• Report: #39660
Complaint Review:


  • Submitted: Tue, December 31, 2002
  • Updated: Sat, February 01, 2003

  • Reported By:MARIETTA Georgia


*UPDATE Employee: DirecTV call reps can't stand PrimeTV either!

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In June 2002 I contracted with Prime TV to have Direct TV installed. When I signed up I was told after the installation check had cleared and we paid our 1st month of Direct TV we would get a $140 rebate as long as the information was filed within 60 days. It is now 12/31/2002 and we still have not received our refund.

I have contacted Prime TV every week for the past 2 months and each time I am told that it was an oversight and they will request again and put a rush on it. Yesterday I was told that there have been computer problems and now it could be another 4 weeks. When I tried to contact the manager I was transferred to voicemail, I still have not received a call back.

This company has had over 1300 complaints filed with the BBB. Stay away!

Marietta, Georgia

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 12/31/2002 12:26 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/prime-tv-llc/southern-pines-north-carolina-28387/prime-tv-llx-prime-tv-llc-rebate-ripoff-deceptive-company-southern-pines-north-carolina-39660. 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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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 UPDATE Employee

DirecTV call reps can't stand PrimeTV either!

AUTHOR: E.C. - (U.S.A.)

I'm only calling this a "rebuttal" because, hey, I work for DirecTV myself (actual job title: "Entertainment Consultant." I swear I am not making that up), and my job is affected by the overall dishonesty of PrimeTV. (PrimeTV is an independent retailer--they are not owned or formally connected with DirecTV except for selling equipment that receives our programming)

I'm hardly a booster of DirecTV (It's a huge international corporation that's in bed with all the other monsters of capitalism), but I genuinely do try to help customers as much as I can, and I honestly think that DirecTV is, all in all, pretty straight in its dealings with customers. From an insider's perspective, and working from a strong commitment to consumers' rights, I can honestly say I haven't been asked to do anything in my job that was unethical. (Sometimes dopey and arbitrary, but not unethical. Also, my comments apply only to the TV operation--the recent meltdown of DTV's DSL internet division nauseated me)

The main DirecTV policies about which I've seen Prime TV misinform people:

1) Not telling about or outright denying that the standard $4.99 monthly programming cost for additional receivers, often teling customers the second receiver is absolutely free, with no additional fees. Nope.

2) Not informing customers that activation requires either a credit check using the customer's SSN, or if customers prefer no credit check, they need to put monthly billing on a credit card.

3) Telling customers that local channels via satellite are available where they simply aren't.

4)Telling customers that their regular service includes premiums like HBO or Cinemax at no cost (outside of actual promotions)

So, here's straight dope from the call center floor: virtually every one of my co-workers detests Prime TV and their sales tactics. in the last week I've had at least three activation calls from customers who Prime TV misled, lied to, or failed to give full information to. Anything to make a sale. I'm--we're, really-- disgusted by Prime TV on several levels. On the most basic level, I'm just plain angry that they're ripping people off. On a more self-interested level, I hate Prime TV because when people call in to activate their accounts, I have to clean up all the cowflop that Prime TV has told the customer. I come off sounding like the evil corporate rep who's springing new hidden charges and requirements on customers who'd been promised things that DirecTV simply doesn't do. Needless to say, I get yelled at a lot by Prime TV's victims, who naturally enough see ME, not Prime TV, as the untrustworthy weasel. Perfectly understandable--who do you want to believe, the nice guy who promised you the moon for free, or the guy who says, once you're at the hatch of the rocket, that the moon has a standard monthly charge of 4.99/month? My heart goes out to callers who've been lied to; unfortunately, we're not allowed to call other companies scum-sucking invertebrates when we're on the phone. My even more selfish reason for hating Prime TV is that, in cleaning up their cowflop, calls take longer and my average call time (a factor in performance evaluations) creeps up higher than it should be.

And finally, a plain old bottom-line issue with Prime TV. Last year, DirecTV won the JD Power award for satellite/cable service, and being associated with creeps like Prime TV tarnishes the company's image. You might be somewhat encouraged to know that, in a meeting with one of the top national execs of DirecTV today at my call center, one of the first employee questions for the executive was on that very issue: These chumps are making us look bad. At the mention of Prime TV's fraudulent practices, the auditorium erupted with applause and agreement. We ALL hate 'em. The exec said, a bit vaguely for my taste, that DirecTV has been communicating with PrimeTV to try to move them toward giving accurate information about our services, and that the company will continue to work on that. I'd have much rather heard her say that DTV would lean on Prime, but then, I'm just a lowly phone monkey.

Ways to protect yourself: Get names and numbers, especially from the subcontractors who do your installation (sadly, as several have noted, Prime just won't answer their phones) If you really want to be prepared, check the DirecTV website (www.directv.com) for the prices on various services and requirements for account setup. And just avoid PrimeTV like the plague. From my end, I don't recall any real problems with sales made at Radio Shack, and the visiting exec said that Circuit City has actually asked DirecTV to write up some of its ad copy to make sure that it's clear what you get with various equipment purchases.

And please, if Prime TV screws you over, try not to take it out on the poor DirecTV rep.
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