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DirecTV was unequivocally the worst experience that I have ever had with any product or service. It's hard to believe that such a company can legally operate while employing the deceptive business practices that I encountered throughout the 17 month term of service that I had with them. Once they have you, there is no way out. If you request to cancel service due to their deceptive billing practices, failure to honor agreements/promises or evasive customer service and unresolved problems, they will threaten you with a huge termination fee for canceling early.

I cannot believe how many hours (probably days if you add them all up during my 17 months of service) that I spent on the phone & emails in good faith trying to give DirecTV the opportunity to honor the promises & agreements they made. However, despite all this effort, I was met time and time again with extremely evasive customer service that will drag out an issue (no matter what it might be) for as long as they can in what appears to be a tactic to wear you down into just giving up.

A perfect example of this the $50 Visa gift card that was promised at the beginning of service for enrolling in auto bill pay. They initially told me it would take 4-6 weeks to arrive. After a couple of months I called to check on the status of it and was told that it wouldn't be sent until after three billing cycles had passed. A couple of months later I was then told that they never had any Visa Gift card offer. In future phone calls I spoke with managers and representatives who said each time that the issue was being sent to a special "escalation department". However there was never any type of response or resolution.

I requested several times to just credit my account for $50 in lieu of the Visa Gift Card and they said they couldn't do that. Finally after 10 months and countless phone calls I said that I was going to cancel my account. They immediately threatened me with a $250 early termination fee if I did so. Then they put me on hold and said they would credit my account for $50 (even though they said this couldn't be done in the countless phone calls over the previous 10 months).

When I signed up for DirecTV, I specifically indicated that it would be for RV use. At the recommendation of the DirecTV rep, I ordered a mobile tripod for an additional $50 that could be used for this purpose. I was told that the local channels would be available wherever I went. That, however, was not the case. I was later told that I needed to pay a significant additional fee to receive local channels. When I said I wanted to cancel because I couldn't get the local channels that they promised and I was paying for, Directv again threatened to charge me with a huge early termination fee.

I finally had enough and told Directv at the end of 2008 that I was going to cancel my account regardless of any termination fees. They transferred me to the "retention department" and offered me a price of $34.99/mo that was locked in for the remaining 12 months. Wanting to avoid the termination fee I agreed and thought the problems were over. I asked the representative to put notes on my account regarding the offer in order to avoid any issues in the future. The next month they debited my checking account for $42.99. I called DirecTV and referred them to the previous offer and account notes. They said they saw the offer and put in a request to correct it but it would take 7-14 days. Then the next bill came and it was for $62.99. I called again and they still hadn't corrected the first error and were about to debit my checking account for $62.99. They said they would send a request to the now mythical "escalation department" but it would take another 7-14 days. When I called to follow up they said that $62.99 was correct and they didn't see any offer of $34.99 from the retention department. After several more weeks and many hours on the phone & email and they still refused to acknowledge the offer that was made even though the first representative confirmed the notes were in my account.

I decided at this point I needed to handle all future correspondence in writing. So I sent an email to customer service and said that I was cancelling my service and would file a complaint with the BBB. In subsequent replies they first said they would charge $42.99, then $37.99 and then $39.99. It was different with each representative and each reply. They still refused to acknowledge the first offer of $34.99 notated on my account and even refused to acknowledge the $37.99 that I now had in writing. I finally had to cancel auto bill pay to prevent them from arbitrarily debiting my account for unauthorized overcharges.

For anybody that hasn't gone through this process and is wondering why not just cancel service and then refuse to pay the early termination fee? The answer is Directv has your debit/credit card on file. Within days of cancelling service, they will charge your card for the termination fee without any type of bill, authorization or notification. In my case this was a debit card linked to my checking account. Poof…$139 in cash was gone without my knowledge. Fortunately I had enough cash to cover the charge. But this could easily have resulted in some hefty overdraft and returned check charges.

When I requested that they refund the charge, they referred me to the customer agreement that says they have the right to charge your card without notice for termination fees. Apparently, DIRECTV believes that it is acceptable business practice to actively evade any promises/agreements made with the customer, but fully expects the customer to keep paying for their "service" or suffer the consequence of a huge early termination fee.

Please do yourself a favor and stay clear of this company. No matter what "special offer" they have at the time and no matter how good it may seem, they will do everything within their power not to honor it. You will end up spending many frustrating hours on the phone, usually with no resolution. And if a resolution ever does come, it will often take months of continuous follow-up in order to make them honor their agreements.

Review about: Directv Account.

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Anonymous
#125307

This is a pretty well documented experience and may be legitimate but......

You people are pathetic, paranoid and are probably liberal Democrats that think everyone should get everything for nothing as well. For anyone that thinks that all businesses are out to get you I would encourage you to get professional help immediately before you kill again. While occasionally one of you may have been victim of an error or perhaps even an intentional act of deception for the most part most of you are simply clueless or qualify as perpetrators of fraud yourselves.

A company the size of DIRECTV has a legal department the size of a small Midwestern town that advises them on every policy and practice that they employ. Now I'm not saying that there are no instances of an individual that works for DIRECTV misleading a customer, intentionally or unintentionally. But as a corporate entity DIRECTV has everything to lose by setting policy and engaging in practices that are detrimental to its bottom line. The only way to avoid attrition is keep the customers you have happy so they will tell others.

DIRECTV has about 18 million customers and they continue to grow. Apparently most of those 18 million are pretty well satisfied because DIRECTV has been ranked #1 in customer satisfaction for 9 years running. If they were p-i-s-s-i-n-g (Funny isn't it, that a website that is called Pissed Consumer won't let the word *** be used in posts. Pretty hypocritical.) off even 1% of...

DIRECTV agents are trained for 2 weeks before they take a single call. Then they go through another 2 weeks of On-The-Job training under the watchful eye of trainers. And once they are allowed to take calls without extremely close supervision they are subject to frequent monitoring to ensure that they deliver a quality consumer experience. Every call an agent takes is recorded and archived. They are required to quote accurate pricing based on what they are told by the prospective customer. If the customer attempts or does provide inaccurate information in an attempt to get service or discounts they are not entitled to how does the DIRECTV or one of its agents have responsibility for inaccurate pricing or information that could result. Agents are required to inform all customers that they are leasing, not buying equipment and upon termination of services the equipment must be returned to DIRECTV or the credit or debit card that they provided when they became a DIRECTV customer would be charged for the cost of the equipment. Customers are told to review their 1st bill and the Customer Agreement that is included carefully and to keep both for their records. New customers are told the length of their agreement and if they break that agreement due to early cancellation then they are subject to early cancellation fees. Currently this is $20 per month left in the agreement term. It will be charged to the credit or debit card they provided when they set up service.

You see, when someone calls to sign up for DIRECTV some do not listen closely to what they are being told. It is my assessment that those who claim to have wronged are probably among those who wanted to rush through the sign-up process, argued with the agent about the length of the agreement, felt the cancellation fees were unfair or just ignored any information that the agent provided that didn't line up with their own personal perception of what they did or didn't have to do to hold up their end of the bargain. They think that to provide TV service as content rich as what DIRECTV provides is free, that DIRECTV gets 100% profit from every dollar they take in. Get a clue. Every business that exists today makes an investment and has an expense before any profit is made. DIRECTV is no different. Typically it takes DIRECTV at least 18 months to break even on a new customer. Let me repeat that for the really thick-headed among you. It typically takes 18 months for DIRECTV to break even on the installation and set-up of a new customer. No business exists to just break even and no business continues to exist if they don't make a profit. Since its establishment DIRECTV has continually improved its service, content and technology. No business in the television service provider industry has a record as good as DIRECTV.

Some people complain that satellite TV use to be free. Really? If I recall a satellite system with a dish the size of Rhode Island ran about $8000 or more. That is about 6 years of DIRECTV service with the Premier package that contains over 285 channels of the most popular programming content available. No other TV service provider has anything even close. Of course, one does not have to have a TV service provider. For those of you who think TV should be free as your God given right, you can put up an antenna and get reception of local channels if you can get a strong enough signal. But shut your pie hole and don't complain when there is nothing to watch on TV or there is 30 minutes of program content and 30 minutes of advertising to pay for “free” TV. Or maybe you can watch programming content provided on the Internet that is free. But my friends, that is not free either. You either at least have to have Internet service which is not free, you are a mooch who only gets WI-fi from places like Starbucks or McDonald's (God love ya) or you are stealing service from someone. Who is the unethical one now?

Are you familiar with the Pareto Principle? I doubt it. Simply put 80% of effects are derived by 20% of causes. It is also referred to as the 80-20 Rule. How does it have relevance to this monologue? 80% of the problems/complaints are generated by 20% of the customers a company has. These disgruntled people also increase the expense of doing business and guess who gets to cover the bill? The 80 percent who are relatively satisfied. Do me/us a favor, go kill yourselves now, before you cost me/us another penny. I/we will be eternally grateful.

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