Complaints of the problem first surfaced in early December, but DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer said Friday he didn't know the exact cause of the glitch. The company "is aware of the problem and should have it fixed by this evening," Mercer said.
Many forum posters say that the Season Pass feature, which enables users to tell the set-top box which programs to automatically record, has stopped recording those shows altogether, or is only doing so intermittently.
An eight-year customer of DirecTV from Wilmington, N.C., who asked that his name not be used, said in an interview that earlier this week his "To Do List"--the list of programs the set-top plans to record, based partly on the Season Pass--"was getting shorter and shorter and shorter and wasn't showing that anything would record after about 10 p.m."
Some customers are reporting on DirecTV user forums and TivoCommunity.com that it's not until speaking with their third or fourth DirecTV customer service representative that the company admits to a problem. Many say they were told it was a "known issue" that DirecTV was working on, and that the problem might be corrected in anything from a day to 30 days.
Many report being temporarily mollified with discounts, ranging from $5 off DirecTV with TiVo for six months or $10 off for three months, to free Showtime for a month. Others are not so easily placated.
"There are lots of alternatives out there with Dish Network, cable companies offering DVRs free with their service," said the Wilmington, N.C., customer. "If it's not fixed soon, I may consider jumping ship, especially since this has been a known issue for probably a month."