Marine Electronics Installers, Take Note!

Four people were arrested for selling pirated Amazon Fire TV sticks. Believe it or not, there’s a lesson here for marine electronics installers.

You’re probably thinking that’s quite a stretch I’m making, but it’s not. We’ll get to the connection between these arrests and marine electronics installers soon enough. First, let’s talk about the crime. These four Florida people were recently arrested for selling “jail-broken” Amazon Fire Sticks. That means these devices were tampered with in such a way to allow access to internet-based streaming services for free. In other words, it allowed people to steal streaming that they normally have to pay for.

The caper was like something out of “America’s Dumbest Criminals.” The four suspects set up shop at a local flea market in Auburndale, Florida. One of the four sold two tampered Fire Sticks to undercover deputies, while the other three suspects sold three Fire Sticks each to deputies. All four suspects even told police how the unauthorized Fire Sticks operate. While that’s both funny and interesting…

…Why Should Marine Electronics Installers Care?

Because this case is very similar to something that happens when some people install DIRECTV on boats. Okay, I’m sure you get the point here. It’s illegal and immoral to steal streaming. But what does that have to do with marine electronics installers? I did promise a connection between this story and people who install DIRECTV on boats. Well, here you go:

It’s illegal to use residential DIRECTV receivers on commercial boats!

Unfortunately, this happens quite a bit. Satellite TV providers such as DIRECTV call this “fraud” or “misclassification,” depending on the infraction. Here’s a breakdown of the differences between the two:

  1. Fraud: The use of residential satellite TV equipment in commercial vessels and craft. This usually occurs when commercial boating companies let workers connect their home satellite receivers to the vessel’s dome. Other examples of fraud include misrepresenting a billing address, credit, or personal info to get satellite TV service.
  2. Misclassification: This happens when someone uses a home satellite receiver on a commercial boat that they own while their family continues to watch satellite TV at home.

Fraud/misclassification is a federal offense that punishes wrongdoers with heavy fines and even jail time. And if you think your clients won’t get caught, think again. Since DIRECTV became part of the AT&T family, the corporation’s attorneys have been cracking down on anyone who violates their installation.

What Marine Electronics Installers Must Do

Do you have clients who let their employees bring their home receivers on the boats? If so, you can help them avoid the fines and other legal hassles associated with this illegal practice. As a marine installer, you need to know the differences between commercial and residential accounts and guide your clients accordingly. At its most basic, commercial accounts are for businesses while home satellite TV installations are for residential viewing.

Here’s a handy guide to help marine electronics installers understand the differences when it comes to marine satellite TV installations:

  1. If your customer’s boat is chartered (yachts) or is used as a business (service vessels), then DIRECTV must be set up as a commercial account.
  2. If your customer only uses their boat for personal leisure, and it’s not owned as an LLC or corporation, then it’s considered a residential satellite TV account.

Those are the basics, but there’s actually more to learn when it comes to activating these marine DIRECTV accounts. Since you specialize in installing DIRECTV on boats, it’s best to tell your customers to…

Get DIRECTV Activation from Signal Connect

Our Signal Connect division specializes in activating DIRECTV accounts on boats. We can have these activations done in 15 minutes or less in most cases. Best of all, this service is free for marine installers like you. After you install the DIRECTV system, you simply have your client contact us, and we’ll contact AT&T to get the activation done. Since we know exactly who to call over there, we won’t be put on hold or getting transferred from department to department.

When installing commercial DIRECTV on boats, a Signal Connect rep walks your customers through these three steps:

  1. Open up a secondary account. This lets your client have the same type of receiver in each cabin of their boat. For fleets, this also allows for multiple receivers on each vessel.
  2. The company can receive billing separate from their “house” account. This lets each employee choose different programming than the main company account. The commercial maritime company also can shut off DIRECTV service for six months out of the year if needed. This makes a commercial DIRECTV account an option for maritime companies with a seasonal business model.
  3. Set up separate billing for each employee account. The company has the choice to have these bills sent to the office or accounts payable.

Helping Marine Electronics Installers

DIRECTV for boats is Signal Connect’s specialty. Our reps partner with marine electronics installers on both coasts for one specific purpose: to give boat owners and marine companies the best possible service. You do what you do best, which is install DIRECTV on boats. We’ll get those accounts properly activated in no time at all. Best of all, no one has to be worried about getting pinched for fraud or misclassification. It’s a win-win when you call Signal Connect at 888-233-5834. You can also fill out the form below and send it to us.

About the Author

Jake Buckler
Jake Buckler is a cord-cutter, consumer electronics geek, and Celtic folk music fan. Those qualities, and his writing experience, helped him land a copywriting gig at Signal Group, LLC. He also contributes to The Solid Signal Blog.