Direct TV / unauthorized debit, no notice of contract being generated for replacement receiver
Let me start by saying, I had been a LOOONG time customer of Directv, 12+. yrs. Back in 8/05, I had the company come to my house and put in the local channels. The receiver that I had when they came was from Wal-mart.
I was told by the techs that came to install the local dish, that the box would not work with the 2 seperate dishes, so I needed another one.It would still be the standard receiver, but getting the local channels would generate a 12 month contract. I said I understood... the contract ended in 8/06.
I was also told that no matter where the receiver came from, that they were all leased receivers and property of Directv. I had still been using this same receiver, until the first week of this past March.My tv screen would just go black, then I would get a signal stating "searching for satellite signal" I would get some channels, then no channels, then just the locals, then no locals...then the Direct channels, then no channelsAll the time that this was going on, the skies were clear, no trees in the way, nothing...
I called the tech support and was told to try to turn off, unplug, etc... the receiver. It worked for about 2 days, then the problems started all over again. I called tech support again, trouble- shot over the phone, and was told that the receiver was bad, that I would need another one.I asked were there any "strings" and the tech said that there would only be a $ 19.99 ship/handling fee, nothing else. NO MENTION OF ANY CONTRACT!
The receiver came, no papers to sign in the box. No Contract... we called tech support to get the card activated, and we started to watch tv. Within 2 days, the problems started all over again, but worse. WE called tech support, went through the same steps... and after being told that we would have to pay a service call of $ 80.00 we told them to just disconnect the service.
I have not had to pay for the only 1 service call in the 12+ years for them to come out, I wasn't going to pay then, either... After all, they had always told me that the eauipment was theirs.
Neither of the 2 reps that were spoke to that day, stated anything of a contract. It wasn't until that I notified the woman of disconnect, that she said that she would offer 6 months of Showtime and HBO, 6 months of service protection plan and waive the $ 80.00 service call. I told her that if it took my leaving the company to get a wavier that I had asked for 3 weeks ago, then the company wasn't worth staying with. Still no mention of any contract, or contract breach, nor any penalties. The woman just stated that there would be only an $81.99 + the 2 weeks of programming on a final bill. NO extra fees. This was on 3/21.
On 3/27, I looked @ my online banking statement to check my payroll check, and saw that Directv had taken out $ 469.41 on the 27th. You could say that I was mad. I called the co. and was told that I had breached a contract, to look at the customer agreement. There is nothing in the customer agreement that states that activating a replacement receiver generates a new contract, only that if you change you programming that you can be charged extra fees.
I asked how that they could take this money w/o my authorization and they stated that they can because they had my debit information on file from making previous payments, and that their " beloved customer agreement" stated that they could do so.After 3 weeks, 4 tech reps and numerous hours on the phone, I still was out my money and still had to dump Direct.
Take my advice, BEFORE you pay Directv, or any other company, don't do it on line w/ a debit card. My bank states to me that I might not be able to get my money back, because the ALMIGHTY DIRECTV COMPANY states that I had a contract. I won't know of anything for a couple of months, while the financial institution investigates the transaction I DID NOT Authorize. I have also been told by my bank that giving a company your debit information is like giving them a blank check. Also, if you are with Directv, and are planning to disconnect your service, cancel your debit cards with your bank FIRST and get new ones. The information that you leave w/ the company will no longer be valid. The bank states that if they try to draw out through a credit card or EFT through your check book routing # that these two methods can be stopped, but not debit...I have emailed customer service at Directv, and all of the emails contradict each other, w/ exception of one thing, I most likely will not see any of my money back. Also, I have emailed Chase Carey, the President and CEO, everytime I correspond w/ the customer service dept. The only response I get are the " read reciepts".
DO NOT GET DIRECT TV... THEY ARE CROOKS!!!
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