- Report: #953393
Report - Rebuttal - Arbitrate
Complaint Review: DirecTV
DirecTVPO box 54000 Internet United States of America
DirecTV Lies, faulty equipment, contract lies and enforcement Internet, Internet
*Author of original report: Satisfaction Received!! Thank You COSTCO!!!
*Author of original report: That was QUICK!! But worthless.....
My name is Jeff **** and I am, unfortunately, a VERY unhappy former customer of DirecTV (account number 6312XXXX.) In fact, I am SO unhappy, I can't even fathom how you can keep claiming to be #1 in Customer Service, as every single customer service rep I spoke with in this debacle was rude, condescending, and frankly, a jerk.
I had been a loyal (10 years) Dish Network subscriber and was an early adopter of Satellite technology (remember Primestar? I was a customer there as well) so I'm not your average Satellite Service customer, but I'm not overly demanding either. I just want a fair price for the service I am promised, is that too much to ask?
Here is the short story:
I'll lay it out for you:
1. Your salespeople lied about what your equipment can do, what channels I would get, and how much the contract would cost.
2. Your installers break other providers equipment, sell people unnecessary upgrades to YOUR equipment, and kill people's trees because they can't read a compass.
3. Your customer service reps hate their jobs and your company and they take it all out on your poor customers, who only remain your customers because you lock them into a lengthy and expensive contract that ONLY THE CUSTOMER has to follow.
Here is the long story:
Apparently so. Around October of 2011, I was shopping in the local Costco with my wife when I ran across a very flashy and exciting display by DirecTV about your service. I was impressed by the HD DVR with so many hours of recording capacity, and even more impressed by the fact you didn't charge me $250 to "lease" it, plus a monthly fee, something Dish has always done that made no sense to me.
I listened to the "special Costco Concierge Service plan" offered by your rep and he drew everything out on a whiteboard so I could see the different packages and channels available. We discussed the technology until he reached his knowledge limit (woefully short, but they always are) and then my wife got excited when he assured us that, unlike Dish Network, DirecTV's HD DVR was capable of recording four shows while watching a fifth, provided you had two HD DVR's with the WholeHome DVR service installed.
I was assured my bill would be around $45 per month for the first year, then jump to around $65 per month for the second, both still cheaper than what I was paying for Dish, and my wife, always the more frugal and intelligent of the two of us said, "Hey, before we sign that contract, take a picture of the whiteboard showing what he's promising us, you know, just in case." I should have listened. I didn't. I bought his sales pitch hook, line, and sinker. Another Snake Oil salesman wins the day.
So the problems began on day one with the installation of your service. Despite the fact that I have a 50 foot long south facing roof edge with several Dish Network, Primestar, and other Satellite project dishes installed on it, the installer assured me that the only place he could install my dish was on the front of my house, which faces west, using a fancy and expensive extra "Eaves Mount" for which I had to agree to an additional $99.00 fee (so much for the "free" installation, eh?).
Once I wrapped my head around the fact that the installer was not going to be willing to install on the south side where it belonged, he began his installation in a spot visible to the street and our master bedroom sliding glass door, as ugly as a trash can hanging from the side of my roof. I told him to move it further south so the trees would hide it and he insisted that were he to do that I would have to extensively trim one of my trees.
I got my compass out and checked his lineup and pointed out to him that he was off by more than 20 degrees of angle and that in fact the solution to the problem was to move the dish to the south edge of the roof but he wouldn't budge. Meanwhile his partner had cut and removed all cabling leading to my existing Dish Network dish, something I assure you DID NOT need to happen to install your equipment, so when I balked and told him, "just forget it, take it down, I'll go back to Dish" I was gleefully informed, "Dish is uninstalled, and you are under contract, so you will have to pay an early termination fee for that to happen."
I went back in the house to check my contract to see how it was possible that I could be under contract when a signal had not been received yet and found that the second worker had established a connection with your server's and begun the contract even before the dish was fully installed. I decided to just go with the program for now because Dish was now broken, and I trimmed my tree back to the point where it almost died over the next three weeks.
So the dish installer stated, "it's all good" and went inside to begin establishing the second signal on my second tv. After fiddling for thirty minutes and not being able to get a signal, the other installer came out and stated, "Dude, you're off on your point AGAIN!" which is what I had been telling him. Once they rotated the dish correctly you could clearly see that very little trimming of my tree would have been necessary, and they DEFINITELY could have put the dish on the south facing roof eave.
I went inside and called your customer service line on the special "Costco Concierge Service" line and was immediately greeted with a 30 minute hold time. After reaching a customer service rep and explaining that the installers had not done their job properly, I was unhappy with the service, and I wanted to cancel and go back to Dish I was told, "Sir, you're under contract. If you cancel at this time there will be a $450 early termination fee." I again explained that the service wasn't even turned on yet and how could I be charged a "termination fee" for a service I hadn't even used yet and she wouldn't budge and just kept repeating, "you're under contract sir."
She wouldn't let me speak to a manager, refused to answer any of my questions, and refused to transfer me to anyone who would. I hung up on her and told the installers, "Get that crap off my house and turn my Dish Network back on, they can sue me for the early termination fee." The installers laughed and began packing up. I demanded they remove the equipment and they told me, "We are installers, you'll have to call DirecTV for the removal guys, we only do installs."
I demanded they fix my Dish Network installation they had maliciously removed and they refused again, saying, "that equipment belongs to Dish Network. We aren't allowed to touch it." I asked him how he had been able to cut the cabling leading to it if he wasn't allowed to touch it and he stated, with a smirk, "oh, that was my mistake. I thought it was an old Comcast cable."
I called customer service six more times that day and the next, always received very rude and dismissive responses, refusals to assist me, and that ever-present threat of "you're under contract sir". Finally, having no more time to mess with it, I left for work for the weekend.
My wife called almost immediately to inform me that the Whole Home DVR service wasn't working and that she could only watch one and record one, not record two and watch one. More lies and false promises from your staff and salesman.
I gave up. I'm ashamed to say it, but I couldn't find a government entity responsible for making you guys comply with fair and appropriate customer service laws, so I gave up.
I called occasionally over the first year to complain about the broken Whole Home DVR service, and channels that would fade out and disappear or randomly move around. My wife complained constantly about the shifting channel order and that she would schedule a months worth of recordings only to have the channels shift and she would end up with a recording of something she didn't want.
At the end of the first year my bill jumped to $97.51 including an "Early renewal" for the NFL Sunday Ticket, which I had never ordered or received and didn't want.
I called the customer service people and found some more of your employees who obviously hate your company and their jobs or they would NEVER speak to people in that fashion.
After wasting another entire day on five different phone calls getting transferred all over heck and back, I finally reached an at least helpful, though bitchy employee, who explained that the NFL Sunday Ticket had been included in my initial contract and if I didn't want to renew it I could just cancel it and get THE REMAINING BALANCE BACK. I said, "but I never ordered it in the first place, haven't watched it, and the bill says "early renewal" so since it hasn't started yet anyway (Bill dated 08-02-2012) just cancel it and refund my money back.
Nothing doing. I cancelled my contract on the spot and told him, "you can sue me for the early termination fee."
I've since been sent to collections by your bean counters, and I REFUSE TO PAY. How on EARTH can you stay in business treating people in this fashion.
I just did a google search on "DirecTV Lied" and got 202,000 hits. I then did one on "DirecTV horrible customer service" and got 245,000 hits.
You get the picture right? You need to clean up your act and stop making your business profits off of people you've conned into signing up for services you can't or won't provide, and then taking money out of their pockets when they catch you lying.
I've already complained to the BBB, and I will continue telling others, just as over 500,000 more of your customers have done on sites like www.consumeraffairs.com, beingfrugal.net, www.bbb.org, and the Consumerist have done. And go ahead and sue your customers over early termination fees. It's probably the only way you'll be able to stay in business if this is how you really do it.
I had originally thought mine was just a rare occurrence, but after doing some research, it is obvious to me that my experience is the norm, not the exception.
Former customer guaranteed NEVER to come back who is being sued by your company for service they didn't ever satisfactorily provide.
PS...after attempting to send this email to the president of DirecTV, Michael White, his email address bounced, no doubt after he changed it due to the massive number of complaints he was receiving.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/10/2012 12:11 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/DirecTV/internet/DirecTV-Lies-faulty-equipment-contract-lies-and-enforcement-Internet-Internet-953393. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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