MPEG4 Conversion and Voidable Commitment Contract

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by parzec, Aug 6, 2007.

  1. Aug 6, 2007 #1 of 19
    parzec

    parzec Wizard of Oz

    796
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    Jun 21, 2002
    Charlotte, NC
    When DirecTV fully converts to MPEG4 and is no longer able to provice Hi-Def content to the HR10-250, it seems that act might void your committment contract with DirecTV. While DirecTV reserves the right to change programming content, this would seem to be such a significant and material change to content, that one could successfully argue that the committment is void.

    Just a thought for those that are looking for a way out.
     
  2. Aug 6, 2007 #2 of 19
    ClemSole

    ClemSole New Member

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    Nov 12, 2004
    Why would it void your commitment? They are inproving the the quality of the product they are providing, and your commitment is with D* not the HR10-250. They also will upgrade your system to a new type that is mpeg4 compatable.
     
  3. Aug 6, 2007 #3 of 19
    parzec

    parzec Wizard of Oz

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    Jun 21, 2002
    Charlotte, NC
    If the two year committment was initiated by the activation of an HR10-250 with DirecTV, and DirecTV fails to deliver the content to the HR10-250 for which it was purchased, then I would argue that DirecTV is not adequately performing their contractual obligations and the committment is void.

    If the upgrade to new equipment was free and did not extend the contract period, then I would agree that the committment would not be void -- but as far as I know, this is not being offered by DirecTV.
     
  4. Aug 7, 2007 #4 of 19
    litzdog911

    litzdog911 TechKnow Guide

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    Mill Creek,...
    Nothing is changing with your HR10-250. It will still receive all of the channels that it currently receives. It just won't receive the new HiDef channels beamed from the new satellites. And eventually, probably sometime next year, the current HiDef channels will move to those new satellites, too.
     
  5. Aug 7, 2007 #5 of 19
    captain_video

    captain_video Member

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    If you owned the HR10-250 when you activated it you are no longer in a commitment period. DirecTV dropped the commitment for owned equipment and only applies it to leased hardware. I dropped DirecTV back in February and thought I still had nine months to go on a 2-year commitment but was only charged about $5 for the outstanding balance on my monthly bill. The Customer Retention rep never mentioned anything about early termination fees when I cancelled.
     
  6. Aug 7, 2007 #6 of 19
    parzec

    parzec Wizard of Oz

    796
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    Jun 21, 2002
    Charlotte, NC

    I wish that was the case. In March 2007 I activated an owned HR10-250 which was mistakenly listed as leased by DirecTV. I had that corrected on the account a couple of months later and was told that I would not be under contract. Recently, they changed their position andl insist the activation triggered a new 2 year contract. Theoretically, if the MPEG2 HD channels are moved to the new sats in 2008, I would no longer be able to receive DirecTV HD content, but would still be under contract for an additional year. Perhaps, retention would waive the terimation fees, but the official position of DirecTV as stated by the CSR is that the computer shows I am under contract and they can do nothing to change it.
     
  7. Aug 7, 2007 #7 of 19
    Mark Lopez

    Mark Lopez Just click ignore

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    You bring up an interesting idea, but I'm not sure if it would hold water. Since the HR10 would still be able to receive OTA HD, it would be hard to argue that it could no longer receive HD content. And DirecTV has and can change their satellite programing as they please. Channels come and go and I don't think one could use that as a reason especially if the SD version (i.e. HBO etc) is still available.
     
  8. Aug 8, 2007 #8 of 19
    captain_video

    captain_video Member

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    Feb 28, 2002
    That would possibly hold true only if you can receive OTA HD broadcasts. There are a lot of areas around the country where this is not possible, although you might have a hard time proving it.

    I'd ask to talk to customer retention about the issue. CSRs are basically low level grunts with little or no authority to do anything for you. You need to speak to someone that can actually resolve this. Worst case it costs you $12.99 per month, or slightly less, for the time you have remaining on your "commitment". If they try to stick it to you then why not see if you can simply suspend your account indefinitely?
     
  9. Aug 8, 2007 #9 of 19
    parzec

    parzec Wizard of Oz

    796
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    Jun 21, 2002
    Charlotte, NC

    We are on the same page on this, too. I figured I could try to fight DirecTV on the issue and waste a ton of time, or I could just suspend the account and let the contract period quietly pass. The irony is that I never intended to cancel DirecTV! But decided I didn't want to give any more of my money to a company that, in my opinion, acted deceptively. Besides, I have been a DirecTV customer since the USSB days - why they would feel it necessary to fabricate a committment is beyond my comprehension.....account suspended.
     
  10. Mark Lopez

    Mark Lopez Just click ignore

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    Hondo TX
    Deceptive how? :confused:

    As have I (been with them forever), but I don't feel they are fabricating anything. A bought 2 HR10s at $1K each with no commitment. Now you can get a HR20 for next to nothing with a commitment. What's the big deal? Even if you pay the termination fee, you are still ahead of the game vs buying the equipment at 'full price'. Mountains out of molehills IMO.
     
  11. parzec

    parzec Wizard of Oz

    796
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    Jun 21, 2002
    Charlotte, NC

    I activated an owned receiver, explicitly asked if it would trigger a committment, was told it definitely would not -- several months later, was told I was actually under committment as a result of the activation. In my book, this was deception and resulted in a fabricated committment.

    I don't doubt the value of activating the new HR20 - and am fine with the lease model (who wants to own proprietary equipment anyway?) so long as the upfront cost is low.
     
  12. bigpuma

    bigpuma Well-Known Member

    7,590
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    Aug 12, 2003
    Morgan Hill, CA
    If you want to get satelite television you have to use proprietary equipment. The HR10 is proprietary equipment.
     
  13. Mark Lopez

    Mark Lopez Just click ignore

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    Hondo TX
    Or it could have simply been a human error. The terms 'deception' and 'fabricated' usually apply to things that are intentionally done. Is there any evidence that was the case?
     
  14. parzec

    parzec Wizard of Oz

    796
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    Jun 21, 2002
    Charlotte, NC
    Haven't received a response from DirecTV regarding my request for discovery as they have filed for a 30 day extension :D

    Regardless, I never would have activated the equipment but for their representation that a new contract would not be imposed. Their subsequent refusal to remedy the situation once I brought it to their attention -- ratifies their action -- and clarifies their intent to deceive. It is also a matter of perspective: from where I am seated, I was deceived, misled, lied to, etc. and it is up to them to prove that they were acting honestly and fairly.
     
  15. parzec

    parzec Wizard of Oz

    796
    3
    Jun 21, 2002
    Charlotte, NC

    This is obvious -- and the point I was making. I really don't care about owning sat equipment anymore as it is useless if you don't subscribe. I want the flexibility to change providers. With that said, though, I did pay for the HR10 and own it outright and shouldn't be subject to a committment contract. I would never purchase direcTV equipment to own in the future.

    (Side Note: The HR10 is only "partially" proprietary, in that it is still useful as a ASTC dual tuner with dual 30 minute buffers even if you don't subscribe to DirecTV)
     
  16. parzec

    parzec Wizard of Oz

    796
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    Jun 21, 2002
    Charlotte, NC
    Is there a direct line to retention? I just wasted a ton of time getting transferred to a "superior" and was on hold for 30 minutes before I hung up.
     
  17. wolflord11

    wolflord11 Lord of Darkness

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    Madisonville...
    Directv has recently been offering an upgrade to a HR20 and 5LNB Dish for $19.99 Shipping Fee. So the equipment is free.

    Many have talked to the CSR's and even got the $19.99 waived, so its indeed Free.

    I do not see how Directv's change to MPeg 4 would void any Commitment contract a person has with Directv, as Directv is doing its best to upgrade the equipment at little or no cost. Also, it will be atleast a Year if not longer before all HD Channels are fully upgraded to MPeg4, and by that time nearly all users of the HR10's would of served out their 2 yr Commitments.

    Every Company improves with technology. The HR10's have been around awhile now, and basically served their purpose well.
     
  18. milominderbinder

    milominderbinder New Member

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    Dec 18, 2006
    Chicagoland
    Just say cancel service at the first prompt. Bingo, Retention. Best results are during regular business hours.

    - Craig
     
  19. herdfan

    herdfan New Member

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    Feb 5, 2003
    Hurricane, WV
    While you MAY be able to get out of a commitment when at some point in the future D* shuts off the current MPEG-2 HD channels, keep in mind the following:

    1) The HR10 has been out of mainstream distribution channels for closing on a year now. (IIRC, it was yanked from BB and CC sometime last September/October) So if D* keeps the MPEG-2 channels on until October 2008, then most commitments related to HR10's will be over.

    2) Notwithstanding #1, any HR10's purchased through other channels such as Weaknees are sold in such small numbers that D* may very well well waive the commitment fee after the MPEG-2 channels are shut off.
     

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