Tuesday, June 12, 2012

DirectTV & Pasta Amatriciana

Ok.... I choose to rant.  Our satellite contract has been up with Dish Network since February, but you know how it goes, and we JUST decided to work on it.  With dad moving in and the fact that we still do not have the TV's hooked up in the basement yet, it was time.  Hubby called Dish at the end of last year to hook up the basement but they wanted a new 2 year contract and that wasn't happening.  So we have the playstation down there and are only able to do movies.  I did give Dish the benefit of the doubt and called them 1st to see what they could offer us.  They have this 'hopper' system that allows up to 4 TV's to 'talk' to each other and see DVR'd programs on all of the TV's.... but we have 6 TV's and want a whole house system. Not available yet.  BOO.  We had ATT U-verse at our old house and were VERY spoiled.  Alas, no U-verse availability where we live.  ALSO... we initially tied to get cable 3 years ago when we built our home but Time Warner quoted us $3000 to put a line back to our house.  Needless to say, I told them to shove it!

Then I called DirectTV and spoke with Brooke.  She promised me everything I wanted.  A whole house system that was capable of handling up to 8 TV's.  They system would allow me to record in ANY room and go to another room and watch it.  It also allows 500 hours of record time.  I never make a decision on the 1st call but the woman talked me into a 'no obligation order' which was basically an account setup and credit check for qualification and you could cancel at any time.  Against my better judgement I did it.  I must have asked 500 questions during that call.  I clarified 5 times that we had 6 TV's and that our dish was a tad over 100 feet from our home and that is where we would like the new one to be placed.  We kept asking about channels (ones that we frequent) and all was 'in there'.  We were elated.  We only had to pay $99 out of pocket and they tried setting up the install for 3 days from then.  I pushed it back a week just to be able to continue my research.  I asked the lady if the monthly price quoted would be for the entire 24 month contract and she confirmed that if there were no changes that the price would stay the same.  I hung up happy and that night I watched DirectTV's videos on this whole house system.  I was excited.... it was basically Uverse.

So the next morning I received the confirmation email that stated that I had the whole house system, DVR and 4 receivers, that there was one monthly price for months 1-12 but a $19 higher price for 3-24.... it also spelled my hubby's name wrong.  I called.  I had an irritating feeling in my stomach which should have told me something.  I got his name changed and clarified that we had 6 TV's.  They confirmed and stated that the whole house system counts as 1, the DVR as another plus 4 additional which would equal 6.  I asked about the price increase after the 1st year and he explained that I was getting some sort of rebate for the 1st year.  Not sure why but I went with it.  He seemed like a nice guy that was 'fixing' my account.  On hold I heard that they bundled with Windstream, our telephone company so I asked for more information.  They said that they did and that I would get a $15 credit/month and this made the deal even sweeter.  When Frank returned to my call he said that I would have to call and cancel Windstream and re-sign up via them.  This made no sense but after I hung up I called Windstream.  They said that they do not bundle with DirectTV but that DirectTV gives a credit to Windstream customers.  GggggggRRRRrrrrr.  You know that feeling that you get when you are getting a run around????  I had it.

I called DirectTV back AGAIN.  Spoke with a Christina who said that I didn't need to cancel and that they could just 'put it on my bill'.  She applied the credit after I gave her our Windstream account number.  I was happy once again but RECONFIRMED the 6 TV whole house deal and she verified it again.  Now all we had to do is wait for Tuesday 12-4pm.

This morning hubby and I got into a tiff about TV.  He CONSTANTLY has one (or more) on.  Every room if he had his way.  I don't watch TV.  I DVR one show and most of the time I watch it on my iPad. He, is ADDICTED... and I feel like the girls are getting that way.  If the TV is on D1 doesn't hear a word you say.  I NEVER turn it in before breakfast as she will not eat.  Today Hubby did just that.... turned it on and then expected D1 to listen.  Total joke.  So I went silent & got snippy.  I think he started to understand after asking D1 what she wanted for breakfast for the 5th time.  He then asked if we could head out for a hike at the lake.  I happily complied.  We went on a small hike and the took a dip in the lake.  I had planned to get up ready to go by 11:30 so we would be home well in time for our noon appointment.

My phone rang at 11:40.  It was the installer.  In his broken English he said that he was at my house.  I explained that the appointment was 12-4 and that we were 5 minutes away. He said that he would go and get gas and head back.  We live 3 minutes from the lake and headed right there.  He was in front of us in the driveway.  Stupid dude even called when he got to our house as we sat there behind him unable to get into the garage because he was parked in front of it.  Remember that feeling in my stomach???  It was back. Hubby got out and asked him to move the truck.

I got out of the car and introduced myself.  He did the same stating again that he had been here before.  DUH!  EARLY!  So we walked to the back of the house and I showed him where the dish currently is.  He said that it was 'far'.  I explained that when we made the order I had specifically told them how far it was.  He said that he had to call his supervisor.  He then made a call and came back to me saying that this was now a 'custom install' and there would be a $50-70 charge.  I said that I would cancel if this were the case as I specifically explained this in my order.  He said again that he would have to 'call his supervisor'.   I walked into the house and he followed me.  Hubby was in the kitchen feeding D1 & D2 and he proceeded to make the call from my kitchen.  REALLY?!?!???!  Hubby kept giving me the 'WTF' look.  I was NOT going to pay this charge.  He then ended the call and said that he didn't like doing it but that his supervisor approved it.

The installer then asked what equipment we were expecting.  I went on to tell him that I had 6 TV's and that I ordered a whole house system.  He said that was not what was on the order.  HOLD IT.  Now I was getting upset.   He said only 5 TV's were on the order and it was a whole house system but the additional 4 receivers would not work as I described.  I would only be able to record off the whole house DVR box.... not the additionals.  Now I was getting hot.  He explained that he knew there would be problems with our order based on the equipment.  Apparently we got a whole house receiver which is their best piece and the receivers didn't 'match' it.  They weren't even high def.  He again called 'his supervisor' from my kitchen.  I told him that I wanted the order cancelled.  He called customer service and put me on his phone.  The service rep explained that I did not order what I think I had BUT I could pay an additional $200 to get what I want. BULLSHIT.  I hung up on her.

I went into Hubby's office, grabbed my notes from all the phone calls I had made, and called customer service.  I spoke with a Venus who apparently discussed the issues with her supervisor.  They were 'nice' enough to offer putting the $200 on my 1st bill instead of me paying it today.  NO WAY.  She wanted me to make the decision right then.  She said that my case would be reviewed and that she 'escalated' it but what she could do is give me what I want for $200.  Needless to say, I didn't do anything and hung up.

I then wrote a letter to DirectTV, posted on my status about this on Facebook and then also posted on DirectTV's Facebook page.  I started a small riot on FB.  Many comments about people cutting the cord and just going with a service like ROKU and a HD antenna on their house.  I'm all for it.  I called Dish and cancelled my cancellation of now until we decide what we are doing (they gave me a $10 credit/month for staying).  After about 2 hours someone from DirectTV responded to my FB complaint and asked me to message my account number.  I did so and have yet to hear back.  I also received a generic letter from customer service apologizing for my inconvenience and asking me to call in to speak with an account specialist.  I replied stating that someone needs to review the phone calls and they can call ME!  GGGGRRrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!

I spent the next hour looking up ROKU and Apple TV as well as HD antennas.  I called a friend that 'cut the cord' and she couldn't be happier.  I AM REALLY THINKING ABOUT IT.  I just do not understand how companies can get away with this bait-and-switch stuff.  It's INSANE.  I'm still irritated about it!  To be continued!

Ok, on a lighter note.. a fellow foodie friend sent me a new recipe I had to try!  I will tell you it was fabulous.  Very easy and DELISH.  Thank you Noelle!!

Spaghetti Amatriciana 
Serves 4
olive oil, for brushing
generous 1/2 cup pancetta, diced (I used 4-5 slices EXTRA EXTRA this cut bacon)
1 onion, thinly sliced
28 oz can of Cento SAN MARZANO tomatoes diced & keep juice
1 fresh red chile, seeded and chopped (I just added a tad bit of crushed red pepper as I do not like things spicy)
16 ounces dried spaghetti (if you can get bucatini-use it)
salt and pepper
Brush a flameproof casserole with oil, add the pancetta/bacon and cook over low heat until the fat runs. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until lightly browned. Add the tomatoes and chile, season with salt and pepper, cover and cook for about 40 minutes, adding a little warm water if necessary. Cook the spaghetti in a large pan of salted, boiling water until al dente, then drain and toss with the sauce in a warm serving dish.

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