How I Dropped My DirecTV Bill from 121.94 per month to $82.95 and Got an $89 Credit in the Process

Reverse your DirecTV rate increase Edoo over at Digg is claiming that he just called DirecTV and was able to lower his bill by $5 a month for the next six months in light of DirecTV’s recent $3 per month price hike.

Taking his advice I decided to call DirecTV and try my own luck as well. First off, I’m being totally price gouged by DirecTV. It’s probably because I just don’t pay attention to these things like I should but my bill last month was for $121.94 broken down as follows:

$4.99 additional receiver
$4.99 additional receiver
$4.99 additional receiver
$5.99 DirecTV TiVo HD receiver
$9.99 HD Package
$48.99 Total Choice with local channels
$33.00 HBO/Showtime/Cinemax
$2.25 East Coast / West Coast Fox
$2.25 East Coast / West Coast ABC
$2.25 East Coast / West Coast NBC
$2.25 East Coast / West Coast CBS

Total: $121.94

Wow, that’s a lot to spend on TV. My bad.

So here’s what happened when I called DirecTV. The first person that I spoke with had no clue what she was talking about. She misquoted what I was paying wildly, offered me all kinds of discounts and offered to credit me back a year’s service on an additional receiver I haven’t been using, etc.

Then I was disconnected accidentally I presume while she was off adjusting my account.

When I called back I got a new rep who said that she would not credit me back for the receiver that I was not using and that she could not offer me any discounts.

After next being transferred to a supervisor I got the following done.

1. I got a year’s worth of credit for one of the receivers that I had not been using. I had in fairness actually called DirecTV over a year ago and asked them to disconnect it. I’ve obviously been negligent though in not watching my bill. It was nice of them to credit me this money back.

2. I dropped Cinemax and Showtime which were each costing me $11 a month and that I never watch or use.

3. The rep was able to bring my HBO down to $2 a month for the next 6 months instead of the normal $11 per month cost. This saves me another $54 over the next 6 months.

4. As DirecTV turned off my East Coast feeds a few months back, it was silly that I was still paying for them. All of my network feeds went from $2.25 per month to $1.50 per month for West Coast only.

So I received an $89.08 credit immediately applied to my bill and going forward (at least for the next six months will have the following package):

$4.99 additional receiver (this one is for TV in the kitchen)
$4.99 additional receiver (this one is for TV for my Media Center PC)
$5.99 HD DirecTV TiVo (I love this machine)
$9.99 HD Package
$48.99 Total Choice plus local
$1.50 LA Fox
$1.50 LA ABC
$1.50 LA NBC
$1.50 LA CBS
$2.00 HBO

Total: $82.95

And best of all I did not have to sign up for any new one year commitment type of thing.

Now two things. 1. I had a lot of leverage because as the supervisor Collin reminded me, I was one of their “best” customers. Yeah, I can see why. And 2. And yeah, yeah, I know, I’m still paying way too much for my TV. I probably just went from being a huge sucker to less of a sucker. Still, I’m happy to get the credit and happy to drop my bill almost $38 a month.

It also did sound like the HBO $2 per month thing was available for anyone, so at a bare minimum you might want to see if you can call DirecTV and tell them that you heard about this $2 a month for six months deal on HBO and see if you can get your bill lowered for HBO. You may need to speak with a supervisor to get this deal as one of the reps that I spoke with had no idea what I was talking about after the first rep told me about the deal earlier.

I’m also looking foward to getting a new HDTV Vista machine later this year when I can dump those charges for extra receivers by using my own XBox 360 Extenders instead and potentially get an even better deal by switching to digital cable if it’s cheaper.

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  1. Holy crap so is that why I have Dish Network?

    Lets see:
    $34.99 Americas Top 60 + Locals (price just went up by $5)
    $5 Additional reciever

    Total: $39.99/mo

    If I wanted HDTV it would be a lot more though, coming in at $60/mo total total, add another $15/mo for HBO bringing it on par with what you now pay.

    Why do they charge you for the NBC/ABC/CBS/FOX affiliates on top of charging you for locals?

    Of course the price of HD will drop dramatically if the FCC ever folows through and shuts off SD signals, right now you pay a hefty premium for anything having anything to do with HD just for the high end factor.

    Of course it doesn’t look like I’ll be able to get HD anytime soon anyways, TiVo has no plans for a Dish Network compatible HD DVR, the only hope is one of the outcome of the TiVo/Echostar lawsuits is that there is a DishTiVo offered that is similar to the one that you have with DirecTV.

  2. Thomas Hawk says:

    Robert, I have to pay for those local LA channels if I want to get network TV from them in HD. Of course I could probably always try and figure out a OTA solution but to be honest the $6 a month for it all just isn’t meaningful enough yet for me to spend the time working out OTA.

  3. Thomas,

    I tried digital cable, and it was terrible.

    There is no comparison between sat and digital cable.

  4. nxs says:

    6-month price-lowering is a gimmick and small cost for directv to absorb than losing you as a customer and signing up a new one (I think it’s something like $500 to acquire a new one for hardware and installation costs)
    Internet + + free over-the-air HD and Netflix ($19.25 – that’s with tax, bluray discs and on-demand streaming) is a better option.
    I think hulu is going to do to basic cable what did to satellite radio, FM radio and CD sales. Also, I think Verizon FIOS is going to kill directv unless it merges with dish. What once was an ideal one to many delivery model, quickly (10 years) became a real bottleneck.

  5. TC says:

    So i just called and complained to Direct Tv about charge for “superfan ($16.50/month) being redundant to the HD access fee and was ble to get a $20/month credit for 6 months. Also complained about them not carrying Versus anymore and thereofre missing out on NHL games so they threw in the NHL center ice package for free this year! The key was threatening to cancel my service and having my calle get bumped up to “premium services” operator. The first operator basicall told me “sorry to hear that but tough”.