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Direct TV / very poor service and unacceptable contract

1 United States Review updated:

I have had direct TV now for about three months and have had one problem after another. I had initially switched from cable to DirectTV because I thought that their high definition service would be superior. Big mistake. Since the time of install I have been through 4 high definition receivers, each one failing for a different reason. When your service goes out with DirectTV your only option is to wait for a replacement box or for a service tech which in my case has taken close to a week each time. My service has been so spotty that I have had to retain my cable so that I have a backup. Talk about spending too much for T.V. service. Now that my experience with these buffoons has soured to the point it has i decided that i had had enough. Unfortunately their two year contract insulates them from having to provide any level of acceptable service at all. Even though my experience has been a nightmare and I have spent countless valuable hours trying to resolve issues they will not offer to terminate my contract no matter how many times I have requested this. I am currently without any service again and I have decided that I am going to bite the bullet and pay the termination fee. I am not litigious person but have considered taking these bullies to court. I can't imagine that I am the only person that has had these issues. I would avoid doing business with this company at all cost. I wish good luck to all those that are in the same boat as me.

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  • Sc
      20th of Jul, 2007
    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.

    Sincerely,

    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.

  • Sh
      30th of Jul, 2007
    0 Votes
    Direct TV - Lies, poor service!
    United States

    Do not give them your credit card number because they will charge you for items & issues that you are not responsible for. Direct tv is a big scam.

    Direct tv was more like direct problems. The system never worked properly. I called and called and called... And many times my calls were ignored. The few times that a repairman was sent out, the problem was not fixed. When i had to move out of state, i called for a disconnection. In doing so, they charged me excessive fees for an early disconnect. I told them that i would be more than happy to take the system with me if they could fix it. Everytime the repairman came out, they could not fix it but they charged me just the same.

  • Ge
      17th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes
    Direct TV - They lied to me!
    United States

    I was looking to try HD Programing and had heard Direct tv had a good deal, WRONG! I was unsure if I would like DirectTv service so when I ordered, I asked the Rep. " if I don't like the service, How long will I have to cancel" I was told I had Three (3) days.

    So I made a date to have DirectTV installed and the tech showed up late, I had to supply a post and help dig a hole to mount the dish, Tech did a lousy install job, didn't hookup everything, then told me that some items would not work properly, finally 4 hrs later I got to watch tv, I was dissatisfied with quality and sound, so decided I would opt out. I called the next day and canceled my service. I unhooked receiver and put back in original box, hooked up my old system, now it gets bad, I check my banking statement and DirectTV has already taken out $212.43 for receiver, $80.30 for 1st month service. I figured I would get some or all of that back, because I had canceled in the alloted time. Then 10 days later DirectTV takes out another $290.07 for early cancellation, so now I'm out $582.80 for less then 2 days of mediocre service, so I call DirectTV for an explanation and was told that I had canceled before the agreed upon term of service, so I related what I was told when I ordered the service about having 3 days to make up my mind to keep or cancel and then I was told that as soon as you make the order, you're committed. I called again and was told basically that I was out of luck. I'm upset and still looking for a settlement of some sort and searching other avenues of getting some results.

    My advice, DO NOT TRUST DIRECTTV,THEY ARE LIARS AND CHEATS!!

  • Ma
      17th of Aug, 2007
    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?

  • Ph
      20th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes
    Charge for cancellation
    United States

    Don't ever give Direct TV a credit card or checking account number. I just canceled my service and they charged my account without any notice or approval. Their so called Customer Service is non-existent. They have to pay people $50 to subscribe. When I canceled my service, they offered me $150 to stay. I told them I wasn't a whore and to keep their money. I quit for valid reasons and if I wanted to stay I would.

  • Wi
      20th of Aug, 2007
    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...

  • Te
      20th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes

    I have had issues with both online and over the phone. Their refer a friend is a big line of B.S. I referred 2 people and they are claiming you have to use a special number to get credit. They gave me the freaking number and I still have not got credit. I have spent 4 hours dealing with these lousy english speakers today. I hate these deceptive liars and that get their ### sued off of them. If any one gets a class actions suit together sign me up.

  • Le
      27th of Aug, 2007
    0 Votes
    Direct TV - Charge for cancellation
    United States

    In 2003 we opened an account with Direct TV. We were very dissatisfied and canceled our service. Then we were charged for something we shouldn't of been and refuse to pay. Keep this in mind, a week after we got our account my brother also got an account. When he called and gave his name and social security number their system kicked it out because he had one digit wrong. So it is suppose to be impossible to get an account if the social does not match the name. July of this year my husband was arrested on an old warrant for obtaining something under someone else's social. Come to find out our account had been in my husband's name but another man's social security number. After days and days of trying to contact someone we finally talked to a woman named Rebecca in their fraud department. She cleared the account of fraudulent activity but refuse to give a letter stating that it would be a liability because they cannot say for sure that my husband didn't do this on purpose. Even though their system is suppose to prevent something like this. If we wanted to obtain an account and make someone else liable for it then why in the world would my husband use his real name. Still have not got anywhere with them for a solution. Any suggestions would be great but the only thing we can think of is to hire a lawyer. Also if you ever get a chance to talk to Rebecca in the fraud department, find a really high bridge and jump off.

  • Ny
      4th of Sep, 2007
    0 Votes
    Direct TV - Need a lesson in customer service!
    United States

    I was referred by to direct tv its cheaper than digital cable but not that much cheaper. The only good thing i can say are the channels are a lot clearer. I was just installed on 8/31/07 with 1 room install with some of the worst contracted techs i have ever seen I took them 4 1/2 hours to install 1 room with a dvr (i should of kicked them out at that time) and them come to find out it was installed incorrectly with dvr need to have 2 cable lines from dish I only have 1 so I cannot record 2 programs nor can i recored 1 show while watching another I called the customer service and i tell you they are the worst customer service dept i have experienced I called 5 times and was able to speak to reps they always transfered me to the install dept then i would get disconnected after calling 5 times and waiting 20-25 min to speak to someone I decided to email them. i did get a email received notification that someone will cal me in 24 hours guess what that never happened... then when i finally got through after the automated system kept confirming an appt that took place on 8/31 and today is 9/4/07 i was able to speak to a rep that told me they can send another tech out in 1 week to correct the installation but there would be a 49.95 fee i had to pay over the phone with cc or debit card??? Yeah right no stupid written on this forehead then i tell her why do i have to pay fee if wasn't installed correctly she says that because of my information i have to pay the fee (what information) name, address... I asked for a supervisor and this woman comes on the line who says she a super however when i told her as well i am not paying the fee she asks to put me on hold to see if she can waive the fee (ummm your a supervisor you should be able to make that decision at that point... i tell you i am at the point where i will cancel and go elsewhere term fee or not... we as subscribers pay their salaries if we don't pay they don't get paid they shouldn't be allowed to treat people this way and they need to be stopped.

  • Me
      4th of Sep, 2007
    0 Votes
    Direct TV - Horrile customer service and false advertisement
    United States

    I am so furious and upset with direct tv... not even sure where to begin. I have waited 2 weeks for service to be installed and have talked to 15 people (2 of which claimed to be supervisors) about all my problems. I was misinformed about the receivers that I had requested, misinformed about HD local channels being available in my area. I called and ordered a promotion for new customers switching to direct tv and was told that I didn't qualify because it was for existing customers only... not according to the brochure I received! I have been told different things by 15 different people.... asked to speak to a supervisor and you get transfered to spanish, placed on eternal hold, or hung up on all together. I have been waiting for 2 and a half hours now on a supervisor to call me back. Big surprise he didn't call like he said he would. I hate this company and will never never recommend it to anyone!!! Beware you don't get a thing that is promised to you by their ads, reps, or their supervisors!!

  • Ch
      4th of Sep, 2007
    0 Votes

    We ordered a Direct Tv package. They brought the wrong package and after many phone calls they refused to bring and install the correct package. So we canceled within the three days you are allowed and sent the equipment back. The following month our account was charged and the installation fee that was supposed to be free was also stolen from our account. We never signed anything or authorized our account to be charged. I have called numerous times over the past 3 months and am still waiting for a refund check.

    Direct Tv is a lousy company. They are deceptive in their advertising and their customer assistance is no assistance at all. I would strongly recommend not using them.

  • Se
      4th of Sep, 2007
    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...

  • Ma
      9th of Sep, 2007
    0 Votes
    Direct TV - HD Charges without service!
    United States

    My Direct TV HD channels no longer work. Direct TV Tells me that I need to pay for a service call or buy their monthly service agreement before they will fix their faulty equipment. I asked them to just shut off the service and quit charging me the extra $10/month. They told me in order to do this they will need to recover their HD equipment, give me non HD equipment and extend my service agreement for another 2 years. I am sure their is another service charge involved, but I didn't bother to ask.

    About 4 months ago one of their receivers failed. It was less than a year old. They told me the failure was a know problem they have been having with my model. They sent me a new one, told me their would be no charge. After I sent the old one back, they sent me a letter indicating my service agreement had been extended another 2 years because I had equipment replaced. I called them about it. They said it wasn't necessary and the extension would be removed.

    When I called them yesterday about the new HD failure they told me my contract had been extended despite what their employee had told me and that there was no way for me to change the new extension without terminating my agreement and paying cancellation fees.

    Why does this company now sound like a Mafia protection scam? Their equipment fails, then the only way to fix the service being paid for is to extend contract. Considering the rate of failure of their equipment this could go on forever.

  • Na
      9th of Sep, 2007
    0 Votes

    I have subscribed to DSS for over 17 years (6 months after it started). Any little problem we have had has been solved with patience. We have used it at home, in our motorhome and at a home in Mexico. Of course we do all the hardware work ourselves. It seems that many problems are with the contracted installers rather than DSS.

    People who cannot do some of the work themselves probably should stick to cable. We will keep our DSS.

  • Va
      10th of Sep, 2007
    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.

  • Ma
      14th of Sep, 2007
    0 Votes
    Direct TV - Charge for cancellation
    United States

    I terminated my services with Direct TV due to bad service, once I disconnected direct tv, they charged me a termination fee of $125.00, which I sent a check to them immediately, but direct tv went into my bank account and withdrew the $125.00 three times creating a overdraft, when I called customer service, I was told it would take 6-8 weeks before I could be sent a refund check, I asked to speak to a supervisor and was put on hold for almost and hour before I eventually hung up. I ended up calling my bank and having my debit card changed. The bank also canceled one of the unauthorized payments, then after direct tv debited my account three times, they tried to cash my check, this is the one the bank canceled. Horrid, Horrid, people!

  • Sh
      16th of Sep, 2007
    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?

  • La
      17th of Sep, 2007
    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.

  • My
      18th of Sep, 2007
    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

  • Jo
      21st of Sep, 2007
    0 Votes
    Direct TV - Bad service!
    United States

    I have the normal complaint that everyone else has, Diret TV expects me to pay for a service they did not deliver. I've had the service now for ten days and I've had minor problems poor reception and having to turn my receiver on and off to get signal again and on the eleventh day I completely lost service. I call customer support to have my service canceled do to they haven't let up to there part of the agreement. They tell me they could possibly have a tech out to fix the problem in as little as four days and due to the inconvenience they will not charge me for the days of lost service. I continue to tell them I want my service canceled. Then they tell me of course they can terminate my service, but there will be a $300 dollar cancellation fee for the two year verbal agreement I made on the phone. For one, since when did a verbal agreement over the phone from someone that barely speaks english become legally binding. Second, didn't they break the agreement first by not offering the service that I was told I was getting.

    Beware!

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