1.800.333.3474. You can file a complaint with the BBB or the Attorney General’s office. If you are DISH network subscriber contact me directly and I would be glad to look into your concern personally!


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