ED Magedson – Founder
DirecTV - SatelliteInternet United States of America
As is usual when cancelling a service like this, there was a small outstanding balance on the account when we cancelled our DirecTV service. Also we had hardware that needed to be returned. They sent a couple of boxes and stated we had 7 days to return the hardware. I boxed them up that day and shipped them back out the next.
We had a small remaining balance of like $24 and change (I don't recall the exact amount at the moment). So a couple weeks later we get a bill in the mail for like $96. On the bill was the original $24-something that we owed, plus some "On Demand" movies from when we first got DirecTV back 2+ years ago that they said we never actually were billed for (convenient) and for one of the receivers they claimed we didn't send back (which we did..a total of 3 of them actually).
We called about that bill and they explained that since we never had the receiver hooked up to a phone line, those movies were never charged to our account. Unfortunately for us, we were not able to dig up the old bills from back when the movies were first rented, so we were not able to dispute that claim. Fair enough...my mistake. We'll pay that bill, but not the amount for the returned receiver.
A few days later, my wife and I both had our Debit Cards decline at seperate locations on the same day. Both thinking this strange she look at the bank account and noticed that they charged our Debit Card the full $96. Unfortunately, there was only about $80 in the account at the time. This caused an overdraft. Also, at the time of that charge there were 5 other pending charges. They totaled less than the original $80 in the account so they would have cleared normally, but since they charged this to our account, and it was now overdrawn, all 5 of those were overdrafts as well. They all came in the same day and unfortunately we did not have the chance to catch them.
So, now there were 6 overdrafts (including DirecTV's) totalling $120 in bank fees! Even though we did owe them some, the bill had only been in-hand for about a week before they charged our card. We never had any automatic payment setup with them. We just had our card saved in an online profile so we could pay it online without having to re-enter the card information each time (note to self...bad idea). But previous payments were always done when we made them. They were never done automatically and we never (knowingly anyway) gave them permission to take any payments automatically.
Not only that, most of it was for charges we didn't even owe! We called them to "explain" the situation and they magically found the "missing receiver" while my wife was on the phone with them. They said that amount (just the amount for the receiver) would be credited back within 48 hours. But as far as the overdrafts, they would have to "review the situation" and if we could prove (to their satisfaction and Lord only knows what that is) that the charges on the account were a result of this transaction, then they would see about refunding those too. They requested I fax them a copy of the bank statement showing the overdrafts and the various charges (including theirs). At least a few times we mentioned that these charges were not authorized to begin with and they did not address that at all. They didn't confirm or deny, just basically ignored the statement other than to say they would put our complaint "in the file".
48 hours came and went and no money returned to our account. Called them again and they said, "Oh...we have to verify the return of the receiver and that can take 4-5 days, and THEN it is 48 hours after that when the funds are returned." Seriously? The first person had found it while on the phone!
Ok, well those 5 days came and went...and still nothing. Called them again today, and they claim now that they issued a refund on 8/13 (4 days ago) of $145 to our account. $45 for the receiver and $100 for the overdrafts...except there were $120 in overdraft fees. They somehow left off $20. The rep that we spoke to did not have any information and requested that we fax the bank statment information...again. That said, we still have not seen the $145 put back into our account. According to the bank, it can take up to 30 days because it has to go through Visa first. Not to mention the $20 still owed.
Are you kidding me? It takes seconds to take my money, but a month to give it back? Can they really charge my account without my authorization? This is shady business practices at best and it seems this is tantamount to fraud and/or theft!
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/17/2010 07:19 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/directv-satellite/internet/directv-satellite-directv-charged-my-debit-card-without-permission-internet-632139. 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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