Stupid D* 1 yr commitment...

Discussion in 'DirecTV TiVo Powered PVRs & Receivers' started by oldskoolboarder, Jan 14, 2006.

  1. oldskoolboarder

    oldskoolboarder New Member

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    Jul 8, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    So I take my HD Tivo to Magnolia for warranty repair and they are delayed getting a replacement HD. I make a stink and they let me "borrow" a brand new unit and card. I have to pay it but get a refund when I return it. I'm only using this for 2 weeks and then it's going back to the store and my old unit will be active again.

    I tried to activitate it w/ D* for a temporary 2 week period. No go, if I do, I have to commit to another 2 yr stint. Bunch 'o crap. Talking to 4 different reps, including retention didn't help. Even my threat to completely cancel didn't startle them, though I had them mark my records for the call.

    At this point, I'd like to use it for HD OTA only, so I can at least catch 24 tomorrow.

    1) If I do the initial set up at home and it dials in, does it "touch" my account at all? I don't mind doing the call, as long as it doesn't contact D* and enter me into another commitment.
    2) Can I do OTA w/o call D* to activate the card?

    Hopefully my thread doesn't get deleted, I'm not trying to "steal" D* or Tivo, this is legit... I do have posting history btw.
     
  2. rmassey

    rmassey Damn, these are fun!

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    Sep 5, 2002
    Colorado
    It seems to me this 1 yr / 2 yr commitment nonsense is just getting out of control. Is there a way we can put a stop to this as consumers. I can understand it when they subsidize hardware purchases and expect a service commitment, but not for previously purchased hardware or something purchased used, where D* had no loss incurred.

    For example I have an HDVR2 that I deactivated when I upgraded to an HD10-250. Now since I got the HDTivo from D* and they discounted it to $199, I can agree to the 2 yr commit, but in the case of the HDVR2, if I were to reactivate it, I really should not be held to a new 2 yr commit on this hardware that I purchased in 2002.

    Seems to me like a class action suit (or something) may be in order to get D* to change this unfair policy. Just a thought, I'm not sue happy, but their policy is preventing me from free use of hardware that I own and have already fulfilled my commitment on.

    Sorry I can't answer your questions. Don't miss 24, it's gonna rock.
     
  3. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    Can you get your access card back from the original HR10-250? Supposedly you could put it in the new unit and call DirecTV and use the option for an extension number appearing on your screen, enter your account number and enter x722 as the number appearing on your screen.

    The computer system at DirecTV will send out a signal that will re-marry all the access cards on your account to whatever receiver they're in at the time (all non-RID receivers).
     
  4. ryanknapper

    ryanknapper New Member

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    Feb 6, 2005
    I don't see an end to it, really, but here in Oregon there is a law preventing companies from enforcing such contracts linked to the sale of a product. It was created in response to shady car dealers who would sell cars at a great price, but then require _all_ service, including oil changes, to be performed at their shop. Then they could charge any amount they wanted for the work.
    I don't see that happening today as there is just too much money and influence involved.
     
  5. oldskoolboarder

    oldskoolboarder New Member

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    Jul 8, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Nope, it's w/ the repaired unit. Besides, getting another unit w/ the old card starts the 2 yr committment, AFAIK.

    My other option is to take the unit to a friend's house to dial in and at least get thru that part.
     
  6. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    No, if you put a card from a receiver on your account into the new receiver (and neither are RID receivers -- the HR10-250 is not RID, but the R10 is), and then follow those instructions I gave, you'll never speak to anyone (it's automated), all DirecTV believes you're doing is re-hitting the authorizations on your existing equipment. No new commitment is involved. That is the simplest way to do what you wanted to do.
     
  7. pkscout

    pkscout Well-Known Member

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    Jan 10, 2003
    Honolulu, HI
    If you can, send them a message with your wallet. Cancel DirecTV and tell them that you are tired of being jerked around by long term commitments when you aren't buying new hardware. Tell them you're tired of DirecTV's craptacular HD offerings. Tell them you're tired of being jerked around by over compresses signals and horrible picture quality. Tell them you're upset that they have dropped TiVo. The list goes on.

    If you can't cancel, at least drop to the lowest level of service they have and then cancel the day your commitment expires. If you can't cancel at all (i.e. you can't get cable or OTA programming), then try not to spend any more than you have to.

    Only if DirecTV sees a hit on their bottom line with they pay attention.

    It's pretty sad that DirecTV has actually made my cable company look pretty good in comparison. I'll be dropping DirecTV as soon as TiVo comes out with the Series 3, Apple comes out with a cablecard HD-DVR (they probably won't), or I can build my own MythTV box.
     
  8. rmassey

    rmassey Damn, these are fun!

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    Sep 5, 2002
    Colorado
    I'll be doing just that to an extent, but I think it'll have little to no impact as to how D* does business.

    In Jan/Feb. my current $5 discount expires on the HD pacakge, so I'm dropping that. But I am currently committed until Aug 2007. I figure by that time my town will have all HD OTAs up and the T3 will be released. Heck my local Cable may even pull their head out and offer a decent HD pacakge with no Commit.

    I hear what you are saying, and that's exactly where I am headed, but If I have a hardware issue before Aug 2007, I am stuck with either going without (D*) or facing a new commitment with them. I think it's time for real action with lawyers and judges and angry consumers myself. Wallet votes only go so far IMO.
     
  9. oldskoolboarder

    oldskoolboarder New Member

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    Jul 8, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Yeah, I'm getting very close to Comcast. And w/ the Series 3 announcement, I'm ready to jump ship. No reason to stay w/ D* anymore after that. If that box was ready today, I'd be gone. I'd even be willing to pay the $500 for a new Tivo and then sell my heavily discounted, weaknees upgraded HD Tivo.
     
  10. TheBigDogs

    TheBigDogs Member

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    Oct 14, 2004
    The only way this commitment stuff is going to go away is if the government takes action. It's prevalent in all businesses (r.e. cell phone and Satellite TV systems) that outsource their sales to marginal operators who depend on a contract length to get their revenue.

    This is an election year and there is a lot of turmoil in the political process. I'd contact both state and federal representatives and ask where they stand. See if they will be willing to sponsor / support legislation that would outlaw this practice. It can be done, but there needs to be a concerted effort on the part of subscribers if something is going to happen.

    I for one have already raised the issue with the California AG and was able to get some personal relief. I'm not sure about the wording of the current commitment contract (dumb of me to agree without that understanding) but I'll find out and post it here.
     
  11. teasip

    teasip Member

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    Aug 24, 2002
    I called earlier today and found out that I'm in the clear (and not in a commitment phase any longer).
     
  12. chs4

    chs4 New Member

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    Sep 25, 2002
    Dracut, MA...
    Once the switchover to an all-leased equipment model is in place this will be a moot point. Since D* claims the commitment is necessary due to their subsidizing of equipment (which may be totally or partially true, depending on who you believe) once there are no more subsidies there will be no more commitments, IMO. This will put them on more even footing with cable. (you're wlecome to debate whether that's a good idea or not :rolleyes: )
     
  13. dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    They'll just come up with some other excuse. The commitment isn't going away under the lease model, so there's no reason to think it'll go away some time in the future.
     
  14. rmassey

    rmassey Damn, these are fun!

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    Sep 5, 2002
    Colorado
    I agree, there is no way D* is gong to freely give up predicable revenue with the 1/2 yr commits.

    It's funny, with Cell phones I don't care. I am with Verizon, they provide me with good coverage in CO and I get a new phone every two years and re-up. I guesss I have limited needs with my Cell service. I just want a phone that works and Cell coverage when I need it. They do this and I don't really look elsewhere.

    With Sat, I see other providers stepping up more with HD offerings and there is the hardware/software to consider. If my Tivo dies, I have to re-up. If/when they drop Tivo sw, I want out.

    So, I don't like the 2 yr commit model in any business, but I watch it more carefully with my sat provider due to more variables.
     
  15. TheBigDogs

    TheBigDogs Member

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    Oct 14, 2004
    It's interesting that they refer to it as a "lease" program. If it were an equipment "fee" or "rental", there would be no logical way to force a commitment. However, as many learned the hard way with automobiles, leases do have a specific time boundary.

    The use of a lease model for DTV makes sense from a cash flow and revenue management perspective. You lease the equipment from DTV and they then sell the paper to a third party. DTV continues to bill for the equipment and retains a small percentage of the lease amount as a service fee that they collect each month. This allows DTV to keep their equipment costs to a minimum while establishing an enforceable commitment.

    Like auto leases, DTV will find a way for the lease to never end unless the subscriber ends up paying a substantial "escape" fee. Just think, you lease a new HR20-250 for two years. At the end of the two years, DTV tells you that they overestimated the residual value of the unit and that your lease contains a clause (not uncommon in the lease business) that requires you to "share" in the resultant loss.

    You have a choice, pay the fee, roll over to the newest DTV DVR or, extend the existing lease. With the exception of the first option, you're back into a commitment.

    This is a smart business move for DTV because: It puts some wood behind the arrow of their commitment requirements; It frees up a substantial amount of cash, and; It ends the hacking and modification issues that bedevil the whole industry regarding DRM.
     
  16. Finnstang

    Finnstang King of the North

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    Sep 11, 2003
    Winterfell
    This is incorrect. I regularly deactivate and reactivate certain receivers in my house depending on whether or not we are going to be having company staying in those rooms, and I was not under a commitment until a couple days ago when I got a HR10-250 through DIRECTV.
     
  17. rmassey

    rmassey Damn, these are fun!

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    Really, that's great news. I would like to be able to activate/de-activate as needed. Thanks for the info.
     
  18. oldskoolboarder

    oldskoolboarder New Member

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    Jul 8, 2003
    Bay Area, CA
    Latest update: So I return the HD Tivo back to Magnolia, I don't want to deal w/ the initial call setup issues. They "lend" me a terrestrial recevier, Samsung SIR-T451. That's fine, since I get almost all broadcast and local HD stations w/ my antenna. However, I can't pause anything.

    I can't wait for Series 3.
     

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