DirecTV's 'Genie' service angers Mesa man

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

MESA, Ariz. -- Harry Skigis is a big sports fan. In fact, his house his full of sports of memorabilia.

To keep up with all of his sports, he has flat-screen televisions all over his home. And with so many flat screens, Skigis took notice when he came across a DirecTV television commercial.

The commercial shows a man and a woman in front of a flat-screen TV attached to the wall. Underneath the TV are messy cables, cords, wires and a satellite box. The man in the commercial says, "We need to upgrade and get the new Genie.  With the new Genie, you don't have to see wires and boxes in every room."

Skigis said the TV advertisement really caught his eye.

"On the commercial, they show this TV with wires and they say, 'Get the Genie with no more wires,'" Skigis said. "I said, 'That's awesome.'"

Skigis called DirecTV and signed a two-year contract with them. He then waited for the Genie to be installed in all of his rooms. Skigis said he couldn't wait because he didn't want to look at cords and wires anymore.

However, after DirecTV installed everything, Skigis was shocked. He walked 3 On Your Side around his home showing cords nailed at the top of his wall where it meets the ceiling. He also pointed out numerous wires and cords dangling from his flat-screen TVs, which are attached to the wall.

"This is my wireless system running across the wall here," Skigis said. "They screwed screws into my drywall."
Skigis complains he has TV wires and cords everywhere and all of his flat screens look horrible.  
So, 3 On Your Side reviewed that DirecTV commercial again and the announcer clearly states, "Stop looking at wires and boxes in every room. Call 1-800 DirecTV."

But, Skigis said wires and boxes are all he looks at in his home. So, he called DirecTV and complained.

"And when I called customer service, they said, 'No, we don't have wireless,' and I said, 'Have you seen your new commercial?'"

Skigis said a DirecTV technician eventually came out to his house to inspect the installation. However he said the tech told him everything looked fine and left without doing anything.

So, 3 On Your Side got a hold of DirecTV and asked them why Skigis' televisions have wires and cords everywhere.  We also told them his TVs did not look anything like their commercials. 3 On Your Side sent them photographs showing Skigis' televisions.

In response, DirectTV sent me an email, saying it was a poor installation job, and claiming, "One should not jump to any conclusions about the ads simply because of one improper install."

DirecTV also promised 3 On Your Side that they would send out additional technicians to do a proper installation. Skigis said he appreciates that. However, he wonders if other consumers who order the "Genie" service based on the TV commercial are going to be disappointed like he initially was.

Skigis said he'll never believe another advertisement that he sees again.

"I'm not going to trust anyone again," he said. "I won't sign any contracts or anything based on an advertisement."