DirecTV Install Techs Claim They Were Forced To Lie To Customers

from the what-a-nice-company dept

While so much attention is paid to the recording industry for its sleazy practices, it’s surprising that DirecTV doesn’t get more attention for its practices. You may recall a few years ago when they (before the RIAA figured out a similar scheme) sent around letters to anyone they suspected of using a smartcard reader (they got a list of buyers) demanding $3,500 or promising a lawsuit — even if there was no evidence that the smartcard reader was used to illegally access DirecTV signals. It was a similar plan to the RIAA, where they made it clear that it was much cheaper to just pay up, rather than go to court and prove your innocence (even if you were innocent). Eventually, the company was forced to stop the program, as a court found obvious problems with the practice. Just a few months ago, though, we noted that the company was being fined for two different violations. First, they were telemarketing to people on the Do Not Call list. Second, they were fined for their advertising, which didn’t make clear certain blackout info and (of course) additional unexpected fees that subscribers would get.

The latest news story represents even more fun for the company. Apparently, a group of DirecTV technicians in Florida (who work for an outside contractor) have blown the whistle on the fact that the company set up incentives that forced them to lie to customers, in order to get people to hook their telephone lines up to the DirecTV boxes. Technicians were told to tell users that it was required, or the device wouldn’t work — even though that’s false. In order to enforce this, the company would fine installers any time a box was set up without a phone line connected. Unfortunately, the article isn’t entirely clear whether it’s the contracting firm or DirecTV who was directly responsible for the fines or the directives to lie to customers. DirecTV was contacted by the reporter doing the story, and they made it clear they plan to continue the practice of pushing installers to hook up phone lines, because users who do so are more likely to order fee-based content and can be more easily tracked by DirecTV. It’s easy to see why DirecTV would want this — and they could obviously turn around and say it wasn’t about “fining” the installers, but simply paying them extra if they hooked up a phone line — but, the fact that installers were encouraged to lie to customers and “do whatever it takes” to get phone lines hooked up is a problem. Especially from a consumer standpoint, it doesn’t make DirecTV look very trustworthy — even if the ultimate fault is with the contractor.

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Comments on “DirecTV Install Techs Claim They Were Forced To Lie To Customers”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Phone lines?

I dont see how this lays upon the installers… Because the fact is, that when you have DirecTV disconnected from the phone line, an annoying message keeps being posted to your screen that a phone line could not be found – which is more of a software issue than anything else. …at least it had been that way with my DirecTV software 6.2 for most of 2005, until I switched to SA-TiVo and hooked up through WiFi/Network.

Anonymous Coward says:

Phone Lines?

I dont see how this lays upon the installers… Because the fact is, that when you have DirecTV disconnected from the phone line, an annoying message keeps being posted to your screen that a phone line could not be found – which is more of a software issue than anything else. …at least it had been that way with my DirecTV software 6.2 for most of 2005, until I switched to SA-TiVo and hooked up through WiFi/Network.


Mike (profile) says:

Re: Phone Lines?


The spam filter is from Akismet. You can discuss it with them. We have no control over the filter.

I will say, however, that it does an amazing job of catching the 500 or so comment spam messages that we get every day, and it seems to only catch one or two false positives a day. That’s incredibly useful.

However, it’s not exactly a problem, is it? We do review the filtered comments, and the ones that aren’t spam we do allow. So, it’s not like the comment doesn’t get posted.

jooky says:

Under duress, I subscribed to DirecTV a few months ago. The installer they sent out struck me as shady for several reasons, but the kicker was when he insisted that I keep the “free” additional receiver that his work order said I ordered for my bedroom. My bedroom has no television.

Mostly just wanting the sketchy character out of my house, I let them leave the box there. Sure enough, my first statement listed a $5.99 fee for the second hookup.

My favorite part about the company is the complete lack of irony they have in touting their voice-activated customer service that “really listens to you”. If anyone has successfully navigated their system to reach a live agent in less than five minutes of navigation, I’d love to hear from you. Every time I think I’ve got it cracked I fall prey to one of their randomly convenient disconnections.

Only nine months left on the contract…

tech 8201 brooklyn says:

Re: Re: rates

In pas t year the rates have been dropping and directv demands and technology has been going up.For example the kaku dish is so advanced and time consuming, you just and point the dish no more and heres the kicker you need a small note pad to write down numbers so you can configurate the dish. Not only that you have to do a little math. When I took the class for this I ask was there going to be more money for this install, they laughed and I laughed too as to say you wont get me to do it. Another thing about this dish you have to run all for lines from th dish. When you get to putting in your hd receiver you have to do an hard start for this Ird WOW!!!. All of these companies now are trying to get. To any non technician here it the reason you are seeing alot of bad install because the certified technician who know how to do an install are not getting out bed for the rates directv and the hsp companies are paying. If you ever sat there and watch and Installer do a full complete install it took them some time to do.I really think if all major contractors got together and took a stand directv would loose out but it will never happen there no union for us and that why directv takes andvantage of that.

tech 8991 Wisconsin says:

Re: Re: Re: rates

You know it’s sad to read all these letters. We as professional installers are always getting the short end of the stick. The companies that we work for screw us over. We are the back bone for all these companies, but yet we can not get paid for the work we do. Phone line are bull! I did an 3 box install for a couple and charged them $60.00 for wireless phone jack and 1 exstension. This install was 5 stars according to DirecTv and my team lead. The wife had called DirecTv and complained that I forced them to have phone lines connected to all of thier recievers. The DirecTv rep told the customer that they did NOT have to have ANY phone lines connected to ANY of thier recievers. My team lead told me that I did everything right but I still need to return the $60.00 and get back my wireless phone jacks. That pissed me off so much that I went back to the customers house and gave them the money back and told that they could just keep the jacks and NEVER EVER call me back for any trouble shoot problems. I did everything by the book and re showed him the work order that stated to hook up phone lines to the recievers. Charge backes for not hooking up phone lines, lets not go there. I will end up writing a book on that. You DON’T treat your installers like shit and expect them to keep on doing 5 star installs.Pay us the way we are suppose to get paid for our work. Customers think for some reason that we get paid hourly. We get paid commission. Whatever the jobs calls for is what we will only get paid for. Whether it takes you an hour or 5 hours you are still going to get paid the same. Unless you do custom charges and you better be carefull of that too.We pay for our gas and ALL parts that are needed to do the install. Which by the way is suppose to be provided to us FREE from DirecTv. It is in EVERY contract that DirecTv makes with every HSP in the world. The companies like Preimer Communication forces techs to buy ALL parts and gas. But yet they claim the parts on their taxes and double dip by charging the techs. Why isn’t the IRS looking into companies like Premier Communications for these criminal acts. When is the screwing over the techs going to stop? For all the techs out there, don’t let them keep taking advantage of us. Make a stand and support a Union.

Roman B. says:

Re: Re:

Here is the phone for you, they wil pick up in 5 sec. I pesonally love DirecTV cervice, and the problem is most of the time the customers don’t ask enough quastions. I am a tech. myself out of New Jersey and I see stuff like that all the time. You have to ask quastions about evry litle think we know more then you think. Thanks

Roman B says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

no, there is no legal ways against installing phone lines. DirecTv will use phone lines to save BandWidth for a long time to come, but if you install for your local dealer you do not have to set them up, and if customer requests it you could charge them just like the Phone companies.+ Your local dealer pays more for installs then your local HSP(evil org.)LOL.

GoToHell DirecT says:

You have opened the Pandora’s Box. DirecTv also insists on Social Security Number when you sign up (unless you bill to a Creidt Card, and keep insisting if you will not give them yours, I had to threaten to hang up before they allowed me to go on), and they are worse than AOL to get to stop billing when you’ve had enough of their shenanigans.They lie in so many ways when you sign up – both about the TV and Direcway. I could tell you stories – but you will hear them all from others, just you watch.

Reiggin (user link) says:

They're all crooked.

They’re all crooked. Some just slightly more than others.

Dish screwed me over. They all gave a family member of mine a terrible fit over a defective PVR unit.

I’m not completely happy with DirecTV but as someone else alluded to, at least they don’t cost you your first born like the cable companies.

You just have to chose which devil you want to deal with.

Arthur C. Clarke says:

Now it's clear...

We’ve had DirecTV for a couple of years, with TiVo Series 2 box. Frankly, we’ve been very happy with it. We have never lost a signal or missed a program. We never use the pay-per-view offerings, since we use NetFlix to see movies.

I recall that when we ordered DirecTV, they really were pushing “free” installation, and discouraged self-installation. My wife wanted it installed ASAP & didn’t want to wait for some seedy handyman type to come visit our house. So I climbed up on the roof and installed it myself in about 15 minutes (doesn’t include snaking the wires around in the crawlspace — which I admit was a pain).

After reading the above post, I bet that the company discourages self-installation because then they can’t have an installer add extra equipment which you haven’t ordered.

tech says:

Re: Now it's clear...

we never add extra equipment unless you request A lot of people have to realize that there are alot of companies cutting out the real contractors and hiring these hack techs to do the job as a tech I ‘m a contractor for direct tv and your are starting to get alot of qualified installers leaving because direct tv has step up there technology and drop the rates very low we have to liabilty insurance workmens comp pay for our own supplys and work for crap and not to include the outrageous gas prices so take that into consideration

Dale Johnson says:

Re: Now it's clear...

I have been a professional installer for almost 5 years, am SBCA certified and pride myself in doing professional work on every job. Having said that, I will agree with you that there are a lot of “seedy” people out there installing.

What you said that I didn’t agree with was the “15 minutes” it took you to install the dish (minus the cable run through the attic). Apparently you did not install a NEC ground to the system or properly run the cable to the point where it entered the attic because I have done it thousands of times and I can guarantee you it takes longer than 15 minutes.

NEC ground uses a dual ground block or better, 10 gauge green solid copper to a NEC approved ground source, such as the utility ground, and a 17 ga. ground wire combined with at least 2 RG 6 coax cable running from ground block to dish. Cable must have drip loops at ground block.

I have to go out and work on improperly installed system all the time when they fail for one of several reasons.

mail me if you have any comments, I don’t monitor this often.

Charles D. Stevens says:

Re: Re:

amen to that. what do you think of the fact that when you disconnect from DTV they lock all your shows that you have already on your Hard Drive? seem to me thats just down right greedy. once i found this out, (same time i found out i didnt own the box i was in 2 year contract for)i told them to kiss my skinny white ass.

Ron Wallenburg says:

Re: Re: Re:

Directv and phonelines are a mess. Directv came out with the R-15 DVR so there is no need for a phone line. A very large part of the population now uses cell phones only and do not have landlines. If you listen closely to channel 201, they will explain that the phoneline needs to be continually connected and then softly say that it is to achive full use of your Directv receiver. Pay per view ordering and interactive. That is one of the reasons they jack the price of ordering to $1.50 touchtone and God forbid you should talk to someone, $5.00 ordering fee. The phones let them track viewing and location. I wonder how much Directv makes off a Nielson rating type program. Installers are required to hook up a phone line to a jack located within 25 feet of the receiver (the lenght of the supplied cord). When I call in and activate by voice one question is “is the receiver hook up to a phone line”. If the customer does not want to bother, the answer is no outlet available or the customer uses cell phones only. Directv can not afford not to install in homes with cell phones only. Hence the R15 DVR for one. The old DVR’s did actually require a working phone line to be hooked up. If a customer moves a receiver or disconnects the phone lineor drops their landline service, many companies will chargeback the installer $5. They have a system to activate the phone line feature and if they are not informed of a change one way or the other….. for people that get messages about a phone line, simply call up and say you only have cell phones now.

Martin (user link) says:

I’ve been a DirecTV customer for a number of years, since it was provided to my building. Originally, when you ordered a pay-per-view, you could append the charge to your total bill, and pay it all in one shot.

Now, you have to provide a credit/debit card or checking account # and pay at the time of purchase. The CSRs claim this is because my box isn’t connected to a phone line, but it’s never *been* connected in all the years I’ve had it.

As a result, each time I order a pay-per-view, I get charged, and then I get a bill with the PPV charge on it as if it were unpaid. So I have to scream at them to remove the charge.

It’s unbelievable the lengths companies will go to in order to squeeze revenue out of customers without providing any additional service.

Anonymouse Coward says:

That story came out of Orlando, FL where i live. In my neighbohood there are alot of families who speak only spanish and many of them have DirectTV. I would be willing to bet that these people are their target group for rip offs. I myself use Brighthouse which is just as bad seeing as how i’ve had to trade in my HD box *several* times this year because it just stops working along with my internet which randomly cuts out everyday. Customer service is a joke, as always. Kind of makes me wonder why i pay $150/month.

Cabe (profile) says:

Re: Re:

@ Anon in FL

Yea, I noticed the ad for the news peice on local 6 the other day and missed it (damn). We had another case where they said they could install it, came back to my old place three times and finally said they couldn’t but that I’d be charged for ‘waisting their time.’ When I told them to get out the guy told me he’s sorry, its the company that takes money out of his pocket for unsuccessful installs, I said tough and he left. Called DirecTV and they were being asses about it saying that I still signed the contract at a dealer and even though I couldn’t get service I was still liable and if I cancelled I would have to pay an early termination fee. Finally after enough creative talking (and refusing to get off the phone, since I wasn’t cussing or yelling they wouldn’t cut me off alone) I finally got to a manager who disconnected service. At the end of the call the manager said ‘If you ever want to have service with us again, I’ll note it in your account and you’ll get a 30% discount on your first bill.’ I decided to stick with brighthouse after that. More expensive but not as evil.

Shaun says:

I’ve had cable, Dish, and now DirecTv w/TiVo. I have nothing good to say about cable. Dish was good. However, I love my DirecTivo. As for the phoneline thing, there are a few ways to work around that if you can google it, read a message board, and follow some directions to tweak your box.

On one hand, just on the principle of it, I don’t like people tracking what my family watches. However, I don’t mind sending a message loud and clear that I don’t like to sit through blocks of commercials.

Whoever figured out how to meld the Tivo with DirecTv is a genius. I figure over the last couple of years that has saved me from watching roughly 250 hours worth of commercials.

heavyw8t says:


I was one of the people from whom they tried to extort money. I bought a card writer to experiment with a software package I was writing to put medical records on. Their “investigator”, Oscar Garcia, stated “That writing device can only be used for one thing”, and that was my clue that this was likely some homeless guy that they sat at a phone and handed a script. AT that time I had the software project going AND could use the reader to track transactions from one of my crediat cards that used the SmartCard format. So there were 2 other reasons to own it right there, and I didn’t even care to research how many other applications that would involve that card writer. Bullies, plain and simple.

PS I did not even have DirecTv at the time. They got my name from White Viper when they busted them.

inthesticks says:

no other options

i guess alot of people get stuck with satellite like my self because you live where there is no cable no dsl so you have to resort to dial up(yuk) or satellite.i have direcway internet and directv. i paid $1200 for my system .that was the going rate for an installer in ’95.cant complain about service except when it rains. we have been with them so long we have a direct line to customer support so i dont have to wait.

we had a directv/tivo unit that quit after 2 yrs. so now we have a dvr combo unit.tivo has a much faster response time. but the dvr has some other perks.daily lotto,horoscope,weather and other stuff on one screen without looking up channels..i had aolplus in 98 which was aol/direcway. got the system at circuit city for 99 when aol stopped using direcways dish service ,i got the direcway modem for free vs.the $600 upfront fee they now have. if i had dsl which is coming soon i hope(i have alltel which is totally behind the times)i will dish the dish. but for now as i said earlier some of folks have no choice.

COD (user link) says:

I’ve been a DirecTV customer for a long time – at least 12 years I think. I don’t remember ever having to call into tech support for anything, and when I moved into my new house and took advantage of their move plan which provides free install the guy told me the phone line only mattered for ordering PPV – which I never do anyway. Now that I have DirecTivo I do plug the phone in once a month or so to let Tivo download software updates.

Obviously, YMMV.

Chris (user link) says:

Problems with DirecTV

I had DirecTV for almost a year before I ended up moving, and can say that I had less problems (none, actually) compared to my Adelphia cable TV. The installer that came out was actually very nice, and even apologized for mounting the antenna’s in a very visible space (we had to mount on a fencepoist to get a clear signal, which didn’t bother me at all). Ran the cabling for the first floor TV straight to it through the basement, and then used the existing cable box outside to get the cable upstairs.

I was never told to hook up a telephone line except by the CSRs when I ordered it. When I told them that it would be impossible as I had only 1 phone jack in the home, they just said I couldn’t order PPV stuff through the box. No biggie since I have broadband and a laptop, and I never order PPV anyway.

I guess I’m in the minority when it comes to decent service though.

crazylane says:

Re: Problems with DirecTV

I have had directv for 4 years, and have had no problems with it except had to replace some old receivers. I am also a technician, and find that most of my service calls are caused by user error, like the lady who moved her system to the next room over and did not understand why it no longer worked. I think that directv is a great way to watch tv and I really think that the new hd programming coming out is great, and the new hardware is exceptionally well manufactured, not saying that all the boxes were great. There will always be complainers, but directv is a good service, and not perfect

Topher3105 (profile) says:

When do customer representatives not lie?

I mean, this is common practice for a customer representative to not divulge the whole truth.

If I ask a sales associate if something is going on sale in a day or two they say they don’t know even though they have all the sales promotions sitting in the coffee room.

Ask a cable tech if it is necessary to plug in the phone line and he is just going to say yes.

Ask a technical support staff why their product sucks and they are just going to tell you that the problem is at your end, their product is perfect and works perfectly.

I mean, I take anything said by any company representative with a grain of salt. Most times I know they are straight up lying to my face but what can you do? I have called people on it from time to time, and it just means you get less service and courtesy then you should expect.

The Internet is a wonderful place as you can find out for yourself the truth (or something close to it anyways). Articles like this will promote the truth and people like these techs can let the world know (or at least the people in Florida who should care about this) know what to think about their cable company.

Joannah CRuz says:

Re: When do customer representatives not lie?

I’m currently working in a call center for directv.

I’ve dealt with a minimum of 60 directv customers a day.

Yes I really had encountered complaints from most of the customers that our installers were nasty and rude. Yes, they are, I guess they are the biggest mistake that Directv had. If you would noticed, Directv customer represenatives from phone are nice, yes because we are trained to be it! Evem though I’m talking to the dumbest customer or pretty much more stupid than a 5 year old kid, we have to talk nicely and with respect. Directv is investing money for this internationally trained rep.Dear,your reading the right thing,we are from outside United States. Tough huh?

do you ever wonder how good are we?We can adapt ypur language without you knowing that we are not white or the fact that we never been there.

We are not trained to lie. All of the answers that your getting from the rep over the phone are true.Conversations through the phone are monitored or sometimes recorded.So there’s no chance for us to go nasty with you. If it happened, all you ave to do is just to call the same phone number and ask a rep to pull up your account and report the incident, and boom!the rep’s dead. To tell you, were not idiots, stupid.We al knew it, it’s just that, all we can respond to FUCK YOU is “thanks!”

Chrid says:

Re: Re: When do customer representatives not lie?

Yeah, SURE you’re not idiots, just read that post… Directv employs the most incompetent, rude, and downright moronic customer service staff of all time. I;m currently waiting on my FIFTH appointment to install my dish because of employee incompetence, or just plain apathy. F*CK Directv, F*ck them right in their stupid asses.

And next time you try to defend your intelligence, please write your defense better than a 1st grader would have..

SATAN (user link) says:


DIRECTV IS THE BIGGEST PACK OF FUCKIN WORTHLESS FUCKS TO EVER CROSS EXISTENCE. THEY CANT SIMPLY PUT FSMW IN THE BASIC PACKAGE SO THE MIDWESTERS CAN WATCH A CARDS GAME. SELFISH FAGOT COCKSUCKING JEWISH PRICKS. And to the directv customerreps they are nice and I don’t yell at them because I know its the corporate smackoffs and IF I could talk/see them I would rape their sister/wife with a jackhammer and then piss in their gastank. EAT MY SHIT DIRECT TV.

Tyson says:

Re: Re:

LOL your so full of it. The phone line is for PVP and to prevent account sharing.

Might want to vist and look in the DirecTv forum where this has been hashed out already.

Software and Interactive features are all Satellite based. They want the phone line to enable two communication to with the box plain and simple.

Satellite Customer says:

Not as bad as it sounds

We, too, have been Directv customers for many years after a major battle with the local cable company – Adelphia at the time, we’ve since moved across the country.

I, too, have only had to call tech support once or twice and then only when upgrading equipment.

For those concerned about “phoning home” – they have an easily accessible option to “block the collection of viewing data” which I have opted for, and appears on bill every month of confirm (no charge of course). So, SUPPOSEDLY they aren’t tracking my viewing patterns, just allowing the system to phone home to check for current software, schedules, adds, etc.

And it’s never, ever, ever taken me 15 minutes to get a rep on the phone. If it takes you that long then apparently you need to learn to outsmart the voicemail system – hint: press 0.

Now cable companies – that’s a different story. I’m sure they’re all hit and miss, but I’ll take Directv any day. My beef is that they are WAY overpriced for their sports packages (NFL Sunday ticket, etc.) but beyond that, they have always delivered exactly what was promised in a very timely manner.

Maybe I’m just a cable hater. Well, not maybe, defninitely : )


Re: Not as bad as it sounds

To each his own this company sucks yes 10 or 20 may get excellent service but what about the other 2000 who have to put up with crap they can’t treat all there customers bad it has to be a select few who they keep in a bubble protecting…..this company is crooked and yes they all are but being charged 261.00 for NFL sunday ticket you can’t get the playoffs or the superbowl so the best part of the event your missing when your local service provider gives you locals for 20.00 a month!…………yeah their the good guys DirecTV is the best.HEll NO………at least with dish you get locals but I loved my local cable company Mediacom but when I moved it was a new area and they weren’t available but as soon as they lay lines I am going back to Digital Cable

Dishtinguished Customer says:


My phone line gets interference from a (very) nearby (very) powerful radio station – and that’s after years of tweaking and filtering; it’s as good as its gonna get. My DirecTV receivers (3 different brands) cannot overcome the noise to connect with the mother ship, so DirecTV considers them disconnected from a phone line and won’t let me order PPV by remote, thus have to pay an extra $5 to use the alternate ordering means. Of course I never do this rip-off way of ordering so I never get PPV from DTV. Their loss more than mine; there are a dozen other ways to acquire content.

Of course I worked with their tech support on this, and they finally decided I had to get the phone company to fix my line. Of course I’ve already done that and DTV ignores my statement to that effect. Ironically when I connect the DTV receivers to the line the noise gets much worse; so I had to rig a relay arrangement that connects them to the phone in the middle of the night when I’m not using the phone. Just in case they decide to have the receivers phone home some night. Still they consider me not connected so no PPV for me.

Too bad they don’t take advantage of the broadband I have all over the house. Dial-up gives them a cheesy way of locating their receiver in physical space but not much more nowadays.

EZ says:


Look, I’ve worked in contractual agreements between Companies, contractors, and their customers.

I can assure you that the contractor knows and encourages deception in order to satisfy the contract, especially if the phone line is part of the SLA.

DTV could care less how it gets done. In fact a large part of the reason the contractor does the dirty work in the first place is because DTV already tried the deed themselves unsuccessfully.

If supporting DTV customers is so straight-forward and simple (cost-effective), DTV wouldn’t spend additional money to a contractor.

trt says:


I know its late but direct tv mainly uses contractors for many reason. The main reason is it is low cost they dont have to insure you, no paid vaction or holidays, and they can change rates when ever they want. Contractors in nj averge from anywhere from $1500 to 3000 a week. Alot of people say its directv but it is not it is the Home Service providers (HSP) they are the ones that try to rob the contractos. but in nj peopl dont want the phone lines connceted 60% find it annoying when the phone rings the number come up on the screen. I have been doing directv fo seven year on and off but it have change alot but I hve never been backcharged for a phone line

In pa says:


You can bet that you will be charged in time. Phone line chargebacks average 10.00 a box. I just hope the IRS gets the income that these companies and or directv is making off of us tecks filed on there tax forms as income or profit. Because I’m keeping a record. If I’m not making this money I’m not filing it as income and or I’m going to write this off as something paid to the company that took it off my check. These chargebacks are adding up to some serious income or profit for some company or directv. Let add up the income potial.
40+ boxes a week times 10.00 =400.00
400.00 times 52 weeks =20,800.00
I may not be good at spelling or writing but I know math.
directv averages over a milion new customers a year now.
1,000,000.00 times 10.00= 100,000,000.00
40% tax base the IRS is missing out on $40,000,000.00
Yes these numbers are in the millions go ahead IRS,State,Local, you don’t miss my few thousand, but you’ll blink an eye few million. When someone takes money from my family pocket I just state facts.

Chris - says:


First of all, don’t bother getting anything off our website but the phone #. It’s all horribly out of date (no longer employ a web design department).

Second: I think the majority of people?s problems come from the fact that they are ordering through RETAILERS. Many people get confused over this when talking with my company alone and I’m sure this adds to the aggravation. A manager at DirecTV is NOT going to tell you that you can’t cancel your contract on a service that hasn’t even been activated yet. That?s a load of BS. Find someone you can at least semi trust over the phone, and get as much contact info for them as you can. I have no issues giving out my full name, company address, secondary phone#, email address, extension, etc. etc. Just be aware that *most* of the people you’ll talk to over the phone are guys/gals making $7 an hour to take your info and throw you off the phone. They have a high turn-over rate, and honestly couldn’t care much about their job (again, this is USUALLY the case, but certainly not always).

Third: The phone line issue. DirecTV does track your viewing habits for “generic statistical purposes”. I.E. it doesn’t directly point to you. Ever used a Kroger, Albertsons, Sam?s, Costco, etc. “savings” card? Guess what; you just let them know exactly what you purchased, when you purchased it, and how often you buy certain items. Do you still use those cards? Yes, unless you want to pay ~$20 week extra on groceries.

It still smacks of Big Brother, so I don’t plug in my phone line on my DTV. I have been called by some of my customers before because the installer went out there and is telling the customer the DVR unit MUST be hooked into a phone line (we sell nationally, so we use a fulfillment company). After a few heated words, I usually get the tech to install it without the phone line, and everything goes just fine.

NOTE: Dish Network has dual tuner receivers that power 2 rooms off of one box (two remotes, both rooms can watch different things at the same time). If you do not plug these dual receivers into a phone line, Dish network WILL CHARGE YOU $5 a month per dual receiver. This is on top of the usual $5 charge for the box itself. This isn’t really a rip-off, because customers who have a separate box for each room still pay $5 a box, you just have the chance of saving $10 a month if you have 4 rooms hooked up using 2 dual receivers and they’re plugged into a phone line. Confused yet? Try explaining this to someone whose 105 years old, never had cable, and can’t hear you correctly over the phone. You’ll likely get a very disgruntled client who ends up muttering some curse words and hanging up in your face. And you wonder why the customer service reps are sometimes a little short fused? 🙂

Fourth: Social Security Number. Yes, for DirecTV we require this in order to process your order (for the credit check). HOWEVER, if you have lived at a residence for around 2 years or longer (and you’re mentioned somewhere on the lease/mortgage/etc.) and you have good credit, we can usually process the order without your SS#. In the worst case scenario, you can opt not to give us your SS# even if it can’t pull up a credit report, and you can simply pay the DNQ (Did Not Qualify) deposit of anywhere between $200-$300 depending on the equipment you want. Then DTV credits you back $10 a month till its all paid back to you.

Finally: DirecTV (and Dish network) don’t want people to self install their dishes for 1 simple reason: Reliability. When the small dish first took off in the early 90’s, almost all setups were self install kits. Most people can’t properly install the system 100% correctly, and thus will have issues when the wind picks up or weather gets bad. That is why you have people who say they almost never lose the signal regardless of wind or rain (such as myself), and others who lose it at the slightest wisp of a cloud. It’s mainly due to the quality of the install. Of course every once and awhile there will be someone who gets a defective piece of equipment, but its consumer electronics; there will always be some manufacture defects once in awhile, or damage from rough shipping/handling. Unfortunate fact of electronics.

Conclusion: Sure, the satellite companies have their flaws, but I’m still 100% sure they are better than almost all of the cable companies out there in terms of service and customer service, and they will always give you a better picture than cable. Now if you want internet, stay away from satellite broadband. That is just utter crap.

Care to comment? Shoot me an email so I know to read it.

garfalk says:

cable is just...well.. better

i like cable. why? no stupid satelite dish on the roof where it can get knocked off/over. no stupid ‘allignment’ period. no crazy channel numbers. super fast internet. no periods of off time due to over cast weather (i don’t care what they say otherwise). also, the whole, ‘it’s free!’ crap doesn’t work with me. i don’t care about ‘perfect picture quality’ i don’t care about the whole ‘we are cheeper.’ gimic. Satellite. Sucks. My. Balls.

Buy Cable. its better.

the end.

Who Cares says:

“First of all, don’t bother getting anything off our website but the phone #. It’s all horribly out of date (no longer employ a web design department).”

This is a perfect example of why to stay away from Dish and DirecTV. Why do they allow you to have a website if you aren’t going to keep it up to date?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“This is a perfect example of why to stay away from Dish and DirecTV. Why do they allow you to have a website if you aren’t going to keep it up to date?”

I believe the guy who said that is from a third-party retailer, not directly from one of the networks.

I’ve just checked Dish Network’s site and it seems up-to-date, and you can find a phone number for support. (Not that a customer needs to look there, since the number is printed prominently on the front of the owner’s manual and all the other bits of paper I got from them when I signed up.)

Chris - says:

Re: Re:

Yes, as I mentioned, we are an independent retailer for Dish network and DirecTV (though we can currently only sell DTV nation wide).

I don’t approve of our information on the website being out of date either. I rather dislike it when a customer calls in wanting a price that is no longer available; it usually ends up wasting both of our time. However, I don’t have control over that, I’m simply a CSR. I can however tell you the truth. Would you rather me lie to you and wait till you get your bill before realizing that I miss-quoted you by $30 a month? Or promised you something you?re not going to receive? I am trying to push for our website to have something along the lines of “Website undergoing updates, please call us at …..” until we find a way to update all the information with the current offers. We certainly don’t make money from our website having the wrong info. Our online ordering has been disabled due to the misinformation, so a customer MUST call and talk to a service rep before forking over any money, and to be honest the website is a dinosaur from years back when we did 90% of our orders over the web.

The main reason we keep up our website is simply for our name & number, type in DirecTV or Dish Network (or of course, DishDirect) into a search engine and you’ll likely find our site somewhere on the first page. Unfortunately, there is another “DishDirect” that we’ve been battling with over for nearly a year now due to their name, that we often receive calls about their certificate program (all I can say is they are not positive calls, if you catch my drift). There are TONS of retailers out there that spew wrong information about both satellite & cable promotions. It’s sad, but true.

And no, you shouldn’t ever have to go and “align” your dish. You shouldn’t ever touch it. It needs to be in a very exact position to ensure the best possible signal strength (and thus resistance to “rain fade”). Problems arise when people think they can “tweak” it to get a better picture, or something else with their system is defective and they believe moving the dish might help. OR when someone has the dish mounted in a way that allows children to play with it. If you move the dish, you will have problems until it is properly re-aimed. Period. And it shouldn’t ever have a problem “blowing off the roof”. It’s held on by some pretty heavy-duty mounting hardware. Any winds that would rip off the dish are certainly ripping sections off your roof as well (we’re talking hurricane Rita winds here). Again, if it’s not properly installed you might have problems with the dish losing its signal in heavy winds (such as those installs I sometimes see in apartments with it extended way out on a pole, not good). The dish needs a very stable and secure structure to mount to.

And yes, Satellite will give you a higher quality picture compared to cable (both SD vs. SD and HD vs. HD). It is 100% digital, and is able to work with less compression than cable services (less compression = less digital artifacts and distortion). This is a fact. That is why Verizon Fios has an even better picture; it is able to transmit the signal in nearly raw format, with very little compression at all. Only issue with Fios is the horrible receiver and software they use. It is BAD, but that will likely change in time. Too bad it’s such limited availability.

And as far as Internet: Yes, cable is MUCH better than satellite when it comes to broadband. There is simply no comparison. However, DSL usually gives you a higher upload speed (if your internet usage benefits from it, your usual user won’t notice the difference just surfing the web), and a much more stable connection. When I had Verizon DSL I had incredibly consistent speeds, regardless of the time of day. My friends with cable would see a very noticeable drop in performance during “peak hours”. I also had 0 packet loss, and most of my cable internet friends have at least a small issue with that. Now Verizon Fios internet blows them both away. How does 30mb down, 5mb up for ~$40-45 a month sound? 🙂

What I really enjoy is the fact that I don’t have to worry about miles upon miles of cabling and hubs that may or may-not have been serviced well. All I have to worry about is the dish on the roof, the cabling in my walls, and the receivers at the TV’s. That’s why many surveys and research has shown satellite (DTV in particular) to be more reliable than cable, even taking into account rain fade. Less things to break + newer infrastructure = less problems.


Drew says:

Re: Re: Re:

The alignment issue came up all the time when I was a tech in the Baltimore-Washington area. We would get service calls and spend half the day fighting traffic to get there just to find the dishes turned, ripped off, bent, etc…

Usually the owners would claim to have no idea how it happened. To avoid this I would put the dishes in as inaccessible a location as I could, hoping that some yahoo wouldn’t climb across his roof and try to adjust the dish. I would also mark the correct alignment with a Sharpie when I first installed it, that way, unless there was a hurricane I could usually assume that the owner had “re-aimed” the dish because the mounts would be tight but my marks didn’t line up any more.

Obvious owner error was probably 75% of the service calls. Another 10% was inability to operate the box.

I was paid by the hour by a company (Skyview) that operated by contracting to install the service in high-rises. But we also did some installs in the suburbs, usually for people wanting the foriegn language channels. Most service calls were from these customers.

There were no incentives so there was no reason to lie about phone lines or any other issues. I just wanted get the service up, instruct the customer, and get out. I got paid the same no matter what happened. For the installers who made a flat per-install fee like $50 or a per-item fee for each box installed, there was a tremendous push to rush it and extract as much money as possible. Business is business I guess.

rick says:

DTV, Phone Lines, Promotions

The phone line is required for PPV reporting. If you order PPV via the remote then at a pre-determined time the reciever needs to call in and report those purchases. That is how they bill unless you order PPV online or thru a rep. Odering thru a rep used to cost $5. If the reciever can’t find a phone line then you will get a error when you try to purchase your next PPV with the remote. The phone line is also required for upgrades and for generic statistical gathering without divuldging your personal info.

Regarding promotions, they vary from time to time. Many of them will only apply to NEW subscribers. When you order DTV for the first time you are offered promotions when you order. After that they are far and few between.

Self installs are looked at in a very poor light. The dish has to be pointed to a very specific spot. The techs that install have equipment that will determine the best signal even before they install the box in your home. Many tech will use existing cable if it is available, however you can request new cable.

As for the pay-rate for customer support representatives, that really varies. for outsourcing companies, which DTV uses Convergys, the reps start ok normally at $8.50 per hour.

I know everyone hates to disclose their SSN–however both Dish and DTV require it in order to run a credit check. By running the credit check it can save you having to pay a deposit. The customer service rep cannot see your credit report–it either says qualifies or doesn’t qualify–that’s it. If you don’t give your SSN then be ready to pay a nice deposit depending on the equipment you get.

Order PPV via the internet thru their website. It will save you grief.

I know about all of this as I used to work for Convergys on the DTV project. The service is good when everything is aligned and things aren’t moved. But once you move something then you will have issues. Cable has its ups and downs also I will agree. But I do agree with one posting–DON’T order Satellite Broadband–it is very expensive!!!

Who Cares says:

“I believe the guy who said that is from a third-party retailer, not directly from one of the networks.”

Yes, it is from a third-party retailer. My point was why does DirecTV and Dish allow its retailers/installers to have outdated websites?

At any rate, DirecTV has a VERY poor record for customer service and billing problems. Not sure about Dish.

If you want broadband, cable is currently the fastest and probably the least expensive if you figure connection speed verses cost.

mthorn says:

What phone line?

Who has a land line these days? I use a cell phone and a VOIP phone, neither of which get any spam and neither of which work with DirecTV. My Tivo connects over broadband, why the hell would I use a phone line for my Tivo? If DirecTV really wants you to connect to something they need to learn how to do it over WiFi through your broadband.

Unknown says:

Florida Techs and phone lines

Props go to all the fellow techs in Florida for giving a shout out to the world!

Let me explain something. It’s not the fact whether or not techs are forced to hook up phone lines, nor does it matter what the phone lines are for (I will guarantee you any IMPORTANT software update will be done via satellite, not phone. If you don’t believe me, reset your DIRECTV BRAND receiver and type 02468 when the screen says hello and see what happens), the big deal is the MONEY! I can’t speak for all technicians, but in my company we are required to have a certain percentage of recievers installed with properly working phone lines. If we don’t hit this number, we lose a SUBSTANTIAL amount of money on our paychecks. It use to be just a talk from the boss, or even heavy Q.C. checks to ensure you are doing your job. Supervisors calling back customers to verify whether or not there is a home phone. Not anymore.

IS IT FAIR to charge technicians HARD EARNED MONEY because 4 recievers didn’t respond from Joe Smith’s house because he only has a cell phone??? I can hook up every single phone line to all receivers I ever install. But if I have more than 3 or 4 decent installs that are cell phone only, I just lost nearly 20% of my paycheck for that week! It has now become part of the job to hussle customers into letting you run phone lines (for a charge or no charge, doesn’t matter) by drilling holes in their new $300,000 home because they don’t have nearby phone line, just so you don’t lose HUNDREDS of dollars every paycheck. We use to be able to get by with customers refusing these services, but now it is affecting the technicians who don’t have control over a customer’s home phone!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Florida Techs and phone lines

I believe the same issue with the technicians installing free phone lines and not getting paid for it, is a growing concern. And apparently Directv pressures the HSP, or contracting company, but washes their hands legally, by blaming them. But at the same time fines those companies completing thousands of installations per day. And those companies have to eat those fees in order to stay competitive on the local markets and on the interstate markets. I wish there was a comsumer police, so that I could join and hunt them down!

DNet_Tech says:

Re: Florida Techs and phone lines

I kinda find it funny and amusing that no one here talking about the need for phone lines at receivers has brought up the fact that you dont need to run phone line…just get the cust to purchase a wireless phone jack for $69 each recvr, save $5.mth for each recvr required to be hooked up to a phone line- pays for itself quickly, and there’s no mess or need for drilling or running any wire

Crazylane says:

Re: Florida Techs and phone lines

Amen brother tech. We are all losing money becuase of this ridiculous phone line thing. This used to be a great job, no I no longer install directv because I dont want to put on the hustle full time to make ends meet. I have to buy my materials, gas, insurances, pay my own taxes, and then I get charged back for what are called non responders. Now I do home theatres because I dont have to hook up phone lines to any of the speakers. By the way as far as I know I never worked for a damn phone company, and I for sure never got paid to run phone lines, just dinged when I didn’t.

ex employee says:

Re: Florida Techs and phone lines

yeah hes right! at&t techs get 60$ a line when they install. we get 0$ for a phone line we run so our supervisor gets his big fat bonus if our responders are under 40%. all so direct tv get to sell what you watch for money. and is assured they get theyr pay per view money on each billing cycle. thats the truth!


Re: Florida Techs and phone lines

ABOUT 4 YEARS AGO WHEN THE PHONE LINES BECAME A BIG DEAL WE GOT SICK OF IT and other things. MY WIFE AND I work together for the hsp in cols. oh. and we got together with a couple of other techs and brought in the union and i’ll tell you life is getting so much better since. it can be done if anyone wants to know how to do this same thing feel free to e-mail me @
p.s. we don’t have to run phones

Joe Satellite Installer says:

DirecTV Phonelines

Directv offers bonuses to their HSP (Home Service Providers) for receivers that are hooked to a phone line. Some companies base their installers pay on the number of phone lines installed. Based on a percentage installers have to make a certain mark to get paid”x” amount on their paychecks. This is all fine and dandy unless the customer doesn’t have a land based phone line or uses cell phones, then the installer takes it in the ass because his percentage is to high and he gets paid at a lower scale.

outofwork says:

Re: DirecTV Phonelines

I have been installing sat dishes since the c-band days. Mastec is not directv, they do installations for them as the home service provider in that area. Home service providers are nothing but crooks. and they DO STEAL MONEY FROM THIER INSTALLERS FOR ANY REASON THEY CAN THINK UP. Directv don’t require Mastec to have phonelines connected to receivers, they get a Bonus if they penetrate a certain % from directv. It does say per Directv’s standard (free) installation, that a phoneline connected to each receiver is included. Which the technitions get nothing for installing! It is included in thier job to install a phone outlet to every room that does not have a phonejack or does not have one in proximity of the customers TV and would mean running a phone line accross someone’s livingroom floor. These technitions are not paid by the hour, they work on a per job basis, have to buy all the cable and hardware, own thier own trucks and are required to pay for the fuel and insurance, and are required to carry Gen. Liability Business Insurance in case any property damage occures while they are installing Directv’s product. These HSP’s withhold no taxes or FICA social security from thier pay, and hire these guys as sub-contractors to avoid paying FICA match, and providing health insurance to thier families, as they work these guys 60-70 hrs a week, and keep them on a time clock schedule which violates sub-contracor laws as to the definition according to the IRS & the Dept. of labor. AND DIRECTV ALLOWS AND ENDORSES THESE HSP’S EVERY MOVE!

well… so much for cell phone only households? not a chance! because the system does not, nor never has been dependant on a landline phone connection. THIS IS NOT A DIRECTV ISSUE? IT IS A HOME SERVICE PROVIDER’S WAY OF STEALING MONEY FROM THIER TECHS using the “standard installation” of a phoneline connected as a reason. What the attorney general needs to focus on, is that when figuring the % of receivers connected, DIRECTV’S NON-RESPONDERS % FIGURES ARE DONE WITHOUT THE CONSIDERATION OR SEPERATION OF THE CUSTOMERS WHO ONLY OWN A CELL PHONE! YET THEY STILL USE % FIGURES FROM ALL RECEIVERS INSTALLED, KNOWING DAMN WELL THAT THE CELL PHONE CATCH22 WORKS IN THIER FAVOR IN PAYING THE BONUSES, AND THEY ALSO KNOW DAMN WELL THAT IF THE BONUS ISNT COLLECTED FROM THEM FOR BEING UNDER THE CRITERIA %, THAT THE HSP’S ARE GOING TO COLLECT IT FROM THE TECHNITION. They are taking money away from these techs for not doing something that is impossible to do! You cannot hook a receiver up to a dead phoneline and have a positive response! MR ATTORNEY GENERAL IN ALL STATES.. THIS IS HAPPENING EVERYWHERE IN THIS COUNTRY AND HAS BEEN EVER SINCE DIRECTV WENT TO THE NEW HSP INSTALLATION SYSTEM. (which basically eliminated all the ma & pa installation companies and put them all under 1 roof) These HSP’s are huge companies who now have a monopoly on every install in thier area(s). Arrigant fat cats, who now have the leverage to muscle and abuse thier installers into just about anything they decide to dream up to increrase thier bottom line! Directv’s interest in the phonelines connected are for marketing thier pay-per-view revenues. people order pay-per-view on instinct and emotions, and when it can be done with the flick of the remote in 5 seconds, studies have proven that increases pay-per-view reveues. In my opinion, they use the phone connection in other ways of making a buck also.. like adware. log what you watch, and fill up your mailbox with advertising with your related product profile. I think they sell that info to advertisers at a pretty good price.

But people wake up… if directv absolutely required a landline for all customers, they would have to shut down probably 25% of thier customers due to the rising popularity of cell phone only phone customers. AND THAT IN ITSELF PROVES THAT MASTEC, PREMIER COMMUNICATIONS, AND ALL THE OTHER SCUMBAG HSP’S WHO HAVE RUINED AN ENTIRE INDUSTRY ARE NOTHING BUT LYING THIEVES! AND DIRECTV ALLOWS THIS TYPE OF CONDUCT IN THIER BUSINESS WORKS. I happen to know of 2 installers that were just hired that I found to be on the SEX PREDITORS LIST! All the professional satellite installers have moved on because of this very issue. The HSP in my area had approx 80 techs a year ago. now they are down to less than 25. All green peas, drug users I have heard, and basically nobody I would let on my property, let alone in my Home!

Robert D. Livinston says:

DirecTV doesn't pay what the job is worth!!!

Here is your comment on the subject!!!

“and they could obviously turn around and say it wasn’t about “fining” the installers, but simply paying them extra if they hooked up a phone line –”

None of these companies are paying for the installation of phone lines, they are simply wanting them hooked up!!!

The confusing part about all of this, is simply that if there is a phone block in the general area, then the Techs simply hook up the “Supplied Line”, but if there is no Phone Block, then the customer may have to contract and pay someone to install the line, to the location of the Satellite Receiver!!! That can cost the customer between $50 and $150, by a qualified Phone Technician….

The fact that Mastec is being paid more money, for a connected phone line, lends credence that they were pushing the Techs to lie to their customers…

Satellite Installs on the Brain says:

Over the past 10 years we as contractor installers have seen a disturbing trend. The service providers DTV, Dish, Cable Co’s……are systematically squeezing out pay items for work they still want completed.

ie. they used to pay for phone lines, and second lines to dvrs, and wall fishing, and a whole bunch of other items…that now they expect us to do for free.

Oh I almost forgot…they used to pay for our materials [wire, etc.]….but now we have to buy that too………

Regretably, this has had a negative impact for the customers….. in that the caliber of techs that the service providers are getting now is way sub-standard…a lot of the old heads…..are leaving fro greener pastures…….it’s kind of sorry ….but you get what you pay for….the cheaper they get….the crappier installs……. they get


DIRECTV and Phone lines

Believe it or not I got my DTV dealer license for the sole purpose of being a “local Dealer”. We used to do work for contractors, a different company than that in Florida, and we were told the same thing about the phone lines. Many other horror stories as well. Thing is if you don’t fully disclose to the customer, or perform a good installation experience, the customer will cancel. As a dealer if that customer cancels in the 1st 6 months, DTV back charges me the comission, and the install money they paid me. Which means after I have paid my staff, that customer cancel would have cost me 170%. You can be sure that I work my hardest to fully disclose EVERYTHING before I install any DTV system, and my technicians are highly trained. If you are caught being dihonest to close a deal, I have 2 words for that rep “Your Done”

Jeff says:

Abused by Directv!

I never had a problem in the past with directv, but clearly this product is treated differently internally by the company. I ordered it from a customer service one night, assured that it would work. A few days later an installer came to our house, tried to install it and was unable to get it to work. When I got home, this new receiver didn’t work, our other receiver no longer worked and two long cables were suspended on the outside of the house whereas all cabling ran though the walls, hidden from sight.

We called directv and they tried to troubleshoot the loss of service. During this time, they evidently activated the new receiver. When they couldn’t get it to work, they scheduled a subsequent installer to come back to our house. The new installer refused to repair the work of the first installer because he said that the first installer “botched” the original installation. Evidently, the second installer was only authorized to clean up the installation but because it wasn’t actually installed correctly, he wasn’t going to work on it until the first installer returned with their mutual supervisor.

We considered this to be a waste of time and asked them to remove everything and return it back to where we started. After the second installer spoke with his supervisor and a directv supervisor, they removed all the equipment, restored our previous systems and left.

Directv called a few days later and said that they were sending a fedex pickup for the receiver. We told them that the receiver was taken by the installer. The installers returned a few days later with the box and apologized for everything that occurred. Directv sent a fedex label which we used to return the receiver.

We never received the 600 credit for the receiver even though multiple customer service representatives tell us that our record shows that the box was returned and that we are due the credit.

Evidently, no one is authorized to credit anything over $200. We’ve been told by some supervisors that once an order is activated, there’s no one that can issue a credit over $200. We are out $600 and we have been actively abused by some directv personnel who insist that since the box was activated, we can not receive a credit even though it was authorized, returned and permitted.

I’ve never been able to get a true understanding on this issue other than it’s clear that directv is very sensitive to this particular box. I think it might be either a known defective product, a difficult installation or both but I can assure you that if they can’t get it to work, they have no means by which to credit you.

I’ve initiated a charge back with the credit card company and intend to switch to comcast when we move in two months. For what its worth, we were a $100.00 a month customer with directv in the past with perfect credit and payment history.

MC NASTY says:


Bob hernandez and Becky they are a married couple both became office managers. Becky runs our westside shop. Robert stewart also works out of the same office. One day they both were lock up in the same office didnt come out of there for at lest couple of hours. she comes out of the office with her hair all messed up, then bob shows up five min later talking about whos been eating my wife.And pulling her hair.

Skotakollr says:

Mastec Florida

I hate to say this but Mastec just offerd me an employee-employer relationship position. They also provide a truck and ladders but I supply the install tools. they also provide a fuel card. and I will have to see what the supply issue looks like I would prefer a storage facility that has supplies in it so that the installers in Sarasota/ Port Charlotte area can restock when they need to instead of taking 3 hours to resupply. and get back to work. of course if that is the way they want it then I will drive on thier time and pick up supplies in TAmpa. I wont even entertain suppling out of ft misery. its a 4.5 hour round trip from here.

What we need as installers is a guide to the piece work they are paying us, if we are all on the same page then starting a union will be realitvly simple. collective bargaining is better for contractors but my job is specifically employee relationship with benis and insurance. so unless the contractor situation gets better via the fines and oversite of the federal labor board i will take an employee position they stil have to pay overtime via piecework they have to make adjustments based on amounts paid in a normal week. I read that on a labor board site. let me know what everyone thinks?

Bob says:

Get your Own Equipment

I’ve had satellite TV way before Directv. I’ve had Directtv for years, but I have always bought and installed my own equipment. Compared to my 12 foot dish from the old days, the small simple Directv dish is easy to install and maintain. I think anyone can install one and maintain their own equipment and bypass the installers and techs that know less than you do. By using the net you can find the answers to any problems you might have along the way. You will be alot happier only calling them to have your equipment authorized for service. All the equipment is readily available on the net, only thing required is a little patience with the initial pointing. I have a spare dish I take along with me to races, stick a piece of pipe in the ground, and can point it in usualy just a few minutes. If I can do it you can.

Kim says:


After years of wanting directv I finally got my husband it for fathers day!!!! What a Mistake that was! First, the installion technician did not have the proper equipment for my installation. I asked for it to be put on the tri-pod antenna pole that I have got cemented in the ground and he didn’t have the right kind of pipe install thing to do that. So he installed it on the roof. Went on vacation and came home to find out that it leaks and my celing in my bedroom closet is ruined and now the living room ceiling is getting wet also. I call and what do I get??? Some twit telling me its a act of god and there is nothing they can do about it. [thats what it says on my contract she says]. I said so they can’t come move it or nothing??? She tells me no!!!! I tell her I don’t want the thing no more!!!LEAKING ALL OVER!!! sHE PROCEEDS TO TELL ME i’M STUCK WITH THE CONTRACT!!! what kind of attutiude is this! I don’t want the leaking thing into my roof no more!!! NOW WHAT?????

Ex-Team Lead says:


Call Direct, and tell them that you need to open a Damage Claim against the HSP that did your install, make sure that you have pictures of any damage and the dish mount(in digital format, so they can be e-mailed to Direct).
After that, Direct will prosses your claim and forward it to the HSP. They should not have told you it was an “act of god”, Dishes mounted properly on roofs should not leak.
If they refuse to open your claim, you will need to get a lawyer

someone says:

to the ppl who want more an dont pay

Well I’m a dirctv installer and if u refuse a phone line then why should i install it….
it is part of the job to install a phone-line to every box….but they only pay the contractors for running the line..”cable”..
so ok so u gonna pay me to run 1 cable line to the box they never said anything about running a phone line…or that they are goning to pay us for it…2 if u dont want it then u obviously dont want it or additional hole in ur home…3 u want anything extra done with the installation then u have to pay its clearly stated that what u get..a hole from inside the house to the outside of the house….you want fished walls that can be anywhere from $75 dollars to $150 just to run the wire….the if u dont want the dish on the house theres another custome charge witch costs ya 150bucks just to dig a hole….if you actually think we are going to install the best wire blabla…then ur wrong…All this blony cost those companies big bucks just for you to argue about what your suposse to get…dude you are already gettin the installation FOR FREE what the hell else do you want…jezzzz

Joe Wilson says:

DirecTv and the phone lines

I am a technician for directech sw out of the Jonesboro, La office. I work all of the south arkansas and north louisiana area, this company also requires us to lie to the customers about the phone lines and about their local channels. I was recently wrote up for not hooking the phone lines up, and was told that I was going to be terminated for not doing so.
Is there anything that can be done about this?

Ben says:

Phone Lines

Yes, it’s true DirecTV forces it’s HSP’s to have it’s tech make the customer put the phone line in. It’s a way that direct tracks where the satellite receiver really is and it’s thier way of cutting down on cable theft. Theres a report that directv puts out that shows which technicians are putting in phone lines and which are not. Those that don’t will eventually get fired. The guys that do, well they get a raise, which isn’t much in contrast to what DTV is making off of the customers. You are not only a technician you are a salesmen that is constantly having trying to keep your job by making DTV happy.

Sandhya Jain says:

I am very upset with Direct TV. Don't know whom to

Hello, We ordered direct TV with International Programming. They asked for $200 advance becasue we were not having credit history and told us that they will deduct $10 in monthly bill. We agreed upon that. After some time we got to know that they have couriered wrong set to installers, then it was cancelled and they sent new package. After few days Installer came and he said that he will charge $80 for installation because it was customise installation though he just needed to put a clip on grill. We were never aware of such situation. It was kind of hidden charges. He did all installation and after that it was discovered that package was still wrong and it was not international programming. It was highly frustrating and we got so scared about what new installer will charge. So we asked him to give us bucket also so that in case new installer tell that clip cannot work, we can get it fitted in bucket.

Next day new installer came for right fitting. I asked her about how much installer charge for such clip, he told that there are no charges for clip. I am shocked, ho can people cheat like this.

Now we have end up paying $80 to 1st installer for a simple clip. And we have bucket with us which is of no use.

Will Direct TV do something?

HENRY says:

Who should I complain about DirecTV to regarding t

I subscribed DirecTV about a year ago. I have been on an extended vacation in Australia since Feb. this year, and will not be returning to the States until at least January or Feb. of 2007. I have been emailing DirecTV requesting to discontinue all of my services with DirecTV repeatedly, and all I got was emails telling me that there are “guidelines” that needed to follow, and that a representative would call me and discuss the issues with me. I gave them my telephone number (and postal address) here in Australia, but nobody ever contacted me. Who should I complain to about this???

JP says:

I used to do installs in DFW. Mastec screws the subs. the Sub companies screw the installers. I got the hell out.

When I installed my own system I activated it via Pegasus as there was that crappy setup still going at the time.
When it came to the phone line setup I told them I had no land line (at the time it was true as well) and had to explian as a install tech I knew the box would live without the line. It took 10 minutes and my finally telling her that If she kept up I was going to just wait the 2 months for Direct to take control of the Pegasus areas.
From then on when asked if the phone was connected I always responded “Yes” or “No land line available to customer”. Some times I wasn’t lying about it either.

Tivos used to not work without the phone line unless you had a hack and then you could get away with not paying the tivo fee as well.

All their new equipment was garbage (on par with my RCA or the crappy Phillips boxes when there was a choice) at the time they went to DTV branded and only the Tivo didn’t involve a longer install time (Most of the set up is un-needed to a tech who knows what the job takes) and we got many “dead in box” causing the techs to want extra boxes to prevent an install not going through, Most install companies are reluctant to do this.

Glad to have escaped the industry although it cost me about $2000 in lost startup (tools, truck and what needed to do it). Worse 4 months of my working life.

As it is, as long as Time Warner and Charter are in buisness, DirecTv and Dish Network(worse the DTV even!!) will have a line looking for service. I live in the City Limits of a major suburb of Ft. Worth and cant get cable? With lines run on the poles? Charter decided that they would just ignore this part of town as they can’t keep enough customers. There’s plenty of new houses in the area that will not get cable for years as Charter has no plans to expand.

Dev says:

directv phone hookup

I had directv installed and was told I had to have phone hooked up to it. I didn’t have a phone jack in the location. I told the installer he was not drilling through my brick on the outside of the house and he was not drilling up through the floor. I just built my house which has a tv and phone outlet in ever room and no extra lines where going to be installed, so I told him to leave I didn’t want Directv, he made a call and installed Directv without a phone hookup and no messages appears on my tv telling me I need a phone hookup.

Anonymous Coward says:

Hi, Im here to tell ya how to get free directv ppv’s for only on da D11- newest receivers without connected to a phoneline. If ur receiver is NOT connected to a phone line jack and the pay per view channels still shows u can buy then we are set to go. Select the event or movie u wnat to watch. Buy & confirm. Watch ur event or movie until its done. Dont worry, the directv database does not know u order n watched a movie/event because ur phoneline was not connected to da receiver. Now u want to go to da menu, selected scheduler den selected purchases to view da event u just purchased to see if it their.. Most likely it will!!. Now to erase dat u need to exit purchased history N ur basicalley goin to reset ur receiver back to da day u got Directv. This will erase everything included ur sechedule dvr recordings if u have a DVR. By doin diz once agin u selected menu on da remote go to settings… setup… den go down to reset. When u selected reset u now want to selected Reset Everything. When the receiver power back on u will have to put in ur zipcode n da kind of dish so dat da receiver can read ur dish n can get a signal. Basically ur doin wat da tech did when he came to installed ur system when u 1st got ur directv. It shouldn’t be hard at all cuz its basic info dat u should know already. Once u put ur zipcode in, selected da kind of dish u have n ur signal powers up, ur program should be back on. Now what u want to do is go back to see ur past purchases. when u go derrr theyre shoudnt be anything at all. it should be empty N dats it. Now when u go back to da ppv channels n u try to buy another movie or event its goin to say plz call C.S ex. 747… or some other code. Dont worry, due to da fact dat u rested ur receiver it has to still power up. It wont take until about 12 to 24 hrs or sometimes less to fully power up. Once its power up u can go back n order as much pay per views u want alongs u reset ur receiver everytime N after u view ur movie/event. Thank u n i hope still workd 4 yall. bye!!

DTV Tech says:

Phone Line Connects...

Yep, it’s true there is a $13 incentive if we connect a phone line with the receiver. There is a way around this though, so if the tech installing your receiver doesnt know how to check the IPPV box and let the guy/girl konw when you close the job out, you need to ask for a REAL tech. I get the bonus pay even though i connect one phone line in about 25. So many techs don’t care about customers, and try to tell them they HAVE to connect the phone line to get top pay, but this is NOT true. Bad techs make the rest of us look like scamming idiots, when there are a few good ones out there…maybe we are all in Wisconsin?



Yes, this company (DirecTV) is ran by a bunch of clowns, their customers service is horrible, their bills are never accurate PLEASE EVERYONE THAT HAS DIRECTV PLEASE REVIEW YOU BILL MONTHLY VERY CAREFULLY your bound to be charged 50.00 or more for something you didn’t have, didn’t order, service interruptions and numerous other fees. And evidently the CSR went to a school of BS spitting because they use a by any means necessary approach to make the customer responsible for any fabricated charges that are on that bill. And don’t buy into the I will get my supervisor maybe she can help you…answer because her supervisor is Sally who is next to her in a cubicle who comes on with a calm voice and tries to act like she is their to help you, but she only lies more and then tells you well i will take off the 20.00 box lease fee but that’s all they will allow us to do……LIES all of them!!! I work for one of their HSP and I get the same treatment everyone else does. Needless to say I am looking for other employment I couldn’t possibly remain with company its like being The Devil’s Advocate offering the world at what price. This companies staying power depends on faithful customers and if enough of them stand up for their rights under shady practices this will make Companies like this take attention when they start losing LOYAL customers from all of their shady and deceitful practices. How we do love new technology but right now if I could go back to the old school where the cable was hooked up to the pole in the back yard I would be happier than a kid in a candy store. New technology has us back in a corner you either take this or nothing I think consumers should start having more control over what we want and how we want it and what practices we will go for and we won’t…..

Justin says:

Phone lines are not a problem.

The only reason they try to enforce the phone lines is because of smart cards. with the phone line your box will make a 30 second call every other day to sync ppv with directv. That way they get credit for it and to help stop people stealing. I work for directv. I’m not forced to lie about the phone lines. If they have a phone really close i’ll hook it up to the phone line. But if they don’t I don’t bother. They don’t pay me to run phone lines. If the customer insists on it because they want to purchase the movies though there box rather than online. Then i’ll charge them the same I would if they needed a new cable line. And on all there new receivers you don’t get messages saying you don’t have a phone line connected. That is only on the Tivo units and it’s Tivo’s Software not directv’s. There dvr’s and HD Dvrs you want the phone line connected Just for the fact that you can record ppv and watch it on your time. But you can’t do that with out a phone line connected otherwise you pay $6 for the movie Vs $4 with a phone line connected. I’m sure there are plenty of shady Installers out there. But it’s not because of Directv. It’s the Installer and the Installer only who is shady. If an Installer ever says you have to pay for something you don’t think you do. All you have to do is call DTV or ask for a second opion. And set up for a different Installer to come out.




Satan says:

Back again for comment on topic at hand

Speaking of installers being in a rush and doing poor installations…..My local channels were always messed up and eventually quit completely. Did the tech support thing and turns out I need a service call for 70 bucks or whatever…..HAHHAHHA kiss my ass DTV I made them come do it for free. Turns out the original installer missed the splitter on the main satellite line that was not compatible with DTV systems. Direct TV’s installers fucked up the installation because Directv hurried him through it and then these sorry ass mutherfuckers want me to pay for them to come fix something they fucked up! Unbelievable how these corporate pricks are loaded with cash and just want to make money of anything. I wish consumers could band together and terminate directv from existence. PATHETIC DTV PATHETIC!

bil says:

I installed DTV for about 5 years. They really push the phone lines above anything else for some reason; probably the added revenue. No phone line right behind the TV? No problem, they made us run a new one from the main box.
The really bad thing about them was that they hired QC inspectors with a 48 point checklist ranging from NEC grounding code to a little silicone left over on the end of the wire… one thing wrong and they didn’t pay for the work. Of course, they gladly raked in the money from the customer and left the “unsatisfactory” work at the site to be used, but they refused to pay the contractor. Everything fell on the techs. “Charge backs” were aplenty. When they say sh*t runs downhill, they mean it.
They would run us ragged 6 days a week and often more than 12 hours a day with unreasonable workloads, which always resulted in a frantic and rushed job. Didn’t get a job done? Charge back. I honestly think that they made more money from charging fines and penalties to their HSP’s than they did from programing. I know for a fact that there were months that our HSP was charged more than $10,000 in their BS charge backs.
And, yeah, there are some shady techs out there so make sure you know what you’re supposed to be getting and what you’re supposed to be paying for. It’s hard to keep good help when you run a ship like they do, which is why I quit 3 years ago and never looked back.

Anonymous Coward says:

I installed DTV for about 5 years. They really push the phone lines above anything else for some reason; probably the added revenue. No phone line right behind the TV? No problem, they made us run a new one from the main box.
The really bad thing about them was that they hired QC inspectors with a 48 point checklist ranging from NEC grounding code to a little silicone left over on the end of the wire… one thing wrong and they didn’t pay for the work. Of course, they gladly raked in the money from the customer and left the “unsatisfactory” work at the site to be used, but they refused to pay the contractor. Everything fell on the techs. “Charge backs” were aplenty. When they say sh*t runs downhill, they mean it.
They would run us ragged 6 days a week and often more than 12 hours a day with unreasonable workloads, which always resulted in a frantic and rushed job. Didn’t get a job done? Charge back. I honestly think that they made more money from charging fines and penalties to their HSP’s than they did from programing. I know for a fact that there were months that our HSP was charged more than $10,000 in their BS charge backs.
And, yeah, there are some shady techs out there so make sure you know what you’re supposed to be getting and what you’re supposed to be paying for. It’s hard to keep good help when you run a ship like they do, which is why I quit 3 years ago and never looked back.


Abuse of power





Brian A says:

Re: Abuse of power

If a phone line is not connected, full functionality will not be achieved with any receiver. And if a customer ever gets an error message like 733, its because the receiver cannot make its callback to report account information. Directv requires a phone line for 1) Billing Purposes and 2) Functionality of PPV and 3) To remove Daily Callback messages on customer’s screen.

As an installer, I would have thought you knew that…

jennifer martin says:

connect tv (contractors for directv)

my husband installed directv in the birmingham, central alabama area for connect tv -( tony sobrato and wash allen.) they packed up left the area cell #’s disconnected and no one at directv or connect tv will help us find them so he can get paid for the install he did for them. he was left being owed around $2000. please ! if any one reads this and can help — reply to this. thanks

jozlyn says:

Need to connect phone or no service!

Grrr…sorry about that. I was also told that I couldn’t have service unless a phone line was connected to the receiver – was about a year ago now. The rep that took my order over the phone said this. I said that was BS as my father worked for our local electric co-op & I knew the guy in charge of DirecTV at the co-op. He had told me it wasn’t necessary. I would frequently move my furniture around…if the phone line didn’t reach my TV-I didn’t worry about it. On a side note…I truly miss the personal relationship dealing with someone that cares! Now, I have to call the customer service line, talk to Guido-do my best to interpret what he is saying-get frustrated because he can’t understand what I am saying…pray to God that he didn’t totally screw up my plan and axiously wait for my next bill that will be twice as much as the month before. Any how…after I told the guy I didn’t have to have it connected…I asked for the supervisor. He put me on hold…a couple minutes later -I was getting signed up for service w/o needing the line connected!

Jason says:

DIRECTV Rubbish. Avoid at all costs or you'll pay!

Here’s my experience with Directv:

I signed up for directv less than two months ago.

When I called up, I was told there would be no installation or connection fees, and someone would be sent out in a week. DIRECTV took $415 out of my account and naturally I cancelled and demanded my money be refunded. A representative assured me a mistake had been made, and promised it would not happen again.

So I set up another account and another installation date. This time the $300 deposit was actually explained to me (I had no credit rating since I just relocated from Australia). An installer came out a few days later, was unsure as to whether we could get reception, didn’t have the right equipment, and left a phone number to contact them about coming back another day to do the install.

I called back SEVERAL times and my calls were not returned. I called Directv and found out my account had been cancelled by the installation person.

So I called back AGAIN. Set up ANOTHER account, got some great discounts because of the trouble I had been through and an installation was scheduled.

I didn’t hear from Directv again until I called 4 days later asking when my installation guy was coming. And guess what? My account was cancelled AGAIN. The person on the phone was very helpful, and we eventually found out it was done by someone in the company (by error) since there was no record of me calling in to cancel.

So AGAIN. Another account set up. Another $300 fee. Note the only reason I am persisting with Directv is the opportunity to watch Australian sport.

Finally it goes well, and a real professional was sent out. The guy did a perfect job for the install. He went above and beyond what was required of him, and I thought finally things are looking up.

UNTIL I GOT MY FIRST BILL. I was told, when I signed up (I have all the information written down) that my monthly bill would be $29.99. It was more than $65!

I was told the following:
– Choice extra HD package (no dvr): $44.99
– HD access fee: $9.99
– $10 credit for $300 rebate
– additional $10 credit for all the trouble I went through
– $5 credit for something else (can’t recall what it was for)
– free protection plan
– free HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, for 6 months instead of 3
– 10 free PPV coupons.

Conveniently all this was forgotten.

I called up, explained my situation, and my bill was SUPPOSEDLY fixed up for next month – BUT I HAD TO PAY THIS ONE. WHICH INCLUDED A DVR FEE WHEN I DIDN’T EVEN HAVE A DVR!!!!

I just got this month’s bill: more than $85!!!! Obviously I’m not paying it. It is TRIPLE what I was quoted. I will be calling directv for clarification, and if I am not satisfied with the result I will be consulting my lawyers to see where I stand.

If I don’t get a solution, you will see my story in the media 🙂 Nothing like having friends in the business.

csr rep says:

Re: DIRECTV Rubbish. Avoid at all costs or you'll

I wish you the very very very best. I work with one of the installations companies and some in the business are extreamly shady. Others are just rednecks driving around in a van. Some are trustworthy but not nearly enough. I could write a book about my experiences as a csr and what goes on. Example, techs not calling the customers, techs CANCELLING customer work order because they don’t want to do the job, sales reps telling the customers ANYTHING they want to hear just to get them to sign up, techs destroying customer property, techs stealing from customers homes, local offices never calling the customer back even though they promised to, DTV totally screwing up the work order and blameing it on the techs or HSP….etc

Ken says:

DTV WAY to big for their britches

As of June 26th, notice was given that starting July 1st, any and all service calls would be charged back to the installer for $100.00. Doesn’t matter that it might have been customer caused, or customer equipment. Doesnt matter that the tech never got paid $100.00 to do the install or upgrade-The last tech there inherits the full responcibility of the job for 90 days.

Now, whats realy screwed up is that in Denver, Ironwood just gave us this notice last week, yet deducted thousands of dollars for jobs dating back to April.

Wait, theres more- contractors are also being charged a 10% discount on all recievers not hooked up to the phones- IE if 30/100 are non responders, then the company gets charged back $9.00 per, making it a total of $270.00

so- If I do an install at 65/15 pay rate- say a 4 reciever install, then I get paid $110.00 for the job. My cable, my truck, my insurance, my everything.

Now, Mrs Idiot decides to start screwing around with her sound system and cant get the DTV to have adio. The Lamo Tech Support guy gives up on the calll and generates a service call. ( This is a month after I installed, by the way ) Oh- don’t forget the $10.00 per non responder cause Mrs Idiot was cell phone only…

I got paid $110.00 minus the $40.00 for the non reponders is
$70.00 dollars.
Now, I am back charged $100.00 for the service call, which puts me at $30.00 cash money , and time and supplies to even do the install, and I know have $50.00 and however much labor invested to someone I’ve never even heard of untill the install and they are no watching DTV oout my families mortgage and food money. I just had a wonderful baby boy born in September. What did he do to deserve this?

I think it’s time to turn the tables. I think several class actions and FCC attention should be focused on this problem.

Wait- Whats that you say? Why don’t I just quit?

I get paid 2 weeks after the payperiod ends. If I quit, then they will hold my check 90 days until the warantee time has expired to cover any chargebacks that might come up. So, If I quit, you can damned sure bet that Ironwood will close as many service calls as they can in order to not pay me at all. I wouldn’t put it past them to be calling my customers and offering a free dish inspection and service call just to acompish this.

Since when did the poor start paying out more than they make just to have a job at all? Maybe we should all stop being techs and go hang out at the street corners begging for money.

Edward (user link) says:

A *positive* experience with Directv

My daughter was born on June 18th, 2007 and I was out of work for a week before and a month afterwards. The reason I was out of work was to assist my wife due to complications with the pregnancy.

I called DirectTv, explained the situation and told them I was unable to pay that month’s bill. Then I asked them to please just cut the service and send a paper bill (we are billed electronically).

The CSR asked me to wait a minute and after about 5 min, she came back and told me that she spoke to her supervisor and had managed to get 1) my previous balance paid in full. 2) the bill for July paid in full. 3) and our bill reduced $10 for the next year.

I know there are horror stories out there, but DirecTv helped me when my family needed it and that’s what counts.

M Byll (user link) says:

Jeremy Reimer is not a computer expert/authority b

Seems that Jeremy Reimer has been exposed as a “wannabe” who has no degree or certification in computer related disciplines and that he has no years to decades of actual hands on professional experience in the trenches doing the job. Do you think he is worth listening to? I do not.

In the 2nd url just above, Jeremy Reimer was also caught impersonating others on his forums online, email harassing others (his isp caught him here), & had portions of his website removed under force by his hosting provider. Reimer’s colleague in this and friend, Jay Little, also had his entire website removed by for his misdoings as well.

Mbyll (user link) says:

Jeremy Reimer also posts under multiple guises to

Jeremy Reimer and his friends were also caught here:

Posting as others (i.e. same person posting under multiple names/guises/nicks/handles) along with his friend Jay Little above to “support one another” when they were found SO technically inacurrate, they were laughed off that site and both of them outright left & that was after law enforcement were called on them both. Windows IT Pro is a widely read publication in the field of computers.

jwt1960 says:


I was working for the same company, in NC, that told the tech’s to lie in Fla. Mastec. The sorriest SOB’s that ever lived. The first week, they took over. They cut everyones paycheck in half. If you were owed $1000, you got $500. And they didn’t say they would make it good. The real truth about the phone lines, is. Back when they used to suffer from piracy. We were told, never hook your phone line up. If you do Directv will know, that you are getting their signal free. Then you will get a whopping bill. They figure, if half the boxes have phone lines hooked to them, then that half doesn’t need to be worried about. The sad part is, piracy is almost non-existant. But yet they still lie to everyone. Customers, installers, retailers, etc. They need to be stopped. I guarantee you, If a fix was to come out. I would give it away. Just to hurt Directv as much as possible.

Ed Teisanu says:

As a technician for Premier, the current HSP (home service provider)in the Minneapolis market technicians are told to do whatever it takes to get the phone lines hooked up and are paid on a tier system. The technicians having the most phone lines connected are paid in the top tier. Technicians who have less then 60% connected are repremanded then terminated…….

Ed Teisanu
Former Sr. Team Lead for Premier

Mike says:

Overtime lawsuit against Directech and others

I am a paralegal at a labor law firm and I just want to share that there are numerous lawsuits against satellite TV installation contractors for failing to pay overtime to their technicians.

To read about some of those cases, see

adrian munoz says:

UNION !!!!

All of these complaints that I have been reading from customers to techs are a direct reflection on not having an organized UNION to help speak for those young people who are having there poor lives sucked out of them,,UNIONS help both the workers and the customers,,,they do have the power to approach government entities that can make a positive change for the working class and customer base….organize a strong union and you wont be dumped after 10 years of working and starting all over at the age of 40,,its tough enough for young america as it is,,,Im a parent of 2 boys one in a union based company and the other working for a major city in colorado with out a union and it shames me so see how much advantage they take of non unionized hard working people

adrian munoz says:

UNION !!!!

All of these complaints that I have been reading from customers to techs are a direct reflection on not having an organized UNION to help speak for those young people who are having there poor lives sucked out of them,,UNIONS help both the workers and the customers,,,they do have the power to approach government entities that can make a positive change for the working class and customer base….organize a strong union and you wont be dumped after 10 years of working and starting all over at the age of 40,,its tough enough for young america as it is,,,Im a parent of 2 boys one in a union based company and the other working for a major city in colorado with out a union and it shames me so see how much advantage they take of non unionized hard working people

Steve says:

Wish people would stop complaining and stop...

Wish people would stop complaining, like i have seen in several posts, they all screw you, and all of them have shady installers. It’s good to see that maybe some actually educate them selves on this, but i have whiners, i have to deal with them on a daily basis, and it makes my job harder than it should be! Educate your self and know what to expect, don’t treat everyone like a scammer or like crap, installers don’t like it and will probaly cut corners if you annoy them, or just call your job in as a no line of sight, or reschedule your job. Be nice to your installer and maybe you can expect the same back :-).

Former Directv Installer

Sponge Bob says:

MAstec Sebring

I work for the Mastec Sebring office, my supervisor I*** tried to make me doe things I did not want to do, lie, and others . Everyone else is great , My Senior supervisor really works with me and , is always ready to give me help.
My superviosr Dami** is the best, he will come to by job sight to lend me a helping had. My supervisor I** is ok, he can sometimes be a jerk.

Matthew says:

It was a terrible place to work they play with people life’s.
Use them for 90 days then fired them I told a friend to go their just to see what they would do to him they did the same used him for 90 days then fired him. For what we don’t know
I was told to lie to the customer about channels and setup.
I will never work for MasTec
Paul Honner he used to drink in the office and now they
asked him to come back to work their sum guy told me to forget about the law suite and come back to work their and the guy Paul was their trying to get into the Management like he was because he was fired.

I hope MasTec get’s it up the butt anyone that works their
is a loser

One who knows says:

phone lines

Phones lines:
When you order a PPV with your remote it stores the purchase on the card. DTV receiver in 24 hour time frame needs to call to bill you for it. Many people will order PPV and not connect phone line so they do not have to pay for it. DTV loses mass amounts of money for people doing so. If you dont want the phone line hooked up then call in and have IPPV disabled so you can order on the web or on phone.

If you are too lazy or not intelligent enough to order a PPV that way then stick to a local rental store and quit whinning “big brother” because you are required to pay for what you watch.

S. says:

Florida Techs and phone lines

Big problem… the sub contractor company Aerosat just put out serious requirements on this phone line bit. I work in maryland… and well they are forcing techs to call in to the local office when we are onsite.. and then they want to verify all phone lines are connected… if they are not they want to speak with the customer and let them know that directv requires phone lines.
… i see problems. I hate phonelines.

Ajdirectv says:

Florida Techs and phone lines

I’m with you bro. They are starting to hit us with the “non-responder” list and charging back installers hard if they don’t make the grade. Since more and more customers use cell phones or even VOIP, it is becoming ridiculous! Not only is it unfair to charge back the installer, but actually criminal, like being mugged at gunpoint with no choice.


justin says:


as a previous tech…a simple overide by the provider will keep error messages from poping up but it cost 5 dollors a month extra access…the reason for this is you could use to order PPV without phoneline and they couldn’t track it and as long as you never plugged in the phone you never got charged but the software has eliminated this so I don’t understand why they still insist on hooking the phone up….I have gone to too many installs where (like myself) they used cell phones and no land line was avalabiel

Anonymous Coward says:

directv has changed over the years! I have been a customer since 95 or 96. back when they offered national broadcast feeds for the major networks (ABC, CBS, NBC & PBS – East & West). they were doing that illegally, according to the broadcasters. basically you weren’t watching the local advertisements and the local broadcaster wasn’t getting the advertising dollars they wanted.

then they had the phone line issue… I have NEVER had the phone line connected, except when someone came out or I had to let them hear the click on the phone when it tried to dial out. I didn’t watch pay per view but you could have run the card up as high as it would allow ($600 or so) and then just bought a new box. oops, that one broke and you could hook up a new one.

then came the card issue… lots of folks were buying cards from canada. some smart mofo figured out how to mass produce these cards with full access but directv would zap them and require you to get another one. it was supposed to be that in order to get it reprogrammed, you had to stick a valid card in to capture the old data. if you waited, they would just reprogram the new card and you moved on.

now they want you to lease the equipment, charge you $250 for a dvr and lock you into a 2 year agreement for HD.

they promised 150 HD channels when I switched to HD in late 2006. they said, lots of channels by spring of 2007, no we meant summer of 2007, no we said fall of 2007. it wasn’t until late october we began to see some new HD channels. all the while we waited, they were charging for HD service, which consisted of 7 channels that were lousy. they swore that the rates wouldn’t increase but once the HD channels started to appear, the loyal customer got shafted AGAIN!

once my contract / agreement is up… I’m going to FIOS!

no name says:

I was a former DTV installer and it is true we were back charged for every phone line we did not hook up we weren,t forced to lie but when it came to getting 400-400 dollars taken out of your check a week you would do your best to get it hooked up but no one knows if it is DTV or the contractors charging but my question is if its not DTV making the fees then how do the contractors get the number of customers that dont have the phone lines hooked up

Andrew says:

Phone Lines for DIRECTV

I install on a daily basis… to keep my numbers up at work I must provide the point system to verify that I am retaining a percentage of installs and related service issues during the refinement of our quartley periods. My job spoke up about a week ago stating if I don’t bring up my phone line rate I will lose my job. In this since I am payed on a piece rate chart. I feel as though maybe I should be payed 5 dollars per phone line connected whether I run the line or connect into exsisting jacks. Point being I should really be paid in accordance that I took the time to push phone lines and make the extra go ahead for the company. Believe me I am ready to just work hard for my pay. No matter what the cost.

piSSedOoFF tEch says:

When do customer representatives not lie?

…i’m a service/instal tech for DTv in the ** area & quite frankly a DTv receiver does NOT at all need a phoneline plugged in order for it to “tech” might say it does, but mehh!!
..its hard to see the “WHY” some techs lie about a simple stupidity like “it needs it to work”, but if you were in some of our shoes, you would too..its only a a stupid lie to get “Grades” up…us techs are valued on a point system which gives a “Report Card” type evaluation of the work…
its like a pathagorist equation
% of jobs completed/canceled/rescheduled X (worked hours/earnings) + phonelines % installed on ea.IRD per job + protection plans sold – service calls created in 7, 30 or 90 days….Sh!ts insane right??!! i just made it up but its not far metch to what actually is done..mind you we work per piece rate but earnings are devided by hrs. worked to give an hourly base amount that should be grater than $15 if you want to keep a you have to lie about hrs so you look good and their books dont show overly worked employees 🙂
sh!t SuX major SSA, that they expect all this but dont want to pay extra as for like running phonelines like we work for VeriZon or something..
QuEsTionS??..hit me up NEMESIS2004R@MSN.COM

Someone who knows says:

Directv Phone Lines

Phone lines are installed on a DTV system do to the need for constant software updates to the receiver. DTV has more HD and DVR programming therefore requires more updates. Sure, the receiver doesn’t need the phone line to operate, but to operate properly over an extended amount of time it does need it. The phone line does not spy on us. DTV does not care what “Spanktravision” we watch. It calls in 1 time per month and checks for updates and reports any PPV for billing. The other reasons for the phone line is to allow us to order Pay per View from our remote rather than calling DTV to order and get charged an extra $2.00 for talking to a live person. Then of course to reduce theft, you can’t blame them for that.
Techs are fined for not installing phone lines if they do not meet a certain quota; but DTV is not taking anything from the techs that they didn’t already earn. The Tech gets paid for installing the phone lines, it’s part of the install that they gets paid for.

Truthteller says:

Oh really !

I tech’d for DISH Network,Idyuno if DISH or DIRECT is responsible for the breeding of unethical behavior or not.
What I will tell you,is a firm I worked for here in Wisconsin,recently.Had it’s trainer in it’s training dept right out say,and I qoute.
“If any of you guys ever do not follow our procedures and think you are gonna go around us.Telling our customers other than what we tell you what to do and what not to tell a customer.Even attempt to steal away any of them.
You will be tagged and will never work for DISH Network anywhere,if we discover it.

I’ve been fired for reasons completely unbelievable ,they released me on precarious charges of Harrasment of an employee,with intentions of a sexual harrasment accusation.
Related to the girls that worked in the dispatch/call in center.
I went on to fight for my unemployment and won the case ,because the judge dismissed it due to the fact that they did not bring in the accuser and did not have any evidence to support any of thier accusations.

The company I worked for as I discovered also “Charged Back” a tech if they had troubles discovering a customers technical issues and had to return back to the customers home to further look at the system.

Of which in my case being a Tier 2 tech,almost always resulted in what I call “Operator Error” .
Or situations of simple customer re-orientation.
Folks out there in the world are not at all up to speed about technology and it is complicated and it does scare them.
A Tier 2 Tech is a tech that has a less than 3 percent error rate in all he does.At least by this companies standards.

Only the US Postal system does better at less than 2 percent error rate.

Yet I was charged back for the return call,and with no remorse or forgivness. My hard erned money from the installation,or service call was taken away and back from my payroll.
Mind you I have to pay all my own expences,car,gas ,ins,tools maintanence and upkeep,etc…..

Truth I discovered is DISH is paying for those service return calls,to the said contractor,I as a Sub though,I was lyed to and told DISH does not do that.To Boot,I had to accomidate a 90 day unconditional workmanship and return waranty.
NO MATTER what happened………

Here’s the good part…….
I discovered this is a conversation with a DISH Network tech center supervisor,Denver CO.DISH Headquarters……whom informed me that IDYUNO what you guys got goin on in Wisconsin ,but to my knowledge we pay for every visit to a customer in every other part of the country.

Ive been working in communications all my life,I knew you dont need a tele line for that equipment,I knew exactly how stupid and idiotic that cheap equipment was,anyone that has had to activate one will agree.
It aint nothing more than a offair,DIGI converter box for a analog TV.
It’s simply taking a radio transmission in and decoding it ,with the customer Smart card number and sending it off to the TV set in Ch 3/4 or 60,or a select input.

YEA REALLY,Thats all it is ! REALLY !
Oh if you wish they have a box with a little processor that will hold idyuno 8,10 20 gig of video,big deal,you can buy those at KMART at round 60 bucks and store all the crap you want in video.

I was being told some of these boxs, if I were to loose them or whatever would cost me upwards of anywhere 400 to sometimes 800 dollars,what a bunch of BS Man !

Guess what ?
I cant seem to get past the background checks and get in the door of those DIRECT guys now.
The truth is DIRECT and DISH are almost the same company.
ECHOstar and ECHOsphere,am I blind or does anyone else see what I see in those 2 names ?

Late last night ,I didnt hear the dogs barking………

I know somethings up,and goin on………….

Anyone monitoring this site from the Echo people or its affiliates,be careful of me……..

Im 50 yrs on this planet now ,been working 30 of them in communications.
I know a little if you know what I mean,don’t do anything you would’nt be able to back yourself up with OK

Ive got buddies that I consider the Good Guys in communications……
At one time we were 12,we coined ourselves The Dirty Dozen.
To date now,were up to at least 25

We fight against The Machine together,generally fix most problems too!
We know we won’t win the war,but enjoy the small battles.

No Matter how mad you get,….BE NICE TO ME OK

Anonymous Coward says:

Phone Lines

Phone Lines are part of a DirecTV Standard installation. I have worked for an HSP for 8yrs, if the technicians are not running the phone lines they are not doing their job-it is in our contract. The company isn’t fining these techs they are simply forcing them to do their job. Technicians like these are the ones that do half #$@% installs and most likely just need to be fired. Many HSPs do this same this with “tiered pay schedues” for people WHO DO THEIR JOB to make a Bonus. This whole article is STUPID. Go work for DISH.

Scott says:

Directv Phone Lines

U r 1 f% up dude who doesn’t know shit from apple butter.
u said “Techs are fined for not installing phone lines if they do not meet a certain quota” when was a quota system legal in the USA f% brain? piece work is not quota work. and as a comp hardware installer Ill charge your dumb ass to run any copper in or out of your house. and the pay from dtv is not on par with current telcom pay so smoke that in your pipe because you must be ass kissing for dtv to be saying total bs like this.

Scott says:

Phone Lines

Wtf are you doing at 1:46 pm on a Thurday? jerking the truth around in this forum u lazy shit, Try getting up at 5 and stay up till 10 pm you ass, most likely your a desk jockey with no brain and no balls to place your name on this list for fear your installers will find you in a dark ally one night, ps dish sucks ass how would you like to have no installers while an investigation is conducted at your business concerning federal labor laws? hmmm?


They all suck

I’ve had Comcast, Dish Network and DirectV.. With all three I have spent hours on the phone, going through numerous supervisors and representatives as they all screw me right where it hurts.. the wallet. They all lie, cheat and steal. And the recording for “quality assurance” is crap. When they promise you something and don’t give it to you, go ahead,.. try telling them to listen to the call. They’ll so, “that’s for quality assurance”. What does this mean? Assure your quality then!!

will says:


Yes it is true i use to work for a compainy called called mastec they use to get on us and tell us if we didnt install phone lines or connect phone lines it will effect our pay or you wont have a job hell they still owe me $3200 dollars they said i didnt turn in my paper work yea right its beeen one year since i left and lord i feel so much b better but i still have friends there i feel for them

NO NAME says:


John Brown says:

Instalers are charged $5 of 30% that isn't hooked up!!!

Yep,DirectTV is still pushing the phone lines, and are still telling customers and techs that they have to be hooked up or the service wont work right- (just call 1800directtv and ask them if you need a phone line hooked up with your install.) Folks have cell phones now and most (90%) don’t have a land line at a new install-
DirectTV is very harsh on their employees- I guess workers are a dime a dozen right now- and jobs are not. DirectTV will charge back (take money out of installers pay) for multiple reasons without installer verification- then makes it very difficult for the installer to prove that the charges are false. DirectTV will not offer any perks to their employees for the good work they do, other than a pat on the back. DirectTV is terrible company to work for and hope that they will be more employee friendly opposed to the corporate devil that they are. Thanks DTV! (their tv service is pretty good though)

Tony says:

Hi I’ve been a DTV installer for eight years now. Right now I’m working for connect television an HSP for direct. What a joke. They want us to run phone lines to each reciever,Even if the customer has no landline. Even though you hook up the phone line with no phone service,guess what since it doesn’t call out it counts against you. They put every thing on the technician.And they hire all these worthless QC people and supervisors that do nothing all day but criticize the techs and ding us on minor infractions. Like not having weather boots on when the connections are indoors. We dont have the luxury of having set hours we go home when we are done with our route. These people do not respect our time.

Mike. says:

I am a DirecTv Installer. Let me explain the whole thing about the phone line. Theft is a great part of the dish world. The phone line links a box to a residence. So they know where the box is. Also, it helps DirecTv know if your box has the latest software as well. It’s also for you to order PPV right from your remote and get caller id on your screen. As for keeping tabs of what you watch and how you watch it, it’s not true. It’s illegal without your consent. Now on the tech’s side, we are told to hook them all up if they have a phone line. If we don’t hook them up our numbers go down and we eventually loose our jobs. So sometimes we must lie to our customers in order to keep our jobs. It’s not necessary but required for us to connect them. Also, customers who have a lot of receivers are being required to have a phone line before they activate them because of theft as well.

Robert says:

by Mike

Mike, does failing to hook up a phone line affect your numbers when the customer doesn’t have a land line? I certainly hope not, because most people now are letting go of land lines now that wireless can be
had easily in most areas. The phone line requirement is a bit of a dinosaur. Also Mike, threat of losing your job is no excuse for fraud. it’s wrong, that’s all there is to it.
Have a spine. activity such as you have admitted doing, lying in order to keep your job, is just why satellite installers
have a “seedy” reputation.

charlie says:

working with my hands up

i am a dtv installer its a shame in 2009 dtv operates its business like thugs they try to force the technicians to hook up phone lines even if they have a landline or not and if they don’t their tech number will be suspended now lets talk about the back charges if you install today and tomorrow you have a problem that technician is charged back 50 dollars sometimes 100 or how about the technician hooks up four boxes for a customer and if that customer owes dtv money from a previous bill dtv wont activate the boxes and the installer has to take the whole install out for free after he has been there for 2 or 3 hours or how about the boss that holds a meeting with all the subcontractors and speaks to you in a cursing manner and how how he loves to spend the backcharge money dtv wants you to spend all your money on pay per view so you can have a nice bill and they can be rich in a recession i wish i was rich that way i can hire the best lawyers in town just to sue dtv for all the subcontractors

Anonymous Coward says:

i actually work for directv and i have a form that i have to have a customer sign when they dont have telephone systems that tell u ur system wont work properly and ur service will be disconnected within 30 days. which is bs
they do lie a lot. sometimes i show up to install and they tell me all this misleading stuff people just say to to make the sale.

charlie pt 2 says:

working with my hans up pt 2

update on charge backs now if you ask for a record of your charge backs from Halsted communications {that’s who Dtv hires) they look at you as if you fucked their mother they say go and ask your senior you know who your senior is the subcontracting company you work for now you don’t only get screwed from Dtv but your own company that direct TV hires to pay you they give you the service order number for the job and the amount they took out no proof of what happened at the job there were several incidents where i found out there were no other technician who came to the job after i installed it if you look at the pay stub they give you anybody can do that with the oldest computer who are we to believe direct tv or the subcontractor you work for the whole thing stinks these company’s these days take advantage of people who just want an honest days pay making money is not enough you also have to get robbed while working with your hands up

tollfree (profile) says:

Dialed DirecTV Toll Free Telephone at 1-877-781-4046 - Outstanding System & Service

Personally I have found the product and services of DIRECTV to be nothing less than an absolute dream akin to a state of bliss in a tranquil field of happiness. Never have I had to endure any issues with equipment, billing, or dealing with the nothing less than professional folks who handle the support. I do recommend DIRECTV for anyone who is interested in obtaining the best possible home satellite entertainment system.

Anonymous Coward says:

we need answers.

My husband is employed by MasTec. He is a service tech, as a lead-tech. He is making installations, upgrade, service and everything like a production tech. His company is making an score evaluation every 28 days. And change his tittle of lead-tech for a blue color. Is evaluated in three aspects, Repeat service in 7 days, repeat service in 30 days and costumer satisfaction. He need be under 1.75% in R/S in 7 days, 1.5% in 30 days and over 92% in costumer satisfaction. If he had a repeat service in 7 days he go to be devalued from a blue tech to green tech. and de company never go to provide more than 100 of work-order to be at 100% in 28 days. With only 1 R/S in 7 days affect the column in 7 and in 30, and affect his salary. How many things can cause a repeat service, when you work in a costumer house ? No matter the cause, or the code of resolution on the repeat service closed. He go to be back charged. And our family affected.
Never his company payed him for a line phone connected. I believe that DirecTV pay to Mastec for that work but never Mastec pay to the technicians for that line work.
Mastec pay per piece hour, doesn’t matter how many time the tech need to make the work. They pay per line on the work-order closed.
And my husband is evaluated as a service tech, and work like a production tech, when a production tech is evaluated with different score numbers.
We believe that this is something caused for Mastec, nothing to do with DirecTv. But is something that affect my family.
He prefer to work directly to DirecTv, but in Florida, we believe, that is something impossible.
Someone have answer for this?

Satman (profile) says:

The real scoop

Take it from somebody who knows DirecTV inside and out. I’ve been an in house installer (as opposed to a contractor) for two years now. First of all, we are pushed to install phone lines. They require at least 35% of the recievers we hook up on new installs to have a phone line. However I can only remember two months in which I actually hit that quota. The only reason I get away with it is my workmanship is above average and I have very few callbacks. Secondly contractors are the only ones who get charged when they dont meet the quota. Land lines are going to all but disappear soon anyways and I think DirecTV is slowly realizing this. Also on the relatively new SWiM system having one box connected allows PPV on all of them

Satman (profile) says:


What I forgot to say was that us in house installers arent all that worried about the damn phone lines because as long as you do good work its not like they’re going to fire you over it. So all you crybabies who dont want Big Brother to know what kind of porn you like can rest assured that were not gonna hassle you over it. At least not here in the North Bay.

(directv Owned and Operated tech says:

phone lines

Directv requires techs inhouse and contractorsto hook up phone lines its their way of tracking to make sure reciever is hooked up at the house its supposed to be at IE-Joe hooks up 6 recievers at his house keeps 2 at his house 2 at his girlfriends and 2 at his friends they all share one bill all the other homes need is a dish sending signal to the recievers at each location .also say they all want to order a pay per view event he can go online or call and all 6 get the event.if he hooks up the phone line at his buddies house and orders only that reciever gets signal and directv knows phone # where it was ordered and they can reverse lookup # and prosecute everyone involved.
they threaten inhouse techs with write-up and termination.
contractors main office gets fined then they pass those fines to techs based on what they call non-responders
recievers will try to call out every month on a assigned day automatically

Rob Hart says:

Direct TV Complaint about lying to get business

On Monday July 19th 2010 I watched a television ad which prompted me to research the Direct TV website, I looked over the packages and then I called the number from the webpage. 1-888-777-2454
I ordered a package which included 225 channels, free lifetime high definition, an HD-DVR recorder, an HD Receiver and 3 standard receivers, I was promised 3 premium channels, Showtime, HBO and another, for the first 3 months. I was promised that I could record and watch those recordings (DVR) on any television, in any room. All of this for a monthly bill guaranteed amount of $69.00 for the first year, on a 2 year contract.
I set up installation for between 4:00 – 8:00 Friday July 24th 2010, My wife scheduled time off work, missed an important company dinner and waited, and waited. No phone call from them, NO Show!
I called Direct-TV, was told it would be between 9 and 9:30, I told them if it was after 9 pm it would have to wait because I have a six year old child, they apologized and rescheduled my installation to between 8:00 am-12:00 noon the following day. (Saturday July 25th) Again, we waited, missed a boating trip, when it rolled on noon, we called again to be told that we were not scheduled until the following week Saturday July 31, 2010?
As you can imagine I was very upset, I was told that the local company cannot install on Saturday July 25th because they didn’t have the required equipment, that tells me, they didn’t have the equipment on Friday, when I was supposed to be installed originally, I was told the equipment would have to be ordered, the earliest date was the 31st between 8:00am – 12:00 noon.
I reluctantly agreed, on Saturday July 31, 2010 the technician arrived at my home at approximately 1:30pm, he proceeded to remove my existing working Dish Network equipment and started to install the Direct TV equipment.
After about one and a half hours my wife came to me very upset and told me that the tech only had the HD DVR and then the standard receivers for the rest of the rooms and that for us to be able to record in each room in would cost us an additional $500.00 to $600.00 payable, up front?
I called Direct TV and was told that the tech was right and I should check my order. They told me basically that I was lying about being able to watch and record in every room and that I ordered a system that you can only record and watch in one room. The Dish account that I was replacing Direct TV with, gave me the ability to record in two rooms, why would I order less?
After 2 hours of phone calls and waiting on hold, I finally said enough take out your equipment and reinstate my Dish. Before I cancelled I asked the customer service rep if the tech would everything back as he found it, I was given a definite yes, but the tech had a different story. The Tech proceeded to cut the wires the Direct TV dish and removed some of the direct equipment leaving an ugly satellite mounting bracket and excess wires on my roof. Then the Tech (Jamie) proceeds to tell me that he cannot restore my Dish to working order??? I called again to Direct TV again, this time I pretended that I wanted new service and again, the Salesperson told me “yes you can watch, record and playback in every room on a standard receiver, the tech and my wife heard the salesperson on the phone promise something that the tech states is impossible, as did the original customer service rep that I cancelled with earlier in the day. I passed the phone to Jamie, the Tech, and asked him to explain. Jamie spoke to the salesperson who confirmed to Jamie that I could watch and record in every room, Jamie told him that in fact you need an HD Receiver to be able to record in every room and the salesperson stated that he was a new to Direct and had just finished a big training session about their new NFL promotion and this new DVR multi-room service package they are promoting and in his training was told different?
Jamie agreed that indeed customers are being mislead into signing with Direct based on false information, to be fair to Jamie he called his people while I was calling Direct TV. He corroborated the fact that I was promised recording equipment in each room and supported me in asking Direct to honor the original agreement. Direct refused to offer any kind of assistance, Jamie left my house, and I ended up not having any television service at all because each DISH wire had been severed.
Since that time, I ordered again new service, this time I recorded the conversation. I never told the sales agent any of the previous experiences; I just acted like a new customer. Again, I was told that I would get TV in 5 rooms with the ability to record and watch in all of the rooms. I made the sales agent repeat numerous times “Yes, you can watch and record in every room for a monthly bill of $69.00 with no upfront expenses”.
Later, I called Direct TV customer support and explained again the situation; I even played the tape to Daniel a supervisor who identified himself as #100254661. He was no help at all.
As it stands, I am disgusted by this entire ordeal, I wasted another day waiting on installation of Direct TV, I currently have no television service at my house at all, and I have a new install date of August 10th, I have ordered the same as I did previous except this time I wasn’t offered the 3 premium channels?
I have transcribed word for word some of the recorded conversation between myself and the Direct TV sales agent, as you will read I asked twice in this section of the transcript;

RH Lets just clarify what I want, I want 5 rooms, HD in one room is all I really need but I want the ability to watch and record in all of the rooms.
DTV Right
RH OK, how much is that going to cost me?
DTV Your monthly charges for that is $69.99
RH And that is the extra fees on top of the $39.99 for the package that I ordered?
DTV That’s $5.00 for each room for independent viewing, so you are looking at a total of $20.00 for your rooms and then we have got your HD DVR wholehome DVR service which is $10.00 as well waived with HD cost which is minus -$10.00 for that. Plus the $39.99 for the package, so that brings it to $69.99
RH That’s great.
DTV And I’m going to send you an e-mail of all this so you will be able to look at it.
RH OK, You are sure that I can watch and record in every room?
DTV I’m sure, you got the whole home in there so you’re good.
RH OK, great.

Later in transcript after I gave my credit card information;

RH So I have 1 HD DVR, 1 HD Receiver, 3 standard receivers, and I can watch and record on any room, right?
DTV Right! With that whole home DVR function, the installer has a special way of putting up your wiring so it’s all transmitted through each receiver.
RH And I don’t have to pay anything extra than what you have told me, the $69?
DTV No, I added everything together, $69.99.
RH OK, So when they come to install this it’s not going to be an issue with the installation guy?
DTV No why should there be an issue with the installation guy?
RH I’m just trying to be the devil’s advocate, so err….
DTV …Oh no….laughing.

I asked a total of 4 times “Can I watch and record in every room”, every time I was assured that I could. I confirmed the pricing numerous times, I have the complete recording of their lies, I believe that this constitutes fraud. Can you offer any help or advice?

Rob Hart

Union man says:

Notice to to the real techs that wants to stand up

In almost every town in the U.S. there is a union hall that is waiting to hear from you! The reasons the sat companies utilizes the independent contractor is 1.under that classification they do not have to pay the taxes and the social security taxes that all other employers are forced to pay. 2.It allows them to use the charge back scheme with out fear of legal persecution. 3. all the insurance requirements are put on the employees. last be not least it almost guarantees that the employees will not be able to form a union.But I can assure you that there is away, all it takes is a determination and love of your trade on your part! 51% of the shop to agree to union representation is all it takes to make the department of labor to take notice and the union can guide you through this!
Contact your local International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers(I.B.E.W.) Union hall! or look them up in your local phone directory!
Our organizers will be compassionate to your concerns. And will work diligently to come to a contract between the workers and company!
The thing is the companies have law firms that employ many people to represent them, shouldn’t you? Other wise you are left to fight the companies alone!!!!
Or you can do nothing and continue to be rapped by the companies you work for!!

Anonymous Coward says:


if you have not had a phone line connected then the box did not report the orders and after its limit is reached will not allow you to order more. so you did not pay for the ones ordered by remote in the first place. check the bill from that time frame. and if you are smart enough to post here you should be smart enough to read the bill. on that you would see the payment you made at time of order. you will also see the charge. screaming at a rep who in no way did you any wrong is not only inconsiderate but very childish. your lack of ability to go over your own bill is no reason to raise your voice or attack the person answering the phone. at the top of the bill it has past payments, credits, and last billed ammount. so if your last billed ammount was 72.95 and your past payments shows 77.94 that would include the over the phone payment. but i can tell from your [post that without someone being right beside you pointing it all out you still would not be able to figure it out.

Directv Tech says:


Anonymous Coward says:

Well heres the thing Direct Tv charges the customer a small fee for not having phone lines hooked up.
We dont get paid to hook the phone line to the receiver. We get back charged $3.00 per box/receiver that does not have a phone line.
I honestly dont like lying to the customer and I dont need more money taken out of my weekly pay sheet along with other stupid stuff they back charge me for.
Most 95% of the time I am straight up with the customer and I will ask to hook them up for a week.
Yes we are forced to lie we pay for all of our own cable, fittings, concrete, barrels, tools, gas, etc. The only thing we dont pay for is receivers and the dish assemblies.

Marc says:

Response to: Shaun on May 3rd, 2006 @ 4:36am

They dont track what you watch as an individual, they may use it for their interactive options but do not track what YOU watch, also it is for better software updates. I have been a DirecTV tech for years and all of you who are complaining about suspect workers and practices probally delt with contractors or are the extremely limited minority. Is is seldome people come on a site like this to say, hey works like it should! If you have an issue call customer service and they WILL deal with the issue. I hate the asshole.customer who just wants to complain just to be heard, get a life dickheads.

J says:

Directv forcing techs to lie AGAIN

I currently work as a contractor for DTV they have mandated that every tech has to sell the protection plan to 30% of every job they do. They dont care how and have even encourage lying. Saying and I qoute ” I don’t care what you say but you have to sell it 30% of the time”. The protection plan is a nothing but a scam if your install is done right you will not have any problems for 5-10 years and thats a Diretv statistic. This company straight up robs people andmake the techs do the dirty work so they can say it wasn’t us. If they get 10 million people to sign up for this thats $5.99 a month times that by 12 months now minus the people that actually used it, which by the way would be do to improper installion or faulty DTV equipment so still DTV fault for the problem but they make the customer pay for it. Well lets just say that DTV is collecting a TON of money selling insurance on a system they put in and should be held accountable for. Do you see the massive scam they are running now. If I could I would tell all DTV customer to stop getting the Protection plan many people have had for years and never used so many millions being flushed down the drain. Then DTV tells you they have to increase prices why blah blah blah, lets hold the accountable they are making money hand over fist with scam after scam on customer. You dont own the equipment but if it breaks you have to pay for it??? In what world does that make sense? Anyway theres my rant! take it or leave it!

Seth says:


I WORKED AS A DIRECTV SUPERVISOR for the largest sub-contracting partner, Mastec AT, for about three years, two of those years being a “QC” and “lead” technician in which I was responsible for supervising three other technicians, and inspecting installs for Quality Control, (nice, clean installs, make sure the customer was treated right, etc..). During my time with this company I have seen more acts of deceit and cover up than any other company i have worked for. We as technicians WERE told to lie to customers about the phone lines, as above stated, having to tell them that the phone lines were “required” in order for their receivers to work properly…but, this was only on customers who had land line phones. Those customers without, were told that they would not experience the full value of their equipment, and that if they tried to order pay-per-view, that they would be charged “double” the normal cost because of having to call the automated service..On top of the phone line lie, we were also told to tell our customers things like, “the cinema connection kit is required”. And by company policy and in some cases state law, if you’re satellite dish that is being installed as part of your service cannot be grounded due to electric surges and lighting strikes, we were not to do the installation at all, and I can GUARANTEE that over half of you out there have ungrounded systems because if that scenario arose, we were “not to tell you about it and proceed with that installation regardless.” DirecTV is THE GREEDIEST, SHADIEST COMPANY I HAVE EVER WORKED FOR. And once you sign that lease agreement, you are legally bound to having DirecTV service for two years at minimum. And if you ever have to have a receiver replaced, or order a new or different one because your order was wrong and didn’t find out until after everything was activated, then you are just SOL..any receiver that gets placed in your home and activated binds you to the start of a new two year contract. now there may be those of you who think you have the power to BARTER OR THREATEN DIRECTV into giving in to your demands, or not charging you for a new piece of equipment..i am here to tell you that there is a 93% FAILURE RATE OF THOSE WHO DO TRY TO do this, and this an actual percentage given to the branch offices to show technicians the current stats of un-happy customers and how often DirecTV will give into your demands. DirecTV has excellent programming and services to offer, if you know what to avoid, and the right questions to ask. *************READ THIS PART**—>!!!!I hope this sheds some light to would be customers or those of you who already have DirecTV service…tell DirecTV you DO NOT have land line service and ARE NOT planning to order pay-per-view or On-Demand, and the customer service reps will not flag your order as having land line phones or internet. If you really are, and do want this service, tell the technician when they get there which receiver you want hooked up with phone lines, or if you have high-speed internet ask for the “Cinema Connection Kit”, and offer to pay them like $10 is more than we make for actually connecting the phone lines from the company, and is less than half what you will have to pay for the Cinema Connection Kit…everybody wins!!

Pauline Duenkel says:


i have had direct tv, for ever, i have so many complaints, i cwe ant put them all in a message. Starting with the first instal. I am 70 yrs old and i could have done abetter job. 1st, i have a full basement, and you can stand up in the house was new,we put in boxes for phone, internet & cable.Instead of using those, he drilled new holes in the walls and ran the cable around the house on the out side. I did not mind being hooked up to the phone, but he ran the cable across the flour so i could trip over it. a nother person came out & and drilled a hole in the flour, instead of using the box on the wall. this is just the beganing, i would very much like a call, from some one that can talk to me .

Eric2013 (profile) says:

Oh... one more thing about Sam's Club sign-up...

The sales person called a woman that ran the credit check… then took my debit card and processed it. She also read me parts of the contract that stated how much it costs for cancellation per month ($20) of the months you don’t use for up to $480.

Is that considered a legally binding contract… or is that just used to kinda tricking people into thinking they can’t get out of it (even though they can?).

Eric2013 (profile) says:

Sam's Club sign up...

I actually wrote a big… long-winded comment and they haven’t approved it yet… so you didn’t see what I actually wrote.

I signed up at Sam’s Club, but they haven’t installed the service yet. So my question is… is signing up at Sam’s Club… them running my credit, charging my account $159.95 (upfront fee) and reading me the terms of service the same as a contract that they’ll make me sign the day of installation (tomorrow) Tuesday 29th???

I’m not saying I want to totally cancel the deal… I actually am looking at upgrading to the highest tier with all the movie channels, but I want the price to be close to what I would get with Dish (comparable). Dish price per month for the upper tier is about $85 through the 1st year and $120ish for the 2nd year… for 6 TVs. Through Directv it’s $130ish for the 1st year and $150ish for the 2nd… for 6 TVs. I’ll do the upper tier with Directv… I just want them to come close to matching the price… $85 and then $120.

So, since they haven’t installed it yet… can I still negotiate my deal or cancel them without penalty? And if so, can I get my $159.95 for the upfront fee and shipping fee… since I didn’t receive anything.


Anonymous Coward says:

You should be able to get your money back at this point the contract doesn’t start until I as a technician have you sign it before I start the install. In fact I would try to get it back if I were you because you’re getting ripped off by a third party retailer. Get your money back and call 1800 directv and reorder. There will be little to no upfront cost for a new customer like you. Way too many people get scammed at places like Sam’s club and I hate to see it.

Anonymous Coward says:

You should be able to get your money back at this point the contract doesn’t start until I as a technician have you sign it before I start the install. In fact I would try to get it back if I were you because you’re getting ripped off by a third party retailer. Get your money back and call 1800 directv and reorder. There will be little to no upfront cost for a new customer like you. Way too many people get scammed at places like Sam’s club and I hate to see it. Although if you have bad credit there may be no way to get around the upfront fees.

Eric2013 (profile) says:

Sam's Club sign-up...

Thanks so much for responding. I ended up calling up Directv and asking what I needed to.
Here’s what I found out:
I can cancel if I want up till they do the installation… and they have to return all money I’ve already paid… $140 upfront fee plus the $19.95 for shipping.

When I called I was told that I got a $10 per month off for the first year as a $120 credit because I bought it from Sam’s Club. Soooo… basically I paid and extra $40 at Sam’s Club which I’m okay with… I get sales people have to make a living somehow. It’s not that much more… I’ll live.

I actually had been looking to upgrade before installation just in case they had to give me something different during the process.

When I called Directv and said I am interested in upgrading the package, but I think it’s too high compared to what Dish offers for their highest package the guy offered to extend the Unlimited Showtime package for an additional 6 months for a total of 9 free months.

My pricing for the Premier package (with the Genie DVR w/ 2 other HD TVs and 3 standard TVs (total of 6)is:
$74.99 per month for the first 3 months…
$107.99 per month for the next 6 months…
$119.99 per month for the next 3 months…
$149.99 per month for the 2nd entire year…
Keep in mind I already paid the “upfront fees” of $159.95.

Overall I think it’s a pretty decent deal… and the extra 6 months of the $12 savings takes off another $72. My Comcast just went up to $175 per month because we added a DVR that can only be used by one TV and has about 10% the storage capacity. That’s with high speed internet, phone, and a decent amount of cable channels (without all the HBO, Showtime, Cinemax channels)… and a bunch of included sports channels.

Did anyone out there get a much better deal than that? Unless it’s significant, it’s not really worth the back-and-forth with them.

Thanks again for responding…


Stan Mullis says:

BBI retainage scam

A contracting company who is notorious for doing shit work for directv takes a grand out of a starting tech’s pay over several months, then when tech quits, they give a bogus address for tech to send a certified letter to reclaim retainage. All the while the owner know that the certified mail requesting retainage will just be returned to sender. I am a single father with triplets and been installing for 12 years at that time. My work is self explanatory,even OCD, yet BOBBIE BEARD(BBI,LLC) STOLE FROM MY KIDS WHEN I WAS IN BIRMINGHAM, AL AND TENNESSEE AFTER TORNADO OUTBREAK AWAY FROM HOME A MONTH AT A TIME A COUPLE YEARS AGO! Even then, talking about phone lines, the current FSM(who has recently got a DUI and only been doing satellites a cpl years if that) was encouraging the following:

R gray says:

Phone lines?

I am a contracted directv installer and we are forced to attend weekly meetings unpaid btw that revolve around phone lines, over the course of a month I collected signatures from customers that did not have Internet or phone lines and was told it did not matter I was still being fined 233 bucks for falling short of the 60% mark. 60% of households do not have home phones anymore but that doesn’t matter, and yes we are told to tell them that it has to be hooked up to work if they do. It may be the contractors doing this to us but if Directv wasn’t fining the contractor they would not be fining us.

Phillip m rogers says:

dirct tv endeavor communication

I worked for endeavor comunications from march 27 to June 26th and during that time they wrote me checks that were post dated also some that bounced for two mouths I received training check of the amount of 200 dollars a week even though I was on my own after two weeks they deprived me of all I worked for direct tv should be ashamed of doing business with them. They also say I owe them for materials I never used it should be a crime what they have done to me but what can you do when you have nothing left because you spent everything try to work

tm says:

I used to work for a install network that took installs from different dealers. Some required the phone connection. On those installs I would call the customer and tell them it was required if they refused or did not have a phone I would cancel the install.

I stopped doing these installs when the pay went to low and I was told I might be fined a fee higher than what I was being paid if the customer later disconnected and said it was the install.

The current installers are mostly unqualified and are only paid $10 or $20 for a install.

When I was doing it I got $140+ for install and I was a TV repairman so I knew what I was doing and all installs were correct..

tm says:

bad installers

Ok I am an expert I have been installing dishes since they were invented and I am a radio tv tech and a Cable TV headend tech.

I own several rent houses and have set up rules they must follow. The other day one installed a dish on the roof without permission. We called him out to move it.

He said it had no signal on the ground in the front yard.

Nice trick, Problem is I am the guy Directv and DISH called out to get a signal when no others could find a signal I have a special setup I use for that.

I went to my truck pulled out a dish set it up against a rock on the ground aimed it with my meter in 20 seconds, connected it to the wire going into the house and the picture popped up. I said want to see the signal and he jumped in his truck and ran away…

He refused to do any work while I was watching.

Myself I am angry that real qualified installers are no longer used and that these $10 a job guys are being used.

Jasmin says:


I signed up for a direct tv at&t bundle though direct tv thinking it was a great deal. I asked the associate multiple times what my bill would be year 1 and year 2. I broke down every possible feel with him; he gave me all the number and told me he set it up so that I received a 10 discount monthly for the bundle. His words “your bill will be 39.94 plus tax the first year and then it will go up to 59.94 plus tax but then you will get an autopay discount of 10 dollars a months so you will pay 49.94 until the day you cancel. I’ve set you all up and you are ready to go. The contract begins upon install.” He gave me the install time for both companies, something he could only get after all my information was taken and submitted. So I waited for the installers. Direct tv showed up but at&t did not. I called at&t and found they have no record of me. So I called direct tv back and was surprised to hear that there was no record of at&t on my account but they were more than happy to set it up. This is were everything went wrong and all the pricing changed. So now the 10 dollars in bundle discount is only for the 1st year and not indefinite. Also because I didn’t get a more expensive package I don’t even qualify. Already angry about this, I repeat back the quoted prices the associate gave me. According to them he was wrong. There is no guarantee of what the 2nd year price is. You get locked in for 2 years in which the 1st is locked in at a set price but direct tv hold the right to change the price whenever they see fit in the second year and you are contractually bound to pay whatever they charge. So since there associate clearly had no idea what he was talking about and quoted me non sense prices(which I believed at the sign up) I asked if they could cancel the service. They said since they installed their equipment I was locked into contract but that they are sorry I feel lied to. If I wanted to pay the cancellation fee they would be happy to discontinue my service. THEY LIED TO ME TO GET ME TO SIGN UP AND THEN SCREWED ME INTO A 2 YEAR CONTRACT. The associate seemed to know exactly what he was saying so it is my belief that I was intentionally lied to.

old bird dog says:

phone lines

guys i hate to say this but your batting your heads against a brick wall.this has been going on since early 2000 .we filed a lawsuit against mastec for charge backs. and won .yet there still doing it.that should tell u you somthing.wasnt a small win either 113 techs awarded 2700.00 a piece.corperate will always find loop holes.its realy simple, take the xtra 15 minutes and run 1 line to the primary.then they cant charge you back11111take a it if qc comes backshowem the pic.then if you get charged back you have a valid claim in court.the specs require only 1 phone line to be installed if possible not to every your homework guys.knowledge is power!!!!!!!

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