I’ve been waiting for this day for a year and a half. After some bad customer service from DirecTV and some research that led to even more bad customer service stories, I’ve been waiting for my contract to end, so I can cancel my satellite service.

I finally hit the official end of my contract. I did some research as to how to get the best deal on phone, internet and TV. I called DirecTV to make sure my contract was over. In the end I settled on a Charter Cable bundle for all three services. We decided it was important to keep a landline for now, and Charter had the best bundle price for us. When I called Charter to order service, I got an even better deal with no contract, so I’m a pretty happy camper.

That just left one step: calling DirecTV to cancel service.

The First Call

I called DirecTV around 8:00 yesterday morning to cancel my service, as the Charter installer was coming around 10. The guy I talked to was understanding, but he kept badmouthing the cable company. He reminded me that I would only get 100+ channels with cable, whereas I was getting 250+ channels with satellite. I told him I was getting the channels we actually watch, and that’s what matters.

He then asked me if I was aware of the $17 monthly charge Charter would give me for DVR service. I told him that I wasn’t sure of the cost breakdown, but we were getting an HD DVR, and by bundling everything with Charter, we’d be paying $55 less a month than we were currently paying with the variety of services we have now.

Stunned silence.

Then the customer service rep asked if I had looked into bundling phone, DirecTV, and internet through Qwest. I told him I love Qwest internet, but it’s not offered where I live.

He finally conceded, explained the process for shipping the equipment back, and told me I’d be receiving an email confirming my cancellation of services. I thanked him and hung up, thinking it was over. Wrong.

The Second Call

While the Charter installer was here, the phone rang…on my new Charter phone line, I might add. It was an 877 number, but I answered it against my better judgment.

It was DirecTV again! The new customer service rep was sorry to hear that I had decided to discontinue my service. Since I had been such a great customer for two years (they must have forgotten about the little argument we had a year and a half ago), she was willing to offer me a less expensive programming package, with no contract. In addition, she offered me an immediate $150 credit toward my account!

Since I’ll make up the difference in less than three months with my current Charter arrangement, I turned her down. She thanked me. Surely that was the end.

Wrong again.

The Third Call

You have to admire their persistence. The phone rang again around 1:15. Another 877 number. Why do I keep answering these calls? By now my Charter services are all set up and the Charter guy is long gone.

This customer service rep offered me breaks in pricing and a $200 credit toward my account! Woohoo! I still declined and asked them to please send me boxes, so I could return their equipment. The customer service rep assured me that they would arrive in 5-10 business days.

I was beginning to get skeptical that I’d heard the last from DirecTV. Sadly, I was right.

The Fourth Call

Another 877 number. This time I didn’t pick up. They didn’t leave a message. That was around 3:00.

The Fifth Call

When the phone rang again around 4:00, I didn’t even have to look at caller ID to know who it was. I was in the middle of writing this post though, and since I’m always in search of good blog fodder, I answered the phone.

The customer service rep went on and on about what a great customer I have been (again, they apparently don’t remember me), offered me tons of discounts and a free upgrade to an HD receiver.

I declined again and asked about the email I was supposed to be receiving, confirming that I had cancelled my service. She assured me I’d receive an email in the next 24 hours and told me to let her know if I changed my mind about cancelling. I told her my mind was made up.

Hopefully that’s the end of it. My only regret is that they didn’t appreciate me so much as a customer when I actually had a problem.