Which DIRECTV Receivers Must be Returned?

Will AT&T want my receiver back?  This is a question that Signal Connect reps regularly get.  The answer is a definite “maybe.”  It all depends upon which type of DIRECTV account you have, and which type of DIRECTV receiver you have.  Does this sound confusing?  It won’t be after you read this information that explains the finer details of returning DIRECTV receivers.  Since Signal Connect is an AT&T Authorized Dealer, we know which DIRECTV receivers need to be returned, which ones don’t, and everything in between.

DIRECTV Residential Vs. Commercial Accounts

If you’re wondering about whether you have to return a DIRECTV receiver box, it all depends upon your account.  DIRECTV offers two types of accounts, residential and commercial.  Simply put, most DIRECTV receivers used in residential accounts are leased.  This means the receiver must be returned once the contract is up.  Customers with a commercial DIRECTV accounts – where DIRECTV is played in places were revenue is earned – own their receivers.  At its most basic, this determines who must return receivers and who gets to keep them after the contract expires.

There’s one good reason why residential DIRECTV customers should return their receivers.  Those units actually belong to AT&T, and you signed a contract that states you agree to those terms.  If you cancel your DIRECTV account and don’t return the receiver(s), DIRECTV will charge you for it.  The cost of the average DIRECTV receiver can be more than one hundred dollars, in most cases.  This is why it’s a good idea to return your receiver after you cancel or upgrade your DIRECTV account.

By now, the difference between leased/owned and residential/commercial seems cut and dry.  Right?  It is, for the most part.  It can get complicated when installing DIRECTV on luxury ships and working vessels.  Let’s say you have a yacht owner who takes his/her vessel out with their family and friends.  If they so much as charter one trip for paying guests, they need to have a commercial DIRECTV account.  In this case, the client would own his/her DIRECTV receiver outright.  This equipment can be transferred to new owners if the boat is sold.

Leasing DIRECTV Receivers

DIRECTV began leasing its receivers sometime in the mid-2000s.  This is a huge benefit to customers who want to upgrade their satellite TV service.  For example, if you’re one of the few people who are still using standard definition (SD), you can return your SD receiver after upgrading your account to a DIRECTV high-definition (HD) package.  It’s the same if you want to upgrade HD to 4K, DIRECTV’s highest-quality resolution.  DIRECTV makes it very easy to return these leased receivers when you upgrade your satellite TV account.

How to Return DIRECTV Receivers 

Do you need to return a DIRECTV receiver?  If you want to know whether you need to return your DIRECTV receiver, you have to know which ones AT&T wants back.  Here is a list of the DIRECTV receivers that must be returned when you cancel or upgrade your account:

  • H24
  • HR24
  • H25
  • H44
  • HR44
  • HR54
  • All Genie Clients

Turning in a DIRECTV receiver isn’t a complicated process because AT&T makes it easy.  Here are the steps you take to return one of these units to the communications company:

  • Have your service rep deactivate your DIRECTV account.
  • Receive a recovery kit from AT&T. (It’s basically a box that holds your receiver.)
  • Read the instructions on what to put in the box with your receivers.
  • Take your recovery kit to the closest Fedex location and send it back to AT&T.

In some cases, your service rep will tell you that AT&T doesn’t want the receiver back.  They’ll typically tell you this at the time of deactivation.  If you’re not sure, and you don’t receive a recovery kit in the mail within a month, call your rep.  They should be able to help you so you don’t have to pay a fine to AT&T.  Note: You’ll want to recycle your old DIRECTV box since there isn’t much else you can do with it.  If you are not sure of how to responsibly dispose of electronic equipment in your area, check with your local government’s waste management department.

Your DIRECTV Experts at Signal Connect

Signal Connect is an AT&T Authorized Dealer.  This means that we’re authorized to offer DIRECTV residential and commercial viewing packages, satellite dishes, equipment, and much more.  Perhaps you’re interested in a DIRECTV installation in your home, boat, RV, big rig or business office.  We can help you that, as well as an upgrade to DIRECTV high definition or 4K.  It all starts with our reps answering any questions you have.  To access their knowledge and experience with all things DIRECTV, give us a call at 888-233-7563.

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.