Friday, June 11, 2010

Making the Switch: DirecTV to Dish Network

Why do loyal satellite customers make the switch from DirecTV to Dish Network (and vice versa)?  If you have ever wondered why someone would go to the trouble of changing satellite providers, then you've come to the right place.

We have had been loyal DirecTV customers for approximately five years.  We had previously been Dish Network customers before that - and I'm talking for nearly a whole decade.  The reason we jumped ship from Dish Network to DirecTV, and, ironically, the same reason that we are switching back comes down to one major sticking point:  equipment.

These competing satellite providers offer the sun, the moon and the stars to new customers.  New customers receive shiny, new equipment, along with other enticing incentives to sign up with them.  However, once you are a customer, you can pretty much forget the idea of ever seeing new(er) equipment again, unless you jump through hoops consisting of  a) buying a new one from them at a discounted price for "being a loyal customer" or b) finding a CS rep who will give you a new one, but only if you re-up for another two year commitment with them.

Why should new customers always get the plum deals?  Loyal customers who pay on time go a long way in this economy.  We are credit card autopayers and don't waste their money on snail mail bills anymore.  Shouldn't we get the courtesy of newer equipment without strings attached?

At issue was that our DVR died last week.  We called and after balking at the idea of paying for another receiver (this one was 2 years old), we were offered another one free to us.  The problem was that it would be a refurbished machine.  Our last DVR lasted just two years and we had an original DVR we purchased 5 years ago that still worked.  Why such a short shelf life?  As the CS rep explained their extremely high refurb rate and dismissed our concerns over not having new equipment, we began to think that Dish Network with its free HD for life (it would have been a $10 charge per month with DirecTV) was looking like a much better deal for us.  Our locals broadcast in HD and our DVR was not an HD receiver, so we did want an upgrade.

I asked what would happen if any DVR they sent us died within two years, just like the last one (quite possibly a refurb) did?  This is where it got interesting.  Of course, they would most likely replace it for us at no cost; however, we would have to recommit for another two years.  Someone get me off of that merry-go-round!  It made me wonder why old customers got refurbs then.  Did they know there was a high likelihood of failure and the "well, we'll replace it for you for free, but you're ours for another two years" offer would appease most people. 

In the end, we looked hard at Dish Network and decided to go with them.  Brand new equipment, special pricing and the ability to spread the love with a friend referral from my brother (you're welcome for that $50, bud!) was just too hard to turn down.

So now, all that is left is to officially break up with DirecTV.  To be honest, had they been able to guarantee new equipment to us, and not refurbs, we would have stayed.  So if you're listening, DirecTV,  you may want to rethink what is important to you.  New customers are great, but old, loyal, paying on time, low maintenance customers are your bread and butter and deserve the same as what you offer to new customers. 

The opinions stated herein are 100% my own.


Anonymous said...

I agree 100% i called them and told DirecTV i was thinking of switching to Dish they asked me if they upgraded my main TV to DVR at no cost or Fee's would i concider staying i Agreed i would However now i find out I am locked in for 2More Yrs. and there is a $5fee per. Mo. for the DVR i have been a Loyal Customer since May 1997 but as soon as i can find a way out I will Switch to Dish I feel i have been suckered in to a Deal and being on a fixed Income SS i want out and a better Deal any suggestions on how to get out of the 2-Yrs thing pls let me know

courtney said...

I'm doing the same thing. the issue wasn't the DVR breaking (our old drectv box lasted as long as our 5 years service) but you are so right about equipement. upgrading costs so much. we recently just cut the service alltogether and used only netflix/hulu. however, I want my HBO/showtime back now so I looked and dish is much cheaper with more programming. i priced out directv since i feel some sense of loyalty but they still charge way too much for equipment! we will be seeing dish here for installation really soon..........

Dennis Linares said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I have been with Direct 17 yrs. I am breaking my contract with them due to loosing channels that I love to watch and lost.. GSN is no longer GSN what does Scare Tactics have to do with game shows, also what does Hellinator, have to do with game shows... I had to bump up to the next package to get this Channel and had to pay extra. It no longer exist as a game show as it was set up. Makes me sad, I also agree about the equipment and how they always want to add yrs on to a contract when their equipment fails and have to replace it with refurbished, half the time it won't last a yr. so your locked in a yr to go another yr or two. All a game on there part, going to dish for less money and life time dvr