Direc TV & Premier Package / bait & switch
When shopping for a new cable / internet provide, I called direct tv, dish network and verizon. The direct tv sales agent very specifically promised me "all premium channels" were included in their "premier package". I found direct tv to be the best value so I committed my business to them.
Now that my dish is installed, I found that many channels were showing that they were not included in my package. I called customer service and they immediately acknowledged that these calls are very common, and that the premier package does "really" include "all premium channels", but that they are available at an addional fee. I kindly declined and asked to speak to a supervisor, she kindly offered up 3 free months of the additional premium channels. I thanked her, but I was not content with her offer.
After sitting on hold forever, I finally got a manager on the phone who once again, immediately acknowledged that this is a very common complaint, but his hands were tied. He said that in order to either get "all premium channels" for the fee that I was quoted, or to relieve me from contract, I would have to literally go through the "office of the president" at direct tv. I found that to be overkill, but I followed his instruction.
After pushing my way through, I was able to reach a manager within the "office of the president". He very specifically told me that despite it being "confusing", the law allows for them to market themselves in this manner. I took great offense and requested that the audio tape of my conversation with their sales representative be pulled and transcribed. The managers tone was very pleasant and he's asked for 1 week to have the audio tapes pulled and reviewed.
The true issue is that this is a well understood and acknowledged tactic with direct tv. Of the amount of clients who are exposed to this classic bait and switch, how many are inclined to call and ask about it? Of those few, how many are willing to press the matter past accepting the 3 "free" months? Out of those select few, who are tenacious enough to actually press the action with the "office of the president? Me, me, me and me!
It's simply a ruthless tactic that will remain in place until enough consumers raise their voice and file complaints with the "office of the president" and the better business bureau. Good luck!
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