DIRECTV Ratings – How Do They Stack Up?

One of the concerns many have when considering satellite TV is whether they will have any customer service or technical problems once service is installed. It is of course a good idea to review any product or service before purchasing, and DIRECTV satellite falls into the category of being a large purchase when you consider that they require a two year contract for new customers. In this article, we will consider some of the DIRECTV ratings that have been published, and how that fits into your purchasing decision.

For year, cable television companies like Comcast and Time Warner have suffered because of their poor customer service record. When satellite TV came along, many jumped at the chance to dump the cable company no matter the price. Of course, the lower prices offered by DIRECTV and Dish Networkwere an added advantage when compared to cable. Over the past decade, both satellite providers have solidified their position in the pay television market by offering low prices and better service than big cable.

The main DIRECTV ratings we will look at here come from the American Consumer Satisfaction Index, or ACSI. This group has put together satellite TV ratings for the past ten years, and also evaluates the major cable TV companies like Comcast, Cox Communications, and Time Warner cable. There are also ratings out there from JD Power and Consumer Reports, so if getting excellent service is at the top of your list you may want to evaluate these other surveys as well.

The ACSI rates companies on a scale from 0 to 100, and for most cable or satellite providers a score in the mid-70’s is considered excellent. The overall score for all cable and satellite companies for 2009 was a 63, so that gives you an idea of where DIRECTV rates. For 2009, DIRECTV scored a 71, which was a three point increase over their 2008 rating. Dish Network scored a 64, which was their lowest rating in more than five years.

One thing that ASCI comments on that could affect DIRECTV’s score is their relationship with telecom providers. DIRECTV has resale agreements in place with the big three telcos in America – Verizon, AT&T, and Qwest. While Verizon and AT&T offer their own video service in many areas, they offer satellite TV service to their customers as the secondary option. Qwest does not have their own cable TV product so they only offer DIRECTV as an option. Because these telecom companies offer combined billing and customer service for DIRECTV in many cases, customer satisfaction for DIRECTV may be somewhat based on the service provided by these partners. If so, they seem to be doing a fairly good job in keeping customers happy.

Among the other providers, the big cable companies seem to have the lowest ratings among consumers. The top two cable companies in terms of size – Comcast and Time Warner cable, both scored a 59 in the latest survey. Cox cable had the highest cable rating with a 66, while Charter cable came in with a dismal rating of 51.

While DIRECTVtopped the survey, many complaints have flooded the Better Business Bureau, or BBB – and other consumer groups over some practices. Mainly these complaints have centered around the cancellation policy DIRECTV enforces. When you are a new customer, be aware you are agreeing to a two year contract with DIRECTV, and there is a fairly hefty cancellation fee if you stop service early. Also be aware that the HD DVRand DIRECTV receivers are considered leased equipment, and must be returned once you drop service. Former customers of DIRECTV have reported getting billed for these devices when they aren’t returned in a timely fashion, so sending them back right away can same you from some headaches.

1 Comment

  1. I signed up for Direct TV in Feb. 2013. The price I was quoted was $49 p/month and change. The installer did not anchor the satellite dish and said he would come back in the morning. He left his phone number on a card. When I called he complained about not having gas money so he never came back. Since he didn’t finish the install I never received a channel guide and user manual nor did I receive any agreement to sign. I made several more calls that went unrecorded by their call centers throughout the following week so it took 10 days to get someone out here. Then after all that another man came and finished the outside work. Because he didn’t come on a full install he didn’t bring any DVR’s or indoor equipment so he didn’t have any paperwork either. But he did try to charge me for a service call. After all that my dish was not tuned in correctly so I get lines across the top 25% of my TV. After 1 year my price increased. If I hadn’t checked my bank statement I wouldn’t have known it. The increase went to $88 a month from $49 I have no explanation for the increase. I do not have a newer TV with HD and I signed up for the least expensive contract. My bill has fluctuated between $85 to $65 a month. The $65 only lasted 2 months before it crept back up into the lower $80’s then gradually back to $88.00 a month. In order to lower the price down to the $60 a month I had to cancel, I believe it was about 15 channels, then it kept returning to the $80 range again. When I’d call they would tell me that’s because I don’t have any more credits ///WTH are they talking about?? I still haven’t had the satellite adjusted right because they want me to pay a service charge. I never received any contract and all I signed up for was the minimum package of $49 a month.
    I have only one TV , no extra movie channels and never watched an “On Demand” program. Why am I being charged so much per month? Direct TV does not get a good mark from me. Now that my contract obligation has been fulfilled the disconnect and return policy is complicated and I am afraid of being charged for the equipment if it somehow doesn’t make it back. I had that problem with Time Warner. They billed me for a couple years after I received their self addressed box and returned it, saying, “they never received it”. They negatively effected my credit and I’m afraid the same thing will happen with Direct TV. I don’t know what to do. Understanding all the business of changing providers and understanding the equipment, the promos and “fine print”, has overwhelmed me. I don’t watch sports and don’t need the movie channels or HD equipment, I just want the channels I signed up for at the agreed upon price of $49 a month. Am I paying extra for the HD channels? HELP

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