The “sucking” sound of DirecTV customer support

So if you read my previous post, you are no doubt aware that I had to change from a DirecTV HR10-250 unit to a H20 (non-DVR). I’m finding life without a DVR to be extremely painful. It sure would be nice if the HR20 unit was available outside of the LA area by now, but the good news is that I have been told I will be able to upgrade for only $20 (data verified at both Best Buy and DirecTV Tier 2 support).

What I didn’t share before was the experience I had with their customer support department. First off – Tier 1 was a joke. When I called in to activate the H20, the woman I spoke with told me to move my existing access card to the new unit. That resulted in an “invalid access card” error message which persisted through several power cycles and reboots. She finally moved me to Tier 2. I got a guy who was clearly more intelligent. He explained that older cards often do not work well in newer systems, and that the best option was to activate the card that came with the H20 and migrate my subscription services. So we did. And all seemed well with the world. I was fairly happy when I got off the phone.

Then today I decided it was time to watch some Sunday afternoon baseball. I changed over to my MLB package channels only to be told that I did not subscribe to these channels. Seems the guy at Tier 2 support forgot to put my MLB package back on. So round 2 of customer support begins.

I called in again to Tier 1. No surprise – after wasting about 10 minutes of my time, she tells me she can’t solve my problem. She assures me that Tier 2 will be able to help me. Before she transfers my call, two things happen. First she tells me that there is no email address on file for my account. Interesting – since they email me my account statement every month. Secondly, she tells me she is typing up the notes about my call so that Tier 2 will know “exactly what I am calling about.” I hear her keyboard clicking for about 45 seconds, and then she transfers my call.

Now Tier 2, again, is able to resolve my call. But the woman that answered had no idea who I was or why I was calling. I called her out on it and asked why she didn’t get the information from the Tier 1 rep. Her response was, “we don’t do warm call transfers here between support levels.” When I explained that the call notes were typed up – she ignored it as if I had not said it.

My next support call is no doubt going to be one asking for customer retention. These people were pretty good – right up until the time I had to start speaking with them. So if anyone in senior management for DirecTV reads this, you should dissolve your entire Tier 1 support organization. They are doing absolutely nothing but costing you money.

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