We decided to upgrade our TV options, while punting on Netflix, as we found ourselves more interested in nature shows and football than movies.

After painfully working through the various packages from Comcast, Dish and DirecTV, I went with DirectTV. Slightly better price and a bit better selection of shows we wanted, plus a $10/mo rebate offer.

What a mistake. We should have stuck with Comcast.

All of these services have problems, but we jumped out of the frying pan and into the fire.

  • The installation was painful. I had to crawl around under the house, and up in the attic, to help the installer figure out how to tap into our existing cable setup and replace several connectors. This had all worked fine with Comcast, but caused problems for DirecTV.
  • For the first month, every 30 minutes or so we’d get a message on the screen about having to download new software. If you weren’t fast enough with the remote, the firmware upgrade would start, and you’d be stuck staring at a status bar instead of seeing the game-winning field goal.
  • Since the beginning we’ve had problems with the screen randomly freezing. Audio would continue, but eventually the entire system would lock up. Only solution is to reset it and wait for the “Acquiring satellites” process to complete. Again, while missing something really interesting that we were paying to not see.
  • And the clincher is that I realized our bill didn’t show the $10 monthly discount. Looking through the paperwork, I found the “apply for your monthly bill credit” slip with instructions. But you had to do this within 60 days of activation, and we were over the limit.

Just for grins, I asked about cancellation. For only $336, we could bail on what my wife calls IndirecTV.

In an attempt to salvage the situation, I’ve requested another visit by the installer to see if they can fix the problem (all of the self-help steps failed), and I’m writing to their corporate office to ask for a more reasonable rebate policy. If you’re in the same situation, their address is:

PO Box 6550
Greenwood Village, CO 80155-6550

— Ken

PS – I thought I’d found a kindred soul in Om Malik, but his “And Now InDirecTV” blog post was about their kludgy video on demand service.

2 Responses to IndirecTV

  1. Maurice Sharp says:

    I dropped DirecTV in favor of AT&T UVerse and am *very* happy with the connection, quality, and cost. (& Hi Ken 🙂

  2. kkrugler says:

    Hi Maurice – yes, I wanted UVerse but it’s not yet available up here in the hills.

    Latest complaint – we got a service person from IndirecTV to visit, in an attempt to fix the problem. He replaced some cables, but we still have a receiver that regularly stops working…and they billed us $50 for the service call.

    — Ken

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