Friday, May 21, 2010

This is how you lose a loyal customer

For about 4 months now, we've been enjoying the multi-room viewing beta with our DirecTV DVRs. This morning, it was summarily turned off. I went to the DirecTV website and discovered that they now want to charge $3/mo for it.

Offense number one: nickel-and-diming your customers.

Fine. I clicked on the button to activate it. The response? "Sorry, your account is ineligible. Please call yadda yadda." So I call, and get someone who says we need to change our plan or something. So we have free Showtime and Starz for 3 months..... but we must remember to call them back and turn it off or they'll start charging for it. Grumble.

Offense number two: sneaky customer lock-in "special offers."

After 20 minutes on hold, I got to the right person... who said that this feature was no longer available on the model of DVR we have. Instead, I would need to upgrade to the latest one.

Offense number three: Oh, there's just too many to count.

I've had it.

I've been a loyal DirecTV customer for 15 years now. First, they gave us substandard TiVos and didn't keep up with the new features. Then they replaced them with their own DVRs that we effectively had to beta test for them. Then, when they finally catch up with features that TiVo has had for years now, they shit on us and call it pudding.

We're going to save up for TiVos, and we'll be switching to Comcast. The really sad part is that I don't expect that they'll shit on us any less. But at least with real TiVos they'll have one less avenue with which they can do it.

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