Direct TV - billing problems - given wrong information by customer service

Posted on Tuesday, July 16th, 2002 at 12:00am CDT by 3ff95591

Company: Direct TV - billing problems - given wrong information by customer service

Category: Other

Complaints.com received the following consumer message on July 14, 2002:

From:

RE: Direct TV - billing problems - given wrong information by customer service

A few weeks ago I called to inquire on finding a way to have a cheaper service. I spoke to a young woman who unfortunately I did not get her name.

I asked her before changing any services if it would be on the bill coming up next or the one after and she told me the one after. She also offered me a $20.00 off a month for 6 months, due to my being a good customer who paid on time etc.

I advised her that we would be moving in month and no more than two months and at that time service would have to be discontinued. I asked her if this would affect this in any way and if there was any kind of a contract I would have to promise to. She told me "NO" which I trusted her on this. I said yes to both.

This past week I received a bill for $200.00 plus and I called about this and spoke to a supervisor who told me that I had been told wrong and they billed a month in advance and that the deal I was offered was a contract to keep service for a year. I explained to him and also told him there was a charge for disconnect of a service which I should not owe as I had been with Direct for over a year.

He told me that he would attempt to get that removed. I was only able to get this bill down to $160.00 after disconnecting the premium service which I have a feeling I will get another $25.00 charge.

I called back asking for a number to call and speak to someone as high as possible regarding my complaint regarding the Direct consultant and the false leading that she did with me and for something to be done about the apparent misleading within this company. I was only told I could have an address but no phone number was given.

I will be discontinuing service as soon as my husband is transferred to another town and never again will I deal with this company and I will never give a good reference to this company unless I am given some satisfaction to this situation.

I have also considered notifying the Better Business Bureau regarding this situation and if I ever have to contact them again, I will notify them I am taping the phone conversation as this was only a her word against mine and I am assured that I would never find satisfaction regarding the misleading that I was given.

I have been told by several others of similar situations with them but they had not pressed this issue, but I for one cannot sit by and not have people know what happened to me with this company. Patricia Neely


18 Comments

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2bfc812c, 2008-01-27, 08:57AM CST

I have had Direct Tv service for over five years. I had my service moved and upgraded to my new home on Dec,7th.2007. The installation was very messy, they left wires hanging everywhere inside and outside the house, never connected the ground cable outside for electrical safety, and we lost signal every few minutes. I called and complained and Direct TV sent another tech out almost two weeks later. He stated the first tech was fired and he fixed the service. Within 15 minutes we began to lose signal again.

I called and e-mail Direct TV about this, offering pictures to prove the service was installed sloppy and didnt work.

I e-mailed them several times, its easier because their call centers have people that cant speak clear English and are very hard to deal with and understand. Finally I told them to cancel my service because they couldnt meet there commitment to me and provide a working service. I also asked for a return autho# to send their receiver back to them.

Around a week later Jan 11th.2008 I received a disconnect e-mail and bill for 93.00 .I e-mailed them saying I had no service for that month so how do I owe them.

On Jan 18th.2008 a box with return instructions was delivered to my house for the receiver.

On Jan 22nd. 2008 I saw Direct TV was pulling $562.83 from my checking account.I took of work and went to my bank to stop this from happening, I signed a stop pay but my bank had to investigate it first. I was told to contact Direct TV and ask them to stop the transaction.

I called Direct TV several times, I was told the charges were for an early termination of service.I told them again I never had a working service to begin with.I got nowhere with the call center, the language problem was just to much, I asked for some one that could speak better English and I was repeated the same thing again. Direct TV used a check card I had used before to pay my bill on-line and charged my account without my authorization $562.38.

When I got home that evening I received a bill from them stating what the charges were and it was due immediately.

No one that speaks good English will talk to me from Direct TV, THEY broke the law pulling money from my account without authorization, caused my account to bounce checks, left me unable to buy groceries this week for my family, Ive lost two hours work as of today trying to clear this up.Tommorrow I have to go to my bank again and to an attorney .

What a nightmare, please pass this on to everyone to warn them about direct tvs practices

Richard C. Morrison

[email protected]

60ecf8b8, 2008-02-26, 02:18PM CST

Hi my name is Dionne Fournette I was done the same thing only my cable was not on due to them not showing on orginal date for reconnection. From 02/04/08-02/25/08 I didn't have any service and they gave me a credit for 30.00 at first than 10.00 more because the first guy i spoke with only gave me credit from 02/04 til 02/21 then they called on 02/26 for payment on the bill when I spoke with the 1st lady who said I could pay my bill by 03/16/08 thats when my billing cycle started again. I said I would bring them they're receivers tell me where to bring them so then they tell me that since they connected it yesterday now I'm on a contract and I would be breaking it by stopping services and would have to pay a fine to get out of it.

6b984e17, 2008-03-04, 06:36PM CST

On 02/16/08 we phoned Direct TV interested in signing up for service...only if we had access to our current local Harrisburg channels like we do with cable. I was assured by "Sariah" in customer service that we would have access to Harrisburg channels so we signed up. If I would have known ahead of time that we would not have those channels, I would absolutely not have signed up. Now this brings to 02/26/08. The tech came out and installed everything no problems there other than it was a long process (4-5 hours). Late that evening we were surfing through our new channels and realized that there were NO Harrisburg channels, only Washington DC. Now we are in South Central PA which is over 100+ miles from DC but less than 50 miles from Harrisburg. DC is not even close to being local for us. DC channels do not show anything local for us. I emailed the customer service first thing the next morning. This is the response I received: "Just to inform you, we assign local channels by ZIP code based on Designated Market Area (DMA), as determined by Nielsen Media Research. According to Nielsen, your ZIP code has been assigned to the Harrisburg-Lancaster, PA local channel market and we cannot provide you with locals from any other city. Federal law requires us to use the established local market boundaries and these cannot be changed by DIRECTV." So I emailed them back and told them that's exactly what we want and could someone correct it.

Now on the evening of 02/27/08 we called Direct TV. My husband was transferred to almost every department including; customer service, Technical dept, programming & billing. Eventually he was transferred to a supervisor. Now he spent over 2 hours on the phone, no exaggerations. Almost an hour of that time was being on hold. We ate our supper & cleaned up dishes and were still on hold. Eventually the supervisor said she would look into it and call us back within 24 hours. Here we are 24 hours later on the 28th and no call. So we called again that evening and explained it to "Josh" another customer service agent. He filled out a "report" and stated someone would get back to us within 24 hours. Again, here we are 24 hours later on the 29th and no return call. This has been a big runaround already and we have only had the service for 72 hours. My husband called again on March 3rd and spoke with "Melissa" and again we were told someone will call us within 24 hours. Now I just called again this evening and spent over 45 minutes arguing with them about how crappy their customer service is and how fed up we are with their runaround. We've had the service a week and no longer want it. The only resolve they want to offer is for US to purchase an antennae to get our local channels. To me that's unacceptable since they misled us. They only other option is to disconnect the service and pay the $500 "Early disconnect fee". Then I can file a dispute letter to their billing department who do not have a phone number to be reached at. Oh gee, I wonder why? All this from the people who state they are #1 customer satisfaction. I don't know about anyone else but I don't have $500 laying around...who does? I would have no problems with being signed up for 24 months if they would have been truthful. Actually I wouldn't be signed up at all if they would have been truthful. Now so far I have contacted the Better Business Bureau & our "local Harrisburg" news station. Anyone else have any suggestions??

Jamie

8d78a81b, 2008-05-09, 02:47PM CDT

We have just got off the phone with DIRECTV and had the exact same situation. We had been promised local channels for our area in Salisbury and when we realized it, we didn't have the channels. If we cancel, we will have to pay 360 bucks!

We had the same thing -write to the billing department as a billing dispute.

We were mis-sold the service by Directv and seemingly have no other recourse.

I want to investigate what other recourse we have in this situation. Now that I read this board, it seems that many customers are told they have local channels and then are sold the system only to find out they don't.

7ead9d0d, 2008-06-04, 05:09PM CDT

Hey everyone,

My husband and I have had the worst experience with them since we've signed up with them back in February. To make a long story short- we've had 3 techs and 2 tech supervisors out here. We signed up w/ DirectTV because they advertise they have more HD channels than anyone...period, on their website. We wanted HD service- the 1st tech came out here when we had 3 ft of snow and said he couldn't get up on the roof due to the snow but would hook us up for now and we'd have to call to get another tech out to set up the HD service once the snow melted. A month goes by and we receive our 1st bill which included the HD receiver we didn't have at a $99 charge, plus all the other options that go w/ the HD service (half of which we didn't have). My husband calls and is on the phone w/ them for almost 2 hours trying to get it straightened out. The snow melts- we call DirectTV to get another tech out to install the HD and bring us the HD receiver we were charged for. The 2nd tech said it was impossible for us to get HD service from the roof (where the dish was when we bought the house). His supervisor comes out and takes pics and says the same thing. We cannot get the service because of line of sight- we have some humongous tress in our back yard that we had priced out at $1200 to remove. The next suggestion from the 2nd tech was to install the dish out on the treeline and run the line to the house. We had to get permission from the town to do this because it's on their property. In the meantime, my husband called DirectTV while that 2nd tech was still at our home and argued with them for another almost 2 hours about cancelling our service because they cannot provide what was promised or advertrised or charged to us. The told my husband they were going to charge us a cancellation fee of almost $465 because we only have 48 hrs to cancel after we receive service (by this time it's a month and a half later). Here's the catch: DirectTV advertises that you can view their service terms and conditions on their website or on your 1st bill. If you go on their website and view those conditions- no where does it state a time limit on cancelling their service- it only states that they can charge you anywhere from $15 up to the maximum allowed (whatever that is). By the time you receive your 1st bill- it's a month later. On the back of your bill, the terms and conditions state that you have up to 7 days to cancel your service or they charge a $495 fee.

?????

My husband called again this past Sunday to get out bill cleared up yet again because it was incoorect. He spent another 2 1/2 hrs on the phone with them- he got bounced around 4 times before he could even speak to a manager. The end result- another $199 charge to our account for an HD receiver we did not have. Why did they do that you might wonder? We're clueless, too.

So, needless to say, we got permission from our town to try and put up another dish on the treeline. The 3rd tech came out this morning and said there was no way they could do that either because the line they would have to run to the house would be too long and would burn out the HD receiver. We would have this problem continuously and would have to keep buying new HD receivers (remember at $199 a pop- we were charged $99 because of a sale at the time we signed up for it).

I called them this time... you probably don't want to know how it turned out- but the end result was they wanted to charge me $360 this time for a cancellation fee. I love how they make up their own fee price everytime we call. They also change the rules whenever they feel like it. We are now going to seek out a free consultation lawyer and send a complaint to the Better Business Bureau. If you know anyone who has had a similar experience with this company, I would like to know. I would like to get a class action lawsuit going against this company. And for word of mouth- please pass this story on to those who either have or are considering getting satellite or HD service from DirectTV. At this point, it's no longer about the money- it's the point.

How many other people have they done this to?

043e36a7, 2008-06-25, 07:33PM CDT

if you email the CEO and write in the email subject-formal request to disconnect service....

and then the email letter itself- write- the account info number and please disconnect my service and my account from direct tv, effective immediately. and (put your name and address/ phone number, ect.)

then send email to yourself and one other person(to show them you have witnesses..) then send them one at

[email protected]

they will shut you off

oh and dont forget to print a copy of the email response they send you the next day....

it gives a confirmation number to prove, so SAVE IT!

I had to do it that way, but they still wanted to charge me a disconnection fee, so I blocked them from my credit card account.

good luck everyone!!!!!!!!!!!!

f256d00f, 2008-09-10, 09:03PM CDT

I have Direct TV through QWEST phone service. I was double billed for HBO service from Januaryu 2008 to July 2008 for an overcharge of about $126. I filed a complaint with the FCC and Direct TV responded immediately. They claim a credit was issued to QWEST. Guess what...QWEST never got it. Justg called Direct TV, They did in fact credit the bill and QWEST can't read their own statments correctly. Direct TV also gave me 1 year ($9.99 X 12) credit for the year for HD service. QWEST are the idiots but Direct TV is the one responsible for the wrong billing in the first place. What a bunch of bullshit and phone calls to fix these issues.

Anonymous, 2008-10-13, 10:19AM CDT

YES. I would like to join a class action lawsuit against Direct TV. All that has been described in these emails has happened to us as well. Add this to your list:

We have been charged for the last 9 months for NFL Ticket Sunday, EVEN WHEN THERE WAS NO FOOTBALL SEASON!! We have tried cancelling it, we have called at least 20 different people, and even not paid it. They have sent us past due bills for the amount, said the would refund it, and even promised us they have removed it from our bill. But it contiues to be on our bill and we are up to 300.00 of false charges that we cannot get anyone to fix!!

I don't know what else to do. I'm ready to ban with others and shut them down.

Jennifer in Charleston, SC

40ec82ae, 2008-11-28, 07:39AM CST

Yes, I too had this happen to me. I have tried everything to get my money back. I am at such a loss. I am still dealing with it. I can not close my bank Account because of an auto draft loan. So, it just keeps on and on. Causing more and more problems. It is a HUGE night mare. Several hundred dollars taken from my account. Now several hudred of dollars in overdraft fees. I could face criminal charges for hot checks but nothing happens to direct TV for putting me in this situation? It is WRONG!! A single mother now not able to even feed my children. I am SCARED!!!

c8281ba8, 2008-12-03, 03:18PM CST

On November 4th I was charged $436.29, and it's not even my service! (it was my mother's). When I filed a dispute with my bank, it was declined, because Mastercard's (whom my bank uses) policy is that because I paid *one* bill for my mom, that gave Direct TV the right to charge ANY amount ANY time they want! I've sent an email to Direct TV, to find out why the heck the bill is so high, and what we can do about this- the amount that they took out really hit us hard.

a99653a0, 2009-02-25, 01:09PM CST

I have had the same problems. I did notify the bbb and am still dealing with getting my problems fixed.

d24983e7, 2009-06-12, 06:16AM CDT

We have had problems with Direct TV, as well. We had one receiver go bad and had to pay $19 for S&H and this was within 6 months of having service. Shortly thereafter all our receivers went bad and they wanted to charge for a technician to come out. We had four receivers.

We were not satisfied with the fact that their receivers were junk and would have to pay for a technician visit and who knows what else.

When we opened the account we read the fine print and saw nowhere any stipulation on how long we had to have the service, only a $15 cancellation fee or less as determined by law.

We ended up getting a charge of $180 for early cancellation.

7915784e, 2009-07-20, 03:38PM CDT

I would also like to be a part of a class action suite with Direct TV, I have the service and was going to be late a few months after I recieved it and called them the told me it was ok then charged my credit card for 1k telling me it was for breaking my contract plus the hardware? they hadn't even disconnected it and had no permission to charge me credit card for anything. I called them and they said they would put the money back right away that it was an error, this has been two months ago now and they still haven't put the money back. I have my bank filling agains them for fradualantly charging my credit card. It has been a complete nightmare and now they are charging our account for the nfl football crap that we never asked for.

Thanks Nancy Ribeiro

a0392ef4, 2009-08-28, 10:25AM CDT

Hello All.

I too have had a bad experience with Direct T.V.'s billing department and I would think twice about ever having them again as my television provider.

I recently cancelled the service and switched to Dish. In doing so i contaced Direct and told them what i was doing. They told me they would send me shipping boxes to return my equipment, which they did, and i returned them. They also told me that I had a pro-rated bill that would be due, so i should disregard the current bill i currently had. I waited until i recieved the new bill and paid it on time just like every other bill i had recieved. Well yesterday i recieved a bill for a very small amount ($5), but i called to inquire what it was for, and they told me that is was due to my last payment being late. I explained to them that was not possible as i canceled my service and was told to wait until i recieved a new adjusted bill from them. I spent an hour on the phone arguing with at least 4-5 different people. Every time i asked to speak to a supervisor, i would get a different representative, and I know i spoke to the same man twice pretending to be a supervisor. Long and short of it was they refused to waive the charge, and i refused to pay something that wasn't late. I finally called back a little later and spoke to somebody in the Customer Service department. This person was very helpful and listned to my side of the situation and then checked the account notes and verified that i was correct. She ended up crediting my account for the amount and now i have a zero balance. I got the last laugh out of it over the billing department, but i feel i recieved very poor customer service and will not do business with them again.

0ada9a81, 2010-03-27, 05:43PM CDT

Apparently this is a frequent business practice of Direct TV. File a formal complaint with your Attorney General's Office. You can do this by going to your State web-site and clicking on Attorney General/Complaints. Also file a complaint with the Attorney General Office with the state where Direct TV's corporate offices are located. By law they will have to respond to the complaint. (i.e you will get a copy also) If enough consumers follow through with their complaints, Direct TV will have to come to terms with their "deceptive" business practices.

4f66cd34, 2010-10-20, 04:31PM CDT

direct tv is the worst excuse for any company- idiots that don't know what they are doing,lousy reception- don'make the mistake!!!!!!!!!!!

5c4f9a2b, 2011-09-10, 05:59AM CDT

I missed one month as was going to pay the next month and the bill was well over 200. I called several times to cancel my contract and every time I tried they said their system was down and they could not process my request, and other times they just hung up. Now my bill that they want me to pay is close to 1200 and I'm refusing to pay that. I looked threw the contract and did the math, and the maximum about they say they will charge to cancel a contract is around 500. So I have yet contacted them and have not answer calls from them or their collections company cause this has to be illegal what they are doing.

26b99daa, 2012-08-14, 08:20AM CDT

I, as well, have had a bad experiance with direct tv billing. I had my service disconnected on Aug 4th 2012. The girl I talked to said that I need to pay my full bill within 15 days or they will automatically withdraw from my bank account they have on file for me. I got direct tv thru an att bundle and have never made a payment to direct tv, only to att! I told them that I do not authorize any withdrawals. The girl also said that because "my account will no longer exist after that date, that any credits due to me will no longer be issued"..What?? As soon as I disconnected, they split the bill from att and now my bill shows up on their website (of which it did not before) It said they mailed the boxes on Aug 6th, but the boxes say Aug 9th! and I recieved the boxes the night before yesterday, packed them yesterday, and mailed them today the 14th. There is no way they will recieve the boxes within their 15 day period from the date they mailed the boxes and I feel that they will charge my bank for it. I will place a stop payment on them today. From the very first bill, my bills have been overcharged (of which I always paid and waited for my account to be credited, of which it was never credited as the person I spoke to said it would be, that is the reason for my disconnecting with them. What I was originally supposed to have was a $89. triple pack from att and I have never paid less then $135. because of direct tv. Most of my bill were $175. or over. I kept them for about 14 months, ande left the contract early even though I have to pay $20. per month left on the contract. I still will save a fortune. I feel they have a truely messed up billing department and sales department and I would not reccomend this company to anyone!!

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