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DirecTV Charged Customer $600.00 After House Fire
Posted by Iplabs on 10/13/2010
On September 20th 2010 our house was 75% destroyed in a fire. As a result we were forced to moved into an apartment. We called to take care of all the utilities and other necessities one must deal with when dealing with a disaster of this magnitude. DirecTV used our confusion and grief as an opportunity to take advantage of us. Never informing us that by waiting 7 days we could cancel our service with no penalties, or, as the other utilities did, offer to postpone the contract during reconstruction.

While changing services to the nearly destroyed house I called DirecTV. DirecTV was accommodating at first and we agreed to move the service temporarily to our new domicile since we would need it back in a year or so when our home is rebuilt. Even with this they charged us for 3 receivers even though only 1 was destroyed. I did not object to paying for these, however, as we all know used electronics are worth very little, and charging me for these old boxes seemed desperate on their part. DirecTV sent installers to our temporary residence, the installers were unable to complete the install because they claimed they could not access the attic, and wanted to drill through the exterior walls and tape the coaxial cables to the floor, to which I objected. I called DirecTV and informed them of the situation. DirecTV informed me that they had no way to deal with this and canceled our DirecTV services. After this I received a bill for $600.00. Naturally I was shocked and called their customer service number (which is located in Mexico) where I spoke with David. David put me on hold for 7 minutes upon which I hung-up and redialed and was connected with Adam, I explained the situation to Adam, who was apathetic, and asked for a supervisor. Adam eventually transferred me to Oscar (I assume a supervisor) who informed me that they would do nothing and would turn the account over to collection, or simply charge my credit card for the total. He even informed me in a condescending voice "Look, we get paid one way or another" and threatened me with a litany of retributions if I did not pay the outrageous amount demanded.

If I was aware of their apathy and incompetence at the time of my first call, I would have simply kept a basic service with DirecTV and piled their equipment in a corner until the house was rebuilt, then resumed our regular services. I was never given this option. In hindsight however this experience has been a frightening eye-opener into how DirecTV actually feels about their customers.

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Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-10-13:
No doubt about it, that is just about as despicable as a company can get. Just reading your link put me in a pissed off mood. I had to think a moment to show some restraint in this comment.

Give them as much grief as you possibly can. They deserve the worst you can give them. Good luck in your fight with them.

This is absolutely greed at its finest.
Posted by DebtorBasher on 2010-10-13:
I agree with you Chuckie!
Iplabs...Take one day at a time. I wish you the best in the future.
Posted by unhappy999 on 2010-10-14:
Sorry about the fire and everything you are going through. In our area, there are sometimes news stories like this where consumer advocate reporters have helped in situations where a company is being unreasonable. I would see if that type of help is available in your area. To avoid the bad publicity on tv, DirecTV may come to their senses and try to resolve this instead of charging you all this money for nothing in return.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2010-10-14:
unhappy, that is good advice. The one thing you said that I would classify as "fantasy" is: "...DirecTV may come to their senses...". DirecTV is incapable of doing that. Their robotic drones are not permitted to use common sense or reason. Money. Produce revenue. The singular goal.
Posted by Sassy2 on 2010-10-20:
If they have your credit card # and you have not done so yet close the account or change the number so they cannot put charges on it.this will buy you some time.Get intouch with your local troubleshooter from a newspaper or tv station in your area ans ask for their help with this
Posted by ok4now on 2010-11-03:
What a horrible story. Talk about greed and taking advantage DirectTV just lowered themselves to the bottom of the cesspool. I would refuse to pay and make them aware of the reason for non-payment.
Posted by bordercollieflower on 2010-11-04:
First off, I am very sorry to hear about your house. I truly hope everything works out in your favor. Second, I am battling them as well. They charged me $608 and told me to forget about the $220 deposit I paid to get the service. I'll be saying a little prayer for you and your family. Good luck in your battle.
Posted by dbtaylor on 2010-11-06:
Glad I read this as my contract is about to expire with DTV. With 9 years experience I've learned the squeaky wheel gets the grease, I call them at least once a month to request a lower bill or some free service letting them know I will switch... most of the time they do comply. if not I just call every chance I get keeping them on the phone asking all types of dumb questions, my favorite is "hold on someones at the door...wow DISH is here offering a sweet package deal... what can you do to keep a customer?" send a TV station advocate and a DTV rep this link... start squeakin!
Posted by imperial357 on 2010-11-08:
DTV is Garbage CS is horrible! File an Order to show cause for these jokers with a news crew at them.
Posted by tired of ripoffs on 2010-11-26:
In all due respect, probably Dish TV, Time Warner are just like your experience with Direct TV. You have to hate them, you have to learn how to play their game to your advantage. The best this happening is that most of what you want to watch will be on your computer. I personally dislike all the satellite and cable companies, this goes for the cell phones as well. They've got your credit card number and will mess with you any way they can, and god forbid you need to make an adjustment on your equipment, guess what, they'll do it but you just signed up for another 2 years
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Do not let them have access to your credit card or bank accounts.
Posted by Silver13 on 08/08/2007
PORT RICHEY, FLORIDA -- I had DirecTV for years and had a TIVO box with it. I called to have my box fixed as it had frozen up. I have paid the 6.95 per month since the service began a few years ago. They sent out someone to check the box and he did not even look at it. He had walked in the door with a new
box. He told me that they were no longer using TIVO boxes and replaced it with a new DVR box.

I was not told that by replacing my box would tie me to a two year contract. I called them twice with complaints on the box because it did
not work properly. They only told me that it was new software and it would get better. Finally after three months of bad service I canceled
my service and went with a different company.

Six days after my cancellation they took, without my permission, $263.00 out of my checking account. I called them and was informed that it was
a cancellation fee for ending my contract early. I went through the whole story and told them they did not have my permission to take anything out of my account. They said they would put it through to someone else and review it.

I just talked to them and they are not going to refund the fees.

First, I was not told that I was being tied to a two year contract.
Second, The product they replaced was inferior and did not work correctly.
Third, They did NOT have my permission to take anything out of my account.
Fourth, I had just payed my month fees to them, in advance.

They mislead me and lied to me and then illegally stole money that was not theirs. That money was for my electric bill, which is still unpaid. I live on a fixed income and cannot afford to make up the difference. BEWARE of DirecTV, they will lie to you and take your money
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Posted by Anonymous on 2007-08-08:
Actually when you signed up for service you did give them access to your account and permission to withdraw funds. Remember you giving them your debit card number? They've been taking the monthly charges directly out of your account since day one. Maybe I am wrong here because if you have been sending them a check or money order then they have indeed withdrawn funds without your permission. Why subscribers use a debit card for recurring monthly charges is a mystery. Always use only a credit card.
Posted by Silver13 on 2007-08-09:
I did not use my debit card, I used my credit card. They took the money out of my checking account which I used once months ago. I always checked the box that said No automatic withdrawal. I have the copies to prove that. Also when I signed up I gave the a check to start the account with. They were never given permission to automatically withdraw payments. I paid monthly and had to go up on line to do it.

Besides, I never received the notice that states they have automatic assess to my account. They also did NOT tell me that I would be tied to a new contract when I tried to get my box fixed. They lied, omitted, and deceived me.
Posted by ruralindiana on 2007-08-17:
I am disputing charges for this very same situation. They charged my account without my consent also.
It has been a nightmare.
It seems that they are very good with their pat answers, "I'm sorry, the technician should have informed you. There is nothing we can do."
It has been a nightmare.
Posted by Kage on 2007-08-23:
Taken from the customer agreement section 5e:

By giving us your credit or debit card account information, you authorize us to apply this method of payment, in accordance with applicable law, to satisfy any and all amounts due upon cancellation.
Posted by Silver13 on 2007-08-24:
That'a all well and fine IF you receive written notice. I did not receive anything, not when I first signed up through a third party, and not anytime after that. There is also a check box when payment is made that states ONLY this transaction. So which is right, there supposed written statement or the actual transaction button . Some one needs to retrain there technicians to properly inform the consumer, or is that there plan, don't inform the consumer then nail them later.
Posted by joe on 2013-02-28:
Im thinking about cancelling my service, and they warned me about the cancellation fee, I will talk to my bank and ask to block Direct TV from gaining access to my account, from now on...
I was miss lead and lied to, their response was "we can make changes with out your consent or approbal""' Iam a very upset costumer...
Posted by sld on 2013-05-14:
I just went to the bank $15 so DTV would have no access to them. Didn't get bill for 2 months kept making payments and suddenly I owe $135. Filed complaint w/bbb n wrote attorney general n FCC about fraud. They were sued n lost for the exact same behavior in 2007. Yet their back to the same old BS. Complain, complain...
Posted by Emma on 2013-07-16:
I signed up while in Walmart 2 days ago. Had an appt scheduled for them to come out friday to install. I just cancelled my appointment based on these reviews. Of course, they asked me why. 1) I dont like contracts, and dont have one with Charter. 2) all these 'savings' are for only the first 12 months, although less than what i pay w charter, I have no clue how much they will skyrocket after. 3) I dont like automatic transactions debited (another discount which the sales guy told me he has to set it up with that and i could term at some point after i sign up, but failed to tell me I lose the $10 discount also when I do) --All the stories on here are situations that have ran thru my mind since i signed up...and am glad I read all this. I'll just keep Charter. The benefits of Directv just don't outweigh the risk I feel I am taking.
Posted by Rick on 2013-07-31:
Silver13, first thing, at the end, you said you not notified that you had a 2 year contract, yet you also said towards the beginning that the guy told you that they no longer use tivo, but they was replacing your tivo with something else, that would tie you into them with a 2 year contract. Secondly, READ the fine print, all contracts whether directtv, cellphone, etc, says if you cancel early, there is a fee. You are lucky that it was only $263.

Also, not saying they don't have it, but have never seen a box to mark if you don't want auto withdraw, there is usually a box that you check if you want auto withdraw.
Posted by Misty123 on 2013-09-21:
By your using your checking account even though it was months ago DTV keeps the information on file for future use such as this. You need to talk to someone at your bank and ask them what if anything you can do they may let you dispute the charges..Good Luck
Posted by Roseanne Miller on 2014-01-02:
The amount of $243.09 was taken out of our checking account, and we did not authorize the transaction. We would like that amount put back into our Bank Account will be overdrawn on the checks that have been sent out by me.(Mortgage etc.)
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Billing Dispute
Posted by Belovedmom on 06/06/2007
I cancelled my service with Direct TV last week because I got married and moved in with my husband and today I found an unauthorized charge on my bank account, I don't even have direct pay with this company nor was I under a contract although they claim I was because they sent me a replacement for a faulty DVR which they say automatically extended my contract without my knowledge. They closed my complaint without contacting me and then they wrote on my account that I knew about the extension which was completely false. They then charged me an early cancellation fee and took the money out of my bank account without my knowledge or authorization.

I believe this should be a criminal offense for them to take money out of my account without my authorization.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-06:
How did they get your bank information? Did you talk to your bank about reversing the charge?
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-07:
Same questions as KenPopcorn?

What's up Ken?
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-06-07:
Something is missing here. Someone had to provide the bank info?
Posted by rhondam718732 on 2007-06-07:
She may not have direct pay but you can pay your bill thru the DirectTV website so maybe they got it that way...sounds shady though
Posted by Ponie on 2007-06-07:
rhondam, you brought up something I've wondered about for some time. If a one-time payment is made thru a creditor's website, do they have the authority to access your account at a later date? I've always been leery of using this method for just that reason. I use online banking instead.

But I digress--back to the original complaint. Was there anything in the original contract that would automatically renew it if new equipment was sent, whether faulty or not? When I needed a new phone, which was supplied for a very nominal fee, even though I was out of my contract by then, it renewed for two more years. This didn't concern me because I had no intention of switching carriers. Your original contract may have had this same wording. I'd reread it to be certain.
Posted by belovedmom on 2007-06-07:
I think they required that info when I fist signed up with direct tv but I have also made a few payments over the phone with my card. The bank said that anyone can use your info if they have it on file. I filled out a dispute form this morning. He said that the chances were good for me getting my money back. He said that the only time he has experienced Visa not giving the money back was when the company proved that they sold the merchandise to the consumer. He said my case was different because there was a dispute about a service and they took the money out of my account without my knowledge or authorization. I filed complaints with the FCC, BBB, Consumer affairs and I am sending a complaint to the Attorney General of my state today! I forwarded the emails from the BBB and Consumer affairs to Direct Tv and I got their attention. They are supposed to contact me within two days. I will keep you posted.
Posted by belovedmom on 2007-06-13:
Just wanted to update you, Visa put the money back into my account after I filed a dispute form at my banking institution. Bottom Line: They just can't take the money out of your account without your authorization!
Posted by celestial_ann on 2007-07-25:
hey, they told me i had to make a two hundred dollar deposit but then charged my card an extra 74 dollars which overdrafted my bank account. now they say they won't fix the problem. if anyone else out there has had similar issues, please post and let me know. i want to take legal action at this point because this company has caused nearly 200 dollars in overdraft for me and it's ridiculous. i know i can't be the only one they have pulled this on.
Posted by DirecTV Victim on 2008-03-09:
The have billed my AMEX after I withdrew their authorization for autopay. AMEX refunded only one month and a partial second. I have appealed the AMEX decision, requested a full refund, and asked them to stop all future DirecTV charges. I question whether any governmental agency oversees how these companies handle "consumer funds".
Posted by nutindoin on 2008-08-05:
In my opinion, I think that Directv is the biggest ripoff ever, I signed up with them in January, for ther basic tv $29.99 "special" yeah right, I never got a bill for this amount($29.95) it was always $89.00 or $129.00 or $65.00 or some other outrageous amount,when I contacted their customer service dept they reassured me that the "next" month would be a correct bill,it never happened. finally I cancelled because I was tired of paying these higher fees, they deducted an early cancellation fee, and two months extra of programming which I never recieved, plus, evey time I called to get a return kit., they would leave me on hold for ten minutes or the line would go dead after a few minutes, and I would have to go through the whole thing over again, only to be put on hold once again or lose the connection again,I am so frustrated I am seriously considering filing a small claims suit against this company.
Posted by Spaceguy on 2010-04-19:
I agree!! I just was hit by a 300.00 cancellation fee... Interesting thing is, I had NO contract. Here is the brief of this...

I have been a customer for 11 years. Last year, I was thinking about switching to dish, but, directv talked me into HDTV. Had the first one installed, and it lasted 1 week. Sent it back, and they sent me another. That one lasted 1 day. Called again, they sent me another one. That one lasted about a week, and then died. Called again, talked with the level III tech, and he wanted to try one more time. This one lasted a bit longer, but, less than a month. I called, and talked to retentions. Explained that I wanted to return this one, and just go back to the original configuration. Since I owned all of my receivers, they told me that there would no longer be a contract, since I have no new equipment. Thought it was over... Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. Rate had doubled on the package I had (Total Choice Plus)...Wanted to cancel, so I did. The retentions dept. told me that since I had no contract, and all of my equipment was owned, there were no other charges. Today, I found that they charged my bank account 313.00!! I called, and was told that I did not fulfill my commitment. When asked what they meant, they told me that whenever you activate a new receiver, it automatically re-commits the account. I explained that I never had the equipment for longer than a month, and, that I was told that the contract was null and void, per their representative.... I was told that this is not true!!! So, I am going to file with an attorney, the BBB, and the FCC! Not only did I not agree to a new commitment, but, they took money from my account with authorization...They are crooks!! Do not ever do business with them!!
Posted by PAW on 2012-05-10:
Same here. Directv robbed me of all of my money, bounced my mortgage check, left me almost 300 in the red, and I am unemployed. They cost me almost 200 in fees too. I did not authorize the charge, but they said when you sign up, you authorize them to steal any money they want from you when you leave them. Someone needs to do something to stop them.
Posted by Hector on 2013-04-13:
We should all find a lawyer who would be willing to take on this monster. I cancelled with them and cleaned up all of my balance in case I wanted to come back to them in the future, all of the sudden I get a bill for $14 and when I call them, they claim it was for a ppv movie ordered 2 years back which it was never charged. This situation ended up in collection even that I spoke with them for so many times and I was promised something was to be done. PLEASE LET'S ALL AT ONCE FILE WITH FTC ADN BBB. I think this would make them think.
Posted by sami on 2013-06-11:
I called Directv to cancel my service they kept it on a month, I did not pay them because I told them to cancel my service they took the month that I asked for them to stop out of my credit card without my authorization, I was told by my credit card company Capital One there is nothing they can do
Posted by MK on 2013-07-09:
They added all premium channels to my basic service without consent and I cannot make them remove it. I signed up for their promo package "24.99" special with 12 month guarantee only to be receiving $90.00 bills for things I do not want, never requested, and now unable to cancel. This is a shady group. I agree filing a class action suit seems in order!
Posted by Diane on 2013-08-19:
Direct TV has a problem, guess they need the money so they just charge whatever they think they can get away with. I have a problem with them charging me for movies I never ordered from 2009. They also charged for a contract I never agreed too. Class action suit sounds good.
Posted by Bill on 2013-10-08:
File a claim in Small claims court and not only ask for the original damages but ask for Punative damages. Get all your ducks in a row to show Fraud, Failure to disclose. And bank fraud if you truly did not authorise them to go into your Account. Your Bank by law has to tell you how they Authorized this. Most States Small claims can be as much as $10,000.00.just remember just because they say its so does not mean its true
Posted by Roseanne Miller on 2014-01-02:
I just submitted a complaint, but didn't include the account number on the account: It is 36544833 under Floyd Miller. I also will make a payment on Jan. 15th over the phone for that amount.
Posted by Cathy Lantz on 2014-01-17:
I am going through the same thing. I terminated their service after 3 months because they were charging me more than I was quoted, charged me an extra $10.00 because I would not do automatic bill pay, I had to have a service man her 3 times and was also walked through resetting the box twice by a telephone technician. Plus if it was windy or rainy the signal was awful. They debited 623.00 from my debit card that I originally used for the 1st months service and never used again. When I filed a dispute it was denied. According to Direct TV's contract any form of payment you use with them can be used to if you terminate early. I tried discussing this with Direct TV and they told me they would refund my money if went back to using their service. I refused andI also pointed out that even at $20.00 per month for their early termination fee they had still overcharged me over $200.00. They told me part of that was for non-return of equipment. When I told them it had been returned and I had the tracking number to prove it the agent hesitated and said they would be refunding me $130.00. I still have not received a dime.
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Billing and Customer Service
Posted by CArmstrong on 06/07/2005
LEXINGTON, TENNESSEE -- This company is the worst I have ever dealt with. This is the first and only time I have ever had to make a complaint like this. I had DirecTV but I moved and canceled my service. I emphatically instructed DirecTV to CANCEL my service not to DISCONTINUE my service (I had been burned before, this seems to be their usual tactic and the last time I ended up just paying) and I was told everything was closed canceled and I had nothing to worry about. HA! Several months later I find that my account was reactivated without my knowledge or consent and I received a bill that was for a couple months of service plus late fees, about $90.

I called their customer service line and actually found someone who looked up the records and told me that yes they could see that it was supposed to be a cancelation and that THEIR REPRESENTATIVE had made a mistake which would be corrected immediately. HA AGAIN! I thought it was over but it was not. Several months later I received a notice saying that i still owed the $90 and that it was being turned over to a COLLECTION AGENCY. I called DirecTV again. This time the rep and their supervisor told me their was nothing they could do about it..that yes they could see that it was not my fault but that I would have to contact the collection agency and dispute it with them and through a letter to the DirecTV office. Well, I jumped through those hoops and the collection agency finally stopped calling me and I honestly thought the matter was taken care of...it had been OVER A YEAR. HA AGAIN AND AGAIN!

Then I got engaged and my fiance and I decided (WHY??) to get DirecTV. We called and when they pulled up my phone number they said..Hey you owe us $90!! We explained the situation to the sales person and agreed that we would get the 4 room system which is over $100 PER MONTH for a year and would they get rid of the $90 problem. HA AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN! A couple of months later I start getting calls from a new collection agency. I had to go through the whole circus again. Only this time since it had been so long there were fewer records and somehow no one could find the original error. Unfortunately I did not record the conversations and they only claim to do that! I disputed and made phone calls to no avail. I also found out that my credit has been affected by this and that if I were to just give in and pay the stupid $90 it would still affect my credit negatively because it would show as a collection.

So now, I am paying them over $100 per month, have spent at least that much just on phone bills and long lunches spent trying to find one single individual there who might posses the smallest amount of common sense and heaven forbid some glimmer of compassion. BUT NO! instead every time I call they treat ME like the criminal! From now on I am going to record all communication with this company and if anyone has any information about a law suit against this company please post the information here. I am so angry and frustrated! I will not pay. I do not care if my credit is shot forever. They have ruined my credit and created new levels of terrible customer service. It is ridiculous. There are simply no words. I would love to share my story with all! Feel free to forward this to anyone who might be making the mistake of using this company or their service. BEWARE!! I AM NOT THE ONLY ONE THEY HAVE DONE THIS TO!

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Posted by polytician on 2006-12-19:
Good idea, I'm going to record all conversations with this company as well. Their operators are NOT reliable.
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Tired of the Automated phone system??.This will get you past it for sure.
Posted by BlackjackALA on 02/13/2004
HUNTSVILLE, ALABAMA -- I am a former Directv employee. Actually, I worked for a company called West Teleservies which is one of the companies that Directv pays to take your phone calls because they would rather pay someone to talk to you than talk to you themselves. I know alot of customers HATE the IVR (automated phone system). Here is a GUARENTEED way to get around it. Call 1-800-695-9251. This goes directly through to a live operator without any phone menus. It is the Expanded Support team. They usually help trouble shoot advanced issues and handle missed service calls BUT they are REQUIRED and able to take any call they get (i.e. Billing, programming, etc) and they HAVE to help you without transfering you. Make sure you pass this along to any friends of yours who have Directv ESPECIALLY any ELDERLY customers who seem to have the most problem with the IVR.
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Posted by kageyourfriendlyneighborhoodassassin on 2004-07-16:
>>>because they would rather pay someone to talk to you than talk to you themselves.>>I know alot of customers HATE the IVR (automated phone system).>>Here is a GUARENTEED way to get around it. Call 1-800-695-9251. This goes directly through to a live operator without any phone menus. It is the Expanded Support team. They usually help trouble shoot advanced issues and handle missed service calls BUT they are REQUIRED and able to take any call they get (i.e. Billing, programming, etc) and they HAVE to help you without transfering you.<<<

Can you image the hold time if EVERYONE started calling that number? You'd have better luck with the IVR. So what's your story? couldn't cut it at west? Seriously, it's not HARD work. and they treat thier people rather well.

Posted by directvemployee on 2004-09-09:
laugh it up that number is soon to be disconnected if not disconnected already HA HA
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Poor Service - Won't Refund Money
Posted by Mac.johnson on 12/03/2012
LUBBOCK, TEXAS -- 1. On Demand didn't work - DVR not connected to internet.
2. Had to troubleshoot one of their boxes for them.
3. Installer couldn't program the remote to control the volume of a new Yamaha A/V receiver.
4. Surround sound didn't work right after the installers left.
5. Tie-wraps, plastic bags, installation hardware left in every room.
6. Cancelled in <24hrs due to poor service.

Now, they won't refund $160 for the "installation" of 2 receivers in rooms that already had the old companies cable boxes in them.
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Posted by rundy857 on 2012-12-03:
Don't hold your breath over a refund, as DTV is the single worst company I have personally ever dealt with. Letters to HQ are ignored, BBB won't help, letters to the state consumer agency I live in ignored and never answered. When my contract is up, I will do without DTV and their competitor. Both companies are worthless and don't care about customer service. Forget about the $160.00, it's not worth the trouble. But some books and enjoy.
Posted by jonthethird on 2012-12-04:
No defending leaving a mess during install, but this post brings up another subject. A DirecTv, Dish Network, or cable installer is there to install their equipment, not the customers. If it is just hooking up an HDMI cable, fine, but when a customer has an extensive audio system and wants the installer to create the interface, that is beyond the scope of work.
There are companies who will work a home theater system, incorporating all the componets for best results. Their techs are schooled in different types of equipment and have the connectors, etc to do so.
Once the equipment is verified working to the "demark" the satellite installers primary job is complete. He is paid for getting the equipment to work, much as the telephone company does. Ask a telco installer to connect your phones once he has dial tone at his demark and be prepared for the additional charges.
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StarStarStarStarEmpty Star
Changed my plan without asking me!
Posted by Dlo510 on 11/11/2012
EAST BAY, CALIFORNIA -- I been a direcTV customer since 2008, prior to that I had Dish Network in which I cancelled after a year and switched to DirecTV since dish seems to have their customer service outsourced and can't understand what their agents say over phone specially when I had a tech issue. DirecTV was great and their customer care is US based which was great and they offer more HD channels and strong signal to withheld strong wings and rain. Everything was going good my bill was the same and the service reliable. I decided to upgrade my service so I can add another receiver for my sisters room, a month pass and the service was still the same it wasent until 2 months after I upgrade when I came home from work I noticed I was missing channels one of them being comedy central and a few Spanish channels my mom likes to watch. The next day I call DirecTV to complain about the loss of channels and the representative who helped me told me that my package has always been the same as soon as he told me what package I had I told him I never switched it since it was a grandfathered package before, the representative said I always had it so I told him to check old statements and he finally believed me, unfortunate for me the representative couldn't change the package back to the old one since it was no lover available but promised me to give me a better one with premium channels included for 3 months and would apply credits so my bill would be around the same price. After 3 months passed my bill went back up and thats when I wanted to cancel service, so I call the representative gave her my reason why I wanted to cancel and asked me if she can fix my bill for now until I decide to cancel service if I would continue to be a customer, I agreed since I still had a year in a half left on my contract and with high penalty fees. What she ended up doing was transfer me to another department I explained the same situation with this new representative and she put me on hold for about 5 minutes and decided that I will maintain the package I have with the premium movie channels and will apply a $60 credit for 6 months and I will need to call again before the 6 months are up so they can reapply the credit for another 6 months. I do appreciate DirecTV for working with me and owning up to their mistake they made with my account and keep me as a customer. My 6 months are not up yet but I will find out if this is true that every 6 months my account will be credited $60, if not I'm going to cancel the service and decided wether I should switch to U-verse or Comcast.
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Don't do business with this company no matter what they say!!!!
Posted by Press1ForWhat on 10/01/2010
After doing my homework I just dodged a bullet by cancelling my order with DirecTV. Like many I had seen an advertisement for what seemed to be a very cost effective alternative to my current cable TV/Broadband/Vonage solution by switching to DirecTV and DSL. I never became a customer and experienced such bad customer service I spent nearly 8 hours on the phone over the last week before finally cancelling. Thankfully I had specified I was interested in bundled TV/Internet/Phone service ONLY or they would have held me to the contract. But since I never chose a DSL provider/package there was not a complete contract to be bound to.

I write as a testament in support of the many complaints I have read on this, and MANY other sites, including the stories about the class action lawsuits against DirecTV for deceptive billing practices. Initially I called and the package sounded to good to be true, for $49/month I was going to get two HD-DVR's and two HD converters with no installation fees and while tying into a two year contract it included unlimited moves with no penalty. Thankfully when I was transferred to the "Bundled Services" department and then to the third party provider for the DSL things went bad from the start. After repeating the same information to each of the 25+ people I talked to (phone, address, name, email, order#, and on, and on) the people at the DSL company couldn't get their offerings straight. 4 sales agents on the first call, each had a different set of offerings, dependent on a different set of packages chosen from DirecTV, with different prices, different activation fees, and different bandwidths. One even said they didn't provide service in my area.

I live in a townhouse and my neighbor (as I found out last night) is their customer, a very unhappy one at that. That led me to being bounced between Verizon (the DSL partner) DirecTV, and BlueAngel on each of my 6 calls trying to get a straight answer on the price/fee/bandwidth/feature/cost combinations. First, the DirecTV salespeople talk in hyperspeach talking about autorebates that once you register result in things costing nothing. Red flag one, there is no free lunch, just like with new cell contracts, you're paying for the phone in there somewhere. So that made me start to distrust DirecTV on top of never getting a definitive answer as to what my choices were for DSL bandwidth/phone features/costs (setup/monthly) after the 6 calls. I spent the last few nights talking to our neighbors as I saw many that I knew had DirecTV dishes on their decks. After talking with them and hearing all the horror stories I finally decided to do a comparison of what I was saving to what I was risking. As it turns out, even if the best deal they offered where legit, I would only have been saving $5.00/month! That and losing substantial bandwidth in switching from cable broadband to 3MB/728 DSL! Worst case scenario I was still losing all the bandwidth and actually paying $30/month more! Made the decision easy, cancel the order.

You would think that would be easy... right. Ironically I started the call, pressed 1 for English, and got a Spanish speaking agent. Bad sign 2 was that the first line of phone menu options included cancelling your order as the first option. I got a CS agent on the phone and they simply wouldn't cancel the order, they were a broken record, continually going back to "what can we do to salvage this premium deal you are getting". I finally asked for the supervisor, and their supervisor, who took me through the same routine promising they would walk through every issue until we got the "misunderstanding" straightened out. After 45 minutes of this I blew a gasket and simply said cancel the order, cancel the order, cancel the order... I don't care if you pay me to use your service I still want you to cancel the order. Childish, but fight fire with fire, and after about 5 minutes of this stupidity they finally gave in and said they would cancel the order. Then she went into some rambling about not being able to cancel a contract because... and I cut her off saying they had no contract because I never setup an order with Verizon or Blue Angel so they couldn't fulfil their contract to provide me TV/Internet/Phone. On hold for 10 more minutes and the order was finally cancelled.

I share this only for anyone researching using this service. DON'T DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Posted by Alain on 2010-10-03:
You knew they couldn't fulfill the contract so you were able to force them to cancel the order. Good thinking! Thank you for the review. Once again, Direct TV demonstrates how it keeps it's 93% negative rating alive on this site!
Posted by Sassy2 on 2010-10-08:
Sounds as though you made a very wise decision to cancel service.As low as DTV is though I would not trust them keep an eye on any account you may have given them or better yet change the # of the account so they cannot place charges on it.Their policy is to get the money and leaving you the problem of trying to get it back.
Posted by jackiedavis87 on 2010-11-20:
Amen! to this post i have dish network and even with all thier faults they still are 10 times the customer service company that direct TV is. those pee ons took advantage of my 80 year old grandmother!
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Posted by Miss M on 07/02/2008
MARIETTA, GEORGIA -- I am writing in disgust at the lack of competence and outright lies being told by DirecTV in order to lure customers. My sad journey through the dismal universe known as DirecTV began on Jan 31, 2008 when I signed up for services: Choice Xtra (200 channels) $49.99/mo - includes 3 months free Starz, Cinemax, Showtime, and HBO . When I signed up online, there was an advertisement for a $20 off rebate for 12 mos which would bring my bill to $29.99/mo for 12 mos for channels plus a Maintenance Plan $5.99/mo and Dish rental $3/mo for a grand total of $38.98.

Unfortunately I have never received a bill for the correct amount due. NEVER! The notes from some of my call center interactions are listed below.
Jan 31 2008: Spoke with CSR Kelly 7:25 pm to set up
Spoke with CSR Peter id# 100254199 re: $20 credit, per agent will make notations that I should have been given $20 credit for the account to be corrected after installation. I will call in and advise agent to make the change.

Mar 7 2008: Spoke w/Tina on re: bill of $130.97 - she verified notation on acct from Jan 31 w/Peter re: extra $10 credit for 12 months to begin 6-8weeks after rebate is applied to acct monthly bill will be $38.98. I currently owe just $48.98. Made payment online confirmation Number: 377452443.

Date unknown: Spoke with 2 other CSRs re: billing - calls ended on their end w/o resolution. Spoke with Joey #70735 8:01pm re: billing - read previous notes to him he confirmed that the other $10 credit was in the notes but had not been applied to my account. He will coordinate with his supervisor re: that. He asked and I responded that I want to keep Showtime only. He advsd I was due another $.90 from the premier channels for a total of $31 as well as the $10 which from today, I will receive another 12 mos for my inconvenience.

May 30 2008: 6:45pm Spoke with CSR Ana who then transferred me to her supv Nate ID# 100184041 re: letter from DirecTV Collections re: past due amount of $149.38. I advised I was told previously that I was to be contacted by a manager from DirecTV re: the incorrect billing on my account from which I have never heard. The CSR was very nasty and talked over me and argued with me as I spoke to him. After this went on for a few wasted minutes, I asked to speak with his manager, whom he identified as Mel (Melissa). I was told she was on another call and that Nate could not give out her ID #. I asked and was told Nate was calling from the Philippines. When I asked him for the names and numbers of his USA call center he said he did not know that information. Nate went on to state that the rebate office states I was only due a $10 rebate not the $20 per the notes on the account and the fact that it was the advertisement at the time of my account activation. I was then told that to have only the $10 rebate applied to previous bills I would first have to pay the past due amount! Also, that I would be billed for the premium channel services from May 3 - June 3 even though I was previously told by a CSR that the date I needed to call in to change the free channels was before June not by May 3rd.

I am appalled at the lack of basic customer service from DirecTV. I should have known there would be a catch for the price of the services. I just had no idea that a company as seemingly large as theirs operated so shabbily and underhandedly. Not only have I been billed incorrectly, now I am being told that I will only receive a $10 rebate and only after I pay a very large bill that is incorrect!

So too, the customer service is no such thing with DirecTV. Customer Disservice should be the new name of that department. The problems stemmed mostly from CSRs not speaking English as a first language and quoting their scripts as though that were the same thing as listening and understanding the nature of the problem at hand. For example, I’d say “The billing is incorrect and I need to speak with a manager as I have explained this several times to various people.” and the CSR would respond, “Ok, I’m sorry to hear about that. How can I help you?”.

The accounting for my bills should have been: $48.98 bill1, $38.98 bill2, $38.98 bill3 for a total of $126.94. Thus far I have paid $48.98, $25.99, and $51.97 for a total of $126.94. My bill after May 3 should be $38.98+$12 for Starz = $50.98.

The company’s lack of willingness to stand behind their advertisements and to create bills with false amounts has led me to want to cancel my service and return to cable. Sure, the prices are higher, but at least when the bill came I knew what to expect and they were not liars and always stood behind their offers and rebates. I NEVER had a problem with them on that account.

Not only am I posting my complaints online, but I am also sending letters to major news publications (print and online), the FTC, the FCC, the Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs (Georgia), and their programming partners in hopes that by exposing their practices people will not choose to deal with DirecTV and save themselves time, money, and headache!

-Miss M

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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-07-02:
Fraud! Pretty much covers it unless you want to add liars too. Good review and info. We had another guy around here that claimed that $10 credit was for being an Internet Reviewer, LOL.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2008-07-02:
There is no doubt about it. DirecTV customer service will lie and deceive you at every turn. You are only one of many who have been caught in their trap.

Writing complaints to all these agencies should help. But it doesn't. DirecTV has had fines in the millions levied against them. Government entities get that money, not consumers. To DirecTV it is merely a cost of doing business. They have been doing it for years. Nothing has changed.

Congratulations on leaving them but they are going to give you much grief. Good luck.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-07-03:
Great post! I wanted to tell my whole story too, but frankly, I'm tired to death of telling it and running it through my head. I went down nearly the same road and have notes too and several emails from Directv full of promises and lies. There is even one form an alleged supervisor in OK, telling us to stay away from the internet blogs. I guess I should mention here that we had promised to post on all the complaint boards

Directv stole from us too. We managed to get the money back into our account, but only because we had canceled our debit card before they were able to steal our money. The bank inefficiently let the charge go through because the person at the bank who was supposed to have canceled that card failed to enter it into their computer. The $490 charge was in dispute between the bank and Directv for about a month. The bank finally put the money back into our account. I could swear they almost apologized to us and they said Directv had no right to do that because we didn’t have autopay set up.

We got a bill in the mail yesterday. It is due on July 7th. Get this. On the back of the bill it says:

"You received your Directv customer agreement with your first bill for services. Updates may be mailed periodically. The Customer Agreement describes the terms and conditions upon which you accept our services. Please consult your Customer Agreement, which may be found online at directv.com, for complete information about billing and payment on your account. FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE, WE WILL AUTOMATICALLY CHARGE YOUR CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD ON FILE FOR ANY BILL AMOUNT LEFT UNPAID, PLUS ANY NEW FEES POSTED TO YOUR ACCOUNT, AND ANY APPLICABLE CANCELLATION AND EQUIPMENT NON-RETURN FEES IF YOU CANCEL YOUR DIRECTV SERVICE. IF WE ARE UNABLE TO RECOVER THE FULL BALANCE, WE WILL ATTEMPT TO RECOVER A PORTION OF MONIES DUE. YOU ARE STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY UNPAID BALANCE."

I wasn't informed of any agreement coming with my first bill and even if I had seen it, I would have known it wasn’t a legal contract, especially because I didn’t sign it. As they stated in their own agreement, the contract comes with the first bill. That’s AFTER the service is already established, which is quite a while after the 24 hour cancellation window. Then if you don’t like the terms and want out, they threaten you with an early cancellation fee, a threat which they will carry out. How dare them to send a bogus contract with the first bill and then demand I agree to and follow it or they can rob me! And to sweeten the deal (for Directv), the “agreement” states that they can add any fees or change any policy as they see fit. The whole thing has got to be freakin’ illegal!

After they generously paid themselves out of our bank account, we sent all their equipment back on time and had too much trouble with that to talk about here.

It looks like the only way to keep their grubby paws out of your account is to cancel the card they have and get a new one before the first bill.

Of course, if you cancel your card you'll have to be prepared to be harassed by bills and collection calls and possibly have a ding on your credit report but they won't get your money. We have caller ID and a shredder so bring it on! They won't get another penny from us.

Posted by RSX on 2008-07-30:
Great Comment, Similar to yours I had ordered mine over the phone and was promised the rebates which I never received, but after getting frustrated I canceled the account.. Thanks for the info. T
Posted by Miss M on 2009-02-06:

I have a DTV converter now so I will not pay for TV anymore! :)

To all who posted: Glad to help!
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"Early Cancellation Fee" rip-off
Posted by Maximus_06 on 04/08/2008
On 4/7/08,I called DIRECTV to cancel my account and much to my surprise, I was told that I was still under contract. The rep stated that if I cancelled my account, a cancellation fee would apply. I was told that my contract was extended for 18 months, starting last December. He stated that I would have to pay $20 for each month of the contract, that was not completed. In my case, that total would be $280.00.

My first issue is that last December, I called DIRECTV because one of my standard boxes was malfunctioning (through no fault of my own). The rep stated that it sounded like a manufacturing defect. She said that she would send me a replacement box in the mail. Now, I pay for the Protection Plan for all of my boxes, every month. So if anything went wrong with any of the boxes, I'm entitled to a replacement box, with no cost to me. So THAT coupled with the fact that I wasn't signing up for additional service or boxes for a different room, there was no reason to extend my contract.

My second issue was that the rep NEVER informed me that she was extending my contract. Had I known, I would have continued to use the defective box, seeing as how I was considering leaving DIRECTV for Verizon anyway. Under NO circumstances would I have agreed to extend my contract. I was told that I should email DIRECTV to dispute any cancellation fee that I may incur. I sent an email to them, only to get a response saying that when I agreed to have them send me a "replacement" box, I was agreeing to an extended contract.

Apparently, ethics have gone down the toilet with DIRECTV if they have to stoop to this level to maintain customers. I am disappointed at their lack of integrity. I will bite the bullet and pay the cancellation fee. For it is a small price to pay for ending my business with such an unethical company such as DIRECTV. I hope Verizon takes ALL of DIRECTV's customers.
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Posted by madconsumer on 2008-04-08:
this is the way they work. even if you cancel as i did, after the contract time frame, they will still charge you nearly $200 to leave. i was charged $50 for 2 months service, and a $50 disconect fee, and they also added on 33 dollars cause i cussed them out.

best thing to do, is leave, and never ever look back.

i will add i love my comcast cable. i get the services promised, and no extra fees just beacuse.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-04-08:
Madconsumer, spot on! This is the line that says it all: "Apparently, ethics have gone down the toilet with DIRECTV if they have to stoop to this level to maintain customers".
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