Saturday, February 22, 2014

@DirecTV Has Lost Its Mind

They're always nice to new customers to get you sucked in.
My DirecTV bill was $141 this month. That's more than my electric bill. I don't get it. Well, then again, yes, I do get it. I'm the victim of "nickel and diming." Of my $141 balance, only $89 of it is for actual television. The remaining $52 comes from add-ons.

Now, I will admit that some of the add-ons are optional, so I always have the right to refuse them, but others are mandatory.

I have four HD-DVR's, so I pay $6 per month for each. Why four HD-DVR's? Because it would be the same price had I gone with four standard definition receivers. Speaking of HD, that's an additional $10. Despite the fact that HD is free "over-the-air" and has been around since the late 90's, DirecTV has upcharged it. So, that's $34 per month right there on top of the $89 for actual television.  Even if I had an RVU compatible TV that didn't require a receiver, I'd still get charge $6 for "having a compatible TV."  How crooked is that to pay the same price even when you don't have an HD-DVR?

Oh, and I almost forgot that since I have a certain type of HD-DVR (one that isn't super-slow) that I have to pay a $10 fee for an "Advanced Receiver." Twice. That's right. Two charges. I'm not sure why I get charged twice, but I just do. They told me that the price for an Advanced Receiver is $20 and that my bill is correct on that. Then there's an additional $3 for Whole-Home service which allows my DVR's to communicate with one another. Then I have Showtime which is $14 per month. I will be canceling it as soon as I finish this season of "House of Lies." It's a shame, too, because I mainly used Showtime and HBO to watch Boxing. I dropped HBO in December and will be doing the same with Showtime. It's too expensive with options like Crackle, Hulu, Amazon Prime and Netflix. As for Boxing, I'll just have to give up on watching the big fights and settle for the up-and-coming fighters on ESPN, NBC Sports and FOX Sports.

Lastly is a fee for $8 that offers some sort of protection on my electrical equipment or something. I don't recall ever asking for this charge, but it's been on my bill for a few months now. I'll remove that once I call to remove a DVR and Showtime which will save me $28 just from doing that. Now, I do get some credits: $6 off for my primary DVR, $5 promotional credit on Showtime since I tried to cancel it in December and got talked out of it because of a discounted offer, and some other miscellaneous $5 credit. So, my bill could actually be higher than $141 if it were not for these credits.

And don't forget that you have to pay $199 - $399 to "use" their HD-DVR's.  That's right.  You don't own them, you lease them.  So, despite paying that ridiculous amount they'll charge you that aforementioned $6 per month to use them.

Look, DirecTV, I understand that the TV networks are raking you guys over the coals. These "fee fights" you've had with the television networks that are being greedy and wanting more money is affecting you. However, you have to realize that these add-on fees are very frustrating to your customers.

I've been with DirecTV since '97 and my bill has gone from $60-something per month to more than double that now. To top it off, my brother has super-fast internet service and HD programming with Verizon Fios for under $100.

It's frustrating to say the least and I will eventually have to divorce DirecTV. I stayed this long because of the NFL Sunday Ticket, but there are now other options for me to view the games every Sunday. I can also use Hulu, Netflix and an antennae to watch the shows that I normally enjoy. As for sports, well, I guess I'll have to go online for that as well. I can't let DirecTV hold me hostage any more. Although I live in a small neighborhood without a lot of options, I can't pay $141 per month for "TV service" despite the fact that I can afford it.

"It's the principalities of it, Smoky!"

  Are you sick of companies "nickel and diming" you to death with "service" fees?

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