DirecTV Inc Complaint - Use of intimidation and extortion a DirecTV customer retention tool
SACRAMENTO, CALIFORNIA -- In January 2008 I purchased an HD LCD TV from Cosco and accepted the DirecTV offer made to Costco members: free equipment and installation for all rooms. On 01-23-08 the installer called at work to request an additional $75 for the living room installion. I rejected his offer and asked him just install the master bedroom HD-DVR upgrade.
That evening I found a basic receiver and not the expected upgrade. I physically disconnected from the DirecTV dish and reconnect the Comcast cable and sent and email cancelling the service.
On 01-26-08, I sent a second email requesting service cancellation and a refund to my AMEX. When the reply finally came on it include a 02/11 installation date. My service cancellation requests were ignored.
On 01-30-08 I called to inform them that I did not want to continue, would be out of town that week, and wanted a full refund. Adam (telephone CSR) hung up on me; issued a $19.95 service credit; and made no attempt to establish further contact with me.
On 02/11 the installer came and found no one at home. Since AMEX had refunded to my account the $59.99 January charge, I made not attempt to contac them again.
On 02/29/08, they charged my account and again I disputed this AMEX charge.
On 03/01 DirecTV billing called to question my actions. I explained that I was not their customer. The wrong equipment and service package had been delivered on 01/23 resulting in my cancelling the service within hours of installation. She transferred me to CSR who apologized, offered good upgrades and I agreed to a 03/10 reinstatement provided I would not be charged for previos two months. She transferred me to SEAN--her supervisor. Sean likes to scream threats--abusive tone and substance. He refused to reinstate the beginning date to March 10 and to refund Jan/Feb billings. Instead, he cancelled the 03/10 service reinstatement and said he would, at minimum, assess a $400 contract cancellation fine, "because he could!" At this point he explained the DirecTV does not deemed email to be an appropriate business communication tool and thus, email cancellation requests are not process. He failed to accept my cancellation phone call to Adam because it was not with the "right department".
I question this company's business practices: Why bill for services not provided? Why not change the date and retain the customer? Why is the customer penalized for their internal communication problems and shoddy business practices--the email should have been transfered to the appropriate deparment for action?
Keep your Cable service. Do not be tempted by "DirecTV offers". With the cable company you know exactly what you are paying for and their CSRs will communicate with you via email, phone, person, and USPS!
My take: DirecTV attempted to extort money from me and attempted to frighten me into becoming their customer. Is this legal? Can they enforce a contract they breached first--wrong equipment installed? Can this DirecTV web-order be deemed binding after their failure?