AT&T Home Entertainment - Customer Owned Equipment

This message post isn't so much a complaint, although I do have those in this regard, as it is just something I learned that I thought to share, and who knows, perhaps I'm missing something.

We have DirecTV. Not by choice, but because the apartment complex we live in has a contract with them, so we basically don't have a choice. However, although we have DirecTV, for our area, DirecTV farms out our service to AT&T HE (AT&T Home Entertainment).

Aside from other major fiascoes with AT&T HE, their services, and their customer service (or lack thereof), we thought to avoid rental fees on our receivers by purchasing our own. In February, AT&T HE even recommended "Customer Owned Equipment" (first e-mail at bottom). However, apparently now, there's no longer such a thing as "Customer Owned Equipment".

Wow! I was and still am bewildered. But again, perhaps I'm missing something... I can't find any news articles on this anywhere. Am I missing something? Like maybe its a bigger deal to me than to anyone else? I just feel really, really locked in here. The only other service I know of we can get in this complex is another dish company. I tried both Verizon and Time Warner on a couple different occasions, and they simply cannot service our complex. What's worse is we can't move for another couple years due to varying factors.

Below is an e-mail thread between ourselves and AT&T HE discussing "Customer Owned Equipment".

Enjoy.

And, I'm still debating whether to post another e-mail thread (3 actually) that spanned a month when attempting to upgrade our DirecTV services. That one still floors me, and its been over 5 months since that fiasco. Perhaps I'll just summarize it and post the highlights :/

I've reversed the thread on this e-mail, so you can read from top down.


----- Original Message ----
From: ATTHEonline.com
Sent: Monday, February 19, 2007 2:51 PM
Subject: Reply from attheonline.com

Thank you for your email.

Unfortunately, we are unable to exchange boxes at this time. Our technicians are allocated boxes for installation directly from our warehouse and have no control over the make or model of the boxes that they receive.

There is another option – Customer Owned Equipment. You may purchase your own equipment and avoid the receiver rental fee. You are, however, still required to rent our access cards at a rate of $.99 ($.99 First card fee) per month for the first card, and $5.98 ($.99 Additional card fee, $4.99 Mirroring fee) per month for each additional card.

If you are considering purchasing your own DIRECTV receiver, please direct your browser to the following site for further information on customer owned equipment and AT&T Home Entertainment:

http://www.attheonline.com/atthe/main.nsf/apAMain?open&key=coe

*Please also note that, unless your customer owned receivers have the ability to accept a stacked signal, additional equipment may be required to activate the box.

Best regards,

AT&T Home Entertainment

----- Original Message ----
To: ATTHEonline.com
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 12:50:15 AM
Subject: Re: Reply from attheonline.com

Well, it would seem, I learned today, there's no longer such a thing as "Customer Owned Equipment".

I was told by a Best Buy IT representative that DirecTV no longer allows the direct purchase of DirecTV receivers.

Instead, I'd end up leasing it from Best Buy, whereas I'm already leasing boxes from DirecTV. What's the point in "Customer Owned Equipment" if we're not allowed to "Own" it?

Keith

----- Original Message ----
From: ATTHEonline.com
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 12:12:21 PM
Subject: Reply from attheonline.com

Thank you for your email.

We are sorry to hear that. You can try getting a used receiver, off the internet.

Regards,

AT&T Home Entertainment

----- Original Message ----
To: ATTHEonline.com
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 12:34:25 PM
Subject: Re: Reply from attheonline.com

I'm sorry too. For the lack of decent desktop boxes, non-DirecTV-compatible remotes, the insufferable interface, and the cost. And being our apartment complex is locked into a contract with DirecTV, this will become a primary factor when our lease comes ready to expire. But that's something I'll be bringing up with the apartment complex. Obviously, not your worry.

Thanks.

Keith D Commiskey

----- Original Message ----
From: ATTHEonline.com
Sent: Wednesday, April 25, 2007 01:17:17 PM
Subject: Reply from attheonline.com

Thank you for your email.

We do apologize, if you purchase any equipment please let us know we will be happy to activate it for you. We have recently purchased new DVR receivers which we rent out monthly at $5.99 with a installation cost of $41.99. If you would like to exchange any of your receivers for a DVR please call our call center at 1800-585-2278 press option 1 then 1 then 0 for a installation specialist.

Regards,

AT&T Home Entertainment

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