LYNDHURST, OHIO -- Please be prepared to find angry ire in my writing, because of the miserable experience I have experienced in the last 18 hours, and will continue until the snow and ice thaw, which could take all week. To begin, my name is Charles ** and I am a brand new customer with DIRECTV in Cleveland, Ohio... Suburb, Lyndhurst, Ohio. I have resided in California for 33 years, and now have moved to my home in Cleveland, in order to take care of my mother, who is 96 years old. I am a first time user of DIRECTV and I have enjoyed it until now.
I have been using cable with Cox Communications for many years in California and I was somewhat satisfied. I wanted to try DIRECTV because they have the capability of getting all of the NFL football games. MAJOR ONGOING PROBLEM: We had our first notable snow storm on Tuesday, December 27th. At 4:00 PM, EST, my DIRECTV when down with no signal. As of now, which is Wednesday, December, 28 @ 10:00 AM, I still have no signal.
MAJOR CONCERN TO ADDRESS THE ISSUE: I am not upset that the snow covered the dish and there is no signal, but I am angry the way they have been responding to the solution, or should I say, they are not offering solutions, but only reading a canned answer to the problem. I have spoken to five technical support people on the phone, who have been very nice and professional, however, they have very unacceptable solutions to fix the problem. This has taken about two total hours of my phone time.
I tried the easiest suggestions: a. I unplugged the outlet for 15 seconds... result... negative, b. I re-set the red button on the receiver five times... negative, c. I removed the memory card and replaced it five times... negative. Outside Dish Solutions (Here is where I cannot believe their response to the problem.):
a. Knock the snow off with a broom. The dish is on the roof, 15 feet high, not to mention five inches of snow. I am 65 years old, disabled, afraid of heights and don't have a ladder. UNACCEPTABLE.
b. Throw a snowball at the dish to knock off the snow. Are they kidding me? I have a once broken shoulder and can't even throw a snowball, if I wanted to. UNACCEPTABLE.
c. Put saline solution in a squirt shooting toy gun and spray it on the snow to remove it. UNBELIEVABLE.
d. Ask a neighbor, to risk his or her life. RIDICULOUS.
The bottom line is: THEY HAVE NO ANSWER. I have sold Teflon and silicone for thirty + years. If they had coated adequately with Teflon, then this problem would have not occurred. Poor manufacturing procedures. REALITY: I will not be able to watch my TV until the snow and ice thaw. Until then, I will be sitting here taking care of my 96 year old mother, without any mental relief. Canned answers are not acceptable.
DIRECT TV COMPANY POLICY: They are not allowed to make a service call to knock off the snow. They would have all the means to do it, with the crazy ideas they gave me. I have paid for the protection plan. I suggested they move the dish to a lower location. Two problems: a. the reception will be less than adequate, b. I would have to pay for re-installation. This is only adding salt to my proverbial football wounds.
COMMENTARY: I cannot believe DIRECTV did not plan for this fiasco. I am sure they have a lot of dishes in the Midwest and east coast that will encounter this problem. At this time, all I have to argue is to be reimbursed financially for the down days. That has somewhat been acknowledged, however, I believe a lot more should be done, beyond that for my I'll-Will and frustration. They have me coming and going.
I signed a two year contract and I can't even cancel my DIRECTV to go back to cable. Cable never had a problem of correcting their issues. If I am fortunate enough to have someone read this complaint and is a decision maker or at least an influencer, hopefully some resolve will occur... WHEN... WHO KNOWS. PLEASE ADVICE.
DECATUR, GEORGIA -- DirecTV is a money-hungry company that will do anything to steal your hard-earned money through hidden fees and gimmicks. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT ever engage yourself in a contract with this terrible vendor, and I will tell you why. To start off, I wasn't able to get internet service at my apartment complex without getting DirecTV. I could only get internet by purchasing TV from DirecTV and internet from AT&T as a bundle. If this isn't robbing people in blind daylight, I don't know what is. It put a bad taste in my mouth from the very beginning.
My rate was $15 a month for the first year of signing with DirecTV, and after a year, they raised it to $49 a month. From the very beginning, I told them that I wouldn't be willing to pay $49 dollars a month for the basic service. They told me, "It's fine! After a year, you can call back and negotiate your rate back down to $15, don't worry." So not only are they thieves, they are liars, because this clearly did not prove to be true.
When I received the $49 dollar bill in the mail, I immediately called the customer service, which is the worst that I've ever dealt with. I was on the phone with them for 50 minutes -- it took 40 minutes of holding, listening to propaganda about how great the company is, to actually get someone on the phone. When I finally got connected to a customer service representative, they told me they could lower my rate down by $5 and that's the best they had.
I asked them why they value new customers over existing loyal customers, who have been paying their bills on a regular basis. They then proceeded to tell me that they value all customers the same, yet, new customers get a $30 dollar discount, while existing customers are eligible for a $5 discount, and that's only if they call to complain. Interesting to see how much existing customers are 'valued.'
I then asked to cancel my account, at which point, I got put on hold for another 15 minutes. When I got connected, the customer service representative told me that there was a disconnect behind what the company offered and what I wanted. He told me that I just had the basic TV, and DirecTV didn't specialize in that. He told me that I was behind the times, which was probably why I was dissatisfied. Really not a great idea to insult one of your "valued" customers and someone who is trying to disconnect from your service. I am now stuck with paying a $220 disconnect fee, which, by the way, they didn't explicitly tell me about when I connected with them.
And you wonder why young people don't want to buy TV anymore. A word to the wise, DirecTV, if you want to maintain your market share amongst young people, lower your prices, or improve your service. You can't claim to offer great service, when your customers can't even watch TV when it rains or get in touch with a customer service representative without spending an hour on the phone holding. You are not worth one single penny, and I will let all of my network of friends and colleagues know this. I hope you remember our conversation, as well as the many conversation like ours, when you are watching your business dwindle and asking yourself why.
Due to two deaths in the family within two weeks of one another, and my own health issues, our bills have been falling behind. When DirecTV notified us via email that they were disconnecting our services, we decided not to stop it, and awaited their equipment return kit. Unfortunately, it appears that we didn't return their equipment quickly enough.
Yesterday, upon checking to see if we would have enough money to pay for the final funeral service charges, we learned that DirecTV had withdrawn over $300.00, leaving our account completely empty. Thankfully, our family helped us get some money together to deposit so that we could pay the funeral parlor. After depositing the money, I called DirecTV to ask why they believed they could take money without permission. I was referred several times to "section 5(e)" of my customer agreement, which I've listed that below. Pay particular attention to the print in all caps (which I did, because I really don't think they would have).
The first representative told me that I signed a contract that gave them permission to do what they did. She also threatened to hang up on me if I didn't quit "cussing" (I started out fairly calm, and only began "cussing" when she refused several times to say much more than continually referring me to the customer service agreement). I requested a supervisor.
He didn't do much more in answering things like when I could expect my refund, and continued referring me to section 5(e) of the service agreement, interrupting me several times to do so. Eventually he transferred me to a department which would help me further.
A very nice representative answered and informed me that I was transferred to the wrong department, but was very informative as to the process of the refund (seems they can take money from your bank account, but not give it back), that no more money would be taken from the account, and a check would be mailed once the returned equipment was received by them.
Today, on a hunch, I checked our bank balance and found that an additional $145.00 was taken out by DirecTV, that the check we wrote for the funeral charges had been declined by the bank, and that the bank had charged us a returned check fee. While I embarrassingly called the funeral director to apologize, my wife called DirecTV. They told her that the additional money was taken to pay the final balance on the account, and of course, apologized for any inconvenience this may have caused.
To be fair, DirecTV had no way of knowing of our problems these past few months, nor would we expect any special treatment because of them. However, I can assure you that at no time did we ever agree to allow them to withdraw funds from our account without our permission, nor did we ever sign, or accept any kind of contract, despite what they may believe.
My advice is this: make sure you know everything about how your credit or debit card information is or may be used, and don't always believe what you're told by customer service. The following is an excerpt from the June 2014 DirecTV customer service agreement. I think the last line of the paragraph is perhaps the most disturbing.
"5(E) payment upon cancellation. You acknowledge that you have provided your credit or debit card account information to us. You understand that you will incur fees and charges as a result of your receipt and use of service and/or receiving equipment, and may incur early cancellation fees and/or equipment non-return fees (as specified in any programming or other service commitment agreement you entered into in connection with obtaining receiving equipment).
By giving us your credit or debit card account information at any time, you authorize us to apply this method of payment, in accordance with applicable law, to satisfy any and all amounts due upon cancellation. You also acknowledge and agree that you are required to maintain current credit or debit card information with us and agree to notify us whenever there is a change in such information, such as a change in the card number or the expiration date and additionally, that DirecTV may obtain such updated information through payment card networks, card issuers or other third party sources."
EL SEGUNDO, CALIFORNIA -- We cancelled our service after a 6-month hold on the plan. When my wife called, she was transferred several times, instead of cancelling they re-activated the service and started charging us even though she said several times she wanted to cancel. When they charged our card again a month after the call, we found out that not only did they not cancel, but we were still being charged even though we no longer lived in the same house or had the satellite.
When I read them the bill and asked for an explanation of the charges, each person of the 4 that I spoke to gave different answers as to where the totals came from. Not a one gave the same answer twice - how is that even possible? When I asked about my wife's experience with the other reps, they told me that they never occurred because they failed to record the notes. Thankfully, my wife took notes and recorded parts of the calls to protect us after a while. But these people used ignorance as their defense and won. We finally just ate the $400 and wrote it off as a learning lesson because they refused to listen to us.
Then they sent us a box to return all of the equipment. We had 21 days to return it from the receipt of the box, but 18 days in, they charged us $191 for the equipment saying we never sent it to them. We kept all of the tracking information and showed that not only did they receive it, but they took the money out well before they said they would. We spent the next 2 hours arguing with them to credit our account the same way the charged it, but they say it would have to be refunded in a check and mailed to us. Each person told us a different time frame.
When I asked to speak to their supervisor, they put me on with Doug (employee number **) and he was just a parrot repeating the same thing over and over that he was told he could not get my money back in any other form than a check. When I asked for his boss, he said "the buck stops with me", there were no other bosses, and he was in charge of all the customer service in the nation. I told him that was a lie and I wanted to speak to Legal. He fought at first, then put me on hold to get a number. When he came back he said that he couldn't transfer me, but someone from the Escalation Department would call me back.
During that hold I looked up to see on their website if anyone was listed (of course they weren't) but I challenged Doug to put me through to Michael ** - there was a really long pause. I asked him if he knew who that was, he said he didn't, and he was extremely dumbfounded when I told him that this was his CEO and that if he was where the buck stopped that he should really know who his CEO is. This whole experience has been nothing short of a nightmare. This is why people switch to other providers or just choose Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon TV. Probably the worst customer experience I've ever had.
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, NEW YORK -- I have gotten tired of playing the negotiation game with DirecTV. I have been a customer on and off (more on than off, I have 2 old receivers from the time before they wanted their equipment back) for over 15 years. Like many other services, it always starts the same with a low introductory price and then as time goes on, the price keeps creeping up. I had always called them to complain and threaten to leave and they would give me another deal for 6 to 8 months that I would be amicable to pay. At the end of that term it would go up again and we would play the game again.
I was generally accepting of $48 to $60 per month and we would play with packages and such to get it there. I left for DISH once and Time Warner another time for a short commitment. My DirecTV receiver broke in October of 2012 and they made me sign a new 2-YEAR AGREEMENT to get a new receiver even when it was their "leased" equipment. I should have bolted then but my family's complaint about shows they wanted to watch and another negotiated "deal" kept me a customer of DirecTV. As an aside it appears that all of the cable/satellite companies are now doing these 2-year agreements to lock customers in, and they wonder why people are pulling the plug!
Well as time went on the price of course increased again and we got rid of a receiver that was rarely used and trimmed the channel package to save and get the bill back to where I wanted it. During the last year with the price going up, no negotiations were offered (without ANOTHER 2 YEAR AGREEMENT), my bill was up to $69.00 and I kept finding that channels I had before were now not there. THIS IS A GREAT CUSTOMER MODEL, CHARGE MORE AND PROVIDE LESS!
So I had enough and decided to end this charade as we have been watching more internet streaming shows and Netflix so what is the point of paying for overpriced CRAP? I knew there may be a disconnection charge but called to find out what that would be. The representative said the charge would be $120 for the early termination fee, **, but contractual.
I said that I understood that the bill I paid was for the coming month's service and that I had just paid a bill two weeks ago so "what am I paid through?" He said that the end of my service period was April 22nd so I said "then since I am paid though the 22nd, make that the termination date." And so it was done and he said he was sorry to see me leave as a long-time customer and that they would welcome me back any time. He stated that a final bill would arrive in the mail with the exact amount of the early termination fee and any other extra charges or credits to be applied.
I received the final bill today, $182.90! This basically consisted of the $120 termination fee and ANOTHER MONTH OF SERVICE! I specifically asked how long I was PAID through and was told the 22nd. If I had known that I was still accruing a charge for service, I would have canceled that day and have been at least $40 better off. I called to complain and to see if they could do something about the bill considering what I was told and the representative was unable to do anything about the charges. I told her thank you for nothing and terminated the call.
I WILL NEVER BE A CUSTOMER OF DIRECTV AGAIN. Perhaps if they had been more lenient on the previous month's billing or termination fee, I could have been persuaded at a later date to try their service again. This declining service, increased price and contractual obligations just leaves an arsenic taste in my mouth and I will never consider their service again and will go out of my way to dissuade anyone else from ever considering their service again.
This is not the company whose service and programming I used to enjoy (back in the TiVo receiver days). This is a company that only cares for charging their customers for every nickel and dime they can get. Heck they make the airlines seem reasonable! If the shipping wasn't so much, I would pay this bill in pennies. The only satisfaction I see is that I am saving $362.00 by not wasting my life through the end of the contract.
I am throwing up my HD antenna and DVRing on my PC that is hooked up behind the TV now and yes it will be a bit more inconvenient, but I refuse to be a cable/satellite prisoner again. May their satellite be knocked out by an asteroid! Good riddance!
UPDATE! (5/9/14) Well I guess my complaints have paid off. After several posts of my problems in different places, including the BBB, DirecTV has FULLY CREDITED MY ACCOUNT, balance is now $0.00. Thank you DirecTV .
ATLANTIC BEACH, FLORIDA -- I had paid for my sister's direcTV for about 7 years because she was on disability and could not afford it. About 3 months ago we decided it was becoming too expensive and changed to AT&T. After being with AT&T for a month, she did not like that so we went back to DirecTV. The representative wanted a bank acct or credit card which he assured me he would only use for the initial set up. Then they used it for the first months payment. When I called they said they would credit it back, but never did. 5 weeks later my sister died unexpectedly in her sleep, she was only 58.
I called Direct to cancel, but since it is in my name, not hers, they refuse to do anything other than let me move it to my home and continue the 2 year contract. I have Comcast and was not willing to change my service. So now I own the cancellation fee. He said it cost $1,000 to reconnect my service, well what about all the $1,000's I have paid over all the years I have been a customer and what about all the years I have been a customer. I leave for a few weeks, you wanted me back, now I am back and due to a death I need to leave.
The representative told me I lost my loyalty because I left for 5 weeks. So I ask, what would have happened if I had died and not my sister? Well, if that had happened they would have waived the cancellation fee. I told him with any luck I would go to sleep and die before I got his bill. He offered to call the police if I was going to hurt myself, they do not want to lose that cancellation fee. However, as I have read other complaints I have read of other customers where a husband has died and they bill the wife.
As other replies have pointed out, everyone has a contract today. No one looks at these complaints until you have a problem. But buyers need to BEWARE, ask lots of questions. DirecTV will tell you one thing and do something else. They did it to me and did it to others. Beware, Beware, Beware. The new motto Customers are always wrong.
FARGO, ND, NORTH DAKOTA -- The deals are so good to be true and it's because that are not true. They over charged our account, they never reconnected at the new address because they had to return to run more wires. OMG the guy must not have noticed the cameras we have and he was hitting on my 16-year-old disabled daughter. He showed her how to get to the sex channels and suggested a couple.
They at first tried to bundle with CenturyLink, well both companies were charging us. DirecTV was a direct withdraw from the bank account and CenturyLink was a bill. That took almost 8 months to dispute and they made us a deal where we still got screwed. ALL in ALL we have never been more dissatisfied with a company. They have wasted more time on the phone withhold and saying they are going to credit the accounts back only to wait another month and the moron we talk to next knows nothing more than the one last month.
The police said they thought a company that sends someone into homes like this would have done better background checks, but the guy said he thought my daughter looked older. We thank god we were home and kept the guy from doing more than suggesting sex channels to a child. Beware they are a rip-off. The PO box 6550 Greenwood Village Colorado has yet to respond to our complaint. Maybe that's a bogus address too just like the best rip off company.
We have never seen worse or dealt with more incompetent customer service. I'm not sure I'd suggest another company, I guess we are sticking with Netflix and asked for the DirecTV to send us a recovery kit so we can send back all their equipment.
FLAGSTAFF, ARIZONA -- I feel like I was deceived: I was sold the product under the bases that if for some reason (or any reason) I need to get out of the contract that I could talk to the satellite salesman and he could get me out of it without having to pay anything. A Summary of he said would be: "They will try and give you a hard time, but just get ahold of me and you won't have to pay anything to cancel." He seemed like a great guy. But as it turned out I started a new job teaching at a University while I am pursuing more education, and frankly the product didn't work half the time, so I decided I wanted to cancel.
I couldn't get ahold of James, I called many times. So I called up direct TV and they told me it was going to be a $380 cancellation fee. They didn't care that it didn't work, I kept on telling them that the dish wasn't accessible (it's up about two stories high on the side of my building) and ice would get on it. So I realized that I wasn't going to get reception for months (because there is ice for months here, also they said that something else was wrong, they man said it was a funny error signal they were getting.) So they were going to send someone out to fix it, but they said it would be $50 dollars or I could sing up for an extra $8 a month for free repairs.
I didn't want to sign up for anything more and I didn't want to pay the $50. So I cancelled and paid them the money. I thought it was interesting how they added the last month's bill into the cancellation fee when for a month and a half I didn't have service. The worst part was that I received phone calls from the salesman telling me to package everything up and send it back or it was going to be another 200 and something, but it wasn't him... IT WAS A MACHINE!! With that classic machine woman's voice.
I also got tricked into paying more because they bump up the price if you don't cancel some channels after 3 months. So for a couple of months I was paying 70 something dollars until I went and checked. I hate having to always check my bank site to see if people are taking the right amount. Anyway it was a bad and I lost a lot of money, but I'm glad I don't have to deal with them anymore.
ELMHURST, ILLINOIS -- I am a disabled widow on social security disability. I took out a package a year ago. I fully intended to stay a customer. The picture is great, the customer service is helpful and pleasant. I have become unable to stay in my home which I did not plan. I was an excellent customer and intended to continue to be excellent. It has become necessary to move in with my son and his family. They already have a service in place and do not want a dish attached to their house. Therefore, since I cannot forward my service to a new place I have to pay an early termination fee of $220.00.
This a lot of money for me. I have tried to get them to see how unfair this practice to people who have no control over their circumstances to pay this fee. It is not like I am being a jerk or trying to cheat them or be sneaky and ditch them. But now I must say I am so disappointed to be treated this way that I say be very careful if you die before your 2 years are up your family will probably have to pay $220.00 because you cannot forward your service to heaven.
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 sister's room. A month pass and the service was still the same. It wasn't 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 longer 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 that's 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 and 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 whether I should switch to U-verse or Comcast.