I had an install (I've moved) scheduled for this morning. After a couple hours of waiting, I called DirecTV. They said that according to the work order, the installer tried to contact us to reschedule, but we hung up on them. The CSR gave me the number for DirectSat, and transferred me. And then the fun began.

After waiting on hold listening to some "great" BeeGees music (I hated disco the first time 'round), I got transferred to the "local" operation. Where they hung up on me. So I got to listen to more disco, got the "local" number, called it, waited, and was disconnected after 10 minutes on hold. Rinse and repeat.

Got through to the local call center. They try to get a hold of The (as in only) supervisor for my region. And hang up on me. I call again. Same thing.

Mind you, all I want to know at this point is when the install will happen. That's all, just the new time. But they can't tell me. They do offer to helpfully reschedule me for the end of Jan.

I call DirecTV again, to let them know. They offer to call for me. DirectSat transfers us to someone's cell phone. This time, D* accidentally drops me, but she actually called back and was very apologetic (plus one for D*).

I call DirectSat again; they still can't reach "the only person" who can help me. I ask if I can speak to their manager. DirectSat says sure, but then transfers me to DirecTV.

By now, I've called D* enough that I'm flagged to be routed to the "oh crap" department, which is a plus, since they play classical music while you're on hold instead of the standard D* adverts. This CSR places me on hold, and goes through the same crap that I had been through, and after she had been on hold with DirectSat for 15 minutes, she hung up on them, asked me when I'd like my new install time (I said tomorrow afternoon), and she assured me that the install would happen (she sounded a bit pissed at DirectSat at this point).

So now, I get to see how much control DirecTV can actually assert over their installers. Over-all, my only beef with D* is that they use companies like DirectSat, who appear to be outsourcing to some minor call center, who appear to be outsourcing to local fleets overseen by a single cell-phone wielding supervisor.

The score so far:
DirecTV: 1 disconnect (with a call-back and appology), poor choice in installers.
DirectSat: One missed install, 12 (!) dropped calls, one outright lie, and extremely lackadaisical CSRs.