Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Death of the DVR*

We are joining this phone call currently in progress...

DirecTV Guy: "So, you're saying this problem was not resolved with prior phone calls, and you're calling back to resolve the problem."

Me: "No, it's not about the other phone calls. We had other problems, but you guys weren't able to fix those without us losing all our recorded shows. Now the DVR died, and all our shows are lost anyway."

DirecTV Guy: "So this is a new problem that we need to take care of?"

Me: "Well, the receiver has had problems, but it's never done THIS before. It's been a nightmare from the start, but we didn't want to lose all our recorded shows. It was 90% FULL and now it's all GONE! Just GONE! So, you might as well replace it."

DirecTV Guy: "Okay, so I can put in the order for a new receiver. It will be about 3 to 5 business days, and we'll charge your account $19.99."

Me: "What? Our receiver quit working and you're going to charge US to replace it?"

DirecTV Guy: "Well, no. The receiver is covered. We have to charge you shipping and handling."

Me: "But it was fine, and now it stopped working. And you're going to charge ME?"

DirecTV Guy: "The $19.99 is a shipping charge and a handling charge, ma'am."

Me: "But that just seems silly that WE have to pay the shipping and handling when YOUR receiver quit working. When I called before about the other problems, I was told to call back when we had watched the recorded shows and you guys would replace the receiver. No problem. No one said we'd have to PAY for it!"

DirecTV Guy: "So, that will be $19.99 charged to your account. Should I place the order?"

Me: "WAIT! No. Can't we just reformat THIS one? I mean, it's lame and it's always given us problems, but tomorrow is THURSday. And we HAVE to have it. Wait. That sounds awful. I'm so concerned about having my DVR working for tomorrow when there are starving children in Africa. I mean, in the grand scope of things, I guess it's not... but can't we just reformat THIS one?"

DirecTV Guy: "Umm, yes. We can try that. I'm going to talk you through some steps here. Press the red reset button. Now hold down the record button and the down arrow for ten seconds. The screen will flash a message. Now let go. Now put one hand on top of your head while the other waves wildly at your side. Now get a really worried look on your face. Okay. Good. What does the screen say? Alright. It should come up with a message that says it's reformatting. Okay. Now it's going to have a message that says you're really ridiculous for stressing over such a minor thing when there are starving children in Africa. Has that come up yet? Okay. Good. Are you still waving your hand by your side? Alright. Now stick one finger up your nose, wait about two hours, and the receiver should be reformatted."

Me: "Okay."

DirecTV Guy: "So, let's recap what we've done here today. You called in about an existing problem with your receiver and we've taken steps to reformat the reciever...

Me: "Wait! Oh, no. The screen said formatting error and went blank. Now it's trying to power up again."

DirecTV Guy: "Uh..."

Me: "Should I press restart and go through the steps again?"

DirecTV Guy: "Umm, yes. Yes."

Me: "Okay. Done. It says it's reformatting again, that it will take a little over two hours and... wait. It's blank. Now it's trying to power up again.

DirecTV Guy: "Ma'am, I'm sorry. Your only option is to order another receiver."

Me: "Weren't you guys going back to the TiVo receivers? You used to have TiVo ones, and nothing ever went wrong with THEM. We never had a problem. Then you switched to your own brand, and they've never worked right. When are you going back to TiVo? Do you have those now?"

DirecTV Guy: "No, not yet. We are switching back, but not until 2009. And I'm not sure if it will be in January or later in the year."

Me: "Well, will I have to pay to get a TiVo one when you DO come back out with them?"

DirecTV Guy: "Ma'am, I'm really not sure. I don't want to say yes, and then you don't, or no, and then you do. I really don't know when we'll be switching to TiVo. Do you want me to put in that order for you, then?"

Me: "But it's twenty dollars!!! And the receiver just stopped working! Why do I have to pay for that? Is there some sort of plan you're supposed to get so you don't have to pay for it?"

DirecTV Guy: "Yes, actually, there is. I can enroll you today in our protection plan and that fee will be covered for you."

Me: "How much is that?"

DirecTV Guy: "It's only $5.99 per month."

Me: "So, I've been a customer since 2003. That's five years. Six dollars a month for a year is 72 dollars a year. Multiply that by five. You're saying I should have paid all that just to cover a $20 shipping and handling fee?"

DirecTV Guy: "Well, ma'am, it also comes with some other great services, such as free service visits, unlimited dish realignments..."

Me: "But, in five years we haven't EVER needed any of that, so I would be paying all that money just to cover this $20 fee? That's ridiculous. We've been with you since 2003, now our receiver quits, and you're telling me that I'M the one who's going to pay. We've always had great service with DirecTV... well... no, that's not true. 60% of the time we've had great service, and now this happens."

DirecTV Guy: "Ma'am if it would make things easier for you, I could see if I could add on three free months of Showtime programming. That would more than defray the shipping cost of the new receiver."

Me: ****pause**** "Okay."

*Some of the script may have been altered in consideration of the length of this blog post. Let it be known that the author would not stick her finger up her nose for two hours... unless the right monetary sum was agreed upon and paid in advance.
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Jeremy said...

I'm surprised you didn't ask how much three months of showtime would could have probably worked out another couple of months for free.

Lalena said...

My tummy hurts from laughing!

MomOfDudes said...

Did he have an Indian accent and his name was Dave?

Angela said...

Jerm... I totally should have. Funny. Nate said the same thing. I also should have asked for HBO.

Troy... No and no. Something tells me you have had this same experience. =^)

Thany said...

I'd stick my finger up my nose for HBO...but not Showtime.

Mandi! said...

That was hilarious! Love the new background music, too:)