DirecTV Inc Complaint - User Beware! - Deceptive Trade
LIVINGSTON, TEXAS -- I had been a customer of DirecTV for about 10 months when my primary receiver (HD) stopped working. After hours with the customer service department and numerous telephone calls, it was determined that the receiver was defective. I was given the option of having one of their service technicians come to my home for $75 to tell me it was defective or go to my local Best Buy to pick up a replacement receiver. I chose the latter due to the fact that we had already resolved all of the wiring and other equipment issues and discovered that the problem was within the receiver that was provided me by DirecTV. When I got home with the new receiver, I tried to put my existing smart card into the new reciver and found it would not authorize. So again I called customer service. I was told that was no problem that they could activate the card that came with the new receiver over the phone. Doing that, I was able to recieve the programming for which I was paying for.
After 16 months of service I decided to switch to my local cable company that recently started to provide High Speed internet, which DirecTV did not provide, so I cancelled my service. I had a 1 year commitment that would have expired 7/26/06, and this was 11/26/06. I was told by the customer service rep that I would owe an early termination fee of $225. I told this person that I had fulfilled my one year commitment and she advised me that when I replaced the defective receiver, that constituted starting a "New" service of which I was obligated for another year. I told her at that time that I did not start a new service, but had merely replaced a defective receiver that they had provided me. I was at that time told me by purchasing (not really) the unit, I had agreed to their terms of service. These terms were not conveyed to me at any point during any conversation, but were posted on thier website. They claim that I am obligated to pay the charges, so I filed the necessary dispute as outlined in DirecTV TOS. According to this, all disputed charges are placed on hold until the dispute is resolved. I have not received any correspondence from DirecTV regarding my dispute, but had a collection agency contact me this morning 2/7/07 informing me that my account with DirecTV had been placed with them for collection.
In the process, DirecTV withdrew funds from my account for an additional month after my cancellation. In my response to them I requested not only that the charges for early termination be dropped, but the addtional month of services which I did not recieve be promptly refunded to me.
If any one has any suggestions or comments, I would be happy to hear.
I am forwarding this to every consumer protection agency I can, and would appreciate any others with similar complaints to do the same.