by Bethany on 09/30/09 at 10:31 AM ET
Due to some pressure from my good friend, Mike Chen, I decided I should blog about my experience with DirecTV. Believe me, it wasn’t pretty.
Saturday, I picked up my phone and dialed DirecTV. I wanted to complain about not getting Versus, while it may not be my favorite coverage, it still IS hockey coverage.
Let me make this clear, I am a Center Ice Subscriber, I get HBO and Cinemax, and the Sports Pack, which allows me to get all the local sports channels. DirecTV gets quite a bit of money from me every month. I have been with them for three years. The ONLY reason I switched to DirecTV was so I could get Center Ice and Versus. They did later add the NHL Network.
Back to Saturday, I was connected with a grumpy man…his name, well I don’t remember. I said, “I just wanted to complain about not getting Versus. I am very upset about this.” His response was not to try to make me happy, or to apologize, it was to inform me that I was uninformed, and that I should be calling Comcast to complain. I then asked why I would call someone who wasn’t my provider. It was then that this man, blew up. He told me in so many words that since I was in America nobody really cared about hockey, and that they offer the NFL Sunday Ticket…you know because this America, and Americans like football.
It was then I interrupted this gentleman, and said that I have watched a total of ONE football game in my entire life, and that was last Friday when my high school was on CBS Sports. He didn’t like this at all, he said that I needed to get over it, and was there anything else I needed.
Keep in mind that I am a very emotional person, and by this point I am already crying. Not because of what he said but his tone of voice. You just don’t speak to customers that way.
When he asked if there was anything I needed, I asked to speak to his supervisor.
She got on the phone, and said sorry he was rude, and that she didn’t see a resolution in the near future. Then told me to have a nice day, and hung up.
I got off the phone dazed and confused.
I let it sit for a few days, and then I read Mike Chen’s story and decided that I needed to call back.
The woman I spoke to was extremely kind, and apologetic, not her fault, but still nice to have a friendly voice on the line.
Now that I am writing this, I have received Free Center ice, Free Starz for three months, and a free HD/DVR. I guess DirecTV would rather keep giving away free stuff, then forking over the money for Versus.
I also decided to write firstname.lastname@example.org and let them know my true feelings. I’m not sure if anyone has posted their letter, but this is the response I got:
Dear Ms. Porter,
Thanks for writing. Unfortunately, Versus is no longer available on DIRECTV. Comcast, the largest cable company in the U.S. and our largest competitor, owns the channel and has forced us to pull it down. Here is the situation.
DIRECTV was already paying Comcast more than any other TV service provider to air Versus - and now Comcast is demanding an overall rate hike of 20% on top of that. Comcast also forces DIRECTV to make Versus available to a much larger portion of our customer base at our own expense than they require from other TV providers - most notably, DISH Network. We simply cannot accept these unfair and outrageous terms. All we’re asking from Comcast is equal treatment.
Comcast and Versus are currently engaged in a noisy publicity campaign to distract attention from the fact that they are trying to take advantage of DIRECTV and our customers. The bottom line is this, if we were to accept their unreasonable demands, we would have no choice but to pass on the increase in cost to our valued customers. We do not want this to happen, especially in these difficult economic times. That’s why we’re standing firm in our negotiations with Comcast.
Regardless, we will continue to work in good faith with Comcast to try to reach a fair and just settlement. Our commitment to deliver the best TV service for the best price is and has always been our first priority. We truly appreciate your patience and understanding during this time.
DIRECTV still leads the industry in sports programming, whether or not we have Versus in our channel lineup. For college football, NHL hockey and other sports, here’s just a brief list of what’s available on DIRECTV:
College football: Available on Big Ten Network, CBS College Sports, ESPN, ESPNU, ESPN GamePlan, The Mtn., local channels and your RSN.
NHL: Available on NHL Network, NHL Center Ice, and your RSN.
Mixed Martial Arts: Available on HDNet, Spike TV, and UFC on DIRECTV Pay Per View.
Auto Racing: Available on IRL on ABC, Formula 1 on Fox and Speed.
Bull riding: Available on ESPN2 and the Houston Rodeo on DIRECTV Pay Per View
Hunting and fishing: Available on ESPN2, The Sportsman Channel, The Outdoor Channel, and Pursuit TV.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at email@example.com.
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