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The Scam is on!

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Old 11-29-2005, 10:29 AM   #1
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Default The Scam is on!

DIRECTV Charges $99 For 'Free' HDTV Upgrade
The satcaster's planned offer of a free system for local HD channels is delayed. Or is it?
By Phillip Swann

Washington D.C. (November 28, 2005) -- If you had a choice, would you pay $99 for DIRECTV's new High-Definition TV system or get it for free?

That may seem like a trick question -- and it is. Let me explain. You might just save $99.

DIRECTV is now offering local HDTV channels in five cities: Chicago, Philadelphia, Detroit, San Francisco and Atlanta. (Seven more cities will get local HD by year's end -- and many more will be added in 2006.) To receive the local HD channels, however, you must get the new DIRECTV H-20 MPEG4 receiver and the new five LNB dish.

DIRECTV said last September that current HDTV subscribers would get a free upgrade to the new dish and receiver. This was said in response to customer concerns that they would have to buy a brand new system after just shelling out up to $400 for their current one, which can not display the local high-def signals.

However, beginning Saturday, TVPredictions.com began receiving e-mails from readers in the five launch cities complaining that DIRECTV was charging $99 for the new MPEG4 system.

"They (DIRECTV's Customer Service) said they didn't know anything about a free upgrade! But I got an e-mail from them a few months ago that said the upgrade would be free! Can you please help me?!" one reader asked.

DIRECTV confirmed late tonight that it was indeed charging $99 rather than giving it away for free, as expected.

DIRECTV spokesman Robert Mercer said the free upgrade would not happen until the company converted from its current MPEG2 transmission to MPEG4. Mercer said it was unclear when that transfer would happen, but it would likely occur in most cities sometime in 2006. (Although the MPEG4 transition will not occur until later, DIRECTV customers still need the new MPEG4 system to get local HD channels now.)

"We are still planning a free upgrade program,
one that will be phased in over time to ensure that customers do not lose their HD programming when the MPEG4 conversions occur," Mercer said. "HD
customers who want the new equipment ahead of schedule - before the free upgrade offer in their city is available - can pay a substantially reduced price of $99 for the...dish upgrade and receiver -- including installation - and $99 for each additional receiver."

When asked if the $99 charge was a "bait and switch" because people were led to believe that the upgrade would be free immediately, Mercer said: "We respectfully disagree with those customers (who might say that.)."

So, if you have to pay $99 for the upgrade, how would you get it for free without waiting for the MPEG4 transition?

TVPredictions.com on Monday received several e-mails from readers who said that DIRECTV's Customer Service department waived the $99 charge after they complained and asked to talk to a supervisor.

"I threw a fit and said I wanted to talk to a supervisor. They came back and said it would be free...They're coming next Monday to install it," one reader wrote.

Another reader accused TVPredictions.com of inaccurately reporting that some subscribers were being charged $99.

"I just called DIRECTV and was upgraded to the new receiver and dish for free and the install is only $49," the reader wrote.

Several other readers noted that in cities where local HDTV is being offered, DIRECTV has partnered with retailers to sell the H20 MPEG4 receiver for $199 to new and existing customers. However, the deal includes a $200 rebate. (See Best Buy offer.)

Yes, that would seem to make it free.

However, the rebate receiver does not come with the 5 LNB dish, which has to be purchased separately from DIRECTV for, you guessed it, $99.

So, is DIRECTV's new HDTV system free -- or $99? Or perhaps -- free, with $49 for the installation?

It depends upon who you talk to.

TVPredictions.com


www.tvpredictions.com/freeupgrade112805.htm
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Old 11-29-2005, 02:54 PM   #2
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Angry So true

So true Brother. So true!!

Broken promises once again.

If you do talk to a supervisor you can get the upgrade for "free" but not until then. When I talked to one she did apologize but said they did initailly plan on making this a free upgrade but didn't realize the cost and non-compatibility of the HD-DVR. Makes me wonder if the next upgrade to Mpeg-4 will actually be "free" when time comes.

I'm done with them for now. I'll wait to see how the new system works and after the storm passes by if it is worth it to come back to thier HD.

Good luck guys!!!!!!
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Old 11-29-2005, 04:01 PM   #3
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Yeah!! Like I said, have a good supply of vasaline in the house! I shelled out $300.00 for the H-10, only to see it;s "free" now. Evidently they want to hook you so they camn get the $99.00 up grade fees. BUT< I also see folks getting HD DVR's for a lot less than offered at other retailers. I was one to questiopn the upgade to MPEG-4 also, only to get the same answer" it will be free" but they failed to tell me about the dish upgrades needed. The moral of all this is: If you allow them to do it they will.
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Old 11-29-2005, 04:30 PM   #4
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Well, I was charged just the $49 for installation, but they also charged me about $17 for "shipping and handling".
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Old 11-29-2005, 07:31 PM   #5
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Default I got the H20 for free

I called Directv last evening for the upgrade. I am getting the receiver and the 5 lnb dish for $99 and a credit for $99. I checked my account online and I could see both the charge and credit posted.
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Old 11-29-2005, 07:42 PM   #6
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Hang on, I am confused. I called DirecTV last week and they said I would have to pay $299 for the HD receiver and a OTA antenna so I can view local channels in HD. I guess that price covers installation as well. Should I be asking if these charges should be waved?
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Old 11-29-2005, 08:32 PM   #7
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Default This is straight BS!

By the time the new HD DVR comes out they will prolly charge $200 to upgrade. I had 4-5 csr's tell me the upgrade will be free and I betcha they will all catch simultaneous amnesia if I bring it to their attention. And here I sit with 2HD receivers....well F%$ them I will keep my rabbit ears for as long as I can. I am sick and tired of all of this pennypitchin bs.
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Old 11-29-2005, 08:54 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yanks0826
Hang on, I am confused. I called DirecTV last week and they said I would have to pay $299 for the HD receiver and a OTA antenna so I can view local channels in HD. I guess that price covers installation as well. Should I be asking if these charges should be waved?
If they're giving you an OTA antenna then you're not getting the MPEG4 equipment. You're getting the same MPEG2 stuff we all already have. The whole purpose of the MPEG4 is that you no longer need the OTA antenna.
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Old 11-29-2005, 09:19 PM   #9
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Default Mpeg4

Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyFett
If they're giving you an OTA antenna then you're not getting the MPEG4 equipment. You're getting the same MPEG2 stuff we all already have. The whole purpose of the MPEG4 is that you no longer need the OTA antenna.

Baby is correct, and by the end of 2006 D* is launching 2 more sats that will add up to 150 national broadcast HD channels in addition to the local channels you will get now. So eventually if you want the additional channels in HD you will have to get the new H20 receiver. Hopefully this will the last equipment upgrade needed for awhile. I just hope the MPEG4 format does not mean I have to get rid of my R10 Tivo receivers.
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Old 11-29-2005, 10:05 PM   #10
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I think it's complete bullsh$$t they clearly stated free to everyone, and the reason they said free was so that everyone wouldn't run off to the cable companies were it really is free!!! This is becoming ridiculous!! I can only imagine what the upgrade price will be for the hew hd-dvr from D. And all of us that just dropped $200 to $500 on the tivo hd can now expect what? To pay that same amount all over again? If thats the case I will bitch until I'm out, I live in chicago and I'm sure comcast would love my money!!!!!!
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Old 11-30-2005, 04:47 AM   #11
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So what should I say when I actually call them up to ask for HD services?
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Old 11-30-2005, 07:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jayiac
Baby is correct, and by the end of 2006 D* is launching 2 more sats that will add up to 150 national broadcast HD channels in addition to the local channels you will get now. So eventually if you want the additional channels in HD you will have to get the new H20 receiver. Hopefully this will the last equipment upgrade needed for awhile. I just hope the MPEG4 format does not mean I have to get rid of my R10 Tivo receivers.
We keep hearing this 150 new HD channels while in the meamtime we can't even get TNT HD. We also hear about D* adding "significantly viewed channels" and we get nothing. If I weren't stuck with a committment charge I'd seriously be thinking cable.
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Old 11-30-2005, 09:59 AM   #13
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exactly leww I like an idiot bought into directv's bullsh&&t and got locked into contract when I got my hd-tivo. And one of the only reasons I went for it was because when I talked to them and ordered the receiver they specifically stated that when there version of the hd-dvr was available I would be able to upgrade to it at NO CHARGE!!!! Now I'm seeing all these people getting charged for the upgrade and it's not even for the hd-dvr. Can you imagine what they will charge us people that have the hd-tivo to upgrade. I think it's terrible business practice, and it definitely makes the cable companies look much more appealing, at least I can get tnt-hd with comcast here!!!
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Old 11-30-2005, 11:02 AM   #14
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I just talked with DTV and she said that there is a $200 rebate going on right now for HD. They will install HD and an OTA antenna for $299...plus $14.95 for shipping and handling. The rebate will be for $200, so I guess that is pretty good.
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Old 11-30-2005, 05:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yanks0826
So what should I say when I actually call them up to ask for HD services?
call, e-mail, write, as long as they hear from you, and know you are considering leaving because (other provider) is, of will be offering more HD channels, as in dshnet that has more than we do! or FIOS that creams them all! There are not a lot of HD broadcasters yet so ther is not a lot, but we ought to at least have it AVAILABLE!! I still think if enough of us let them know they may stepup the upgrades to equipment. Man that FIOS is really going to make them hustle! This is what we need! FIOS? Verizon fiber optic TV carries a ton of channels.
http://www22.verizon.com/FiosForHome...iosTV/hdtv.asp
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