At a glance
When it comes to the world of cable/satellite TV, I am a firm believer in “jumping around.” Switching from one provider to another is usually pretty easy and can save you a great deal of money. Most companies have no early cancellation fees, some require no contracts, and they always have great deals going on. In short, you should not hesitate to switch companies if there is a better deal to be had.
While looking for ways to save money on my monthly television service, I considered all the major players in my area: Comcast, AT&T U-verse, and a few others. Consequently, I am seriously thinking about jumping back to DIRECTV. I left them several years ago over a minor dispute with their customer service, but it seems like they have figured things out. And even with that bit of history, I can’t deny that they offer the best deals out there.
Here are a few reasons why DIRECTV is one of my top picks among television service providers:
TV Packages and Perks
The two major questions on your mind when searching for a new provider might be:
- What can I get for free?
- Do they have the right package for me?
DIRECTV answers both of these with flying colors.
1. Basic Offerings
Probably the biggest advantage DIRECTV has over the competition is the list of basic perks they offer with any package. Here is what you can look forward to if you decide to switch your current service to DIRECTV:
- No Equipment to Buy. They waive virtually all fees for any equipment you might need to buy to initiate service.
- No Start-Up Costs. Initiation Fees? Start-up Fees? Installation Fees? Forget about it. All of this is done without charge.
- Free HD. With my current provider, I pay an extra fee for HD service. Not so with DIRECTV. HD is included in all of their packages.
- Free HD Receiver. An HD receiver is basically a device that receives and decodes high-definition TV signals. If your TV doesn’t come with a built-in HD receiver, DIRECTV will include one at no additional charge.
- Every Premium Channel Free. Sounds hard to believe, but by signing up now, you can receive premium channels like Starz, Showtime, HBO, and Cinemax free for three months. For all you movie lovers out there – how can you beat that?
- DIRECTV Cinema. If you sign up now, you can get access to 400 of the newest movie releases, and over 6,000 additional shows and movies at no extra charge.
2. Available Packages
All of these benefits are available in a lineup of different packages you can choose from to fit your viewing needs:
- Choice. 150+ digital channels, free HD or DVR receiver upgrade (currently $29.99 per month after rebate and 2 year contract).
- Choice Extra. 210+ digital channels, free HD and DVR receiver upgrade, free HD service (currently $34.99 per month after rebate and 2 year contract).
- Choice Ultimate. 225+ digital channels, free HD and DVR receiver upgrade, free HD service (curently $39.99 per month after rebate and 2 year contract).
- Premier. 285+ digital channels, free HD and DVR receiver upgrade, free HD service, every premium movie channel included (currently $83.99 per month after rebate and 2 year contract).
- Business Options. For those of you looking for options for satellite TV for your business, DIRECTV has you covered there as well. Whether you have a small start-up standalone business, or one with multiple locations, DIRECTV has the right package for you. They can give you access to over 160 channels, exclusive sports packages like NFL Sunday Ticket, and they even have international programming options.
If you can’t find something to make you happy in this list, then you are a very tough customer indeed. On the other hand, if you do like what you see, remember to take any possible concerns into account before switching.
Now that I officially sound like the new DIRECTV spokesperson (they’re not paying me, I swear), let’s take a look at a few issues you’ll want to consider before making your decision.
1. Cable vs. Satellite
Those of you that currently have satellite service (i.e. DIRECTV vs. Dish Network) may be wondering if cable is a better deal. Obviously, you’ll want to do some comparisons yourself, but in my opinion, satellite wins hands down. I’ve found no significant benefits to going with cable. There is no notable difference in the number of outages between the two, and DIRECTV simply gives you more to enjoy.
Of course, no product out there today is perfect, so I would be remiss if I did not mention what I see to be the main drawbacks of DIRECTV:
- Weather-related issues. I do recall losing reception during some rain storms and periods of high wind. The outages were usually short, but it was pretty annoying nonetheless.
- Customer Service. When I was a customer of DIRECTV, their customer service department was decent, but always seemed more concerned in me upgrading my package than addressing the issue I was calling about.
- Equipment. Keep in mind that if you leave DIRECTV, you are responsible for disposing of the old equipment. As a matter of fact, I still have their old dish on my roof.
Be sure to consider whether you will get enough “bang for your buck” with whatever television service provider you decide to go with. If you spend your leisure time doing other things and really aren’t into movies and sports, then obviously there are less expensive alternatives out there. However, if you’re a movie-junkie, hardcore sports fan, or simply an avid television viewer, DIRECTV will be just the right fit.
As I said in the beginning, when it comes to TV service, I am a firm believer in “jumping around.” There aren’t too many industries that offer no contract cancellation fees, or free start-ups. Luckily, the world of “pay TV” does. Therefore, it has always been my best advice that you switch whenever and wherever you can as long as you can save a buck.
Taking that into consideration, it is definitely worth noting that DIRECTV currently has some of the best packages out there, at some of the most competitive rates. Those of you in the market to switch TV companies should keep DIRECTV at the top of your list.
Have you ever been a DIRECTV customer? Was the experience good or bad? Feel free to share your stories and best tips in the comments below.