When we called Direct TV initially, we were quoted a price of $69.95, and were told that for the first year we would automatically get $20.00 off - making our monthly payment $49.95. Then, we would pay $69.95 for the second year. I asked for the quote in writting, like an e-mail, and I was told that there was no need because I was being charged a flat fee and an automatic discount would apply. - Nonetheless, as new customers we would have 30 days to cancel our service from the time of installation, if we were not happy with the service.
On Februray 19, 2008, Direct TV installed the dish and receivers. On February 21, 2008, we received our first bill for $75.95. When we called in to clarify this mistake (on the 23rd) we were then informed that we had to pay the bill in full, complete a rebate form and that the rebate would be effective in a couple months. After spending one hour on the phone with customer service, we needed to get back to work & figured we'd call back later when we had more time. Meanwhile, Direct TV blocked some of the channels that we were promised as part of our initial package and had been receiving prior to this phone call.
Today, on February 29,2007, my husband and I called again to figure out what the heck was going on. After speaking with several customer service reps, we were finally transfered to a Supervisor Ryan who explained that there was nothing he could do (after all, why would you call customer service and expect that department can resolve any issues) and if we wanted to cancel our account that we would be charged $430.00 as an early cancelation fee because we didn't cancel within the "3 day period" - Keep in mind we've only had Direct TV for 9 days now, and we were originally told that we had 30 days from the date of installation to cancel. And, inorder to have the cancelation fee waived, I needed to submit a written request to a PO Box in Greenwood, CO - Att: Billing Dept - and conveniently enough, that department doesn't have a phone number or live person to speak with.
Now working for an attorney over the past five years, I've learned a thing or two - and what Direct TV was telling me just didn't sound right. So I asked to speak to Ryan's Supervisor - and he gave me some joke of a woman named Pam. (Yes I have both their Employee ID #'s for a formal complaint.) She was probably one of the RUDEST people I have ever spoken with - she obviously doesn't like her job (who can blame her) nor is she in anyway qualified to speak with, address, let alone resolve customer service issues. The long/short of my unpleasant phone conversation with her, is that pursuant to Direct TV policy, new customers have 24 HOURS to cancel their service before being charged $430.00 early cancelation fee - and that it would be automatically charged to the credit card we provided them at set up- which we were told would establish our credit so they could waive any activation fees.
I asked her for a copy of our contract as we had never received "a contract" explaining the three day cancelation condition, nor any authorization from either myself or my husband to apply any charges or fees to the credit card. Of course, my friend Pam didn't have access to any of that - but somehow she was certain that I was out of line for suggesting the facts were anything other than what she was saying. In fact, she directed me to the Direct TV website - which by the way, in NO WAY DEFINES ANY TIME PERIOD FOR CANCELATIONS. After wasting even more of my life on this rediculous call, Pam herself said there was nothing she could do, but direct me to write to the legal department - which is the same address as the billing department - and once again doesn't have a phone number or real person to speak with.
I am absolutely fighting this 110% - and filing as many complaints against Direct TV and "Pam" as possible. I am interested to know how many other customers have fallen victim to the scam known as Direct TV - if we can get enough of us together we could possibly have a class action law suit. The suit wouldn't be for the money, but to have some sort of justice for those of us getting ripped of by Direct TV.