Talk about a tech fail. Sure Satellite TV is old-school tech, but still, it’s tech and it’s failing brilliantly. Especially now that there are so many excellent alternatives to a satellite or cable TV subscription, I find myself wishing I had never signed up in the first place (and I’m not the only one). Why’d I do it? I thought I’d be missing out otherwise I guess. Turns out the only thing I would’ve been missing out on is the unimaginable amount of infomercial channels. Most of the content I like watching is on the three major networks anyway.
I hate to bog down my blog with complaints but DIRECTV seriously deserves to be publicly scolded for the horrible service I am getting and other consumers need to be warned about how terrible my experience has been (I actually think complaining via social media is actually healthy for consumers and companies alike). How can they ship products that don’t work and still remain in business? Contracts. Stupid, idiotic contracts. Good companies don’t need contracts. I can’t wait for the entrepreneurial community to fully and completely disrupt this business model.
Unresponsive Remote & Infinite Scrolling
The DIRECTV remote is horrible. It sits not too far away from my Apple TV remote, which is amazing, and I look at the two and wonder why one is so out of date and out of touch. Unfortunately, the problems with the remote go far beyond it’s looks. When I turn on the new guide interface (which looks great, by the way–or at least great compared to how it used to look) and hit up or down, 8 out of 10 times the interface starts to scroll infinitely until I hit the opposite direction (and then starts scrolling infinitely that way). If this had happened just once, I’d let it slide, but it happens all the time. It’s almost impossible to pick a channel to watch because they are un-selectable.
That’s if the remote is even working at all. Many times the remote doesn’t do a single thing. Of course it gets me wondering, does it have fresh batteries or is the line-of-sight free of any interfering objects. Inevitably, everything checks out but the remote itself. If you’re going to make a product that has a remote, you had better make a remote that works well. It’s common sense DIRECTV.
HD Settings Periodically Reset to Standard
As if the remote issues weren’t maddening enough, from time-to-time the HD settings on the DVR box like to reset themselves for no apparent reason. Could be right after I turn it on or right in the middle of a show or movie. Doesn’t matter. There’s no rhyme or reason. It’s not that it takes all that long to walk over to the box and hit the button a few times to reset it and then use the remote to pick the correct settings again. It’s that after awhile it just gets old. Very old. It’s not like it happens just once a month, no, it’s a few times per week. Unbelievable and unacceptable. It’s like Chinese water drip torture and all the little things that go wrong add up to make me furious inside like no other piece of tech in my life.
Old Problems & New Hassles
Of course there are all the old reasons to hate a satellite dish TV solution: hideous and unsightly cables strung all about the outside of the house, reception issues due to snow covering the dish and the expensive price. Aside from the price being insanely expensive, they bill you out the waz for stuff you don’t even sign up for like a protection plan I opted out of but saw on my first bill (they later took it off after I complained on Twitter). But that’s not all. New problems come up all the time. A few months back when things quit working, I called the support line and got someone scheduled to come out to fix it. I got billed for the fix even though it was supposed to be free (they later removed the charge, again after complaining on Twitter).
It seems like there’s plenty more to complain about, I just don’t remember it all right now. Will I cancel DIRECTV as soon as possible? You bet. Am I satisfied with their service in any way? Not even slightly. DIRECTV needs to learn how to make a real product (in other words, a functioning product). True, I only seem to have this issue on the TV with a DVR connected, but still that’s our main TV and the only one I really use the service on. Here’s another thing that bugs me: why should I be subjected to commercials when I’m already paying to watch? Why? To summarize: I recommend staying as far away from DIRECTV as possible until or unless they make some drastic changes and start delivering some serious value.