The Failed DVR Experience

I had the very best of intentions.

And they paved the way to 10 days of Time Warner hell.

It started with an innocent remark by my dad that he wanted to record Duck Dynasty. Doesn’t everyone? I suggested that he upgrade from basic cable to a DVR box. Oh, boy.

That was my first call and 20 minute hold with Time Warner.

Dad got the box, I hooked it up and after an hour of lecturing him on DVR remote 101, everything was fantastic. Until the next day. I knew the call would be coming. He couldn’t keep his finger off the input button which caused the screen to go black. This happened a few times and I had to go over to give the class again.

Being overly ambitious, I scheduled the DVR to record every episode of Duck Dynasty and NCIS, his 2 favorite shows. Who knew that each comes on 22 times a day and often simultaneously? So, of course he can’t change the station when they are both recording. He didn’t like this limitation. I visit again to undo what I’ve done.

A couple of days later I get another call. The TV’s not working. I’m Time Warner support now. I go over there for the 43rd time in 5 days(my mom wants me to visit more, but really). The TV is fine and all 236 channels work except 2…CBS and ABC. Any guess on which NCIS is aired?

This seems to be a legit problem. I can’t fix it. After another 20 minute hold and a 15 minute conversation with a TW rep, she boosts the signal and restarts the box. Why didn’t we have the max signal from the start?

The next day my dad calls again. I know that he hated to do it. Or maybe not. This could be payback for the hell I probably put them through as a teenager. By the time I arrive he has resolved the issue. I guess he found the input button. Nonetheless, we are both completely done with this failed DVR experience.

One final torturous call to Time Warner.

They must know that we are downgrading. The wait and hold are especially long this time. The first young man advises me that to rid ourselves of this demonic box and revert back to simple, basic service with one cable straight into the TV and 50 channels instead of a blue million will result in a higher monthly bill than my parents currently pay. Less channels, more money. I just want their bill to be what is was pre-DVR. Nope. Can’t do it.

Obviously, I have the wrong dude on the phone.

May I please speak to someone in the customer retention department?

Another 20 minute wait. Someone please jab an ice pick into my eye. It would be less painful. Finally, the customer retention girl gets on the line. She’s really nice. Really. But things still aren’t simple. Everything is plug and play apparently. Trusting reps to make decisions is out of the question. She can only do what she sees on her computer screen. Eventually she finds enough discounts to apply to get the bill to within a dollar of what it was. A dollar more, but ding, ding, ding, ring it up, we have a winner! Count the dollar increase as stupid tax.

We unhook the DVR and toss it and the NASA remote back in the bag they came in. My dad is happy again with the simple life he once led. I’m ecstatic to have this experience behind me and to have a renewed love and appreciation for Directv. Their call hold time is never more than a couple of minutes and they never have a problem quickly finding discounts to keep me happy. Love, love, love Directv.

I learned a couple more things through this ordeal. While my family loves our DVR boxes and can’t live without 3 of them, they’re not for everyone. I can’t project my preferences onto someone else.

Secondly, it can be very hard getting back what you once had. Even if you can, it may cost you more and the journey back may be long and painful.

Count the costs upfront before you make any rash decisions.

And choose Directv.

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