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The 7 - Movies & TV - Direct TV vs Comcast
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wmatistic
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#21 Posted on 4.12.04 1116.58
Reposted on: 4.12.11 1117.04
A few notes:

1)Of course satellite customer service is more reliable, they don't have to DO anything. They don't have to have local offices, they don't have to run fiber lines throughout the town and maintain them every time some yahoo runs into a pole or digs in the wrong place. They have a million more things to deal with so you're going to see a lot more flaws in their customer service. This is also why satellite charges an arm and a leg if they need to actually come out to your house.

2)Satellite is a fine option in my view for those that can't get cable. Nothing wrong with it. But it can't now and never will be able to compete with cable in the long run for one main reason. Two way communication. Satellite just can't do it. Well they can, but only by uploading through your phone line. Cable can which means interactive tv, or the merging of tv and internet, which we can all see coming, can't happen with satellite.

So whether you like the local cable company or not, they can now provide way more services than satellite and that gap is only going to get wider in time.
bash91
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#22 Posted on 4.12.04 1327.28
Reposted on: 4.12.11 1327.38
    Originally posted by wmatistic
    1)Of course satellite customer service is more reliable, they don't have to DO anything. They don't have to have local offices, they don't have to run fiber lines throughout the town and maintain them every time some yahoo runs into a pole or digs in the wrong place. They have a million more things to deal with so you're going to see a lot more flaws in their customer service.This is also why satellite charges an arm and a leg if they need to actually come out to your house.

Actually, my experience is the exact opposite. Not only is DirecTV's service better, it's also substantially cheaper. Our last service call, which came about because of the idiots running the cable service that the previous owners of our house had, cost us a grand total of 5 dollars. On the other hand, when we lived in an apartment it cost us 50 dollars for the cable company to set foot in our apartment and we were then charged labor on top of the service call fee to correct their error. Additionally, just because they, cable providers, allegedly have to do more doesn't excuse the fact that most cable customer service, in my experience with 8 different cable companies in 5 different communities, is absolutely abysmal.
    Originally posted by wmtastic
    2)Satellite is a fine option in my view for those that can't get cable. Nothing wrong with it. But it can't now and never will be able to compete with cable in the long run for one main reason. Two way communication. Satellite just can't do it. Well they can, but only by uploading through your phone line. Cable can which means interactive tv, or the merging of tv and internet, which we can all see coming, can't happen with satellite.


Obviously, given that the subscriber base for satellite keeps growing and those who have it generally express satisfaction with it, satellite can compete with cable. I'll gladly sacrifice some features in order to receive superior service. It doesn't matter how good the product is supposed to be or how many neat features it has if the service supporting it is inferior and/or actively bad. While using the phone line to upload isn't as fast as cable or fiber optic, I can still get PPV and moderately interactive television while still getting massively superior service. I'll gladly make that trade.

    Originally posted by wmtastic
    So whether you like the local cable company or not, they can now provide way more services than satellite and that gap is only going to get wider in time.


The key word in that statement is can. It may be that they can, but that doesn't mean that they do or will. Case in point, when we bought our house 3 years ago, we were assured that there would be digital cable and cable modems here within the next 6 months. 36 months later, the local cable provider, based 120 miles away in a different state, is now saying that those types of service MIGHT be available by the end of 2005. What that means is that I can have substantially more channels, PPV capability, digital music, NFL Sunday Ticket and Fox Sportsnet, and better service and reliability for less money than analog cable with no PPV capability, lousy service, poor reliability, and a history of not keeping their promises. Plus, DirecTV now offers limited HD service for both national and local channels while that service is only a pipe dream for our cable provider. Yup, cable can definitely provide more services for me than satellite.

Tim
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#23 Posted on 4.12.04 1548.08
Reposted on: 4.12.11 1551.13
With DirecTV, you can choose an option where you pay an extra $4.99 per month to have unlimited free in-home service calls for absolutely anything. This might seem like an arm and leg, but my DirecTV bill is still $20 less than the comparable digital cable package. In fact, I've had digital cable with Comcast, Cox and Time Warner in Sarasota, Gainesville and Tampa respectively, and my DirecTV package is by far the cheapest I've ever paid for TV. Put it this way: technically, that $5 I spend for free service calls has cost me $60 in the last year. I don't really care about that, because not getting digital cable has saved me $240 this year.

I'll also second the comments on service. This is the best service I've ever gotten. I never wait more than a minute to talk to someone, and everyone has been polite and helpful. Both of my remotes started acting screwy, and I called them to say, "Hey, these things are nuts!" After I explained the problem to one of the tech guys, we spent about 5 minutes trying to reprogram the remotes before he said, "Screw it. If that didn't fix it, those things are busted. We're sending you two new ones." I asked him if I needed to send the old ones back, when I got the new ones, and he said, "Why? They're broken. Get rid of them." I had my new remotes in 2 days.

Yeah, if I had cable, I could have driven down to the offices and picked up new remotes the next business day. But I'm lazy; I don't want to have to drive. (And I'm not so lazy that changing the channel on the box itself is an impossibility.) And in my cable experience, if I'd called them and said that my remotes were busted, they wouldn't have said, "Just come down to the office and pick up two new ones." They would have said, "You need to spend $20 for a technician to come to your home, spend less than three minutes fiddling with them, then look at you and say, 'Yeah, you're right, man. These things are busted.' Oh, and even though he'll have a box full of about 40 remotes in his van, he can't give them to you. We'll either need to schedule another service call for your remotes to be 'installed,' or you can come down to the offices and pick up two new remotes. But you will need to take a blood test. And if you want the whole thing to be 'sterile' -- whatever that means -- you'll have to bring you're own rubbing alcohol, because that's something we include only in the Premium Package, and I see you're only a CablePLUS member."

Plus -- and I don't know how much of a bonus this is to other people -- talking to your DirecTV customer service employee may be the basis for a wrestling column:
http://www.onlineonslaught.com/columns/lund/20040318.shtml


    Originally posted by Tenken347
    I hear that there can be some instalation problems with satalite if you have a house. And if you have more than one t.v. in the house, you get reamed on the price of the extra reciever.

Not true. DirecTV's pretty much always running a "deal" where you get two-room (and often three-room) installation for free. (I put deal in quotes because it's not a deal if it's pretty much standard service.) If they're not running a free installation deal, wait a month and they will be.


EDIT:
My little nightmare story regarding service visits and cable companies is NOT based on Comcast. It's actually Time-Warner. I was just trying to point out the relative ease I've had dealing with DirecTV, compared to the many headaches I and others have had with supposedly "customer friendly" cable. I have one friend in Sarasota who still has Comcast and describes dealing with them as being like "trying to get your heater fixed in [the movie] Brazil."

(edited by Jeb Tennyson Lund on 4.12.04 1725)
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#24 Posted on 4.12.04 1606.46
Reposted on: 4.12.11 1607.24
I have Comcast, and I've never been charged for a maintenance call to my house, and with the problems I've had with my cable modem/internet they could have made a mint off of me.
DrewDewce
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#25 Posted on 5.12.04 1555.44
Reposted on: 5.12.11 1559.05
Your DirecTV might go wonky or even out during a strong storm (mine has), but when it does go out, it's usually back on very quickly (the longest I've experienced was 20 mins or so).

When my cable went out, it could be days before they got it back on.

And of course, there's the no Sunday Ticket thing on cable.
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#26 Posted on 5.12.04 1724.19
Reposted on: 5.12.11 1725.54
DirecTV has added Tivo if you want a DVR. I've had both Tivo and the Comcast DVR and can vouch that Tivo is light years ahead of the klunky, worthless Comcast version.
estragand
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#27 Posted on 6.12.04 0130.21
Reposted on: 6.12.11 0136.50
I'm another Comcast supporter. Around here (Denver), we used to have TCI for most of the 90's. It stunk. But it was the only game in town and satellite was still astronomically high and not readilly available. When TCI was absorbed by AT&T, things improved. AT&T switched over to Comcast about two years ago...and it's greatly improved.

For starters, Comcast gave me two free months of service this year. Just for being a nifty dude who pays his bills. I also get a small monthly discount on my cable modem service. In the past, they ran a "rewards" program where I was able to get books of $5 discount coupons, a Sopranos hockey jersey and a portable Sony mini TV. Typical promo crap, but it was a nice bonus. They seem to add new features and new channels quite often. For instance, I was surprised to see that "BYU TV" is now on my TV (Now I just need to find a reason to WATCH BYU TV).

On Demand was added in May and it's blown me away. It has all the HBO, SHO, Starz and yes, Skinemax movies available anytime. You don't have EVERY movie ever shown by those networks, but you have the current crop of stuff in their rotation. I rarely watch "live" movie channels anymore. They even have some of their specialty series available, like Sopranos and Penn & Teller's Bullshit.

On top of stuff from the regular cable channels, On Demand has a buncha' "exclusive" features that aren't on any channel I have. Stuff like Anime TV, NFL Replay (local and national), lots of music videos, short "cutting edge" films and even NWA/TNA Greatest Matches. There was no price hike when On Demand was added, either. Although in my mind, it kinda' made up for all the hikes since 2000.

I've called up DirecTV and tried to work out a similar package to what I have. Even with the big promos and freebies, when I added what I liked and threw in TiVO, it was only about 7 bucks cheaper (in my area at least). I'm happy to pay that extra 7 bucks for what I have.

For service, I've had TCI/AT&T/Comcast for over five years now and have never experienced a problem. There was a small outage when a sinkhole popped up in my 'hood...but how often does that happen? Two summers ago, my ding dong neighbor wanted to do some "landscaping". He accidentally sliced through my cable. The cable guys came out, dug around, re-laid the cable and buried it. They came back the next day with fresh sod to patch over the nasty parts. Total service charge to me was zero dollars.





Zeruel
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#28 Posted on 6.12.04 1032.38
Reposted on: 6.12.11 1039.26
For the "honor" of getting Comcast's TVOne, Hallmark, Travel, and one other channel, our rates went up $12 to just under $50 a month for non-digital cable.

We're gonna wait for a sweet deal and move to "da dish."
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#29 Posted on 6.12.04 1055.22
Reposted on: 6.12.11 1059.03
I was a long time Directv customer and I have no complaints about my time with them. I recently had to switch to Comcast and I was surprised at how much better their customer service has gotten. I pay $1.99 a month for unlimited free service calls which has been a good investment. Surprisingly when I call them the people on the other end tend to be courteous and competent, and if they cannot fix something, I get a tech sent to me with very good speed. So while I used to be able to joke about cable company service, I have no complaints after a year of Comcast. I guess it comes down to which features mean more to you. I miss Sunday Ticket, and would get it back along with Directv if I could.
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