Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dear DirecTV, You Suck.

Hello there from summer cold ville.

That's right.  I got it.  I got the summer cold.  And let me tell you... it blows.  Literally.  I had to stop by Duane Read and actually pick up some tissues.  It's cool though... a few more rounds of Duane Read Daytime/Nighttime relief and I should be good to go!  I hope...

I determined that the reason I got this summer cold is that... dudes... I have been running non-stop for months!  If I'm not traveling on the weekends, then I'm moving, or painting, or apartment hunting, or unpacking.  It just never ends!  My body just decided it was time to put on the breaks, and since being incessantly tired, unfocused and late for work wasn't enough to do it, she decided to go and get herself sick.  "HA" she said.  " Try working through the horrendous summer cold!"  She knew I couldn't.  I left work 2 hours early to go home and sleep and pound myself with meds.  I feel much better and actually completely rested. 

I better be 100% by this weekend as I am traveling.  Yes, again.  I'm going back to Hershey for the weekend as my baby brother, Scott, is having a graduation party.  Don't even get me started.  Kid is huge.  I remember holding him when he was a new born.  The kid now towers over me and is all muscle bound and wants to be a cop and WHERE DID MY BABY BROTHER GO?!  But it's fine. 

Last weekend I painted.  MY GOD, I painted.  I painted like nobody ever painted before.  Friday after work I went to Home Depot and spent $130 on all things paint related.  I got a step ladder.  I got paint, and a paint tray, and paint rollers and paint brushes and painters tape and a laser level.  I'm exhausted just thinking about it.  I chose Bleached Denim as the paint color.  It's basically a dusty blue color.  My inspiration for this room was my mom and step-dad's house.  Both in their last house and the house they are currently in they used a really cool technique.  I think the way they did it was they used flat paint and painted the entire surface that same color.  Then they taped off equal sized stripes vertically on the wall and every other one was painted with a high-gloss finish.  When you remove the tape, the wall looks two toned even though it's only actually one tone.  It creates a really cool effect kind of like this:

So instead of doing that same thing, I did much thicker horizontal stripes.  They were each about a foot wide.  Also, to save myself a gallon of paint, I bought one gallon of high gloss and one gallon  of flat paint, both in the Bleached Denim color.  I know this saved me about $30, but dudes.  It was exhausting!  First on Friday night I taped off the living room.  I had to be careful to tape outside of the boarder line for every other stripe so that I could paint the full stripe in high gloss (if that makes any sense) before moving the tape so that I could paint the full stripe of the flat paint.  Believe me.  by 1am my head was swimming and I was exhausted!  But I powered through... to 3:30am when I finally had the whole room taped and had the first coat of high gloss paint done.

The next morning I got up and put on the second coat.  While I waited for that to dry thoroughly (the can said it would take around 4 hours, but I wasn't sure what type of humidity I was working with, I was mostly numb at this point, so I wanted to wait extra long).

This is about the time that my cold settled in.  I got back from hanging out with Terri around 8 or so.  I laid down and "napped" until 11pm when I got up to finish painting.  I moved all the tape so that it now over-lapped the already painted stripes of high gloss paint, and painted the flat color.  The flat paint dried almost immediately.  I got 2 coats on super fast, but got to bed around 4am for some unknown reason.  I was totally beat and not feeling great. 

Of course that didn't stop me from waking up promptly at 9am out of shear excitement to see the finished product!  I pulled the tape off and OHMAGAH people!  It looks SOOOO cool!  I will try to take a picture of it but the room it's in doesn't photograph well.  We'll see if I can grab one today. 

So then we tried to mount my TV to the wall. 

This didn't go so well.


It didn't go at all.

We discovered 2 things.  1) in case of fire on either side of us, we are covered as we literally have cement walls surrounding us.  2) We do not, in fact, have a power drill that can get through concrete.  So now I have one single hole in my beautiful masterpiece of a wall.  So sad.  But reparable.  We are going to ask Buzz to build us a thin table to put the TV on so that we can still have the pull out couch and TV in the same room.  I'll keep you updated on that little venture...

So just when I think all the worry is over and I might just be problem free and unable to WAIT until I get a little pool time this weekend...

DirecTV rears it's ugly little shrunken head.


So here's the deal.  It appears that I never wrote about this little snafu because I was directly in the middle of LOSING MY EVER LOVING MIND and didn't want to impact that further.  Here's the back story:

In February when the DJ moved out, I had him cancel his DirecTV account and got my own.  I signed a 2 year contract because my total bill for all the "regular" TV channels plus HBO and Shotime was only like $70 which is awesome.  I figured I'd just take it with me when I moved and we'd be good to go.


My landlord had other plans.  He didn't want a satellite dish mounted to his building.  I get it, it is tacky.  But now what do I do?  I call DirecTV and tell them what's up.  They tell me that to cancel my contract will cost me.... get this.... $20 per month that goes unused in my contract.  That comes out to about $400+.  HA, I say to you.  There's just no way.

After multiple calls to DirecTV I find out that it is illegal for a landlord to say that you can't have a particular service (but not illegal for a company to not provide their service to certain neighborhoods AHEM I'M LOOKING AT YOU VERIZON FIOS), but that it is LEGAL for a landlord to state where a dish cannot be placed on their building. 


Me thinks we found a loophole!

So I tell my landlord the same thing.  He writes up a detailed list stating that it is in following City and Fire Safety Standards and whatnot.... it was great.  The technicians come out, look at the list, determine that they can't place the dish and say that they will let DirecTV know this.  That I will need to contact them to get boxes to return the equipment.  The plan was to contact them this week since I've been busy, and sick, and losing my mind, and moving couches out of windows.. you know... that...

Well yesterday when I left work early, guess who came home to a nice shiny BILL FROM DIRECTV?!?!  UGH! 

So I call today.  I get on the phone with one representative and explain the situation to him.  He puts me on hold for about 10 minutes and comes back and says "Ok, I'm going to transfer you so that you can set up an appointment to have the techs come back out and set up your dish."



"No no no no no you don't understand.  The techs have already been out and determined that they CANNOT set up the dish.  So I don't have service and my account should have been closed and I shouldn't be billed again."

"Please hold"


"OK, Ma'am (I hate that.), once the techs come back out, you should have service again.  So we'll just send them back out to you, waive this month's bill and start billing again once the techs have set you up."

Oh. For. The. Love. Of. Christ.

"NO.  You're NOT hearing me.  They cannot give me service.  It's not possible.  They have been out and determined it to be impossible.  I do not now, nor will I ever, have DirecTV service at my new apartment.  It's not happening.  So I should not be billed for services not being rendered and my account should be closed."

"Please hold"

*Sigh* (plus toe tapping which he can't see through the phone, but it made me feel better)

"OK Ma'am (still not any better.), I'm going to transfer you so we can give you that credit for this past month."

"ooooooook great"  anything to get off the phone with you.

Then I get an adorable little southern lady who tells me that she can issue a credit for $35 for the package deal that I have (no credit for the equipment rental, the taxes or the special channels that I had.  None of which I was able to use either.  But whatevs.) but that I will still have to pay the $400 cancellation fee.  I explain that, given then information her company provided me with, that I should not be held responsible for that fee any longer.  She "understands" but... ya know... I totally CHOSE to live in a building where the landlord doesn't like DirecTV. 

Oh. Man.

You're totally right, Southern lady.  It's not as though I had to make choices about my new apartment based on silly things like price, neighborhood, amenities, condition, bugs, rats... clearly the only thing that should have been on my mind when looking at apartments is "DirecTV.  Show me whatever you've got that allows DirecTV.  That's all I ask... I must have my DirecTV!" 


By the way?  She is the second person to mention that my choice of apartment should have been based upon DirecTV service availability. 

Kill myself.

At this point I have been on the phone for nearly 35 minutes in the middle of my work day, and it's ridiculous.  She finally puts me in touch with a supervisor.

I explain the situation to him as I have twice before in the last 40 minutes.  After 30 seconds, the supervisor says, "I can see that you've jumped through hoops and tried everything you can to have service moved to your new location.  I'm going to go ahead and waive all of this for you, and we're sorry to see you go.  We hope you'll consider DirecTV in the future.  Do you have any other questions?"

YES!!!!!!!!!!!!! FREEDOOOOOOMMM!!!!!!! VICTORYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I do understand that DirecTV is a business.  They HAVE to make it tough to get out of contractual agreements because if it was easy then NOBODY would pay that cancellation fee and they would lose tons of money.

Unfortunately, they did not realize that they were dealing with me. 

And in the end?  I think the better woman won. 

So yeah, I just saved myself nearly $500 by not being passive.  I'm getting $80 back from my TV mount since my walls are indestructible (which can be a god thing I guess but... not so much in this case)...  For somebody that has been so financially beaten over the last few months, I'm feelin pretty darn good!

Maybe I will give baby brother some cash for graduation...... *Le sigh*....... aaaaand we've come full circle.

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