DirecTV Inc Complaint - Complaint: DIRECT TV deceptive ad & deceptive DIRECT TV installers
MIAMI, FLORIDA -- Complaint: DIRECT TV deceptive ad AND deceptive DIRECT TV installers
The DIRECT TV ad states 4-room installation for free. “FREE professional installation of 4-room system” and “No equipment to buy or startup costs” See https://directv.com/DTVAPP/global/contentPage.jsp?assetId=2700001
The ad also offers for a free DVR. According to the ad, the DVR may be used to record a program while watching another program. It states: “Record up to 100 hours — even two shows at once.” See http://directv.com/DTVAPP/global/secondaryIndex.jsp?assetId=900023
My parents and I currently have Comcast TV cable service. Our desire was to replace the Comcast service for Direct TV and take advantage of the DIRECT TV advertised current offer on https://directv.com/DTVAPP/global/contentPage.jsp?assetId=2700001. We asked to replace DIRECT TV for Comcast in the same rooms and same TV’s. We also identified which of the 4 rooms would house the FREE offered and advertised DVR.
When the installer, a Mr. Sanchez, arrived he informed my 85-year-old elderly father that DIRECT TV would need to charge him for 5 (FIVE) “custom” cable installations! This is despite the ad offering “FREE professional installation of 4-room system” and “No equipment to buy or startup costs” See https://directv.com/DTVAPP/global/contentPage.jsp?assetId=2700001. He then told my elderly father that each “custom” installation cost $52.50, thus my father would be charged over $250 despite our intent to simply replace COMCAST with DIRECT TV in the same rooms for the same TV’s (adding the FREE DVR). When I intervened and explained we had responded to the internet offer and public ad, and objected to the need for 5 custom installations (the 5th one, he said was in order for the DVR to perform the function stated in the internet DIRECT TV ad, i.e., “Record up to 100 hours — even two shows at once.” See http://directv.com/DTVAPP/global/secondaryIndex.jsp?assetId=900023 ). Mr. Sanchez then said he would use 3 of the current wall cables used to receive COMCAST and need only TWO “custom” installations. Started from FIVE, then reducing it to 2, when the ad offered “FREE professional installation of 4-room system” and “No equipment to buy or startup costs” See https://directv.com/DTVAPP/global/contentPage.jsp?assetId=2700001 made me highly suspect of the installer and DIRECT TV.
Before allowing the installer to proceed with the TWO “custom” installations, I called Customer Service at DIRECT TV to object. I spoke with an agent who, for the first time, explained, that the “custom” installation charge was money paid directly to the installer and NOT to DIRECT TV. Apparently the “installer” is some type of contractor who gets a fee from Direct TV to install the system but that if the “installer” determines “custom” installation is required, he personally pockets $52.50 for each “custom” installation, thus explaining his attempt to have my elderly dad pay him over $250!
Direct TV Customer Service agent, or the lady supervisor, did not intervene in the attempt by the installer to rip-off my elderly father for what turned out to be unnecessary and undisclosed installation fees. Because of deceptive advertising, hidden undisclosed fees, and an attempt to take moneys from an elderly person, I opted to cancel the Direct TV order.
Once I informed Mr. Sanchez of my having cancelled the order, the need from even the TWO “custom” installations (initially there was a need for five/ 5 custom installations) was reduced to ONE (in order for the DVR to perform the functions stated in the DIRECT TV ad, i.e., “Record up to 100 hours — even two shows at once.” See http://directv.com/DTVAPP/global/secondaryIndex.jsp?assetId=900023 . Mr. Sanchez eventually concluded that he could use all FOUR/4 of the current Comcast cables but would charge me $52.50 in order to be able to “Record up to 100 hours — even two shows at once.” AT no time did DIRECT TV customer service, nor the supervisor with whom I also spoke at DIRECT TV intervened or questioned Mr. Sanchez attempt to charge an elderly person over $250 in unnecessary fees or to even charge the $52.50 so that the DVR could perform the function advertised to “Record up to 100 hours — even two shows at once.” That was extremely disappointing and potential DIRECT TV customers should WATCH OUT! The FTC should also look into what appears to be DIRECT TV deceptive ad and hidden undisclosed costs.
In the end, I have agreed to pay Mr. Sanchez for ONE additional custom cable installation, a $52.50 charge, in order for the FREE DVR to perform the function stated in the DIRECT TV ad. This $52.50 is a deceptive and hidden cost. I am certain that a review of all accounts of new installations by Digital TV will show that in nearly 100% of new customers, the new customers were required to pay the additional $52.50 in order for the FREE DVR to perform the function stated in its public ad (thus the deceptive and undisclosed hidden cost).
That said, my principal gripe is a matter of principle: an attempt to abuse vulnerable elderly persons. Had I not been at home visiting my elderly parents (I am a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State and now reside in the DC area but come home to see my parents bi-weekly), my father would have paid Mr. Sanchez over $250 in unnecessary “custom” cable installation fees. Elderly customers who want to install DIRECT TV should be cautious. DIRECT TV should be ashamed of not having taken action to intervene and protect and new customer. Beware of DIRECT TV deceptive ads, their unscrupulous installers, and the poor customer service department supervisors.
To recap…in my case, the initial “custom” cable cost of over $250, went down to $105, and eventually down to $52.50 although the $52.50 is a hidden undisclosed cost so that the FREE DVR offered in the DIRECT TV ad can perform the function stated in the ad.