DirecTV - Devious billing practices...

Posted on Friday, August 2nd, 2013 at 4:55pm CDT by A. Friend

Company: DirecTV

Location: US

Category: TV, Music, Video

A year ago I got tired of "feeding the pig" (CABLE) and took a chance on DirecTV. To my surprise the service has quite good, but their billing practices are deceitful. You routinely get calls for "free trials". Of course if you take advantage of the "free trial", it's incumbent on you to cancel it by the end of the trial period or you will be billed. I now make it my practice to say NO as soon as I see it's DirecTV calling.

The most underhanded thing I've experienced with them, however, is that they gave me a free introductory season of the NFL SUNDAY Ticket when I subscribed. I don't watch the NFL and could care less UNTIL I SAW LAST MONTH'S BILL. It contained a notice that I would be billed $37.49 IN AUGUST for the upcoming season UNLESS I CANCELLED before the next billing. I sent a cancellation e-mail to their customer service the day I received that notice and guess what? Yep, I was billed $37.49 the following month. It took 15 minutes on the phone to get it cancelled and some customer service rep had to listen to me vent, but it did get straightened out.

It must be easier to make money with unscrupulous billing practices!


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da1b7ab4, 2013-08-12, 01:29PM CDT

The EXACT same thing happened to us. I almost thought I wrote your post when I read it. I'm curious, can that be legal? Can they give you service that you didn't solicit and then charge you for it because you didn't tell them that you didn't want it? If anybody reading this is a legal expert, I'd love your input on this.

A. Friend, 2013-08-12, 04:28PM CDT

Their caveat on all of this is that they tell you at the time (part of the multitude of documents) that you can cancel anytime. It's very similar to the latest thing being used by magazines for their subscriptions. Buy the cheap $5 subscription and pay with your credit card, then you are automatically renewed at "the current rate" which will be 3-4 times higher than the original offer. I finally had them add me to their DO NOT CALL list to avoid the constant "free offer" phone solicitations.

And as irritating as they are, they are saints compared to Sirius/XM and their attempts at automatic renewal at "the current rate". That is particularly irritating when you purchase a new car that comes equipped with a 3-12 subscription. You may never have any contact with them until you start receiving letters that you owe them as they automatically renew you. I was prepared to go to court as I had not signed a contract, but they softened their approach and ultimately offered a renewal rate at ~50% of their "current price".

l r., 2013-10-14, 09:28PM CDT

sounds like they are learning from Comcast cable. they were supposed to cut my bill this month but did not. waiting to see what they do this month. (is there a new excuse?) I will cut them if billing issue is not fixed. it is to bad they know people will continue to use services regardless . so they all so what they can to line their pockets.

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