Recently, it has come to my attention that there are companies out there that take pride in charging consumers top dollar for services that the consumer can do themselves. This article is prompted by my recent experience with my television service provider, and I hope that by reading this, you will think twice before paying one of your service providers an excessive amount of your hard-earned money for a service you can easily complete yourself.
About two months ago, I took advantage of a great service offer from DirecTV. At the time, we had our master bedroom upstairs because it was cooler at night with the windows open. Now it is June, and in South Texas that equates to using an A/C, period. So, we moved our master bedroom back downstairs to the Master Suite. Part of the moving process involved transporting my TV and receiver from our upstairs bedroom to our downstairs bedroom. Unfortunately, when I tried moving the receiver downstairs and got it all hooked-up, I got a ‘signal read error’ displayed across my screen. I checked all my connections to make sure they were correct, but soon gave-up and called DirecTV customer service.
What they had to say infuriated me. Apparently, in order for me to move my television from the upstairs bedroom to the downstairs bedroom, required a technician to come out to my house and specially ‘wire’ the downstairs cable outlet to receive a ‘signal’. I told them that would be great–that is, until they told me that it would be a $99 trip charge. Now, this is in addition to the $5.99 per month ‘Protection Plan’ that I pay for which allegedly includes ‘In-Home Service Calls’.
I pointed this out to the representative, but this got me no where. When i asked if I could do it myself, she responded by telling me, “I’m sorry sir, it is impossible for you to do it without the special equipment our technicians use.” I argued with the representative a little longer and got her to cut the service fee to $49. In the end though, I concluded that even $49 was still an outrageous amount to charge a consumer for simply screwing a coaxial cable into the receiver, and so I hung-up the phone.
This immediately prompted me to go up into my attic where all of my television feeds and connections are. I traced my cable connection from the downstairs outlet to the attic and found that the cable had previously belonged to my last service provider. I then noticed it wasn’t screwed into anything. I then quickly identified the DirecTV coaxial box where all of the houses feeds were plugged into. Finally, I simply screwed the disconnected coaxial cable to the DirecTV coaxial box and viola! Now I have TV in my downstairs bedroom.
The point of this article is to inform and educate you, the consumer, that companies like DirecTV will mislead you and tell you that you can’t do something in order for them to collect your money for no reason. The only tools I needed to complete this task were my two hands, and my brain. I simply hooked-up the disconnected cable to the DirecTV box and received a signal. There were no fancy tools, or special processes needed to fix this. I was intentionally mislead and fooled into thinking I couldn’t connect a simple cable.
What I am getting at is simple. The next time you need some sort of service provided by any of your service providers, be sure to ask how much it costs. If it is free, then by all means let them do it; but if they are going to charge you, then I strongly urge you to try and use common sense to solve the problem first. If that doesn’t work, get on your favorite search engine and type in your question. Odds are, people like me are here to protect you from wasting your money, by giving you the answers and help that you need to solve the problem yourself.