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Direct TV / bait and switch!

1 United States Review updated:

In november of 2006 direct tv was promoting a free ipod if we signed up. I thought "this is too good to be true", red flag, red flag!!! But being the trusting consumers that we were, we signed up. Several months later we received an off the wall brand portable dvd player, which of course wasn't what we signed up for. I want to point out that we never broke the seal to the box. We contacted direct tv who in turn had us call the mystery people that are supposed to supply the free ipod. The first guy told us to keep the dvd player and that they would send out the ipod, which never came.

So we called again and were told by another person to send the dvd back with the enclosed return shipping label, a letter of explanation, and they would then send us the ipod. We sent the dvd player back with the seal still intact and still have not received the ipod. I contacted direct tv customer service today to recant my "bate & switch" story and she told me there was nothing she could do about that. It is now march 18, 2008 and still no ipod.

I would love to hear if anyone else has encountered this same problem with direct tv.


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  • Ro
      28th of Dec, 2007
    0 Votes

    Below is a letter that I sent to Direct TV regarding their "bait and switch" policy:

    I just finished a telephone conversation with several of your representatives and I am astonished by the lack of customer service your representatives exude. I have had the unfortunate pleasure of dealing with your Alabama call center for the last 30 minutes and if this is how you train your employees to deal with customer concerns your need to re-evaluate your training department.

    On November 15, 2007 my wife, Jennifer, transferred our account from California to Tennessee. The representative who established the account offered my wife the premier channels free for 4 months – there was no mention of the NFL Sunday Ticket package for $69.99 each month. This is where the bait and switch comes in and apparently Brandi in your Atlanta office condones this type of behavior as she wanted to argue the point that my wife had agreed to this. If the initial representative had offered this package with something to do with NFR (National Finals Rodeo) or some type of programming along this line she probably would have taken the package, but definitely not football. Neither my wife nor myself watch football except for the occasional college game. This is the reason I know that my wife did not agree to the NFL package.

    After speaking to a representative that I did not get the name of, I then spoke to Adam who could not help me. Adam transferred me to Ashley who was able to assist me to a degree, she waived the December billing and canceled the NFL Sunday Ticket programming, but was not able to take care of the November 15th to December 16th billing. Per Ashley this is an agreement you have with the NFL? Ashley then transferred me to Brandi who wanted to argue the point and did not want to let me speak. When I asked to speak to her supervisor she refused. I finally was able to get out of her that the call center manager was Sue and that they were located in Alabama, but she refused to give me any other information or transfer me. She also finally gave me the office of the president, but very reluctantly.

    The bottom line is: I want the $69.99 waived for the 11/15/07 to 12/16/07 billing cycle as we never requested this service. At this point it is not a matter of money, but it is a matter of principle as if this is the type of customer service your company condones, it is not a company that I would like to do business with. Up until our move to TN I was very satisfied with Direct TV, but since we have moved here, the installer showed up at 8pm on the second appointment – he missed the first one, and did not leave until midnight. You company did give us a missed appointment credit, but now I have to deal with this situation and customer service that is far below a minimum standard.


  • Sc
      28th of Dec, 2007
    0 Votes

    I did some leg work & located their corporate office number which is (310) 964-5000, try to call them. Explain the issue in a calm manner (don't be ### or angry) & explain why you think it's unfair & see if they will be able to assist you.

    Generally that would be the final step with the company to get the charges reversed.


  • Ka
      7th of Aug, 2008
    0 Votes

    I completely agree with the lack of proffesionalism that I recieved from this company. We have been customers with them for more than 13 years and have always paid our account on time.

    The last times that I have called to speak with someone, I was blantantly called a liar and was treated with total disrepect by several of their representatives. No one would address my problem and extended our "commitment" with out any authorization. When I asked questions from different representatives, I was given completely different answers. When I asked them to produce "paperwork" to substantiate their claims, they told me that this was not possible and there was nothing that I could do and then hung up on me. Also, even though I have ducumentation to prove that I had previous calls to them regarding my issues, they again called me a liar.

    I will be taking this company to task for treating me in such a unprofessional manner and urge others to not go with this company for their provider.


  • Fe
      4th of Oct, 2008
    0 Votes

    That’s not the only time they do bait & switch. When I upgraded to my HDDVR, I was told I needed a new dish, but that the upgrade was free. The tech came and installed my dish, but they charged me a 49.99 relocation fee, which they said was to move and set up the other existing DVR that I *physically* carried to my bedroom upstairs and that *I* programmed myself. I was the one who pointed the dish and programmed the new DVR. They did credit it to me.

    The charge was incurred because after the tech came out and installed the dish, I realized I didn’t have two lines run to my bedroom for the existing DVR. I made a call to Direct TV to have them do this, and thus, was charged. However, the tech who installed my dish said I need to have a wall fish and that it would be $60. I called Direct TV with that information to set up the service call, and the rep said well, it’s only $49, so be it. That charge was added to my bill, and I paid it before the second service call happened.

    When the tech came back out (a different tech, a different company this time), I was then told it was $120 because it was two floors and that I needed to pay him. When I explained that I was quoted $60 and that I had already paid Direct TV, he gave me a supervisor line to call. The idiot rep tried to tell me that the $52.36 on my recent bill was not for the extra line run charge, but was for pay per views because I had swapped my receiver (sent it back) and kept the card.

    The idiot rep didn’t even realize I had kept the entire receiver and relocated it myself to the bedroom. She then asked the tech if there was any evidence of new lines ran.

    When I asked her how he would have this information, she said there’s a database he can call up to to find out. I asked her if he would have received this information prior to coming to the call, because he was standing right there in front of me using MY landline to speak to her. She told me that no, he could use his cell phone to call another number.

    I asked her how that was going to be possible while he was talking to her on my landline and I was right there in front of me.

    Basically about 8 hours later of holding, screaming, sighing, and speaking thousands of foreign languages to figure out what the heck happened here, I realized that you don’t call Direct TV to have custom labor, like wiring a second line, done. You have to call their contracted installer, and you are at the mercy and whim of whatever tech comes out and quotes it.

    If you don’t like that price, you can refuse service and make another appointment, but be prepared to wait three months and be given several songs and dances about how the hurricane has put everyone’s installation dates off even if you don’t even live anywhere near where the hurricane hit.

    I asked if Direct TV thought that this practice was reasonable. If someone calls up a store, is quoted a price, makes the drive out to the store, and talks to a rep while at the store, and is waiting on this piece of equipment in order for something to work, and is the told at the register that it is double the price, I think most people would feel that is predatory business practices, and leave.

    When I suggested to Direct TV that I get the quotes in writing first and decide who I want to install my cable, they asked me if I thought it was reasonable to cut them out of the deal, and I retorted, do you think the extra $60 is going into YOUR pocket?

    Yes, I think it’s reasonable when I have someone drilling into my siding, stapling into my drywall and doing something not to electrical code that I DO HAVE a choice in whom I pay and WHAT I pay for that service.

    I have had Direct TV since 2000, and in the last three years, I have never seen such customer service gaffes from a company. I explicitly went with this company due to the same stick-it-to-ya practices that cable was engaging in….

    Now….I’m not sure I’m going to have satellite service again. What crap - if I ran my business as such, I wouldn’t have customers, and I’d be reported to several governmental agencies and sued out the yin yang.

    Unfortunately, the only voice with have here is with our dollars and who we decide to give them to.

    Try complaining here: if enough of us do it, maybe they’ll listen:

    Senior VP Ellen Filipiak
    Direct line (310) 964.6508

    DirecTV Corporate Offices
    2230 E. Imperial Highway
    El Segundo, CA 90245
    Attention: Office of the President

    Chase Carey President & CEO

    John Suranyi President Sales & Service

  • Th
      25th of Feb, 2010
    0 Votes

    My husband took advantage of the "Refer A Friend" promotion. He has since been on the phone at 3 hour intervals (including a call center in Mexico!!!) to find out why he is not receiving the $10 monthly rebate?!

    He was told (a) It was not set up properly, but we cannot fix it for you. He should have talked to so-and-so...but how were we to know that when he called the number on their promotional flyer????

    (b) That even though he was talking to customer service (this is Mexico) he could not be transferred to a Supervisor because of their procedures. So, if William could not help him, too bad, no suprevisors are to be bothered???

    (c) That even though he called the 800 number provided, you need to talk to (1) new service (2) customer service (3) billing, etc. etc, all at the SAME 800 NUMBER HE ALREADY CALLED????

    (d) DirectTV contracts out their service. Initial installing and customer service, so even though they answer the phone as DirectTV, they are NOT DirectTV...and we know this how??? By trying to get something corrected that apparently nobody wants to take ownership of. EVERY department transferred him to yet another department, also known as Passing-The-Buck!!!

    (e) He is now being transferred to the "Escalation" department. They are telling him that if their "Activation/New Service department" set it up incorrectly, too bad nothing can be done, even if it is DIRECTTV'S fault!!!

    So, we ask for the Corporate Office phone number, can only get a PO Box number, and we all know what file that goes into...13!!

    Do we wish that we had read complaints before signing up...of course!! Hopefully others reading about the dissatisfied service given to their customers, they will think long and hard before buying into their "Special Offers" programs, or any other new services.

    Trust me, this company is good on Offering specials, but short on delivering on them. I mean really, should it take longer to get an answer as it does to give birth????

    The "Escalation" department is none other than the other 30 departments we have talked to...totally useless!!

    Sorry to sound so bitter, but really, can all these complaints be ignored?? Apparently, the answer is YES.

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