American by birth, Southern by the grace of God.
Louis Grizzard, a great American
It's choice ~ not chance ~ that determines your destiny.
Jean Nidetch

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

~ Direct TV - What a pain! ~

I'm sorry but I just don't understand this satellite thing. And I'm not real sure that anybody really understands it.
Okay, here's the deal. We were in the Atlanta area (our home area) when we first got the dish and receiver from Direct TV. We were actually at Red Top Mountain State Park near Acworth, GA. That being the case, we were able to get the local Atlanta stations on our account and the address at the park became our location address. Apparently, Atlanta allows the local stations to be broadcast over the satellite. (And the location address is a big deal when you call customer service). When we moved to various locations in Georgia as well as Chipley, Florida, where we are now and have been several times this past year, the Direct TV service worked fine and we received the Atlanta local channels fine. We're very happy because, from what we have been told, the local Florida stations do not allow the satellite to broadcast their local channels - that makes no sense to me. I was told the same thing by customer service when I called from Florida.

Here we are set up at Marilyn's in Chipley, Florida.

Now comes the new camper and we are now located in Chipley, Florida for the next few weeks. There are all types of cables and connections inside the walls but all we are able to pick up is the local Panama City stations when we have the Direct TV receiver turned off. This is how it should be because we have an "air" antenna with a 'booster' for locals. But, we are not able to get the Direct TV satellite channels. We do not know how to correctly hook up our receiver.
I make the dreaded call to Direct TV. I try to explain the situation as best I can but most of those people have no idea how to deal with an RV account. Yes....our location is listed as Winston, Ga. but no.....we are not in Winston, Ga. We are in Chipley, Fla. "Well.....we will have to first change your location address to Chipley, Ga." No! Don't do that because then we will lose our Atlanta local channels. " shouldn't be getting Atlanta local channels in Florida. You will only get them when you are at your location address in Winston, Ga." No...we have been in Florida many times over the past year and still received the Atlanta local channels. " shouldn't have because your location is not Florida."

Finally I was able to speak to someone (a supervisor) who somewhat understood. He would send out the service man to our location in Chipley, Florida, and when they complete the installation have them call back to the 800 number and our location address could be changed back to Winston, Georgia. Okay....sounds like a plan.

Here's our two service guys......excellent knowledge of RV set ups!

To make a really long story not quite so long, the service guys came out and they actually knew what they were doing and they did an excellent job of not only listening but also explaining what was going on. Something about the cable that was run in the camper was for actual cable service and not satellite service and apparently there is a difference. They ran new cable from the dish and also connected the antenna so that we are still able to get the local channels from wherever we are by using the roof 'air' antenna (only problem with that is our TV is not HD so we would need one of those converter boxes to get the local channels after February 2009...that is, with the satellite box turned off) and I don't know how to hook one of those converters to the antenna cable because there is a splitter inside the wall where I believe that would need to be connected. The service guys had to reach their hands down inside the wall in the TV cabinet area to get to the splitter. Oh whatever....we may not see the local channels where we are traveling after February 2009. We'll still have the Atlanta local channels on the satellite, unless we are out of range?? That's another thing...I've been told we will not receive the Atlanta channels if we are over 200 miles from the origin of the signal (Atlanta) but we are 280 miles away now and they still come in.

The only other problem so far was that evening about 7:00 we were watching Dancing with the Star on ABC on the Atlanta channel on the satellite when all the Atlanta channels went off. The satellite channels above 100 were all still on but not channel 2 through 69. The message on the screen said "Authorization Expired. Call Customer Service." I made the call and after about 35 minutes of explaining what was going on I was transferred to a supervior who knew exactly what to do. He resent the signal to our receiver and, voila!, it immediately came back on. He had no explanation as to what happened and said he couldn't guaruntee that it wouldn't happen again.

After everything we went through getting Direct TV installed in our motorhome last year and now all of this.....I still am happy with Direct TV and their service....IF you can get to the right person on the phone and IF you get good service people who come out then all will work out eventually.

Footnote: Gas in Florida panhandle $2.99 & Winston, Georgia $2.99!! WoooHooo!!


Karen said...

We switched from Direct to DishNetwork because Direct TV was so customer unfriendly. I hated to have to call them for anything.

Susan said...

Karen, for the past year that we have had Direct TV we have been very pleased with it. Their customer service agents could use some additional training but if you get to the right person....well, 'knock on wood'. We're happy for now.

ITJunction Blog said...

Direct TV sucks. I just hung up with them. And they are absolutely ridiculous. We seems to frequently get the 771 searching for signal. And they want 79.95 to send someone out to fix THEIR service. They have the worst customer service I have seen just about anywhere.
highly frustrated in Vancouver, Washington

Susan said...

Vancouver, I feel your pain!