Saturday, May 27, 2006

Tivo And Direct TV Confusion

Some days you feel like you are complaining a lot. After the drug store ordeal below and being seriously burned out from the sailing trip, I wanted to sit down and watch a movie with Tate. We pulled up Pay Per View on our DVR and tried to buy a show. We ended up getting a weird customer service error where we had to call some number. Lameness. Why would I want to call someone? Why would the company I am paying want me to talk to someone? That costs money. I call the number and do some weird menu navigation kung fu that ultimately gets me to an apparent human being. Fascinating. You don't find many humans these days and I actually think this guy was located somewhere in the United States.

We spend a longer than I would care time on the phone and early on he tells me that my machine hasn't called back since March. I corrected him and said that no in fact it had called back the previous Thursday at 1:01 AM as I have had this problem before and I went through all the information screens in advance to get the information in advance of this call. He said that it needs to send something back on a special call and it hasn't done that since March. Now mind you, this is the second time I have had this problem and the last time it resulted in me shipping my box back to them and them sending me a new box. I am thinking this is about to happen again.

I don't spend much time with him editorializing as it doesn't really do much to help me but I would point out a couple of things...

My machine does call back every couple of days.

Some kind of data gets sent back to the home base.

When I order a show some kind of authorization process occurs which leads me to believe that they should have some record on their servers independent of my box.

The movie studios want to get paid.

If my box is broken again and I haven't paid for any of the 10 plus movies we bought in the last two months how do the studios get paid?

If Direct TV authorizes the shows in advance from their home servers they should have a record of it.

If they have a record of it then my machine calling them shouldn't matter.

If the above fact pattern is true then they should let me buy whatever I want, whenever I want instead of making me sit on the phone for 20 minutes where they lose money and I lose patience.

If the above is false then I am going to get a bunch of movies for free when they make me ship this box back to their home office.

Maybe I am missing something. Maybe not.

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