Update: Qwest vs. Comcast

June 11, 2009

Well, I can’t really say I’m 100% thrilled with Qwest’s bumpy beginning…


  • 2 new DirectTV receivers, and 2 remote controls
  • 1 extra HDMI cable
  • 1 ENTIRE DAY spent waiting for (or waiting on) the technician (8am till 5:30 when I left the house)
  • 1 clean kitchen, 4 bills paid, 1 job application, tea and cake with my friend, 1 shower, and 1 short episode of window-gazing
  • 1 TV that we can watch
  • 1 TV we CAN’T watch

Final grade: C-


The technician from DirectTV arrived yesterday morning at around 10:30–decently in the middle of the famous 4-hour window–and got right to work. He was perfectly nice and professional, and was here for a couple of hours. I guess after mounting the dish on the house (it’s on the side of the house, not the roof, and much less obtrusive than I’d expected), he had to run cable all the way across the roof near the gutters to the other side of the house and then hook into the cable wiring there. Or something like that.

Anyhow once the technician finished his outside work, he came in to program and register (by phone) the new signals via the dish. He walked me through using the remote. The first glitch was that the remote control will turn off the DirectTV receiver but will not work to turn off our TV, as the Comcast remote did. Hassle, but I guess not a dealbreaker–we’ll just have to have the TV’s remote out all the time also. Or buy one of those fancy-pants universal remote controls.

The tech fiddled with the setup, 1020 versus 780, HD channels versus normal channels, the TV’s settings wide versus normal, and I guess it all looked fine. He asked if I had any questions, and was preparing to leave. I asked if the smaller TV downstairs was also all set up and the technician said yes, everything was working fine. He gave me his phone number in case I had trouble, and left.

When I called him about 5 minutes later, he seemed genuinely surprised. The TV downstairs wasn’t receiving any channel that I could find. The screen had a little notice that said “Searching for Satellite” and then “Channel not purchased” or something (when I tried to get Millionaire?), and then even better : “Contact Customer Service.” The technician determined over the phone that something had gone wrong when he called to register that receiver, and said he’d call it in again. He told me that if it was not working in about 20 minutes, I should call him back.

I reasoned that I had enough time to get a shower and get ready to meet my friend for coffee later that afternoon, so zipped upstairs to get started. Half an hour later, I called the technician again. Still no channels downstairs. He answered, and said, “Oh, I am so sorry, ma’am–I totally forgot to call! I’ll call right now, I promise–give it half an hour and if it still isn’t working, call me back.” I sighed heavily and said fine–it was about 2:15 by then. I paid some bills, and applied for a job online, and looked out the window a bit.

Of course, when I called back at 3pm, we still had no channels downstairs. The guy told me he’d need to come back to the house, that he’d come back in a short while-but actually he was in the middle of “pulling a ladder” in that very moment, and could he call me back in half an hour? I rolled my eyes and decided to clean the kitchen while I was waiting.

As 3pm stretched into 3:45, I realized I wouldn’t be able to meet my friend for coffee at 4pm after all. I called her to let her know and she said she’d pop by the house for a while instead. When she arrived at 4:15, the Direct TV technician still hadn’t called. On principle, I decided that I really didn’t want to call the guy AGAIN since I was sure he would blow me off AGAIN. So my friend and I chatted for an hour or so.

F called to see how everything had gone and when I gave him the update, he wasn’t exactly thrilled. He asked for the technician’s phone number so he could call himself and yell at the guy. For my part, I gave up and went to have my first Dragonboat experience.

We haven’t set up the internet/phone stuff yet because we want to resolve one system at a time. Is this dumb? Should I just set up the rest?

Grumble grumble grumble.


3 Responses to “Update: Qwest vs. Comcast”

  1. TalkToQwest Says:

    Hello, my name is Steph I am a manager at Qwest. I am sorry to hear about this experience with DirecTV, and your tv. If you are still having issues and would like me to reach out to DirecTV on your behalf to find out what we need to do to get your tv functioning, I would be happy to. Please email me at talktous@qwest.com attention Steph, and I will see what I can help you get resolved!

    thank you!

    Stephanie Boyd
    Manager – Consumer Affairs Team

    talktous@qwest.com – attention Steph

    “At Qwest your account information is confidential and protected by law, so I need your permission to access the account.”

    • shawncita Says:

      Steph, I appreciate your follow-up and response to this matter. We had both phone technicians and DirecTV folks out today and we have our fingers crossed that our issues are now resolved. If we continue to have issues, we will definitely reach out to you for assistance.

      Much appreciated!


  2. […] 14, 2009 So it’s been a couple of days since my last post about Qwest and our crazy installation issues, to which a Qwest person even responded in comments. […]

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