Direct TV / installed without permission
Because of the economy we were forced to rent our home last year. Direct TV installed two satellites on our rooftop, ran wires down the side of our house, and drilled holes through our vinyl siding and walls WITHOUT our permission. When we evicted the renters, we found the hardware. I contacted Direct TV customer service, and I spoke with three different customer service representatives (Marshall, Mario and Ashanti). All three told me that (1) they only require renters to gain verbal permission from landlords to install equipiment, (2) they couldn't speak with me about the damage the company had done to OUR house WITHOUT our permission, (3) they have NO system in place to check who owns the property (even though it's public knowledge that can be easily found), and (4) they take absolutely NO responsibility for damaging property by installing without permission. I was told that I could speak with someone at the damage claims office, but when I tried to contact them, I was unable to reach anyone because they only deal with account holders.
Further, I spoke with Emily at the Direct TV President's office. Emily also told me that Direct TV takes no responsibility for ensuring that property owners give permission to install Direct TV or for damaging our house by installing without our permission. She told me that they have so many customers that there is no way to check to see who owns the property. (They are obviously more concerned quantity and the almighty dollar than quality.) When I asked to speak with her supervisor, she told me that she is a manager who has been given authority to make decisions. I asked to speak to the President, Larry Hunter, and Emily told me that he does not take phone calls because he works with "the business end, not customers."
On the Direct TV website is a form that is supposed to be completed prior to installation. This form requires landlords to sign that it's okay to install Direct TV on the property OR requires renters to sign that they have spoken with the landlord and have been given verbal permission to install Direct TV equipment (including drilling holes in walls). When I asked all of the above people to produce the signed form for me, they could not do it first. Further, I was told that the account holder (in this case, the renter) had to file a "damage claim"; I cannot do so, even though I own the property that was damaged without the permission of my husband or me.
With all persons I spoke with, I heard the standard lines - "I understand your frustration, Ma'am", "I realize that you are upset", "the account holder has to file the damage claim", etc. As expected, they all had been trained in deflection tactics.
The bottom line is this: (1) Direct TV damaged our home by installing equipment, including drilling holes in the walls and damaging our vinyl siding, without our permission; (2) they are more concerned about making money than doing the right thing; and (3) they are assuming no responsibility fothe damage and, instead, are pushing it off someone else. As I told Emily, this issue could be resolved amicably by either (1) Direct TV restoring our home to the original condition prior to the installation (with regard to the Direct TV installation only) or (2) sending me a check for an amount sufficient to cover the damages. Of course, no one was willing to discuss the actual issue or possible resolutions.
One more thing ... during none of my conversations did anyone ask my name, where the property was located, or even say "I'm sorry about what happened." What a shame that Direct is too big for its pants to remember that it's the "little people" who make them the giant they think they are.
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