TVgasm Consumer Frustration: DirecTV, Nintendo Take Note!
By B-Side|Friday, December 8, 2006 | 1:51 am | 9 Comments
‘Tis the season, but since I’m Jewish, I can’t make a wish list for Santa; so instead I’ll appeal to the ghost of Judah Maccabee, hero of the great Hanukkah story. Aside from the usual fill of gelt and dreidels and black socks, there’s something else (two things, really) I’d like for this year’s festival o’ lights. And yes, they’re TV related.
To find out what I want (and to see an amazing video), follow the jump…Okay, so here’s my two item list.
First, I’d like the damn HD DirecTV DVR that we ordered back in the first week of OCTOBER. Yes, that’s right. It’s been two months since we ordered this crap-tacular DVR, and it still hasn’t arrived. Not so funny fact: apparently HD DirecTV DVRs are harder to find than all the PS3s and Wiis combined! It’s the dirty little secret of the holiday season. They’ve been on back order for months, and every time we think our nifty HD receiver is coming, DirecTV calls us up (ten minutes prior to the appointment, mind you) and says “Oh, by the way, we won’t be able to come for another two weeks.” That was six weeks ago. Bastards. Keep in mind that we are allegedly on the “A-List” with them. If this is how they treat their A-List, I don’t even want to know about the wee hoi polloi with the basic package.
Well, I say enough is enough. For those of you who have encountered DirecTV’s shameful attempt at a DVR, you know that it’s adding insult to injury to make us wait so long for a terrible, buggy, non-intuitive piece of technology. When it comes to DVRs, nothing even remotely touches Tivo. The DirecTV DVR is so awful, I get mad just thinking about it. It freezes, it stops recording, it fast forwards too fast, it doesn’t record live on the fly. Even the fonts are bad. It’s like playing with a computer from 1996. In short, it’s painful, and to be honest, it’s disrespectful to the consumer. There’s no excuse for this sort of technology, especially when Tivo has already proven that DVRs can be quick, easy to navigate, and totally wonderful in every sort of way.
This is all my way of saying I am mucho frustrated with DirecTV. As consolation, they did give us free Showtime for six months, which is about as much time I suspect it will take to get the damn HD installed. If they don’t get their act together, I’m going to proactively encourage all our readers to avoid DirecTV at all costs, head to DISH. But don’t quote me on that just yet. I’m giving them a week. Yes, DirecTV, we have half a million page views a week. Don’t make us unleash a hate campaign.
While I waited around for my HD receiver to come, I figured I could entertain myself with one of those newfangled Nintendo Wiis. Too bad I can’t find one anywhere. This brings me to item number two on my wish list: a Nintendo Wii. This isn’t as pressing as the HD matter, but I’ve found myself haplessly caught up in the consumer whirlwind around this console. My inner eight year old has suddenly resurfaced, causing me to have tantrums in my bedroom and whine, “I wanna play!”
This is very sad, but I’ve actually called more Targets and Circuit Cities and Best Buys and K-Marts and EB Games than I care to admit. And I’ve done it multiple days at a time. It’s pathetic. Originally, I was just so-so about getting a Wii, but the more I get rejected, the stronger my resolve becomes. I’m so textbook. I hate it. Damn you Nintendo for driving up demand with a short supply. I refuse to be your Econ 101 Case Study! And yet, it’s too late. I’ve fallen for all your tricks.
What’s worse is that my Tivo enables this behavior. About every three or four times I check the main menu, there’s a little command at the bottom of the screen: “Learn more about the Nintendo Wii.” I don’t need to learn more. I know all there is. I WANT ONE. Stop talking to me about it and just make more!
Actually, truth is that I really wanted to do a comparative piece on the PS3 and the Nintendo Wii, but it’s kind of hard when neither console is remotely available. I did have one brush with the next gen systems — on my birthday, no less. As I was heading out to lunch with J-Unit, we stumbled upon a store that boasted “Nintendo Wii In Stock!” A birthday miracle! Well, we walked into the store, and immediately we realized we were in what I like to call, CrappyShabbytown. The place was sketchy. Very sketchy. There was a girl behind the counter who had one of those dumb retro-Egyptian hairstyles that have been popping up lately (ie. New York at the Big In ’06 Awards). Anyway, I named this girl Bathsheeba, due to her Pharaoh-pleasing bangs, and I really hated her. Why? Because when I excitedly asked for a Wii, she wanted to charge me over $500! The system retails at $249. I want a Wii, but not that badly. Besides, for that price, I might as well buy one off of eBay (and yes, my new favorite hobby is to stare at the Wiis get auctioned off one after another and fantasize about being such a spendthrift that I’d actually buy one at these ridiculous prices). Anyway, Bathsheeba claimed that the price gouging was because her store had purchased the Wii from a secondary vendor, but I didn’t care about Bathsheeba’s supply-chain history. She had singlehandedly ruined my birthday.
So basically, this is my long way of saying I want an HD DVR Receiver and a Nintendo Wii. Even more importantly, this is my way of appealing to DirecTV and Nintendo and reminding them that we have a really big readership and important people check us out (we’re in Entertainment Weekly’s top twenty-five websites on the Internets!), and we’d be more than happy to promote the hell out of your stuff… if you make it available to us. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can discuss all the details, mmkay? If you don’t do this, my Hanukkah will be ruined. And you don’t want to be the big, bad, corporate Hanukkah Grinches, do you?
As for that great video I mentioned, well, here it is. It’s a girl playing the Wii and going absolutely nuts. It’s kind of like a low-key version of how I imagine I’ll be when I eventually get to play it. Found via Best Week Ever.
So now the race is on. Which will I procure first: a DirecTV Plus HD DVR or a Nintendo Wii? Placing bets now…