Hampton, Connecticut
Not resolved

We purchased a new home in a country setting. Before we moved, we went online to see if the Directv internet service was available at our address, and their website said it was.

We later called to sign up over the phone...big mistake. If I had signed up over the website, I might have known about the $465 contract exit fee that they claim "covers the cost of equipment" (the equipment they will install but not come and pickup). Their website said both the cable and internet were available, but it turned out, the internet was not. The installation was...questionable.

The man they sent, could hardly understand english. My husband helped him with digging a trench in the back yard to mount the dish. The installer handed me a paper to sign, purposefully folded over so I wouldn't see the small print containing the $465 exit fee part of the contract. I signed it, but couldn't figure out why the internet didn't work.

The installer said he knew nothing of it, and that maybe someone else was coming to install the internet. We didn't have phone service yet at the house, so we called the next day from a supermarket parking lot. I asked why we didn't have the internet and it turned out, they had never signed us up. So I asked to be connected, and she couldn't get a signal.

So, the cable worked, but the internet did not. So I said, "well, come out and get your dish, because without the internet, the service is useless to me, and that's what I asked for when I signed up." They flat out refused. They transferred me so many times, I was getting angry. They put us on hold for over 20 minutes at one point, until I finally switched to my husband's phone, and had no problems getting through to someone.

The last "gentleman" I spoke with didn't say, "i have to check if there really is no signal before I can credit you". This is their legal requirement. What he offered me was the "opportunity" to continue doing business with them as part of "checking the dish for a signal". And after having been put indefinitely on-hold, and being treated like dirt, I wanted nothing to do with them.

So, of course I declined, and they used that, as their justification to charge us the contract disconnect fee of $465. This all happened in a time span of 3 days. We charged back the charge on the cc, but, of course, then the bill came for money due, and a threat to report my husband to the credit bureaus if it wasn't paid. (Remember, they ask for your ss #) He tried calling one last time to reason with them, but they basically told him to ***.

Yes...state representatives considering bringing Directv to your area...you see how these contracts are really just a form of extortion, giving businesses commanding control over whether or not a consumer supposedly "chooses" to do business with them, and legally requiring customers to take complaints to arbitors who are already "in the pocket" of big corporations? I encourage anyone to read the small print and know your local laws pertaining to the installation of these dishes...you basically lose your right to a chargeback because they will just trash your credit if you don't pay. They know it. So that's how horribly they treated us.

Vonage tried to do the same thing, but we had been with them for 5 years, so they couldn't say anything...but they looked very carefully, to see if there was SOME reason to charge us that exit fee. I see Vonage has "seen the light" and is now offering supposedly contract-free service...but I'd read the small print people!

Product or Service Mentioned: Directv Installation.

Monetary Loss: $465.

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Just be clear after re-reading my comment below. That 700 was nto generic complaints about companies robbing their accounts without authorization, that was just fir Directv alone for robbing their accounts and issues around unknown early termination fees. ***


Just called the Texas Attorney General. They encouraged me to file a consumer complaint (which I did). She told me that in TX alone within the last 24 months there were over 700 complaints on this matter to them. Since most people that call the Atty Gen probably don't bother to do this, it ay be double or triple that number that actually thought to call the state's atty general. And then of those tht did not think to do that, the numbers are probably in the TENS OF THOUSANDS.

DirectV. Mother F-ers!

I'm now calling the district attorney in my county and see what we can do.


Get in the long line Dude...I can feel your pain...here is my complaint! :(

****I called Directv Retention Dept to complain about their fuzzy reception, service, my picture fading in and out, being charged for services they claimed I would receive for free such as HD.

DTV was charging me for HD reception but because I did not catch their overcharge, they refused to allow me the services they had promised I would receive for free. When the service man came out to install the dish, he left such a mess inside my house and outside in my roof gutters. My husband had to clean it all up and throw it away. The service person is supposed to dispose of the boxes and mess they make themselves.

I am now being charged a $400 early cancellation fee because I canceled their sorry service after 6 months. I called and talked to one of their supervisors in the Retention Department on 9/28/10 and he said he understood about the bad reception and they would send another service person out. I told him I was sick and tired of having people come to my house and then get the same *** I was getting before. He said he understood and would cancel my service and I would not be charged the early cancellation fee.

But, guess what, I received my DTV bill today and there was a $400 early cancellation fee on it. When I called customer service today, they said there was no notes in their system to verify that the prior supervisor in the Retention Department had authorized a credit of this fee and by their contract, I am obligated to pay the fee. This is bogus BS! Would someone please tell me how DTV can get away with this.

The state law says the customer has to be receiving good reception or the service can be cancelled without a penalty. So, after talking to a supervisor in Customer Service, I was more or less called a liar because the person I spoke to in the Retention Department did not do what he said he was going to do and remove the early cancelation fee. Besides being overcharged, I am also being fraudlently charged.

This will also be sent to the BBB. (And, everywhere else I can paste this too.)


You stated you called the next day I would think that would be within the "grace period" and you should not be charged an early cancellation fee As far as the equipment is concerned you are expected to mail back the boxes call DTV and ask for fedex boxes to send these back or they will charge you non returned equipment fees in addition to the $465 early termination. (They do not remove the dish from your home)As far as yur credit goes you have the right to write a letter stating your side of the situation and place it on your credit report this will void anything DTV turns in.this can be done online. also even though you disputed the amount on your card DTV can reapply the amount later if dispute is found in their favor so you may want to change #'s or close the account.I'd also file complaints with the BBB,FTC and Attorney General(online) stating your situation and what you want to happen.


I feel your pain with DirecTV. I considered myself lucky when I dumped my service because of weather-related signal issues.

We had been told that we were put on a two year contract when we upgraded to HD but somehow escaped the exit fee when we cancelled 18 months later. I can understand companies using the equipment as an excuse for the exit fee but I believe that every company should offer a grace period, especially when service is dependent on location and every location is different.

My advice to people in situations like this is to use a credit card that offers virtual numbers and not sign up for auto pay. That way, you can supply the valid number to the company and if they attempt to charge you errantly, the number won't work.

It will give you some time to work with customer service. The company has nothing to lose if they already have your money.