DirecTV Inc Complaint - Deceptive Business Practices
CALIFORNIA -- I am appalled by Direct TV's sneaky business practices. Yet another VERY dissatisfied customer review...
My first negative interaction with them was about 6 months ago when I had a $250 charge on my account for NFL Sunday Night Ticket. [I hate football...never watch it]. So I assumed that it was just a mistake. I called them and the rep said that when I signed up a year prior, there was a promotion going on that allowed me to get NFL Sunday Night Ticket for free. I never watched it but apparently had it for free for a year. So instead of ASKING me if I wanted to renew it, they just renewed it for me. Not only did they renew the subscription, they charged me IN ADVANCE for the subscription that would take me through the 6 months (or however long football season lasts). So I asked them to please cancel it. They had the nerve to say that I could not cancel it!!! It had only been "active" for a few days of the 6 month period.
I asked to speak to a manager and the rep told me that I shouldn't bother because the manager would tell me the same thing (excellent customer service skills, don't you think?). I called back the following day and before talking to the rep I asked for her employee id number and name because I planned to track all of my interactions with their company. That got her attention. I asked to speak with a manager immediately and was sent to one immediately. I explained the situation to the manager and after putting me on hold for a while, she came back and said that they would give me a credit for the amount they had charged. So that issue was resolved, but not without a spending a lot of time and aggravation. I just kept thinking about all of those people who have probably been screwed in the same way and just didn't fight it.
My second issue with DirecTV occurred several months ago when my DVR stopped working. I called DirecTV and they were very nice and sent me a box for my old machine and a new machine...no problems. The new product worked well and I have been enjoying it for a few months now.
So now, several months later, I am moving and I need to cancel my service. I've been with Direct TV for over a year and a half and never signed a new contract, so I figured my original 1 year contract was now month-to-month.
I should have known better. APPARENTLY, when I sent them the BROKEN machine (it just stopped working) and accepted the new machine, I was somehow supposed to know (through telepathy?) that I was implicitly entering into a new service agreement commitment and that the "clock" on my contract would start over. The representative NEVER explained this to me, and thereby denied me of my right to make an informed decision. I consider this to be blatant deception -- practices likely to deceive customers or clients.
When I spoke to the representative about cancelling my service I expressed my dissatisfaction to him (even though I know it's not his fault and he can't do anything about it), and asked him how I could have avoided having my contract date start over when their machine broke. He said that if I had insured my DVR, then my contract would not have started over. Yet another fact that was never explained to me.
So now they are telling me that I have to pay $250 in order to cancel my service. I said I wanted to dispute the charge and the rep. told me that he would "escalate" the complaint and someone will call me within 7 days. I also plan to submit a written complaint.
How do they get away with this? Why aren't there any laws that force companies to explain hidden charges and options to their customers? Fortunately, I am capable of paying $250 if I have to but what about individuals and families who can't?