What is Solid Signal’s policy on new and recertified receivers?

Do you have questions about AT&T and DISH’s policies on new receivers? It really comes down to what you mean when you say “new.” Both DIRECTV and DISH no longer make a distinction between receivers that have been in the field versus ones that are fresh from the factory. That seems unfair to people who really want to get that “brand new” experience but there are several good reasons for it.

90% of the time, “good as new” really is “good as new.”

DIRECTV and DISH recover literally millions of receivers every year as part of planned upgrades or people who leave the service. Every single one is tested. Older receivers are sent for responsible recycling, but those receivers that make it through the testing process are recertified to include all the original packing materials and cables, plus whenever possible receivers are refreshed so they look the same on the outside. The simple fact here is that the components in a DIRECTV or DISH receiver are designed for long-term service and have plenty of life in them if they´re only a few years old.

The other 10% of the time, you have options.

If a receiver doesn´t work right out of the box, you´re not stuck with a lemon. If there´s obvious damage when you look at it, don´t activate it. Call us at 888-233-7563 and we´ll help you. If there´s a problem that shows up within the first 30 days after activation, call us and we´ll help you through the process. It´s a little different, because the rules say we can´t accept returns on anything that´s been activated. That doesn´t mean we can´t help you, just that the road to getting that help is a little different.

In the rare case where there´s an activation issue…

The truth is that no one is perfect. Both factory-fresh receivers and recertified ones sometimes get paired with access cards that don´t match up or that have some sort of problem in the system. We can help you with this. We have access to DIRECTV and DISH´s systems and can get you taken care of.

As much as we would like to accept shipments of only factory-fresh, totally unused receivers, that´s not the way they come to us. We´re proud to be one of the few places that a person like you can get the equipment you want without having to go through a long process that includes an installer appointment. We take our commitment to our community seriously, but we also realize that almost every time a receiver or DVR goes to a customer, there is an installer present who can mark a receiver as defective if it doesn´t work when he puts it in. When you´re working on the fringes of the system, sometimes you have to make a few concessions.

Because DIRECTV and DISH products are so reliable, they have very long lives. Some products have been available in their current form for ten years or more. That doesn´t mean they´re obsolete — far from it! It means that they work just as well now as they ever did. As a result of customer upgrades, there are a lot of perfectly good receivers out there ready to be cleaned up and reused.

What will happen in the future? At some point there may be new and more modern hardware out there. When that happens, the easiest way to get something factory-fresh will be to order the latest and greatest device. We don´t know when those new products will come, though, so if you´re in the market for a receiver now we´ll make sure you get the best experience possible.

About the Author

Stuart Sweet
Stuart Sweet is the editor-in-chief of The Solid Signal Blog and a "master plumber" at Signal Group, LLC. He is the author of over 8,000 articles and longform tutorials including many posted here. Reach him by clicking on "Contact the Editor" at the bottom of this page.