I had a similar experience with the Dish Network. The salesman for Dish told me we had 60 days to cancel with no fees, after we mailed the equipment back we got a bill for $400. Several years later and supposedly a little wiser we hesitantly decided to try Direct Tv. This time i made sure to ask all the right questions about billing and cancellation. I was promised a 30 day trial period no strings attached, the salesman even told me they knock off another $10 from the bill if you pass a credit check.
Direct tv was installed on a friday in march-07. We signed up for the plus package- 185 channels/hbo & cinemax free for 3 months for $44.99, no dvr included. The following monday we received a bill from them for $59.99. I called to question and correct the amount. I had to speak with several people getting different answers and reasons about the bill amount. When i mentioned cancelling the service i was told i would be fined because i exceeded their 7 day cancel policy its not 30, then i was "accidentally" disconnected.
When i called back after jumping through several hoops, the next person tells me its not 7 days, you only have 3 days to cancel from activation, then i was "accidentally" disconnected again.
Several weeks later we get a second bill for $59. Now we owe them for 2 months and we've only had service for a little over 5 weeks. Several days later they shut off our service.
During this experience with direct tv i've learned several facts:
1- customer service is lousy, they are either all stupid or they are all lying about everything.
2- direct tv will terminate your service within a 40 day period or sooner if a single bill is not paid, even a new customer.
3- in order to get the advertised package prices, you need to mail in a rebate form that takes 6-8 weeks and no interuption of service to qualify. This redemption can be ended at the discretion of direct tv at any time which can send your bill back up.
4- the installer doesnt have you sign anything. Your first bill is considered your contract with the terms of agreement and is also your redemption form to get the rebate for a lower bill.
5- direct tv's billing is pro-rated, this fancy word means your actually paying ahead for the service before you use it instead of after.
6-after your service is shut off, they will obviously call and try to collect the money, but they will also try to get you to cancel so they can add another $300 to your bill.
My best advice to anyone thinking about ordering directv is not to do it. They smack of false advertising and hidden details and poor customer service. If you already have directtv, do not cancel the service because they will bill you $300 or more on top of the monthly bill you owe. Your actually better off just not paying the bill... this way if they shut your service off, and you dont cancel, they cant even ask for the box back.
If your service is shut off, make sure you unplug the box right away because they can actually keep billing you month to month. This is because they dont actually kill the signal to the box, you still get a couple channels, but the only thing you can really watch are pay per view and the 24 hour ad channels.
The complaint has been investigated and resolved to the customer's satisfaction.