Tuesday, October 4, 2005

On how to screw your customers

Living in the wonderland known as Cleveland, I rarely get to enjoy watching the Seahawks from my native city.  As such, I decided last year to buy Directv and get the Sunday Ticket.  It was great – I could watch my Seahawks in HD almost every week and it didn’t hurt to be able to flip to some other exciting games during timeouts or the other Sunday timeslot.

Directv notified me that ‘for my convenience’ they had automatically renewed my Sunday Ticket subscription.  Now, normally I don’t like automatic renewals, but in this case I was not bothered since I was going to get it again anyway.  I assumed I would be getting the same package as last year given that it was the same price (~$200).

Everything was fine until this last Sunday when I tried to watch the Seahawks in HD and found that all my HD channels were now blocked.  Yep, they gave me the HD channels for the first few weeks, then pulled the rug from under me.  I called to ask why I didn’t have the HD anymore and the informed me that it was only for the next tier called ‘SuperFan’.  The asking price?  Another $100.  At first I just did not believe the CSR – I mean, why would you jack the price up 50% for what was standard last year and have the audacity to blindside everyone with this new packaging?  I mean, if you are going to auto-enroll me in something, you better damn be sure it is the same f*ing thing that I paid for the last year.  It was all the more confusing when I got the HD for a few weeks and they told me that was because they were allowing me to ‘preview’ it.

I argued with the CSR and eventually got a manager to give it to me for only $50.  Well, I find out later that that was the price that they were giving to everyone since apparently thousands of angry Sunday Ticket buyers have been flooding their lines.  Apparently, there are a lot of people that complained and got it for free.  Directv wasn’t going to let me know about this of course.  I am pretty salty about this whole affair as now they have gouged me out of another $50.  They know that once you see HD games you will never watch it in SD again.  They hook you, then screw you.  I am thoroughly disgusted with Directv at this point.