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!