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Insider Secrets of DirecTV

DirecTV: Top-Secret Info!

DirecTV: Top-Secret Info!

Tips and Tricks From a DirecTV Insider

I'll do my best to update this page every day to let you know the newest DirecTV deals, freebies, and previews.

Until I can dedicate a supporting article to DirecTV deals, I'll be posting a "Late Breaking News" section at the top of this article.

If you aren't looking for the latest DirecTV news, continue down the page to read about the various offers that you can get from DirecTV.

Late Breaking DirecTV News

Unfortunately, on January 21, 2018, prices increased on most DirecTV plans.

The Select package will increase by $2, the Entertainment package will increase by $3, the Choice package will increase by $4, the Total Choice Limited will increase by $4.50, the Total Choice Xtra will increase by $5, the Preferred Xtra package will increase by $7, and the Ultimate Premiere package will increase by $8.

Sorry, this is not a positive update, but I just wanted everyone to know in case they see their bill increase.

DirecTV Insider Secrets

If you are reading this, you have just stumbled upon some information that you will not find anywhere else on the internet.

As a former employee of DirecTV, I have many tips on how you can get the most out of your television service. While working for DirecTV, I was entrusted with valuable information that was never supposed to be made known to the public. While there are things I can not share because of legal confidentiality reasons, I can discuss some tips that will help you get the most out of your DirecTV services. You're paying a lot of money each month to have DirecTV, so why not get the most out of it?

In the following segments, I will give you some pointers on how you can get free receiver upgrades, free house calls, discounted programming like HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and Starz, substantial discounts off your bill, and other great deals and offers that DirecTV will never come right out and offer you.

Why Does DirecTV Give These Offers?

If you are familiar with DirecTV service or any other satellite tv service, you know that sometimes service can be interrupted due to weather or other technical issues. Although the loss of satellite signal is the #1 issue most customers experience, it can be easily resolved sometimes. To see how to fix this error on your own, use my nine-step guide to resolve satellite signal issues.

DirecTV has these offers in place to compensate their customers for their loss of service due to these inconveniences. Sometimes, to get these offers, you will be required to do troubleshooting to get your service back working. I know that troubleshooting may seem tedious, but it is actually quite easy.

Another reason DirecTV provides these offers is due to customer dissatisfaction due to loss of channels or the rising cost of their bill. With the continuous rise of competition, DirecTV is now, more than ever, desperate to retain your business.

How to Determine if You Are Eligible for a Certain Offer

Each customer representative has a set limit to what they can offer each customer, based on the customer's level. According to DirecTV, there are 5 different customer levels that I will elaborate upon in this segment. In 2014, AT&T purchased DirecTV for a little under $50 billion and changed the terminology on DirecTV customer levels that this article was originally based upon. AT&T has, however, kept the same system as it pertains to offering customers special discounts and deals to keep them satisfied. After performing some extensive research by talking to several representatives, I have confirmed that this information is, in fact, still relevant as of 10/3/2017.

  • 1–12 month customers: You are the lowest on the totem pole. You will not enjoy the various discounts that are offered to your more tenured counterparts, but you can still squeeze out a free subscription to HBO, Cinemax, Starz or Showtime. Those will be defined in the next segment of this article.
  • 1–2 year customers: You are on the second lowest level of customer standings. DirecTV notices you in the system as being a potential save because your contract will end in the 24th month of service. During the 24th month, you should have a lot of discounts or promotions available in order to keep you as a customer. As previously stated, the information can be found in the next portion of this page.
  • 2–5 year customers: You are on the third highest level of DirecTV customers. You will have several discounts or promotions available to you, but you still aren't on the elite level. Your discounts include programming offers, partial or free receiver discounts and free service calls.
  • 5–10 year customers: You are edging closer to the top, as you are the second highest valued customer. The benefits of this level do not differ much from the highest level. The only difference is that the top level may be eligible for duplicate discounts and offers. Read on to find out more.
  • 10+ year customers: Congratulations, you have reached the top. There are no more discounts for each additional year after the tenth year. You have several great opportunities to get special offers and equipment for free. Now here comes the secret.

Offers and Promotions That AT&T & DirecTV Won't Tell You About

The following is a list of all the Offers, Deals, and Promotions that DirecTV provides to its current customers.

1–12 Month Customers

If you have been a DirecTV customer for less than 12 months and have had service problems due to a technical error, you qualify for the following discounts and offers:

  • 1 month of free Showtime, HBO, Starz or Cinemax
  • 1 free Service Call
  • 50% off of an upgraded receiver
  • A free subscription to NFL Sunday Ticket (in rare cases)

1–2 Year Customers

If you have been a DirecTV customer for 1–2 years and have had service problems due to technical errors or are dissatisfied with your service, you qualify for the following discounts and offers:

  • 1–6 months of free Showtime, HBO, Starz or Cinemax
  • Free Service Calls
  • 1–3 months of free Combo Premium packages such as Showtime or HBO
  • $10–$20 off of your bill for 6 months
  • Free NFL Sunday Ticket (in some cases, usually after the mid-season)
  • Free sports package add-on for up to 3 months or $10 off of sports packages for 3 months
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2–5 Year Customers

If you have been a DirecTV customer for 2–5 years and have had service problems due to technical errors or are dissatisfied with your service, you qualify for the following discounts and offers:

  • $10 to $20 off of your bill per month for 3–12 months
  • All Premium movie channels for up to 6 months free
  • Free NFL Sunday Ticket (this is a common offer to those who express an interest in sports)
  • Free Service Calls
  • Free receiver upgrades (up to 2)
  • Free sports packages (up to 1 year)
  • Up to $20 off of your bill for 1 year

5–10 Year Customers

If you have been a DirecTV customer for 5-10 years and have had service problems due to technical errors or are dissatisfied with your service, you qualify for the following discounts and offers:

  • Any of the aforementioned offers
  • Free unlimited service calls
  • Up to 3 months of free service
  • Up to 3 free upgraded receivers
  • Free HD & DVR service
  • Free personal account manager to oversee your customer satisfaction and provide you a personal line to call

10+ Year Customers

If you have been a DirecTV customer for more than 10 years and have had any problem or dissatisfaction, you qualify for the following discounts and offers:

  • Any of the aforementioned offers
  • Up to 4 free receiver upgrades per year
  • Unlimited Free Service Calls
  • A customer loyalty gift of up to $100 (this includes extra credits on your bill or free PPV or just about anything else you want to apply it to)
  • Free NFL Sunday ticket for 2 years
  • Up to $30 of your bill for up to 24 months
  • And nearly any combination of any of the aforementioned offers

How Do We Get These Offers?

Like I said previously, DirecTV will not call you up and say, "Hey, how about some free stuff?" No, you will have to put forth a little effort by calling them. Yes, you'll probably have to wait a couple minutes before talking to a representative, but it will be worth it once you get some fantastic offers. I've included the following phone numbers you can call to speak to representatives to get the aforementioned offers and deals:

  • Universal DirecTV Phone Number: 1-800-531-5000
  • DirecTV Refunds & Credits: 1-800-288-2020
  • DirecTV Customer Sign-up: 1-844-306-5288
  • DirecTV Customer Support: 1-855-679-4357
  • DirecTV New Customers: 1-877-333-3873
  • For customers who have only been with DirecTV for 1–12 months, be considerate when you call to report a problem or dissatisfaction with your service. You are not yet a valued customer. Business relationships take time. Remember that.
  • For customers who have been with DirecTV for 1–2 years, most of the discounted programming or free programming offers will be available to you, as well as free service calls. These are usually offered because of technical issues, so it is more believable if you have called in within the last week with the same problem. Be aware that if you take advantage of this, you will be identified as a fraud shopper. Each time you call DirecTV customer support a note is left on your account summary, stating the issue you are calling about, so it's not something you want to make a habit of each month or even every 3 or 4 months.
  • For the 2-5 year customers, you are eligible for a free upgrade each year. I don't care what a representative tells you; you have a right to a free upgraded receiver. If you don't have a DVR or HD DVR, you can call in tomorrow and get a free one installed within a few weeks. The only catch to this is that you will be required to extend your service contract for 24 months. So make sure you want to continue your service because there is no way out of the contract unless you want to pay the $480 cancellation fee.
  • For the customers who have been with DirecTV for 5+ years, you are eligible for nearly every offer listed above. You have credibility with DirecTV, and they want to keep you as a customer. The most useful information I can give you is how to get the most out of your money, which brings me to my next subject.

Combined Programming Offers

Combined movie packages will not be offered proactively. It is up to the customer to find these promotions and take advantage of them. Most do not take advantage of these, and I will tell you right now that you are losing money by not doing so. Let's look at an example that I have experienced firsthand.

  • DTV's Premier Package costs $187 per month, a $71 jump from when this article was first posted seven years ago. The package includes all of the movie channels; Starz, Showtime, HBO, and Cinemax.

The Ultimate package is only $134 per month for existing customers. It includes all but 2 or 3 channels, excluding the premium movie channels that 95% of viewers watch that the Premier package offers. If you downgrade your package to Ultimate, your total monthly bill would go from $187 to $134, saving you $53 per month.

What about the 2 or 3 channels that aren't offered in Ultimate? With the $53 per month that you are saving, you have a load of other options, which we will discuss in the upcoming segment.

But What About My HBO and Other Movie Channels?

Yes, we all love movie channels, but are they worth $53 per month? No, they're not, and here is why.

  • If you have a Hulu or Amazon Account, you can get these same add-on movie packages for less than DirecTV offers. If you don't have a Hulu or Amazon account, you can still get HBO now or HBO Go. If you don't have an internet connection, you still have a couple options.
  • HBO, Starz, Cinemax, and Showtime all show similar movies and duplicate each other often. Consider subscribing to just one service that fits your watching pleasure. And if you are just wanting more movies to watch, if you have an internet connection, please consider signing up for a streaming service like Amazon Prime, Hulu or Netflix. Any of those 3 have more movies than HBO, Cinemax, Starz, and Showtime combined.
  • Another option available is to go ahead and cut the cord and try the DirecTV Now streaming service. Plans start at $35 a month for 60 channels and top out at $70 a month for 120 channels with the ability to add HBO for $5 a month, Cinemax for $5 a month, Starz for $8 a month and Showtime for $8 a month.

The whole concept of packages is so that DirecTV can make the most money for channels they are providing. They have to pay other companies royalties for their channels. This is why they have different levels of programming. The promotions are for the customer's benefit, but since it would cost DirecTV millions to send out flyers each month to its customers, they only post promotions online. This is why you must go online to see what is new. Offers are posted randomly throughout the year. They may not be what you want, but eventually, you will find a great promotion.

Another option you can look into is digital movies. Over the past few years, digital movies have decreased in cost. You can now buy most digital movies to have forever for less than $6. For information on how to get these low-priced movies, check out my article "How to Get Movies for Little to No Cost."

Offers for New DirecTV Customers

For people thinking about signing up for DirecTV, you are in a great position. It is somewhat unfair when looking at it from the perspective of a current DirecTV customer, but all newcomers essentially get deals that only long-time members enjoy.

New members signing up for DirecTV are eligible for the following discounted plans:

  • Select: This package includes 150+ channels for $40 per month for the first 12 months.
  • You will get most of the same channels you do with the more expensive packages except these key channels: CBS Sports, Chiller, the Encore movie channels (8 total), ESPN channels (4 total), FS1, GSN, IFC, ION, MLB & NFL Network, OWN, SEC Network, WGN and pretty much any other sports channel you can think of.
  • If you are a sports fanatic, this is not the package for you. For the average sitcom viewer, this is a fairly cheap package for the first 12 months of service, but keep in mind that the price will go up to $90 per month minus tax and fees after your first year of service, nearly doubling what your current bill would be if you choose this package.
  • Entertainment: This package includes 155+ channels for $45 per month for the first 12 months.
  • With this package, you are going to get seven more channels than what you would get with the Select package, which includes: ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, NBC Sports, and three other channels you will never watch. Once again, keep in mind your bill will nearly double after your first year of service, going from $55 per month to $101 per month minus tax and fees.
  • Choice: This package includes 185+ channels for $50 per month for the first 12 months.
  • Free 2017 NFL Sunday Ticket: Choice and above packages are eligible for a free subscription to NFL Sunday Ticket for the 2017 season, a nearly $300 value. Just be sure to cancel it after the season ends if you don't want to be charged when the next season rolls around.
  • Choice is where we finally start seeing significant additional programming. With this package, you are going to get all of those channels not offered in the Select package except for ESPN Classic and the Encore movie pack. After the first year, the cost goes from $60 per month to $115 per month, not quite doubling this time, but still a significant increase.
  • XTRA: This package includes 230+ channels for $60 per month for the first 12 months.
  • This package is specifically aimed towards the outdoorsman. While you will be getting about 45 more channels, the bulk of them is either sports or crafts related. If that doesn't sound like your preferred programming, save yourself ten bucks and stick with the Choice package. After the first year your subscription will jump from $70 per month to $124 per month, so make sure you will have an extra $55 to pay the difference if you should choose to select this package.
  • Ultimate: This package includes 245+ channels for $65 per month for the first 12 months.
  • For the newcomer trying to decide whether to go with Choice or XTRA, if you are able to swing $5 more, get this package. With Ultimate you will get 62 more channels than you would with Choice. While 20 of these channels are music channels, displaying only a black screen with interesting tidbits about the artists, this package also includes the Encore movie package, a $10 value, 4 other pretty decent movie channels and several sports channels that are also offered in the XTRA package. If you are the outdoorsman and have decided you want the XTRA package, I highly recommend upgrading to this package instead since it is only $5 more and you get 12 more great movie channels for those rainy nights. As always, your bill will increase from $75 to $134 per month after the first year.
  • As a side note, this is my recommended package for any first-year subscriber. You get the most for your buck during the first year. You can always downgrade after your first 12 months to save money if the cost is too expensive for you.
  • Premiere: This package includes 325+ channels for $115 per month for the first 12 months.
  • And finally, Premiere is our last package and what a package it is. Honestly, it is a good deal if you enjoy watching all of the best new release and classic movies on HBO, Showtime, Starz, and Cinemax. The price is manageable at $125 per month but drastically increases to $187 per month after the first year.

What Each Type of Customer Service Reps Is Allowed to Offer You

Since AT&T purchased DirecTV there have been many complaints from customers, stating that they are not being offered any discounts or promotions that were available in the past. It would seem that AT&T is not as concerned with customer retention as DirecTV was.

To bypass technical and customer service representatives and get the best available offers, call the customer service number 1-800-531-5000. After reaching a representative, request to cancel your DirecTV account. Customer service reps will not offer you anything after you request to cancel service. They are strictly required to transfer you to the customer retention reps.

To help you understand the offers that each representative can offer you, here are the types of customer service representatives.

General Customer Service Representative

  • These guys are the lowest on the totem pole, consisting mostly of technical support agents. These reps are actually probably employees of the protection plan company,NEW Asurion. If you aren't familiar with DirecTV's protection plan, read my article "Is the DirecTV Protection Plan Worth the Investment". These bottom-level reps have several promotions and discounts they can offer you, but not nearly as much as you can get from their manager.

Customer Service Managers

  • To be transferred to a customer service manager all you have to do is say "I want to talk to your supervisor"
  • Customer service managers are the next highest on the totem pole. They have about twice as many discounts and promotions they can offer you. Since these representatives have usually been with the company for at least 2 years, DirecTV gives them more available offers to provide to the customer. Managers never want to have to transfer you to customer retention so they will usually offer you their best discounts.
  • Don't settle for their first offer or even the second. Ask if there is anything else they can do for you. They will not offer the best offer first, in case customers want more.

Customer Retention Representatives

  • These guys are the 2nd highest on the chain of service command and have almost the best offers available to you.
  • To talk to one of these agents, you must request to cancel your services.
  • Whether you are talking to a customer service rep or a customer service manager, the representative is instructed to transfer you directly to customer retention.
  • An important thing to keep in mind is how serious you are about cancelling.
  • If you have no objections to cancelling your service and are fed up, continue through the cancelling process if you don't feel like any of the discounts offered are enough for the inconvenience you have had to bear.

Customer Win Back Representatives

  • These guys are the top dogs when it comes to the amount of discounts and promotions they can offer. All available offers are available to them to give to you in order to win you back.
  • There is no way to reach one of these representatives through a direct phone number. They must call you.
  • After choosing to cancel your service with customer retention, most of the time you will receive a call from a customer win back number.
  • They usually call 3 times before not calling anymore. This is standard procedure.
  • If you have caller ID or a cell phone and have a missed call, cross-reference the number in a google search to see if it is associated with one of DirecTV's customer win back program.

If you are talking to a customer win back representative you are going to get the best deal and probably continue your DirecTV membership.

These reps can offer a vast range of deals such as:

  • Discounted base packages
  • an additional free subscription to HBO, Showtime, Cinemax & Starz for 12 months on top of a discounted base package
  • Free NFL Sunday Ticket
  • Free sports packs
  • Free service for up to 3 months
  • Free receiver upgrades
  • HD, HD-DVR & DVR services fees waived for up to 12 months

The biggest requirement on your behalf, should you opt to continue your service with one or all of these offers, would be a 12-month service agreement. If you were still under contract when you opted to cancel your service, this contract will overlap that.

If you are still receiving programming from DirecTV when you are contacted by one of these win back reps, you will maintain your previous member status.

If your service has expired and you accept one of these win back offers, you will be considered a new customer, but flagged as being a long-time subscriber. You will have more offers available to you in the future that first time subscribers do not.

For an in-depth look at customer service and how it works within DirecTV, read my article "Things about DirecTV customer service they don't want you to know".

If you have a receiver that looks like this, call DTV for legacy upgrade options.

If you have a receiver that looks like this, call DTV for legacy upgrade options.

What Are Legacy Receivers?

There are a lot of customers who have been with DirecTV since they were known as PrimeStar. During the first 6 or 7 years, DirecTV produced a lot of receivers from different companies that were compatible with their programming. Since then, they have gone to one basic receiver company, that produces all of their equipment. The old receivers are now called legacy receivers and are all eligible for free upgraded receivers. In most of these cases, you will also be eligible for free upgraded DVR or HD DVR receivers. So make sure you ask about them. You could easily get 4 new receivers with two of them being DVR upgrades.

Another important factor to remember if you should choose receiver upgrades is that there is usually a contract involved. In most cases, these contracts are for 24 months. If you are a satisfied customer with DirecTV this shouldn't be a problem, however, I must add that if you are not having such a great experience for any reason, you may want to consider holding out on upgrades if you intend on canceling. Additionally, if you are having a bad experience, you always have the option to voice your opinion to DirecTV. Let them know your concerns and dissatisfaction if any. DirecTV is pretty good about trying to satisfy their customers. They know you pay premium prices for your service and do not want to lose you as a customer.

All loyal customers can get an HD-DVR for free. Just call and find out how.

All loyal customers can get an HD-DVR for free. Just call and find out how.

I've Been a Customer for 10+ Years: What Do I Get?

Customers who have been with DirecTV for over 10 years are what DirecTV calls Loyal Customers and are eligible for a loyalty gift. Loyalty gifts are supposed to be offered proactively, but if you don't call in, you will never see them. Loyalty offers to include: free sports packages (Yes, even NFL Sunday Ticket), free movie packages, $10-$30 off of your base package for up to 12 months, free no questions asked service calls. Please, if you have been with DirecTV for more than 10 years, call them and ask about offers you can receive and be sure to remind them what a great customer you have been throughout the years. You are only hurting yourself if you don't. You have been a loyal customer and are entitled to nice things. Remember, you have already paid this company Thousands of dollars over the years. It's nothing for them to knock $100 or $200 off of your bill for a year. Don't feel bad for doing it. That's why they have the loyalty program in the first place.

If for some reason you are denied any of these offers by a tech support or customer service representative, ask firmly if you may speak to their supervisor. Not all customer support agents are veterans or know about the offers available to loyal customers. You can politely inform them that you now know how valuable you are to their company. I am positive they will be obliged to send some great offers your way.

Thinking of Canceling?

If you're thinking of canceling your DirecTV subscription, there are several things you should consider before doing so. As you can see below, I have received and answered many questions pertaining to customer dissatisfaction and ways of canceling your service without incurring the outstanding contract fines. For this reason, I have written a separate article, "How To Save Money by Canceling Your DirecTV Service". Please refer to this article before posting comments about cancelation or what to do about avoiding cancelation fees.

There are many other things I wish I could share with you, but in fear of this page being closed, I cannot. Hopefully, you will take this information and get the most out of your money. After all, DirecTV is the most expensive Satellite service out there, but in my opinion, they are also the best. Please let me know what you thought about this information and if it has helped you realize your savings potential.

© 2010 Jesse James


TONY on October 08, 2019:

I have 2 genies from a previous contract. I am now in my 2nd year contract, but recently moved. I pay for 4 boxes currently, and would like the other 2 to be added if possible. They kept ignoring my request, and telling me they could get me 2 more boxes, but at 99 each, and 7 a month, and it would generate another 24 month contract. All I want is to keep my current contract, and the 2 genies at 7 a month like I pay for the others. Is this possible?

Jeff on September 22, 2019:

I just called to renegotiate as my current promotion is ending in a week. The rep would not give me the sunday ticket, or even the red zone channel this year. I have received this offer for the last 5 years. I'm guessing it is the new AT&T customer service that have taken over most of the directv customer service roles with the huge layoff they did.

John Kelly on September 13, 2019:

Cancelled when contract was up, return Ed equipment before 21 days, now got a bill for not returning equipment, called twice with no help resolve ing issue

Trey on September 08, 2019:

Do you have the number directly to retention/loyalty department?


James on August 22, 2019:

My family has been with DirecTV since the Primestar days. I called the loyalty number and I went from $114 a month for equipment plus the lowest tier package to: Choice, HBO, Sports Pac, Sunday Ticket Max for $91 a month and down to $25.99 after the Sunday ticket instalments are through for the next 2 years. This 100% works.

Robert on August 20, 2019:

I am a directv customer since 1994. Last month I had cancelled NFL Max. Today I saw $65.66 item on bill for NFL. Called retention line for Massachusetts. Rep gave me $200.00 gift card plus $120.00 per month off my bill for 12 months.

Lisa on July 23, 2019:

I’ve been with DirecTV for 19 years. I called to cancel my service today and was offered $60 off my bill each month, for 12 months, and no commitment. It was too good to turn down as I would need to pay about $15 more per month to streaming services to match what we have now.

Patty on July 22, 2019:

I’m a 19 year customer and my $55 discount was ending and all they could offer me is $5 off. I think I will call back later this week to cancel. 90% of the channels are informercials anyway. I was on the phone with them for 1 hour and transferred to a second person who then apparently spent 15 minutes talking with a “Back Office Specialist” and still could only offer me a $5 discount.

Brett on July 22, 2019:

Thanks for this info. I am a 15 year customer of DirecTV and have had Sunday Ticket every year. I called on July 22, 2019 and have set up to cancel on August 11th when my billing cycle ends. Rep was very nice and tried to get me to change channel package to save $12/month. She offered nothing else, so we will see if retention calls or not...

Tom on July 15, 2019:

I appreciate your article, but I was blown away by the attitude from the customer rep. I was ultra polite, yet received an attitude from the start of the conversation that never got better. When I politely asked to talk to her manager I was told that would take too long and nothing would change. Most bizarre attitude I've ever heard on a "customer service" call. Ended up cancelling and even that wasn't easy to get done. 20 years of loyalty meant nothing

Ray on July 05, 2019:

They are getting very expensive. 200.00 a month to watch t v is ridiculous. Leaving and going to Dish.

Gary on June 11, 2019:

I'm sure this info was good before AT&T bought D.TV but now that AT&T has bought it has gone into the crapper,I got fed up with the poor Cust service and lack of deals they offered me as a 17 yr cust,heck cust retention didn't even try to talk me out of canceling when I called to cancel my service ,I got the impression that they could care less if I stayed or left ,they would have to make me an offer I couldn't refuse to get me back.

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on June 06, 2019:

Hi Jennifer. Thank you for reading. I'm happy that it helped you. You are correct in saying that if you talk in a civil manner they are more likely to do their best to help you. I can remember getting very ugly calls and honestly did not care if they were satisfied. It's the same as anything in life. If you treat someone kind, you are more likely to be treated kind in return.

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on June 06, 2019:

Hi. I am sorry for my delayed response. I have had medical problems as of late. The answer to your questions are 1) You can cancel and resubscribe and get a new customer price. 2) The second home, if it is in your name and considered a guest house, should be covered under one account. 3) If you inquire about installing at two different addresses and are told it would need to be two different accounts, simply order two receivers for either one of them homes. This is not technically allowed by AT&T/DirecTV but all you have to do is move a receiver after it is activated. I could take my receiver to your house and hook it up if wanted and get a signal.

Donald Luczak on May 20, 2019:

Florida,21+ year Directv customer.In March,at the end of a current 2 year contract,I called to disconnect.Good conversation with rep.,and was offered 1yr.with my current programming @ $38/month. Programming included HBO/Starz.Was told that in a year,I'd need to call back and see what offers were available. 5 weeks later,received email informing me that my account number was changed to reflect AT&T "family". Next bill was $60 more.When I called,I was informed that I lost my discounts at the end of last contract.When I mentioned that they could listen to the recording of the offer I was referring to,they declined . I cancelled. They have not called back.I just turned in my equipment.

jweber19 on May 13, 2019:

Great article Jesse. We have been direct tv customers for 3-4 years and signed up for service at our State fair thru a contractor. We were able to get service for our primary residence as well as a 2nd home we own a few hours away on just one account. We aren't in contract anymore and pay month to month with our bill being more than double of what we could pay as a new customer. Wondering if we were to cancel and sign up as a new customer would we lose the service at our second home without signing up for 2 accounts? If so would there be anything preventing us from bringing a receiver from our main home to our second home and getting service that way?

Westcoastgurl on April 12, 2019:

We have been a direct tv customer for almost 2 years now. In the last two months we have not had any regular tv local channels due to northwest and direct tv being in negotiations. Before we started with direct tv we had spectrum and this same problem happened during the superbowl just hours before the game. We decided to make the switch even with the channels only being gone for a few days, less than a week.. im now going into the 3month and there is no way of knowing how many longer we will be waiting for our local channels to return.we greatly miss our local news and knowing what is going on in our area, we watched the news every day in our home. Any advice on how i can get some discount on our bill? Or maybe some extras nfl ticket? we already have the biggest plan & pay for hbo,showtime and all the others. Greatly appreciated the advice you have relayed for everyone else in their qustions.

Brenda J. on April 10, 2019:

We have been with Direct TV since 1990. Our bill has been going up constantly and we bundle our land line with long distance, internet, & TV so I called to see if I could lower the bill with a different package. NOTHING was offered. Also, I was missing a channel, #347 which was in the package when we first signed up & they wanted me to pay $2 more for a channel I was already paying for. I asked for a credit for the missing channel, NO deal. We also were having major trouble with receiving half the channels in our package, changed the LBN, no improvement. Did the nine step check as directed by ATT, No change. The system all of a sudden worked Perfectly after two weeks of problems. We talked to a satellite company about a service contract when the problems began and changing to another company. ATT still did not offer any relief on the bill or answers about reception problems with the system and the sudden correction. The satellite company indicated that they are still using the original 101 satellite but they plan to change to a new satellite in 2020. He felt the 101 satellite was the problem for the missing channels. He stated that the change to a new satellite will require all new equipment installation to all older customers and they will be a fee charged from what he indicated. The owner has 40 years in the satellite business and he had no preference on what service to buy. I told ATT I was shopping for a new service and still No Deals were offered after being a customer since 1990! I told ATT we are going to cancel, buy an antenna and go to streaming. Let’s see if that will help! Their customer service Sucks too! They just don’t care about keeping people happy.

Jopetto on March 22, 2019:

I am an original primestar customer and I am grandfathered from the $7 receiver fees. If I get replacement equipment from the protection plan including a DVR do I maintain my grandfather status with respect to the receiver fees?

Jopetto on March 22, 2019:

I have been a customer since 1997. I am grandfathered from the $7 receiver fees. Does anyone know if you remain exempt from these fees if you get new equipment under the protection plan?

vchip on March 18, 2019:

Just spent over an hour with retention. I had cancelled back in April 2018 due to high bill and their not wanted to lower it. Same issues others had. Got a good deal to "come back". I double and triple checked pricing with agent in October. I got email confirmation of pricing. That is the only time they've billed me correctly. Finally today I was told they cannot correct bill. They cannot give me back a credit for movie package I had cancelled. AND I WAS TOLD DESPITE WHAT THEY SAY WHEN YOU SIGN UP THEY CAN RAISE PRICES WHENEVER (USUALLY ONCE A YEAR) THEY WANT TO. YOUR DISCOUNT STAYS THE SAME BUT YOUR MONTHLY COST GOES UP. So my bill increased even though I was told when I signed up it would not. Classic bait and switch. If I had an option ....

Stubby on March 06, 2019:

They are playing hardball now. Seems like you have to actually cancel (I did) before they come back (they did) with an offer a few days later that previously could have been negotiated over the phone. Had a taste of Youtube TV and thought it was a really good product though.

Andrea on February 26, 2019:

20-yr customer and I cancelled my service last Thurs. Went and bought an antenna for $10 and started my free Hulu account. Went from $60 a mth to $0. Now I rec'd an email advising me that they will take 70% off my bill.

jenniferlcouch on February 20, 2019:

Thank you so much for the article! Armed with the information you provided, I spoke with Directv/At&T today. We have been customers with them for 20 years and our plan has been "grandfathered" and not offered anymore. However, our bill kept going up and up. So, finally I decided to go for the disconnect. After mentioning this I was redirected to the top negotiators. Our bill was cut in half and included all equipment. What an incredible savings! I also believe that if you communicate with them in a civil and calm way they are happy to help you out. Thank you again for helping us by writing this article.

Steve on February 16, 2019:

16-year DirecTV customer. Just got my new bill, up $9/month. Called and said I was canceling. Offered absolutely nothing other than the suggestion to switch to a lower package.

1976 Cessna on February 10, 2019:

We currently have a 24 month contract with Direct TV, which we are midway on.

We live in Minnesota and Phoenix. We have our contract and equipment in Phoenix.

Plan to spend Summer months in Minnesota and Dec and Jan in Cabo San Lucas.

How can I get my Direct TV service in these two locations?

I noticed in Cabo San Lucas some homeowners who winter in Mexico have a box to perform this (Sling?)

Pete on January 29, 2019:

Good information. It's nice to hear this from a professional who has worked with the company, rather than a self-proclaimed know-it-all. Thanks for sharing.

Lynatte Boston on December 29, 2018:

We have been a customer for 24yrs. Our 50.00 credit ran out last month and I called them and was transferred to the retentions and they said they did not have any promotions and could only offer me 5.00 off when I was getting 50.00 off for the past 12 months. I said I would be calling dish and he said ok. Let me know whenever you want to cancel you next billing cycle is on 17th. WOW! Guess they don’t care about people that have been with them for 24yrs

Brad on December 16, 2018:

Cancelled my service last night after 15 years as a subscriber. Was offered NOTHING.

Trink on December 13, 2018:

I cancelled my service on Saturday after 16 years of being with them. I did this so i can get a better deal with the win back team. I have not recieved a win back phone call from direct tv. I'm getting worried, what's the average waiting time too get that call? Thank you

Laura on December 04, 2018:

13 year customer, bundled AT&T Internet, Wireless and DirecTV Xtra plus sports package. I got $85 off base fees for 36 months. Thanks!

Stubby on November 27, 2018:

4 days after terminating (and signing up with youtube tv) received a win back email. Bill reduced from $160 a year to $67 for the first year. $106 year two. Yes I have a 2 year contract now which I haven't had for 5 years. Also hbo/showtimestarz/Cinemax free for 3 months. And NFL ticket max remainder of the year (7 games) free. Lastly $300 gift card. Was prepared to say goodbye. Maybe that's the key.

Stubby on November 14, 2018:

Made the call 11-14. Best I could do was 30 bucks a month off. Previous 3 years has been 60 off one with free NFL ticket. 16 year veteran. New bill is 160/month. Told them bye. Will post if they come crawling back with some goodies.

Stubby on November 13, 2018:

20 years in. Discounts (60 dollars a month ) just expired. Made the call. Offered 30 off per month. Back and forth 30 minutes. Cancelled. Will report back if final offer comes thru.

Afoxy34 on November 11, 2018:

I had been a customer for 6 years. Every time my rates would go up I would call and they’d always offer something to lower my bill. Yesterday my contract expired and with that my bill would double. I called to cancel (thinking they would try to get me to stay) and they didn’t offer ANYTHING! I’d really like to stay with them rather than switch to dish. Any advise?

lyn on October 25, 2018:

Hi I have a two parter here..

1) we have been both d-tv and at&t costumers for 10+ years. we havent upgraded our reciever in about 3 years.. we upgraded to what at that time was a top of the line HR44/700 which had 4K capabilities (we where told) we where charged 300.00 for this giant paper weight that lowand behold doesnt get 4K...How can i upgrade the reciever while not on a protection plan with out paying an arm and a leg..

2) Our current package is retired we have the free HBO for life with 25.00 as long as we have att and dtv, We have the Select package with a locked in price of 53.41..with all that info being said we can not get the 4k stations for free like the new customers are being offered is there a way that we can get the same offers as new customers without losing our current rates...

Mary on October 20, 2018:


I recently signed up with direct tv a month ago. I signed up at the farmers market with a representative. They did not offered me the $200 visa gift card for signing in with direct tv. Is there anyway i can still get it for being a new customer?

skiilady on October 07, 2018:

The guy that installed our jeni didn't tell us anything as to regards on how to use the remote. We just want to get the best out of what we got.

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on September 27, 2018:

Hi Rhonda. Technically, you aren't doing anything wrong. The only thing to take note of is whether you are under contract. If you are under contract on your name and let your service lapse or become past due, DirecTV could limit services until that balance is paid. As for letting your service expire and just resigning back up for DirecTV, there isn't anything they can do to stop you as long as you meet their credit requirements and pay your bill on time. I actually wrote an article on just that (resubscribing every two years) in order for people to save more money by getting the new subscriber discounts.

Rhonda on September 26, 2018:

Jesse, I've got a possibly unusual question. Our service is costing almost $300/mnth. We've had DTV for 8 years or longer and the only thing they want to offer is receiver upgrades. My husband had the idea to sign up under his name. (Service is still active under my name.) He signed up online just to see if it would let him since there is an active acct at our address & got the same package plus Sunday ticket for $150/mnth with install scheduled for this Saturday. If I let mine disconnect before install will there be any issues with DTV?? Can DTV catch onto what we are doing & cancel installation or disconnect service after installation?

Dan on September 25, 2018:

Has anyone had issues with the TV constantly freezing? I have been with DirecTV for 7-8 years now. About a year ago I upgraded to the new Genie 2 system. Since then my service has been terrible. I have had guys come out multiple times and now they are sending yet another new tower. Hopefully it works, if not, what can I do? The TV probably freezes at least once or more every 15 minutes. Sometimes for a couple seconds, sometimes for a minute or two. A lot of the time, it will also then search for signal and restart. I also have issues where the sounds comes in muffled. I have to change the channel and go back and it's fine, but it's really annoying. Has anyone else had any of these issues? If so, how did you resolve them?

Kevin allen on September 15, 2018:

What is the one time forgiveness program for direct tv

andersonia on September 11, 2018:

Thanks so much for the advice Jesse! I have been a customer for 8 years and have had a number of $5-$20 credits generally adding up to around $50/mo for the past couple of years. A retention rep told me once that I would be better off letting all credits expire and then calling back. My last $10 credit just fell off and I called in the next day and the retention rep immediately offered me $75/mo off for 12 months. My bill is now $60/mo. I also asked about Sunday Ticket (have had it at half price every year except last season I did not have it) and they gave me Sunday Ticket Max for free for the season too. It really seems hit or miss but this time it took me less than 10 minutes to get my best offer yet.

jtw on September 10, 2018:

Thanks for this information, Jesse. I just called and cancelled my service. I have been with them since 2012. I have the extra package, showtime and NFL ticket. They offered $75 off a month for the next 12 months. I declined and they processed my cancellation. Didn't make another offer or transfer for me. If I hear from a win back rep I will update.

XBoxJon on September 09, 2018:

Thanks for the article, hadn't called retentions in a long time (15yr customer) and my bill had gone from $90 to $135 (Total Choice, 4 HD DVR's... 3 old ones, 1 genie) due to old discounts falling off. Was going to switch to Spectrum Cable (I pay $85/month for 200Mbps internet and home phone from them, can add one DVR for $15/month and stream with their app on the other TV's for 12 months, then it goes up to $48).

Anyway, retentions offered $50 off for a year, 3 months of premiums, and Sunday Ticket. Sold, for another 12 months... still more expensive than cable, but I have 4 DVR's with tons of content I didn't want to get rid of, plus not having to stream on TV's and the hassle that can be sometimes is worth the extra cost.

MagnumJoe on September 01, 2018:

Thanks Jesse, I went ahead and stayed with DirecTV and glad I did. With a 55.00 discount for 12 month discount my bill is about 64.00 which isn't bad. Perhaps when the promotion is over, they'll offer me another one. If not I may come back to DirectNow, their service works pretty good on my AppleTV and maybe by that time they should have a better service, more channels & more than 3 devices to stream on at at time. Time will tell. Thanks again.

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on August 31, 2018:

It is possible to get stacked discounts, especially if you have the Sunday ticket or are thinking about getting it. There are many customers that call in each month to ask about current discounts. If you have the time, try calling at least once a month. Something usually pops up eventually.

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on August 31, 2018:

Firstly, I agree. Customer service has taken a turn for the worse since the at&t takeover. Depending on where you live, installation dates could be affected by population and/or if any installation companies have stopped subcontracting for Directv. If talking on the phone is getting you nowhere, try using the chat option on the Directv website. Those guys and gals are very helpful and usually more competent than telephone reps. If I ever have inquiries about Directv, the first place I go is to their website. There will usually be a chat option that pops up once you go to their site. If you let me know where you are, I could see if i can find out what the trouble is with the delayed service.

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on August 31, 2018:

The only disadvantage I can think of is equipment replacement. If the local technician isn’t subcontracted by Directv, the protection plan may not pay for a replacement receiver. For installation, local guys are usually fine. Basically, if they are certified to install Directv equipment and can activate it for you, you will be safe.

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on August 31, 2018:

Unfortunately, win back reps can only call you with those offers. You can still probably find one of the Visa card offers. I actually got one in the mail the other day. You can always try to call the main line and tell them that you received the offer and they may have a department to transfer you to which will probably be winback.

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on August 31, 2018:

Hi, Joe. Your question is a bit hard to answer. I’ve lived in Florida before and know how the weather affects signal. It’s hard for me to recommend switching to Directv Now just because of my experience with the service. Directv Now is simply behind schedule as far as providing convenient apps for gaming consoles, which is how many people choose to stream media. The only suitable way I could watch Directv Now was via PC by streaming it via my Google play device. If you have had a good experience with streaming Directv Now, I would lean towards the streaming service. One upside of the streaming service is that you won’t have many service outages, like you said. The only advice I could suggest is to make sure you won’t incur any cancellation penalties. If you haven’t had a receiver upgrade over the last two years, you should be okay. Another thing to mention is that Directv Now features different promos for new subscribers each month. I have been able to get three free roku devices by using different cards and email addresses. Once you run out of payment options you will be stuck with paying the regular amount, but I look forward to seeing Directv Now offer discounts for customers to try to compete with companies like Netflix and Amazon. I guess I’m saying, if it was me I would probably just dive on into the streaming option. Check out their different plans. You may find that there is an even better option for you and be able to use another cheap streaming service as well.

dansmail26 on August 30, 2018:

Is there any advantage/disadvantage of using a local dtv company? the local guy says no disadvantage plus he offers free service calls.. why not use him?

dansmail26 on August 30, 2018:

I was a customer a few years ago. they keep sending me $300 visa offers. I am going to go back, is there any way at all to get with a 'win back' rep?

MagnumJoe on August 30, 2018:

Wow ,there’s tons of information on this site, thanks for putting it together. I thought this would the perfect place to ask a couple questions. I’m on my second go with DirecTV this time around I’ve been a customer for close to 4 years. Like many of you, I called to cancel and spoked to someone in retentions. They offered me a total 55.00 off my bill for a year which bring it down to around 77.00 per month including taxes. On the flip side, I wanted to experience DirecTV Now, so I suspended my service to try it out. I’ve used DirecTV Now for about a month and for the most part pretty satisfied, yes it does have so glitches as does DTV with thunder storms rolling in every afternoon here on the gulf coast of Florida. With DirecTV Now I still get most of my channels with the 40.00 package, so you’d think that’s a big saving, well after upgrading my internet data plan to what I need, the prices are about the same with the 55.00 discount. So, my question is this. Do I cancel now and hope I’ll continue getting the discount after 12 months or cut the cord now and be done with satellite. What would you suggest?

Indiana Jones 1 on August 30, 2018:

Sure will. If I do, I'll definitely let you know. Thanks for all your input!

HollaDog on August 30, 2018:

I've been desperately trying to schedule an install appointment to add additional receivers to my account. In the past I would call order the equipment and schedule the appoint. Now it's order the equipment and then "somebody will call you with in 72 hours to make an appointment" I receive notifications on my account to schedule an appointment and get the response that nothing is available, same with the automated phone system and same when talking to a rep. It's ridiculous because how is nothing available???? I use to be able to schedule out 2 months in advance if I so wanted. It's so frustrating. As I'm typing this I'm on hold to speak to a supervisor. The customer service has completely fallen off a cliff since ATT bought DirecTV. Is there any secret to actually be able to schedule an appointment to have a tech come to your house something that use to be so simple and something I took for granted as part of customer service.

Tony on August 28, 2018:

I was able to get a $60 monthly discount for 12 months, last year I got almost $100. Rep said because of the changes. Do you think I can still get another discount on top of that? I was hoping for at least a reduced price on the Sunday ticket.

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on August 28, 2018:

Correct. Theoretically, it would be after the receivers are returned. If I remember correctly, Directv will send you postmarked boxes to ship back the receivers within 2 weeks of cancellation. It takes another week for the receivers to get back to them and be processed. So, you are still looking at nearly a month without service. If you have any kind of streaming services like Netflix, this is a great money-saving method to do every two years. Honestly, a lot of people overpay because they don’t take advantage of this loophole. The new customer promotions are heavily discounted and even come with additional programming like NFL Sunday ticket and premium channels for a few months. It’s not a long term discount. You are just being discounted for the first year, but you still end up saving more than you would with a 30% discount over time. If you bundle your at&t back with your directv, you save even more. For now, this is the best money saving technique for directv service. It takes a little extra time and effort (making sure you are at home for the installation and going without service for a few weeks) but if you have high speed internet and can use a streaming service for the few weeks you are without service, this is the way to go. As far as your directv installer friend goes, that is great. You have someone you can contact for specific installation dates. Honestly, you don’t need a certified technician to come out because all of the cables are already installed. It would just be installing new receivers and activation. Let me know what you decide to do. I would love to be able to add a neutral review to the article for this process so others can see that it is legitimate if you choose to do so.

Indiana Jones 1 on August 27, 2018:

Thanks for doing all this research! So if I cancel, I'm deleted from their system immediately? They won't be able to see that I was ever a customer? That's strange. But good. I assume that's after I send back all my receivers. So theoretically it couldn't be "next day", right?

My friend is a contracted installer and he set me up originally. He said that I would go through him again and he would get my receivers, do the install, etc. and bill DirecTv so there would be no need for me to even get DirecTv involved. Good or bad?

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on August 25, 2018:

After speaking to "New Customer sign up agents", I confirmed that once you cancel your services you can resubscribe the next day. I gathered this information via research. New customer sign-ups are a different department than technical support, which is what I did when I worked at DirecTV. It makes sense that there is no waiting period because once service is terminated and everything has been paid for, your account isn't kept on record. A new subscription can be done for the same location with the same information. The biggest downside of resubscribing is that you "essentially" become a new customer. You won't have loyalty discounts or anything that you've had in the past until you stay with DirecTV for another 5-10 years. The postive side of deciding to resubscribe is that since AT&T took over, Loyalty customers haven't been valued as much as they were in the past. New customers get free premium channels for at least 3 months but sometimes for a year, depending on which promotion is being offered at the time of sign up. New customers only have to pay about half of what long-time customers pay for the first year. Sure the second year will cost more, but if you calculate everything out, you only end up paying about 66% (over a two year period) of what 2 years of regular pricing would be.

Indiana Jones 1 on August 24, 2018:

Don't apologize! I am so thankful I'm able to correspond with someone who tells the truth! Greatly appreciated! I guess I'll just have to make up my own mind whether to get the HS17 or not, and whether or not to cancel/restart service.

Speaking of which, what is the timeline of canceling service then restarting as a new customer? It's got to be at least 30 days, right?

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on August 23, 2018:

I'll try to address the rest of your questions in this reply. #1) Yes, you would lose your recordings if you chose to upgrade to the HS17 or resubscribe. #2) You should be able to bundle your AT&T again and get a similar if not better discount. #3) You should be eligible for an upgraded receiver if it has been at least two years since you have had a receiver upgrade. #4) Usually, DirecTV will send the latest receiver when an upgrade is requested. You can request to specifically have the HS17 receiver installed. This shouldn't be a problem. Install techs can order specific receivers to install at any location. #5) I don't see any way around losing your recordings if you choose to upgrade or resubscribe. That would ultimately be a preference decision by you to determine which is more important to you, dealing with a slow receiver and paying more than you are willing to pay for service. And lastly, I would "assume" that the mini genies are compatible with the HS17, but I could be wrong. I have inspected an HS17 installation in person before. I apologize if these answers aren't what you wanted to hear, but I can guarantee you that these are very similar answers that you would receive if you spoke to a CSR over the phone. If I've missed anything, feel free to let me know. I'm always willing to answer any question that I can to help you. Thanks for reading and thanks for your questions. Inquiries help others with similar problems. So, feel free to ask anything anytime.

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on August 23, 2018:

Well, my answers are definitely not going to be what you want to hear. I ran into this type of problem/request on a daily basis when working as a CSR. The receivers with DVR capability are always slower after a period of time. The receivers with HD as well tend to become slow over time. It's not necessarily the number of recordings you have on the receiver that makes it perform slowly. These receivers are somewhat like computers. If you were to leave your computer on for a long time without restarting it, it would begin to lag. I'll not claim to be a technical genius and say that I understand all of the workings of these receivers, but I did get the impression that most, if not all, DirecTV receivers are not equipped with sufficient cooling systems. It is my belief that the receivers becoming too hot it what causes them to lag in most cases. I will tell you exactly what we were told to tell the customer when they called in with this concern. Reformat your receiver. This was almost always a hot-button issue. People didn't want to lose their recordings and this would definitely erase all of your recordings. On the other hand, it would make the receiver much faster every time. The only other suggestions that I know of that have been proven to increase loading speed is receiver resets and making sure there is plenty room around the receiver for it to take in air in order to cool the receiver. HS17 receivers have received a lot of complaints. That's ordinary for a new receiver though. The Genie was despised after it was first released. When new receivers meet quality specifications they are rolled out, bugs and all. In fact, the Genie has just recently resolved most of the bugs that plagued it. I would say, expect the HS17 to frustrate you at first, but patches are sent out via satellite to fix any technical issues over time.

Indiana Jones 1 on August 23, 2018:

I also wanted to know if you have any opinion on the HS17. I don't have any 4k tv's but like I said my HR34 is a piece of crap. I will go through my playlist, pause a program, go to the guide, whatever, and almost every function takes 45 seconds for it to register at times! It's utterly ridiculous. This was happening even when I had a lot more than 10% space left. What are the odds of them giving me that receiver for free? I don't want all the clients that come with it, I only need the one and would keep my other existing boxes as-is. Would I have to cancel/resubscribe (or at least threaten to cancel?) to better my odds of getting that receiver?

Indiana Jones 1 on August 23, 2018:

No, I really don't remember the reason for the credit. And I didn't know by accepting the free premium channel had any bearing on my bill possibly being lowered. I almost always call every month and see what they have to offer. I always thought they are giving me the best promotion available at the time.

I was thinking about canceling/resubscribing but the only thing is they may want their equipment back and I have tons of show (less than 10% disk space :-) and would have to start from scratch. How long would I have to wait to re-subscribe if I cancel? Days? And do you know if they would require all my boxes back? I've been a customer for more than two years and hence my equipment isn't the newest so I don't know if they'd want them back or not. My installer buddy said they may or may not want them.

Also, I have ATT internet and would lose the bundle discount if I canceled DirecTv so I wonder if I re-subscribe they would reinstate the discount.

Sorry for all the questions! I have more,but will create a different post for them!

Oh, I clicked on your article about canceling/resubscribing and I got the 404 page not found.

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on August 22, 2018:

Do you remember what the reason for the $30 credit was? In other words, did they say it was a loyal customer credit or a promotion? As for what the representative said, promotions for each customer rotate on a quarterly basis. A lot has been changing recently with promotions available because DirecTV is pushing their streaming service. Unfortunately, DirecTV Now is not as fluid as Netflix or the other main streaming services. I expect that to change within a year, but for now, I don't strongly recommend trading physical service for the streaming service. It is important to advise that you not accept a free month of Showtime if you are interested in lowering your bill. CSRs are reluctant to give out several promotions. If you expect to keep DirecTV for an extended period of time (another 2 years at least), you can always check out the promotions for new customers. If you cancel service and resubscribe, you become a new customer and are eligible for new customer promotions. Things to consider before doing this is your credit standing and schedule. It's a little time-consuming but you can save a lot of money by doing it every two years, especially if you are having to pay the regular price each month. I wrote a short article about canceling and resubscribing if you want to see if it is something that may interest you "

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on August 22, 2018:

Oh, Indy. You've made me laugh. You and I share the same mindset. I do not think there is a way to bypass this notification, but I have been wrong once before. I have several edits I have been meaning to add to this article but have not been able to find the time to add them. I did a quick search for your receiver model but didn't turn up any useful information about the inquiry you requested. I don't have the HR34, so I could be missing something. If you'd like to scour through the manual I referenced, you can visit

This is a safe site to visit (scanned by an up to date virus protection service). You can either download the PDF file or browse through it online. There may be something in there that can help you, such as some way to turn off notifications. I'm sorry I couldn't be of more help to you. Watch out for snakes!

Indiana Jones 1 on August 22, 2018:

I am a long-time customer. I was given a $30 credit last year which expired this billing cycle. I called them up (as I do every month) and ask what promotions they have, etc. I called yesterday and asked if I could get the same promotion (to get my bill back down) but she said she went through all the promotions for existing customers and all she could give me was 30 days free Showtime. She said to call back Sept. 1st and see what promotions are at that time. I really want my bill to be lower; I can live without free or discounted channels. If there's no $ discounts for me next month, what do you recommend I do? Thanks!

Indiana Jones 1 on August 22, 2018:

Hi Jesse.

Is there any way to get rid of that annoying "you have less than 10% space available" warning? I KNOW how much space I have left, you don't need to tell me every single time I go to my playlist! Please tell me there's a way to disable this! Oh, and I have the dreaded HR34 receiver.

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on August 18, 2018:

If that option is available to you, I would definitely recommend it. All calls are recorded by Directv customer service and can be used against you. So, why not flip the tables if you have the opportunity.

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on August 18, 2018:

Hi, Bob. In response to your question, yes Directv can require you to perform another credit check upon a moving your installation. This is one of those things that are in the fine print of the contract you signed when the technician installed your equipment. Why Directv requires a secondary credit check after you've been a customer is beyond my understanding.

Bob on August 16, 2018:

I’m in the process of moving and directv is saying that they need to do a credit check before they can authorize the move. If I don’t authorize the credit check, I can’t move service and I have to pay the cancellation fee. Can directv force a customer to authorize a credit check just to move or make them pay the cancellation fee for refusing?

Amy on August 01, 2018:

When trying to negotiate with the CSR over the phone, do you think it would help my case if I record the conversation just in case DirecTV doesn't deliver on any of the offers promised over the phone?

Adam on July 25, 2018:

Hi. Thanks for the info.

I just got directv about 4 months ago. I initially got the Select package. I was wondering if there was a way to upgrade to the entertainment package without paying through the nose.

Thank you

Jackers3 on July 22, 2018:

I have been a DirecTv consumer for over 10 years. You indicated that I am eligible for free NFL Sunday package. Is this promo still current and who is most likely to give me this discount to me (Customer Rep, Supervisor, Retention}?

guy on July 03, 2018:

i have been with directv 18 years and call all the time they lower my bill and I get free movies.for what they charge I deserve it.

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on June 27, 2018:

Yes. I have heard of this happening on more than one occasion. While there may be a promotion that allows a customer to upgrade to the Genie without committing to another two-year contract, the installer may not be aware of that promotion. Unfortunately, the customer usually signs the contract before contacting DirecTV first or having the installer contact DirecTV. I'm sure there is or has been a promotion to upgrade to the Genie for free without entering into another two-year contract but DirecTV probably isn't too upset that some customers go ahead and enter into a new contract. If you are one of these unfortunate customers, I would strongly urge that you contact DirecTV to submit a claim. You may be able to back out of the contract if there is a noted promotion in your account notes.

rich on June 27, 2018:

have you run into reps promising a no contract upgrade to Genie, only to find the service tech has the customer sign a 2 year contract?

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on June 20, 2018:

Unfortunately, no. Once your bill has become past due and your service has been terminated, DirecTV will not restore your service until the full payment has been made on the past due bill. This policy may have changed since the AT&T takeover. I would suggest speaking to someone in the billing department. There may be a loophole they can use to extend your payment which could result in late payment charges.

Diane colley on June 20, 2018:

After directv shuts off your service can it be turned back on without payment I was trying to set up arrangements when it was cut off anyone I can talk to

Lee on June 19, 2018:

I’ve been Direct tv since 2002. My bill went up 50.00. After reading all of this I called and was only offered 20.00 off bill. Told them I wanted to cancel, he had no problem with canceling and didn’t try to keep me as a customer. I set my cancel date for 5 days from now to see if the recovery team will call. Fingers crossed cause I don’t want to go back to cable.

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on June 11, 2018:

Hi Tim. It's true that the empathy levels have taken a turn for the worse over the past few years. They weren't many CSRs like myself even when I was working there. The fact that we were expected to show empathy but not really offer anything to help our customers out was one of the biggest reasons I quit. Fortunately, I took a lot of information and loopholes with me. In your case, if you are looking to get free NFL Sunday Ticket, the best option would have been to cancel your services and re-signup with DirecTV and get the free NFL Sunday Ticket offer that they proactively offer for new members. Once you have ended/canceled your subscription you will be considered a new customer. You will be able to get the NFL Sunday Ticket for free. You will enter into a 2-year contract, but you'll only be paying what you were currently paying for the previous years, plus you will get a huge discounted price for the first year. You actually save a lot of money by doing this every two years versus staying a loyal customer for several years. I understand if you are still sore at DirecTV and don't wish to take advantage of this offer. Many subscribers have chosen to cut their cable and find different means of television entertainment. This is just something to think about if you want a free year of NFL Sunday Ticket.

Tim300 on June 10, 2018:

Those certainly sound like some generous offers from DTV. I'm sure they are available, but let me tell you my experience.

I'd been a customer since 2000, so 18 years, with a typical monthly spend of $140-$180, depending on season. Last August I decided that I would ask for the Sunday Ticket package to be comped. Keep in mind that I'd paid full retail the previous couple of years, and had not used a single retention dollar in over 5 years. So, I called the normal service line, and politely asked if I would be able to get any deals or discounts on Sunday Ticket. I was offered a special, just for me, price of $64.99/mo for 5 months (I think, forget the exact numbers, but it was the list price). Politely refused, called back, got the same offer. Asked that rep if I qualified for *any* discounts or offers, especially given my tenure. All he could find was $10 month for 6 months. Wow. Such a deal. That, on top of the annoying rain fade and abysmal performance of my HR24s, was the final straw.

Called back the next day, asked to cancel, and was promptly forwarded to retention. They thanked me for being an 18 year customer, and asked why I wanted to cancel. I explained that if I didn't warrant any offers/discounts then I didn't feel like a very valued customer. She apologized for me feeling that way, and then asked me which day I would like the cancellation to be effective. Not a single attempt to retain or negotiate.

I think maybe 1 - 1.5 months later I got a very mediocre "we miss you, come back" offer in the mail. It worked out to about $10/mo discount on service for the first year, no gift card or other enticements, and a 2 year contract. Again, no thanks.

So, either I got a bunch of D* reps on bad days, or my account is blacklisted, or something :-) Like everything, YMMV.

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on June 06, 2018:

AT&T does have the right to retire any package if you are not under contract, but with the competition so stiff right now I would imagine they would accommodate you as much as they can. The NFL Sunday Ticket may be offered at a discounted price as long as it remains controversial with player antics. If you have been a long-time customer, you can probably call DirecTV and see what packages remain available to you. When I worked there, we did have grandfathered packages, but I have heard that many of the old standards have been changed since the AT&T takeover.

Greg Maliska on June 06, 2018:

Can ATT/Retire discount customers bargain down,etc. their account,Directv says I'm out of contract. I currently have the choice package with no charge for eqpt and NFL ticket at $88 per month..

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on June 06, 2018:

Hi John, and thank you for your comments. The mini-receivers are essentially another tuner. In other words, they do sorta piggyback off of the main receiver but you are still able to watch whatever you want.recordings are available via all mini receivers. The mini-receiver is still a good idea for a guest house if you don't mind having someone view your recordings. I am assuming you are talking about the "Genie", which can support up to six mini genies. If you only saw this option available online and were wanting to add another main receiver, you should be able to do so via phone with DirecTV. The Genie receiver is being proactively pushed but other receivers can still be added to accounts. The extra receiver fee would only be $10 in this case. Let me know if there is anything else I can help with.

John C. on June 05, 2018:

Thank you for all your tips!!

I was thinking of signing up for one of the packages but noticed that we only have the option to get a “main” receiver and then up to 6 “mini” receivers. Do the mini receivers piggy back the main receiver? Or can the mini receiver run without the main receiver. Reason being that we have a guest house that we would like to get another main receiver. Thanks in advance!!

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on June 04, 2018:

Hi Marc. It sounds like they are just passing you around until you get tired and forget about the complaint. Customer service and tech support are basically the same things, so they are not dealing with your problem correctly. I know that for a fact. What DirecTV will have to do is open a claim against the install company, but DirecTV is responsible for the reparations even if they try to avoid them. This is a difficult problem for a low tier CSR to handle. The best suggestion I have for you is to speak with their supervisor, as this is not an uncommon happening. The CSR should have immediately transferred you to their supervisor since they don't have the power to reimburse you anything anyway. As far as what kind of compensation you can get, that is somewhat up to you. Most likely, a supervisor will try to offer you some free premium programming, although you could luck out and get a bill credit. Either way, a supervisor will have more options as far as giving you compensation for your time without internet service. If a claim has been opened, ask the supervisor the details of the claim and if you should contact the service company that installed your DirecTV setup. Situations like yours are hard to deal with because they are, not only, he said she said allegations but also done via different channels. DirecTV ---> Installer ---> Customer. That middle-man can cause a lot of problems because neither DirecTV nor the installer wants to shell out money for a mistake. It's easy to point the finger at each other in their cases. So, try to call again and speak with a more tenured supervisor and see if you can get any closer. Small tip: They want to get you off of the phone as soon as possible because it affects their performance statistics. Take as long as you need to ask several questions and write the answers down on a sheet of paper. If you get nowhere with this recommendation, look up the Better Business Bureau phone number and file a claim. Have the claim number handy and call again to protest once more. I have known many people to get quick results after a threat from the BBB.

MarcSCR on June 04, 2018:

Hey Jesse. Love the site, thanks for all the good info. Need some advice. We recently moved and transitioned our DirecTV service and got some great deals. The downside was that the tech that came cut our internet cord coming into the house and replaced it with the DirecTV cord to run the TV signal in from the dish....then lied about doing anything. Had to get Mediacom to come back out and tell us what happened. Luckily, they didn't charge me anything, but I was without internet for several days during move-in. When I called DirecTV they pass me back and forth between technical and customer support. They finally had me submit a claim despite no financial expenses on my side. And the company handling it is not AT&T. I'm super angry about the whole situation. Who should I go to? Customer Support tells me I have to speak to Tech and Tech says I have to speak to Customer Support. Thanks!

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on June 03, 2018:

Hi Jessica. I'm sorry to hear you are being given the run-around. I have encountered similar situations before. Your current situation is difficult because there is a middle-man (the installer). If I'm being completely honest, most cases like yours end up having a case manager assigned to them. This, however, could take up to a week to be fully resolved. The best information I could give you would be to call again and ask to speak to a supervisor if you haven't already. A run-of-the-mill customer service agent won't be able to override any charge, so you would need to speak to someone with the power to do so. This seems like it would fall under a billing dispute, so I would suggest speaking to someone in the billing department, then ask to speak to their manager if they don't have the authority to override a charge on the bill. On the other hand, I wouldn't advise you to get your hopes up about being able to get service before the 72-hour time-frame they quoted you. What will most likely happen, if they don't instantly restore your service, they will credit your bill for three days of service, meaning you'll only save a few dollars off of your current bill. It is important to note that if you remain patient and are able to finally be connected to someone with the authoritative power to remove a cost from your bill, you may be able to have your service restored instantly. This is the kind of calls I dreaded because there wasn't much I could do as a customer service technician. So, if you haven't spoken to a supervisor yet, you most definitely should. If you spoke to a technical supervisor they may not have had the authority to remove a cost from your bill, whilst a billing supervisor may or vice versa. It's a tedious and frustrating cycle, I know, but if you can bear through different transfers and talk to a few different agents you may actually be able to find someone that knows how to override your current situation. For reference, you can notify the supervisor you speak to that the charge was done by mistake and should be charged back to the service installation company. There is a case order they can open to charge the subcontractor for the charges they placed on your account. An ordinary CSR can open a case order, but they won't be able to override the charge and authorize your services. Make sure you speak to a supervisor for this. I realize this may not help much, but let me know if I can help with anything else.

Jessica on June 02, 2018:

We are about fed up with DirecTv again...a little back story...a little over a year we cancelled our service because our bill more than doubled. We weren't transferred to retention or anything just cancelled and boxes sent, we weren't in contract. We connected with another provider and had the "win back team" calling to win us back. After coming to an agreement we reconnected. We literally just plugged all our boxes back in and they turned it fast forward a year later, I knew my bill was increasing(fine I get it) but i now get a surprise installation charge a year later that we were promised we wouldn't be charged for, not only do we get charged but they threw it on the acct after the current billing cycle putting it showing as "past due" the same day it was applied! My actual current service bill isn't owed until the 5th but my service was disconnected today 6/1 bc of that installation charge! My husband called in and argued it they agreed it wasn't supposed to happen and it will be removed from the acct but that my service won't be reconnected for 72 hours UNLESS I go ahead and pay that "past due balance" that isn't supposed to even be there!!! So all of that being said my question would be who should I ask to speak with because this is not ok!? I shouldn't have to pay because of someone else's mistake.

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on May 27, 2018:

DirecTV Now is a good service. The DVR option is being rolled out currently to a cloud-based service. It is, however, still in a beta testing phase but DVR will be available in the future. The Music Choice and Local Weatherscan can be easily supplemented via the internet with other devices, or you could try some of the other great free music service apps. Whether DirecTV Now is a better choice for you versus cable depends mostly on the cost of your current cable subscription. SlingTV, honestly, is a good bit cheaper than DirecTV, but they also don't offer every channel that DirecTV Now does.

ap on May 22, 2018:

thanks, very interesting! We had Direct TV 10 years ago for a few yrs until our apt bldg. switched us to Comcast. We much much preferred Direct TV but have no choice now..But wondering if you have any info on the Direct TV Now vs cable. I think the biggest drawbacks sound like no DVR and no Music Choice and no Local Weatherscan. Any insider advice? thanks!

Tom on April 22, 2018:

Can I downgrade to the lowest package after football season is over and then upgrade back up when it starts so I can get NFL Sunday ticket? (Yearly)

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on April 19, 2018:

It is and it isn't. Re-upping means you will be entered into another 2-year contract. You'll get the promotional pricing for the first year of that contract, but you'll have to pay the regular price for the second year. Over the course of the two years, you end up paying less than you would have if you had chosen to keep your current contract at regular price. For example: If you pay $50 per month for the promotional price during your first year and $100 per month at regular price during your second year, you end up spending only $75 per month on average for the total of the two years. The only benefit of being a long-term customer is the loyalty promotions that are available for 10-20 year customers, but that is becoming a thing of the past since so many people are aware of it and are trying to take advantage of it. So, the short answer to your question is, you'll have a better chance at saving money by re-upping, but you won't be considered a loyal customer. If it was my decision, I would re-up, but that is based on a fiscal viewpoint of saving money over a two year period.

Althearm on April 18, 2018:

Thanks Jesse

So It's not a good idea to cancel and then reup as a new customer?

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on April 18, 2018:

Being a 20-year customer is a huge playing card in your favor. I would call customer support and ask what they can do to help you lower your bill while also keeping your current subscription. They should have a few offers for you that could trim your bill by at least $10 per month. You may even be able to get some free premium channels.

Jesse James (author) from Crooked Letter State on April 18, 2018:

Hi Preston, and thank you for your comments. I'll answer the contract questions first. You have an excellent deal if you are only paying $100 per month. Depending on your DirecTV subscription level, it is hard to say how much tour bill would increase. Unfortunately, DirecTV doesn't cater to special requests to ensure the same bill price. The only way I know of getting a cheaper or equivalent deal is to re-up by canceling your subscription once your two year contract is up, but that would result in you paying more for the second year. Sometimes, you can speak with a rep and they may be able to offer you discounts that would help lower your bill. If I'm completely honest, the chances of you locking in the set amount that you are currently paying is very slim. Another option you may consider would be DirecTV Now. The packages are cheaper and you would probably pay about the same as you are now and may also have a better channel lineup. There are also offers for heavily discounted DirecTV Now subscriptions for new subscribers. I have DirecTV Now and love it. I highly recommend trying it for 7 days free. If you do try it for 7 days, use an alternate email and credit card so it won't effect promotional offers should you decide you want to keep it. If you want anymore details, let me know and I will respond asap.

Althearm on April 18, 2018:

Hey Jesse

Thank you so much for all your awesome and helpful information. I am a 20+ year Directv customer. My contract is up on May 1st. What do you suggest I do to get the most savings? My Credit score is 610.

Thank you

Preston Jones on April 18, 2018:

Hi Jesse. I currently have AT&T internet and DirectTV bundle and pay just under $100 for internet and DirectTV combined. I have about 6 months left from the original 2 year contract, and after that the promotional rate I'm paying now expires, the rate will increase significantly. I was curious to see if you had any knowledge or experience with locking in a rate for a longer term. To me, $100 all in for both tv and internet is well worth it. Rather than be out of contract and pay month to month after my initial two years, I would gladly be willing to extend my contract an additional 2-3 years, even up to 5 years to keep this current rate. I would imagine that AT&T/DirecTV would be favorable to locking in that guaranteed cash flow for several more years if I was willing to do that. So essentially, my question is, have you had any experience with this? If I were to call and say, "I'll lock in for 3 more years today if you keep me at the current rate"; is that something that they would respond positively to? Thanks for your help.

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