Direct TV / automatic 2-year service agreement for dvr is a rip off!
Background: I originally signed on with DirecTV over 2 years ago only suspending services for approximately 8 months following the lose of our house due to Hurricane Katrina. When I re-instated services DirecTV offered my previous service with a DVR which came with a discounted monthly rental cost.
In January 2007, I terminated my DirecTV service due to issues with the high speed internet provided by their partner, BellSouth. Without BellSouth, I found it cheaper using a TV & high speed bundled service provided by the local cable company.
I terminated DirecTV the same way I started and subsequently moved services - over the phone. The customer service agents were prompt and very willing to help, BUT at no time was there any mention of a 2-year service commitment for taking / renting the DVR???
After termination and without warning, DirecTV charged my credit card $157.00??? I called the customer service folks, who in-turn forwarded me to a very brief worded (rude) agent who attempted to explain I had terminated the DVR agreement 16 months early, thus was fined the $157.00. I disagreed with his point of view and explained the circumstances by which I ended up with the DVR (again, offered at a discount RENTAL price with no service commitment time mentioned)???
Since it didn't matter to DirecTV what I had to say I forwarded a letter to both DirecTV and my credit card company disputing the charge. My credit card company forwarded DirecTV a letter asking for further explanation. Nothing was sent by DirecTV to them so they (my card company) did an automatic withdrawal from DirecTV of the money DirecTV took from me. That was really cool!
Well we are not done. DirecTV sends me a letter stating they do not have to prove an agreement was made (verbal or written) and that the 2-year commitment was owed... they also mentioned turning the issue over to their credit collections folks.
Thus the problem! We, the small consumer, with good or outstanding credit DO NOT want anything negative on our credit reports regardless if the company is basically crooked and stealing monies not owed them. Companies like DirecTV and their collection folks at Nationwide Credit know this and take advantage knowing there is little we can do without using resources well beyond what is normally owed.
Well, you guessed it... I reluctantly paid and even though pissed don't know what to do other than voice this complaint / ripoff!
Finally, DirecTV has now taken minor, yet hidden, steps to ensure folks know of the 2-year service agreement on services requested over their Internet site, but this will be hard to find in the very small print toward the end of a very length service request venture. Now, I don’t know what info you will receive from an agent if calling for service directly, but I know and was willing to sign an affidavit with DirecTV it was not mentioned to me, BUT AGAIN, they weren’t interested.
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