Q. I was thinking of getting DIRECTV or Dish to get more channels than I am now getting from YouTube TV. But I was wondering whether it’s safe for the guy to come out and install the dish because of the coronavirus. Is there a way I can get DIRECTV or Dish without someone coming out and installing the dish? I really don’t want to do that way, but if I do, is it safe?. — Claire, Biloxi, Mississippi.
Claire, I can understand your concern. The Coronavirus is a confusing and concerning situation that has millions of people in virtual lockdown, and avoiding nearly all human contact. With that in mind, it’s understandable that you might pause before calling a technician to your home to install a dish and satellite receiver just to watch more channels.
But before you abandon the idea, let me explain what one satcaster is doing to ensure a safe installation under these trying times.
Emma Brandeis, a Dish spokeswoman, told the TV Answer Man today that Dish is continuing to do home installations despite the spread of the virus. To alleviate possible fears, Dish has published several guidelines for installing its satellite TV service.
The company says “all of our technicians have been trained on procedures, including those recommended by the CDC, to promote cleanliness and to help prevent the spread of illness.”
The guidelines include requiring the technicians to wear gloves as much as possible, and possibly cleaning or sanitizing surfaces they touch in or outside the home. They also wear shoe covers inside your house.
Dish says technicians are advised not to fulfill the appointment if they have a known illness. And regardless of their health condition, they are instructed not to shake hands with the customer.
Brandeis says Dish has also “requested that customers experiencing symptoms refrain from scheduling new tech visits or reschedule existing appointments, and we have empowered our technicians to make decisions regarding their personal health and safety.”
She adds: “As the situation continues to develop, we will evaluate our policies to adhere to local and federal guidelines. As always, the health and safety of the entire Dish community, from customers to partners to team members, remains our highest priority.”
DIRECTV is also still doing dish installations, but AT&T, which owns DIRECTV, has not posted similar guidelines on how (or if) the installations may be modified to ensure their safety. The TV Answer Man has asked an AT&T spokeswoman, and AT&T’s Twitter customer help team, for a statement on how installations are being done during the Coronavirus crisis, but has yet to receive a response.
We will update this story here if we receive a response from AT&T.
Claire, I hope that helps. Like other at-home services now, such as food delivery, there may be some risk involved, but it appears that Dish is doing everything possible to minimize that.
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— Phillip Swann