DirecTV and the Vikings
Posted: September 21, 2007
"Most of West Central Wisconsin is extremely disappointed and frustrated that the Minnesota Vikings football games have not been televised via the NFL Ticket on DirecTV the past two weeks. Last year, even if the local television affiliate did not broadcast the Vikings game, the contest was available on the NFL Ticket. Keep in mind: This part of Wisconsin has a large number of Minnesota sports fans and many of the residential and/or commercial customers that pay for the NFL Ticket do so because they want to make sure they can watch their favorite football team if they happen to play at the same time as the more popular Green Bay Packers. More importantly, small business owners who pay considerably more than I do for the NFL Ticket have had to try to explain to customers why the Minnesota Vikings are not being televised."
That was the e-mail I sent to DirecTV on Sunday night. I received a reply from DirecTV's Customer Service Department on Wednesday morning that stated, "Customers who purchased the NFL Ticket should have received coverage of the Minnesota Vikings game this past weekend on Channel 713. We will correct the problem in the future." Obviously, DirecTV has received enough phone calls from NFL Ticket customers to realize that this region of the state should be able to watch the games that were available last year.
I also decided to call the company that installs DirecTV service in this part of Wisconsin. Oklahoma-based Premier Communications President Scott Aquino called me Wednesday morning after receiving the e-mail I sent to DirecTV. He was quick to point out that his company has no control over the content available through DirecTV. I anticipated his response to my e-mail, so I asked him what he was going to do about the problem. After all, his installers who he employs are the face and name that customers have physical contact with. If customers are angry about their DirecTV service, his installers will feel the brunt of their animosity. Aquino said he would consider sending an e-mail to DirecTV to see what the problem is.
I had to laugh. Here is a guy who owns a company that installs DirecTV in 12 states and has no clue that customers in this area of the state are not receiving the service that was promised. I mentioned to Mr. Aquino that he was probably losing thousands of dollars each month in potential installation fees since it is unlikely that anyone considering an NFL Ticket purchase would invest in a service that has not performed up to par the past two weeks. Once I explained the scenario in financial terms, Mr. Aquino thought it may be in his best interest to personally call someone at DirecTV to correct the problem.
The worst part of this rant is that the Packers and Vikings will not be televised at the same time again until Dec. 23rd. At least that gives DirecTV time to correct their mistake.