Direct TVundeserved late fee charged


August 23, 2009

Office of the president
Direct tv
P. o. box 6550
Greenwood co [protected]

To whom it may concern:

Just this minute, I have concluded one of the most offensive phone calls I can remember to a company with whom my husband and I have just begun what we thought would be a long and pleasant relationship – direct tv!

In reviewing our billing statement from you I see we had a $5 late fee. when I called to ask some other general questions about the bill, I asked about that too. I was told it was triggered because our automatic discover payment had not been received. I explained that we opted for the auto pay when we signed up for your service and were sent on our way. we weren’t told we needed to pay an initial bill by check. with this in mind, I said so, of course, the problem must be that direct tv had some delay in setting up the auto pay. the problem was on direct tv’s part not ours; therefore, I wanted the $5 refunded. it seemed to be a fair resolution for a problem on your end not ours. the man with whom I spoke said matter of factly — I can’t refund the money. so I asked to speak to his supervisor. that woman told me the same thing, but additionally told me I should have checked to be certain the discover account had been charged. obviously the mistake was on my part, not direct tv’s inability to setup an auto pay account in a timely manner. therefore, the $5 charge would stand. at which point, I told her the unrefunded charge would be a deal breaker and that we would want to cancel the account. immediately she said okay, let me get to that screen to set a date. really a supervisor who is willing to lose a brand new customer and invite such negative perceptions about your company is unbelievable. at that point, I pointed out to her that I really couldn’t believe refunding a $5 charge was worth losing a customer and then asked for her supervisor. after a few minutes on hold, the same woman came back to the phone and said as a one-time favor they would refund the late fee. but it could never be repeated. so in the future if your auto bill pay has a glitch, we will be at the same impasse.

The bottom line to this is…my first dealings with you as a signed-up customer were very different from the dealings we had with you as a perspective customer. I am so frustrated with how this was handled that it may well be the deal breaker I first mentioned to the supervisor I spoke with. my husband and I will be discussing this over the next day or so.

Certainly, your customer service reps ought to, at the bare minimum, be sympathetic with a customer put in this position because of direct tv’s inept processing capabilities. at no point was I told sorry this happened, or sorry for this problem, or sorry for the predicament I see we have put you in. it was quite clear throwing away a new customer over $5 was acceptable and the only “can do” I heard until the absolute end.

It’s month two for us and I am completely unimpressed with direct tv. I cannot foresee me ever recommending you. I am quite certain the ill will you have fostered with us today will remain for longer than you might imagine and may, in the end, be far more costly to direct tv than the $5 you so reluctantly refunded today. for most companies, word of mouth is very important and can have an impact on business. I know for certain that if we had been told cautionary tales such as my dealings with you today; we would have steered clear of direct tv as a satellite service provider.

And lastly, I did ask for the name of the president of direct tv and either your supervisor doesn’t know it or just wouldn’t tell me. either way, it unnecessarily piled on the frustration we have with your company.

Completely dissatisfied,

Mad as hell
Direct tv account #xxxxxxxx

P. s. attached is a copy of the notice of refund of the $5 charge. please note on this
email, I am being pointed to a credit card option as payment if I “want to make
sure” my “monthly bill is paid on time without any hassles”. since it was this
option that got us here in the first place, you may want to stop recommending it.

Cc: mr. chase carey, president & ceo direct tv
peoria satellite company
complaints board (

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