Monday, October 26, 2009

DirecTV and the BBB

Ugh, not pretty.
Complaint Classification:

Complaint Description - Posted 9/30/2009 4:45:12 PM

DirecTV attempted to change the terms of my customer agreement in April 2009. I took that opportunity to contact their customer service to decline the contract change under the conditions that I would not be charged more than $15 when they disconnected me. At no time did I ask to be disconnected, and was very careful to confirm multiple times that there would be no early disconnect fee (and to not request disconnection) - They disconnected me when I refused their contract change after being told that I would not be charged in this circumstance. I subsequently received a confirmation that no money was owed. Then I started receiving bills monthly, which were waived in subsequent calls to support each month. Eventually all traces of the real disconnect event seems to have disappeared from their records and to have been replaced with my requesting a disconnect, so they now stand by their $210 disconnect fee.

Complaint Summary

Customer Service rep said my service would be disconnected for no charge, or $15, when I denied to accept their contract change. Later billed $210

Resolution Sought

Stop billing me for $210. Waive any fees and repair my credit if it has been affected by their collections department.

Additional Information

Date Problem First Occurred:
Product or Service: satellite television service
Model Name or Number:
Date Purchased: 4/1/2008
Order Number:
Amount In Dispute: $210.00

Company's Response

Company's Initial Response - Posted 10/15/2009
We are sorry for any misunderstanding concerning the difference between the disconnection or deactivation fee and the Early Cancellation Fee as outlined in the terms and conditions of service. We have reviewed your account and we are unable to waive your Early Cancellation Fee. Prior to the change in terms of the DIRECTV Customer Agreement in April 2009, you were using the service in accordance with the existing terms and conditions as well as the terms described in the DIRECTV Equipment Lease Addendum. The terms of your service were available in the DIRECTV Customer Agreement dated April 2007, which was provided with your first billing statement. In section 5 of that agreement it stated in part “…In addition to any deactivation or change of service fees provided in Section 2, if you cancel Service or change your Service package, you may be subject to an early cancellation fee if you entered into a separate programming commitment with DIRECTV in connection with obtaining Receiving Equipment, and have failed to maintain the required programming package for the required period of time.” On 5/11/09, you requested that your service be terminated (disconnected) because you did not like the customer service, guide or pricing. You declined all offers to retain your service and scheduled disconnection of the account. The equipment was returned to DIRECTV thus ending your DIRECTV service. Because you ended your service prior to completing the required service agreement, you were charged a valid Early Cancellation Fee. Respectfully, DIRECTV Office of the President
Initial Response Summary
Because you ended your service prior to completing the required service agreement, you were charged a valid Early Cancellation Fee.

Consumer's Rebuttal

Consumer's Rebuttal - Posted 10/16/2009
Section 5 is not applicable, since, as stated in my complaint, I never requested to be disconnected or deactivated. On 5/11/09, I did NOT request my service be terminated. That is false. A fabrication. An untruth. As stated in my complaint, I never requested to be disconnected. Returning equipment is not a significant event to equate to a request to disconnect. I don't see the relevance to my complaint. I am unable to prove that I never requested to be disconnected, since it didn't happen. You are unable to prove that I requested to be disconnected, since it didn't happen. I know that my disconnect fee was waived at least twice. I have a bill for $0.00 that I received after one of my complaint calls about the bill. I also know that my bill went into DirecTVs collections department and that they did not collect on my bill after telling me that they saw in their records where the disconnect fee had been waived. I don't know why normal billing then resumed after collections efforts stopped. This fee is an unfair billing practice that should be refunded to me.

Company's Final Response

Company's Final Response - Posted 10/22/2009
If the disconnection of your service was done in error, we would expect that you would have contacted us to reinstate your service. The return of your leased equipment confirms your request to no longer continue with the DIRECTV service, as you are unable to continue with service without the equipment. You received a statement with a $0.00 balance as this statement only reflected programming charges. Your Early Cancellation Fee applied after you account was disconnected, and a statement was mailed reflecting the new balance due. The existing terms of your service agreement were not affected by the revised DIRECTV Customer Agreement that took effect in April 2009. Your service agreement was in exchange for discounted leased equipment and installation. As previously advised, there is no record your service agreement would be waived. You have not provided us with any additional information to change our position. Your Early Cancellation Fee is valid. Respectfully, DIRECTV Office of the President
Ahh, if only I could rebut their final response with:
  • I never said it was an error, I just said I didn't request it. DirecTV canceled it on purpose.
  • The return of the equipment does not confirm any request, as no request was made. I returned the equipment only because you told me my service had been canceled for no (or nominal) charge so I didn't need the equipment any more.
  • I'm sorry I assumed that a $0.00 bill meant I owed $0.00. Having already assumed that being told I wouldn't have to pay an early disconnect fee and been lied to about that, you would think I would know better.
  • I'm not sure about the relevance of "Your service agreement was in exchange for discounted leased equipment and installation". If you mean the changes to the contract were in regard to discounted leased equipment and installation, then it's irrelevant. You can change the contract to offer me free service, and it's still a contract change that I don't have to accept. What has changed doesn't matter.

No comments:

Post a Comment