August 26th, 2008

tee vee

The Squeaky Wheel

I completely forgot to post this yesterday.

So, almost 2 years ago, I gave up on my no-TV experiment and signed up for DirecTV. I've been happy with the service (I get great reception and have never needed to really interact with customer service, it just works), but when I signed up they were supposed to give me a handy dandy portable DVD player.

A few months after I signed up, I called to ask about it and was told it was back ordered. Oh well, no big deal, I was supposed to get it eventually.

Things were a bit hectic the rest of the year and I didn't think about it at all until I got the new HDTV before X-mas. Hmmm... they have an HD package and quite frankly, I could realy tell the difference in quality from regular channels to my HD content... but didn't they owe me a DVD player? I called up and they had no actual explanation aside from oops. I asked them to do something about it and they said they'd escalate it.

I called again a couple of months ago and got the same treatment.

Then I noticed that the Consumerist had the email address for their President.... Hmmm....

One quick, grumpy (but polite) email Sunday afternoon and, to my complete amazement, I got a call from the nicest CSR I've ever spoken to Monday afternoon. She apologized for the problems and said they'd send out the DVD player, overnight, today and I should get it tomorrow. PLUS if I was still interested she might check to see what she could do about the HD service I wanted.

What she could do was give me the HD DVR (a $199 value) and give me the installation (not sure how much) AND she could book me a Sunday morning installation spot.


I have no idea what I might have negotiated for, but I was really impressed that they went above and beyond like that to resolve the problem. Sure I could have been annoyed that it took so long to get the DVD player, but honestly I wasn't in a rush to get it, I just wanted it on general principles, but I'm amazed that they were so cool about the HD stuff.

I had never tried escalating a problem through an email to an executive, but I'm really blown away by how effective this was and DirecTV didn't even try to low ball me. Granted it would be dumb to aggravate me so close to the end of my contract, but they didn't have to be so accommodating. Assuming things work out as planned I will be a very happy customer come Sunday afternoon and I'm glad I did pick them for my couch potatoey needs (even if I don't watch anywhere near as much TV as I once did).

Nothing too exciting, but I thought it was very cool and I wanted to share :-)
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    surprised surprised