DirecTV Complaint - DirecTV: Time for a Class Action Lawsuit
GREENWOOD VILLAGE, COLORADO -- Had I not experienced first hand the operating practices of DirecTV, I would have never have imagined a company could be allowed to conduct business in this country in such a blatantly dishonest, irresponsible, and widespread manner.
That a class action lawsuit has not been filed against this company is beyond me. Here is our experience.
We have been subscribers of DirecTV for over 5 years. Initially, the service was unremarkable, in so much as all it entails in the first place is a simple- VERY SIMPLE concept: choose a programming package, get that package, pay for the service. No one is putting anyone on the moon here, and it isn't rocket surgery.
After a couple of years of said uneventful service, we began to notice variations in our bills. We had assumed that these were legitimate "variations", until we looked at EACH AND EVERY monthly statement. We were amazed to find that, prior to monitoring our bills, we had been getting charged for movies we had not seen or purchased (ordered), and even more outrageous, the prices of programming choices we had made were being arbitrarily raised without our knowledge or consent. The result was an almost monthly ritual of time-consuming calls to have those charges removed. Although the charges were eventually reversed amidst apologies and other hollow pleasantries, it was not without taking considerable time and effort on our part.
This trend continued, and worsened to the point that, on several occasions, I let the supervisor(s) know that we intended to discontinue our service altogether with if these practices did not stop once and for all. Again, apologies were issued, and we were told we would be given "six months" of (fill in the blank) programming for free as a show of DirecTV's wanting to make things right. EACH TIME, not only was the "freebie" only extended for THREE months, but AFTER THREE MONTHS DIRECTV BEGAN CHARGING US FOR THAT PACKAGE EVEN THOUGH WE NEVER ORDERED IT!!! Again, time and effort consuming phone calls needed to be made, and in the process, the response on a personal level had become downright RUDE and insulting. Finally, about nine months ago, we decided to purchase an HDTV capable flat screen, and decided we would also change our carrier as well.
When we called DirecTV to disconnect our service, we were immediately put in touch with a supervisor. In essence, he wanted to know "What would we (DirecTV) have to do to keep your business?" I explained how they would pretty much have to give me just about everything for free, as we were plain fed up with their company. Without going into detail, suffice it to say that we were given significant equipment fee and programming "deals" to make it worth our while.
Most importantly, I specified that I did not want to see any variation on the agreed upon monthly fee for an entire year. I was assured that would be the case. That is the contract we entered into. These conditions were to continue for one year. They didn't.
Within three months we were seeing increases in our monthly bill, and, what's more, the bill had become so convoluted with partial charges, partial credits, fee reversals- you name it - that I don't believe anyone could come up with a more unreasonable method of conducting what should have been a straight-forward transaction if they tried. We were, in a word, dumb-founded. Things finally came to a head in June, when, along with the usual inappropriate programming fee assessments, we received charges for three PPV items: two "regular" movies, and one "adult" movie. Not only did we not order these items- it would be nonsensical to do so: the "regular" movies were being shown on our programming packages we were receiving anyway- But the REAL kicker was that THESE ITEMS WERE DATED JANUARY AND FEBRUARY OF EARLIER THIS YEAR! I immediately called, and told the representative that I wanted to cancel our service, as DirecTV was not keeping their end of the agreement, and the inappropriate charges were ongoing. I was immediately transferred to a supervisor. The same apologetic nonsense ensued, but this time I did not give in. I stated that I no longer wished to do business with DirecTV. After a significant amount of rude and abrupt commentary, I was told I would be put on hold while they processed my request. My wife and I had lunch during the 57 minutes the elevator music played on speakerphone. 57 minutes. As I simply did not have the time to do so indefinitely, I reluctantly hung up, and called back. I then had to re-explain the entire situation again, and again had to wait as I was handed up the chain of command. After finally getting yet another supervisor, and explaining my situation (including the hour wait on "hold") I was told, and I quote: "Oh, I know how to deal with that;"- and the person HUNG UP ON ME.
I had no more time to deal with the situation. In my life outside of dealing with DirecTV I was knee deep in organizing my company for an important business trip that would take place overseas. Not quite as complicated as TV programming, but an important part of my otherwise productive life.
On our return, not only did I discover that DirecTV had not complied with our request- THEY CONTINUED TO BILL US FOR MONTHLY PROGRAMMING!!! We couldn't believe it!! I immediately called and, in a nutshell, was told, in a very rude and insulting manner, that I WAS disconnected for NONPAYMENT of service- WHAT"S MORE- and this is really amazing: I was being charged $350.00 for early termination of my contract!!! Although I pointed out it was DIRECTV who FAILED in holding up the contract, AND THERFORE I WAS CANCELLING THE SERVICE AS IT WAS UNSATISFACTORY AT BEST (see all of the above) my words again fell on deaf ears. and I was treated in an abrasive, rude, and insulting manner. Unless I experienced this first hand, I would have never have imagined a company could be allowed to conduct business in this country in such a blatantly dishonest, irresponsible, and widespread manner.