El Segundo, CA: DirecTV has become the latest company to face a media communications lawsuit. The company is being sued by customers who allege that it collected early termination fees without telling the customers it was doing so. Furthermore, the plaintiffs allege there was no valid contract explaining the fees.
The lawsuit, which seeks class action status, says that early termination fees were illegally collected after customers canceled their service. Plaintiffs seek a refund of fees and changes to the company's termination policy.
DirecTV has said it cannot comment on the allegations in the lawsuit.
Meanwhile, many customers are expressing their unhappiness with DirecTV's early cancellation fees and willingness to collect unauthorized payments.
"I was charged a $319.00 cancellation fee from DirecTV unfairly," Chris R. says. "I decided to bundle my services with AT&T after having DirecTV for approximately 4 years. When I called [DirecTV] to cancel I was never told of any cancellation fee, I was only told that a FedEx box would arrive in a few days for me to send back my receivers.
"A month later I was charged $319.40 for an early cancellation fee [in an unauthorized charge to his credit card]. I called DirecTv and was told that because I ordered a new DVR in February 2008, to replace my broken Tivo, I was automatically put on a 2 year contract. I informed the operator that I was never told of this contract and I was told that it is part of a verbal contract." Chris says that he later spoke to a manger, who agreed to refund the fees. However, that was not the end of Chris's story.
"About 1 month later [I] received a bill from DirecTV stating that I owed them $319.40. I call back and again explained the situation and that the manager took care of the matter. The operator stated that there were no notes on the account stating that it would be credited."
Jennifer D. says that she has also had problems with DirecTV charging her credit card despite her not selecting automatic bill payment with the company. She says that she does not dispute that she owed them payment for one month's service but shortly after learning that the company discontinued her service, she learned that DirecTV charged her card $179.17—more than she owed them. "This bill was not mailed to me, emailed to me, nor was the charge authorized," Jennifer says "I did not, nor have I ever, elected for automatic bill pay. The charge was made without my consent!"
Deborah Y. says she has also had problems with DirecTV. "I was not given any information about their 'cancellation fee' when I signed up," Deborah says. "I did not get the channels that I had requested so I canceled the service within 3 days of signing up. They have since then harassed me for $347.07 and have taken it from my checking account twice, creating overdraft fees for me both times…This experience has cost me money, stress, sleep and time. They have never had my permission to take money from my checking account."
Consumers are becoming increasingly angry with media and telecommunications companies for sneaky billing practices. Many are now filing lawsuits alleging they were never informed of early termination fees and never gave the companies permission to take money out of their accounts.
If you have suffered losses in this case, please send your complaint to a lawyer who will review your possible [Media-Telecom Lawsuit] at no cost or obligation.
Posted by jamie frazier
Direct TV took 500.00 out of my acct that they did not have permission to. I was promised channels and did not get them...cancelled my service after 2 weeks. It's fraud and embezzlement
Posted by V. Bossio
I equate these so-called ETF's with something I might as well call (CCE's), or Corporate Criminal Enterprises. If nothing else, than from an ethical point-of-view. All of your major telecommunication companies are now doing this. What they don't know is that they're simply shooting themselves in their own feet. They're not looking at the bigger picture and all those lost consumers, and consequently the lost revenue down the road.
I am now going through this with Directv and with AT&T Uverse Internet. Total damages; about $380-390.
I was told that since they have my credit account number on record, that if I do not pay these charges within 15 days of terminating services, they look at it like a charge to my service acct. and will extract that dollar amount directly out of my bank account. No questions asked.
Nice of 'em, ain't it? Hey, look at the positive side; at least you don't have to waste your time and energy writing them a check. They just help themselves to your hard earned money and all because you are, or were, trying to save yourself 20-30 bucks a month by finding cheaper service. In all fairness to me, as if anybody cares about your truly, I, like many many others was not aware that I was in a contract situation. With either provider.
The Bigger Picture For Me Personally: I'm gonna try to get a new vehicle in a few months. I'll need to finance that vehicle. That'll be difficult to do with a bad debt hanging over your head. If this gets turned over to collections, that's what'll happen. And that's how people lives become senselessly complicated, which of course leads to physical problems resulting from the needless and senseless stress. And all because of, and in the name of---we want to keep you as a customer.
The laws that are on the "books" enable this criminal behavior by these large corporations. Until that changes, nothing changes.
Somebody's got to step up to the plate and stop this criminal practice. I wonder who it will be?
Posted by Laci
I haven't had DIRECT TV in over 6 months there are several discrepancies on my e-mails from shipping an order to 3 separate amounts for my" final" bill. Direct tv stole 1,118.96 from my bank account on a Sunday night 7 minutes until 9 PM. I have contacted the FTC to file a complaint, called direct who advised that I could dispute the charges online, and am working with my bank to get MY money back. They are crooks!!!
Posted by myrtle shepherd
direct tv justmade a unauthorized charge to my credit card. when i call direct tv to inquire about the charges the rep hung up the phone on me. i call back and ask to speak to a supervisor about the charges the supervisor never came to the phone. direct tv didnot have my permission to take over my credit card. direct tv just invaded my personal space an i dont like it.now my account have been close do to direct tv
Posted by Kathy
I have never had a cable company. I always either lived with my parents or had room mates who already had cable set up. One time over a year ago I made a one time payment for my mother on my debit card. All of the sudden I notice on my bank account that directv took a $200 payment. No notice, no authorization, nothing. Now they are saying that they have the authority to use any card number that has been given to them to collect payment. They refuse to do anything to correct this!
Posted by sarah webster
487.00 out of my checking. no one disclosed anything to me. my rates doubled and I cancelled... illegal unauthorized withdrawal from my acct. isn't that against the law?
Posted by E. M. Blake
I am under a 2 year contact, I just received this months statement and saw an additional charge for 3 Regional sports channels. I called and was told this is a price increase for these channels. I have never watched these channels, I was told there was nothing they could about this bill increase, I explained if under contract how can they raise rates. No answer. I have checked these channels and they are JUNK, most of the time no programming. What's next directv customers?
Posted by Michael
They STILL fail to disclose... especially if you decide to move. ALL other TV providers install your equipment for free if you have been on contract with them for a year. Except DirecTV! At first they try to charge you $500, then drop the rate to $235. The Mover's deal doesn't disclose the fee involved in moving to a new residence. If you don't want to pay the moving fee of $235 which then will extend your contract, you can cancel and they will charge an ETF from your debit card without notice causing overdraft fees. The only way to fix it currently is to dispute the charges and change your account number /debit or credit card number.
This happened to me recently and I had to cancel because the landlord said no to satellite tv. but after begging and pleading with him for 3 months he finally allowed us Satellite TV so after my recent experience with DirectTV I heard alot about their competitor's customer service and signed up with them and have been happy ever since. I have a complaint filed with BBB and the attorney general and soon the FCC. So if they think about collections, that will be easier to dispute also.
Posted by Carlos
DirecTV charged our credit card despite not selecting automatic bill payment with the company.
Posted by Robyn Roundy
I would also like to know if a lawsuit has started. I was wrongly charged over 600. Just like everyone else here.
Posted by Denise Liggett
I also got with Directv,what a nightmare.They kept changing package price.I also had my depit card used twice,without authorizition.Canceled them ,and now they have taken out over 200.00 in cancel fees and want more. I also had to pay bank fee to stop payment.
Posted by Linda
I had the service connected on March 30th. I stated to the technician the TV’s had a shadow. He checked all three and said we have to let it adjust to the TV. If it doesn’t clear up call technical support. Later that evening, I couldn’t take the shadows anymore and called technical support. The female tech stated she could not help me without knowing which cable boxes I had. I told her which model they were but again, she suggested I call back tomorrow.
On March 31st, I spoke with a male tech. Telling him I would like to cancel the service because the picture has a shadow, I can’t deal with it; and no one seems to be able to help. He acknowledged he saw I had just gotten the service installed and said he will send out a tech (at no charge) because they don’t want me to cancel and would like resolve the issue I’m having. He also stated it could just be the connections. The earliest the technician was able to come was Tuesday, April 2nd between 10:30am – 11:00am.
April 2nd, he arrived before 10:30 am. After several tries, he could not get the shadow to go away. I explained I got better service from my regular antennas when I didn’t have cable. “What’s the purpose of getting cable if regular TV is better and clearer with an antenna? The satellite dish should make the picture crisp.” He said, “It is what it is. This is the best it will get because you have the basic DVR boxes. The only way to get a crystal clear picture is to upgrade to the Genie.” I said, “Well then, just cancel my service because I can’t afford that.” He informed me I had to call and cancel.
I called at 10:10am to cancel my service with the DirecTV agent, Jay. I was told I had twenty-four (24) hours to cancel. I replied, “All the times I called, no one mentioned that; and it doesn’t say it anywhere on the contract and the flyers you keep putting in mailboxes that you have 24 hours to cancel. That’s misrepresentation. The same way you have to legally disclose to the caller, ‘this call is being recorded’, and ask the caller's permission if you can call them by their first name, you are obligated to disclose to a new consumer that they have twenty-four (24) hours to cancel their contract with (DirecTV)." Instead they kept prolonging the issue. Not once did any of the DIRECTV technicians legally disclose to me, the consumer, “Ms. XXXX, I DO NEED TO ADVISE YOU THAT YOU DO HAVE 24-HOURS TO CANCEL YOUR AGREEMENT WITH DIRECTV.” Never ever was it divulged to me at any time on Saturday night; the day it was installed, Sunday or Tuesday when the technician came out.
I called to cancel my service at (800) 438-2427 at 11:21. I was given another number (888) 355-7530 to cancel. I called them at 1:49 pm. Another woman called wanting to offer me more stuff. I said right now, I just want to cancel and send this stuff back. The calls are recorded. Request the tapes. She also informed me about returning the equipment. I asked what about the satellite dish. She stated, "You can leave it in case you change your mind later." I said I wouldn’t. She said it was free. You know why it’s free? If you remove it, it will leave holes in your home's siding. If not resealed, it will cause damage your property. THAT’S WHY IT’S FREE AND THEY DON’T WANT IT RETURNED TO THEM. They should be paying to remove it and seal the holes from the installation.
I am totally dissatisfied with this company. They ask that I return the boxes. I tried to return them to their local office but they would not take them. I had to wait for the boxes to be shipped. I received a bill for the equipment before the returnable boxes arrived. When they finally arrived, I boxed the equipment according to the instructions and took them personally to my local post office.
There should be an investigation of how many other homeowners/renters are dissatisfied and have been misrepresented and harassed by DirecTV for whom poor service was provided.
I told Jay a person legally has 72 hours to cancel. It's called emotional shopping. We have 72 hours to change our mind. I've NEVER heard of 24 hours. The Legal term is actually called (in some states) a "cooling off period."
There should be a world-wide lawsuit against DirecTV to right a wrong done to helpless consumers who have been literally raped by DirecTV, the banks and credit card companies that partnered together to strip the consumer of any control over the dispute of the Cable companies w/o prejudice.
Posted by vikki
On March 19th 2013 I talked to ID# 0093 after a long conversation and passed to at least 2 others I was reassured over and over that the $724.67 would be deposited back into our account in 25-20 days. This was not acceptable to me and I made it clear in no less than 10 business days. Again she reassured me that the deposit would be there in 10 business days. The recording to this conversation should be available with no problems to you. Steve also called this day to verify that the money would be deposited into the account as well and was told yes the amount of $724.67 would be deposited back into the account in 10 days.
On April 3rd 2013 I spoke to id # 9338 but not before speaking to an agent before her and I did not get her id #. For the first time I was told I would not be receiving the refund of $724.67 would not be put back into our bank account. With my stomach turning and getting even more upset I was finally transferred to a manager id # 6509 John, who repeatedly cut me off would talk when I was talking, and when I brought this to his attention, he immediately blamed me! Over and over again I asked the agent and manager to listen to the tape of March 19th to verify what I was saying was correct ,and there was no mention of any past due bill nor a fee for canceling early, all I was told is that they cannot do that! Steve also called on this day and was again reassured that the money would not be put back into the account UNLESS we were willing to come back to Direct T.V. (is this bullying, or blackmail, or holding our money hostage?)
Posted by Sharon Weckessr
Centurylink actually solicited us a package to switch to Direct TV from Dish. Said we would save $10. a month. The service was terrible always losing reception but for $10. a month we were willing to put up with it. However, for 3 consecutive months our bill was $195 or more when we were told it would have been approx. $146! Each month we had to call and fight with Centurylink and DirectTV to get the bille reduced. After sitting hours on the phone each month with no resolve we cancelled the service. Our credit card was charged 419.00, we had them reverse it. By the way, all the DirectTV customer service reps said they were not allowed to give out their # or return our calls. One lady did promise to call us back but didn't. Now it's funny, we have a message on our voice mail every day to call them, a computer of course. I guess they will threaten to sue us!
Posted by Steve Meadows
They made an unauthorized charge to my check card in the amoount of $567.10. I cancelled their service at the end of my contract, and was charged for it ! I disputed the charge with my bank, and am waiting to see what happens. I my change banks if they give me a song and dance about the dispute. Lets see what happens.
Direct TV SUCKS !!!
Posted by June Blascruz
I've endured DirecTV's horrific customer service for 2 yrs. I was enticed to switch from a cable company to this satellite company for television. From the word go, this company has used unethical policies to charge customers for every type of fee conjured up by themselves. Here we are at the end of the contract date (10/12/12) and I just want a clean break. At the time I ended this contract, I discover that I'm paying for a sports package that I never ordered. I tell their "supervisor" that it is illegal to charge my credit card w/o my permission. He tells it's "automatic". When I 1st tried to cancel my subscription, they threatened to charge me an early deactivation fee ($500) and pay out the rest of the contract. How can they continue to do this? If there is a current class action against them, please include me.
Posted by M.Shelton
Getting Directv was a really bad decision. I'm stuck for 2 years or have to pay outrageous fees. They haven't carried my local station for a month and have been under weather warnings. I'm telling everyone I can what a mistake it is to sign up with them.
Posted by TS Ward
Direct TV has just made an unauthorized charge to my credit card that I withdrew several months ago as a payment option. I followed all of their requirements for early cancellation. The apartment I moved to did not have access to a southern exposure. I tried speaking to a representative. Wow. I don't ever recall talking over the customer as a good customer service tactic. This woman was unbelievable. What kind of recourse do I have? If they used my card once, they'll certainly use it again. I can't even access my account online because it says that the account has been closed.
Posted by christopher deherrera
This certainly comes as no surprise to me. Being a former DirecTV subscriber, I too have endured the injustice of DirecTV. Personally I could appreciate the TV aspect of the experience but the customer service and overall mentality of the company was horrible. Every company will have a slip up with the bill every now and again but it was constant, and the fact that as a company refused to correct their mistakes began to take its toll. It isnâ€™t surprising to me that DIRECTV has had over 40,000 complaints from customers for false advertisements to the Better Business Bureau. I work and subscribe to [a competitor] so I can get to see both sides of our customer service and I can honestly say that there is a reason we got #1 on the ACSI (American Customer Satisfaction Index). â€“Christopher DeHerrera
Posted by Frank Harmann
Direct TV has misrepresented there services, failed to disclose and failed to inform. All I want is out of my contract. Is there currently a lawsuit in progress that I can join to penalize them for their actions?
LawyersandSettlements.com is an online news and information site for the general public and legal community. As a legal news resource, we have emerged as an independent & trusted voice. We provide detailed and quality information on various lawsuits filed including Internet/Technology Cases.