Revived this to vent a little and also put some useful info out there for others that might be in a similar situation someday....
The other old DirecTV receiver in the house went bad over the weekend. It stopped finding the satellites for some reason. I swapped the two receivers we have and did some testing and the problem always followed the receiver no matter the combination of cables used. Same as the other one did.
So the spouse decides she'll call this time since I have even less social skills than last year when it comes to dealing with idiots. Well after 45 minutes on the phone with the dweeb / drone from who knows what country that she could not understand very well, she is yelling into the phone I don't want an upgrade, I don't want to pay more, I want the same equipment, I want to talk to your supervisor!!!
I am not ashamed to say I was amused that my behavior from the previous year was now apparently justified. Of course I had to help by wandering by and asking if she wanted to switch to de-caf for the day?!
The sales pitch the drones won't get away from is the equip is so old it can't be replaced and we need to buy a newer receiver and upgrade our monthly service. We learned from the last time if you wear them down and get to a supervisor they miraculously find they can send the same basic receiver and we can keep the same priced monthly service. Apparently the cost of getting the old receiver technology is to give up an hour of your life and some blood pressure medication.
So if you have to call them for a similar problem set aside an hour, stay away from caffeine, ask for a supervisor and have the tums & bp medication handy.