I first got DirecTV back in 2005. I had them for 4.5 years at that time and then when I relocated across the country and moved in with family, I convinced them to get DirecTV. That was in 2010. Come to 2015 and I moved across the country for a short-term stay (1 year) and convinced my landlord whose lease specifically said "no satellite" to let me get satellite just so I could get DirecTV. I liked the service and I liked the Genie which allowed multiple shows to be recorded and watched on multiple TVs.
At the time, I didn't know what my next year would bring, and had no option other than to sign their 2-year contract in order to get service with them at all. Fast forward to Sept. 2016. I didn't immediately get a job after finishing my grad school coursework as I'm not done with the research part of the program. Moved back in with the same family who got DirecTV 6 years ago precisely and ONLY because I suggested they do. I asked for a customer loyalty consideration to waive the $200 early termination fee. I was told that if I were getting married then this would be no problem, but because I was moving in with family, they flat out refused to do it.
Long story short, after multiple efforts to address this and denials of request, I complained to the office of the president. Just spoke with some guy named David from that office. He was monotone, showed no concern for me or the fact I've been loyal customer - either directly or indirectly - for more than 11 years. He confirmed that if I were getting married, they would merge the accounts and waive the fee. He confirmed that prior to the national legalization of same-sex marriage, they would merge accounts and waive the fee for domestic partners who were not actually getting married. He confirmed that active duty military could just cancel without any fee because. . . military. But, because I'm moving in with family and not a spouse, I have to pay the $200 fee.
This is flat out discrimination - treating different customers differently and penalizing me for not having a spouse. They've lost this customer for good. The lousy customer service experience with this is ridiculous. They insist that it's because they invest up front with the equipment being installed. But if that equipment was really an expense for them, they would actually want it back - which they don't. You leave the satellite behind. They didn't even want the DVR unit and remote control back, just the smaller genie unit. Clearly the equipment is not a financial concern for them. And you know this giant, national company is not going to be made or broken off my $200, but for a currently unemployed student that $200 is most of a car payment. Zero consideration for 11 years of customer loyalty. Zero consideration for the fact I've convinced at least 3 other households to get their service. All they could offer was that if I re-up their service within the next 24 months, they'll reverse the $200 charge, but that I would need to pay that now.
Never again. They couldn't give me their service for free at this point. They've blown it. 11 years apparently means nothing to them. So be it. They will get the amount owed for the final bill. They will NOT get the termination fee. And they will NOT get me as a customer again.
Product or Service Mentioned: Directv Customer Care.
Reason of review: Return, Exchange or Cancellation Policy.
Monetary Loss: $200.
Preferred solution: waive the fee outright or merge my account with family as is offered for newly married parties. Can we say DISCRIMINATION.
I liked: Genie feature - when it was working properly.
I didn't like: Customer service sucks.