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Don't settle for cable! You should have a TV experience that you can trust. Enjoy every game with Sunday Ticket, watch hit movies and shows anywhere, and change the way you watch TV. DirecTV provides the greatest digital television experience for over 37 million customers daily. Our goal is to provide the most reliable, trusted customer service for your digital television service needs. We are rated #1 for a reason. Call today to ask about the packages we have to offer!
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P O Box 915
El Segundo, CA 90245-0915
310-535-5000 (ph)
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Things You Should Know, From A Former Customer Service Representative
By -

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- As a former customer service representative of DirecTV, there are a few things I know that you as a consumer should know, that they don't want you to know. First off, ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS read the fine print because that's what matters. Second, you should know by now that everything to do with a major corporation is a catch 22. Example: So you see an advertisement that boasts 100 channels for 29.99 per month. Well that's a great deal except for the fact that that price will go up to full price in 6 months to a year, and very few of those channels are any of the major networks. The rest of them are shopping, Spanish, etc.

Then if there's that one channel you really want, you have to upgrade to the next package to get it. And then if you had the free install in standard definition and then decide you want to upgrade to HD, guess what, you have to pay the full installation price and for the receiver, + $10 per month for HD service.

Another thing you should know: Having your receiver installed constitutes as your commitment to your contract, there's no going back unless you want to pay an early cancellation fee which is roughly $20 per month for every month from the date you cancel to the end of your contract, which is billed to you all at once. 2 year contract cancellation = maximum of $480 which is then added to your "Final Bill" which also includes a hefty non return fee for receivers that don't make it back in a timely manner.

So once this is all totaled up, guess what, they charge it to the primary credit card on the account without you knowing, and believe me, that is hell to go through trying to fix with customer service, and that's coming from a former customer service representative.

Also, we are only allowed to give out a certain amount in credits per day. I was called out a few times for giving out the highest rates in credit out of the whole center, which has over 1000 employees. But I continued to because it was money the customers had a right to. DTV basically squeezes every dollar out of you. It's good service if you pay your bills on time, but it's hell if you don't. I'm not saying you shouldn't get DTV because Dish is just as bad.

Just make sure you know all the details before you make any decisions. Tell the representative to tell you what DTV doesn't want you to know about any deal. And lastly and most importantly, always be nice to your representative because we are much more willing to help if you are.

DirecTV Installed a 4' Dish in Front of a Window With an Ocean View
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

HONOLULU, HAWAII -- So pissed at DirecTV. We weren't paying attention to where the guy was installing the dish (which is 4' wide). He placed it right in front of the kitchen window, which had views of Downtown Honolulu and the ocean. When I called DirecTV and asked that they send them back out to move the dish over 8' they said we would have to pay $50. What kind of ** puts a huge dish in front of a view like that.

They called the installation company and their reply was "That was the only area that the technician could get a signal from." What a crock. We have a flat garage roof, with open sky. He was just lazy and didn't want to carry the dish and cement blocks any further than the edge of the roof. Needless to say we won't be recommending DirecTV to anyone, because of this.

DirecTV Horrible Equipment & Customer Service
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

DENVER, COLORADO -- To start out if I could give DirecTV no stars I would. I have had DirecTV for 4 years. During this time I have had only problems with their customer service, and the equipment that they supply. First off they are way too expensive for the TV we are now FORCED to watch. I personally do not like "REALITY TV" it STINKS, to say the least. The simpleton producers of these shows are a total joke. All of the shows must be produced by the same brainless produces.

Really how many more DUMB REALITY shows can we stand for? DO we really need more PAWN shows, or Car Repo shows?, or dumb shows like "Storage Wars, "Storage Hunters"" Baggage Battles" ?.

I guess these producers think Americans are as BRAIN-DEAD as they are. I personally do not believe you find things like a $100,000 Tesla that was "abandoned" in a storage shed!! (Oh I forgot to mention that the 3 minutes that I saw this show in hopes of finding something of value to watch. that the '"Abandoned" Tesla that had no cover on it. did not even have dust on it. Really do you buy this?. Or People walking into the Pawn Stars shop, and Selling something that's worth $$$$$$ of dollars for nothing. This would be like me taking my 1967 Shelby Gt500 to them, and selling it to them for $20,000, or less? Get Real!!!.

Now onto DirecTV Equipment, and Customer Service. Like I said I have had DirecTV for 4 years, during that time I have put up with JUNKY, Equipment, HORRIBLE Customer service. The very 1st time I had DirecTV installed, the installer showed up with a small ladder that could not reach the roof. So I had to re-schedule for them to come back another day. Gee, You would think that they would be prepared to install Equipment on higher roof tops?.

Next when they did come back out they ran the cables up the front of the Row house I lived in at the time. NEVER inquired if that was OK. Additionally after the install the guy did not fasten down the cables properly they were hanging loose the very next day. So then I had the President of the HOA on my back.

Next after only a few months of having the service the signal was lost, could not get it back, even after spending time on the phone with customer service. So I had to have them come out to fix it. (Thank God I signed up for the service plan), or they would have charged me. It turned out the Installer did not mount the dish proper, So the wind moved the Dish around and thus the Dish, was not pointed in the right direction to receive a signal.

Now onto the DVR receiver they provide. This thing is TOTAL JUNK!!. Went out after 6 months of using it. Would not even power on!! You know lights come on when it's working!! So once again, I had to call Customer service & tell them that I had a problem. The DVR was burned out. This ** told me that "I must not have power to the outlet", that the DVR is plugged into" Strange that I have all my audio, and Video components plugged into a surge-protected outlet strip that all of these are working correctly!!. except the DVR box.

So this ** tells me to go "Get a Mixer", or a "Radio" to plug in to test if I have power to the outlet. REALLY???. I am not an **!!!. I know if I have power or not. She insisted that I do this. I finally just told her that I did get a "Mixer to test it", As she REFUSED to move onto the next step if I did not do this. What a crock of BS. Yep the DVR was burned out, wow what a revelation.

After using this replacement DVR for just under a year the DVR started getting an error code 773, every few months, and would RE-FORMAT the disk, and thus causing ALL recorded programs to be lost. (Very Frustrating) Since the Programing stinks, and is Plagued with Commercials. So this is the only way to try to watch what little of the programing that's on worthwhile to watch.

Now on to when I moved to a new place. I took the Piece of junk, DVR recorder to my new place. When I called to have the Re-Install at new location I told the customer service person what was happening with the DVR recorder 773 error code/Re-Formatting. and asked them to send out a replacement DVR, when they came out to Re- install my service. I was told "If I wanted a Replacement DVR sent out with the tech, that I would need to agree to a NEW, 2 year agreement". Otherwise the only way to get it replaced was to once again send it back to them. What a joke!!. This is not how you treat customers.

Since then the DVR recorder has MELTED DOWN 4 times at the new place, you know error code 773/RE-formatting losing all your recorded shows **. So I have had enough of PAYING $82.78 each month for TV ONLY!! NO INTERNET!!!, NO MOVIE CHANNELS!!!, just regular TV. This is WAY TOO EXPENSIVE FOR RANK programing, JUNKY EQUIPMENT, and even WORSE customer service. I would not recommend DirecTV to anyone.

DirecTV Stole My Money From by Bank Account
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

LOUDONVILLE, OHIO -- You Guys have stolen my money from my bank account from First Merit. My name is **. You have taken over 700$ out of my account and I am being assessed a 5$ fee for every check that has bounced every day. I am getting a 35$ overdraft charge each day as well. Right now I am $978.09 overdrawn and each day I am being assessed a 5$ late fee but no more than 50$ per day can be assessed to my account. So each day it's growing 50$ more in the hole when you guys took the money from my account I was in the positive for $128.44.

I am writing in regards to you stealing my money from me and I have been researching the Internet and am seeing post after post of you guys doing this to people. I talked with a representative and a supervisor and agreed to a 10$ monthly installment from my Bill Pay. Your last payment you received was in July 3rd 2012. I have been continuously paying on this account since I quit services. And requested for you guys to send me the stuff to return my equipment or have someone if they're in the area pick it up for me.

The day I received the box in the mail to return my devices they automatically debited my account for over 700$. You sent the boxes to me on 8/9/12 THE EXACT SAME DAY I GOT THE BOX TO RETURN EQUIPMENT YOU STOLE MY MONEY AND RUINED MY PERFECT ACCOUNT.

You have agreed to me paying 10$ a month without disturbing or making my account or credit delinquent. You guys are the worst service providers I have ever had. That's why I went back to Time Warner a COMPANY WHO ACTUALLY CARES. I am disputing the charges with the bank and reported you guys for fraudulent fund stealing from a Mentally Handicapped Person. I don't understand how you guys think you're head honcho and can just go robbing people like stealing candy from a kid. PATHETIC.

I have reported you to the BBB. As well as I filed a police report. Hope this don't hurt your credit ratings much and you don't lose potential customers. O yea don't tell them you want your money and threaten them on the phone with calling all over making their name trash because they will hang up on you HAHAHAHA.

And if you do set up services with them make sure after you give them your debit card don't give them a Capital One or credit card. Make sure it's a bank account card they keep on file that you cancel it because that's how they told me they stole my money. I got over 4 hours of recordings with these people and I sent my equipment back after a month of asking them how to return it the day I got the box to return it they stole my money. Like a thief in the night HIJACKED. So if you're looking for TV please look elsewhere. I have emailed every single email I can find on these people and it's still gotten me nowhere.

Complete Scam! Liars, Perverts, and Cheats, Oh My!
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

FORT WORTH, TEXAS -- I really do not understand why this company is still in business... So my wife and I were on speakerphone with the sales representative with DirecTV and the "gentleman" on the other end quoted us prices that we were genuinely excited about. We scheduled a so-called technician to come and install the package for us this morning.

First of all, he showed up at 7:45 AM before I had even left for work in a raggedy little S-10 pickup with no logos or anything showing affiliation with DirecTV. I imagine all the dents and dings on his truck came from unsatisfied customers throwing rocks and junk at him as they ran him off their property. The nasty S.O.B. made my wife extremely uncomfortable the whole time he was there.

While installing in my bedroom with my wife "supervising" the job, he at one point started rubbing his hands along her back and winking at her! I told her she should have kicked him out on the spot... Also, this Jackwagon ran the cable in my living room wall along the trim of my wall and up and around the frame of my front door. It looks like crap! He waited until after he was finished to inform us of what he had done, trying to instruct my wife on how the remote worked, when he said, "Don't push this button. It is for high-definition programming." What the heck!!! That was part of the package we purchased.

That was not the only thing the salesman lied to us about... We were told the installation would be free... Except they charged us @ $21.00 to do it! We were told that a HD-DVR was included in our package... Nope! Lied to us again! I am now under the impression that these "salesmen" are actually telemarketers that will say whatever they can to get you to bite, so they can get an extra $ spiffed their way.

When my wife called Customer Service to convey our displeasure over the whole situation, she had to go through several folks just so she could actually understand them due to their accent. When she finally had a supervisor on the phone, she got passed from one to another. All we requested is that they stick to what they had originally quoted us. We know they "record all phone conversations for customer SATISFACTION, and training purposes..." So we told them to pull the phone records with our exchange with their "salesman" so they could verify the validity of our claim.

Guess what, that information was not available according to one of the supervisors, yet another subsequent supervisor said it must have been deleted from their system because she could not find it! They can't even communicate with each other to keep their LIES straight.

The only options we were given were: A) Accept their superficial apology, and keep the service as is... B) Accept their superficial apology, and pay double what we were quoted to get what we originally wanted. (Which by the way, meant waiting 3-4 days for them to come back out to do the job correctly); C) Deny their superficial apology, tell them to stick to their word or they can stick it _______ (fill in the blank).

We chose "C"... Told them to turn their guy right back around and pick up their crap, and not to touch one penny in our bank account! "That's not how it works." is the response we got. "We will send you some boxes, and you can mail our products back to us, then you will get a full refund in about 30 days, minus the $21.00 installation fee..."

THIS COMPANY IS A TOTAL SCAM!!! If you are considering DirecTV, I implore you to reconsider... There are many other providers out competing with this Hackjob TV service. I've noticed the others quotes are a bit higher, but at least they will have the ethics or good morality to keep their word, understand the importance of customer service, and won't send some pervert to your house trying to eyeball your wife!

Also, in comparison to my other complaints, this one is minor; The jerk that came into my house and put in this CRAP, also had no qualms with leaving his garbage and waste throughout our home. I have a 14 month old who already puts everything in his mouth. I don't need anybody else leaving surprises for us to find, much less a creepy stranger.

Hopefully, I have saved at least one person from this type of headache, if they have read this prior to signing up... There is a reason that over 90% of the reviews are painting DirecTV in a negative light. It's because it's true and this company is not in touch with the consumers of their product... HEED THESE WARNINGS! STAY AWAY FROM DIRECTV!!!

Awful Service
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

LOVELAND, OHIO -- I would like to share my concern for the extremely poor service I have just received over the last two weeks. My home was struck by lightning and as you can imagine I was not happy about it. So replacing all electronics in my home was not easy but I did not think the hardest part of the scenario would be receiving new HD Boxes from your company. I set up 3 separate appointments for a technician to simply drop off 3 new boxes (not knowing they could have just mailed them, which I was informed of just this morning).

The first tech call that was "sent" to my home never showed up and states that he called numerous times. The second tech call I received informed me he would be at my home in 1 hour and 15 min. I left work immediately knowing I had a 30 min drive home from work. I received a call within 10 min of the previous call alerting me that he was at my door and no one was home. This is 1 full hour before he said he would be there. He left, instead of waiting for me to be home in a few moments.

The third call I was "guaranteed" a tech would be at my home between 8am and 9am. They realized they had messed up and I appreciated that. 8 am came and nothing. I got a call at 8:23 stating that tech would be here at 11:00 am. I called in to see what happen with their guarantee...I was told they cannot make promises on time but they would call a tech to see when he was going to be here. I got a call back at 8:47 saying he would be here within 15 min to make sure I am home. 15 min passed and I got another call saying he would be another hour and a half.

This is now over 4.5 total hours that I could have been working, but instead sat at home and waited for someone who never came, all for a 15 min service call. I proceeded to call into DirecTv and talk to a manager, after having a brief argument with the gentlemen that told me there WAS NOT a manager on duty at that time, he forwarded me to a manager.

The manager out of the SouthEast Region named **, was easily the rudest and least helpful person I had talked to yet. Using terms like "It's a four hour window, shouldn't be too hard to wait for that", "you should have left work earlier" (in reference to my second failed service call.) She then proceeded to tell me that IF I were thinking of canceling with them she would not waive my fee and "I would be out $436.00" So after I have lost over $400 in hours of work, I was voluntarily told that.

I am not writing this to cause problems or start an uproar. I am simply writing this in hopes of being taken care of for the service I pay for monthly, and to warn customers looking for reviews on DirecTV's customer service that it is a less than helpful process. I hope something will be done and no one else has to deal with this kind of service.

StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA -- I have considered DirecTV due to the great deals I saw online. But the process getting into it over the phone was very exhausting. I'm glad they work out for some people, but obviously not all and I'm one of them...I'm not even a customer! Out of the 1000s of reviews about DirecTV, I have skimmed through a good amount of these 1 out of 5 star reviews and that is more than enough to not invest in this business.

First of all, coach your sales team not to sound like fast slick-sales-talkers. It really sounds scam-ish and there was a lot of info left out that surprised the hell out of me after I was transferred to a couple of clueless people in customer support, then to this very rude non-personable woman at Centurylink...even when I had already repeatedly confirmed the package deal and estimated costs the sales guy and I agreed was best for me! I've asked many times for the sales guy to slow his talking down.

What ever happened to quality customer service where the customer is the #1 priority? Customers are the ones you need to have a great first impression with right from the start and build solid relationships with because they are the ones who will give away their hard earned money for expected good service!

I am one of those type of shoppers that are very careful before I sign up for anything, buy anything, and like to read the small prints, then ask many good questions. In a very frustrating 2 hour phone call, I was constantly interrupted. I could vibe annoyed tones of voices whenever I asked questions or wanted things to be repeated! They were all never clear on the total set costs for 12 months and what to at least roughly expect in 24 months.

Let me tell you, the total costs of my bundle were significantly different told by 4 different people! How can you agree to such things over the phone when they continue to talk way too fast and have no patience to let the customer speak?! I was born and raised in America, speak perfect English, and I even could not fully understand everyone I was talking to due to the speed of their voice, their foreign accents, how often they mumbled, trailed off, or just seemed like I was listening to an automated voice system!

What a waste of 2 hours. I tried really hard to get my words in! You people like to talk, talk, talk without allowing your potential customer to speak. It is 2013! Change your rusty sales scripts, start learning how to listen, how to apologize rather than constantly thanking people for choosing your business when they're clearly not happy-sounding over the phone and haven't even closed the deal completely yet! Hire more qualified phone-talkers and coach them effectively to be personable and not leave out any info the customer may be surprised with when they're transferred to the next "step".

Seriously DirecTV, check your customer reviews online and take it into sincere consideration on how your customers really feel!

DirecTV unauthorized charge
By -

On June 30, 2011 I received a notification from my bank that a $633.50 debit was processed for DirecTV. Since I do not currently, or ever had DirecTV as a service provider, I immediately contacted my bank to inquire about the charge. They were only able to advise that this payment was deducted and that I can contact DirecTV directly to dispute the charges. My bank advised me that it should not take them as long to refund the $633.50 as it would take if I disputed the charge through the bank, as it may take up to 60 days for the dispute to be settled.

As directed by my bank, I contacted DirecTV to dispute the charges, and I was advised that I would have to fax a statement from my bank showing that the funds were debited, because I have no account with them and this is the only way they would be able to locate the debit. On June 30, 2011, I fax the information as requested and requested a call back as confirmation that the fax was received. I faxed the information again on July 1, 2011, July 2, 2011, and July 3, 2011.

On July 5, 2011 I called back and spoke with ** ID ** a Customer Service supervisor that advised me I have to wait up to 10 business days for a response. I asked 10 business days from when, and she responded from the day I faxed the information. I requested to speak with her manager or to provide me with a number to contact the department that I sent the fax to, she told me that the department only receives fax and that they don't have a number for me to call.

After 52:45 minutes, she finally transferred me to her manager ** ID ** who read from the same script. I asked to speak with her superior, and I was told that he would call me back within 24 hours. I waited and waited no call back.

On July 11, 2011 (now 10 business days later) I called DirecTV again and spoke to a supervisor by the name of **. He told me I just have to wait for the Mystery department to call me back. When I advised him that I have been waiting for 10 business days, he repeated just wait. When I insisted, he hung up.

I called back and spoke with another supervisor ** ID **. ** was unbelievably rude, he told me that there was nothing he could do and I needed to wait. He told me I must have an account, or they wouldn't have debited the money from my account. After back and forth with **, I finally hung up and called back hoping and praying that I would get someone else willing to help me.

I called back and spoke to a supervisor by the name of ** ID **, and she was a little more helpful. She asked me if I had ever let anyone use my card to process a payment or to make a deposit, I advised yes, my stepfather. She asked for his home phone number. I provided her with the information and she pulled up his account. She told me that the dispute had been resolved, and that the Finance Department had issued a reversal of the payment, as of July 11, 2011, and that it could take up to 10 business days for the funds to post back to my account.

Since I had to cancel the compromised card with my bank, I had concerns that the refund would not post properly, so I called my bank back with my concerns. I was advised by my bank that the account associated with the compromised card was not closed, the card was blocked, therefore when DirecTV reversed the charge, it would still post to the account. So I waited, and waited, and waited.

On July 25, 2011 I contacted DirecTV again, as this is the 10th business day. I spoke with ** ID ** to advise that the funds had not posted to my bank account. ** advised me at that time that he could not discuss the account with me since I was not authorized. I asked, "How can you deduct $633.50 from my bank account if I'm not authorized." I also advised him that I am not interested in the actual account, I am only concerned with my refund. ** then advised me that he was not at liberty to discuss anything on the account. I asked to speak with a supervisor again.

After being placed on hold numerous times, he came back and advised me that in order to have the $633.50 refunded, I had to fax a copy of the posted transaction with my name and phone number. I advised him that I did this already, and I didn't feel I should have to do this again, as I was advised on July 11, 2011 that the charges had been reversed, and would take up to 10 days to post to my bank account. He advised me that the Finance Department didn't refund me because the transaction never posted to my account, because the funds were not available. I asked "how do we go from we have the funds and will refund to we never took money."

I asked again for a supervisor. I was placed on hold for approximately 15 minutes to wait for a supervisor. While waiting I contacted my mother to have my stepfather contact DirecTV to see what was going on. She called me back while I was still holding for ** to find me a supervisor. When she called me back, she had a DirecTV representative on the line insisting that the funds were reversed on July 11, 2011, and should have posted to my account. While still holding for **, I advised the representative on the phone with my stepfather, that nothing posted to my account.

Finally, ** returns advising me that I must fax this information back to the Finance Department. I hung up from ** and continued to speak with the representative that my stepfather was speaking with. While speaking with the new representative (didn't get her name and ID), I used my cell phone to contact my bank again, as she insisted that it had to have posted to the account by now. My bank again advised me there was no posted or pending credit from DirecTV. I was advised by my bank that the only transaction dealing with DirecTV was the $633.50 debit.

My bank's representative also advised me that if they had reversed the charges on July 11, 2011 it would have posted to my account within 3 to 5 days not 10 business days. I was advised since it had not posted and was not pending, DirecTV did not reverse the charges.

I hung up from my bank and requested to speak with a supervisor. After 48 minutes with the new representative and my stepfather, a supervisor comes on the line to tell me that since today is the 10th business day, the funds have to be with my bank. I went over the conversation with my bank, as well as the earlier conversation with ** that the funds had not been reversed, and that I had to fax the information again, and wait another 10 business days for the above mentioned Mystery Department to contact me.

I asked her to read the notes he left on the account advising that the funds had not transferred. She stopped talking, then said well I can expedite this matter and asked me for my contact information. I provided her with the information again. I asked her where do we go from here, because it is now almost a month and I charges had not been reversed, pending, or posted to my account. She became quiet again and hung up.

So here I am a single mother of two that works 12 hours everyday to provide for my family back at square one. All of this because I allowed my stepfather to use my card for a $29.99 deposit as a one time only charge. What really upsets me is that my stepfather canceled DirecTV within 48 hours, because they could not provide him with service.

If anyone can tell me how to proceed from here, I would greatly appreciate it. I am so behind in bills with tons of reverse fees and late fees, because that $633.50 debit from DirecTV took every penny I had in the bank, therefore purchased that I made on June 30, 2011, and Automatic Payments that I had set up were reversed.

DirecTV: Time for a Class Action Lawsuit
By -

GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLORADO -- Had I not experienced first hand the operating practices of DirecTV, I would have never have imagined a company could be allowed to conduct business in this country in such a blatantly dishonest, irresponsible, and widespread manner. That a class action lawsuit has not been filed against this company is beyond me. Here is our experience.

We have been subscribers of DirecTV for over 5 years. Initially, the service was unremarkable, in so much as all it entails in the first place is a simple- VERY SIMPLE concept: choose a programming package, get that package, pay for the service. No one is putting anyone on the moon here, and it isn't rocket surgery.

After a couple of years of said uneventful service, we began to notice variations in our bills. We had assumed that these were legitimate "variations", until we looked at EACH AND EVERY monthly statement. We were amazed to find that, prior to monitoring our bills, we had been getting charged for movies we had not seen or purchased (ordered), and even more outrageous, the prices of programming choices we had made were being arbitrarily raised without our knowledge or consent.

The result was an almost monthly ritual of time-consuming calls to have those charges removed. Although the charges were eventually reversed amidst apologies and other hollow pleasantries, it was not without taking considerable time and effort on our part.

This trend continued, and worsened to the point that, on several occasions, I let the supervisor(s) know that we intended to discontinue our service altogether with if these practices did not stop once and for all. Again, apologies were issued, and we were told we would be given "six months" of (fill in the blank) programming for free as a show of DirecTV's wanting to make things right. EACH TIME, not only was the "freebie" only extended for three months, but after three months DirecTV began charging us for that package even though we never ordered it!!!

Again, time and effort consuming phone calls needed to be made, and in the process, the response on a personal level had become downright RUDE and insulting. Finally, about nine months ago, we decided to purchase an HDTV capable flat screen, and decided we would also change our carrier as well.

When we called DirecTV to disconnect our service, we were immediately put in touch with a supervisor. In essence, he wanted to know "What would we (DirecTV) have to do to keep your business?" I explained how they would pretty much have to give me just about everything for free, as we were plain fed up with their company. Without going into detail, suffice it to say that we were given significant equipment fee and programming "deals" to make it worth our while.

Most importantly, I specified that I did not want to see any variation on the agreed upon monthly fee for an entire year. I was assured that would be the case. That is the contract we entered into. These conditions were to continue for one year. They didn't.

Within three months we were seeing increases in our monthly bill, and, what's more, the bill had become so convoluted with partial charges, partial credits, fee reversals- you name it - that I don't believe anyone could come up with a more unreasonable method of conducting what should have been a straight-forward transaction if they tried. We were, in a word, dumb-founded.

Things finally came to a head in June, when, along with the usual inappropriate programming fee assessments, we received charges for three PPV items: two "regular" movies, and one "adult" movie. Not only did we not order these items- it would be nonsensical to do so: the "regular" movies were being shown on our programming packages we were receiving anyway- But the REAL kicker was that these items were dated January and February of earlier this year!

I immediately called, and told the representative that I wanted to cancel our service, as DirecTV was not keeping their end of the agreement, and the inappropriate charges were ongoing. I was immediately transferred to a supervisor. The same apologetic nonsense ensued, but this time I did not give in. I stated that I no longer wished to do business with DirecTV. After a significant amount of rude and abrupt commentary, I was told I would be put on hold while they processed my request. My wife and I had lunch during the 57 minutes the elevator music played on speakerphone. 57 minutes.

As I simply did not have the time to do so indefinitely, I reluctantly hung up, and called back. I then had to re-explain the entire situation again, and again had to wait as I was handed up the chain of command. After finally getting yet another supervisor, and explaining my situation (including the hour wait on "hold") I was told, and I quote: "Oh, I know how to deal with that;"- and the person HUNG UP ON ME.

I had no more time to deal with the situation. In my life outside of dealing with DirecTV I was knee deep in organizing my company for an important business trip that would take place overseas. Not quite as complicated as TV programming, but an important part of my otherwise productive life.

On our return, not only did I discover that DirecTV had not complied with our request- THEY CONTINUED TO BILL US FOR MONTHLY PROGRAMMING!!! We couldn't believe it!! I immediately called and, in a nutshell, was told, in a very rude and insulting manner, that I was disconnected for NONPAYMENT of service. What's more - and this is really amazing: I was being charged $350.00 for early termination of my contract!!! Although I pointed out it was DIRECTV who FAILED in holding up the contract, AND THEREFORE I WAS CANCELLING THE SERVICE AS IT WAS UNSATISFACTORY AT BEST (see all of the above).

My words again fell on deaf ears. and I was treated in an abrasive, rude, and insulting manner. Unless I experienced this first hand, I would have never have imagined a company could be allowed to conduct business in this country in such a blatantly dishonest, irresponsible, and widespread manner.

DirecTV - Beware! Deceptive Business Practices
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DirecTV was unequivocally the worst experience that I have ever had with any product or service. It's hard to believe that such a company can legally operate while employing the deceptive business practices that I encountered throughout the 17 month term of service that I had with them. Once they have you, there is no way out. If you request to cancel service due to their deceptive billing practices, failure to honor agreements/promises or evasive customer service and unresolved problems, they will threaten you with a huge termination fee for canceling early.

I cannot believe how many hours (probably days if you add them all up during my 17 months of service) that I spent on the phone & emails in good faith trying to give DirecTV the opportunity to honor the promises & agreements they made. However, despite all this effort, I was met time and time again with extremely evasive customer service that will drag out an issue (no matter what it might be) for as long as they can in what appears to be a tactic to wear you down into just giving up.

A perfect example of this the $50 Visa gift card that was promised at the beginning of service for enrolling in auto bill pay. They initially told me it would take 4-6 weeks to arrive. After a couple of months I called to check on the status of it and was told that it wouldn't be sent until after three billing cycles had passed. A couple of months later I was then told that they never had any Visa Gift card offer. In future phone calls I spoke with managers and representatives who said each time that the issue was being sent to a special “escalation department”. However there was never any type of response or resolution.

I requested several times to just credit my account for $50 in lieu of the Visa Gift Card and they said they couldn't do that. Finally after 10 months and countless phone calls I said that I was going to cancel my account. They immediately threatened me with a $250 early termination fee if I did so. Then they put me on hold and said they would credit my account for $50 (even though they said this couldn't be done in the countless phone calls over the previous 10 months).

When I signed up for DirecTV, I specifically indicated that it would be for RV use. At the recommendation of the DirecTV rep, I ordered a mobile tripod for an additional $50 that could be used for this purpose. I was told that the local channels would be available wherever I went. That, however, was not the case. I was later told that I needed to pay a significant additional fee to receive local channels. When I said I wanted to cancel because I couldn't get the local channels that they promised and I was paying for, DirecTV again threatened to charge me with a huge early termination fee.

I finally had enough and told DirecTV at the end of 2008 that I was going to cancel my account regardless of any termination fees. They transferred me to the “retention department” and offered me a price of $34.99/mo that was locked in for the remaining 12 months. Wanting to avoid the termination fee I agreed and thought the problems were over. I asked the representative to put notes on my account regarding the offer in order to avoid any issues in the future.

The next month they debited my checking account for $42.99. I called DirecTV and referred them to the previous offer and account notes. They said they saw the offer and put in a request to correct it but it would take 7-14 days. Then the next bill came and it was for $62.99. I called again and they still hadn't corrected the first error and were about to debit my checking account for $62.99. They said they would send a request to the now mythical “escalation department” but it would take another 7-14 days.

When I called to follow up they said that $62.99 was correct and they didn't see any offer of $34.99 from the retention department. After several more weeks and many hours on the phone & email and they still refused to acknowledge the offer that was made even though the first representative confirmed the notes were in my account.

I decided at this point I needed to handle all future correspondence in writing. So I sent an email to customer service and said that I was cancelling my service and would file a complaint with the BBB. In subsequent replies they first said they would charge $42.99, then $37.99 and then $39.99. It was different with each representative and each reply. They still refused to acknowledge the first offer of $34.99 notated on my account and even refused to acknowledge the $37.99 that I now had in writing. I finally had to cancel auto bill pay to prevent them from arbitrarily debiting my account for unauthorized overcharges.

For anybody that hasn't gone through this process and is wondering why not just cancel service and then refuse to pay the early termination fee? The answer is DirecTV has your debit/credit card on file. Within days of cancelling service, they will charge your card for the termination fee without any type of bill, authorization or notification. In my case this was a debit card linked to my checking account. Poof…$139 in cash was gone without my knowledge. Fortunately I had enough cash to cover the charge. But this could easily have resulted in some hefty overdraft and returned check charges.

When I requested that they refund the charge, they referred me to the customer agreement that says they have the right to charge your card without notice for termination fees. Apparently, DIRECTV believes that it is acceptable business practice to actively evade any promises/agreements made with the customer, but fully expects the customer to keep paying for their “service” or suffer the consequence of a huge early termination fee.

Please do yourself a favor and stay clear of this company. No matter what “special offer” they have at the time and no matter how good it may seem, they will do everything within their power not to honor it. You will end up spending many frustrating hours on the phone, usually with no resolution. And if a resolution ever does come, it will often take months of continuous follow-up in order to make them honor their agreements.

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