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Old 12-25-2007, 03:39 PM   #1
cwerdna
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Angry why are DirecTV's policies so complicated when wanting to activate a used HDVR2?

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/wizar...ourSystem1.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...89#post5523389 and http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb...=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.
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Old 12-25-2007, 04:25 PM   #2
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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.
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Old 12-25-2007, 04:28 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by wedgecon View Post
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.
...
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.
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Old 12-25-2007, 04:40 PM   #4
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Yep, I have heard that one before. So, I think it must be true. They're better off not getting saddled with DTV anyway.

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They seem to have issue w/activating new service with used equipment.

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Old 12-25-2007, 10:26 PM   #5
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Yep, I have heard that one before. So, I think it must be true. They're better off not getting saddled with DTV anyway.
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!
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Old 12-25-2007, 11:24 PM   #6
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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.
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Old 12-26-2007, 01:43 AM   #7
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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/globa...ssetId=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...
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Old 12-26-2007, 05:10 PM   #8
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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.


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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!

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Old 12-26-2007, 06:49 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 12-26-2007, 09:54 PM   #10
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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!
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:00 PM   #11
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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).
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Old 12-26-2007, 10:30 PM   #12
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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?
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Old 12-26-2007, 11:19 PM   #13
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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.



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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?

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Old 12-27-2007, 06:17 AM   #14
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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.
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Old 12-27-2007, 07:26 AM   #15
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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?
If you sneeze in DTV's general direction, they will extend your committment, and probably won't even tell you about it.
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Old 12-29-2007, 02:58 PM   #16
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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.

Last edited by kenjay : 12-29-2007 at 03:06 PM.
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Old 12-29-2007, 09:05 PM   #17
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all different answers

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.
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Old 12-29-2007, 10:59 PM   #18
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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.
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Old 12-30-2007, 01:15 AM   #19
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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.

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Old 12-30-2007, 01:25 AM   #20
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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.
and to unneccessarily screw their customers out of $20, as many times as possible, it seems....
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Old 12-30-2007, 12:03 PM   #21
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So my question still stands: do I need to call the normal activation number, or do I need to talk to the access card department straight away? (I ordered a new access card for the unit.)

Thanks for all the information, folks.
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Old 12-30-2007, 08:07 PM   #22
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CrashHD's web-based refresh trick AND the 722 trick via phone both didn't work. "Wrong card inserted" message was still on the HDVR2 this morning. I called DirecTV again this morning, explained the situation, mentioned kenjay's experience and was sent to the access card department. After exchanging some more info w/the access dept guy, he got my HDVR2 going in the middle of the call! (no new card needed, so we canceled that order)

Murphy's Law is that I forgot to check the System Information and TiVo recording functionality before hanging up. I had another problem still of being unable to record (DVR service not active) and the account in System Information showing as "Account Closed". Reboots of the DirecTiVo and forced modem connections didn't help. I called them again and they fixed those immediately. All is well now.

Bottom line: It still is an inconsistent CSR roulette mess. GRRRR!!! No new access card was needed. I've wasted so much time on this and it would've been so much easier (and cheaper for DirecTV) if either DirecTV still sold DirecTiVos or let us activate new service w/used equipment.

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Old 12-30-2007, 08:45 PM   #23
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That is odd. I've moved an access card that way several times before, and I sold an HDVR2 on ebay to a guy who replaced his R15 with it, with that method.

In the system info screen, on the first page, does your HDVR2 have an entry for "IRD Receiver ID:"?
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Old 12-31-2007, 01:07 AM   #24
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In the system info screen, on the first page, does your HDVR2 have an entry for "IRD Receiver ID:"?
I don't believe so. I can't check until I next go to my parents' house. IIRC, there ws only a IRD serial (?) number that was 8 hex digits w/no dashes.

I can see my RCA DVR80 definitely has the IRD Serial Number (8 hex digits w/no dashes) and a IRD Receiver ID that's 12 hex digits in hhhh-hhhh-hhhh format.
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Old 12-31-2007, 06:21 AM   #25
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I thought of one other thing that may make a difference. Perhaps the newest cards don't do this anymore. I have done it with p4 and p5 cards. The newest card is the p6 (white card with blue dots in the shape of dtv logo). Perhaps something about the newest card prevents it from doing this.
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Old 12-31-2007, 06:56 AM   #26
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Access cards

I transfer many access card, but again it is the CSR. I had one CSR Rep that when I went to activate a used Directivo and a used access card didn't want to do anything even after I told her I been with DTV over 9 years. I hung up on her ! Call back got another CSR and was up and running under 5 min.

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Old 01-03-2008, 02:25 AM   #27
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I thought of one other thing that may make a difference. Perhaps the newest cards don't do this anymore. I have done it with p4 and p5 cards. The newest card is the p6 (white card with blue dots in the shape of dtv logo). Perhaps something about the newest card prevents it from doing this.
The card (from that closed account) that I couldn't use and that D* wouldn't reactivate was definitely a P4.

The card that came w/the R15 and that we successfully moved to the HDVR2 after CSR roulette was NOT the D2/P12 card pictured at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Rethink-tv-back.jpg mentioned at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/DirecTV. I think the card was green on the front and I forget what picture was on it. I can't seem to find a picture of it on the net.
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Old 01-03-2008, 01:17 PM   #28
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I transfer many access card, but again it is the CSR. I had one CSR Rep that when I went to activate a used Directivo and a used access card didn't want to do anything even after I told her I been with DTV over 9 years. I hung up on her ! Call back got another CSR and was up and running under 5 min.

cmarrero

I activated an old R10 that my father was no longer using last week. They activated and moved his access card/R10 to my account (did not charge me to overnight me a new one) and the receiver was up and running within a couple of minutes. First CSR lady wanted to ship me a new card. I hung up and called back. Some CSRs seem to be a hard @$$ about this "policy", while other CSR's do not care and just activate it and move it to your account for you. It appears to be the luck of the draw. They did not extend my contract either. I am still out from under their contract. I even had used the mover's choice. They did not have any record of my move?!? So I activated my Dad's R10 and moved at DTV's cost, and I am still out of under their contract. I was expecting another 18 month or longer contract. I called back several times to ask when my contract was up. They tell me last Oct 2007 every time.
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Old 01-03-2008, 03:56 PM   #29
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One thing to consider is that DirecTVs contract with TiVo does not allow new DirecTiVo subscribers.
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Old 01-07-2008, 12:30 AM   #30
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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.
I got a ued HR10-250 from a friend in Nov. I called to ask about 2 year commitments on used gear. The first CSR told me that used was no problem, but I would have a two year committment.

I pulled the card from my old Philips DSR6000 and put it in the HR10 and I called a second CSR and she had no issues with pairing the card from the old Philips unit to the HR10. She said that since I was already the user for that card, there was no 2 year commitment, but if I had added a receiver, (new card) I would have a new commitment...joe
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