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the direct tv saga continues…

My wife received a call from “the office of the president” for DirecTV shortly after I posted this.

Unfortunately, they do not seem to have a fine grasp of the value (financially or otherwise) of their customers. They would rather insist that we pay them $250 and no longer be a customer than find a way to retain a customer worth $125/ month or more than $1,500/year. In fact, DirecTV is standing by their assertion that we owe them an early termination fee despite the fact it was their contractors who were unable/unwilling to install DirecTV. All this – so we came to find out via the “customer service” representative today – because when the DirecTV receiver that we BOUGHT died in June 2006 and they replaced it with a leased receiver (note – you have no other choice these days but to lease a receiver) this included a 2 year commitment (huh?). I’m wondering if this isn’t something Attorney Generals shouldn’t be looking at…

They did graciously offer us the opportunity to pay another contractor to have DirecTV custom installed in our house – then we could just pay them $150/month again and everything would be great. . .yeah – right. Never mind that the inexperienced contractors they sent to our house (apparently they go through “extensive training” so it shouldn’t matter that it was the guy’s second day on his own in the field) so we really don’t even know that it would require a custom install.

Never mind that the customer service representative that took the call that resulted in us canceling the service neither mentioned the option of a custom installation or – more importantly – the fact that there would be an early cancellation fee. Never mind that our value as a customer must surely exceed $250 – we have spent $1500 on DirecTV in the last year alone and have had the service for close to 5 years. (To get the All Blacks we have to pay for premium service.) Never mind that the representative from the “office of the president” called armed with all of the answers and wasn’t interested in the customer’s view or reviewing the situation in any detail – clearly she just need to check the call off her list.

As my wife points out from her experience managing executive-level issues, this is where company should decide to live their customer commitment – “our commitment to customer service is unwavering” says DirecTV- or simply get practical – will this cost more than $250 in resources/negative exposure/etc. to resolve? I guess we’ll find out as the saga continues. I know Kris is looking forward to contacting her consumer reporter and legal buddies on this one… hell hath no fury…

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