When I signed up for Direct TV service, I was signing up for a sizable discount for the first year. The web page listed $52.99/month for the package I wanted, but the phone person said the current price package was $39.99. I verified with her, very carefully, that I had the right package and that the price was in fact lower than what I had seen online. In addition to that, they said I would have a discount of $10/month for the first 12 months, making my bill $29.99. And on top of that, I could get another $5 off by signing up for a rebate. There was no mention of any action required to get the first discount, nor to get the base price I was quoted. I was also not told that there was a time limit to obtain the discount or rebate. So overall, I should have had a bill of a bill of $25.99 for the first year, and $39.99 after that.
What is the reality? I was charged $52.99/month - a) this is not the base price they quoted me on the phone, and b) the larger discount was not included. Oh, and I was signed up for a service plan that I had *specifically* said I did not want, which would be charging another $5 or $6/month. So I called... and they said, "oh, sorry, don't know how you got signed up for the extra thing." And I was told that the larger discount also required me to sign up myself to receive it. But nothing on there being a time limit to sign up for it - just that if I did it withing the next billing cycle it would start the next month and follow for 12 months. And this didn't even address the issue that the base price, pre-dscount, was $12 more than I had been told on the phone.
Well, I was busy, and didn't get around to getting online right then. I went to go do it now... only to find the page I was told to go to wasn't even there. I called customer service... and was told there was a time limit to sign up for the discount/rebate, that this information was in my first bill, and that there was no way to get it now. I looked back on my first bill, but NOWHERE on there did it say there was a time limit. Finally I sorted through those single sheet junk advertisements that come with all bills, and finally I found a page - mixed in with ad junk about special football ordering and getting your friends to order DTV - with a single line about a time limit. After I complained a great deal about this, she said she could give me the $5 rebate, but nothing else, and said that a supervisor couldn't give it to me either. When I asked to speak to a supervisor so I could at least file a serious complaint against the way the company is running the program she said it would be a long wait, >30min because of some *** football thing, and that if I did so, she wouldn't give me the $5 discount. I finally ended up taking the $5, and said I would call back tomorrow evening to file a complaint with a supervisor.
Direct TV's business practice is deplorable. They're giving giving wrong pricing information over the phone when ordering, and not giving information on restrictions for getting the discounts they advertise when you sign up. The one place they do tell you about the discount is mixed in with essentially junk mail, designed so that almost noone will look at it. Meanwhile, having gotten customers to sign up for a service claimed to cost $25/month for a year and then only $39 afterwards, they proceed to charge $52. If any of you are looking to sign up for or change your TV service in the future, I would recommend avoiding Direct TV like the plague.
Product or Service Mentioned: Directv Rebate.