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Billing dispute!

Complaint Rating:  83 % with 315 votes
83% 315
I canceled my service with Direct TV last week because I got married and moved in with my husband and today I found an unauthorized charge on my bank account, I don't even have direct pay with this company nor was I under a contract although they claim I was because they sent me a replacement for a faulty DVR which they say automatically extended my contract without my knowledge. They closed my complaint without contacting me and then they wrote on my account that I knew about the extension which was completely false. They then charged me an early cancellation fee and took the money out of my bank account without my knowledge or authorization. I believe this should be a criminal offense for them to take money out of my account without my authorization.
Complaint comments Comments Complaint country United States Complaint category Satellite & Cable TV
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 18th of Jun, 2007 by    0 Votes
I totally agree. I had the same situation happen to me after canceling. I was told I would receive a final bill and could dispute the fee for early termination due to the fact I cannot have a dish in the New Orleans historical area. Instead I had a charge on my debit card. I never even had auto bill pay so they had to get the info from the card I had stored in their system to pay my bills online. I called them very upset and they are suppose to refund the money. We will see!
 27th of Jun, 2007 by    0 Votes
If you have any sense at all, do not go with Direct TV. They continually make mistakes on billing and have quite possibly the dumbest customer service people on earth. They never informed me on my bill that I would be automatically renewed for a sports package until the charge just showed up. They agreed to cancel the 2nd half of the season and no longer charge me and canceled the service immediately. Of course, on my next bill I was charged again. I also have two DVD's that don't work and still getting charged.

Moral of story: DO NOT GO WITH DIRECT TV!
 20th of Jul, 2007 by    0 Votes
In 2003 we purchased Direct TV for our new home. Sometime in 2005 we purchased a High Definition receiver, HDMI cable, and Plasma TV at Circuit City for our living room. The system worked fine until the living room receiver stopped working in May 2007. I called Direct TV and they sent a repairman on May 18, 2007.

They swapped the receiver that I purchased from Circuit City for a new Digital Receiver (1). The repairman took my old receiver I purchased from Circuit City with him. I was not home while the Direct TV rep was there, so signed nothing. When we sat down to watch the system later that evening, we discovered that the picture was going in and out constantly. I called Direct TV service and was informed that we probably got a bad receiver. They shipped another receiver(2) out for me to replace manually, and also asked that I return the defective receiver (1). After about a week I received the replacement receiver(2) and installed it only to find that it had the same problem as the receiver (1) before. I shipped the prior receiver(1) back anyway…

Once again I called Direct TV service. After being transferred several times I was finally told that the HDTV receivers would not work until they created a software repair patch. I asked when that would be and was told that he did not know. I told him that we could not go on with no TV forever and certainly there must be a solution. He said I could upgrade to the DVR HDTV receiver if I would be willing to pay the shipping charges. I was not happy that I had to pay to fix DIRECT TV’s problem, but did so anyway. About a week later Direct TV arrived with the DVR receiver(3). After discussing our prior problems he informed us that the DVR receiver would have the same problem. The repairman said there was no reason to install it so he did not.

I called Direct TV once again to see if perhaps they had the software fix. They did not and still did not even have a date. I told him I would simply have to cancel the account. They transferred me to someone in the cancellation department who was extremely rude. He said he would charge us the early cancellation fee for the receiver (1) that was installed May 18, 2007. He said it was not Direct TV’s problem that it would not work with my TV. I told him to cancel the account and absolutely not to charge me for canceling a receiver THAT DID NOT WORK. Also, I told him to send me the return forms I needed to send back the 3 year old bedroom receiver and the 1 month old defective receiver.

After not receiving the forms I called several times requesting them only to be told they had been shipped and to call back if I didn’t get them in a week. I never received them.

On July 17, 2007 I discovered that Direct TV without my permission… charged $324.45 to my bank account on June 16 for canceling the defective receiver (1). Also, Direct TV charged another $280.92 without my permission on July 9 for not returning the receivers.

I sent an email to Direct TV and received the following reply:

Response (Rebecca T) 07/17/2007 06:05 PM

Dear Mr. Putnam,

Thanks for asking bout your DIRECTV account summary. I would like to apologize for this inconvenience but please know that under the terms of the DIRECTV Customer Agreement, when your DIRECTV service is canceled all outstanding charges are billed to the credit card you provided to us when you activated your account. The Customer Agreement is available online at directv.com/agreements. Please see the “Payment Upon Cancellation” section for more information.

Also, I have now forwarded your email to the appropriate department and our service specialist will get in touch with you regarding the return kits. Thanks again for writing and we hope to hear from you again.


Rebecca T
Employee ID #100128908
DIRECTV Customer Service

Obviously, Direct TV was not concerned that they had taken money from my account without my permission nor that it was for a receiver that did not work and was returned.

Since the email did no good, I called and spoke with Amy 100153515. Amy said she could only send the problem to another department that would get back to me in about 7 days. However, she did discover that the receiver return forms were sent to Richland, Ms. The address on our Direct TV account which is correct is Brandon, Ms. That guy in the cancellation department showed me!! He sent the return forms to the wrong address knowing that my account would get hit for even more money if I could not return the receivers!!

I asked for a supervisor and finally she complied. I then spoke with her supervisor Cat 100177853. Cat told me that she understood my problem and would be upset as well. She said if it were up to her she would refund the amount TAKEN from my account immediately. She said they had received many complaints from other customers since Direct TV started the policy of hitting customer bank accounts without permission in April 2007. I explained to her that no representative of Direct TV EVER told me of the new policy of taking funds without permission and that I had signed nothing giving Direct TV permission to draft my account. Direct TV had my card information only because I used it to make one time account payments myself online.

They are ripe for class action.
 17th of Aug, 2007 by    0 Votes
I am having a similar problem with Direct TV. We canceled our service in May 2007. At that time we had a credit on our account of over $200. They said we would be refunded that money but as of August 2007 we still have not received any payment. I have made a half dozen phone calls in which I get apologies but NO REFUND. Does any know a number to call (other than the normal customer service) to get help?
 20th of Aug, 2007 by    0 Votes
Canceled my direct tv due to a move after serving my one year contract and just found out they have been billing me for the past few months and taking directly out of my bank acct. They claimed I had a two year contract for which that was not true. I have since canceled once again but they are not refunding my 500 bucks so I guess I have to sue their sorry a**es...
 4th of Sep, 2007 by    0 Votes
Same situation with the unauthorized charge. We've been a customer for nearly eleven years, but we moved to a new city and decided not to continue DirecTv service. We closed the account and were thinking that we would just have to pay the last month's bill when we noticed an unauthorized charge for around $200. We called, and DirecTv told us that we were made aware of their policy (to withdraw such a charge upon the closing of an account) in our March 2007 bill, which to our knowledge is completely false. As a result of their withdrawal, our rent check bounced and we not only had to pay overdraft fees at the bank, but we would have had to pay late fees on the rent if our landlord wasn't so cool.

I'm very interested in seeing this new policy and whether it was indeed properly explained in the March 2007 bill. But even it it was, it boggles my mind that companies alter the original contract and somehow believe that the new contract is legally binding -- to the point they'll feel safe making unauthorized withdrawals from people's checking accounts. If someone borrows your lawnmower, and then they say they're moving in a few days, it's not legal to steal their car until they give you the lawnmower back. It may currently be legal for companies to do business such a way, but we need to petition to get that changed immediately. You shouldn't have to get legal advice to get television service.

To say nothing of the fact that over an 11-year period, we probably sent them around $20,000...
 10th of Sep, 2007 by    0 Votes
they are the worst for cuatomer service> i can't wait till my contract runs out. Our service has not worked for more than two weeks since we've had it.
 16th of Sep, 2007 by    0 Votes
I cancelled my brothers directv account, and they debited my husbands debit card without permission. This is causing problems with our bank account, as we didn't have the money to pay his bill. We gave no permission for this to be done. They say it is in their user agreement, however, how can it be? How can they debit someone elses card without permission for an account that isn't theirs. They say they did this because this is the card on file when the account was opened. That is not true, I opened this account for him, and several times paid the bill online with my husbands debit card, after my brother gave the money for it. So it isn't true that this is the card the account was opened with, but they did have access to the number because it had been used previously. This however did not give them permission to debit this account whenever they chose. They said this policy went into affect recently, April 2007 I believe, and service was started over 2 years ago, so how is it possible that this was agreed to? I find it impossible that this could be legal, with debit cards being connected to bank accounts, that charge fees for insufficient funds, how can they randomly charge amounts without permission causing undo financial harships. As of now I am trying to come up with a way to find the money taken, so that my car payment doesn't bounce, and a few other little things, don't cost me $34.00 per item. This is wrong and shouldn't be allowed to go on. I will participate in a class action, they have already had a couple for other poor business tactics. I have reported this the the BBB & FTC, any other places to complain?
 17th of Sep, 2007 by    0 Votes
Directv stole $605 out of my bank account. I am completely broke now without even money to drive to school on this week. They say I signed authorization for this atthe time of installation, but since this policy took place in the spring of 2007 and I have had service since the summer of 2006, I'm not seeing how this is possible. I also do not receive paper bills so I was not given notice through the mail. I plan to sue to make a point.
 18th of Sep, 2007 by    0 Votes
My complaint is this I got behind on my bills and direct tv was cut off. However, since then I lost my home as well. I had to move in with my mother along with my thre children age 2,2,4. I am a single parent working at baptist hospital in cafetia. The reason why I am writing tou is this on September 17, at 545 I spoke with your resprentive at your company removing money out of my checking account with out mypermission which cause my more hardship. I told your represent that i was aware i OWE YOU THAT MONEY however I had to make a choice eating and roof over my head for my family. If you check my record I paid a desposit of fivehudred dollars down and it was no reason to remove that money with out my permission which will cause me to lose my only transportation to my job that I must be their at 0530 everymorning. Your company remove three hundred fifty nine dollars eight cent from my account which cause me and my children more disappointment. please put that money back in my acccount and please use my deposit for the raise of my bill and I will not used this this service again. My name Mya J Henry at 256 East 48th Street Jacksonville, Fl 32208 904 3338356
 24th of Sep, 2007 by    0 Votes
They did the same thing to me except.

I has not home when my systemm was installed. My wife was. The instaoller ran a phone line to the receiver by RUNNING A CORD IN THE MIDDLE OF MY LIVINGROOM ON TOP OF THE CARPET. I had endless problems with them and many calls to customer service.

They were rude as all getout!! I finally told them to shut it off!! TGhey told me I had a two year contract. I told them "Bullshit" I will not pay it and I did not. They have been houding me for over a year now and I have asked SEVERAL times for them ot produce one single shred of evidence.

They changed their tune and now say the contract was verbal. I again told them "Bullshit" no such contract is valid and again to provide proof!

They have ruined my credit and costed me some more money.

Here is the rub. I do have enough money to sue them. I am sorry for the gal above. I will get even with them for all of us!
 4th of Oct, 2007 by    0 Votes
OMG How can they do this. They just took 669.06 out of my Debit Card, now I am broke. I had service before the new policy went into affect, paid a couple bills online and now they think they can charge this?? Unreal.

On July 1rst I called Direct TV and wanted to move my service, they said it would cost $200.00 to move my service. I said to heck with that, I want my service cancelled now, period. They said ok, sure, and were going to send some "prepaid" boxes so I can return the DVR and other receiver.

Time passes, I log into my account online to check to see what is up, or if I can actually tell from online. I see the service still active, they are still billing me for service when the receivers are not even hooked up. I called right away and they said, our bad. I also asked about the "prepaid" boxes that I have not received. They actually did send them, but they were returned because Direct TV did not have the right address, you know the one I gave them, and they say its my fault. Well even if they had sent to the former address, they would have been forwarded. But they didn't even send it to a state I have ever lived in. Now i say your bad.

I show I owed then about $30.00 for service when I cancelled. Today they charged for 3 months of service, you know after I cancelled, and for not returning the receivers, you know 4 days after they said they are sending out "prepaid" boxes to the "right" address. I just called them 3 times and they said when they got the receivers back they would refund part of that, I said you will refund it all. They now claim what they did not claim before, and that is I never cancelled service on July 1, they agreed with me last time i talked to them that I did.

Basically Direct TV lost me as a customer because I moved and they didn't want my service anymore. Then Direct TV wanted to keep billing me. Then Direct TV charged me "behind my back" and illegally for service I cancelled and for receivers they didnt want back, because they on purpose sent the "prepaid" boxes to somebody else.

Direct TV needs to DIE. You will all hear about me in the news one day............." Former Direct TV Customer BLOWS......" Well you get the idea. DIRECT TV IS MY NUMBER ONE AND ONLY REASON TO GO TO JAIL RIGHT NOW. I cannot work next week because they took what money I had. I will go down in a Blaze of Glory for what I believe in.
 15th of Oct, 2007 by    0 Votes
I called them to disconnect in March 2007 after having met my contract. They asked why I was disconnecting. I said Dish offered a free DVR- so they offered to provide me with a free DVR if I did not cancel. Ok. Then in May I canceled because I was moving. After the move I received a bill for $263 for an early cancellation fee. I called and informed them I had met my contract in March- they then said that by accepting the DVR I extended my contract by 2 years! I was not informed of any such thing at the time that I accepted it nor when I called and canceled. So I wrote and sent it certified a letter of dispute to their dispute office. They sent back a letter simply stating they do not require signatures and the debt is valid. Now they have a collection agency threatening to put this on my credit report!! I asked for a recorded conversation that I was informed of this extension and they cannot provide it. I do not feel it fair or valid and do not wish to pay this rip off company but do not want my credit ruined!
 18th of Oct, 2007 by    0 Votes
I am so mad at the moment I can hardly write. Long story short, I got charged for programs I did not want... specifically NFL Superfan package. Because the season started I will be charged nonetheless. After I repeatedly stated I did not order it, they pretty much said too bad. Does this mean they can order anything they want for their customers and charge us with no retaliation. I wanted to cancel my service immediately. I started service November 2006 with a two year commitment. I was told it will be $20 per month charge for outstanding months... fine. I just wanted out of Direct TV. Thinking my contract will expire November 2008, I could pay the penalty. I later find out that because I added a Direct TV HDDVR, which I purchased off of ebay, in June 2007, my contract started over with a two year commitment. No one told me!

Seriously, I am crazy or is this plain robbery. I really want to hurt them bad. Isn't there a lawyer out there who wants to start a class action. I want them out of business. The only draw back of putting them out of business is that we will have a bunch of idiot customer service morons collect unemployment. I AM SERIOUS... PLEASE CONTACT ME IF YOU NEED MY NAME FOR A CLASS ACTION!!! I WANT THEM FINISHED!!
 30th of Oct, 2007 by    0 Votes
I had a very similar experience a couple days ago.

(keep in mind I haven't had a contract with them for SOME time, i completed it successfully)

Last summer, and this summer, I had a whole bunch of reception problems with my dish, which kept going unresolved, I figure it was due to placement since the leaves are gone in the winter maybe thats what it was, but this summer it kept happening, so I got some people to come out (from DirecTV) to look at the problem, they basically told me they couldn't move it because they didnt get paid enough money that the "real" guy would have to come out and remove the dish and re-install it... he came out and basically said that there was "no need to move it" that it was due to this one tree (which I doubted), I broke all the limbs off it, and still had the problem.... I wrote them and said "this problem cant be resolved then I will be forced to cancel"... nothing... so a short time later, I ordered cable service and sent them an email (through their website) stating i specifically wanted to cancel... at the time i owed them about 63 $ ... I waited... nothing... (at the time I couldn't call them oh a home phone, and basically could only contact them through email).

I emailed them back and said "I WANT MY SERVICE CANCELED"... finally after a month and a half or so went by I got an email from them saying they couldn't cancel until I called them on the phone... I said, Ive told you i cant call you, this is the only way I can contact you, they basically said thats not good enough... (ridiculous)... so another month went by... I notice my termination date was changed and my service was continued... again and again... and then all the sudden the other day I receive an email saying my service was gonna be cancelled and that my balance was like 200 $...

Last night i looked at my bank account and BOOM 204.75 was taken out of my bank account without my permission... I was LIVID to say the least... furthermore it OVERDREW MY ACCOUNT and I got charged an overdraft fee...

Long story short I called their customer service b*tching at about 3 am and was basically told that it would be sent to the billing dept and they would contact me in about a week (or less?) to see if they could "help me somehow".

I dont believe for a second that Im going to get my money back... I dont mind paying them for the month i owed them in July but I refuse to accept that the rest of that was my responsibility since I specifically asked to be disconnected more than one time, in fact numerous times.

What can I do?
 19th of Nov, 2007 by    0 Votes
I can't add anything different, $ 200+ deducted with no human contact options. CLASS ACTION seems like the only option for any of us. Let me know the next step. Good luck all!!!
 27th of Nov, 2007 by    0 Votes
I also have had the same issue, deducted $160 from my bank account with out authorization. I have spent over 15 hours on the hone with their Customer Service people, spoke to various "supervisors", was "accidentally disconnected" along with being spoken to like I had an IQ of below 70.

I just sent my receiver boxes back that same day, so I am just waiting for another debit for "not" getting the receivers back, in their pre-paid boxes. I am also ready for a CLASS ACTION SUIT. Needless to say I am not sure who to contact about a SUIT. Of anyone can help please let me know.

 29th of Nov, 2007 by    0 Votes
Im in a similar situation. I cancelled my service and I specifically asked for information on the previous balance I had with them. Their customer service representative said that Direct TV doesnt do payment arrangements and that I will have to pay all at once when I can pay. NEVER DID SHE STATE OR IMPLY that it would be deducted from my account..$202 thats what was missing from my account yesterday not to mention overdraft fees from the bank...

CLASS ACTION... Im down and I just need to know what to do next...
 5th of Dec, 2007 by    0 Votes
Called Direct TV today to cancel my service. I just moved into a new house and do not feel like having holes drilled into my walls and roof and probably left unsealed again.

Was told that I would be charged an early termination fee for not fulfilling the 24 month contract that I was never made aware of and never agreed to. I picked Direct TV specifically because I could find no mention whatsoever on their website that specified that you would be signing up for a commitment of a certain duration.

If there were in fact such information buried somewhere in a click-through license agreement it was never stated on the main pages that outlined pricing and conditions.

I was further informed that "for my convenience" the termination fee would be charged to my credit card on file. I informed the CSR that that credit card was used only for one time payments and they were not authorized to make any charges against it. That did however not seem to concern him the least. I then asked him to kindly remove my credit card information from the file but he said that was impossible because it was in my _file_. While I realize these CRSs are paid to just repeat the scripts they have been given, this company seems to have no regards for laws whatsoever.

One question, did any of you that had Direct TV charge your accounts call your bank to inform them that the transaction was not authorized by you?
 7th of Dec, 2007 by    0 Votes
I signed a one year agreement with direct tv last dec. I called to cancel this month and had already paid this months bill. The lady I talked to said my contract was not up til the end of this month. I already paid for this month. today they stole 121.00 out of my checking account. When I called to ask for my money back I was told I had a two year agreement. They are theives, and they know it.

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