Direct TV, AT&T U-Verse, Cable, DISH Network ... I've had them all

As mentioned in the Subject line I have had, at one time or another, the major entertainment suppliers from Comcast, and Charter, Cable to AT&T U-Verse, Direct-TV and DISH Network.  Up until recently, today that is, I never paid an early termination fee just to be able to go back to one of the other providers but today I cancelled Direct-TV (AT&T's DirectTV) and switched back to DISH Network.  I can't be more satisfied in a decision.

First of all I had heard stories about how Direct-TV would change (raise) rates during the term of a contract but I never thought much about it.  While in Sam's Club one of the Direct-TV representatives, or contracted sales folks, talked me into trying Direct-TV.  At that time my DISH Network contract had expired and I was under no obligation to continue with anyone else.  Never having Direct-TV I chose to give it a try since many people said their satellite and dish was more immune to weather outages.  What I found though was that they were no more immune to those sever weather outages than DISH/ Network.  As for the performance of Direct TV it was not what I had expected.

Many people brag on their Direct-TV and I'm glad they enjoy it.  In my case Direct-TV was much slower in changing channels, provided far less storage space than their competitors do on their Recording DVRs.  Cable and U-Verse had far more storage capacity in their DVR Units and DISH had the most.  Other things I noticed was that when I would attempt to view an On-Demand movie it would load and start playing but so often it would just quit in the middle of the show and take me back to whatever was playing on the channel it was tuned ot at the time.  That would happen whether it was hardwire connected to the internet or by wireless connection.  

I had DISH Network before I switched to Direct-TV and to DISH Network I returned, paying AT&T 12 months worth of early termination fees in the process.  Upon returning to DISH Network the newest Hopper (Recordable DVD player they have), the Hopper 3, was such an awakening experience.  Not only was it so much better and feature rich but the remote became, like Comcast Cable supplies, a voice remote where you can use your voice to change channels.  Additionally one of the DISH features that I missed the most the remote and Hopper has a "Find Lost Remote" feature that if you misplace the remote control you can push a button on the Hopper (or Joey remote) and the remote control will start beeping at an increasing volume level to allow you to find it.   It actually helped me in the past locate a lost remote that was found in our garbage can, one of our grandchildren accidentally  dropping it in the trash can.  Another, new, feature that DISH Network had added since I left it before was that now DISH Network interfaces with Amazon.com's Alexa/ECHO system where I just have to use my voice to announce to the device to what channel I want to watch and immediately DISH's Hopper/receiver tunes to it and it's on the screen.

The greatest awakening was the $50+ increase in monthly cost that AT&T/Direct-TV had implemented on me in May.  I had received a letter back in January of this year advising me if I didn't subscribe to AT&T Wireless and/or their internet service that I would see a $50-$56 monthly increase in my TV/Direct-TV bill.  I called AT&T and disputed this advising them I never had any such provision put on my service or was I ever told of such and I was completely reassured multiple times that such was not the case and my bill would not increase.  I accepted this up and until I checked my email on last Wednesday when I got my AT&T/Direct-TV billing notice and there it was added to my bill .. the $56.00 additional charge.  

When I first contacted Direct-TV about this pending increase I at that time also contacted DISH Network and Cable Company looking for their best deal.  DISH, at that time had the best offer so I secured it and kept putting them off until I could find out if DirectTV was going to raise my rates.  When I saw this did happen, on Wednesday, I called AT&T and cancelled Direct TV and called DISH and confirmed the appointment to install it for this weekend.  I will say DirectTV did refund the pro-rata portion of the additional $56.00 charge and they did cancel my service, I'm sure charging me the $20/month ( I was all along told it would be $10/month) early termination fee.  EVERYTHING ALWAYS CHANGES with AT&T and DirectTV to the point I just can't trust them anymore.

Now that I have DISH connected again and see their new equipment the decision to come back to them was even more reinforced and makes it worth the early termination fee, much of which I will recover back in savings DISH offered me over the Direct-TV rate.  

Which is the best entertainment service provider?   Based upon my experience(s) I would rate them:

  1. 1st & Best - DISH-Network with their Hopper 3's features and recording time.  Also they utilize the internet connection for providing some new features which work apart from the dish supplied entertainment.
  2. AT&T U-Verse but the problem is it is so sparely available to people because you have to be close to an AT&T SLIC/portal.  Also there is no weather interruptions due to extreme weather.
  3. Cable TV (Comcast/Charter) with their voice remote and higher recording time (than DirectTV) with their DVD.  Also faster tuning and no extreme weather outages due to a blocked dish.
  4. DirectTV - I have to put DirectTV in last position because it belongs here with their performance that I have observed, their tendency to change rates on the user/customer, and experience with OnDemand shows dropping out after loading into memory as well as the smallest DVR/recordable storage capacity.  
Be as the Bereans ( Acts 17:11 )
Original Post

Back when I decided to get off of cable, my son's wife's great grandfather and great grandmother died just a monthor so apart, and she wound up with their Direct TV Dish . (this was back when you had to buy your equipment ), and they gave it to me. 
I set it up in the back yard, just proping the dish up using some scrap lumber, and hit the satellite . So I called to see what it would take to get it turned on . They ask me the number and I gave it to them , and they ask for the original owner. I told them how I acquired it and told them that the owner was dead. They ask to speak to his wife and I told them she was dead also  . They insisted that they speak to one or the other. IMHO, anyone who dosen't understand that you can't talk on the phone to dead people are just too stupid for me to do business with . 
Shortly after that , Dish advertised that they would give you the equipment and I signed up with them and have been with them every since. 
Recently tho, I cut back on my package to the $$48 package (gota get Disney for my little granddaughter) and put up an antenna. 
Fact is, about all I ever watch is off the antenna. If it weren't for a couple of things my wife watches (HGTV by the hour and some CNN) , and my granddaughter's like of Disney , I would just cut the satellite off alltogether .  Once in a while I watch the history channel when they actually show something historical and not the reality TV they are turning into , but I could do without it . The 20 something channels I get over the air on the antenna and Netflix about does it for me,

 

When AT-T took over Directv it went to hell as deep as their
pony phone business, I really hate that , but it seems there's
no longer government support for monopoly laws. I'm considering
breaking out the "View Master," 1960's New York, maybe not...  
Kraven posted:
When AT-T took over Directv it went to hell as deep as their
pony phone business, I really hate that , but it seems there's
no longer government support for monopoly laws. I'm considering
breaking out the "View Master," 1960's New York, maybe not...  

I got quit a few old view master disc. Maybe I should look them up and watch them . that should be a hoot .

 

I just have Netflix along with Hulu Live.  Together they run me about $50 or so a month.   Of course, I have to have internet to run them, which is about another 50 bucks, but I am pleased with both and am glad to be done with the all the cable and satellite companies hidden fees, rate changes, increases and equipment.  

MonkeysUncleByMarriage posted:

I just have Netflix along with Hulu Live.  Together they run me about $50 or so a month.   Of course, I have to have internet to run them, which is about another 50 bucks, but I am pleased with both and am glad to be done with the all the cable and satellite companies hidden fees, rate changes, increases and equipment.  

I'm glad you like the two but I do have to say that I am completely satisfied with DISH Network as they have always kept their word and never did to me, (or treated me) like AT&T/Direct TV has.  I can't recommend AT&T and/or Direct TV to anyone.  I even PAID to cancel Direct-TV early so I could get DISH back and given the savings DISH over Direct-TV gave me and gives me I'll make up what it cost me to make the change back.   I also (like Xfinity/Comcast) like the new(er) DISH Remote control but DISH has improved their remote even over Xfinity/Comcast's.  My Remote lights up if it senses movement (which is nice) but the real nice things it does is the Voice control where I can punch a button and speak the channel I want to go to or the show name or even a phrase from a movie and if it's on or accessible it will jump to it/there.  Last, and maybe the best, I love the Remote control finder which when I lose my remote I can press a button on the main unit and the remote control starts beeping ... once that saved me big time because somehow the remote had gotten thrown away in our kitchen garbage can and I was able to find it (thankfully not all messy).  Last the control unit (The Hopper) which is a DVR store at least ten or more times the programming that my DirectTV unit did.  I can record and save so many more programs, shows, and movies on the DISH device.  Yes, though, with satellite it does at (few, short) times go out during extremely heavy rain or snow but I also have streaming Comcast/Xfinity with my internet.  

I have also had HULU and Netflix and I do like HULU and Netflix was alright as well.  I have to say though I do like DISH best and then U-Verse but because U-Verse is so limited in areas it's available, but mostly because it's an AT&T product I'll never go back to it.  I've totally decided to leave AT&T and anything that has to do with them.  Comcast/Xfinity and Charter I'd put next and at the very bottom, lower than low is AT&T/DirectTV which I can, with 100% certainty say, I will never go back to.  

I used to go to Comcast every 6 months to complain about my service, and they'd always give me a $20-30 cut in price.  Their local reps are just so good.  But the really good programs are only offered by the foreigners on an 800 phone #.  They are so incredibly stupid, however.  They took the authority away from our local sales reps--a bad deal.

But when Comcast cut on service to my new to me house initially, I had no signal.  I found the coax cable outside my house in the mud.  Then when I hooked it up inside the house, the signal wouldn't work.  After calls day after day for 2 weeks, their local manager (on his lunch hour) figured out my signal was going to some guy's house with the same house number and street address--in Pennsylvania.  

Then I got charged for pay per view movies every month--all at midnight on nights we were out of town.  And numerous charges were billed at the same time.  We never pay to see any channel.

That gets us to Dish.  It's expensive, but good.  And since we're retired, it's worth the cost because we have 3-4 televisions going at all times.

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