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thecoffeeguy
07-13-2010, 10:58 AM
So I have been thinking of going with DirecTV lately. Seems like my cable company (Cox) likes to continually drive the price up on my bill. I've seen it go up and up over the year and I am getting tired of.

I know a lot of people here are DirecTV customers and had some questions.

So I was looking at the choice xtra package.
If I sign up now, my monthly bill is $41.99 for the first three months. This includes, HD DVR as well as startz and showtime free.

After three months, the bill jumps to $65.99. My question is, after these three free months of starz and showtime, which are individually $12.99 a month, can I drop those packages?

I was looking at this particular package because I get a free HD DVR for life, free installation and a good amount of channels. I dont need a crap load of channels as I dont watch that much TV. The DVR is definitely a must though and the cheapest package on their site does not appear to have that (correct me if I am wrong).

So anyone have some feedback and suggestions?

Many thanks.

TCG

OnTheWarpath58
07-13-2010, 11:01 AM
I'd check your agreement as a new customer, but I've always been able to add and drop channels/packages whenever I wanted.

Like next month, I'll be adding Showtime so I can watch Weeds. Then, when the season is over, I cancel.

And you can do it all online, and not bother with calling in and talking to a CSR.

jspchief
07-13-2010, 11:03 AM
Yes, you can drop them.

I believe Total Choice + is their main "basic" package, and will carry all of the channels you get through Cox and then some. They don't really jerk you around on price, and in fact have a pretty well documented history of flexibility in efforts to retain customers.

I don't have many issues with weather, but it does happen.

boogblaster
07-13-2010, 11:04 AM
yea you can change whenever or whatever you want ...

The Bad Guy
07-13-2010, 11:05 AM
Don't they have the offer where you pay for Sunday Ticket and you get the best package free for 5 months?

RJ
07-13-2010, 11:05 AM
Service has been fine, even with the New Mexico winds.

We get like eleventy billion channels and sometimes there's even something worth watching, which I guess is like a bonus.

jspchief
07-13-2010, 11:07 AM
We get like eleventy billion channels....

Of course, 10.999999 billion of them are likely running infomercials but i suppose that falls more on the networks than the provider.

thecoffeeguy
07-13-2010, 11:11 AM
Very cool.

I am getting tired of Cox's crap. I called and tried to get them to lower my bill and they were not interested in hearing it.

I only need one HD-DVR for my house (only one TV) and I get it free.

My current cable bill with Cox is around $76 a month for mediocre service and a crappy DVR.

Ideally, would like to get my bill as cheap as possible.

I did notice after a year of service, the price tag for this package jumps to around $95/month. But if I remove the starz and showtime packages, that would be minus $26, which gets me to $69/month. Cheaper than what I am paying now.

Sounds like they are pretty good at being flexible with their pricing, which is huge for me.

Going to talk to the wife tonight and see what she thinks.

Appreciate the feedback.

Swanman
07-13-2010, 11:49 AM
I recently switched from Directv to Comcast because I moved to a house without a good southern sightline. I was happy overall with the service, although I would routinely lose signal when it rained but I guess I got used to that.

My major complaint with Directv was that when I cancelled my service, they charged me a $140 cancellation fee, even though I had been a customer for nearly 10 years. Basically, any time you add/upgrade/replace a receiver, they lock you into a new 24-month contract and don't really tell you (it's buried deep in the customer agreement that people rarely read). And they are dicks about returning equipment (they give you a whopping 7 days to return boxes after they send you the coffins or they charge some retarded amount per receiver). They are actually currently being sued in 3 states over the cancellation fees.

In a nutshell, I was happy with the product, not happy with the raping you get when you cancel.

DaFace
07-13-2010, 11:53 AM
Don't forget that they have a referral bonus for new subscribers, so before you sign up, get someone's account number and use it. I know one if you need one... :D

http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/referral/referralProgram.jsp

Donger
07-13-2010, 11:56 AM
Unless Sunday Ticket is desired, I would recommend that you look at Dish Network as well.

OnTheWarpath58
07-13-2010, 12:05 PM
Don't forget that they have a referral bonus for new subscribers, so before you sign up, get someone's account number and use it. I know one if you need one... :D

http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/referral/referralProgram.jsp

I know one too.

He's the first guy that responded to the question.

:D

jspchief
07-13-2010, 12:28 PM
I recently switched from Directv to Comcast because I moved to a house without a good southern sightline. I was happy overall with the service, although I would routinely lose signal when it rained but I guess I got used to that.

My major complaint with Directv was that when I cancelled my service, they charged me a $140 cancellation fee, even though I had been a customer for nearly 10 years. Basically, any time you add/upgrade/replace a receiver, they lock you into a new 24-month contract and don't really tell you (it's buried deep in the customer agreement that people rarely read). And they are dicks about returning equipment (they give you a whopping 7 days to return boxes after they send you the coffins or they charge some retarded amount per receiver). They are actually currently being sued in 3 states over the cancellation fees.

In a nutshell, I was happy with the product, not happy with the raping you get when you cancel.They don't "lock you into" shit. You can choose to sign contract, or choose not to. If you want new equipment, and want it cheap, you sign a contract. It's no different from cellular companies. If you don't want to sign any new contracts beyond your initial one, you don't have to. A contract isn't required for service.

shitgoose
07-13-2010, 12:29 PM
I hate directv. Their equipment sucks. I have had 3 HD DVR's crash on me in less than 18 months. Their customer service sucks as well. They reneged on pretty much everything they told me when I signed up. Oh, and every time it rains you get no signal.

Fuck Direct TV. I am canceling as soon as my contract is up.

OnTheWarpath58
07-13-2010, 12:32 PM
I hate directv. Their equipment sucks. I have had 3 HD DVR's crash on me in less than 18 months. Their customer service sucks as well. They reneged on pretty much everything they told me when I signed up. Oh, and every time it rains you get no signal.

Fuck Direct TV. I am canceling as soon as my contract is up.

Interesting, because I've been a customer for just over 10 years, and I've never had new equipment fail - only stuff that was 3+ years old , I've never had an issue with their customer service, matter of fact they've gone out of their way to keep me as a customer - and I've never lost signal unless it was a fucking monsoon outside. Sounds like you got a shitty install to me.

Enjoy cable.

vailpass
07-13-2010, 12:44 PM
Call one of your friends and get their account number, tell DTV they referred you so they get a little referral $ and so do you

http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/referral/referralProgram.jsp

Swanman
07-13-2010, 12:46 PM
They don't "lock you into" shit. You can choose to sign contract, or choose not to. If you want new equipment, and want it cheap, you sign a contract. It's no different from cellular companies. If you don't want to sign any new contracts beyond your initial one, you don't have to. A contract isn't required for service.

Do some research, then get back to me. When I upgraded my hd-dvr to get all the new HD channels, new contract. When I added an HD box to my bedroom, new contract. They have been known to put people into contracts after replacing a defective box (which can be reversed after hours on the phone).

The worst part is, the techs normally don't tell you that you are being put in a contract with the new equipment. It's buried within the "lease addendum" of the customer agreement.

It's just a bad way to do business. And their new policy of making you pay for a box upfront (unless they give credits against it) and then make you pay a lease fee for the box monthly is by far the worst in the industry.

vailpass
07-13-2010, 12:47 PM
Interesting, because I've been a customer for just over 10 years, and I've never had new equipment fail - only stuff that was 3+ years old , I've never had an issue with their customer service, matter of fact they've gone out of their way to keep me as a customer - and I've never lost signal unless it was a ****ing monsoon outside. Sounds like you got a shitty install to me.

Enjoy cable.

Yep, I've been DTV since 2000 and NEVER had an issue not resolved. Pay for the protection program. New HD DVR boxes replaced without a word. We have 8 DTV receivers on 2 dishes and their customer service has always been good. If I ever had an issue they passed me to retention who fixed my issue and gave me free services.

Cable sucks a big fat hog compared to DTV. Enjoy that NFL-free existence.

thecoffeeguy
07-13-2010, 12:52 PM
Unless Sunday Ticket is desired, I would recommend that you look at Dish Network as well.

Hmm, ok.
I have heard some sketchy things about Dish Network, but probably not a bad idea to compare.

jspchief
07-13-2010, 12:54 PM
Do some research, then get back to me. When I upgraded my hd-dvr to get all the new HD channels, new contract. When I added an HD box to my bedroom, new contract. They have been known to put people into contracts after replacing a defective box (which can be reversed after hours on the phone).

The worst part is, the techs normally don't tell you that you are being put in a contract with the new equipment. It's buried within the "lease addendum" of the customer agreement.

It's just a bad way to do business. And their new policy of making you pay for a box upfront (unless they give credits against it) and then make you pay a lease fee for the box monthly is by far the worst in the industry.Do what research? I've had direct TV for 8+ years and only spent the first 2 years under contract. WTF do you think a "customer agreement" is? It's a contract.

If you call them right now and tell them you want service, with no contract, they will provide it to you. You will have to pay for your own equipment. You will have to pay for installation. You won't get any of their shiny new-customer temporary price packages.

That contract is a trade-off for things like cheap/free equipment and installation. It's a guarantee to them that you will be a customer long enough to offset their cost for those things.

Don't blame them for your consumer ignorance.

Swanman
07-13-2010, 12:54 PM
Hmm, ok.
I have heard some sketchy things about Dish Network, but probably not a bad idea to compare.

I am pretty sure Dish will be cheaper. Directv has raised their rates quite a little bit in the last couple years and I read that they had become the most expensive on average. My fiance has dish and it is comparable to Directv in picture quality and channel lineup for the most part. The main determinant for football fans is Sunday Ticket, which Dish obviously doesn't have.

jbwm89
07-13-2010, 12:57 PM
Don't they have the offer where you pay for Sunday Ticket and you get the best package free for 5 months?

They did last fall thats what we did. Unfortunately that is not the HD version of sunday package so its completely useless. you can upgrade for another 10 or 20 I think.

Detoxing
07-13-2010, 01:00 PM
Interesting, because I've been a customer for just over 10 years, and I've never had new equipment fail - only stuff that was 3+ years old , I've never had an issue with their customer service, matter of fact they've gone out of their way to keep me as a customer - and I've never lost signal unless it was a ****ing monsoon outside. Sounds like you got a shitty install to me.

Enjoy cable.

This.

I love DirecTV. Great customer service, good tech support and the DVR is much better than the version i had from Cox. Oh, and I pay less than when i was with cable.

Cox cable sucks major donkey ass. Horrible customer service. They have the worst customer service i have ever experienced in my life. I can't beleive how many times i've gone through there stupid automated system only to have my call dropped. Then when you finally get through, the rep is a fucking moron and they just pass you around until you get dropped again. Infuriating.

I don't think i've talked to a single person who liked Cox cable. If your local cable company is anything like Cox, then Good F'n luck.

thecoffeeguy
07-13-2010, 01:00 PM
I am pretty sure Dish will be cheaper. Directv has raised their rates quite a little bit in the last couple years and I read that they had become the most expensive on average. My fiance has dish and it is comparable to Directv in picture quality and channel lineup for the most part. The main determinant for football fans is Sunday Ticket, which Dish obviously doesn't have.

Just checking out dish network, it appears cheaper.

Quality and service the same?

Swanman
07-13-2010, 01:00 PM
Do what research? I've had direct TV for 8+ years and only spent the first 2 years under contract. WTF do you think a "customer agreement" is? It's a contract.

If you call them right now and tell them you want service, with no contract, they will provide it to you. You will have to pay for your own equipment. You will have to pay for installation. You won't get any of their shiny new-customer temporary price packages.

That contract is a trade-off for things like cheap/free equipment and installation. It's a guarantee to them that you will be a customer long enough to offset their cost for those things.

Don't blame them for your consumer ignorance.

I was a customer for almost 10 years. Since they went to the "leased" receivers, you get put in a new contract everytime you add/upgrade equipment, you don't have a choice. You can't just "buy" equipment anymore. Any new receiver, even if you paid for it, is a "leased" receiver that you pay monthly fees for and have to return when you are done. That's all fine and well (although a shitty business practice compared to Dish or Comcast). I am fine with sticking new customers into contracts, especially with installation and programming deals. But to stick a long-time customer into a new contract every time they sneeze, that's BS and directv is the only tv provider doing that.

petegz28
07-13-2010, 01:02 PM
I have considered DTV off and on for a while now. Sunday, however convinced me to stay with cable. During the storm my Father In Law lost his DTV signal and said it was happening a lot during the storms we had.

My cable never went out once.

Detoxing
07-13-2010, 01:03 PM
Just checking out dish network, it appears cheaper.

Quality and service the same?

Yeah, they are cheaper. But how do they look when you compare similar packages? My mother in law has Dish. I can't say that I like it. But then again, I may just be accustomed to the way DirecTV is formatted. My boss chose Dish over DirecTV because it was cheaper though.

But no NFL Sunday Ticket.

vailpass
07-13-2010, 01:03 PM
I was a customer for almost 10 years. Since they went to the "leased" receivers, you get put in a new contract everytime you add/upgrade equipment, you don't have a choice. You can't just "buy" equipment anymore. Any new receiver, even if you paid for it, is a "leased" receiver that you pay monthly fees for and have to return when you are done. That's all fine and well (although a shitty business practice compared to Dish or Comcast). I am fine with sticking new customers into contracts, especially with installation and programming deals. But to stick a long-time customer into a new contract every time they sneeze, that's BS and directv is the only tv provider doing that.

Dish and Comcast offer a vastly inferior product to DTV. So you have a contract? BFD. Do you have a cell phone?

Detoxing
07-13-2010, 01:06 PM
I have considered DTV off and on for a while now. Sunday, however convinced me to stay with cable. During the storm my Father In Law lost his DTV signal and said it was happening a lot during the storms we had.

My cable never went out once.

I guess it would depend on where you live. I've never had a problem with signal. then again, we don't really get storms out here in SoCal.

Swanman
07-13-2010, 01:06 PM
Just checking out dish network, it appears cheaper.

Quality and service the same?

From what I have seen, yes. Directv obviously has Sunday Ticket which is an advantage but other than that, I don't see a big difference. There may be a handful of channels that one has that the other doesn't, and Directv has more HD channels overall, but all providers are about equal in that regard at this point. The picture quality was a push between DTV and Dish.

From my other posts, it's obvious I am not a fan of Directv at the moment due to some equipment/cancellation fee practices but I was happy with the service when I had it.

Detoxing
07-13-2010, 01:08 PM
From what I have seen, yes. Directv obviously has Sunday Ticket which is an advantage but other than that, I don't see a big difference. There may be a handful of channels that one has that the other doesn't, and Directv has more HD channels overall, but all providers are about equal in that regard at this point. The picture quality was a push between DTV and Dish.

From my other posts, it's obvious I am not a fan of Directv at the moment due to some equipment/cancellation fee practices but I was happy with the service when I had it.

But I wonder how the customer service and support is with Dish vs. DTV? I know the DVR for DTV is a helluva lot better IMO.

Swanman
07-13-2010, 01:14 PM
Dish and Comcast offer a vastly inferior product to DTV. So you have a contract? BFD. Do you have a cell phone?

Vastly inferior - not really.

From my month on Comcast so far, here are my observations:

Picture quality: push
Channel lineup: slight advantage to DTV but only by a hair
Equipment: haven't had to reset my Comcast DVR once, had to reset the POS DTV dvr once every couple weeks minimum
HD channels: I believe DTV has more overall, but Comcast offers basically every movie channel in HD, where DTV only offers a handful (especially with the HBOs)
Price: with the phone/internet/tv bundle, much cheaper overall than i was paying with my DTV/AT&T/Uverse combo. Comcast has the advantage of being able to offer those kinds of bundles.
On Demand - DTV doesn't really have it (having to download programs is not On Demand) and I am loving it with Comcast, especially with the movie channels.

Overall, will I miss Directv when NFL season rolls around? Absolutely. But I am happy overall with Comcast so far and in no way is it "vastly inferior". Maybe a couple years ago, but they have upped their game recently.

vailpass
07-13-2010, 01:15 PM
But I wonder how the customer service and support is with Dish vs. DTV? I know the DVR for DTV is a helluva lot better IMO.

Sister in law has Dish. Their HD DVR equipment is lame. So is their programming guide. No NFL. No BigTenNetwork. No Sprouts and a couple other channels my kids can watch.
Dish seems like the generic version of Sat TV.

Swanman
07-13-2010, 01:16 PM
But I wonder how the customer service and support is with Dish vs. DTV? I know the DVR for DTV is a helluva lot better IMO.

Anything that isn't Tivo kinda sucks a penis, in my opinion. With that said, DTV's DVR interface is a bit better. Dish's is unnecessarily convoluted and not intuitive at all. The actual hardware is comparable to DTV.

Swanman
07-13-2010, 01:20 PM
Sister in law has Dish. Their HD DVR equipment is lame. So is their programming guide. No NFL. No BigTenNetwork. No Sprouts and a couple other channels my kids can watch.
Dish seems like the generic version of Sat TV.

If you go one level up from their most basic package, you get NFL, Big 10 and the kids networks (in HD too I believe).

Chief Henry
07-13-2010, 01:23 PM
I've had Direct TV since 1993 (if i remember accurately) and I love it. The DVR is great. We use it all the time.

I'm thinking of not renewing my Sunday ticket. The Chiefs are just not that important as they use to be to me. At least it seams that way. Maybe if they start winning I might have a change of heart.

Detoxing
07-13-2010, 01:24 PM
Sister in law has Dish. Their HD DVR equipment is lame. So is their programming guide. No NFL. No BigTenNetwork. No Sprouts and a couple other channels my kids can watch.
Dish seems like the generic version of Sat TV.

I noticed that as well. I think they make you pay extra for that with Dish. Here is a comparison between channel packages.

http://www.dishcomparison.com/compare-direct-tv-dish-network.php

Like you said, Dish felt like a generic version of DTV. It really did.

BigMeatballDave
07-13-2010, 01:50 PM
Sister in law has Dish. Their HD DVR equipment is lame. So is their programming guide. No NFL. No BigTenNetwork. No Sprouts and a couple other channels my kids can watch.
Dish seems like the generic version of Sat TV.I had Dish a few yrs ago. I was fine with their HD-DVR. The reason I dumped them was due to the fact that they couldnt offer me local programming in HD.

vailpass
07-13-2010, 01:57 PM
Vastly inferior - not really.

From my month on Comcast so far, here are my observations:

Picture quality: push
Channel lineup: slight advantage to DTV but only by a hair
Equipment: haven't had to reset my Comcast DVR once, had to reset the POS DTV dvr once every couple weeks minimum
DTV HDDVR performs flawlessly

HD channels: I believe DTV has more overall, but Comcast offers basically every movie channel in HD, where DTV only offers a handful (especially with the HBOs) DTV has more HD than anyone

Price: with the phone/internet/tv bundle, much cheaper overall than i was paying with my DTV/AT&T/Uverse combo. Comcast has the advantage of being able to offer those kinds of bundles. I'd rather pay a little more for quality

On Demand - DTV doesn't really have it (having to download programs is not On Demand) and I am loving it with Comcast, especially with the movie channels. ?? You don't download On Demand from DTV, you order via internet, phone or on screen and it plays. Or you can order from NetFlix or Blockbuster or VuDu.

Overall, will I miss Directv when NFL season rolls around? Absolutely.
A provider that can't give me NFL is not a provider

But I am happy overall with Comcast so far and in no way is it "vastly inferior". Maybe a couple years ago, but they have upped their game recently.

Glad you are happy with them. It appears we have both found the provider that is right for us.

DaFace
07-13-2010, 03:09 PM
Vastly inferior - not really.

From my month on Comcast so far, here are my observations:

Picture quality: push
Channel lineup: slight advantage to DTV but only by a hair
Equipment: haven't had to reset my Comcast DVR once, had to reset the POS DTV dvr once every couple weeks minimum
HD channels: I believe DTV has more overall, but Comcast offers basically every movie channel in HD, where DTV only offers a handful (especially with the HBOs)
Price: with the phone/internet/tv bundle, much cheaper overall than i was paying with my DTV/AT&T/Uverse combo. Comcast has the advantage of being able to offer those kinds of bundles.
On Demand - DTV doesn't really have it (having to download programs is not On Demand) and I am loving it with Comcast, especially with the movie channels.

Overall, will I miss Directv when NFL season rolls around? Absolutely. But I am happy overall with Comcast so far and in no way is it "vastly inferior". Maybe a couple years ago, but they have upped their game recently.

DirecTV's On Demand works great for me. You can usually start watching a video only a few seconds after you add it to you queue.

vailpass
07-13-2010, 03:13 PM
If you go one level up from their most basic package, you get NFL, Big 10 and the kids networks (in HD too I believe).

Sunday Ticket?

Donger
07-13-2010, 03:16 PM
Sister in law has Dish. Their HD DVR equipment is lame. So is their programming guide. No NFL. No BigTenNetwork. No Sprouts and a couple other channels my kids can watch.
Dish seems like the generic version of Sat TV.

No NFL, as in NFL Network? If so, I have that. My kids have their own menu with all their crap on it (Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, etc.).

thecoffeeguy
07-13-2010, 03:39 PM
No NFL, as in NFL Network? If so, I have that. My kids have their own menu with all their crap on it (Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, etc.).

So you have dish network?do you like it? Drawbacks?

Donger
07-13-2010, 03:41 PM
So you have dish network?do you like it? Drawbacks?

Yes, I do. Hardware is solid (the 722 HD-DVR) and the firmware is decent. I've been a customer for 12 years.

The only drawback is that there is no Sunday Ticket and that a lot of snow (and sometimes extremely heavy rain) will interrupt signal.

vailpass
07-13-2010, 03:43 PM
No NFL, as in NFL Network? If so, I have that. My kids have their own menu with all their crap on it (Disney Channel, Cartoon Network, etc.).

Sunday ticket is a deal breaker for me. I'd switch to Cox frigging cable if that was the only place that had the ticket.
On second thought I'd still keep DTV, just add Cox for the football season.

Swanman
07-13-2010, 03:52 PM
Yes, I do. Hardware is solid (the 722 HD-DVR) and the firmware is decent. I've been a customer for 12 years.

The only drawback is that there is no Sunday Ticket and that a lot of snow (and sometimes extremely heavy rain) will interrupt signal.

My Directv would go out during really heavy rain (not so much with snow unless the dish iced up). But it would also go out when the storm was about a half hour away, like the signal couldn't get through the mass of storm system clouds. It was weird.

Donger
07-13-2010, 03:56 PM
My Directv would go out during really heavy rain (not so much with snow unless the dish iced up). But it would also go out when the storm was about a half hour away, like the signal couldn't get through the mass of storm system clouds. It was weird.

It depends on what satellite the programming you are watching. The RF energy is really pretty weak (coming all the way from space and all) and line of sight is REQUIRED.

Toadkiller
07-13-2010, 04:20 PM
http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?sduid=642887&t=2124950

Awesome deal right now on Direct tv, DirecTV, BEST OFFERS EVER! Must order by 7/14. $350 gift card from Best Buy. HD free for Life. $500 in monthly credits! $100 in referral credits!

Detoxing
07-13-2010, 04:40 PM
http://slickdeals.net/forums/showthread.php?sduid=642887&t=2124950

Awesome deal right now on Direct tv, DirecTV, BEST OFFERS EVER! Must order by 7/14. $350 gift card from Best Buy. HD free for Life. $500 in monthly credits! $100 in referral credits!

I hate reading new promotions.