It should be no surprise to anyone that an article I found online at a site called CheatSheet.com (http://www.cheatsheet.com/gear-style/annoying-things-directv.html) about DirecTV would get my attention. The article is called “9 Most Annoying Things About DirecTV,” and I am certainly in agreement with them about DirecTV being annoying, so naturally I read the article to see what it had to say. I thought it would be interesting to give my take on each of the 9 things that they found so annoying, so here they are:
1. “Bad weather caused outages” – Yes, that is certainly true and in my experience, DirecTV is even more prone to outages during bad weather than DISH Network is. I had DISH Network for about 16 years so I am very familiar with it and how it performs. In fact, when I had DISH Network, I usually re-aligned my own satellite dish when it was needed and I didn’t have any signal-measuring equipment or other professional tools that the installation technicians use and I still had fewer problems with DISH during bad weather than I have had with DirecTV. I should point out that I experienced very few weather-related outages with DISH Network during all the years I was a subscriber.
2. “DirecTV contracts require two-year agreements” – Yes, they sure do! I know this because I had to sign up for a minimum of two years when I got DirecTV in the spring of 2015. The two main reasons I cancelled my DISH Network subscription and signed up for DirecTV is that my son started working for a major DirecTV contractor and since he was living with us for a while during that time, we were able to get the top-of-the-line DirecTV programming package free for a while he was here. He has since moved out and we decided to get our own DirecTV subscription and give it a try for a while. We were also offered a $200 Visa gift card for signing up and that was also a big incentive. We did get the gift card and enjoyed spending it!
3. “DirecTV charges expensive cancellation fees” – I don’t have any direct experience with this but I don’t doubt it at all. While I am not thrilled with DirecTV, for us it does work, and I have no plans to cancel it before our two-year contract expires because I don’t want them to try charging us with some ridiculous cancellation fee. I can wait about another seven or eight months when our contract expires to cancel it, and I will surely be cancelling it on the day it expires.
4. “You have lots of equipment to install and maintain” – That’s a bit of an exaggeration since all you really need is the dish antenna and the receivers or DVRs with the coax cable to connect it all and that’s about it. The article in question really breaks things down and even lists the “access card” separately which is really splitting hairs. The access card plugs into the receiver or DVR to allow the television programming to be decoded for viewing, so listing it as a separate item as if it takes up extra space is just silly.
5. “DirecTV is a subsidiary of AT&T” – This is 100 percent true. A while back telecommunications and internet giant AT&T gobbled up DirecTV and added it to its “family” of companies. That only made subscribers like me dislike the service even more since I am not a fan of AT&T and definitely not a fan of a few mega-corporations owning everything. Having AT&T in the picture will make it that much more satisfying when I cancel the service next spring when my two-year contract runs its course.
6. “Like any TV provider, customer service is frustrating”- Happily, I have not had to deal much with DirecTV customer service, although I have certainly had more than my share of misery when dealing with AT&T customer service since they provide the “high-speed” internet service where I live and that’s because I simply have no other choice. The only time I called DirecTV customer service was in the spring of 2016 when my one-year “introductory price”expired and my monthly bill shot from about $50 per month to over $70 per month. I called and told them I was not happy about that and I was able to talk them into lowering my bill for the next year down to around $50 as it was originally. To be honest, I did not even know I had been paying an “introductory price” and was quite shocked when the price suddenly went up by more than $20 per month. The key to getting them to lower my bill was that I was very polite, patient and nice when I called to tell them I wasn’t happy about the price increase. There’s an old saying that says “You can catch more flies with honey than you can with vinegar,” and in many cases, that is very true.
7. “DirecTV often opts for obnoxious marketing” – I cannot get on board with this one simply because I don’t consider DirecTV’s marketing any more “obnoxious” than most other big companies. Granted, I do not see many TV commercials since I record just about everything I watch on the DVR and use the “fast-forward” to skip commercials, so perhaps I have missed out on some especially obnoxious DirecTV commercials. Other than that, I don’t have too much to say on this subject.
8. “The company has been slow to the over-the-top service game” – Over-the-top is industry slang for delivering content — in this case, television programming – over the internet. Video over the internet is all the rage these days as many people already know. This may be a big issue for some people, especially younger folks but but since I tend to be “old school” and prefer watching TV on a “real” TV, I don’t care all that much about getting programming delivered over the internet. If I want to see video on the net, I can go to YouTube and watch videos for the rest of my life and probably the rest of the lives of everyone currently inhabiting planet Earth if I choose.
9. “There are tons of great alternatives to satellite TV (or cable)” – Yes, this is also true, but the fact that other services are available does not make DirecTV “annoying,” so this makes little sense. Still, I will address it. There are many options available for TV programming these days and most of them rely on having real high-speed internet service. The problem with this is that not all of us have “real” high-speed internet service. For example, where I live, myself and my three neighbors that live at the end of our little out-of-the-way dirt cul-de-sac have only one option when it comes to “high-speed” internet service and that’s AT&T’s DSL service that tops out at 8 Mbps. That surely is better than dial-up, but not truly high-speed internet as it would be defined in this day and age. It’s not fast enough to stream high-quality TV programming for any length of time, so that leaves many of us unable to take advantage of TV programming available on the internet from the likes of Netflix or Amazon.