DirecTV Inc Complaint - "Early Cancellation Fee" rip-off
Resolution Update on 04/11/2008:
Here is an update....I re-sent my complaint to DIRECTV with hopes that it would reach a representative who had some sense. This time they sent me back an email saying that I agreed to a 2 year contract. Needless to say that I was livid. First they said that I agreed to 18 months (which was false to begin with) and I owed $280.....now they were saying that I agreed to 2 years and I owed them close to $400. I decided to kick it up another level. I contacted the Better Business Bureau, Consumer Affairs, Maryland Attorney General, and a few others. I then "blasted" DIRECTV with emails. I went ahead and sent them my original complaint, about 10 times, one right after the other to email@example.com. I then found another one of their email addresses (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I emailed that one, with the same complaint, about 8 times. I received a call yesterday (4/11), from a representative in the Office Of The President and he stated that he received my emails and he "took another look at my account" and "realized" that I should not have been charged an early termination fee at all. He said that he was going to waive it as well as remove my credit card information from their system so that no mistake is made to charge me. I'm not quite sure what exactly made them "take another look at my account", the people I contacted or the emails, but either way I'm happy. I don't know if you all will find this helpful with your cases, but if it is, the squeaky wheel gets the oil....being squeaky saved me close to $400. Good Luck!
On 4/7/08,I called DIRECTV to cancel my account and much to my surprise, I was told that I was still under contract. The rep stated that if I cancelled my account, a cancellation fee would apply. I was told that my contract was extended for 18 months, starting last December. He stated that I would have to pay $20 for each month of the contract, that was not completed. In my case, that total would be $280.00.
My first issue is that last December, I called DIRECTV because one of my standard boxes was malfunctioning (through no fault of my own). The rep stated that it sounded like a manufacturing defect. She said that she would send me a replacement box in the mail. Now, I pay for the Protection Plan for all of my boxes, every month. So if anything went wrong with any of the boxes, I'm entitled to a replacement box, with no cost to me. So THAT coupled with the fact that I wasn't signing up for additional service or boxes for a different room, there was no reason to extend my contract.
My second issue was that the rep NEVER informed me that she was extending my contract. Had I known, I would have continued to use the defective box, seeing as how I was considering leaving DIRECTV for Verizon anyway. Under NO circumstances would I have agreed to extend my contract. I was told that I should email DIRECTV to dispute any cancellation fee that I may incur. I sent an email to them, only to get a response saying that when I agreed to have them send me a "replacement" box, I was agreeing to an extended contract.
Apparently, ethics have gone down the toilet with DIRECTV if they have to stoop to this level to maintain customers. I am disappointed at their lack of integrity. I will bite the bullet and pay the cancellation fee. For it is a small price to pay for ending my business with such an unethical company such as DIRECTV. I hope Verizon takes ALL of DIRECTV's customers.