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The W - Current Events & Politics - DirecTV installers fired after exposing business practices
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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 18 days
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#1 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
So apparently DirecTV doesn't actually require a phone line, but the technicians who install it were being told to lie and tell people it did?

I don't see how this necessarily holds up - I get how DirecTV wants a phone line hooked up - they can sell more services and collect information. I can see them encouraging their installers to hook up to a phone line. I can't see them telling their installers to tell people that it was required if it isn't.

http://www.local6.com/problemsolvers/9164122/detail.html

Interesting... this could snowball if the cable companies decide that they want to get behind this.



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Since: 2.1.02
From: The Las Vegas of Canada

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#2 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.57
It wasn't just installers who would say that, it was anyone connected with DTV in my experience. They would say things on the phone like "you can't order PPV if your phone line isn't connected" when that was just simply not true.

I liked DTV. I had good experience with them in every other aspect of service. But that always seemed kind of shady to me.



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Since: 2.1.02
From: Hawthorne, CA

Since last post: 84 days
Last activity: 15 hours
#3 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.47

    Originally posted by Nancy Alvarez, Ch. 6 reporter
    The next step for these employees will likely be to file a whistleblower claim with the National Labor Relations Board in Tampa, and the attorney general's office is already investigating their claims that they were ordered to lie to customers.
Now DTV is extra busted. Being so shady to begin with was bad enough, but did they really think they would get away with firing 40 whistleblowers at once? Dumbasses.




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Since: 25.2.04
From: Keystone State

Since last post: 2264 days
Last activity: 734 days
#4 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.84
We must have gotten a good installer. He told us we just needed a phone line for the first installation, so we got a long cord and never plugged it in again.

Here's what I don't understand (maybe it's a malfunction): we can still order movies through the remote, and the box isn't hooked up to the phone. Just a push of a button gets a movie.
wmatistic
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Since: 2.2.04
From: Austin, TX

Since last post: 68 days
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#5 Posted on | Instant Rating: 3.65
If it works like the old cable boxes or old satellite boxes I used to have, then you only need the phone line to send them information. Like I recall way back when I had Dish it would use the line only to upload the list of what PPV's you had ordered to them once a month or so.

Once it got to a certain number of PPV's it wouldn't let you order without calling in until it's next time it uploaded. That's always gonna be the satellite companies problem, in that the communication is pretty much download only without a phone line.

One would think they might have a way now to know you've ordered a PPV that works better than that, but I dunno.

bash91
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Plain Dealing, LA

Since last post: 706 days
Last activity: 7 hours
#6 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.07
    Originally posted by DJ FrostyFreeze
    Now DTV is extra busted. Being so shady to begin with was bad enough, but did they really think they would get away with firing 40 whistleblowers at once? Dumbasses.


Actually, DirecTv had nothing to do with either hiring or firing the contractors. If you look at this article (local6.com) it's apparent that this is a scam by the company that's contracted to do the installations and not something directly from DirecTv.

As I recall, DirecTv wants the phone line hooked up for three main reasons: A - it lets them track what you're watching, B - the new boxes need to be hooked up to order PPV's, and C - some of the sports packages are supposed to be blacked out by area and the the only way for DirecTv to currently do that is by area code. Of those, the viewing information is far and away the most valuable and what they want the most. Overall, as I've said numerous times on this board, customer service from DirecTv is infinitely superior to anything we've ever had from any cable company and their corporate ethics, in our experience, are about the same.

Tim



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Since: 25.2.02

Since last post: 11 days
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#7 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.76
    Originally posted by bash91
    ...and C - some of the sports packages are supposed to be blacked out by area and the the only way for DirecTv to currently do that is by area code.
Actually, I believe that's done by ZIP code based on billing address.

I'm surprised to hear they're tracking what people watch. Is that confirmed information somewhere?
Corajudo
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Since: 7.11.02
From: Dallas, TX

Since last post: 13 days
Last activity: 5 hours
#8 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.69
I've had DTV for over 6 years and have never had it connected to a phone line (aside from the initial install) either. I was never told that was necessary by either the contractors that installed it or DTV itself when I called their customer service people. I was told that if I used PPV more than occasionally then I would want the phone line connected to ensure the purchase was processed. I remember they said something about a purchase limit, but I don't recall. And, I seldom order PPVs, so it's not an issue.

And, they truly do deliver outstanding service. My money is on some rogue contractors and not on DTV itself.

And, the sports black outs are done by zip code based on billing address.




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Since: 2.1.02
From: Highland, Michigan

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#9 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.40
I had DirecTV installed a week ago, and when I called to order the service, they told me that I only needed a phone line if I was getting the DVR feature (which I was). But, this was from talking with the vendor that schedules the installs, not from DirecTV itself. I should definitly give DirectTV a call to see if this is true or not, though. I'd love to save the $40 a month on a land-line based phone and spend it toward high-speed internet.
Parts Unknown
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Since: 2.1.02
From: Darkenwood

Since last post: 20 days
Last activity: 20 hours
#10 Posted on | Instant Rating: 4.50
I'd be interested to hear WHY one needs a land line in order to have DVR. I want DVR terribly bad, but I have no land line and no plans to get one. I called DTV and they asserted that I MUST have a land line, but I don't see why.




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Since: 9.12.01
From: Bay City, OR

Since last post: 18 days
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#11 Posted on | Instant Rating: 8.81
I would call them again and mention that you saw this article claiming that DTV lied to customers, and ask for a confirmation that you MUST have it.



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Since: 16.3.04
From: Albuquerque, NM

Since last post: 6 days
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#12 Posted on | Instant Rating: 5.03
    Originally posted by Parts Unknown
    I'd be interested to hear WHY one needs a land line in order to have DVR. I want DVR terribly bad, but I have no land line and no plans to get one. I called DTV and they asserted that I MUST have a land line, but I don't see why.


I have a TIVO based DTV DVR, and the reason you need it according to our installers (who said we only really needed a phone line for the DVR box, was that it dials into a server and downloads the information for the DVR guide, for future programming, showcases, etc. If it is actually the case however, is yet to be proven, but I dont take chances, I keep the DVR attached to the phone line, just in case.



Whitebacon
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Since: 12.1.02
From: Fresno, CA

Since last post: 67 days
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#13 Posted on | Instant Rating: 6.64
The phoneline in my bedroom here is currently deactivated, but what I do is run a long phone cord from my room to a working phone jack about once a week. I miss out on last minute program changes and such, but that's about it. Also, with TiVo, you only really need the landline for initial setup, which you can do at a friend/family members house, and then connect it to your home network, and get service updates that way.



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Since: 3.10.02
From: Right side of the tracks

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#14 Posted on | Instant Rating: 2.53
You can order a limited number of PPV titles without the phone line hooked up, but in my personal experience, you dont get BILLED until you hook the phone line back up again. Perhaps that's the reason they 'require' a phone line.
BigTimbo
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Since: 9.8.02
From: North Carolina

Since last post: 1971 days
Last activity: 1684 days
#15 Posted on | Instant Rating: 7.00
What I heard a couple of years back was the card in the box has a certain limit onto it. The phoneline is used to get the stuff off the "memory card" and therefore they bill you whatever PPV you bought. If there is no phoneline hooked up, they cant read the card and your card remains full. I had DirecTv a couple of years back and only hooked up my phone line usually once every couple of weeks because all I ordered were wrestling PPV's. But you can order PPV's without your phoneline unless your access card was full.

I don't know if that is true or not but it is what I was told.



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