Should I stick with DirecTV or switch to Dish? OR: Can I get DirecTV to upgrade my receiver for free?
(I've read this previous question
but there are some differences in options and preferences)
I've had DirecTV since 2005 and have always been happy with their service, but I'm looking into upgrading to HD and can save a not insignificant amount of money with Dish (Comcast is more expensive).
DirecTV has a reputation for good customer service, which is important to me and is part of the reason I chose DirecTV when first signing up. We've been thinking about upgrading to HD-DVR, and to do so we would have to get a new receiver - we currently have an old DirecTiVo receiver (from 2005). I've called DirecTV twice and the best (they say) they can offer me is the receiver for $200. In addition, adding the HD package ($10/month) will bring our monthly cost to around $77.
With Dish, we can get the channels that we want, plus their HD and DVR for $67-$77 (depending on which package we go with) a month and we wouldn't have to pay the $200 for the new receiver. Also, we would get a -$15 /month promotion for the first year.
The biggest sticking point right now is the $200 for the receiver. I've been happy enough with DirecTV that I wouldn't mind the extra per month cost (there are more channels, even if they're not on our 'must have' list - and their customer service at least until now has been good).
Is there a way I can convince DirecTV to upgrade my receiver for free or less than $200? Here are the ways I'm a good and bad customer for DirecTV:
-Customer for 4 years
-First upgrade in 4 years (first person I talked to said this would help)
-I've had premium channels (HBO) in the past
-I've referred a friend (did the actual referral so DTV knows)
-No current premium channel subscriptions
-Last summer and this summer we put the satellite on vacation mode (so we didn't get or pay for service for ~4 months each year)
I thought my next step would be to call directv and tell them I'm thinking about switching to Dish, is there something else I should try first? Should I tell them that I'm thinking about switching because I can get the free receiver?
If they still won't budge - should I switch to Dish? My concerns are:
-DVR cool features
-DVR ease of use
I've never experienced Dish's customer service, but for some reason I have a bad impression of it (probably just a sense I've picked up from the internet). Those of you who have it - how is the customer service? How does it compare to DirecTV?
How is the DVR service? I get the impression that neither will live up to the DirecTiVo that I have right now - is one significantly worse than the other?
Does either offer cool ways to connect my service with my computer? (e.g. an easy way to stream shows from my DVR to my computer) It looks like I can schedule recordings from the web or iphone with both, but does one company offer other features that the other doesn't?