Insider Secrets of DirecTV
I'll do my best to update this page every day to let you know the newest DirecTV deals, freebies, and previews.
Until I can dedicate a supporting article to DirecTV deals I'll be posting a "Late Breaking News" section at the top of this article.
If you aren't looking for latest DirecTV news, continue down the page to read about the various offers that you can get from DirecTV.
Late Breaking DirecTV News!
Prices are going up January 21, 2018.
Unfortunately, prices will be increasing on most DirecTV plans.
The Select package will increase by $2, the Entertainment package will increase by $3, the Choice package will increase by $4, the Total Choice Limited will increase by $4.50, the Total Choice Xtra will increase by $5, the Preferred Xtra package will increase by $7 and the Ultimate Premiere package will increase by $8.
Sorry, this is not a positive update, but I just wanted everyone to know in case they see their bill increase.
Also, remember that new customers can get a $300 Visa Gift Card when they sign up. This offer is only eligible until March 31, 2018.
DirecTV insider secrets
If you are reading this, you have just stumbled upon some information that you will not find anywhere else on the internet.
As a former employee of DirecTV, I have many tips on how you can get the most out of your television service. While working for DirecTV, I was entrusted with valuable information that was never supposed to be made known to the public. While there are things I can not share because of legal confidentiality reasons, I can discuss some tips that will help you get the most out of your DirecTV services. You're paying a lot of money each month to have DirecTV, so why not get the most out of it?
In the following segments, I will give you some pointers on how you can get free receiver upgrades, free house calls, discounted programming like HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, and Starz, substantial discounts off of your bill and other great deals and offers that DirecTV will never come right out and offer you.
Why does DirecTV give these offers?
If you are familiar with DirecTV service or any other satellite tv service, you know that sometimes service can be interrupted due to weather or other technical issues. Although the loss of satellite signal is the #1 issue most customers experience, it can be easily resolved sometimes. To see how to fix this error on your own use my 9 step guide to resolve satellite signal issues.
DirecTV has these offers in place to compensate their customers for their loss of service due to these inconveniences. Sometimes, to get these offers, you will be required to do troubleshooting to get your service back working. I know that troubleshooting may seem tedious, but it is actually quite easy. Refer to my "How to Fix DirecTV Error Codes" article to see how easy it is to fix technical problems.
Another reason DirecTV provides these offers is due to customer dissatisfaction due to loss of channels or rising cost of their bill. With the continuous rise of competition, DirecTV is now, more than ever, desperate to retain your business.
How to determine if you are eligible for a certain offer
Each customer representative has a set limit to what they can offer each customer, based on the customer's level. According to DirecTV, there are 5 different customer levels that I will elaborate upon in this segment. In 2014, AT&T purchased DirecTV for a little under $50 billion and changed the terminology on DirecTV customer levels that this article was originally based upon. AT&T has however kept the same system as it pertains to offering customers special discounts and deals to keep them satisfied. After performing some extensive research by talking to several representatives, I have confirmed that this information is, in fact, still relevant as of 10/3/2017.
- 1-12 month customers: You are the lowest on the totem pole. You will not enjoy the various discounts that are offered to your more tenured counterparts, but you can still squeeze out a free subscription to HBO, Cinemax, Starz or Showtime. Those will be defined in the next segment of this article.
- 1-2 year customers: You are on the second lowest level of customer standings. DirecTV notices you in the system as being a potential save because your contract will end in the 24th month of service. During the 24th month, you should have a lot of discounts or promotions available in order to keep you as a customer. As previously stated, the information can be found in the next portion of this page.
- 2-5 year customers: You are on the third highest level of DirecTV customers. You will have several discounts or promotions available to you, but you still aren't on the elite level. Your discounts include programming offers, partial or free receiver discounts and free service calls.
- 5-10 year customers: You are edging closer to the top, as you are the second highest valued customer. The benefits of this level do not differ much from the highest level. The only difference is that the top level may be eligible for duplicate discounts and offers. Read on to find out more.
- 10+ year customers: Congratulations, you have reached the top. There are no more discounts for each additional year after the tenth year. You have several great opportunities to get special offers and equipment for free. Now here comes the secret.
Offers and Promotions that AT&T & DirecTV won't tell you about
The following is a list of all the Offers, Deals, and Promotions that DirecTV provides to its current customers.
1-12 Month Customers
If you have been a DirecTV customer for less than 12 months and have had service problems due to a technical error, you qualify for the following discounts and offers:
- 1 Month of free Showtime, HBO, Starz or Cinemax
- 1 free Service Call
- 50% off of an upgraded receiver
- A free subscription to NFL Sunday Ticket (in rare cases)
1-2 Year Customers
If you have been a DirecTV customer for 1-2 years and have had service problems due to technical error or are dissatisfied with your service, you qualify for the following discounts and offers:
- 1-6 Months of free Showtime, HBO, Starz or Cinemax
- Free Service Calls
- 1-3 Months of free Combo Premium packages such as Showtime or HBO
- $10-$20 off of your bill for 6 months
- Free NFL Sunday Ticket (in some cases, usually after the mid-season)
- Free sports package add-on for up to 3 months or $10 off of sports packages for 3 months
2-5 Year Customers
If you have been a DirecTV customer for 2-5 years and have had service problems due to technical error or are dissatisfied with your service, you qualify for the following discounts and offers:
- $10 to $20 off of your bill per month for 3-12 months
- All Premium movie channels for up to 6 months free
- Free NFL Sunday Ticket (this is a common offer to those who express an interest in sports)
- Free Service Calls
- Free receiver upgrades (up to two)
- Free sports packages (up to 1 year)
- Up to $20 off of your bill for 1 year
5-10 Year Customers
If you have been a DirecTV customer for 5-10 years and have had service problems due to technical error or are dissatisfied with your service, you qualify for the following discounts and offers:
- Any of the aforementioned offers
- Free unlimited service calls
- Up to 3 months of free service
- Up to 3 free upgraded receivers
- Free HD & DVR service
- Free personal account manager to oversee your customer satisfaction and provide you a personal line to call
10+ Year Customers
If you have been a DirecTV customer for more than 10 years and have had any problem or dissatisfaction, you qualify for the following discounts and offers:
- Any of the aforementioned offers
- Up to 4 free receiver upgrades per year
- Unlimited Free Service Calls
- A customer loyalty gift of up to $100 (this includes extra credits on your bill or free PPV or just about anything else you want to apply it to)
- Free NFL Sunday ticket for 2 years
- Up to $30 of your bill for up to 24 months
- And nearly any combination of any of the aforementioned offers
How do we get these offers?
Like I said previously, DirecTV will not call you up and say "Hey how about some free stuff". No, you will have to put forth a little effort by calling them. Yes, you'll probably have to wait a couple minutes before talking to a representative, but it will be worth it once you get some fantastic offers. I've included the following phone numbers you can call to speak to representatives to get the aforementioned offers and deals:
- Universal DirecTV Phone Number: 1-800-531-5000
- DirecTV Refunds & Credits: 1-800-288-2020
- DirecTV Customer Sign-up: 1-844-306-5288
- DirecTV Customer Support: 1-855-679-4357
- DirecTV New Customers: 1-877-333-3873
- For customers who have only been with DirecTV for 1-12 months, be considerate when you call to report a problem or dissatisfaction with your service. You are not yet a valued customer. Business relationships take time. Remember that.
- For customers who have been with DirecTV for 1-2 years, most of the discounted programming or free programming offers will be available to you, as well as free service calls. These are usually offered because of technical issues, so it is more believable if you have called in within the last week with the same problem. Be aware that if you take advantage of this, you will be identified as a fraud shopper. Each time you call DirecTV customer support a note is left on your account summary, stating the issue you are calling about, so it's not something you want to make a habit of each month or even every 3 or 4 months.
- For the 2-5 year customers, you are eligible for a free upgrade each year. I don't care what a representative tells you, you have a right to a free upgraded receiver. If you don't have a DVR or HD DVR, you can call in tomorrow and get a free one installed within a few weeks. The only catch to this is that you will be required to extend your service contract for 24 months. So make sure you want to continue your service because there is no way out of the contract unless you want to pay the $480 cancellation fee.
- For the customers who have been with DirecTV for 5+ years, you are eligible for nearly every offer listed above. You have a credibility with DirecTV and they want to keep you as a customer. The most useful information I can give you is how to get the most out of your money, which brings me to my next subject.
Combined programming offers.
Combined movie packages will not be offered proactively. It is up to the customer to find these promotions and take advantage of them. Most do not take advantage of these and I will tell you right now that you are losing money by not doing so. Let's look at an example that I have experienced first hand.
- DTV's Premier Package costs $187 per month, a $71 jump from when this article was first posted seven years ago. The package includes all of the movie channels; Starz, Showtime, HBO, and Cinemax.
The Ultimate package is only $134 per month for existing customers. It includes all but 2 or 3 channels, excluding the premium movie channels, that 95% of viewers watch that the Premier package offers. If you downgrade your package to Ultimate, your total monthly bill would go from $187 to $134, saving you $53 per month.
What about the 2 or 3 channels that aren't offered in Ultimate? With the $53 per month that you are saving, you have a load of other options which we will discuss in the upcoming segment.
But what about my HBO and other movie channels?
Yes, we all love movie channels, but are they worth $53 per month? No, they're not and here is why.
- If you have a Hulu or Amazon Account, you can get these same add-on movie packages for less than DirecTV offers. If you don't have a Hulu or Amazon account, you can still get HBO now or HBO Go. If you don't have an internet connection, you still have a couple options.
- HBO, Starz, Cinemax, and Showtime all show similar movies and duplicate each other often. Consider subscribing to just one service that fits your watching pleasure. And if you are just wanting more movies to watch, if you have an internet connection, please consider signing up for a streaming service like Amazon Prime, Hulu or Netflix. Any of those 3 have more movies than HBO, Cinemax, Starz, and Showtime combined.
- Another option available is to go ahead and cut the cord and try the DirecTV Now streaming service. Plans start at $35 a month for 60 channels and top out at $70 a month for 120 channels with the ability to add HBO for $5 a month, Cinemax for $5 a month, Starz for $8 a month and Showtime for $8 a month.
For an in-depth guide on how to take advantage of any of these streaming options refer to my How to Watch Movies and TV for free guide that will help you fully understand the value of your entertainment options.
The whole concept of packages is so that DirecTV can make the most money for channels they are providing. They have to pay other companies royalties for their channels. This is why they have different levels of programming. The promotions are for the customer's benefit, but since it would cost DirecTV millions to send out flyers each month to its customers, they only post promotions online. This is why you must go online to see what is new. Offers are posted randomly throughout the year. They may not be what you want, but eventually, you will find a great promotion.
Another option you can look into is digital movies. Over the past few years, digital movies have decreased in cost. You can now buy most digital movies to have forever for less than $6. For information on how to get these low-priced movies, check out my article "How to Get Movies for Little to no Cost".
Offers for new DirecTV customers
For people thinking about signing up for DirecTV, you are in a great position. It is somewhat unfair when looking at it from the perspective of a current DirecTV customer, but all newcomers essentially get deals that only long-time members enjoy.
New members signing up for DirecTV are eligible for the following discounted plans:
- Select - This package includes 150+ channels for $40 per month for the first 12 months.
- You will get most of the same channels you do with the more expensive packages except these key channels: CBS Sports, Chiller, the Encore movie channels (8 total), ESPN channels (4 total), FS1, GSN, IFC, ION, MLB & NFL Network, OWN, SEC Network, WGN and pretty much any other sports channel you can think of.
- If you are a sports fanatic, this is not the package for you. For the average sitcom viewer, this is a fairly cheap package for the first 12 months of service, but keep in mind that the price will go up to $90 per month minus tax and fees after your first year of service, nearly doubling what your current bill would be if you choose this package.
- Entertainment - This package includes 155+ channels for $45 per month for the first 12 months.
- With this package, you are going to get 7 more channels than what you would get with the Select package which includes: ESPN, ESPN2, FS1, NBC Sports and 3 other channels you will never watch. Once again, keep in mind your bill will nearly double after your first year of service, going from $55 per month to $101 per month minus tax and fees.
- Choice - This package includes 185+ channels for $50 per month for the first 12 months.
- Free 2017 NFL Sunday Ticket - Choice and above packages are eligible for a free subscription to NFL Sunday Ticket for the 2017 season, a nearly $300 value. Just be sure to cancel it after the season ends if you don't want to be charged when the next season rolls around.
- Choice is where we finally start seeing significant additional programming. With this package, you are going to get all of those channels not offered in the Select package except for ESPN Classic and the Encore movie pack. After the first year, the cost goes from $60 per month to $115 per month, not quite doubling this time, but still a significant increase.
- XTRA - This package includes 230+ channels for $60 per month for the first 12 months.
- This package is specifically aimed towards the outdoorsman. While you will be getting about 45 more channels, the bulk of them is either sports or crafts related. If that doesn't sound like your preferred programming, save yourself ten bucks and stick with the Choice package. After the first year your subscription will jump from $70 per month to $124 per month, so make sure you will have an extra $55 to pay the difference if you should choose to select this package.
- Ultimate - This package includes 245+ channels for $65 per month for the first 12 months.
- For the newcomer trying to decide whether to go with Choice or XTRA, if you are able to swing $5 more, get this package. With Ultimate you will get 62 more channels than you would with Choice. While 20 of these channels are music channels, displaying only a black screen with interesting tidbits about the artists, this package also includes the Encore movie package, a $10 value, 4 other pretty decent movie channels and several sports channels that are also offered in the XTRA package. If you are the outdoorsman and have decided you want the XTRA package, I highly recommend upgrading to this package instead since it is only $5 more and you get 12 more great movie channels for those rainy nights. As always, your bill will increase from $75 to $134 per month after the first year.
- As a side note, this is my recommended package for any first-year subscriber. You get the most for your buck during the first year. You can always downgrade after your first 12 months to save money if the cost is too expensive for you.
- Premiere - This package includes 325+ channels for $115 per month for the first 12 months.
- And finally, Premiere is our last package and what a package it is. Honestly, it is a good deal if you enjoy watching all of the best new release and classic movies on HBO, Showtime, Starz, and Cinemax. The price is manageable at $125 per month but drastically increases to $187 per month after the first year.
Understanding different customer service reps and what each is allowed to offer you
Since AT&T purchased DirecTV there have been many complaints from customers, stating that they are not being offered any discounts or promotions that were available in the past. It would seem that AT&T is not as concerned with customer retention as DirecTV was.
To bypass technical and customer service representatives and get the best available offers, call the customer service number 1-800-531-5000. After reaching a representative, request to cancel your DirecTV account. Customer service reps will not offer you anything after you request to cancel service. They are strictly required to transfer you to the customer retention reps.
To help you understand the offers that each representative can offer you, here are the types of customer service representatives.
General Customer Service Representative
- These guys are the lowest on the totem pole, consisting mostly of technical support agents. These reps are actually probably employees of the protection plan company,NEW Asurion. If you aren't familiar with DirecTV's protection plan, read my article "Is the DirecTV Protection Plan Worth the Investment". These bottom-level reps have several promotions and discounts they can offer you, but not nearly as much as you can get from their manager.
Customer Service Managers
- To be transferred to a customer service manager all you have to do is say "I want to talk to your supervisor"
- Customer service managers are the next highest on the totem pole. They have about twice as many discounts and promotions they can offer you. Since these representatives have usually been with the company for at least 2 years, DirecTV gives them more available offers to provide to the customer. Managers never want to have to transfer you to customer retention so they will usually offer you their best discounts.
- Don't settle for their first offer or even the second. Ask if there is anything else they can do for you. They will not offer the best offer first, in case customers want more.
Customer Retention Representatives
- These guys are the 2nd highest on the chain of service command and have almost the best offers available to you.
- To talk to one of these agents, you must request to cancel your services.
- Whether you are talking to a customer service rep or a customer service manager, the representative is instructed to transfer you directly to customer retention.
- An important thing to keep in mind is how serious you are about cancelling.
- If you have no objections to cancelling your service and are fed up, continue through the cancelling process if you don't feel like any of the discounts offered are enough for the inconvenience you have had to bear.
Customer Win Back Representatives
- These guys are the top dogs when it comes to the amount of discounts and promotions they can offer. All available offers are available to them to give to you in order to win you back.
- There is no way to reach one of these representatives through a direct phone number. They must call you.
- After choosing to cancel your service with customer retention, most of the time you will receive a call from a customer win back number.
- They usually call 3 times before not calling anymore. This is standard procedure.
- If you have caller ID or a cell phone and have a missed call, cross-reference the number in a google search to see if it is associated with one of DirecTV's customer win back program.
If you are talking to a customer win back representative you are going to get the best deal and probably continue your DirecTV membership.
These reps can offer a vast range of deals such as:
- Discounted base packages
- an additional free subscription to HBO, Showtime, Cinemax & Starz for 12 months on top of a discounted base package
- Free NFL Sunday Ticket
- Free sports packs
- Free service for up to 3 months
- Free receiver upgrades
- HD, HD-DVR & DVR services fees waived for up to 12 months
The biggest requirement on your behalf, should you opt to continue your service with one or all of these offers, would be a 12-month service agreement. If you were still under contract when you opted to cancel your service, this contract will overlap that.
If you are still receiving programming from DirecTV when you are contacted by one of these win back reps, you will maintain your previous member status.
If your service has expired and you accept one of these win back offers, you will be considered a new customer, but flagged as being a long-time subscriber. You will have more offers available to you in the future that first time subscribers do not.
For an in-depth look at customer service and how it works within DirecTV, read my article "Things about DirecTV customer service they don't want you to know".
If you have a receiver that looks like this, call DTV for legacy upgrade options.
What are legacy receivers?
There are a lot of customers who have been with DirecTV since they were known as PrimeStar. During the first 6 or 7 years, DirecTV produced a lot of receivers from different companies that were compatible with their programming. Since then, they have gone to one basic receiver company, that produces all of their equipment. The old receivers are now called legacy receivers and are all eligible for free upgraded receivers. In most of these cases, you will also be eligible for free upgraded DVR or HD DVR receivers. So make sure you ask about them. You could easily get 4 new receivers with two of them being DVR upgrades.
Another important factor to remember if you should choose receiver upgrades is that there is usually a contract involved. In most cases, these contracts are for 24 months. If you are a satisfied customer with DirecTV this shouldn't be a problem, however, I must add that if you are not having such a great experience for any reason, you may want to consider holding out on upgrades if you intend on canceling. Additionally, if you are having a bad experience, you always have the option to voice your opinion to DirecTV. Let them know your concerns and dissatisfaction if any. DirecTV is pretty good about trying to satisfy their customers. They know you pay premium prices for your service and do not want to lose you as a customer.
All loyal customers can get a HD-DVR free. Just call and find out how.
I've been a customer for 10+ years. What do I get?
For all customers, who have been with DirecTV for over 10 years, you are what DirecTV calls Loyal Customers and are eligible for a loyalty gift. Loyalty gifts are supposed to be offered proactively, but if you don't call in, you will never see them. Loyalty offers to include: free sports packages (Yes, even NFL Sunday Ticket), free movie packages, $10-$30 off of your base package for up to 12 months, free no questions asked service calls. Please, if you have been with DirecTV for more than 10 years, call them and ask about offers you can receive and be sure to remind them what a great customer you have been throughout the years. You are only hurting yourself if you don't. You have been a loyal customer and are entitled to nice things. Remember, you have already paid this company Thousands of dollars over the years. It's nothing for them to knock $100 or $200 off of your bill for a year. Don't feel bad for doing it. That's why they have the loyalty program in the first place.
If for some reason you are denied any of these offers by a tech support or customer service representative, ask firmly if you may speak to their supervisor. Not all customer support agents are veterans or know about the offers available to loyal customers. You can politely inform them that you now know how valuable you are to their company. I am positive they will be obliged to send some great offers your way.
Thinking of Canceling?
If you're thinking of canceling your DirecTV subscription, there are several things you should consider before doing so. As you can see below, I have received and answered many questions pertaining to customer dissatisfaction and ways of canceling your service without incurring the outstanding contract fines. For this reason, I have written a separate article, "How To Save Money by Canceling Your DirecTV Service". Please refer to this article before posting comments about cancelation or what to do about avoiding cancelation fees.
There are many other things I wish I could share with you, but in fear of this page being closed, I cannot. Hopefully, you will take this information and get the most out of your money. After all, DirecTV is the most expensive Satellite service out there, but in my opinion, they are also the best. Please let me know what you thought about this information and if it has helped you realize your savings potential.
© 2010 Jesse James