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UMF Catalyst
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was browsing over at DirecTV and saw that a few weeks ago, my $0.00 DVR service disappeared and was replaced with a pro-rated $4.79 DVR service.

I called them up to inquire about this and got the run-around big time. I was told that yes, they used to offer lifetime service for TiVos, but my boxes (an HDVR2 and an original DSR6000) aren't TiVos, so I have to pay the fee. I tried explaining that these boxes were most certainly TiVos and they were activated on my account long before DirecTV even came out with their own DVR. The CSR simply said that he only knows what he's been told and that I have to pay the DVR fee.

I then pointed him to the information in rminsk's post where the Customer Agreement even refers to the lifetime fee for "DIRECTV DVR Service" without any mention about TiVo at all. He apologized again and said that there wasn't anything he could do, but that I could try calling again during the day when they have access to some other system.

I thought that the notation in my account explaining why back when I lost the real "lifetime service" billing code, they had instead replaced it with a make-shift "free with Premier" code and that I should keep the free DVR service would have been sufficient, but apparently not. :(

I know that this is going to be more of a problem as time goes on. Can anyone recommend some short, simple, magic words I can say to the CSR to resolve this, or will it need more of a blunt (-force) approach? :D
 

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Marc said:
Can anyone recommend some short, simple, magic words I can say to the CSR to resolve this
"Thank you; goodbye."

They will ask if you're satisfied. Say "Yes, thank you; goodbye."

Call again. If the conversation goes the same way repeat the magic words and get out. You do not want to get the CSR upset, or notes will go on your account basically preventing you ever getting anything solved. DO NOT ARGUE. DO NOT TRY TO EDUCATE THE CSR!

Eventually, after enough calls, you will get a CSR who will do the right thing. You will be able to tell immediately; he/she won't start to lecture you about how wrong you are, they'll just start in fixing it. They may say something like: "we don't get too many Tivo lifetime issues any more; would you mind if I put you on hold while I look into this?" Say yes, thank you" and _mean_ it. Help is at hand; this is your best friend; and in a couple of minutes it'll be fixed.

You CAN ask, politely, for a supervisor if you want to basically take 2 shots per call. My experience is if a "section" is screwed up you're better off just getting out of there and trying another spin of the wheel. It's not just the individual CSRs it's the whole office; they're either good or bad.

Southeast is bad, very bad. Idaho is good (or Iowa, I get them mixed up). West coast is sometimes good. Weekends can be very good, in general, because you may get part-timers who seem more willing to look things up than immediately launch into you for being stupid or trying to put something over on DirecTV.
 

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UMF Catalyst
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Redux said:
Eventually, after enough calls, you will get a CSR who will do the right thing.
Or after enough forwarding.

This morning, CSR #1 seemed to understand and forwarded me to the specialist department who handle this sort of thing. CSR #2 seemed somewhat confused, said she could help, but then had to forward me on to the specialist department (I thought I was there already).

CSR #3 tried suggesting that the HD-DVR that I just ordered on Monday was responsible for this charge, even though the DVR service fee started three weeks ago, long before I had ordered the HR20. She then researched it a bit more, and her supervisor had to go in and make the change.

What will be interesting is seeing how they handle the DVR service fee in conjunction with the HR20 as that's an ambiguous situation. The "lifetime" service fee was for TiVo service, but when DirecTV renamed it from "TIVO Service" to "DVR Service", and removed all references to TiVo in their Customer Agreement, even in the paragraph discussing "lifetime" service, they kind of boxed themselves in.
 

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I am not sure if this helps but in the past some have had the CSR look back in the account (in some cases years) to confirm that the customer had indeed had the lifetime DVR service. As long as you have not canceled your account between that time and now you still deserve to have the lifetime service. Some have even found several old bills that listed their TiVo service and email them to DTV. The point is...as long as you have had an account in good standing and have not canceled service since starting w/ DTV, they need to fix the issue and give you back the lifetime service. Since they moved the accounts over from TiVo and tied the lifetime to the account rather then the unit the service should not cancel unless you close the account, regardless of whether you still have any TiVo's on the account.

good luck,
Mark
 

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rock_doctor said:
IThe point is...as long as you have had an account in good standing and have not canceled service since starting w/ DTV, they need to fix the issue and give you back the lifetime service. Since they moved the accounts over from TiVo and tied the lifetime to the account rather then the unit the service should not cancel unless you close the account, regardless of whether you still have any TiVo's on the account.
Not quite. The DirecTV customer service agreement says
DirecTV customer service agreement said:
...
If you paid a "lifetime service fee," you will not be charged a fee for your DIRECTV DVR Service as long as you maintain television programming service from DIRECTV on the same account. If you disconnect your DIRECTV television programming service and later reconnect on the same account, your DIRECTV DVR service will be reconnected and you will not be charged a fee for DIRECTV DVR Service.
...
See http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/global/contentPageNR.jsp?assetId=P400042
 

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Redux said:
You do not want to get the CSR upset, or notes will go on your account basically preventing you ever getting anything solved. DO NOT ARGUE. DO NOT TRY TO EDUCATE THE CSR!
:) I got a good laugh over this one. I wouldn't want anything going down on my permanent record with my satellite provider. Good lord, what is the world coming to?

At the same time, sadly, what he says is probably the best course of action for your future sanity. Customer service is not only dead, it's now the customer servicing the ego of the customer service rep. Yikes. I think we need more competition in this market.
 

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richa65 said:
:) I got a good laugh over this one. I wouldn't want anything going down on my permanent record with my satellite provider. Good lord, what is the world coming to?

At the same time, sadly, what he says is probably the best course of action for your future sanity. Customer service is not only dead, it's now the customer servicing the ego of the customer service rep. Yikes. I think we need more competition in this market.
well you got a spare few billion launch some sats and compete. I would if i did ;) Almost a monopoly is a monopoly, when your only competitor sucks!
 

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UMF Catalyst
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
rock_doctor said:
I am not sure if this helps but in the past some have had the CSR look back in the account (in some cases years) to confirm that the customer had indeed had the lifetime DVR service.
That still depends on the ability for the CSR to interpret that data. At the point that first CSR looked into my history, he confirmed that I should have lifetime TiVo service, but both my DSR6000 and HDVR2 were DirecTV DVRs and not eligible for the lifetime service. :rolleyes:

As of right now, it looks as though they did switch me back to the free DVR service, but it would seem that they still owe me $4.39 for the three weeks that they were incorrectly charging me for it. :(
 

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UMF Catalyst
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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
And as an even more humorous follow-up to this, instead of the CSR simply crediting me $4.39, I appear to be getting $10/month off for six months.
 

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and after 6 mo it will go away. Same thing happened to me. I complained up one side and down the other, and they credited me $5/mo to offset the lifetime charge, after 6 mo it went away, and I am being charged again. Damn cable looks good now.
 

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UMF Catalyst
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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
In my case, they had also reverted back to the free DVR service. The credit was simply for a three week period when the wrong DVR service was on the account. According to my latest activity, my DVR service is charged at $0.00.
 

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mark, Good to hear that your problem finally resolved...

Looks like DirecTV also have their first level of CS outsoursed...
I had similar experience Yesterday, while activating an Philips DVR on by account, the CSR who activated it said to me that this will restart two year contract as I am adding a DVR (it should not as I already have a R15 and another Philipse both owned) and this one also I own it.. I tried to explain this to CSR, her Supervisor, for about 45-50 minutes, but finally, I asked them to transfer me to "CSR in USA" after that they said they will transfer me to level 2 CSR and I can tell after talking with her that she was in USA... She just by looking at the brand name of DVR on account told me that it will NOT reset contract, as this is owned and not leased (as all R10/R15 and other Directv DVR are leased now)...

I would ecommend that, if CSR is not understanding your problem, then you should ask for CSR in USA or Level 2 CSR (politically correct version)... and it will certainly help you resolve issue faster..

just my 2cents...

G
 

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UMF Catalyst
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
toivo said:
and after 6 mo it will go away.
It seems as though I would have run into this problem. I got my bill yesterday and noticed that it said "DIRECTV DVR Service free for 4 months".

I called them up again last night and spoke with a woman who seemed to know what was going on. She verified that I'm supposed to have lifetime and got her supervisor to put the lifetime DVR service code back onto my account. She also made yet another note on the account explaining what she had done.

I hope it sticks this time.
 

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UMF Catalyst
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I dunno about that... I get the feeling that if someone were to take your course, they'd be overqualified to work as a DirecTV CSR. ;)
 
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