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Sun, Mar 24, 2019 9:25 PM

activating a new direct TV receiver

recently I purchased a new HR24 DTV Receiver to replace my old Unit.  After getting the new receiver unit up on my TV I called DTV (as instructed on the screen) to activate the receiver.  I was then told they could not activate the receiver because it was NOT purchased from them directly.  I would have to purchase one from them and then I must schedule an installation appointment and also pay for their technician to do the setup and activation.  Something I could do myself!!  Is this legal , as they claim this is their new policy.. Then why would Amaxon, walmart, etc., be allowed to sell their receivers if they will not activate them.

PP

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Juniper

ACE - Expert

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22.8K Messages

a year ago

Boxes are leased, not purchase to own. Changed when the 1st Genie was released years ago.

If bough from an individual (Craig's List, eBay, etc.) then either person doesn't understand their box is leased (cannot be transferred directly between customers), or worse that it is stolen.

 

If from a 3rd party retailer (Amazon, Walmart, etc.) then there is a known system issue. AT&T has been moving DirecTV billing accounts over to a new system to communicate with existing AT&T systems. Unfortunately during this process they have had a problem where they cannot activate boxes that are not ordered through the system. They need to get this fixed as people who prefer to pay more for equipment because they want to do the work themselves, or have to because of custom setups, are unable to do so.

 

Lease cost of HDDVR is $199 through 3rd party retailers. Same cost through DirecTV, if you don't have a free upgrade. Comes with a 24 month agreement upon activation either way. So unless you have a custom setup, usually better to do it directly especially if you have a free upgrade as 3rd party retailers can only provide at the lease cost.

 

Also if the box you were replacing was an HDDVR, then no upgrade was needed. Boxes because of the lease, regardless if you got them through a 3rd party retailer or not, are covered by DirecTV's warranty. Just $19.95 delivery when a replacement is needed (covered if you have their optional equipment protection plan). As the HR24 was the last regular HDDVR made and all others were non-returnable years ago, then only HR24 could be in stock.

 

(edited for typos that changed meaning of what was said).

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litzdog911

ACE - Sage

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53.3K Messages

a year ago

From where did you "purchase" that DVR?

It's very rare that you can purchase DirecTV boxes outright. If you got it from eBay or Craigslist then it was likely still active on someone elses account, or stolen.  If you got it from a reputable dealer then you need to contact that dealer about activation. 

 

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Tutor

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3 Messages

a year ago

AT&T has happily activated receivers / Tivo units I have purchased from 3rd parties this includes Amazon and Weaknees.  You MUST speak to a supervisor in the United States.

Juniper

ACE - Expert

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22.8K Messages

a year ago


@TransWarp wrote:

AT&T has happily activated receivers / Tivo units I have purchased from 3rd parties this includes Amazon and Weaknees.  You MUST speak to a supervisor in the United States.


Amazon is an authorized retailer. They have had an issue with the new account system activating boxes that aren't on a DirecTV order, regardless of where agents are from. It is an issue that needs to be fixed.

 

Boxes from individuals ("friend", Craig's List, eBay, etc) by design cannot be reactivated anymore. DirecTV went to lease only years ago, and any "owned' boxes out there would either be outdated SD/MPEG-2 boxes that are becoming paperweights as those old feeds shutdown, or the boxes are still attached to someone else's account who didn't understand they were leased (or worse they are stolen).

 

As for TiVO units, unless it is the THR22 then that is a waste of money. The THR22 is the only TiVO made for DirecTV that is MPEG-4. All others are MPEG-2 and will be practically useless like all other DirecTV MPEG-2 boxes as the MPEG-2 shutdown completes.

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For official support call DirecTV 1-800-531-5000 or AT&T 1-800-288-2020.
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Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
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New Member

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5 Messages

2 months ago

PLEASE tell me how to activate! I just purchased a THR22 from Weaknees and the rep refused to activate unless she could send a technician out to the house because it wasn’t purchased from AT&T. Having been a DirecTV customer since 1994 I would have appreciated a little more leniency with whatever new policy this is. Am now looking at my local cable company. 

Juniper

ACE - Expert

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22.8K Messages

2 months ago

@bkearle 

 

DirecTV has had issues with activating boxes from 3rd party authorized retailers as they have no order in their system. Though if not an authorized retailer then they will not activate as they no longer reactivate used boxes. This is because they are too old to be supported or are too high risk of still being on someone elses account (that forgot to return) or even stolen.

 

But the THR22, though MPEG-4, uses the legacy TiVO service (paid on top of DirecTV service). So there is the chance that it is a grandfathered option being so old a model. Even regular HR24s are no longer returnable as DirecTV is moving forward with their current generation of equipment that is SWM-only.

 

You still get a 24 month agreement no mater if you get the box from DirecTV or an authorized retailer, as it is still in a "leased" status. So if you have a free upgrade, it is usually better to go through DirecTV as why pay the one-time lease cost for the box if you don't have to. And tech is only sent if additional, or if a replacement is not a straight swap if there is a difference in setups.

 

Were you getting the THR22 as a replacement or additional? What are the models of your current boxes? Just in case there is anything else you need to know so no further surprises.

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For official support call DirecTV 1-800-531-5000 or AT&T 1-800-288-2020.
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Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

New Member

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5 Messages

2 months ago

@Juniper 

 

wow - I was not expecting anyone to actually respond to my post on such an old topic, especially so soon! Thank you so much!!

 

I purchased the box because my elderly mother (and me too, personally) have grown to just absolutely hate the Genie with a passion. The interface is way too “busy” and laggy — it confuses her. She had TiVo for well over a decade until DirecTV pried it away from her and installed a regular HD DVR in its place. Then that one died and she was moved over to the Genie system several years ago. 

The THR22 — which is not available from DirecTV anymore — is new, never activated, and came from an authorized reseller. It’s going to just be her personal unit. It’s already connected to a SWM, along with the Genie and the Genie-mini.

 

We don’t care about two year contracts, but I absolutely refuse to pay AT&T to send an installer out to do nothing more than make a phone call and have the activation signal pushed out.

 

We already pay over $200 month for DirecTV and my mother has resigned herself to watching Grey’s Anatomy day-after-day on Netflix simply because she gets so frustrated with the Genie interface and remote. 

It’s a little bit ridiculous that I can purchase a cableCard from my cable company and use it in any set-top box yet DirecTV is refusing to authorize equipment which is brand-new just purchased from an authorized reseller. 

Juniper

ACE - Expert

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22.8K Messages

2 months ago

Since DirecTV no longer has an option to order THR22, then that leans towards the model being the issue, especially since that required legacy TiVO service is most likely grandfathered. If so, nobody could activate a THR22 going forward. Yes DirecTV and TiVO have fully parted ways. And of course Whole Home DVR doesn't work on the THR22 as that is proprietary to DirecTV's in-house equipment.

 

Just in case the prior agent is not familiar with activating boxes obtained from an Authorized Retailer, call DirecTV once more. This time say "cancel" when you get the voice system so you get a retention agent, as they are usually more experienced.

 

The original Genie (HR34) has issues, but the later models (HR44 and HR54) are solid devices. Though having a regular HDDVR instead of a Mini Genie Client is best because of the additional tuners and recording space, plus reliability because it can work independently (Genie goes down then all Clients go down). So in general, a Mini Genie Client is a downgrade to an HDDVR.

 

If a Genie and Client is all you have, then a HDDVR order should be drop shipped ($19.95) as your SWM-system should support a minimum of 8 tuners (Genie has 5, Client has none, HDDVR has 2). So a tech wouldn't be expected for that replacement upgrade. If they have any regular/non-Genie HDDVRs left in stock, it would be the last model made (HR24).

 

Yes starting with HR44, all models going forward use the new Graphical User Interface (GUI). DirecTV has to move forward with a look from within recent years instead of a '90s or older feel. Certainly improvements still to be made, though much improved from initial release. Unfortunately sometimes tech has to move forward with updates even if not everyone is comfortable with them. But all models before HR44 stay on the legacy software.

 

Hoping she at least got a regular Genie and not the new Genie-2 (HS17). That has issues in the restrictive design, in particular not allowing regular HDDVRs.

 

Sorry I can't provide better news for that outdated model. At best try that retention agent and see if they can authorize the activation somehow. If not, see what the return policy is on that box with the retailer you got it from.

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New Member

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5 Messages

a month ago

Hello @Juniper

 

I’ve been exchanging emails with the reseller (Weaknees) and they’ve suggested contacting the access card department. Do you happen to know their direct phone number or what magic phrase I need to utter to the IVR? Better yet, is there an executive customer care department I can just email? Thank you for all your help. I really am fed up with AT&T, so if I can’t get this brand new, never activated TiVo activated I’m canceling. I really do hope that DirecTV is either spun off or sold to someone else. They were the BEST before AT&T came along. 

Juniper

ACE - Expert

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22.8K Messages

a month ago

@bkearle 

 

In the past the Access Card department was the ones to activate used boxes, verifying that the equipment wasn't still tied on someone else's account and card was still good. Since they stopped activated used boxes, I don't know if that is a dedicated department anymore. You could try saying "Access Card" to the IVR. Otherwise retention as I've suggested would be your best bet.

 

Naturally the reseller wants to avoid a return. But if the box ends up not being activated, then that will be the option you need. If this is the route you go, then all you would need to do is order through DirecTV, upgrading Mini Genie Client to regular HDDVR. And that should be just delivery ($19.95) as with those 2 existing boxes there should not be a big enough change to warrant a tech.

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I am a customer, not an employee. This is a public forum.
For official support call DirecTV 1-800-531-5000 or AT&T 1-800-288-2020.
www.directv.com or www.att.com
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

New Member

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5 Messages

a month ago

@Juniper 

 

Thank you so much, again! For those reading this thread in the future, I called the IVR and just said “Access Card Department,” explained what I wanted and the rigmarole I went through previously when trying to activate. THIS rep, unlike the last one, was very understanding and though she couldn’t activate it herself due to the AT&T block on third-party receivers, she was able to IM someone in the back office while I was in the phone with her that pushed the activation signal through without a problem!

 

 

Juniper

ACE - Expert

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22.8K Messages

a month ago

Glad it got pushed through.

 

Though I am very interested in this "block" on receivers from a 3rd party. Fair enough it by an individual (acquaintance, Craig's List, eBay, etc.), but when gotten from an authorized reseller a block wouldn't make sense. Wonder what is fully going on there.

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I am a customer, not an employee. This is a public forum.
For official support call DirecTV 1-800-531-5000 or AT&T 1-800-288-2020.
www.directv.com or www.att.com
Award for Community Excellence 2019 Achiever*
*I am not an AT&T employee, and the views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.

New Member

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5 Messages

a month ago

My understanding is, as the rep explained to me, that if one’s account has migrated to AT&T’s billing system, they are blocked from activating a receiver not obtained from AT&T and only the “back office” can push the signal out. If one’s account is still on the DirecTV billing system (doubt any still exist) - they aren’t blocked by the system and can activate In certain circumstances without having to involve the “back office.” If there is a proper DirecTV order number, anything goes. But since most third-party receivers are purchased through Amazon or others, even though they’re brand new and never activated, the “order” isn’t logged with AT&T.

Needless to say, this rep seemed to share my opinion of the AT&T ownership. 

(edited)

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