Los Angeles, CAIt's one thing for a company to protect its cash flow. In fact, ensuring adequate cash flow is a prerequisite to running a viable business. However, ensuring that cash flow through the alleged practice of unfair and unreasonable cancellation fees, and putting those fees on the backs of your clients and customers, has been described as unfair and unjust. To this end, a number of DirecTV customers allege ill will and unfairness with respect to cancellation fees.
A Tonawanda, New York couple had just this problem. Bill and Kim Schwartzkopf were, at one time, clients of DirecTV. At the point at which they believed their contract had run its course, the couple retired their satellite service and switched to cable.
"However the couple, as they told a reporter from WGRZ 2 On Your Side TV in Buffalo, was surprised to receive notification of a cancellation fee of $400. After contacting Direct TV, they were told that their agreement had been automatically extended when they took delivery of a new receiver. Kim Schwartzkopf said they were never told that updating their receiver would mean an extension of the agreement, and a supposed confirmation mailed to them never arrived. "I never received anything," Schwartzkopf told WGRZ. Oddly enough, the reason why the new receiver was required in the first place was because the old one wasn't working.
A spokesperson from DirecTV told WGRZ that the fee issue had been resolved, and the Schwartzkopfs were issued a credit for the amount. DirecTV maintains, however, that the cancellation fee was a valid charge.
And there are more stories. Abby, blogging from Los Angeles California said that after she cancelled their Internet service because it didn't work, a DirecTV contractor shut off her pre-paid TV service in January. Not only has she not been extended a refund, but also she is also allegedly receiving monthly bills for $25. She feels she is owed $1,000 by this time.
Ramiro, of Paramount California writes that he was promised thirty days to change his mind, within which he could cancel his agreement without penalty. However, after finding himself out of work and calling to cancel his agreement within the promised thirty-day window, he was told that the actual window was 24 hours. Thus, DirecTV told him that to facilitate the canceling of his agreement, he would be required to shell out $20 per month for 18 months. That's a year-and-a-half's worth of payments, for a service he is no longer using, that he is allegedly required to pay, even though he is out of a job.
And Krishnan, of Belmont California writes that when they signed their two-year agreement for DirecTV, they were promised time and time again by the sales representative that they had nine days in which to cancel the service, "for any reason."
With small children, Krishnan was disappointed at the lack of children's programming suitable for young children, so the call was made to cancel within one week, and certainly within the promised 9-day cancellation window.
However, upon speaking to a customer service representative, they were told that the 9-day cancellation window claimed by the sales rep was not valid, and that they would have to pay a $350 cancellation fee. There was no offer to waive the fee in light of the incorrect information provided at the time of sale, nor was there any willingness on the part of DirecTV to track down, or speak to the sales person involved.
According to Krishnan it was unfortunate, and gee we're sorry and it's really too bad, but you have to pay up.
It has been reported by the consumeraffairs.com website that the few hundred dollars it costs to bring an armload of satellite equipment home from the store is basically a deposit on equipment that is far more expensive than the customer is led to believe. In reality, the lion's share of the equipment cost is said to be built into a binding, multi-year contract that ensures not only service costs, but also the equipment costs over the life of the agreement. Also said to be built into the contract is a hefty cancellation fee, which is presumably there to ensure that the manufacturer gets its money out of the equipment, should you decide to cancel early.
However, countless customers lament that this has never been properly explained to them at point of sale, and that they did not fully comprehend what they were signing. Coupled with that, is the way the company appears to play fast and loose with the cancellation window at the beginning of the service...from 9 days, to 24 hours, as experienced by the consumers noted above. Normally, consumers have 30 days to escape from an unwanted contract.
In the end, it is always wise to carefully read what you are signing, and insist that you be given the opportunity to do so. Don't let anyone rush you through it. Beyond that, if you were promised one thing, only to find that reality is something completely different, a DirecTV litigation lawyer can help you.
We had direct tv for 9 days and did not like the reception in the rain ,decided to cancel and now have a 480 dollar bill to pay?Shouldnt there be a longer trial period than 24 hrs,what has happened to fair business practice in this country? We are elderly and cant afford 480 dollars but this is what we have to pay. This company needs to be exposed nationally ripping off seniors that dont get raises. Can anything be done about this thievery?
Posted by Jeanette M
We've been with Directv for over 10 yrs. Recently they talked me into upgrading to the Genie 2. Nothing but problems. Even the replacement receiver gave us problems. We had a tech come out to check it out. He said there was nothing wrong with it. Problems continued. We finally cancelled it. I get a bill for $369 since I cancelled before the 2 yr contract was up. I tried to dispute it and they said I should have given their techs more chances to fix it. How many days am I suppose to take off to wait for techs? They don't care about customer satisfaction. They just want your money. I'm so disappointed on what Directv has become. Just desperate for that cash flow.
Posted by William Lansdale
I had technical issues from the moment I signed up in January of 2016 and tried to get a hold of customer service to correct the problem. Instead I would get hung up in automated messages or cut off completely. When I finally got a hold of a rep, they told me that I could cancel the account without penalty, but a month later they billed me with a disconnect fee. It has been over a year and they now deny I had any problems or contact with them. A collector has gone to the extent of putting a mark against my credit report even though I have not seen any bill or gotten a call from this collector. They wont even respond to any emails I send in. I need legal representation because this is dragging on way too long.
Posted by Tina
If your Direct TV service has been shut off by them for late payments and you call them to make a payment, but didn't have enough to make that whole payment at the time, but told them that you want to cancel their service, Can they keep charging you a monthly fee if the service is off now because of late payments??
Posted by Barry Hardegree
I was given a bill for subscription of the NFL channel of six installments of $46.94 or $281.64 added unasked for to my monthly bill of $120.78 making my bill jump to $155.78 recent surgery has made money tight and this was unfair and uncalled for expense which I would not use ever, I don't watch sports channels.
A call to DTV and they stated the bill would return to a monthly $124.78 but I was going to have to pay that $155.78.
I disconnected the service and now DTV requires me to ship the rented Receiver back UPS which I did then they tacked on another $60.00 to this months bill.
So for one month at the usual $120.78 the bill has gone to $215.78 for basically nothing gained except I don't use DTV anymore and I am saving $1497.36 a year.
I feel I am being punished for not paying the NFL which I don't watch anyway and for growing disenchanted with DTV.
I mat go back to a satellite TV service BUT I will never use DTV again.
My main fear is AT&T seeking to also punish me for disconnection and raising my bill.
Posted by Laurie Barker
We purchased thru AT&T Direct Tv, land phone, internet service. EACH and EVERY time we NEEDED to watch TV due to storms, we had no TV connection. After 1 yr we cancelled The phone and Direct TV service. The woman said this will be your LAST bill. I said ok, but what happens to the dates after the last billing until now. OH, yes, you wlll be getting another bill. Now mind you, in the beginning, it said, this call maybe recorded. I HOPE to HELL it was. NEVER EVER did she say or remind me there would be an early disconnect fee of 200 something. NEVER. This was also the woman that ASSURED me on 3/27/16 that when I paid by credit card to her over the phone, this would be the LAST bill I would receive until "I" asked about the other dates.
Posted by Connie olson
I ordered the 30 day bundle . I was told I had a grace period of 30 days to cancel if I didn't like the bundle.after 2 weeks I called to cancel they refused to disconnect me and honor the 30 days trial. they began collection proceeding against me .i had to disconnect everything myself because I could not communicate with the customer service people.They would not hear of it.Nor would they communicate with me.I had the service for exactly 2 weeks.Finally they sent me a return kit and I packed everything up and mailed it out through UPS.Now I got a all from a collection agency demanding that I pay the disconnection penalty.Not right. These people have caused met more heartache.This is a bad labor practice praying on helpless people.Yes I am helpless as I have been unjustly treated.I don't need to be refaced like a criminal.Its wrong
Posted by Diane
I discovered today how many lies were said to me from day ONE of receiving service. Too many to list! The most recent was getting a bill for more than $174.00 for premium channels that I never ordered! I explained that I never wanted or ordered any of these channels...EVER. They did acknowledge this fact. But they charged me $10.00 to cancel the channels! They never said that a few was involved, but said it was my responsibility to ask that I not be charged the cancellation fee. The customer service rep I spoke to this morning was hostile and rude because I called to cancel my service completely. She said I needed to "understand some things" before she could process my request. She went on to say over and over again that I "misunderstood" everything I had a complaint about. I'm not a stupid woman and DID understand their lies. She made it difficult to cancel my service and seemed personally afronted that I dared to cancel! Ridiculous attitude to have.
Posted by Damaris Hogan-Garcia
I wish I would have seen this before I signed up with DirecTV. It has been a nightmare since we signed up in April this year. I wish so much that I hadn't. We called to cancel due to all the issues they have caused. They made sure to read to us the statement that if we cancel they will use the credit card on file to withdraw their funds. I made sure to let them know we are not approving them to withdraw. I am now canceling all my cards on file with them.
Posted by Roger b
I've noticed a hugh different attitude in customer service in just the short time at&t has taken over. DTV was one of the best customer service people of all my expenses. 3 months I'm done with them. Being a customer for almost 16 yrs means nothing to these people now.
Posted by james gardini
Be aware that directv will not remove the dish after cancellation.I was told it was the responsibly of the home owner.
Posted by D Leigh
We had to cancel our Directv service because we had to move. Too many trees where we moved to and that was the reason. We not only paid a cancelation fee of $215 (or maybe $295), BUT I also had to send them the HD receiver I had purchased from Best Buy or they would charge me extra. I'll also mention that after repeatedly loosing signal I called DTV and a different installer came out and had to do a complete reinstalled because of code violations left by the first guy.
Posted by Linda
I ordered Phone, TV and Internet through AT&T. I was told that the TV service would come through DirecTV but everything would be bundled. After 8-hours of installing the services I had some limited service on 3/13/15. The internet was extremely slow (compared to Comcast by previous provider) and there were errors in recording the shows my kids watch in addition to Sprout not being included in the basic service. I have been on the phone with ATT and DirecTV for 2 hours today to cancel my service. I was told that if I wasn't completely satisfied with my service I could cancel within 30-days. Today, 3/30/15 I called to cancel my service. ATT was professional and apologized for misrepresentations about the internet service in my area which is slightly better than DSL, but not any where near comcast internet. I then had to spend more time cancelling DirecTV which they indicate is just a 24-hour cancellation period. Now they are charging me $460 cancellation fee. They said all this was CLEARLY disclosed to me. I recall signing the technician's small PDA which he said was to confirm he had been to the house and installed the equipment. Buyer BEWARE is an understatement, especially when you can't even file a complaint against anyone since they tell you that ATT and DirecTV are separate and that what one says is not supported by the other. Bad service (recordings not fully completed due to interupted service) and extremely bad business practices are not they way you win business ATT or DirecTV!
Posted by judy
New service with direct TV/att internet bundle. Was quoted 1st bill for both combined would be approx. $52.99. Within week direct TV billed $32.53 & att billed separately $89.60. Phoned direct TV to cancel & was advised of $460 cancellation fee (which did not cover att cancellation fee). I had asked when I placed order if there was a 30 day window to change my mind & was told that was correct. Now they say there is only a 24 hour window to cancel.
As far as I'm concerned everyone BEWARE!
Posted by Patricia
I had & DirecTV for 2 years and cancelled because the price was going up so high. I called and asked if they could have someone could come out and remove the Antenna. I was told they couldn't do that and kept asking me if I could remove it or get someone else to do it. I was appalled at their terse answer and attitude. I am putting an ad in the paper to give it a good home if taken down to whomever wants it.
Posted by Melissa Amerian
I'm on the phone right now with Direct TV, in fact, speaking to a supervisor. About a month and a half ago, I took over a friend's lease and decided to keep her Direct TV (she was going to cancel it and just eat the $400 cancellation fees). I changed the programming to the least expensive package, and my friend and I put my credit card information on file (as an authorized user). I was not impressed with the package, so I told her to just cancel the service, which she had no problem doing. I gave her back all the equipment, and she allegedly returned it to the company.
Now I'm being charged for the cancellation fees because my credit card is the last credit on file. Direct TV tried to put through 5 different amounts on my bank account yesterday, in an effort to collect their fees. None of them went through because my funds were too low, thank God. Now I have talked to 3 different representatives, most currently, a supervisor who is trying to figure out what can be done. Apparently, they can't just remove my credit card information from their system! This would be an easy fix, right? Just charge my friend's account, which was originally in the system, and still is on file! Nooooooo...they are asking me to close out my bank account so that the charge doesn't through again! This is laughable!
So I'm on the way to the bank...
Posted by Sharon Kasserman
Direct Tv is charging me 273.11 early disconnect fee even though I discontinuted my service because of the fact that the service was horrible. If the wind blew or it rained or the fact that I live in a highrise.....a million reasons my programing was interupted. I am in dispute and they have threatened me with collection.
Posted by robin olsen
In october I signed up for the bundle. Through cenrty link,I was quoted 29 dollars a month. It taken me months to figure out why my bundle has never been the amount quoted.I have found out that direct 5.- has been billing me almost tripple the price..and 210 dollars just last month,they sent me to a lady who was not helpfull,and just wanted to argue..please help me.
Posted by Steve
I signed up as part of a promotion Costco had along with their TV sales. They billed me almost double the monthly charge I was told for a mid-level package with DVR. When I inquired about the cost difference I was told that I needed to apply for a "rebate" within a certain time period and that the time window for said "rebate" had expired. After several phone calls I finally reached a supervisor in their customer service dept. who basically told me that the "rebate" procedure was designed to negate promotional pricing and that I was merely one of thousands of customers to fall into this trap. Since the service was installed in a vacation home, I was able to minimize my plan to the bare minimum and delete the DVR service (resulting in a much lower rate than I would have paid even with the "rebate"). I then cancelled service the day my commitment ended (I did not incur additional cacellation fees). This is the worst company ever.
Posted by Jen
I was told you know when they send you a "change in policy" paper with your bill and it includes changes to your contract on their part.... well that constitutes a valid reason for you to end your contract legally b/c they are changing the contract you had including the fees. So there is a good way and this goes for any contract such as cell phones! Good luck.
Posted by Jason S
Hi my name is Jason , I work for DISH network, but have had both services, and as any other customer have had to call customer support. As in any situation you will have good and bad service. But according to the Better Business bureau has given Dierctv an F with over 40000 complaints. DISH has a rating of C-, room for improvement, but momma always told me a C was better then an F
Posted by Robert Henderson
I signed u[p with Directv while traveling in our Motorhome. I was told that I was getting a "Motorhome Package" that included all equipment including a tripod that I would use to mount the dish when I moved and that anytime I did move Directv would come and setup the equipment at the new site. I told them I planned to move about once a month. The individual said that was no ploblem and that is why they have the "Motorhome Package'" Now they want to charge me $195 dollars to setup the equipment because I have already moved once this year. What is the use having a motorhome package if you have to pay every time you change locations. Directv says now they have never had a motorhome package but can not explain why I have a tripod for the dish if I am not to move. They also want $280 to cancel the reamining 14 months on my contract.
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