When I ordered I asked how long my remorse period at the beginning of my contract was, if there were charges for changing packages and if existing customers were charged differently for upgrades than new customers. I was advised that I had 30 days to decide if I liked the svc, there was only a charge if I downgraded my package and all customers are charged the same price for equipment. I called in Jan 25, 2008 and was told that because I was not a tenured customer I would have to pay $250 to upgrade to a HD DVR. I asked to cancel my svc. I was advised I would have to pay a $480 cancellation fee and there was a 24 hour cancellation policy. After some time on the ph, he agreed to let me have the HD DVR for $99 plus S&H. After my promotion of getting the premium channels ended, I canceled all the premium channels with the exception of Showtime. In April I canceled Showtime, but I did not change my package. The following month I was charged $10 for canceling Showtime. I was told by customer svc this was a standard fee. Nov 11, 2008 I called to upgrade my 2 standard receivers to HD receivers. I was advised I would get the upgrade free with no new contract since I was not changing my svc. My acct was charged for both receivers. I called back and while this was being corrected I was advised there would be a new 2 yr contract. I advised her to cancel the order due to the misinfo. I asked to have my cancellation fee waived and was told it was a valid fee. I filed a complaint through the BBB and was sent this response. "We regret any misunderstanding surrounding the Early Cancellation Fee (ECF). Our records indicate you placed your original DIRECTV order on January 5, 2008, which included one DIRECTV® HD Receiver and three standard receivers. This offer was provided to you as a New Customer Offer at no cost, and the equipment was installed and activated on January 8. Our records indicate you contacted DIRECTV on January 25, in regard to a DIRECTV Plus® HD DVR. As you were already an established customer and already received a New Customer Offer, the upgrade fee for the DIRECTV Plus® HD DVR is $199.00, plus $19.95 delivery/handling. As we did appreciate your business with DIRECTV, we made a business decision to offer the DIRECTV Plus® HD DVR at a low cost of $99.00, plus $19.95 delivery/handling fee. The DIRECTV Plus® HD DVR was installed and activated on January 30. At the time you placed your DIRECTV order on January 25, we advised you there would be a twenty-four month programming agreement associated with the equipment you were acquiring. We also communicated the agreement in the order confirmation letter and in the DIRECTV Equipment Lease Addendum. We significantly discount the price of equipment and installations. In exchange, we ask our customers to keep their programming for a specified amount of time. Customers who acquire standard receivers accept an eighteen month programming agreement and customers who acquire advanced receivers (DVR, HD, HD DVR) accept a twenty-four month programming agreement. DIRECTV has a twenty-four hour period in which a customer has a right to rescind without penalty. If an account is active longer than twenty-four hours, we are unable to reverse or remove the ECF from an account. Once the equipment is installed you have accepted the terms and conditions as noted in the first paragraph of the DIRECTV Customer Agreement. As a result of not fulfilling the programming agreement, a valid ECF was charged. No credits or refunds will be issued. Our Premium Services are offered on a monthly basis. There are costs associated with connecting and disconnecting packages. We charge this fee to offset costs of removing channels for services not maintained for 30 days. Since the SHOWTIME UNLIMITED® was not an active billed service for 30 days; a $10.00 fee was charged. As noted in the DIRECTV Customer Agreement section 1 (d) Our Programming Changes: “….Accordingly, we must reserve the unrestricted right to change, rearrange, add or delete our programming packages, the selections in those packages, our prices and any other Service we offer, at any time…..” We show a credit was issued on October 11, in the amount of $10.00. As a result of not fulfilling the programming agreement, a valid ECF was charged. No credits or refunds will be issued." I replied back with the following. "This is completely unfair since you are expecting me to keep my end of the agreement when your company is not keeping your end of the agreement. Your company makes it sound like you are giving me the equipment at a discounted price in exchange for this agreement, when in fact customers lease the equipment and therefore I had to return the equipment to you when I canceled my service. DirecTV never really gave me anything in exchange for this contract because I had to return the equipment. Your company failed to hold up your end of the agreement by not providing proper customer service as my original complaint explained. Another example of this lack of service is that I have had to call customer service 4 times since I canceled to try to get a 2nd box to return my 2 standard boxes. Every time I was told a box was on its way. Finally on the 4th call I escalated the call to a manager and he advised me that I could "discard" the 2 standard boxes because DirecTV simply didn't want them. This ECF should be waived due to this continuing lack of customer service. I wish your company would reconsider and try to resolve this issue so I can leave your company on good terms." Their final response was this. "We provide the lease equipment at a reduce cost. For customers who want to purchase equipment without the programming agreement, the standard receivers are $149 each, DVRs and HD receivers are $399 each, and HD-DVRs are $499 each, plus installation charges. Leasing allows customers to acquire equipment at a low upfront cost and provides the added benefit of enjoying ‘worry-free’ service on the leased receivers. “Worry-free” means affordable upgrade options and if a receiver fails, we will replace it. This is similar to leasing a car; you pay a small amount upfront and that allows you and the company to keep the monthly lease fee low. Because the equipment is leased, it must be returned to DIRECTV. When customers purchase equipment, they do not return it to DIRECTV. Although we are sorry you were unhappy with the customer service provided, this does not nullify your programming agreement. No credits or refunds will be provided."
Please be advised that this company does not care about their customer service. As you can see from this situation, they do not feel canceling service due to repetitive bad customer service issues is a valid reason. They obviously feel that because they have their customers locked into a contract, they can treat their customers any way they want.