I mentioned previously, about how last Saturday I was waiting for the DirecTV installation guy and he never showed up. Here's the full story.
I have had DirecTV for over 5 years now. I love the service. It makes cable TV look absolutely pathetic in comparison. I started off with a single Tivo DirecTV receiver in my living room. This was running off of two cables going into the wall. Why does it need two cables? Because the Tivo has two tuners in it. Each tuner requires a separate signal from the satellite to work. The two tuners are handy because you can watch one program while recording another. You can also use them to record two different shows at the same time. After a while I decided to add DirecTV to my bedroom so I went out and bought a second Tivo receiver. I put that in the bedroom and had a second pair of plugs installed into the bedroom for that receiver. Last year, my original Tivo finally died after 5 years of service so I had to get rid of it in favor of a new DirecTV DVR, which I also wrote about here and here. Now, if you read that article you know I hated that damn DirecTV DVR. I still have it and I still use it though. It was the only option since DirecTV doesn't make the Tivo DVRs anymore. The DirecTV DVR has gotten better over time, but I still think it pales in comparison to the Tivo.
So now have four cables running off the satellite into plugs in various rooms in my house. Now the satellite dish on my roof really only supports two cables, not four. The way I have four cables running is that when I had the second pair of cables installed, the installer also installed a four way splitter in the attic, in order to allow the four cables to work. This means that I have now maxed out that four way splitter in the attic.
About a month or so ago, I finally decided to get off my butt and get DirecTV installed in my home office. That way I can finally watch DirecTV on all my TVs. As it is now, I have DirecTV running the TV in the living room and in the bedroom. The TV in the home office is actually running off of basic cable! For the last five years, I've been paying $15/month for basic cable (about 13 measly channels) and really not even using it. It certainly isn't worth $15/month for 13 measly channels when I can just have DirecTV installed and pay an additional $5/month and have several hundred channels, all with a perfect picture. I have been wasting money on cable TV for over 5 years now! Time to solve that problem.
Over a month ago, I called DirecTV to schedule a time for them to come out and install the new plugs in the wall of my home office. At the time I was thinking that I would have them put two more plugs in the home office and maybe two more plugs in the wall of the empty bedroom. I have an old, simple DirecTV receiver that I was going to use in the home office. It's a simple, single cable receiver that doesn't have any DVR functionality, so I really don't need two plugs in the wall, but I figured I would have both plugs installed in case I decided to add a DVR there later. I also really didn't need the two plugs in the empty bedroom, since I don't use that room at all, but I figured I'd do it for completion sake. That way I had DirecTV literally in any room in the house. I wouldn't have to worry about installation ever again. Now, if I'm going to have four more plugs put into the walls, that means that I need a new splitter box in the attic. Since it's already maxed out at four connections and I'm adding four more connections, that means I need an eight way splitter in the attic.
I called DirecTV, told them in detail, very clearly what I wanted - four more plugs in the wall, including an eight way splitter upgrade in the attic. They took all this information down and passed it on to Mastec - the company that they contract out to do the installations. I made the appointment for a Saturday afternoon at the beginning of September. I was told that the installer would show up between 1 and 5 PM. I wasn't happy about wasting my entire Saturday trapped in the house, but I sat around and waited for the guy. Now the weather that day was terrible. It poured rain the entire day. A couple of hours into the waiting, the installer called me to verify what needed to be done on the installation. I told him again what I had told DirecTV. I needed 4 plugs in the walls and an eight way splitter in the attic. He told me that they never told him about the 8 way splitter and that he didn't have one with him to do the installation. I asked him if he could just stop by the office and pick up the splitter and then come by and install it. He said that he couldn't because the office was already closed for the day. He said that he would stop by the office the following morning, pick up the splitter and give me a call to arrange coming by the next day to do the installation. I wasn't happy about the fact that he couldn't do the installation today because they didn't give him the right information, but at least he was considerate enough to call me and tell me he couldn't come and to reschedule for the next day, so I agreed. The next day came around and he never called or showed up.
I was angry about wasting my time that weekend waiting for the guy so I just didn't bother to call back to reschedule. A week or so later, I came home to find a message on my answering machine. The message was calling to confirm my new installation date on the following Thursday. I was very surprised by this since I never scheduled an installation for that date. I never rescheduled the installation at all! I would never schedule an installation for a weekday because I can't take an entire afternoon off from work to sit around waiting for the guy to show up. It has to be on a weekend. How dare these people reschedule the appointment for a new date and time without even asking me! I knew nothing about this appointment and obviously I wouldn't be home on that date for the installation. The installer would be wasting his time coming by my house to find me not home. I was later to find out that apparently it's their policy to reschedule the appointment for the next available date, if they can't do the install on the date originally scheduled. The excuse they used for rescheduling was 'inclement weather'. Granted the weather was pretty bad that day, but this was an outright lie to cover their asses. They were not prepared for the installation. That's why it didn't happen. Weather had nothing to do with it. Of course it's pretty damn useless to schedule something without notifying the person you are scheduling it with! In response to this, I called them back to notify them that I couldn't make the installation that date and that I was very upset that they would reschedule something without notifying them. Of course they apologized and offered to reschedule for a better date. I agreed. I told them again in detail what I needed - 4 more plugs in the walls and an eight way splitter. I made damn sure that they were clear on this, and put all that in the installation request. They assured me it was. The next available Saturday installation date was September 30th between 8AM and 5PM. This was several weeks away. I reluctantly agreed. It's now been almost a month since I started this process with no luck. Anyway, the appointment was set and I waited for September 30 to roll around.
September 30th (this past Saturday) finally arrived. I was up at 8AM. I waited and waited and waited. 12PM passed. 12:30PM passed. No calls. No knocks on the door. Nothing. I had called the night before to verify that it was scheduled for that morning and they assured me it was. Finally at 12:30 I called them to find out where the guy was. It was already 30 minutes past the end of the deadline for him to show up, and I had not received any contact at all. I called the local office and explained the problem and that I was very angry that they had stood me up twice (three times if you count the verbal promise to do the installation the next day). I wanted them to contact the installer to find out where he was and when, if at all, he was coming. They put me on hold and called the installer. They returned a few minutes later to tell me that they couldn't find the installer's cell phone number, so they couldn't contact him. I then asked for them to call the installers supervisor and find out what was going on. They put me on hold again and called him. They came back a few minutes later and told me that they called the supervisor but he didn't answer his phone. They said they left him a message. I'm getting nowhere. In frustration I thanked them and hung up.
Now, I'm not going to sit around my entire day and wait for the guy that clearly isn't going to show up, so I gave up on him and left to run some errands. I was gone for most of the afternoon. I didn't get back until around 4:30PM. I came home to find a message on my answering machine asking me to call them back to reschedule my installation appointment. This message was left at 2:30PM, a full 2 1/2 hours AFTER the end of their installation window! Of course they never left any explanation for why the installation was never done or any apologies. By now, I'm VERY angry. I called them back to try to find out what the hell was going on. After calling the national office of Mastec and waiting on hold for a good 10 minutes, I was told that I would have to call the local office to find out what happened. So I hung up again and called the local number. After a good 15 minutes MORE of waiting on hold there, I never got any response. I finally gave up on them and hung up. I figured that I would just call on Monday from work and find out what happened.
Monday came and I went to work. Naturally, I got busy with stuff at work and forgot to call. The same happened the entire rest of the week until today - Friday. I finally called them back today to find out what happened. Once again I called the national number. 10 minutes on hold with no answer so I gave up and called the local number. Another 10 minutes on hold with no response. By now I've completely given up on Mastec. I call DirecTV and tell them the whole sorrid story and say that I want to reschedule the appointment but I will NOT work with Mastec. They have already screwed me three times and I won't deal with them again. The DirecTV customer service lady apologies for the problem, but tells me that my only options are either to deal with Mastec or find my own installer and submit the bill to DirecTV for reimbursement. Naturally, I am very skeptical that DirecTV would ever reimburse me for that. Plus, I don't know anyone who could do the job, so that leaves me with the damn Mastec. She checks with them and finds that they had rescheduled me again without telling me for the middle of next week. I am so pissed at this point that I can barely speak. I did my best to not yell at the DirecTV girl. It wasn't her fault. She puts me on hold to talk to her supervisor about what they can do to help me. She comes back and offers to reschedule with Mastec for next Saturday between 1pm and 5pm. This makes my FOURTH attempt at getting this damn installation done. I explained again (for the THIRD time) what I wanted done, in detail and made sure she entered it on the installation request. I also asked that she call Mastec directly and make sure they would do the installation this time. She puts me on hold and calls them. She comes back a few minutes later and says she couldn't get through to them either! Unbelievable. She did do one nice thing, though to apologize. She said she would credit my bill $10/month for each of the next 12 months to compensate me for all my trouble. Not bad, I just saved $120! That did make me feel better. I also asked her to put on the installation order to have the MANAGER at Mastec call me on my cell phone when they get the message. I want an explanation and I clearly get through to these idiots. Somehow I doubt I'll get that phone call.
So anyway, the great installation disaster continues. Let's hope something actually happens next Saturday for a change. I am about at my wits end here.