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Direct TV uses fraud to extend contracts
Posted by on
I am a Pastor and I can confirm that Direct TV uses fraud to try to extend service contracts. I had service with Direct TV for several years and when I left them I was sent a bill for $340 for early termination. Within a year before termination of our service I had purchased a HD receiver from Best Buy for about $200 - 250 so my son could pick up the HD channels on his TV which we were already paying for.

I specifically asked the Best Buy people if this would extend my service contract and was told no but that if I got a free one from Direct TV that it would extend our contract. So I asked him if he would call Direct TV and confirm that statement. He called Direct TV and informed me that it would not extend my service contract.

When I got home and called Direct TV to activate the received I told them that I would not activate it if that extended my service contract and was told that it would not.

When we left Direct TV we returned all receivers, even the two we had purchased for about $500 total. For the past year they have been trying to collect using their own in house collection agency along with a "so called" law firm (which I would be surprised if it is not also part of the fraud) which now says that I owe $469 but offered to settle with me for $220.

Settle what? I don't owe them a dime. They are scam artists in my opinion and I would never do business with them again. I'm going to tell everybody in my church to stay away from those frauds. These guys need to be exposed. They are preying on the public.
     
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azRider on 2011-06-01:
humm, my first thought is did you get it in writing before you purchased the receiver and start the service. but I'm guessing you did not. so with that said, the agreement that they would not re-start your contract on a new receiver activation is worth the paper its written on. thus the original contract you have with them from the beginning would have to be used. what does it say about adding a new receiver? one thing I did see in the contract that they list on-line at their web site is this provision: 'your continued receipt of Service constitutes Acceptance of the changed terms and conditions.' in other words, your receiving the TV signal and paid them for it, so you must have agreed to the contract. not sure how well that would hold up in court, but its in the contract.
madconsumer on 2011-06-01:
directv will do anything possible to sneakily extend contracts.

very helpful review.
Anonymous on 2011-06-01:
good review!
Sassy2 on 2011-06-01:
azRider..I agree with you he should have gotten this in writing but he believed the salesman as most of us would.I believe I would go back to Best Buy and confront this salesman because he is either working for DTV or he is being lied to also.I would also file complaints with the BBB,FTC,and Attorney General.I would also write my local "Troubleshooter" with the local TV station or newspaper.Often times they can get better results than you can on your own.I wish you luck
jonthethird on 2011-06-01:
We see such extensions all the time with "service calls." The dish is knocked off the satellite, the customer calls DirecTv, who sends out a tech (at a charge.) Only later does the subscriber discover the contract has been extended. Suggestion: if it is a dish point, find an independent and pay directly (often less than DirecTv charges.) Same result, no extension. This does NOT apply to equipment. You are pretty much extending your contract with ANY equipment change.
Slimster on 2011-06-01:
Always get everything in writing, that being said, you can't go wrong with DirecTV's totally digital signal !
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Stay away from Direct TV
Posted by on
TEXAS -- This is the first time that I want to spend my valuable time to write a review about my experience with a company because I am so angry with them…
I've been a good customer since 2008 after moved to Austin. However, their basic channel has nothing to watch; except sales channels, religion channels. Finally, I called them to cancel the service since I barely watch those channels and after I signed up with NetFlix and enjoyed all the movies I got from them. The sales representative was very nice and tried very hard to keep me as their customer. He offered me two months promotion periods and I paid only $10 dollar per month for these two months. He told me I would end up pay more if I cancel the service right away because of the earlier termination charge. I could cancel the service after two months and pay minimum termination fee. I was very happy with their consideration and did cancel the service two months later. The customer service person was very nice at the time when I called to cancel my service. He gave me the final figure of my bill and I paid with my credit card. Look like a happy ending….
A month later, received bill from them asked for more money. I called and was told that the promotion was taken back because I cancelled the service. I own them the money for the difference between regular price and the promotion price for that two months, according to Direct TV policy. I told them that since they did not inform me that the promotion would be taken back if I cancel my service within certain time(then I would have cancelled two month earlier), and nobody told me the promotion will be taken back at the time I canceled my service, therefore, according to my policy, their policy is invalid.
They sent my case to collection agent. They called and I explained my reason. I have no problem to pay them at all, but it against my principle to do so even I knew that my credit score will get ruined because of this.
Stay away from them, as far as you can.
     
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Alain on 2011-05-20:
You can report this to
http://www.fcc.gov/complaints
http://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov
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Thievery by DirecTV
Posted by on
In February my husband and I decided to cancel our DirecTV service in order to streamline our budget. We knew there would be a cancellation fee assessed (as we had not completed our contract), but paying the $303 to cancel would save us more in the long run than sticking with the provider for the entire 2 year contract. Upon receiving the bill for the cancellation fee, I scheduled a payment through our financial. The due date shown on the eBill I received through the bank's bill-pay client was March 4. Our payment posted on February 28.

DirecTV evidently didn't feel that was quick enough and stole $303 from the account they had on file. (We had switched financials at the new year, but still had some funds in the old account as a "safety blanket" to cover any automatic payments that we may have missed when switching over.) The kicker was that their unauthorized deduction from our old account was processed ON THE SAME DAY - FEBRUARY 28 - as the authorized payment we initiated.

We called DirecTV immediately upon discovering the double payment. My husband was disconnected multiple times while "waiting for a supervisor". Once he finally got an answer, we were told our money would be refunded within 30 days of our cancellation date. Well, 30 days came and went, so he called back. He was then told that the representative misspoke, and that it would be 6-8 weeks. That time has now also come and gone... We are now having to call DAILY to try to get this resolved. Yesterday's "solution"... they were forwarding our issue on to their finance department. When we asked for that department's direct phone number, we were told they aren't authorized to give that number to customers.

This has been the most frustrating and difficult customer service experience we have EVER had! We never paid late... we didn't even question the cancellation fee... DirecTV, you have STOLEN from us. If it were only a $5 or $10 rebate that we needed to wait 6-8 weeks to receive, that would be fine... but that is not the case. $303 weighs pretty heavily in a month-to-month budget...
     
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tnchuck100 on 2011-04-02:
Lesson to ANYONE terminating service with DirecTV: Cancel ALL accounts that DirecTV has access to BEFORE you cancel with them. They are ruthless and unethical. $303 for 6 weeks times 5,000 customers canceling - that is a lot of interest-free operating capital for them. There is no penalty for them keep your money for a couple of months so they do it.
Imaginary Math on 2011-07-28:
That is assuming that $303 is the exact amount each customer pays at cancellation (Which is 20 dollars per remaining month on your contract at the time of cancellation). That's like me creating an imaginary stock and giving it the imaginary price of $303 then saying that the stock will now increase 5000 fold over the next year, wow now that's a killer stock! Everyone hit up their stock brokers, I've got winner for you!
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Satellite TV Rules You need to know(consumer who got burnt)
Posted by on
1) Every new customer coming to DTV MUST sign a TWO year agreement.

2) If your credit rating is not good you will be paying a deposit fee for every receiver up to $ 300.00

3) If you plan to cancel or terminate your contract early, it will cost 20.00 for every incomplete month do the math.

4) If you gave the agent your credit card at the initial sale, expect your card to be charged should you cancel or terminate your services early....they will not reimburse you for overdraft fees so don't ask. 5) All prices are subject to change at any time even if you are in a contract agreement, that's right it will NEVER go down.

6) You do not need a phone line to get dTV do not let anyone tell you otherwise.

7) After service starts you have 24 hours to cancel the service beyond that you are stuck in a contract for 24 months.

8) At any point you plan to upgrade your equipment to a DVR or HDDVR, understand you are renewing your contract for an additional 24 months.

9) If your equipment is faulty(you didn't break it), and a tech comes out to replace it and you active that receiver, you are renewing your contract for another 24 months.

10) If opt out of the protection plan, and a tech comes out to fix anything expect a charge anywhere between 45-100.00.

11 If you EVER purchase DTV equipment from Bestbuy/Sam'sClub/Costco, might as well buy it from DTV. These are DTV vendors, so yes you are signing a 24 month agreement by purchasing these equipment and yes the equipment MUST BE RETURNED TO DTV.
12. DTV on demand feature requires, an hddvr and broadband cable.
13. DTV's DVR only record/pause/rewind on ONE TV. Remember that
14. If your account is canceled you have 15-20 days top, to return dtv's equipment or else your credit card will be charged for not returning the equipment.
     
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localgod on 2011-03-16:
This is helpful OP? Are you trying to dissuade potential victims (er, customers) from Direct's service? If so, job well done, if not...cable's looking pretty good right now.
localgod on 2011-03-16:
I usually don"t answer before reading the whole post but I have another retort. If you purchase the equipment, why do you have to return it to DTV upon cancellation? Just wondering.
tnchuck100 on 2011-03-16:
"5) All prices are subject to change at any time even if you are in a contract agreement, that's right it will NEVER go down."

That, in itself, IS a breach of contract. But, then again, DirecTV's "contract" is so one-sided it can probably be successfully challenged in front of a judge with more than five connected brain cells.

"9) If your equipment is faulty(you didn't break it), and a tech comes out to replace it and you active that receiver, you are renewing your contract for another 24 months."

Why should the customer be penalized for DirecTV's defective LEASED equipment? Personally, under those conditions I would tell DirecTV to pack it in. I would no longer use DirecTV nor would they receive another penny.

"Simple Rules"? - NOT
chemman on 2011-03-16:
I have directv, only because I wanted Sunday ticket when I first moved. I recently wanted to upgrade a few of my secondary receivers to HD. Not only did they want me to pay a few hundred dollars for these "leased" boxes (and still pay $6 a month to lease them)and pay more for the service, they then want to lock me in to another 2 yr contract with them that they can change at any time??? No thanks. If they didn't have a monopoly on Sunday ticket these guys would probably have been out of business a long time ago. I am in the process of switching to cable, they can keep their "simple rules"
Anonymous on 2011-03-16:
I have direcTV and these "simple" rules worry me.
chemman on 2011-03-16:
And I agree tnchuck, #5 is a material change of contract, which would easily allow you to break your contract without a penalty. #9 is the worst-you guys give me some faulty equipment that I am paying to lease from you and if you have to replace I am locked into another 2 years??? These guys are worse than cell phone companies. I'm grateful for this post because it reminded me I need to get off my butt and cancel these bums. I just called my cable company to set up my new installation, so thanks to the OP for a "very Helpful" post!!!
Ram Sassin on 2011-03-16:
@localgod, there are two ways to purchase the equipment either through dtv's vendors or you can purchase the equipment on your own through eBay or Amazon. however before you purchase the equipment online, always run the RID numbers through dtv first to see if the equipment is still under someone else's account. If you purchase(same as leasing) the equipment through the vendors its not yours always remember that. DTV pays vendors a percentage to market their products.
Ram Sassin on 2011-03-16:
@tnchuck100, Let me rephrase, if you are in the first year of your contract, the rates will not change at all. However, that 2nd year dtv has the right to increase their prices on you and will, and that's not a breach of contract. Regarding the equipment being faulty, if your a new customer dtv guarantees the equipment functionality for 90 day that's it. After that your on your own.
Ram Sassin on 2011-03-16:
@ Prince-Cesar, if you have directv don't be worried I am here to just educate the customers on rules. Maybe it shouldn't be called simple rules but its rules you guys should know. I am here to only help that's it don't shoot the messenger. I will be adding more rules soon.
trmn8r on 2011-03-16:
All of this stuff is what I would expect, and much of it I knew from the adverts I have received. People need to read Terms and Conditions before they sign up for any contract -it would make their lives a lot easier.

I would never expect my bill from a telecommunications provider to decrease at any time.
chemman on 2011-03-16:
Ram, I appreciate you coming here to educate customers but I still have to disagree with you-"However, that 2nd year dtv has the right to increase their prices on you and will, and that's not a breach of contract" Please explain how that is not a material change to the contract I signed with Directv and why that wouldn't allow me to exit my contract with them without a fee? Are you a lawyer or are you just repeating what your employer tells you? I guess Dtv has the right to change their contract at any time and the consumer has no right to change their end huh? I would love to see that stand up in court, you guys are just lucky most people don't bother to challenge you on it.
Ram Sassin on 2011-03-16:
@chemman, Maybe that's the problem, consumers need to challenge dtv on these issues, and stop hiding behind these sites. We consumers have so much power, unfortunately am the only one that thinks so. customers need to stop getting excited if they see a fancy flyer with huge discounts and start reading the fine print first. No, I am not an attorney, I am a ex-dtv consumer who go burnt. READ THE FINE PRINT PEOPLE!!!
azRider on 2011-03-16:
these are simplified rules but in general they are the rules. you need to read the contract to see the exact wording. they can change the price up or down, and your signing the contract agrees that you allow this to happen, you need to read the actual legal wording in the contract. its legal and would hold up in court. even if this one item did not hold up it would not invalidate the whole contract (breach), there is a clause that says that one item found not legal does not invalidate the whole contact. this is standard for almost every contract in the history of contracts. basically you need to understand your asking for a service and there are rules to need to follow. same is true for Cable. you have a contract there too. it may not be as large or encompassing, but they have one. for the record, about 2 years ago my satellite TV price did go down by $5 a month. of course the follow year it went up $9, but sometimes it goes down, but mostly it goes up. recently my bill went down $10, then they increased it $5. this was about 4 months ago. I figure I'm still ahead till next year when they will raise to about $8 I figure.
Anonymous on 2011-03-16:
This is a great write-up. If anything this tells me never do business with DTV. NEVER~~EVER.

Thanks for taking the time to share this Ram Sassin.
Ram Sassin on 2011-03-16:
@azRider, thank you for that. Consumers need to understand the rules are the rules. If you don't like the rules stay away or find another company with less rules. Every telco/cable tv company has contract agreement to an extent.
chemman on 2011-03-16:
also, you only guarantee equipment for 90 days??? so let me understand this correctly, if my receiver fails and you guys replace it then you only guarantee that equipment for 90 days but by accepting that equipment it guarantees you guys my business for 730 days. Wow, that seems fair to me!
Anonymous on 2011-03-16:
Just because something is in a contract doesn't mean it's legally enforceable. DTV knows this first hand as they've been popped in the past.
SteveWiginowski on 2011-03-16:
What I don't get is that if you purchase DTV equipment, you have to return it? Doesn't that defeat the idea of a purchase? If I lease it, then I understand that it's to be returned.

Another thing that I never really understood is with some providers you are being charged extra to use their equipment. For example, when I called to get a price on how much it would cost to use Comcast, I was told around $100. Then, when I get my bill I notice additional charges of around $20. They tell me it's to use their equipment, which is charged monthly. I ask them if I can use someone else's equipment and they say no. If I must use their equipment to use Comcast, why wouldn't this charge be part of the $100?
Ram Sassin on 2011-03-16:
When you say you guys, I am not DTV nor do I work for DTV, remember the rules are the rules. I will be writing a remedy to all dtv rules soon.
chemman on 2011-03-16:
Ram, sorry to hear you got burned and thanks for the info. I realize now you don't work for them, sorry. I haven't been burned yet, but these rules just make me mad, I hate how the consumer has so little recourse when it comes to these ridiculously one sided contracts.
Ram Sassin on 2011-03-16:
@SteveWiginwski, DTV have vendors all of over the place marketing and selling their products. these companies receive a percentage of the sales. The vendors do not own the equipment, they are business partners with dtv. They charge to use their equipment to make more money that's the only answer I have.
Ram Sassin on 2011-03-16:
In a few days I will be writing about dishnetwork rules, you think dtv is horrible?
tnchuck100 on 2011-03-16:
One BIG sticking point I have is the "90 day" equipment warranty. That one is pure BS. It is THEIR equipment. I only LEASE it. It is THEIR responsibly to keep it in working order.

Otherwise if I own it then the 90 warranty would make sense.

As I stated previously, if my receiver fails DirecTV WILL replace it at NO CHARGE and NO CONTRACT (I am out of contract now) or they just lose a customer. End of problem. No more monies would be paid either.

Just for info: DirecTV has no valid credit card info for me.
Anonymous on 2011-03-16:
As a current DTV customer..
#9 is false. I've had techs come out a handful of times and have never had my contract extended for service calls.

Ram Sassin on 2011-03-16:
If you had your equipment upgraded from a standard to an advance receiver like an hd or hddvr you are extending your contract without knowing it. Why don't you call dtv and ask how many months you have left on your contract, I will bet money you don't even know how many months you have left.
Anonymous on 2011-03-16:
I have exactly 6 months and 3 days left of my contract and then it's bye bye DirecTV!
danny54 on 2011-03-16:
As someone else may have noted, I don't think these "rules" are unique to DirecTV. Unfortunately, it's the nature of the beast.

I'm not sure how true #2 is. My credit's not the best due to a bankruptcy last year and I didn't have to pay any deposits for equipment. So, either it didn't apply or I just got really lucky.
Ram Sassin on 2011-03-16:
Good Luck!
Ram Sassin on 2011-03-16:
@danny54, were you coming back as an old customer or were you coming back as a new one? Your credit score can be run either using your ss# or your home address. Trust me if your credit ratings is not good you will not receive free equipment.
Anonymous on 2011-03-16:
That is why they agreed to pay a huge judgment out. They were sued by a few AGs for these crooked practices.
Ram Sassin on 2011-03-16:
@wallyworld, that is true they did get sue, but the customers were the ones that suffered the most. The settlement funds went to the AG's offices and their staff, not the consumers!!! FYI, AG and dtv lay in the same bed
Anonymous on 2011-03-16:
Frankly, I don't know why anyone is paying for satellite TV anymore anyway, when you can watch almost everything online.
MRM on 2011-03-16:
Or get free tv broadcast via over-the-air.
Ram Sassin on 2011-03-16:
that is so true, currently dtv boasted 19.1 million customers
Anonymous on 2011-03-16:
Ram> Curious what the ratio of satisfied customers is of that 19.1 million?
Ram Sassin on 2011-03-16:
If I had to do my research I would say about 65%.
The Truth on 2011-07-28:
@Ram Sassin, Rule 9 is subjective, most equipment replacements from DirecTV techs are a similar model receiver, If a tech gives you a free upgrade to replace your faulty equipment instead of the same model you had, then how is it wrong to extend a customer's contract, when every other customer has to extend their's when they upgrade. It would be your fault for accepting the advanced receiver replacement over the standard replacement. Rule #5 in the contract you sign, It states clearly that DirecTV can change prices and promotions at discretion. If your rebates run out or if you change your package and cancel out rebates you had coming, of course your price will go up. What company will give a discounted product, and then discount it further, for no reason, while you are under contract with them. OF COURSE IT WILL NOT GO DOWN. Unless you downgrade your package that is. Tech visits run 49.95 unless you ask for custom work, or it is to repair a custom install(Also a matter of personal responsibility). If needed, the protection plan can be added to the account at the time of need. What other insurance or extended coverage do you know of that can be taken out when you actually need it, and not beforehand. Try getting a car insured after having an accident then submitting a claim. Not to mention it only costs 10 dollars to cancel the protection plan within the first 12 months, and the 49.95 tech visit comes with a 90 day warranty on the entire system that will be renewed again if the tech has to come back out within those 90 days, for another 90 days. Try that with an auto mechanic. Rule 11, the amount you pay is not to purchase the receiver, it is a lease start up fee. The full price of an HD-DVR is close to $600 dollars versus the $199 start up fee. Besides why would you not want to send back your receiver when you are done using it. By that time it will be outdated by newer tech anyway. These rules only seem harsh when you leave out any of the benefits and focus on the negative aspects. Problems only really arise when incorrect expectations are set in the beginning of a contract that is not fully researched. Or when you get a whiny, spoiled, entitled, consumer, looking to get champagne on a beer budget.
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I've Been Robbed
Posted by on
I have been a DirecTV customer for nearly 10 years. However, after constant rate hikes and horrible customer service experiences, I decided to make a change.

I cancelled my DirecTV service in December. I was told by them that I would have to send back my leased receivers and that they would be sending boxes and pre-posted labels for me to do so. I received the boxes on Thursday, a full two months after cancelling my service. I was on vacation until Saturday, but planned to return the equipment today.

I was reconciling my bank account on Saturday and noticed a charge from DirecTV. They had debited my checking account for $750.00, without my knowledge.

I was concerned. So, I called customer service. They informed me that the charge was for the equipment that I had not returned. Apparently, they used the debit card on file that I used every month to pay my bill, to debit my account. I was told that part of my contract agreement allowed them to do so to cover unreturned equipment.

The boxes came on Thursday, but they debited my account on Friday.

I shipped the receivers first thing this morning. When I returned home I called customer service again to inform them that the equipment was on the way and that I would be expecting a complete refund. I was then informed that as soon as they received the shipment the refund would be processed. It would take about 6-8 weeks for me to get a check from them.

So, DirecTV has my $750, which I did not know they were taking. It took them one day to get the money, but it will take 6-8 weeks for me to get it back.

Is this legal? Has anybody else dealt with this kind of garbage?
     
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dan gordon on 2011-03-07:
yes I just went through this with Dish. Once you give them permission to take your money they have carte blanche to do what they wish. It makes me seriously reconsidering my auto pay decisions.
Whiteduck on 2011-03-08:
I cancelled with DirectTV after 3 years. The U-Verse people said I should wait until their stuff was up and working before I cancelled. I did that. DirectTV sent out a box about a week later (it came by UPS or FedEx) and I sent out the boxes. Received a check in the mail about 4 weeks later for $28 (which was evidently my credit with them at time of cancellation).

So, I guess they CAN do it right, so I'm curious why it went so wrong for the OP...
Sassy2 on 2011-03-08:
Whiteduck.. you are the exception! DTV is notorious for quickly deducting money from customers accounts but very reluctant to pay it back! they give excuse after excuse because you will never talk to the same person twice and no one writes anything down about your calls. most of the time they do not refund your money. they will come up with bogus charges for movies or anything they can think of to keep your money.
o2binmyjeep.. It would be wise to contact FedEx and make sure the boxes were received by DirecTV because often times Direct will say they did not get them.If DTV debited your credit card you can dispute the charges and some banks will accept a dispute.
trmn8r on 2011-03-08:
Yes, I believe it is legal. Any time that you have a company's equipment, and you stop service, you need to be proactive to get it back ASAP.

If I hadn't received the boxes within two weeks of cancellation, I would have been calling regularly to find out why they hadn't been received.

I don't mean to make this your "fault" - just to point out that we need to look out for our own interests. Make sure to keep the tracking info and verify the packages were received.

It is a lousy situation, but you should get your money back. Good luck.
Ram Sassin on 2011-03-15:
Just speak with customer service about the issue, let them know what happened. It takes about 6-8 weeks to get your money back no joke. Try to be polite and be firm.
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Direct TV - Award for pathetic customer service
Posted by on
My company transferred me from Chicago to Connecticut recently. I was a Comcast customer for the last 3 years and I couldn't transfer my connection. After coming to CT, I thought of going for a bundle package with direct TV. I talked to their representative and agreed to a package consists of TV and internet. She quoted the price and terms of agreement and I was fine with that. She created a new account, then created my order for the TV portion of the bundle and transferred me to internet group. Then started the "fun", they don't provide the same service for the price the earlier representative agreed. Either I have to pay $10/month more or have to go with a service which is 5 times slower that what was agreed on. Then I said, I would cancel the call. They game a number to call. This was around 7.00pm EST. Then they started transferring my call from one person to another and I explained my issue to each of these person. This carried out till 9.16pm (2 hours 16 minutes) and by this time I talked to 11 representatives. Then I talked to a 12th representative and asked her to transfer the call to her manager. Then I was on hold for 23 minutes... and the time was 9.39pm. Then I cut the call and called again. Another (13th) representative took the call. I had her transfer the call to her manager (a 14th person). She asked all the question from the beginning and said she would transfer my call to internet guys back!!!. I insisted that I wanted to cancel my order. Then she transferred it to another guy (15th person). When I talked to him, he said he wasn't the right person and transferred the call again. Now I am with the 16th person. She started begging "please don't cancel our service. don't take the internet go with the TV". This continued for the next 25 minutes. By the time I got my service called, it was 10.23pm EST (3 hours 23 minutes)!. The worst service I have ever experienced in my life... These guys have to learn a lot about customer service from Apple and Comcast. Apple has the best customer service I have seen till now. Comcast - if they made a mistake in price quote, they will bear the cost and make customer happy. Direct TV guys are pathetic.
     
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Alain on 2011-01-08:
No wonder Direct TV has such lousy ratings.
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False Advertisement, And Predatory Policies
Posted by on
I once was a satisfied Direct TV customer. I touted what a great company it was. Since I moved and discontinued my service I had been campaigning to have my significant other change from Dish to Direct TV. Finally I went ahead and responded to what appeared to be a great promotion that was e-mailed to me.

This e-mailed promotion indicated that I could have Direct TV for $34.99 for 12 months. There were no terms or conditions listed in the e-mail. I later went back to look at this and found that if I scrolled down below the advertised box it indicated terms and conditions could be found on their web site. (But I noticed that was after it was too late.) I called the representative which had quite an accent. Was I speaking with someone in India? He assured me that I could get the channels I wanted and a DVR for the monthly amount of $34.99. There was no mention of any other terms or conditions so I decided to get the service.

The representative signed me up, with my "new" address and phone number and scheduled a time for installation. That day came and went, no one came and no one called. I called the next day and asked why didn't you come? Reply the installer could not find your house. If he couldn't find the house how come you didn't have the courtesy to call me and let me know? Reply because the phone number was not good. I provided the representative the correct phone number again and checked to see if they had the correct street address and rescheduled. That day came and I am getting concerned because it is getting late. Finally at the end of the day I get a call from the installation company, they can't find the address. We checked the address and yes they had the correct street address, but the zip code was off 1 digit. That meant that they could not install again because that was a different city! I called the representative again and complained. This representative said that we would have to cancel the original request and re-enter everything again. He assured me that I was getting the same package as I had signed up for the first time. However it would take another 2 weeks before they had someone available to install the equipment.

That means that I would have been waiting for installation for over a month! I'm thinking this isn't working very well and decide to think about it. Then the installing company called me and said he could install in 2 days and he would call Direct TV and arrange it. 2 days later the installer comes does his thing, it is late and he is in a hurry, hands me paperwork to sign telling me that he has to go. It is a full sheet of small print and I am being pressured to sign, so I do so. Approximately 20 minutes after he has left I have finished reading and find out that I just signed up to 24 months. I naively believed that if there are terms and conditions they must be disclosed prior to installation. I am dismayed and feeling that I've just been had. If I had known that the package was going to cost me an additional $65 for 12 months beyond the 12 months at the agreed upon amount of $34.99 I would not have signed up. Kicking myself I figure I'm stuck. In the meantime I receive 2 separate e-mails from Direct TV telling me that I have received $25 credit added to my account for a total credit of $50, so I decide to suck it up.

Fast forward 2 months later I start receiving phone calls from Direct TV telling me that I am past due and owe a large sum of money and in danger of having my service turned off. How can that be if I have $50 credit and a monthly fee of $34.99? I speak to the representative and find out that I have been charged over $65 a month and they want payment in full now. I talked to several representatives and everyone had something different from say. I demanded to see a copy of my bills. I had not received any in the mail and needed them to see what I was being charged. I was extended and promised that copies of the bills would be mailed. We verified the mailing address and guess what; they had the wrong billing address! A week later no bills had come even though they promised I would receive them in time. I am done speaking to reps on the phone. From now on it is e-mail only. I start e-mailing them every day asking for copies of the bills and am repeatedly given canned answers, threats, and referred to the web site to collect copies of my bills.

I stated that I was having difficulty opening an on line account because it wouldn't let me in. I requested that they e-mail me my bills, or fax them to me, to at least give me a chance to see them before the turned off my service. Finally I received help getting on the website 1 day after they shut me off. I have probably spent 20 hours of my time trying to work with Direct TV by this time and not enjoying their service any more. I speak with a supervisor who provides me with a bunch of credits and I think that I have finally gotten everything straightened out. Then comes the next bill for $65. I pay $34.99 and send them notice that I have signed up with them for 12 months at that rate. Then the phone calls again, you are past due and if you don't pay the amount due in full we will shut you off. I decide to open an envelope I have from Direct TV and it is a letter telling me that I do not qualify for the rebate because I didn’t register within the time limit.

I immediately e-mail them and ask what are you talking about, your letter is the first I have heard about a rebate. Apparently in order to get the discounted rate of $34.99 you have to sign up for a rebate on line. Pretty convenient how they forgot to let me in on that essential piece of information. I spent many hours arguing on the phone and e-mailing regarding this issue. Their final decision stands; I owe $65 a month for 24 months. They broke the verbal contract that we entered into, refused to honor it and turned me off. I cancelled my service and since they had a credit card on file I notified the credit card company that I expected there to be fraudulent charges put on the card and closed the account. I sent them back their DVR in their recovery packet, and am presently dealing with the collection agency. Apparently Direct TV failed to let them know that the amount due is in dispute, an amount in excess of $400.

I will fight until I have no other options and will go to court if necessary. I refuse to be lied to, robbed, or forced onto my knees by their aggressive disregard for customer rights. I issued them a check for the pro-rated rate at $34.99 a month minus the credits they gave me. I am looking for all avenues to file a complaint against Direct TV and would love a class action suit. Got any ideas?

Bamboozled & Disgusted
     
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Soaring Consumer on 2009-07-08:
Write the collections agency a letter of dispute in certified mail.

Contact your state's Office of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division.
Anonymous on 2009-07-08:
Unfortunately the collection company will have a copy of the signed contract. Verbal contracts are nothing.
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Worst Customer Service-Worst Installers
Posted by on
KENT, WASHINGTON -- We ordered Direct TV service in late December. The first installation appointment they could give us was January 19, 2009. On that day, installation day, after during the previous week receiving no less than 2 emails confirming the installation, Direct TV called and left a voicemail on our answering machine that they would not be able to come out because they didn't even have installation crews in Washington State. Now, I ask you, why would they schedule an installation for a day that they didn't even have a crew? Because we had much work to do to removed old unwanted wiring and were planning on doing this at the same time as the installation, we had both taken the day off at a cost to us of $400 plus dollars. We called Direct TV and arranged another date of February 8, 2009. We were told at that time that we would be given a $100 missed appointment credit. The installer showed up with the wrong equipment. He spoke very little English and communication was very difficult. After explaining to him that we had ordered HD DVR's not just standard, his comment (rude) was 'What do you want me to do about it?'

He said we should just continue with the installation and sort it out the following week as it was Sunday. We decided not to do that and called Direct TV immediately. The customer service person that I spoke with said that it was good that I called, because had I signed his form when he left, I was signing indicating that I was happy and what was installed was what I ordered. She suggested that I stop the installation. At this point, because he had already torn out my Dish Network system, dish & wiring, I told her that I would be without television until they could get the correct stuff out to me and that this was unacceptable. She put in an escalated complaint, told me to have him finish the install, sign the paperwork and make a note on the paperwork indicating this. I did all this and she then rescheduled me an appointment for March 8, 2009 for another installer from Ironwood Communications to come out with the HD equipment and dish. I asked her about the missed appointment credit from January 19 and she said that she could not honor that because it had not been properly filed and there was a form that should have been filled out. This was never offered. We were just told that it would happen. There was some confusion as to whether or not I wanted to HD DVR's or one on this phone call and because I thought it was going to cost an additional $200, I said one.

Then when I figured out she meant $200 total including the $99 I had already paid in December 2008 to get this going, I said, okay then two. She said she couldn't undo this but would make a note on the file that when I purchased a separate HD DVR from an outside source and called to activate it, they would then issue a $100 credit to my account and gave me a confirmation number. So, here we are present day (now 3 months after originally arranging all of this). March 8, I go to work, my husband is home on the couch. I get home from work at 2:00 P.M. (install scheduled for between 12 P.M. - 4 P.M. ). I asked him if he had heard from Direct TV or the installer and he said 'no.' I called to find out what the problem was and they said that the installer had been out and no one was home. MY HUSBAND WAS SITTING ON THE COUCH RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE DOOR, but you cannot see our driveway from the house. The installer apparently called the landline phone, but because someone was either on the phone or it was busy, he just indicated we were not home. WE WERE HOME. HE DIDN'T GET OUT OF HIS TRUCK AND WALK TO OUR DOOR.

I called on March 8 and spent 3 hours on the phone and had it escalated to 2 different supervisors. Finally the last supervisor told me that today, March 9, someone would call me by 8:30 A.M. to schedule a same day installation. No one called from Ironwood Communications. At 12 P.M. someone from Direct TV did call to find out if the installer had been out. My husband indicated that 'no, no one had been out'. He was told that they would call and find out what the ETA was on the installer but that they could schedule someone to again come out on Monday, March 10. My husband told that person that that was unacceptable because we had to go to work and we should not have to take off yet a 5th day for this. At 2:30 P.M. on March 9, I called Direct TV again and was given to yet another supervisor who said that we had indicated that we wanted the install on March 10 and that someone would be out.

Finally, furious, I said to them to send me a box so I could return this equipment. She told me that I would have to pay A CANCELLATION FEE OF $400 because I had agreed to a 24 month service and because I had signed the installers paperwork on February 8, 2009 I was stating that I had received what I ordered, regardless of my complaint on that very day! Then she very sunnily informed me that my service agreement of 24 months stood and that I would be billed for $20 per month for the duration of the contract if I wanted me service cancelled. I don't know what else to do. I am not getting what I ordered. I ordered 2 HD DVR's and two standard receivers. I have missed or my husband has missed 4 days of work, I have been on the phone for hours and no one seems to want to make it right and then I find out I can't even cancel!?
     
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Soaring Consumer on 2009-03-08:
Contact the office of the Attorney General and the FCC.

You should not have to pay one cent because they never performed the contracted setup and thus you never got service. They breached the contract first.
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Cancellation with No Notification - Loss of Days Pay
Posted by on
NORTH CAROLINA -- Below is the complaint I sent to Direct TV

Attn: Someone who cares!

I can only explain my issue by summarizing the turn of events.

Tuesday, February 12th: I called Direct TV to order Direct TV at my new home located on (address) in North Carolina. I had already had ATT phone and online service and wanted to add Direct TV for the 3 package deals. The order went very smooth. I had some past credit issues which put me in the category of being requested to leave a sizable deposit of $300 plus the added install or equipment fees which at the end totaled $400. I paid that with no problem and Direct TV was very eager to accept it. I scheduled my install appointment. I was hoping for that Saturday install (February 9th) but I was told my earliest available appointment would have to be Friday, February 22nd. I was not happy about the almost 2 week wait but due to my previous great experience with having Direct TV in 2005 or 2006, it was worth the wait. I tried to get the appointment moved up but was denied very coldly with the option to cancel my order if I was not satisfied. (This should have been my first red flag of the customer service I was to endure in the future).

There was no need for the threat and is not a great customer satisfaction tactic. A simple "No I am so sorry but this is the best we can do due to the technicians already packed schedule" would have definitely went down a little smoother. But I was locked in for the 22nd and couldn't wait for the date. I decided to take the Friday off so that I could be there for the installation appointment. (Normal and very common action taken by customers awaiting utility services).

Thursday, February 21st: Trying to be proactive as to not allow room for any reason my installation would not go through, I called Direct TV Thursday night to make sure the technician would bring the special HDTV wires needed to install my service. I spoke with a representative (I do not have her name but I am sure my account was noted) and she pulled up my account by my name and phone #. I expressed to her that I wanted to make sure the technician "coming out tomorrow" supplied the wires or I would run out and get them. She informed me that the tech would have all the necessary wiring to complete the job. I felt assured and wished her a goodnight.

Friday, February 22nd @ around 10:30am: I phoned Direct TV just to make sure we were still on schedule and I hadn't missed the doorbell or something because that can happen. When the representative pulled up my account I was informed that my installation appointment had been canceled. I was flabbergasted. I inquired as to why and was told that it was canceled because I had an unsettled balance at my previous address back in NJ from 2005 or 2006. Well my first question was, I spoke to the representative last night and she said nothing about my appointment being canceled, what did she miss??? My next question was, well why didn't anyone call me? She informed me that she didn't know but it was Direct TV's policy to cancel and order if there was a balance pending. I can understand that, but again, Why was I not informed of the cancellation. Needless to say I was livid and still am. I took off of work for this install. There are a lot of Direct TV customers that take off for their Direct TV install. It is a common trade off for work being done. But today I am out of work for nothing. Today I lost money because I am a contractor and get paid for hours worked and I stayed home for nothing.

Why? Because Direct TV did not contact me to let me know that my appointment was canceled. The representative could tell that I was fuming and what she informed me was, "Well if you pay the balance owed I can still get a technician out to you today." (1st lie on behalf of Direct TV) I paid the $100 balance owed and she put me on hold to process the payment. She then gets back on the phone to tell me that she couldn't get my order processed for installation today and that the best she could do was for tomorrow, Saturday, February 23rd. Well lets take my current situation into account, Direct TV now has over $500 dollars of my money and I have been out of cable waiting for Direct TV almost 2 weeks. And still in the back of my mind I am remembering the fantastic service I had with Direct TV back in NJ so of course I take the appointment but I have to speak with someone about what I just experienced, in hopes that Direct TV would make good on their oops because I am still out of work, No Pay, for this day and now I have to be home all day Saturday waiting for service and because my husband has to work and I have to be at the house all day, my daughter has to miss a Birthday party that she has been looking forward to for the last three weeks. All of this because I couldn't get a courtesy call or letter from Direct TV instructing me or advising me to call in and settle the matter or else cancellation will ensue.

Friday, February 22nd @ around noon: After simmering down I decided to call into Direct TV so I could get some sort of resolve for this oops. Here is when things go from irritable to darn right disgusting as far as Direct TV's business practices are concerned and your approach toward customer relations and overall customer satisfaction. I have to start by letting you know that I am a seven year veteran of AT&T/Avaya/Lucent customer service department and know all to well about satisfying customers and the approaches we as corporations should take when we ( the corporations) make mistakes. We all make mistakes but when a mistake is made, and apology is warranted, and admittance of error is acknowledged and some form of compensation is initiated or offered. Well Direct TVs approach begins and ends at "Sorry". I first spoke with Tiffany and very calmly and politely recanted the events that I had experienced and I informed her that I wanted to speak with someone who could help me with my situation. She politely responded "OK well I am sorry for that, please hold and I will find someone for you".

Well I got Tiffany back on the phone and she responded "I am sorry but there is no one that can help you with that". Of course that was not good enough for me. Lets remember, I took off a day of work, no pay, to find out the day of my installation that I had been canceled. I asked to speak with her manager and she replied, "That will not be necessary because they will tell you the same thing." I replied, "OK, well let me her it from him or her." She put me on hold for about three minutes and I get another cold emotionless representative on the phone by the name of Ken. I ask him "Do I need to recap or did Tiffany fill you in?" He says, "Yeah she explained it and I can't do anything for you, there is no compensation available for you". Now I know that Direct TV can do better than that. He went on to state Direct TVs policy on order cancellation. I asked him why was I not informed? At first he said, he didn't know. Very nonchalant attitude. I repeated to him that I understood the cancellation, my problem is Why wasn't I given a call? He said "Well I don't know if you were or not." So I asked him to check and he snapped, "I am doing that now". I waited and he said, "We have on record that you were contacted but there was no answer." Again, I took off of work for this appointment. Most people do.

WHY WAS I NOT CONTACTED? WHY DIDN'T SOMEONE LEAVE A MESSAGE? My appointment was scheduled almost 2 weeks out, I could have received a letter in the mail as to such. Nothing. Have some consideration. I expressed all of this to Ken, and he went on to patronize me about having a balance. I repeated that the balance wasn't my problem, obviously, I paid it with no problem. He then started in about it was my choice to take the day off. I am an adult, not a peon. I know it was my choice, where is the courtesy is all I am asking. Where is the "Best Business Practice"? Where is the consideration for others? Is it Direct TV's policy to not consider those that owe a balance, there business is not appreciated or worth consideration? I wanted to speak with someone higher. He said there was no one. I asked did he have a manager. He said there was tons of managers but that they would tell me the same thing. So I asked to speak with one and he said specifically, "No I am not going to do that." I said , you have a customer on the phone that is disgruntled and unsatisfied and you deny me to speak with someone who has more authority that you? He said, "Yes, that is what I am saying."

So just to be clear I asked him, "So what you are saying here is that you scheduled an appointment with me so I took the day off and you later cancel my appointment without contacting me so I miss a days pay for nothing and that is good business practice, specifically Direct TV's business practice?" He would not answer my question. He just continued to repeat that I had a balance and that is why it was canceled and it was their right and their policy and he was not going to continue the conversation with me. So again I asked to speak with his manager and he denied me again. So I asked him who I contact or write in my complete. He said specifically, "I am the person". I said so there is no hotline or address that addresses complaints, who polices you? He said, "No". So I said to him, "OK I just want to be clear on your position, which is Direct TVs final position on this since complaints don't go pass you......" Then he cut me off and snapped, "Mam I am going to get a manager on the phone to tell you the same thing" and put me on hold.

Next up is the ever so cold and condescending Jeremiah. The same conversation ensues. No admittance of wrong doing. He even goes so far as to say, "It's not my problem that you took a day off. You could waited until you had a day off or you could have taken a vacation day. First of all, you don't know my employment situation. Even if I had used a vacation day. It was a day less vacation that I would have used for nothing. Ya know, you Ms. Betiw, Ms. Filipiak, may think all of this is petty but its the principle and the denial of wrong doing and the reverting of responsibility that eats me up more than missing the money. Instead of Tiffany, Ken or Jeremiah saying to me, "Mam, I hear what you are saying and we were wrong. This is not the way Direct TV does business, this was an uncommon occurrence, but unfortunately we do not have the power here to make anything happen but I sympathize with what you experienced. Let me get you this number or this address so that you can write in a formal complaint, chronicle what happened to you, and hopefully then something can be done because this was an unfortunate miss on our part." I would have eaten that and followed through with the appropriate next steps.

But it was the cold, "I can't do anything for you, it was your fault this happened, well you should have chosen another day or waited till you had off, well technically you should have been denied the order to begin with (which was stated by Jeremiah to slam me not realizing that he had just exposed another flaw in your process)" that took this complaint to another level. JUST NASTY! AnD truly uncalled for. Then to be lied to by the woman who took my money for the balance owed and still didn't get my appoint. To be lied to by Ken that there was no one over him or no complaints department. Then to be lied to by Jeremiah stating there was no legal department, misleading me giving me the address to customer service but later admitting that the legal department was in California and refusing to give me that address. Then treating me like I was a child saying he would put me on hold until all he told me sank in. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? After you have over $500 of my money, with me missing a days pay just because you couldn't leave me a message and I still don't have my cable installed. This is unacceptable and I am not going to stop with this complaint or letting as many consumers aware of Direct TVs poor customer support in regard to the department that handles North Carolina.

I never had this issue back in New Jersey. What a shame. And all it took was me to put in "Direct TV customer complaints" in the Google.com's search field and was barraged by noted complaints regarding your customer service practices. So I'll add mine to all of the lists and go further until someone stops and addresses this issue. What a small complaint to go so wrong just to deny a mistake and supply resolution. Ken snapped with the question, "Well what do you want from us?" Coupons to the piggly wiggly would have sufficed in exchange for the asses I was given to kiss.

Utterly unsatisfied,
Mrs. Randle

Lastly, did I mention that I asked Jeremiah and Ken for all of the policies they were throwing at me in writing and they said they didn't have to give it to me and that it was not my right to receive it. They said they didn't have to give me anything in writing. What company does not have their policies in writing? And to add insult to injury, you need to actually contact Avaya/Lucent to get their Merlin Legend or Definitely phones that block out background sounds so that the customers calling in with complaints can't hear the audience of people laughing at the heated exchange in the background. I'll be sure to let that be known on the public complaint web sites as well.
     
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bargod on 2008-02-22:
Holy novel,Batman. I will try to finish this over the weekend and have a response by Monday.
Anonymous on 2008-02-22:
If you had paid DirecTV what you owed them a couple of years ago none of this would have happened.
Anonymous on 2008-02-22:
Wow, five bad satellite TV reviews in one day and counting. Think we may be on a record pace here. DirecTV's approval rating has dropped to 3%, all these fine people can't all be wrong?

Think Nikituca pretty much summed it up with his last comments:

"Lastly, did I mention that I asked Jeremiah and Ken for all of the policies they were throwing at me in writing and they said they didn't have to give it to me and that it was not my right to receive it. They said they didn't have to give me anything in writing. What company does not have their policies in writing?"
RSX on 2008-07-30:
I applaud you for summing up your frustration; hope customers learn from this and drop DirecTV. I had them once and was not excited with service I am getting. TX
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Terrible service, notstop lies
Posted by on
CALIFORNIA -- In December 2006 I contacted DirecTV to ask about switching from cable to satellite. I asked the salesman a number of questions regarding channels available, price, and above all, whether personal information was shared with telemarketers.

I later found out he had lied to me about every one of these questions.

Not knowing at the time that I had been given false information, I made an appointment for installation. Since DirecTV does not install on Saturday, and I work all week, I waited for the end of the year, as my employer closes for a week over the December holiday.

I received numerous and contradictory calls from machines making and breaking appointments. On two occasions no one showed when I was expecting an installer. An installer showed up on a day when a machine had actually cancelled. He installed the satellite, but since the installer and DirecTV home office were not in agreement, the signal had not been turned on. The installer called DirecTV and was put into voice mail hell. He was already late to his next appointment so told me to call. He also said the final step in installation was supposed to be programming the remote but he had no time.

It took numerous calls and hours on hold before the signal was finally turned on. I had to threaten to cancel and return to Comcast before I got a reply.

Over the past year I had two contacts with DirecTV, both of them bad experiences. On one occasion, I was not receiving any signal at all so I called to see if there was a problem. The representative refused to tell me, saying I had to place a service call, which I would be required to pay for even if it turned out the problem was at their end. I did not place a service call and the signal was restored next day. In the fall, I emailed asking about NBA League Pass. I asked if HDTV was a requirement. I received an automatically generated reply. Automatically generated replies only seek key words, in this case HDTV. The reply was all about installing HDTV. I answered that I was interested in NBA League Pass, not HDTV. Again, the automatically generated reply picked up HDTV and responded about installing HDTV. After four tries, I finally was able to add NBA League Pass.

Since my employer again was closed for the week at the end of this year, I thought this would be a good time to finally complete the installation. I contacted DirecTV by telephone on Friday, December 21. I spent 20 minutes on hold hearing a synthetic voice repeat the same two commercials over and over and over and over and over and over. Then I was cut off. I never spoke to a human.

I emailed DirecTV on Monday, December 24. They ignored me.

I called DirecTV on Wednesday, December 26. A representative scheduled my appointment for Friday, December 28, between 8 AM and noon. I explained it would hardly take four hours, but was told I had to accept a four-hour window. I told the representative that DirecTV had a bad history of not showing up for appointments. He said he would be sure I got a confirmation call on Thursday, December 27.
No one called me.

I was waiting for an installer on Friday, December 28. After two hours I was getting nervous; I was well within the four-hour window but since I had not received a confirmation call I worried that no one would show up and I would be left sitting for four hours for nothing. I called DirecTV. I spent 20 minutes on hold hearing a synthetic voice repeat the same two commercials over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. When a person finally got on the line, she sounded like a machine. I said I wanted to know if someone was showing up. She did not know and said she would put me on hold. I said that was unacceptable as I had already been on hold for 20 minutes. I said to either answer or give me a supervisor. She kept repeating that she “understood” my situation, which was a lie. She could not understand since she was not experiencing it. She also kept repeating fake apologies. I told her I did not want to hear any fake apologies. The customer service had been terrible for a year. If DirecTV was sorry, they would have fixed it, not compounded it. She still kept repeating the fake apologies no matter how many times I said not to. Clearly, she was reading from a script and was not going to deviate from the script no matter what a customer said.

She eventually put me on hold even though I said not to. I heard the same synthetic voice repeat the same two commercials over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Then a supervisor came on. He said he did not know if anyone was going to show up and would put me on hold. I said that was unacceptable. I also told him that, when asked about DirecTV, I always reply that I cannot recommend DirecTV because the service is so poor. He said he was sorry I felt that way. He was not sorry your service is poor, only that I think it is.

He put me on hold and I heard the same synthetic voice repeat the same two commercials over and over and over and over and over. Then someone from installation came on the line (a three-way call) and said I was scheduled for installation between 10 and 2. I said that I had been told 8 to 12 and really could not sit there until 2, as I had other things to do. The supervisor said to wait while he connected me to someone else. Instead he cut me off. He had my telephone number. I waited 10 minutes for him to call back. He did not.

I sent DirecTV an email. They ignored me.
I had no choice but to call again. This time I was on hold even longer, hearing the same synthetic voice repeat the same two commercials over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. When a human finally answered, I simply said to connect me with the customer service manager. She did not have access to anyone above call center supervisor. She put me on hold although I said not to. I heard the same synthetic voice repeat the same two commercials over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over. Another supervisor came on the line. He mispronounced my phonetic name and called me “Mrs.” even though I am not married. He put me on hold. I heard the same synthetic voice repeating the same two commercials over and over and over and over and over and over. While I was on hold, the installers arrived. It was then 11:05 AM. I had been on the telephone since 9:45. I was concerned, but not angry, when I started calling. After one hour and twenty minutes on the phone, I was in a state of absolute fury.

The installer looked at the satellite and said he had never seen installation like that; it certainly was not standard. I said it worked most of the time and leave it be since I did not want to have to schedule another appointment. The installer then discovered that the remote could not be programmed with my television, as the television is too old. I would have to buy a new television and have another installation. I said no way would I do that.
The installers explained that the reason they were so late was because DirecTV had given them the correct street address but the wrong city. Being unable to find my address in the city where it is not located, they called DirecTV and got voice mail hell. They also told me that it is required that callers be placed in voice mail hell to hear the synthetic voice repeat the same two commercials over and over and over and over and over and over. Employees do not have the option of muting. They MUST force customers to hear that garbage. Over and over and over and over and over and over and over.
Sunday, December 30, at 9 AM my telephone rang. When I answered, a machine said this was a courtesy call from DirecTV. I had thought you could not possibly get any lower, but DirecTV managed just that. Machines do NOT make courtesy calls. Humans make courtesy calls. The machine said to press one if I was not satisfied with my experience. Although I was very busy, I pressed one. I was immediately put on hold and another machine started repeating how important my call was. Finally a human answered. She immediately demanded in a robotic voice my “telephone number, area code first”. I said no, they had compounded the hours of hell they put me through by having a machine call me and I wanted a courtesy call from a human. Before I had completed the sentence, she had hung up on me.
This is DirecTV’s idea of “courtesy”.
Today, January 7, I got a call at home. DirecTV knows I work during the day. The caller, "Amanda" left the general phone number so I could call and get voice mail hell again. She also sent an email inviting me to call and get voice mail hell. Clearly, she knew I could not reply to her call since I had no direct line.

Update 2/4/08: I got a call from a woman who said she was a customer service supervisor in response to all my emails. I asked her about the long waits on hold, being hung up on, lied to, etc. She said that any actions by their employees were proprietary and could not be discussed. We could only discuss billing or tech issues. Period. I asked her the name of the customer service manager since my letter was ignored. She refused to tell me and said if DirecTV wants to ignore a letter from a customer that is their prerogative. The only time DirecTV did not lie was when they said they had no accountability.

A week later I got a call from another woman. She said she had seen my letter and referred it to "upper management". She offered me a $10 discount. I said that was fine but did not answer the problems. She said "upper management" would contact me. Of course no one did.

Saturday I got the regular bill from DirecTV. They billed me $70 for a "service call" even though the call was to complete intallation which they should have done a year earlier, no service was provided, AND I asked if I would be charged for this call and was told I would not be. I sent a furious email and got an automatically generated form letter saying they "understood" my frustration and I need to call voice mail hell. My reply was not printable on a family web site. I sent another letter which they will ignore. I paid the bill less $70 and sent a note that it was in error. Nothing short of the threat of jail time will get me to pay them $70 for putting me throughn weeks of hell.
     
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Dray on 2008-01-12:
I have been through a similar hell as you have described...voice mail, "let me find a supervisor", and tech no-show hell since 12/15/07. I just experienced another no-show today (number 5), was supposed to hear from someone about getting another technician out here today, and not surprisingly, at 6:30 p.m. I still have not heard from anyone. DirectTV and Ironwood kiss my backside! It is unethical to put anyone through this misery.
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