Does DirecTV have options besides 2-year contract?



Does DirecTV even do deals without signing a 2-year contract? I move a lot and don't want to make a commitment.


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DIRECTV allows all 'NEW' (Never Activated) DIRECTV Satellite Receivers to be sold as OWNED or LEASED; regardless of what anyone believes or what anyone is told by DIRECTV frontline Customer Service Techicians. The price to own a reciever is high and there is little benefit to paying that price.​
DIRECTV does not like to have OWNED receivers in the marketplace as it takes away from their profits in the long run by allowing Customers to cancel their programming 'at will'. DIRECTV only allows STANDARD DEFINITION RECEIVERS to be OWNED and only under specific situations and in limited quantities of 2 per account. DIRECTV wants all Customers to be on the 2-year LEASE plan as Customers who are on that plan are more likely to stay with DIRECTV, thus ensuring continued revenue for DIRECTV.​
The fees charged by DIRECTV have been miss-quoted and miss-understood by many, a simple call to FIGS Electronics at 678.460.7722 will help you to understand and clarify the current offers and fees.​
For the first LEASED receiver (PRIMARY Receiver), the monthly programming or monthly access fee is $5.00 a month for a STANDARD DEFINITION (SD) receiver and $6.00 per month for a HIGH DEFINITION (HD) receiver. The DIRECTV bill shows this fee to be a a LEASED RECEIVER FEE and is the same fee amount charged for OWNED receivers. For each additional receiver, the programming fee is $5.00. If you have more than 2 or more receivers on your LEASE account, DIRECTV will not charge you for the PRIMARY receiver; save yourself $1 per month and have the HD receiver set as your PRIMARY receiver.​
If you own your receivers, there is STILL the monthly programming or monthly access fee of $5.00 except DIRECTV calls the fee an ADDITIONAL RECEIVER FEE or something close to that terminology. For each additional receiver the programming fee is $5.00.​
DIRECTVs current policy that went into effect sometime in mid-2008, is to have every Customer on the 2-year LEASED Plan. Know this from the start and be prepared to return your DIRECTV receivers to DIRECTV if you cancel with them even after the 2-year agreement.
PLEASE read the full page!
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You can buy the current generation of equipment up front instead of leasing.

They try to push you to lease but it is absolutely not required.

However, unless you really don't want the 2 year contract, purchasing makes no sense. If your leased equipment breaks due to normal wear and tear, replacement is at little to no cost, just like the cable company. You also pay full price, like $600 for a genie without a contract.

You can buy from a reseller but most are actually "selling" you leased equipment and the price you pay is an up front lease fee, unless they specifically say that they are selling you OWNED equipment.

You can also buy "owned" receivers which are older generation and grandfathered in, and used. But if you are, you need to call DirecTV first and let them run the RID to make sure the equipment was actually owned and not leased (and stolen!) You'll also need a new access card in most cases which they may charge you for.

Legacy equipment is not activated anymore, IIRC. That's pre-SWiM equipment, and definitely anything without a RID is not activated. They are getting rid of those by attrition because they are shutting off the guide data (or may have done so already?)