• Report: #495526
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Tue, September 15, 2009
  • Updated: Thu, September 17, 2009

  • Reported By: Angela — USA
www.directv.com Internet United States of America

DirecTV Hoodwinked By Directv Internet

* : Still doesn't make sense

* : This might help

* : Another question

* : Correction

* : confusion

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On September 20th we inquired about getting set up with satellite TV service in our home.  We called several companies seeking the best deal.  On the phone the company that promised the most was Directv.  Unfortunately for us, they delivered the least.

First of all, since we are not big TV watchers, we requested the minimum package they offered; it was one priced at 29.99.  All parties agreed that this is what we would receive and then an installation date was arranged for 9/27/09.

On that day, an installer showed up and mounted a big, ugly satellite dish on the top of our house. While I was dismayed at the unsightly object now on top of our new home, I was even more put off by the first bill.

It arrived days later and to our shock it was for well over the amount we had agreed on per our telephone call on 9/20.  We had been "assigned" a plan that cost $55+ each month.  I called and tried to get the adjustment made - no one at Directv was willing to make the change in our plan.

So, I called the company and explained that for that reason first and foremost, as well as several others, I wanted to exercise my consumer rights and terminate our contract while I was still in the 15-day window allowed to residents of TX.  Even Directv reps seemed to know this was an option for me, especially when there is a difference in the terms set out in the contract that was mailed to us (in our case e-mailed) and what was presented at the time of sale (on the phone).

Well, here begins the unpleasant journey of the what we have now labled the great Directv Hoodwink.

At first we were told absolutely "no" we were not entitled to terminate our contract and we would in effect be forced to be a customer of Directv for two years, or pay a hefty sum (over $500) to break our contract early.  Well, since I knew there had to be provisions for terminatging a contract if what was requested was NOT what was delivered, I persisted and called back.  This time I got a more "sympathetic" agent who genuinely seemed concerned not only about the inconsistencies in information being given to us and rude treatment I had gotten on my first call, but also about the fact that I had been told one thing and given another. 

She informed me that we were in fact in our 15-day window and what I was describing did qualify as a condition under which the early termination without penalty clause would apply.  She gave me her employee ID number and told me to tell the "disconnect agent" to use the "ECF tool" to close the account with no early termination fees.  Thankful to have finally met what I thought was a voice of reason, I proceeded.

The disconnect "specialist" supposedly applied the ECF tool, did a bit of typing, reiterated to me thatwe would be released without penalty, and gave me instructions about how to return the receiver and remote.  In good faith, we disconnected our receiver and waited fo the Fed Ex box he said would come to arrive.

Side note: While waiting for this box we got FOUR calls from various Directv agents trying to convince us to return, give it another chance, accept service for a $100 credit and a reduced monthly fee...it was almost comical.

Then, just one day after sending off the reciever in that Fed Ex box, came a great big surprise: a copy of charge levied against our credit card for a whopping $500.69 for "early termination charges."

Tonight, I called and spoke to yet another agent who claimed the whole "you-are eligble-to-disconnect-without-penalty" was just a mistake and I had been given bad information about how the 15 day rule is applied.  She suggested that the original agent I spoke to "made a mistake."  She refused to do anything further for me, including refusing to send me an emailed copy of all the notes various agents had put in my account record that she refered to so convienently refered to during our call.  She went on to suggest that I write a letter (yes, you read that right...a letter, as in snail mail) to the billing disputes department to dispute the
bill" and the call was ended.

So, what is the moral of the story? 

Do NOT do business with Directv - they are the used car salesmen of the satellite TV world.  Real experts at bait and switch!

Second, if a service provider requires you to enter into a two-year contract to give you something that is supposed to be for your "entertainment," ask yourself why that would be necessary.  If it really is a great service offered at a great price,  wouldn't consumers just choose to stay without a lengthy contract.

If you ignore my suggestion adn have a problem expect a HUGE run-around and fees assed even if you are assured you will not incure any.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/15/2009 11:22 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/directv/internet/directv-hoodwinked-by-directv-internet-495526. 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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Still doesn't make sense

AUTHOR: Benthefinanceguy - (U.S.A.)

The corrected information still doesn't make sense...If you had the dish installed on 8/27, how were you already disputing a bill on 9/2?  Are you saying that you received your first bill within one week of having the dish installed?  I think you should post the details of the bill in order to clarify base rates, billing dates, installation charges, taxes, etc....  the story is very murky at this point.
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This might help

AUTHOR: Ashley - (U.S.A.)

I looked through their website on the 29.99$ offer:

Get our largest selection of HD programming, HD or DVR upgrade! Sign up for a new satellite TV programming package with DirecTV today. We recommend the "Choice Extra" package. It's a huge value at only $29.99* per month and is packed with over 200 channels with Locals included**.

Offers are based on approved credit. 24 Month Commitment Required. Credit card required (MA & PA excluded). New customers only (lease required). *Price reflected includes $23 bill credit for 12 months. Lease fee 4.99/mo. for second and each additional receiver.
**Eligibility for local channels is based on service address

So they were going to charge you 53$ on this offer (might be 55 in your area) and give you a credit on your bill every month. So the 55$ a month was the correct charge, on your first bill it should have been 55$ a month, then a credit to bring it to 29.99.
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Another question

AUTHOR: Ashley - (U.S.A.)

Was the 29.99$ a rebate offer? I have seen in many markets this fee be a rebate offer where you have to go to a separate website and enter a code, or sign up for something, in order to get the advertised price. I still don't know where you get the 15 day cancellation clause in texas either. I've looked everywhere for it.

It there is a cancellation clause in texas that is going to be your only defense. If it there is not one, then you do owe the money. The BBB won't do anything for you, a lawyer is your best best.
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AUTHOR: Angela - (USA)

Thank you Ashley!  You are right...this is the author of the original post here, and upon rereading, my content is bit confusing in places.  My dates are in error.  I was typing my report QUITE late last night - after my infuriating phone call with Directv - and I was quite upset when writing, so I am sure that contributed to the quality (or lack of) of my writing .  The dates are as follows:

8/20: initial phone discussion w Directv to find out about rates and service, and ultimately acceptance of their offer.

8/27: installation

9/2: phone call requesting adjustment of rate...we were refused, so it was after that that I requested a disconnect ( what I did not detail in my initial report was the rude treatment I received while on the initial phone call form the first three people I spoke to).

Initially, we did really want the service, so you are wrong to suggest that I really didn't want the service to begin with.  However, after the appalling customer service and discrepancies, I did decide I'd rather go with NO TV whatsoever than do business with a company that seemed so untrustworthy.

You are also wrong on one other point.  It is the BASE rate I am referring to when I say I was assessed $55 instead of the $29.99 initially offered.
So, I hope this helps other who may be trying to make sense of my rip-off report.

Just FYI: We have contacted the BBB, a lawyer , and the FTC regarding our case.  The BBB web site reports over ten-THOUSAND complaints similar to ours and has intervened successfully for many of them.  My husband and I are hoping this is going to be the case for us.
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AUTHOR: Ashley - (U.S.A.)

Okay. I'm confused. Did all of this happen in the future? At first I thought maybe you messed up one date but you are quite consistant throughout this post that all of this occured in september. 

Plus you got a bill within 15 days of signing up for service? Um, wouldn't your first bill come after 30 days of service? Your story has a ton of inconsistancies in it and sounds like you are simply out to bash directv (not that its very hard, they aren't a good company)

I'm not saying you are wrong on the 15 day contract cancellation, but I can find no information on it on the internet. If someone could post a link to the information, that may shed some light on things.

Assuming what you say is true, was your RATE 55$ or was your BILL 55$. You have to add in a fee for your box, plus all of the FCC federally mandated fees and taxes. LIkely your bill started at 30$ for the service, and after taxes, fees, and lease charges it was pushed to that 55$ total. This goes with any cable or satellite provider. My base bill is 90$ a month through a different company. Taxes and fees push my bill to almost 120$

Additionally, you obviously knew about the 2 year contract. You were unwilling from your story to allow them to fix any problems you had, and cancellation was all you wanted. You sound like you didn't want the service to begin with.
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