Satellite Operators Devolving

A while back we upgraded to a HD TiVo for our DirecTV setup. I've been loving the new TV (amazing!) and everything has been working pretty well. My only complaint is that broadcasters still seem to be working the kinks out of their HD broadcasts. It's not that uncommon for the sound levels to be off, for some reason almost always affecting the center channel, and then come back. But I'm sure this will all be smoothed out before too long. I still had one step left to finish though. We needed to upgrade our satellite dish to a triple-LNB dish. We previously just had a dual-LNB oval.

I called up DirecTV and ordered the "Sat C Upgrade Kit" and scheduled a visit. They asked when I wanted to schedule the visit and indicated they could come the next day. I was a bit surprised they could come so fast, but pleased to have it done quickly. The next day the guy shows up looking for our part. Turns out DirecTV was so brilliant as to schedule the guy to come the next day when they had to ship me the part! On top of that, the guy didn't have any spares to do the work since he was there, so we had to reschedule.

We got the part, and I also took the liberty to order a mount for my ChannelMaster 4221 over-the-air HD antennae. He returned and put the upgrade kit on the dish and mounted the antennae. I was at work so I'm not sure exactly what he did, but when I got back there was no signal from satellite C. Nothing.

I tried to call the installation company to get it fixed. No surprise, they can't schedule anything. I had to go back through the 800-number maze at DirecTV and schedule another entire visit. He was supposed to come yesterday morning. After rescheduling twice for that day, they finally showed up at 5pm. We had plans to go to dinner, but I really wanted to get this thing done right. The guy had to put up a whole new dish and run new cables down because they were too short to reach the new LNB. He was here for over two-and-a-half hours!

Our story ends well, everything is working really well now. But it required three house visits and probably ten phone calls to get done. Why is it that providing service to your television devolves into this horrible customer service nightmare. Oi!