Archive for the ‘work’ Category

DirecTV Offers Whole Home DVR

June 10, 2010

DirecTV customers with an hd dvr receiver will now have whole home dvr service as of June 7th.  A program recorded on the hd dvr will be viewable on any hd receiver in the home.  No internet connection is required for the whole home dvr to operate, though an internet connection to the receiver is necessary to use other features such as DirecTV on Demand.

Also, I don’t know this for a fact but I assume the conversion to this functionality likely played a role in hd dvr’s being locked up Tuesday morning.

Interesting Day at Work

June 8, 2010

Not sure why but every DirecTV hddvr receiver wasn’t working this morning.  Then, presumably b/c of the incredibly high volume of calls, the automated phone system crashed.  There were times today that we couldn’t execute direct transfer of calls to technical or retention because their lines were busy.  So our reps had to field a lot more tech calls than usual, at least to tell people to unplug their receiver for 15 seconds twice.  That sometimes worked, sometimes the customer would change the channel and it would lock up again.  Hopefully DirecTV will be able to do a software download to correct the problem quickly.

***UPDATE*** doing some research at home this evening it seems DirecTV issued a release around the time I left work this afternoon saying a transmission error was to blame and the issue had been resolved.  Of course, the releases are also saying “some” hd dvr’s may be affected, my understanding internally was it was all of them.

DirecTV Loses Right to Carry Versus

September 1, 2009

As of today, September 1st, DirecTV doesn’t offer Versus as the owner of that sports channel, Comcast and DirecTV failed to reach a carriage rights agreement.  According to the official information provided by DTV Comcast is charging an exorbitant amount of money to carry the channel in an obvious attempt to either bilk money from DirecTV or so it can advertise against a weakness in the DTV channel lineup.  DirecTV in the meantime suggests its customer service reps advise angry customers that they can still get the sports Versus carries on numerous other channels.  And that is true.  But, of course, the college football or NHL game that is on Versus isn’t on anywhere else, a particular problem with hockey as Versus has the exclusive United States cable national contract for NHL games.  Hopefully DirecTV and Comcast will be able to work out this impasse quickly.

Of course, this game shouldn’t be unfamiliar to DirecTV; it was at least loosely on the other end with the NFL, with whom they have an exclusive contract for the Sunday Ticket pay-per-view package and as a consequence carry the NFL Network on all full base packages, when they played hardball with the rights fees and viewership guarantees for the NFL Network with the cable companies including notably Comcast.  What goes around comes around.

A Momentous Day

August 17, 2009

An occassion of pure indescribeable joy at work today.  Maintenance got the water fountains on the 2nd floor of Penn Center West Building 5 fixed this afternoon.  Since July 1st I have been trekking up and down the stairs to the 1st floor to refill my water bottle.  But its fixed!  Yeah!

A Question for PennDOT

May 29, 2009

I would just like to know what genius thought it would be a good idea to put a traffic signal up on Campbell’s Run Road at the 22/30 off ramp at Exxon?  I mean, I would like thank that genius for adding 3-5 minutes to my afternoon commute.  That ramp doesn’t need a traffic signal.  People that get off the Parkway there and turn right will find chances to turn right.  People that get off there looking to turn left deserve whatever waiting time they get, though usually someone lets them out.  Tell those people just to go up to Ridge Rd and get off there where they can turn right to come back down to the McMichael Rd area and beyond, or use a red light to turn left towards Steubenville Pike in a protected fashion.

Now, if they want to improve that section of Campbell’s Run, which is very heavily congested, might I suggest left turn lanes.  Specifically, a turn lane for people heading up towards Settler’s Cabin or the Parkway Inbound on-ramp so that people waiting for a chance to turn left don’t so badly back traffic up behind them.  But that would make too much sense.

NFL Sunday Ticket 2008 Season Prices

May 29, 2008

DirecTV has released the fee schedule for NFL Sunday Ticket for its subscribers.  It does include one noticeable change; customers that had the package in 2007 and let it autorenew for 2008 will be billed in 6 monthly installments instead of the 5 month system used last season.  It’ll be $41.50 per month from the statement generated in July through the one generated in December.  That works out to $249 for the full season.  Customers that purchase the package for the first time this season, and do so before the end of July, will get the early bird price 5 installments of $53.80, which is $269 if billed in one lump sum (also an option).  That is a $20 savings over purchasing it new after July, though I have not seen a breakdown on how many installments the $289 would be split into (I assume 5 installments of $57.80).

As is customary, customers being auto-renewed will be sent a notice with their statement generated in June and will have the option to cancel anytime before the season starts on September 7th.  If already billed for an installment or two before cancellation, that would be credited, but expect the DirecTV CSR to transfer you to a retention rep that will try to re-sell Sunday Ticket before agreeing to cancellation.

Good Customer Service

April 30, 2008

Washington Post article on customer service call center practices for Verizon and other telecom companies:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/29/AR2008042902886.html?wpisrc=newsletter

One thing the article failed to touch on is the reason for frequent transfer of calls.  I work in a call center collections department for a television provider (not one mentioned in the article) and it does frankly work best to have reps in different departments that specialize in different areas.  It would be overwhelming to try to adequately train phone reps in all areas a customer might call in or be called about.  And that is even moreso the case for a company that handles both phone and TV and internet service.  Its best to have reps that specialize and and are experts on one aspect, like tech support for cell phones, or past due billing, or retention so they can fully assist the customer in that area.  If the customer has multiple concerns, it really is best to handle what that rep can handle and then transfer to the next expert.  Ideally, what should happen is that companies would hire more reps so that hold times on each call or during each transfer would be smaller, or even non-existent.  Customers would be far less likely to mind the transfer if they knew it was only a momentary delay, and not another 10 minutes of listening to bad music and hold messages.

Major League Baseball Local Market Map for East Liverpool

March 26, 2008

I had a free moment today at work so I looked this up.  DirecTV customers living in the 43920 will have the potential to get most games for 3 different MLB teams without subscribing to the Extra Innings package.  All customers with the Choice/Total Choice and above packages will get FSN Cincinnati/Ohio which will give them most Reds games.  All customers with the Choice Extra/Total Choice Plus and above package will get Sports Time Ohio, thus most Cleveland Indians games.  And, all customers that get the Sports Pack (alone or as part of the Premier package) will be able to get an non-blackout feed of Fox Sports Pittsburgh for Pirates games (gives them Penguins games as well).  Note this last part is a welcome change from the 2007 season when MLB coverage maps forced satellite to black out Pirates games in the 439xx zip codes.  Its costs a bit more to get the Sports Pack (if no other premium services are on the account, $12/month) but that is still a lot less expensive than Extra Innings ($189 for the season).

If any reader wants me to check their area (for NHL or NBA too for that matter) just leave a comment including your zip code and I’ll try to reply.  And I’ll keep you updated if things change.

Playing Hookey

February 12, 2008

Not something I usually do; I have called off work twice now in almost 3 years with my current employer.  Had no desire to venture out in this winter storm, though.  We got a couple inches overnight, and then a steady snow all morning.  My unofficial measurement, sticking a ruler into the snow on an untouched parked car came up with 4 inches; that was as of around 1pm.  It should soon make the transition to sleet and freezing rain, which really isn’t much better, then straight rain for awhile this evening before turning colder and tapering off again.  Hopefully I can get into my car and move my car out of the parking spot tomorrow morning so I’m not sitting here blogging in the middle of the afternoon again.