It is becoming more and more clear that true customer service, with exception to a few businesses, is becoming extinct. Listening to my husband with DIRECTV this weekend confirmed what I’ve been thinking for a long time.

I will stress, the husband got a little too angry over the fact that we weren’t able to watch the first quarter of the Broncos game (not that we missed much anyway), despite our having the NFL package. The operator he got on the phone continued reading a prepared script to him, but didn’t listen to what the actual problem was. I thought it was pretty funny to listen to. My husband was not amused.

He was soon put on hold to wait for the manager because the operator had no more scripts to read from. He waited on the phone for 35 minutes (by this time the game had finally come on channel 13 after all the overtime games were completed). Since the game was on, the manager on the line basically said the problem has been solved, yay for all and let’s move on. My husband was still pretty angry, the fact that Denver was losing didn’t help.

My husband proceeded to ask what they were going to do about this obvious problem. We pay for the NFL package, are promised that we will be able to see every game. This wasn’t the case on Sunday, and frankly, this wasn’t the first time. The manager basically told him sorry and wanted to hang up.

So, here’s my problem. First, you have the person answering the phone, reading a script and ignoring what the customer was actually saying. When my husband pointed out how many years we’ve been customers, again, it was almost a shrug off.

I think a company like DIRECTV continues to focus so much on recruiting new customers that they are forgetting, or just not caring about, the long-time customers who have spent a lot of money over the years.

After about an hour of arguing, my husband did get them to knock $10 off our bill for a year, therefore saving us $120 in a year. However, an hour of arguing the point doesn’t seem worth the $120 discount, and frankly I think they just gave him this to get him off the phone. Ultimately, they still didn’t address the problem he has had with accessing certain football games.

In the end, is it that big of a deal that he didn’t get to see Houston dominate Denver for the first quarter? No. But, the bottom line is he called because it’s a problem, and he wanted them to address it. They didn’t even listen to the problem, and I am sure the problem is going to come up again.

More and more companies are forgetting about customer service. Some just don’t care, others know that so many of us are so busy that we probably won’t switch because we just don’t have the time to do so.

And, of course, we have the bottom line. They are saving money by hiring operators who are equipped with nothing more than a script and when a problem comes up that isn’t scripted, there is nothing they can do.

There are so many times where we call our phone company, cable provider, insurance provider or others with a problem and we finish the call wanting to bang our heads against the wall.

Tell us some of your stories. Email them to I know we are not alone on this.

(4) comments


Your husband is an idiot. DirecTV MUST follow the NFL blackout rules. Blame the NFL.


Actually, DirecTV and the NFL have a policy in place for allowing games like this to be shown when other games run long or go to overtime. I am a Sunday Ticket subscriber and have seen this happen many times.

I have to mention that I find it funny that you apparently felt such a strong need to call someone an idiot that you created an account here just for that purpose... and then end up being wrong.

Who's the idiot?


What are the NFL Game Availability (Blackouts) rules?.We're required to follow game availability rules set up by the NFL, CBS, and FOX.

In general, you'll get all of the games on channels 704-718 unless your local FOX or CBS station shows the game, in which case you will need to tune to your local channel to watch it. If you don't have local channels in your DIRECTV package, you can add them online at or by calling us at 1-800-531-5000.

Also, a regular season Sunday afternoon home game will be blacked out in the home team's territory if the game fails to sell out 72 hours before kickoff.

In special situations, a local station may decide at the last minute to show a different game, in which case we will change the NFL SUNDAY TICKET blackouts when permitted by the NFL. If a local station switches coverage due to a one sided or extra-long game, we will lift the blackouts (when permitted by the NFL) so that you will get the game in the 700's.

Please visit our web site at to see the complete game availability guidelines and how they may affect you.

Sports blackouts and game availability are controlled by the leagues, sports associations, and networks that purchase the rights to broadcast individual games. To protect their rights, we must enforce the blackouts and availability mandated by them

Well, here's the explanation on DTV website FAQs. This may have been one of those cases where the NFL did not lift the blackout. That surely would explain both the first idiot's experience and the second idiot's experience too [wink]


I also wanted to comment that although the writer had a bad incident that usually DTV custoemr service people are the best. But they are not sport saavy.

BTW, if you are a subscriber whose contract is up and you are on month to month you can get NFL Sunday ticket for free. Ask for customer retention dept.
It may take you 20 minutes to get it done but keep insisting. And I got a $30 per month discount and NFL too.

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