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!"
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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.