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to see if we would have enough money to pay for the final funeral service charges, we learned that DirecTV, had withdrawn over $300.00, leaving our account completely empty.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 reactivated 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 61931) 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 [snip] - 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 AmazonTV. Probably the worst customer experience I've ever had.
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, NEW YORK -- I have gotten tired of playing the negotiation game with Direct TV. 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 TimeWarner another time for a short commitment. My Direct TV 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 Direct TV. 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 o 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 Netfilx 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, [snip], 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 he 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!
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 .
I signed up for DirecTV service through AT&T and the sales women I spoke to signed me up for a higher priced channel package then I wanted, she also put me down as wanting ALL HD with a DVR (that I didn't want). The sale women also stated that I would receive a $50.00 gift card as part of the promotion they were running for new customers (I never received it ) that was a lie! The only way I believe this happen is there sales people must be getting paid on commission. I ordered the basic channel package without the HD service. I had no idea that the install personnel was giving me ALL HD service equipment. I did ask the installer why was I getting a DVR and he told me it was promotional (no charge), that was a lie. Then the installer told me that he had to collect $30.00 because of the way he had to mount the satellite dish (another lie). DirecTV's corporate office told me that mounting a HD dish on a pole is listed as standard installation, and requires no charge, instead of refunding my money they would only give me $30.00 off my next months bill.
Once I received my first months bill and started asking questions about " why is it so high" that's when I realize what they had done! Every time I talked to a DirecTV personnel (trying to fix the problem) I was told that it would be fixed or that I have HD equipment so I must pay for HD service! After 3 months of trying to get my bill fixed I told DirecTV personnel that I wanted a copy of the audio recording of my sales call, they told me I couldn't have it! So I informed them that I never signed a release form on the rights of my voice so that sales call is as much mine as it is there's. That's when they started trying to work with me and they only fixed my bill after I told them that I would get my Lawyer to subpoena that phone recording for court. After hearing that, they fixed the bill and I still never got a copy of that phone call!
Nine months later we moved to the other side of town and took our equipment and had it reinstalled. Once again ( because we moved) all the problems with the bill started all over. I was told that it was reset by the computer system. So I (again) had to call them over and over trying to get my bill fixed. So again I had to deal with DirecTV personnel telling me that would fix the problem, then they don't. My wife and I talked about what we should do about DirecTV, so I called the cancellation dept asking questions and one thing I was told is that if you cancel a contract early there is a $10.00 charge per month still left on the contract (a lie) . We decided that the best way to deal with our problems regarding DirecTV is to cancel our contract. I called the cancellation department on October 15th @ 11:45am and they tell me it will be a $20.00 fee per month that we were still under contract. During this call I told them that I wanted a itemized bill with all fees and past due amounts sent to me. We never got the bill and DirecTV said they sent it on Oct 27th. They told me that in the letter that I didn't get it stated that if my bill wasn't paid by November 5th that they would take it using a debt card that we had used in the past. On Oct 6th DirecTV took $377.10 from our bank account causing three over draft charges of $30.00 each, that's a total of $461.10 that we weren't ready for. We noticed this on November 11th and called DirecTV @ 8:29am using number 1-800-531-5000. I spoke to DirecTV personnel Sunia #188355, Suzie #100545525 and Marisa #100466211, I noticed that they all had the same accent and asked Marisa "what county are you located in" she responded "the Philippines".
Basically what these Filipinos told me is, I was given enough time to pay so they took the money and they don't care if I got the letter or about the overdraft charges! DirecTV is one of the most unprofessional, un-American corporate entities that I have had the displeasure of dealing with! If a company can't hold up there part of a contract then it should be void! I was still waiting on my bill when they had stolen those funds from my account without my knowledge making them responsible for the over drafts! DirecTV needs to change the way they do business, starting with the sales people and ending with the customer service and people skills of there employees. On a final note there should be some kind of steps that can be taken when someone is canceling there account based on corporate incompetence!
ATLANTIC BEACH, FLORIDA -- I had paid for my sister's direct TV 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 Direct. 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.
HENDERSON, NEVADA -- I want to say I never had a bad thing I say about direct TV till now. I had there services back in 2000-7 then moved to Utah when it all went to crap. To start with the problem with my bill never being straight also I referred 2 people to the company and still they treat me like just a mother dollar sign. I contracted with direct TV and my bill for the first year should have been 18.75 with all my discounts also they said I would get free show time for 3 months as a trial, I advised them I did not want it. Anyway my very first bill was 80 something dollars !! When I called in to question this I got a whole other story. And the reps are programmed to blame you and tell you your contract and why you signed up for like your a clueless dumb customer. I mean the level of disrespect that some of these reps have is unbelievable! So they said my bill was 80 and that's what it was going to be long story short I have never paid a contracted price like I was told all the discounts they have gave me where lies! Also I'm not on here telling lies just check my bill and my account and you can see how (F'ed) up it really is!! The second year was the worst! They took a customer that loved the service to hate the service! Not only did I spend countless hours wasted on the phone over the years, they have never took the initiative to say they are sorry, and of course why would they care they are a multi billion dollar company.
So to try to shorten it some more, I get to the last few months on my account. My mother advised me she wanted TV service and I was about to say go with dish or cable, what did I do? My dumb ass calls direct TV and sees how I can refer my mother cause she wanted to keep up with Spanish and see the Spanish channels. So I called direct TV and spoke with the representative he advised me that If I changed the service that it would not extended my contract so I called bs I said I want to speak with your supervisor and come to find out the supervisor also confirmed the same thing Mr. Luciano you will not have your contact extended nor will there be cancellation fees your contact ends so the representative said do you want to shut off the TV services now or wait till This November 2013. I said shut them off and sen the last 2 bills via paper to the address stated with my address. The representative supervisor said OK your all set gives me a confirmation number and I think things are finally good!! Hell no I get an unauthorized payment withdrawn from my personal bank checking account for the amount of $104.16 !!! Now wait it get way better. Not only do they pull my money from my account they also say they have current amount due of $68 !! How the hell do you figure if there is only 2 months left to my contract and my normal bill is around $40 that you would take "unauthorized" 104.16 then tell me I still owe another $68?? Even if I paid both months In advanced !! That still doesn't add up!!
Oh but here's the real kicker , out of the blue they said I had an early termination contract ! So that was another fee! Another 9 months they say! If you think I'm out rage well he'll put my shoes on and take the walk ! Even if they said sorry will give you free service for life or 2 years or anything I would tell them no thanks keep the tip cause you don't do business like that! And if they have this recorded they can go back and fire some of the dumb people they hired! This is a company where the left hand doesn't know the right hand is doing. #1 in service ?? Please, spare your self at least be honest and say 75-80 percent approval ratings, tell is like it is, instead of sugar coating it!
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 Century Link, well both companies were charging us. Direct TV was a direct withdraw from the bank account and Century Link was a bill. That took almost 8 months to dispute and they made as 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 with hold 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 ever 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 direct TV 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 aways 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 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 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 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.