We recently moved our family. It isn’t far from the previous house, but it is closer to work and proved to cut a half an hour off my commute time each direction. So that’s the good part of moving. The bad part is, well, pretty much everything else. But, the worst thing was moving our services, especially our TV, Internet and phone.
We had AT&T U-Verse at our previous residence and it was highly recommendable. The installation was long, but the technician was great. So, much to our dismay, we relocated to a U-Verse red area which means U-Verse was not available. Therefore, we had to choose another TV option; we decided on DirecTV.
Now, the installation of our new services was a bloody nightmare that took more than a month to resolve completely, but thats a subject for a different day and and forum. The DirecTV install wasn’t the worst of it. In fact, we thought it went rather smoothly… Perhaps too smoothly.
It was two weeks after the installation, Monday night, the family all sitting on the couch, waiting to watch a movie “on demand”. I picked up the remote control and looked quickly for the on demand button. On first attempt I couldn’t locate it. Quickly I started from the top and scanned all the way down the buttons again… Nada. I look to Melissa and said “we did get on demand with the system right?” She said “I think so it was in the welcome packet”. She handed me the brochure. “Page 8″, I said and quickly turned to that section.
As you can see from the image the page is more marketing than operational, but I did see that I needed to go to channel 1000. I dialed in the channel and vois-la!
It wasn’t really the selection of movies I was expecting to see. In fact, there was only one movie called “Welcome to DirecTV Cinema”. At any rate, I figured I must’ve done something wrong. So I started over again. I opened the brochure to page 8, sure enough it said turn to channel 1000. I dialed in 1000 and it took me back the same place and still… one movie.
“The answer is in the movie”, I thought to myself. So I clicked on the movie and we began to watch. What ensued was not an instructional video, but a promotional video telling us basically all of the same things that were on page 8 of the brochure but in full cinematic production.
Here’s a link to a really lousy video of what we saw if your at all interested…
And yes you heard it right. It sends you to channel 1100 which is where the pay per view movies are located.
By that point Melissa had lost interest and wandered upstairs to find her phone so she could text her friends. I sat in disbelief, reading the brochure and looking for answers on mobile web. Long story short, after a lot of searching on their website I figured that I was shorted a DTV Internet router. But, I can’t help but wonder if perhaps that couldn’t have been communicated on that cheesy informational video. After all it is a standard upgrade option.
The next day I got on the phone with the DirecTV operator and ordered my missing direct TV router. I was rather p*ssed that they didn’t install it and I mentioned it to the operator. He told me that he understood and that he would send a “complimentary router”. A “complementary router!” I screamed. He explains that it is complementary because they typically charge a $99 fee for this upgrade. I remind him that I ordered it and that they failed to install it. But he tells me that because they failed to install it they would send the router and waive the $99 fee; and that that was all that they could do for me. Apparently their best excluded offering a sincere apology and recognition of their mistake (not a great customer satisfaction moment for DirecTV). Anyway, to their credit it was “overnighted” to my residence, so three days later I installed the router.
The router installation was straightforward enough once I figured out which cable to use. So, a couple days later I’m on the couch getting ready to watch “on demand”. Again I turn to channel 1000 and tadah… A bunch of movies and shows. “I’ve done it!”, I thought to myself. I browse the movie selections, found one that I wanted to watch. I clicked on it. It took me to the page to preview all of the information about the movie. I look to the left column to find the play command… it doesn’t exist. There’s no play command!
Instead as you can see there’s a command for record, watch trailer, cast and crew, you might like, parental info, and done. Clearly the term “on demand” eludes the folks at DirecTV. Oh, and by the way, if you choose to record a movie to watch “on demand” it is deposited for a limited time in your box, but only after it is recorded during regular airtime. Which means you could be waiting a while to see your “on demand” selection. So don’t cozy up to the DirecTV for on demand movie just yet. It could be a long night.