Report: #568183

Complaint Review: DIRECT TV

  • Submitted: Thu, February 11, 2010
  • Updated: Thu, February 25, 2010
  • Reported By: Deborahallen — anderson California U.S.A.
  • DIRECT TV

    Internet
    United States of America

DIRECT TV Unfair service charges Internet

*Consumer Suggestion: Unfair indeed.

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In January we had a problem with our reception. A service representative came to our house to investigate the problem. He discovered that the eye on the satellite was faulty and replaced it. In Febuary we received our bill with a $49.95 service charge. When I called to dispute the charge I was told that they would apply a $35 credit but we would have to pay the remaining $14.95, and suggested I add their $5.99 monthly protection to avoid this service charge in the future. I emailed Direct TV and they replied that they leased the equiptment and as such the service charge was not their problem and I would have to pay it. This is just a marketing strategy to force customers to pay extra monthly fees for their protection plan and as such is an unethical way for them to avoid taking responsibilty for faulty equiptment provided, delivered and installed for them.
Once our contract is over we are hooking up our computer to our TV and watching television shows via the internet for free. We may not be able to record what we watch and we may not have some "perks" but at least we won't be paying an outrageous monthly fee to a company that manipultates their customers in this manner.
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/11/2010 03:41 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/direct-tv/internet/direct-tv-unfair-service-charges-internet-568183. 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. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Suggestion

Unfair indeed.

AUTHOR: Robert - (USA)

"He discovered that the eye on the satellite was faulty and replaced it. In Febuary we received our bill with a $49.95 service charge."

I believe you are referring to an LNB (low noise block-down converter.)  It is common for these antennas to have 2 or 3 LNBs.  These are electronic circuits on the antenna that are powered by DC voltage supplied by your receiver.  Static and induced voltage spikes on the RG6 (induced by nearby lightning activity) can "blow" these LNBs as well as your receiver.  This is why it is very important that the dish antenna and the RG6 cables are properly grounded.

You need to check your antenna installation to verfiy that it is grounded.  Almost all of the Direct TV and Dish network installations I've inspected in my area have been installed by contractors who save money on parts and labor by NOT GROUNDING the antenna system.

"and suggested I add their $5.99 monthly protection to avoid this service charge in the future. This is just a marketing strategy to force customers to pay extra monthly fees for their protection plan and as such is an unethical way for them to avoid taking responsibilty for faulty equiptment provided, delivered and installed for them."

I agree completely with you.  I think it's actionable that they can have the antenna system installed by THEIR contractors, not grounded, and then charge their customers for service when the antenna or the receiver is damages by voltage spikes because of the FAULTY ANTENNA INSTALLATION.  Also note that on the Direct TV and Dish Network websites, they clearly indicate that grounding hardware and grounding of the antenna system is INCLUDED with their "professional" installation! 

Yeah, right.

I would check your installation and if the antenna is NOT GROUNDED IAW the National Electrical Code, I would send them certified letter to demand that the service charge be credited and that they schedule for someone to come to you and PROPERLY GROUND the antenna installation IAW the NEC, sections 250, 810, and 820.

Good luck.

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