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why are DirecTV's policies so complicated when wanting to activate a used HDVR2?

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by cwerdna, Dec 25, 2007.

  1. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    Feb 22, 2001
    SF Bay Area, CA
    So, my parents who are "borrowing" my Series 1 SA TiVo and using w/analog cable now want to get DirecTV (due to the great deal at https://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/wizard/buildYourSystem1.jsp). I plan to have them use an old (inactive) Hughes HDVR2 that a former coworker gave to me w/his access card.

    I called DirecTV last night to ask some questions about activating. It seems that DirecTV's policies and leasing model are just fricking ass-backwards. I gave them the access card # and they confirmed that there are no outstanding charges on it and it's not been sent to collection.

    Bottom line:
    - They have to select at least a regular "dumb" receiver.
    - They claim its company policy to not let people activate DirecTV w/used equipment.
    - They insist that I cannot use the access card w/the new receiver on the HDVR2 nor can I use the old access card that's in the HDVR2 now. I must call them to have me send them a new card for $20.
    - Once the $20 access card shows up, I can then call to have a pre-paid "recovery" box in which to send the dumb receiver back w/its access card.
    - If I select a single tuner dumb receiver, the installer will only run one line. If I want to have them run two lines, I'll need to pay extra (they didn't know how much) or select one of their crappy non-TiVo DVRs. I certainly don't want the HDVR2 to be single tuner only.

    Is this standard operating procedure or should I play CSR roulette? From threads like http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=5523389#post5523389 and http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?t=337853&highlight=leased&page=3 it seems like they're inconsistent.

    This is so lame... Why is this so complicated?

    I tried to talk them out of it and gave them feedback that this is just so complicated and is costing them more. It would be so much easier (no sending unwanted units back and forth) if I could just use this perfectly working HDVR2 and not have to screw w/the $20 new access card (after all, I'd be getting one w/the dumb receiver).

    It seems like once they activate (if they still want TiVo), I'm going to have to redo guided setup on the SA Series 1, have them live w/that on a single tuner receiver w/IR blaster until the $20 access card shows up.
     
  2. wedgecon

    wedgecon Just Plain Awesome TCF Club

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    Dec 28, 2002
    Buena Park, CA
    I have activated a couple of DirecTivo's recently and have had not had any problem.

    1) DirecTV does not require you to have a dumb receiver or any receiver you do not want.

    2) They will activate used equipment, the only exception is newer RID receivers with an outstanding balance on them can not be activated.

    3) They will require you to get a new access card for $20.00, no getting around that anymore. You can not transfer cards to another receiver. DirecTV has never allowed access cards to go from one receiver to the other. You used to be able to transfer the receiver/card to another user but you will not get them to do that anymore.

    4) For a used receiver you will have to do the wiring yourself. If you get a receiver from DirecTV the installer will do the least amount of work needed to get that receiver working. Getting them to run a second line is not usually a probelm but they will charge you a little extra for the cable.

    Of course I am a long time customer, maybe they changed the rules for new customers and will no longer allow them to own their equipment.
     
  3. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    Feb 22, 2001
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Interesting... thanks for the info. Their policies are rather odd I must say. Yeah, they have no issue w/activating the used equipment. They seem to have issue w/activating new service with used equipment.
     
  4. magnus

    magnus Tivo User

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    Nov 12, 2004
    Texas
    Yep, I have heard that one before. So, I think it must be true. They're better off not getting saddled with DTV anyway. :)

     
  5. RadioDoc

    RadioDoc New Member

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    Mar 8, 2003
    Delafield, WI
    Yeah, because once they get "saddled" with DTV, they'll never want to give it up! I've had it for years, and love it!
     
  6. CrashHD

    CrashHD I am the me.

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    Nov 10, 2006
    MO, USA
    DTV is funny about used equipment. I've heard many places that they either don't like to, or won't, activate new customers on used equip.

    I've added on used equipment 4 times. Three times as an additional unit, two of them with the used card that came with the unit, without a hitch. I never said anything about whether the unit/card were used or not, and they never asked. I just called, said I want to activate a receiver, gave them info, and they did their thing. The fourth time, was adding a used tivo, to replace a non-dvr unit. They would not activate the used unit with MY OWN card from MY OWNED unit which I was retiring from service, but made me wait for a new card to come in the mail. The funny thing was, later on, one of the additional unit activations I previously mentioned, was done with that card they refused to move to a new receiver on the previous occasion. Figure that. Bottom line---it really is CSR roulette.

    Sorry for rambling. I will get back on topic.

    Your HDVR2 is a non RID unit. This is to your advantage. Here's what I would do.

    Sign up for directv, and go with their SD DVR (wait...listen through to the end). If you want it installed for you, go ahead and go with that. Let them activate that unit. Wait for the installer to leave.

    Take your new account information to directv.com and sign up to access your account online

    You may want to leave it run for a day or two before moving on to the next step.

    Unhook the new dvr, and hook up the HDVR2 in it's place, with the new access card in the HDVR2. Log into your directv.com account. Somewhere in the troubleshooting section is a link for "refresh my services" or "reauthorize my service" or something like that (sure it is there, not sure of exact wording). When it sends down the authorization info, the card will begin working like normal. Note that this procedure only works with non-RID units. You can reverse it by doing the same thing, but note that when reversing it, the card will only go back to the unit with the proper RID, or another non-RID unit. This is known as the "722 trick", you can search this site, or google, for more information. An alternative method to the website method is to call directv, and dial extension 722 (hence the name). I have done this a few times, to replace my non-DVR units with tivos, without going through the bother of dealing with DTV CSR's.

    Important notes to remember:
    1) You can only reauthorize the card into a unit with the RID number the card is looking for, or a unit that is not RID-capable.
    2) If you go this route, your original unit must be a dvr. You have to have at least one dvr on file with directv to have dvr service activated on your card. If you don't, the HDVR2 would probably activate and do livetv ok, but the dvr functions probably would not work. Better safe than sorry.

    When your done, you can take your leased DirecTV unit, and put it on a shelf in front of your toilet. That way when you're thinking about poop, you can look at it too.
     
  7. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    Feb 22, 2001
    SF Bay Area, CA
    Thanks CrashHD. Hmm, the method sounds interesting but risky w/the only advantages being I wouldn't be mucking w/a single tuner receiver for a bit and I'd have the 2nd line run for me for free.

    I'm worried that they might sock me... err my parents w/fees since https://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/global/moreInfoText.jsp?assetId=1360024 says "FAILURE TO ACTIVATE ALL DIRECTV SYSTEM EQUIPMENT IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE EQUIPMENT LEASE ADDENDUM MAY RESULT IN A CHARGE OF $150 PER RECEIVER NOT ACTIVATED." Also apparently, "advanced" receiver carry a 24 month commitment. I confirmed w/them that if we use this used HDVR2, they'd only have an 18 month commitment.

    I'm still keeping it under consideration...
     
  8. magnus

    magnus Tivo User

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    Nov 12, 2004
    Texas
    Um, I had it for many years (about 6 years) and I decided to terminate it. And yes I do mean 'saddled' because you're given a commitment and not told that it will be there most of the time. DTV tried to say that I owed them for early termination but they were not able to keep the 'saddle' on me with that. I eventually (several months later) got them to remove the bogus charge and got the money that they owed me back. However, I never got interest on my money or an apology.

    Anyway, always be aware that they will try to stick you with a commitment for anything that is done on your account. The funny thing is that they dont tell you about it or put a commitment notice on your bill.


    OTA digital is better quality and a heck of a lot cheaper. One of the main reasons I ever had DTV was because of the bad reception of locals (and with OTA digital.. that is no longer the case). So, everything is defined by your point of view.


     
  9. CrashHD

    CrashHD I am the me.

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    Nov 10, 2006
    MO, USA
    In that case, the only difference should be the committment length. By activating that way, and then refreshing the card in the HDVR2, as far as DirecTV is concerned, the unit they sent you is still the one you're using. Nothing about this process tells DTV you're swapping receivers. As far as they can tell, you just refreshed services on your DTV card number x for troubleshooting reasons.

    The only thing to check on, that I'm not sure about, having had some time to think about it, is if having dvr service on your card is the same as having tivo service on the card.

    Another alternative is, you could claim to have bought the unit refurbed from weaknees, as I believe they're still selling them.
     
  10. self

    self New Member

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    Jul 10, 2002
    Hm. I've put off ordering a replacement directivo from weaknees because of this thread -- I'm left awfully confused.

    If I do get one, do I need to activate it, and then speak with the "access card department," or do I want to go directly to them?

    Thanks!
     
  11. incog-neato

    incog-neato ObamaGuy

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    Sep 17, 2007
    The Cold...
    It's policy not to open a new account with only used equipment however once the account is active you can add any used equipment you want. They now have an 18 month minimum agreement for new accounts as well with only "regular" equipment and the usual 2 years with hd or dvr equipment. The
    "ETF" is now $240/year (was $150).
     
  12. self

    self New Member

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    Jul 10, 2002
    Oh... so the commitment being discussed above is for a new account? And since my account isn't new, activating a refurbished dtivo shouldn't force any extra commitment?
     
  13. magnus

    magnus Tivo User

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    Nov 12, 2004
    Texas
    Wrong, they will try to stick you with one anyway. That's what they did to me... without telling me. Then when I canceled service... they never said a thing about my not ending on good terms. Then they sent a bill for $200+ saying that I left early. And in my case it was replacing a piece of used equipment.

    So, yes they should not stick you with a commitment but they very well could. Like I said, it would be great if they would put it on your bill saying... something your commitment ends in X months but they don't.


    Maybe it is because if you knew how much longer your commitment is... then you might shop around for a better deal.



     
  14. bengalfreak

    bengalfreak Active Member

    2,110
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    Oct 20, 2002
    At one time, DTV had a policy that activating any receiver on your account (that had not been previously active on your account) triggered a new commitment (at the time one year). It didn't matter if the equipment was new or used. I don't know if that is still the case or not.
     
  15. CrashHD

    CrashHD I am the me.

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    Nov 10, 2006
    MO, USA
    If you sneeze in DTV's general direction, they will extend your committment, and probably won't even tell you about it.
     
  16. kenjay

    kenjay New Member

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    Nov 23, 2006
    St....
    I was having this problem with a refurb receiver I bought from Weakknees, but it ended up fine, which seems to show that what happens with DTV depends on who you get.

    I bought the new box to replace an old Sony SAT-T60, but my son is getting the Sony, so in the end, it actually replaced an old standalone receiver. I pulled the card from the standalone receiver and called DirecTV. The guy told me (different from the last time I did this) that the card was "cast in stone" with the receiver. I know that's not true because I did this kind of switch before, and I told him so. He said he'd try to switch it, and was a little surprised that he WAS able to switch the receiver model in the profile very easily. I just had to give him the card number, RID, and S/N of the new box. When I did this the last time, it was actually harder because the replacement receiver had no RID number for some reason. They still ended up getting it working with no new card though.

    After I got everything hooked up, though, the new Tivo box was coming up with "Wrong access card". I called back and the first level rep had me go through all kinds of hoops with removing and reinserting the card, and powering up the box. Nothing worked, so she told me she'd have to send me to the "Protection Plan" department, and they'd send me a new card.

    I got a new guy, and explained the whole thing again, and he said "Okay, let's try just sending you a new activation signal". About five seconds later, the screen popped up and I was fine. He told me that they have access to "different tools" than the first-level folks, and can fix things the other guys can't. It took till the next morning to get the local stations, but now it's all back to normal.

    So contrary to all the above, it still IS possible to switch cards to a new receiver. Maybe you need the "Protection Plan", I don't know, but they WILL do it if you're persistent.
     
  17. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    SF Bay Area, CA
    Sigh.... after being on the phone w/DirecTV maybe 40+ minutes (partly due to another issue of the installer being unwilling to ground the dish) and getting different answers about whether I needed a new access card we finally did.

    Person 2 (tech support): Said that we didn't need a new card (that we could swap cards, add the HDVR2, etc.) and that it was good that I spoke to her.

    Person 3: Wanted the RID of the HDVR2 (which doesn't have one), checked some more and then said they need to send me to the access card department anyway. The claim was that the access card dept. are the only ones who can activate non-RID receivers.

    Person 4 (access card department) : They insisted we needed a new one and said person 2 was in error so we forked over the $20.

    I mentioned the 722 trick to some of them and they knew of it but claimed that wouldn't work/that they'd do something different.
     
  18. wedgecon

    wedgecon Just Plain Awesome TCF Club

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    Dec 28, 2002
    Buena Park, CA
    Ever since they went to the leasing model the only one's who can activate the old receivers is the access department. This is where we all get tripped up, the access card department will not ever activate a receiver without a new access card for $20.00.

    DirecTV seems to have done this to eliminate the CSR roulette game.
     
  19. cwerdna

    cwerdna Proud Tivolutionary

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    Feb 22, 2001
    SF Bay Area, CA
    kenjay: Around when did you get DirecTV to activate for you? Was it before or after they switched to the leasing model?

    I tried calling again tonight to see if the CSR roulette would work but D* said their computers were down and they couldn't do anything. :( Wait a pain. :/

    I also found CrashHD's link that he was referring to in order to "refresh" the receiver (w/the access card from the unwanted R15 inserted in the old HDVR2). It said to wait 3-5 minutes for the "reset" to happen but even after >15 minutes, there was no effect. It still complained about "wrong card inserted". For all I know, it might not have worked due to the down system.

    I left the HDVR2 plugged in... for all I know it'll work by tomorrow morning.
     
  20. xunil76

    xunil76 New Member

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    Apr 1, 2005
    and to unneccessarily screw their customers out of $20, as many times as possible, it seems.... :mad:
     

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