I was happy to get DirecTV when I moved to the south side of my building, and could have a dish on my balcony.
I got DirecTV installed in late May of 2009. It was supposed to be a free install, as far as I saw when I signed up. However, the tech stated I needed to pay for a pole that attaches
to my balcony. He said it would be $99 if I paid with a check, but $65 if I gave him cash. I did this, because I needed the dish attached, so why pay $99?
The service was good. I had no issues until I got a letter from my building management that they would be doing upgrades and maintenance to the balconies.
The work would last 2 months, and no dishes could be on the balcony during that time, nor could they be attached to the balcony when the work was done.
They were installing new railings. I called DirecTV to tell them my dilemma. They said they could send someone out to put my dish on a tripod.
I was also told the signal "could" be received through a window, more than likely. This was great, because I wanted to stay with them and I did not want to be without service for 2 months.
When the tech came, he took one look at my dish and said my dish would not go on a tripod. It is too big, so too top heavy on a tripod.
He gave me no other option, other than to call customer service. I called customer service, and they insisted it would go on a tripod. Again, they sent a tech. Again,
I was told the dish would not go on a tripod, and was given no other option. I called customer service for the 3rd time regarding this issue. The woman I spoke with said she
could offer to send another tech to install on a tripod. I told her that 2 techs already insisted that would not work for my dish. She put me on hold. When she came back from
speaking with her manager, she told me she would not send another tech. She said they are contractors, so they cannot make them install the dish on a tripod.
She then said the only option she would offer me was to disconnect my service, and she specifically stated she would waive the early cancellation fee of $400.
This seemed fair, since it was the only option THEY were offering me. I did not request a disconnect.
After a week of being disconnected, I received an email that I owed DirecTV $453 for early cancellation!!! I immediately called, and was told the charge was valid.
I insisted the customer service rep told me I would not be charged, and also explained why I was having the issue. It was out of my control.
He stated there was nothing in the notes saying she would waive the fee, nor was she authorized to waive it. I asked him, regardless if it were in the notes, does it make sense
I should be charged considering my circumstance. He insisted the charge was valid. He just kept saying that, and avoided the logic of it all. I then asked him to contact the woman
I spoke with, as her name must be in the notes. He said they go by rep numbers, so I said contact her. He stated they have too many call centers to be able to do that.
SO, they go by numbers that cannot be traced? This is where I knew I was in trouble.
I insisted he allow me to speak to someone else. He said no manager was available, but he could escalate it to the cancellation dept. I agreed. He asked me to call back in 15 days.
I thought that sounded a bit long, so I called back in 7. I was told they made a decision that the fee was valid. What a surprise. I insisted on speaking with a manager. I was disconnected.
I called back, was disconnected again when I asked to speak to a manager. I called back again, and insisted on speaking with a manager.
I was not disconnected, but I was put on hold for well over 30 minutes. I figured they wanted me to hang up. I did not. I finally spoke to a very calm manager who said it made no sense
I should pay the fee, after explaining my story for what felt like the 100th time. He said he would look into this, apologized for my experience, and said he would call me back by 4pm
that day. FINALLY!! Finally I found someone who gets it!! Next thing I know it is 5pm and no phone call. I call back. I was told there was no record of me speaking to a
manager or that I was told I would get a call back. I got very upset, and was told that all I could do was write the Billing Dispute Dept in Colorado.
I wrote the letter and mailed it. I got a call a week later, and was told the fee was valid. Surprise, surprise. I was also told that they researched the issue and saw in the first tech's
notes that he informed me of another option. They claim I was told that I could get a bucket filled with concrete in which the pole mounted dish could go.
LIE! I was never told that, by either tech. Interesting how they found that in the notes, but nothing that I was actually told that would support my case.
After a heated 45 minute conversation with them, I was told I could apply for arbitration. Oh yea, there is a fee for the arbitration. LOL!
They wanted me to pay a fee to have their lawyers decide if their fee was valid?
I knew there was only ONE way that could have gone, so with a knot in my stomach and my blood boiling I paid them the fee.
After searching the web, I have found many people who got screwed over by this fee. I have also found people who were sued for the fee.
I just wanted them out of my life at that point, but it burns me to know they are getting rich off scamming people. I WAS scammed.
They lied about the fee being waived, and then lied about what was or was not in the notes.