A few weeks ago I mentioned that we had changed Internet/Phone/TV providers to save about $35 per month. Mr. Tre was also getting the channel he’s been missing since we moved. Wahoo!
Okay, hold your excitement. This is what really happened…
We were using Charter as our Internet/Phone/TV provider. When we hit our one year anniversary they sent us a lovely letter saying that our monthly bill was increasing by $37 per month and we would have fewer channels. But the fewer channels would be in HD. Wasn’t that generous of them?
There are only a few companies that service our area. Mr. Tre found a DirecTV/Verizon bundle that would get us more channels than we had with Charter and cost $35 less per month. What could possibly go wrong? After several hours on the phone we had everything set up and scheduled our installation. Since there were two companies, there would be two installs. I work from home so we decided to keep Charter connected until Verizon had the Internet/phone working.
Installation day arrived. I lost service for a few hours, but the Verizon portion went much smoother than I expected. The installer was even nice enough to run some new wires and clean up the connections in my office.
Then the DirecTV installer showed up. He walked around the house for about two minutes and announced that there were too many trees. We could not possibly have satellite service. Mr. Tre took him outside and pointed out that all our neighbors have the same mature trees and most of them have DirecTV service. After several minutes of heated discussion, the installer said it wasn’t possible and left.
Mr. Tre REALLY wanted that channel. He called DirectTV back, explained what happened and asked them to send someone else. They promised to call us back with a new installation time. After several hours someone called claiming to be the installers supervisor. He apologized and asked if we wanted someone else to come out. Yes, didn’t we already ask for that? He said someone would call back within 15 minutes to schedule a time. No one called.
The next day, still no call from DirecTV. We called Charter to cancel the phone/Internet and learned that our TV would increase by $35 dollars. Verizon also let us know that if we did not activate with DirecTV our pricing would increase. Our $35 savings was now a $40 increase per month. Mr. Tre called DirecTV again. They assured him that someone was coming, but they couldn’t give us a time.
The Warning Signs
The second DirecTV installer showed up 5 days after the original installation date. Our first warning should have been when he demanded payment before doing the install. The original deal was no installation costs. He had everything working in 30 minutes, but the channel Mr. Tre wanted didn’t work. He told us that it could take up to 24 hours for all the channels to load.
The next day the channel still didn’t work. Mr. Tre called DirecTV and was told we did not order that channel. The first installer deleted our order. The new installer gave us a package he chose. The deal we had originally received was no longer available. To get Mr. Tre’s channel would cost us $40 more than we were originally quoted and they weren’t sure we qualified for the bundle pricing with Verizon.
Just Bad Customer Service
I called DirecTV to cancel. This is how the conversation went….
Me: I’d like to cancel my service.
DirecTV: I see you just activated yesterday. Why are you cancelling?
Me: Um… because you lied to us. We don’t have the channels or pricing we were promised. Please cancel the service and refund the installation charges.
DirecTV: Let me transfer you to a supervisor.
After one hour of being passed from person to person, they still had not cancelled the service and I was getting a little hoarse from telling them what I thought of their company. Mr. Tre finally took the phone away from me. He decided to keep the service for a little while because they promised his channel free for 30 days. What they didn’t tell him was that they would take away 10 other channels.
It hasn’t ended yet because we are still with DirecTV and have a bill that is $71 per month higher than we were quoted. I think they are counting on the fact that I don’t have hours to spend on the phone trying to get them to cancel the service.
Have you ever had an issue like this? What did you do?