As many of you might know, I don’t use satellite or cable TV for entertainment any longer. Don’t misunderstand me now, I still enjoy watching various TV content through sources like my Apple TV or Roku box, but the idea of paying through the nose for channels I couldn’t care less about just wasn’t making any sense for me. So when the time came to make the switch, I lived as if I had canceled DirecTV even before I actually did. Why? To make sure my family was ready to pull the plug once and for all.
Because I want this to serve as a tutorial of sorts, allow me to explain that we honestly didn’t miss anything about not watching satellite TV. My wife and I both found that Hulu Plus, Amazon VOD, and Netflix had just about everything we needed. Even better, there was a substantial savings overall when compared to how we used to view TV.
We kept things like this for a few months; only last month we decided we were ready to finally pull the plug for good. One might imagine this to be a simple process. Unfortunately, the folks at DirecTV weren’t very well set up to handle a simple cancellation order, it would be seem.
It’s interesting how a service that provides reasonable quality for existing customers fails so easily with something as simple as getting a return box to the customer. See, while the cancellation of service was flawless, it took four phone calls and demand for access to the next level of support to finally get my receiver return box at my house. Worse is once the box finally arrives, you have a mere seven days to get the tuner back to the company via USPS or you will be charged for the receiver. The best part is, if something goes wrong with your shipment, chances are excellent DirecTV will try to charge you anyway. It’s disgusting.
The best advice I can offer in light of my own experiences include the following.
Don’t trust that the return box has shipped. Seriously, call with a follow up one week later. If it’s showing as not shipped, demand to speak with a DirecTV Ace representative. Not only will they be based here in the States (unlike its other other reps), but you will find they actually have a clue and can help you get things resolved immediately.
Get a tracking number for the box being shipped to you. Even when dealing with the tier two reps, it’s a good idea to keep your bases covered. Remember, if that box shows as delivered on DirecTV’s end, you have seven days to get the receiver to it — regardless of what actually happened to the box.
Expect to be charged. Unless you somehow have changed your last used credit card that DirecTV has on file, expect that you will be disputing the charge for the receiver despite having it sent back. Either that, or change your credit card info before canceling things. DirecTV will be receptive to fixing the issue only if you had tracking info for the receiver’s return to it. Lose this info and you might have issues.
Support alternative means of content access. Even if it’s more expensive, stop living ten years ago. The cable/satellite industry is cocky and doesn’t have your best interest in mind. Support alternatives so that we can begin to put the pressure on the cable/satellite companies to start taking their businesses a bit more seriously.