Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

DirecTV Sued By Washington State

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the add-a-count-for-taking-away-hockey-games dept.

Television 181

thomst writes "A week ago, Rob McKenna, the Attorney General of Washington State, filed suit against DirecTV, alleging 16 counts of unfair, deceptive, and unethical business practices. The charges include failure to disclose important contract information (such as early termination fees, 'service maintenance' fees, and rebate terms), misrepresentation, 'negative option' billing, 'unconscionable enforcement of contract to which there has been no mutual consent,' failure to honor promotional offers, and 'imposing charges when no service has been provided.' The complaint is available online (PDF). MSNBC's Bob Sullivan states that McKenna's office received 375 complaints against DirecTV in the 11.5 months before he filed suit, and 59 additional complaints in the 24 hours immediately after the filing was announced. Sullivan's story also states, 'McKenna said he'd been working with DirecTV for months in an attempt to avoid a court battle, and he was surprised DirecTV refused to change its business practices voluntarily.'"

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Buying boxes (5, Insightful)

digitalunity (19107) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512896)

I particularly love the part about buying DirecTV from a Best Buy only to find out later that you don't really it.

Oh, and that you can't find a complete document outlining your rights and responsibilities in one place.

Even my credit card company does that...

Re:Buying boxes (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512970)

Not sure what you're talking about, I bought DirecTV from Best Buy and I the whole thing.

Re:Buying boxes (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513028)

Accidentally, of course.

Re:Buying boxes (0, Offtopic)

teeloo (766817) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513798)

If you read the article, you will see that one doesn't really *own* it, as it locks you into a lease agreement, with early termination fees etc etc...

Re:Buying boxes (5, Interesting)

andyring (100627) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513112)

Yeah, that REALLY pissed me off too. I thought I "bought" their high-end DVR when I forked over the cash at BestBuy. Not to mention it is not possible at the store to read the massive thing you sign when "buying" it. Then, several months later when I wanted to cancel because my 2-year term was up, I'm told I can't because I added a receiver. But I paid for it! I'll give it back to them if they want it, but no. I even threatened to nuke the credit card it's being billed to but was told my account would then go to collections. I used to really like DirecTV but now I will never, ever recommend them to anyone.

Re:Buying boxes (5, Interesting)

paiute (550198) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513236)

My mother-in-law, a DirecTV customer, died a year or so ago. My wife had such a hard time trying to terminate the account that she swears she will never do business with them and will do her best to discourage any of her friends from signing up with them.

DirecTV bought bad word of mouth for decades when all they had to do was to say that they were sorry for her loss, the account is cancelled, and here is your confirmation number. Have a nice day.

Re:Buying boxes (1)

gregarican (694358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514094)

My wife had such a hard time trying to terminate the account

Out of curiosity, how so? If they finally did cancel the account I suppose that was mission accomplished. But I totally understand when someone is grieving what a PITA it is working through all of the red tape.

Typically most companies require a copy of the death cert mailed/faxed to them as proof and then they gladly comply. Was this what happened?

Re:Buying boxes (2, Insightful)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514500)

I've known others with similar problems with relatives who passed away. What I don't understand is why anybody goes through all this trouble.

Step 1 - fully probate the will and lock that up tight.

Step 2 - Just send a note explaining that they're dead, and if convenient attach the death certificate. I'm not sure that relatives even have an obligation to do that.

If DirecTV keeps the service turned on then don't pay any bills. The only person with a contractual obligation to them is dead, and their estate has been dispersed. The most they could do is try to re-open the estate to try to go after the termination fee, and it isn't like any lawyer is going to look at that and think that it is worthwhile - especially if the executor can point to a polite letter giving notice of what happened with time to respond.

So far I have yet to hear of anybody successfully serving a summons on somebody in the afterlife, although I'm sure that some have tried...

re: Collections (2, Interesting)

transporter_ii (986545) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514274)

They will send trivial amounts to a collection agency, too. I had a dispute with them and changed to Dish. You prepay for DirecTV, and the disputed bill contained a month of service, plus the new month (and the service was off). I refused to pay and they sent the entire bill to a collection agency, even though the last month of service was not used. My credit history is almost spotless, except for that one DirecTV bill hanging out there...

I worked at a place with monthly subscriptions and we discussed sending outstanding bills to a collection agency. Everyone decided against it because we thought it would generate more negative feelings toward the company than it would bring in money. Apparently, they never had this meeting at DirecTV!

Re:Buying boxes (1, Interesting)

penguin_dance (536599) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514296)

I never had any problems listed with DirecTV. Of course I didn't cancel early and yes I knew there was a contract when you get these things. It didn't cost that much and the installation was free. I think if I remember correctly the whole thing was free except that you have a two year contract. I never bought their DVR because logic dictates that it's not going to work if you ever cancel the service. Instead I got a DVD-R. This deal is really no different that the deal you get with cell phone companies where they give a free or discounted phone. (Don't have one of those either--I use a pay-as-you-go and bought my phone outright.)

I didn't have a problem canceling. They offered a deal (I expected that), but that was that. I liked the service, but I'm having to cut back, so it had to go. Since I was well beyond the contract term (and I'm sure the equipment is out of date) I didn't have to return the boxes, much less the dish. I haven't received any calls either.

And one thing I can say for them over Comcrap: They keep your original lineup. When Comcast took over Roadrunner on my mom's service, first they moved several of her favorite channels so that she had to get a box at $5 extra a month. Then they took them off without any announcement. We found out that she would have to pay extra to receive those channels! She dropped them and went to DirecTV. When DirecTV discontinued my particular package, they didn't remove any of my channels or make me pay extra.

The only thing I got burned on this way was with an alarm service. We purchase several hundred dollars of alarm equipment, only to find when we eventually canceled the monitoring service, it was shut down and we had no way (short of signing up with another alarm company) of running this ourselves.

Re:Buying boxes (1)

Bigbutt (65939) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514606)

We moved earlier this year. At the old place (Comcast), we were able to plug the TV directly into the cable and get all the channels we wanted to watch. When we got the Bravia, we rescanned and were able to receive the high-def ones and didn't have to pay for a cable box. At the new house (again Comcast) we plugged the TV in and went through the channels. All our old channels were there and in high-def as expected, except for the Hallmark Channel which my wife watches fairly often. We had to pay extra for the Digital box so she could watch Hallmark, but the high-def channels went away. In order to watch high-def, we would have had to pay even more to have the box upgraded.

[John]

Re:Buying boxes (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30515094)

Sueing this company is meaningless. They will just lay off people, pay their people less, etc... You have to THROW the corporate officers, directors into JAIL for fraud, rico law violations, etc, and then publicize it. Other companies will heed this warning quite clear as to not to screw with people in Washington State.
I don't understand why prosecutors don't go with this option. Any juyy will be elated to convcit these scum...
 

Re:Buying boxes (4, Interesting)

turb (5673) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513462)

We've had equally "interesting" experiences ....

1) We upgraded one of our boxes to the DirecTV DVR ... cost us a few hundred dollars as I recall... only to find out that unlike our own receiver(s) this upgrade wasn't owned by us but leased with a monthly charge for the lease no less. So I called them up indicating I wanted my old hardware back and to come and get the new box. They never returned the old hardware claiming, "well we're not sure where that went, would you like a movie channel free for a month?"

Bastards!

Time passes....

2) Our bill suddenly shows a "2nd" leased receiver charge... Do we have a 2nd receiver that is leased? No. As I indicated before I always bought our own hardware with the exception of the "upgrade" fiasco. Never mind this other supposedly leased receiver isn't even hooked up... took them the better part of an hour to finally get it. Granted I probably will be hooking that one back up again (and HR10-250) since the MPEG 4 tivo receiver STILL isn't out yet and their HD DVR really really sucks.

And hey while I'm bending your ear... the other thing that makes me see red is wrt their NFL sunday ticket. So I like football and the team I follow isn't always on the local channels since we're in a different market. Now everybody everywhere is shooting NFL football in HD. You think DirecTV Sunday Ticket would show you the game in HD? HA! Fork over another $99 on top of the already astronomical NFL Sunday Ticket price. Now I could understand the extra price back the "good ol days" before the switch over but we're well past that.

Pretty sad state of affairs....

Re:Buying boxes (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513556)

Is it like buying from Apple?

It's about time (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512906)

DirectTV had been strong arming alleged theft of service cases to force many innocent people to pay large amounts and settle out of court. It's about time that they get busted for other strong arm tactics that they are doing to customers. This company has been extorting money for years. It's finally about time someone goes after them!

Re:It's about time (3, Interesting)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513942)

    A long time ago, they used to be good folks to deal with. That's gone down hill.

    I had bought a HDVR2 (Standard def TiVO receiver), which was their latest greatest at the time. They wanted to send someone out to install it, but I bought on a Friday night, and they couldn't schedule until Monday. No big deal there. I installed it myself that night. It worked well. Over a span of a few years, I bought a few other pieces of equipment. I think I only ever called once during that period for a repair, and the guy was at my house the next day to help. It was for a defective regular receiver for my girlfriend's kid's room.

    The last time I moved, the install went ok. It took a few extra days to get someone out. This was a big move for us, so I didn't have time to get on the roof and wire everything up. I also wanted the newer dish, which I could have bought online for a few bucks. It took them several days to show up. At the prior house, we had gotten the NFL sports package, but that was for a friend to watch. Since the friend wouldn't be watching, we didn't need it any more. "Sorry, you can't cancel at this time, you have to cancel in 3 months." I forgot, and on the 4th month I called and they said the same thing again. Perpetually trapped with an add-on package that I couldn't get rid of.

    Not too long after that, the signal started going. I'm fairly sure it was the multiplexer. I called them to come fix it. They scheduled for a week later. The guy never showed, so they rescheduled for another week later. (2 weeks, no service). The guy showed a day after the scheduled date, with a new DVR in hand. He said they had not scheduled for a repair, only a DVR upgrade. Huh? He couldn't do the repair, only the upgrade that I hadn't asked for. I spent an hour on the phone with DTV, and they finally scheduled a repair in two weeks. So, a month with no service. I called, told them to go screw themselves, and called a local wired provider, who was out the next day to do the install.

    I was fairly lucky, my pricing was fixed because I was grandfathered in. The "current" rate was much higher than what I was paying. A month or so after I cancelled, I started getting nasty calls from them saying I was late on my bill. It was a month of daily calls, where they asked for money, and I told them to go screw themselves. Ok, I was a little clearer on the phone, but that was the end of each conversation. They finally realized I wasn't going to give them anything, and they went away. It wasn't worth their time to call, since I had made it abundantly clear that I had cancelled, and wasn't going to pay them anything.

    Ya, they got pretty bad. It's really unfortunate, I liked their service. I was a customer for many years, and they managed to alienate me. Obviously, I'm not the only one.

Re:It's about time (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30514758)

DirectTV had been strong arming alleged theft of service cases to force many innocent people to pay large amounts and settle out of court. It's about time that they get busted for other strong arm tactics that they are doing to customers. This company has been extorting money for years. It's finally about time someone goes after them!

True statement. I was a target of DTV's "theft of service" racket 5 or so years ago.

They demanded a $4000 settlement because I had purchased a smart card programmer from a company that had been implicated in producing hacked DTV smart cards. That was the only "evidence" that they had, and in fact, I maintained a subscription with DTV for years prior (including subscribing to a lot of premium content).

I told them (via my lawyer) to go piss up a rope. They never filed suit.

FWIW, as bad as Comcast is, they're way better than DTV.

This is no surprise (0, Offtopic)

For a Free Internet (1594621) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512920)

Direct TV is broadcasted at America by the Italian moon-base to corrupt our youth and steal our manhood and mock our God. But the Italians are so sinister and corrupt and venal and petty and generally evil that they can't even manage their italo-islamocommunist brainwashing operation competently, because they are covered in the stinking filth of greed and corruption. We Americans are lucky that our most dangerous foes are so often undone by their own evil natures.

Re:This is no surprise (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512952)

Call your doctor, you need to up your meds

Re:This is no surprise (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513316)

Call your doctor, you need to up your meds

How about you go fuck yourself in the ass with a chainsaw?

Re:This is no surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513096)

huh? how's directv any different than any other cable co? You are giving them way too much credit for the downfall of america.

Re:This is no surprise (1)

LBt1st (709520) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513536)

Just because something is common doesn't mean it is right.

I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (4, Informative)

hansoloaf (668609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512938)

I had a DirecTV Tivo DVR that was working fine in Missouri. I moved to Vermont and brought it with me. However the model would not work in Vermont.

Directv would not allow me to continue to use the Tivo model so they forced me to obtain their free DVR product (crap). Didn't cost me anything so I had to agree to that.

Then the DVR product broke and I asked DirecTV to replace it. They did so no problem but extended my two year contract without informing me. About a year later when the contract was supposed to have expire, I called to negotiate a better deal including HD etc, only to be told that I have one more year left. After countless calls I learned that they extended this quietly because they "gave" me a replacement DVR.

So screw them, I paid the ETF and moved to Dish. Ever since DirecTV have been bombarding me with mails begging me to come back but I'm staying with Dish for two years.

Hope the states force DirecTV to stop these practices.

Re:I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (2, Interesting)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513128)

"Ever since DirecTV have been bombarding me with mails begging me to come back"

I quit DirecTV when my ( now ex ) wife moved out on me. We had gotten it so she could watch 49ers football. It was hard to cancel, they kept trying to "save" the account. In any given week I get at least one mailing from them asking me to come back.

In the last couple weeks, they have started calling again. Thank God for caller ID.

Re:I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (1)

therealkevinkretz (1585825) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513682)

I used DirecTV for about five years without issue - their TiVo DVR was great. A couple of years ago I moved to a home with significantly more tree cover and, remembering having to find a good location for the dish, asked if they'd check to see if it would work before I had them move everything. They said 'no', so I didn't. I got FiOS and am very happy with it - but DirecTV calls and writes me like a stalker, trying to get me back when I was theirs to lose in the first place.

Re:I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (1)

Duhavid (677874) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513914)

I had the TiVo DVR as well, and it worked pretty well. Only issues I had with it where a couple times when it rained ( San Diego, CA, so not a big problem ).

Re:I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (5, Informative)

the_Bionic_lemming (446569) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513144)

Dish is even worse on leaving - you don't own any of the equipment, if you quit in February, they demand you climb up on the icy roof to get their lnb to ship back, and they threaten to charge not only the early termination fee - but the full cost of the equipment if its "damaged" in any way - meaning if they find a scratch, they'll hit your credit card- and better make sure the remotes are included.

Took a complaint to the BBB and countless calls to the escalated tech (which never returns calls - you have to catch them when they are off a call and in their seat).

I will never ever go with DTV, Dish, or comcast again. I'll take the netflix and stream the commercial free stuff to my tv instead.

Cheaper too.

Re:I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513352)

Take down their equipment? Accept a company's fraudulent contract extension? Bow down to them when they command you to?

We have a relatively new phrase in the UK that fits the majority of situations: Do one.

It's very polite and assertive.

What happens in the US when you break pissy little contracts like this one? Not the worse case; what happens normally?

I'd expect some letters, some more letters, a threat of court action, then nothing.

Re:I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513466)

Collectors harass you, your credit record goes to pot.

Eventually they take you to court and get the money from you, even if it's drawn straight from your account at the judges authority.

Re:I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513502)

What happens?

The debt is sold to a collection agency which hounds you to the end of the earth, and then files a small claims court suit against you, which they win default because you can't afford to fly across the country/drive across the state to fight the thing, and you end up with a $900 of court fees and collection charges on top of your $200 default judgment, and it destroys your credit rating so you can't buy a house or a car at less than a 25% interest rate for the next seven to ten years.

That's what usually happens.

Re:I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (0)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514016)

Heh. Years ago, I had one of those credit card deals. The wife actually got it, but it was in my name. It had an "unemployed" clause in it - if I was out of work, missed payments, they would make the minimum payments for me.

I worked myself out of a job on one construction site, the next job fell through, I missed a payment, and immediately got those threatening calls. Hey, I did all MY part, sent them letters, etc. They didn't do THEIR part!

They pissed me off pretty quickly, and I decided that I wasn't paying, AT ALL. I had my defense ready, if/when we went to court.

Years later, I got a summons in the mail. The wife opened it, and laughed. The idiots had allowed the statute of limitations expire on them, the summons was valid, but the complaint was invalid. She hired some guy to walk into court, and explain things to the judge (took about 15 minutes) and the judge dismissed the case.

That one made me feel good, LMAO

Re:I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (5, Interesting)

TheNinjaroach (878876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513504)

I had a much better experience with Dish. Sure, I didn't own any of the equipment but I didn't pay anything for it either. When the receiver broke, they replaced it without any trouble. When I moved houses they sent out a new installation crew free of charge. Eventually when I decided to cancel (TV isn't worth money..) they asked for my "LNBF" and the receiver, I said "Sure I'll send you the receiver, but you sent out a crew of three men to install that dish with the LNBF and if you want to have that you will need to send them back." So the account rep took note of the fact I wasn't going up three and a half stories to get their LNBF, I mailed back the receiver free of charge and that was the end of that. If I ever decide to pay for television again, I'm going nowhere but Dish.

Re:I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (1)

Dan667 (564390) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513622)

Why are you throwing Dish under the bus with DirectTV and Comcast? Nothing in your post has anything to do with them. I have had a very good experience with Dish Network.

Re:I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (1)

JonStewartMill (1463117) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513880)

I assume this only applies for early termination. I was with Dish Network for 3-4 years and when I cancelled, I asked what I should do with the equipment. "Whatever you want, you bought it," was the reply. That was 2-3 years ago, and the dish is still in my backyard; the receivers are in a closet somewhere. Anybody know if it's worth anything?

Re:I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (1)

Cheech Wizard (698728) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514326)

It's been a few years, but the same experience here. I have the dishes w/LNBs and the ird's with their cards in my barn. I was pleased with Dish, I just ended up with other things taking the place of standard TV programming. These days I get all my "TV" from the internet.

Re:I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513898)

Odd. My wife has both a DirecTV and a Dish mounted on our old house, where they've been for years. My adult sons were starting school when Dish was mounted, and DirecTV went up about the time they started high school. I've never heard a word about returning any equipment. A newer Dish sits on the new house, quietly corroding, and they've never asked for that one either. I know it's five years or more since we paid for that service. The internet replaces some of her satellite viewing, and the new digital TV allows her to watch more channels from further away, so she just dropped all that crap.

I never thought any of it was worth the price. 99 channels are worth about ten bucks a month to me - hey, I can only watch one at a time, and I don't care about sports, porn, or 85% of the rest of the trash on their programming. Disney was alright - when the kids were little. Today? Cinderalla and the rest need to get a life to share between them, LMAO

Re:I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513990)

So, Comcast has gone the way of Verizon phone and are bastards, and Verizon wireless has become more like Verizon phone. Sprint seems to be bonded to Comcast these days (offering wireless internet with them). DirecTV sounds like they've gone off the deep end. Dish sounds like the best but iffy.

What's one to do? I need internet access and streaming. Anything else I can get over the air free HDTV or streamed. But everything where I am seems to not offer internet service independently. What are people usuing?

"I will never ever go with DTV, Dish, or comcast again."

Speaking of which.

Comcast has gone to pot for about the last 3 years in my area. Pay by phone? $2.95. "Speak" to a billing rep? $4.95. This is from their automated greeting when you select billing.

Forget the jacking up of the bill and removing channels. They are more than $25 a month for less service than when I started with them 8 years ago.

And they don't even provide basic service right. Last year, service was nearly out for November and December (after they increased the bill back then again). 4 tech visits confirmed the same thing, and yet the headend asses wouldn't do a truck roll. Apparently, they need 2 tech visits to confirm before they do a truck roll, and in my case, they admitted they lost the order, and "had" to send a tech again. Which they did again to get the work order through, and still sat on it for 3 days after that.

They finally get a truck roll scheduled, and bam, the problem goes away. Someone apparently upgraded a box at the pole, then didn't bother to check or tune the signal strength going to the homes it served.

And then you call to request a refund for downed service, they claim they have no record of the outages. Umm, how was the other person then able to explain to me what happened with the work at the pole? Wonderful.

This year or last, they changed their website login to some crazy ass Flash or JS setup. Can't login to pay bill in some browsers, like Opera. So I have to send a mo/check, travel to their county office, or pay to pay by phone. Lovely. Also, some user account info isn't SSL'd. They ignore that for 9 months.

Then 2 months later, they change the login AGAIN to some Comcast universal sign in (which says can only be accessed from Comcast high speed internet, a dubious claim either way but I haven't test this). Yay, no Flash crazy login, I can log in! And I do so to pay my bill...except their entire bill payment is some Flash/JS fiasco, so you can't use that now.

The funny thing is their billing system logs you out due to account inactivity, even as it sends you confirmation of payment 10 seconds ago.

And if are a week late on payment, they send you to collections or some 3rd party. Interesting how much a person "calling on behalf of Comcast" knows about your account, some company in Connecticut with "Eastern" in it's name. And their reps don't even bother confirming who you are before they spill account info. Nice.

So please, what telco, satellite, or cable company out there has a clue? Seems to me they are either cheating customers outright, utterly incompetent, or buggling to complicate customers ability and service. Anyone? With cell phones, I can live with T-Mobile's crappy signal, because everything else they do is at least decent or they don't seem to go out of their way to piss off customers. In the TV arena, there is no 4th option that I know of, or is there?

How I wish I could just get a T3 line from a reputable company and for cheap and bypass all these asshole mega-corporations.

Re:I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (1)

Ephemeriis (315124) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514190)

We had a lot of trouble with the installation...

We originally wanted to go with Dish. They sent someone out to our house and he quickly determined that the only way it would work was if they stuck a pole in the middle of our yard. Oh, and there would be two separate dishes. We told him no and sent him on his way... The guy was only there for about 10 minutes.

Then we had to explain to Dish that we didn't have their equipment, weren't going to pay monthly bills, didn't cancel any agreement because we never agreed to anything, etc. Lots of fun. Ultimately we didn't pay for any of it.

We've got DirecTV now. They put a single dish on the corner of our roof and it is working fine. We've been pretty happy with it so far... But we tried an HD trial for about three months, and then canceled it... And for some reason our bill went up by $10. I tried to correct it on the website, but couldn't find anything useful. I tried emailing them, and got nothing helpful in response. I've called them, and they claim it will be fixed, but we'll see...

Re:I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30514370)

Dish is even worse on leaving - you don't own any of the equipment, if you quit in February, they demand you climb up on the icy roof to get their lnb to ship back, and they threaten to charge not only the early termination fee - but the full cost of the equipment if its "damaged" in any way - meaning if they find a scratch, they'll hit your credit card- and better make sure the remotes are included.

Took a complaint to the BBB and countless calls to the escalated tech (which never returns calls - you have to catch them when they are off a call and in their seat).

I will never ever go with DTV, Dish, or comcast again. I'll take the netflix and stream the commercial free stuff to my tv instead.

Cheaper too.

How is this worse? The termination agreement isn't horrible, and it is explained up front when you get your service (or it was for me). Just because you chose a rotten weather month doesn't mean you shouldn't honor your end of the bargain.

Now, if you want worse (which really wasn't as you'll soon see): When I moved houses I called up Dish and took advantage of their Dish Mover program. A few months after I moved, I decided that the money I was using on Dish could be put to better use, so I called to cancel. They tried to hit me with an Early Termination Fee. When I asked why (My initial contract with them had been over for a couple of years at this point), they stated that by using Dish Mover, you agree to a new contract. At which point I told the representative that I wasn't paying the ETF because:

  • There was no mention of renewing the contract on the Dish Mover web page.
  • I actually talked to a service customer rep when I placed the order, and it was never mentioned that there was contract renewal clause.
  • There was no mention of renewing the contract in the confirmation email that was sent.
  • The installer did not mention a renewing of the contract.
  • There was no mention of renewing the contract in the papers that the installer had me sign.

Then, would you believe it? The customer service reps next words were: "Very good sir, I'll be sending you the packages where you can return our equipment..." Sure, she put in the "if its damaged" disclaimer but I had no problems.

Re:I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515268)

Dish is indeed the worse of two evils if you're shopping for satellite service.

We had them over 10 years ago. Paid $400 to have the system installed and setup. It worked for 2-3 years and then the receiver died. Is that covered? Contract extension to replace it? No - they wanted us to fork over full price to replace the unit (they were far cheaper to start up with a contract but that was "For new customers only."). Ended up just giving up on them and got DirecTV installed and going for $49 (knock on wood, but so far I haven't had any trouble with DirecTV, but then again I have a basic no-HD/DVR setup that I have no intention of cancelling anytime soon).

What's bad is that during the digital switch, I decided to get a converter box for my TV. I have locals via DirecTV already but occasionally it gets knocked out during bad weather so I always like to have the OTA option for those times. After a bit of research into which converter boxes were the best, the two that got the best reviews were the Zenith unit (sold mostly by Circuit City), and the DISH Network unit. I lived a good ways from the Circuity City, so I decided to just order the DISH unit. Tried to order online and it said there was an error and gave a number to call. I called the number and the sales associate explained to me that they noticed that I had previously been a DISH customer. Also my local channels are available via their satellite service and they'd love to set me up again. After telling them that I already was on DirecTV and already had local channels via satellite they informed me that by their policy they didn't sell converter boxes to their former satellite customers.

So yeah, I drove 80 miles to the nearest Circuit City (RIP) to get that Zenith box.

Re:I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (1)

morari (1080535) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513360)

So screw them, I paid the ETF and moved to Dish./quote.

Yep, you really screwed them. Paying that ETF and all... Way to show them!

Re:I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (1)

isfry (101853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514492)

I had that happen to but I had the protection plan. I had a receiver replaced under that plan and my contract grew 2 years because of that. When to cancel and they said i was still under contract. Talked to a lot of reps and seemed like someone was going to waive that till collections called. At that point the could pound salt. i think we still gwet calles from them over that.

Re:I had a bad experience with DirecTV DVR (1)

fiestyquaker (1469347) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514740)

My main complaint about DirecTV is that when I got my first DVR, it had Tivo. When that DVRbroke, DirecTV very kindly replaced it with (as previously mentioned) their crappy free version. I actually sent a letter to both Tivo and DirecTV saying, "You are both good at one thing and I love both of you; please stop fighting." Tivo sent a nice response (blaming DirecTV, of course). DirecTV, crickets.

I'm still with DirecTV, though. Sunday Ticket whore, doncha know?

Washington "State" (-1, Offtopic)

SoupGuru (723634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30512964)

I recently moved to Washington and I never realized how annoying it is that people call it Washington "State".

It's not "Delaware State". It's not "North Dakota State". It's not "Wyoming State".

I know, I know, it's to make sure no one thinks we're talking about Washington DC... you know, the place that actually has further info in its name to make sure it won't get confused with any place else.

Wouldn't it make more sense to call the state of Washington "Washington" and call Washington DC "Washington DC"? Or just "DC"?

Re:Washington "State" (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513030)

They should just call it goatse [goatse.fr] instead. Just "Goatse" not "Goatse State" or "Goatse DC".

Re:Washington "State" (1)

eXonyte (842640) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513052)

You'll be glad to know there's at least one person out there (myself) who uses "Washington" and "DC". What also gets old is, "You're from California?" when you inform someone that you live in southern LA.

Re:Washington "State" (1)

Burdell (228580) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513460)

Yeah, but "southern LA" is redundant; all of Lower Alabama is southern.

Re:Washington "State" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513464)

Then stop trying to deceive people by saying you are from "LA," when you are really from Louisiana.

Re:Washington "State" (1, Offtopic)

weezel (6011) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513062)

The ironic part is that the originally proposed name for the state was Columbia but Congress thought that would be too easily confused with the District of Columbia.

Re:Washington "State" (2, Insightful)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513064)

Well, that's what we do here in WA. It's the east coast bias, the same thing which makes a kitten getting stuck in a tree in the Bronx national news. There's a certain thing which seems to give them an undeserved sense of superiority. And, over time it gets really annoying because this is Washington, that is Washington D.C. We outnumber them by a huge margin, we're Washington.

The irony though is that much of what we do is superior to what they're doing over there. Remind me again who it is that has an effective measure against gerrymandering and who it is that has schools that are actually somewhat affordable?

Re:Washington "State" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513216)

It's the east coast bias, the same thing which makes a kitten getting stuck in a tree in the Bronx national news. There's a certain thing which seems to give them an undeserved sense of superiority...

The irony though is that much of what we do is superior to what they're doing over there.


Hehehe. Fucking idiot.

Re:Washington "State" (1)

Brett Buck (811747) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513666)

It's the east coast bias, the same thing which makes a kitten getting stuck in a tree in the Bronx national news. There's a certain thing which seems to give them an undeserved sense of superiority.

            Also why we always see Redskin, Cowboy, and Giants games disproportionately, no matter how miserable they all are.

          Brett

Re:Washington "State" (5, Funny)

Mantic (115217) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513174)

Having lived in Washington ("State") for most of my life, it's practically necessary when traveling in foreign places. Every single time I didn't specify the "state" at the end, people would say "Oh! Washington. Where the white house is, right?" It's very annoying indeed to have to specify which Washington. It's even more annoying if you live in Vancouver, WA.

"I'm from Vancouver Washington."
"Oh, Canada? Cool."
"No, it's in the state Washington; just 6-7 hours south of Canada's Vancouver."
"Oh, where the White house is, fun!"
"Nevermind."

Re:Washington "State" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30514306)

As the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has a Penn State I propose that we call it the State of Washington rather than Washington State.

Re:Washington "State" (2, Interesting)

dlsmith (993896) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513214)

Actually, "Washington" the city doesn't officially exist. The capital of the United States is officially the District of Columbia [wikipedia.org] . The fact that people still call it Washington is an artifact of its history.

Re:Washington "State" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513554)

I totally agree with the OP's sentiment. Besides, "Washington State" sounds like the school. At best say "The State of Washington".

Re:Washington "State" (2, Funny)

RingDev (879105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513624)

As someone who grew up in a small town called Oregon (pronounced Or-gon), I can fully appreciate people who specify that they are speaking about a State instead of a city. At least in Oregon we can usually pick out people talking about the state as it is usually referred to as "Orgin".

-Rick

Re:Washington "State" (2, Insightful)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513724)

Give it up. I was born in Bangor. Which one comes to mind first?

I moved to Portland. No, not that one, the other one.

I did a lot ofbusiness in Augusta. That one is not known for golf.

If you just say 'Washington', most people think 'D.C.', and rightly so, since it impacts their lives much more.

A common mistake, get over it. Or move where the rain doesn't make you so cranky. That would NOT be Portland, Maine.

Re:Washington "State" (0, Flamebait)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513986)

I moved to Portland. No, not that one, the other one.

Try living in Springfield.

Re:Washington "State" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30514064)

Try living in Springfield.

The suburb of Washington?

Re:Washington "State" (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514334)

There are probably 49 Springfields. Not one in Hawaii, I bet.

Re:Washington "State" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30514760)

Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota*, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Utah, Washington, Wyoming.

States that do not have any Springfields.

Re:Washington "State" (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515134)

IINM there's also one in Canada [fallingrain.com] and another one in Australia. [springfield.net.au]

Re:Washington "State" (1)

pjt33 (739471) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514408)

I was born in Bangor. Which one comes to mind first?

The one in Wales. But out of curiosity, what do you expect people to say?

Re:Washington "State" (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515270)

That would be a good choice, but I was expecting people to think of Bangor, Ireland, what with the Antiphonary and all.

But Bangor, Maine was probably named after Bangor, Ireland, incorrectly as the Rev. Seth Noble might have been humming the hymn 'Bangor', and spoke out its name, instead of the intended city name of Sunbury. Which is, actually, a good choice in my opinion. Would have spared us all the 'banger' jokes. And much mispronunciation, which seems to have plagued the fair city for some time.

What's in a name, anyways? There are towns named Moscow, Mexico, Peru, Canaan, China, New Sweden, and more national names I can't remember immediately.

And of course, Indian names - Millinocket, Kenduskeag, Whitipitlock, so many more. Kennbunkport, of course.

Though I think Pennsylvania has the whackiest names...

Re:Washington "State" (3, Funny)

Dutch Gun (899105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514820)

A common mistake, get over it. Or move where the rain doesn't make you so cranky.

The rain helps keep the Californians away. It's a feature, not a bug.

Re:Washington "State" (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514228)

  I've worked all over, including Washington DC, and Washington (state for those not paying attention). Trips were scheduled close enough, where I may be in each one within a week of the other trip. I've always been clear to say "Washington" to mean the state" and "Washington DC" to mean the area with the White House in it. :) Even still, people would get confused.

    "I'm in Washington"
    "oh, so you're on the East coast now?"
    "No, like just outside of Seattle."
    "oh."

    I gave up on telling people city names. I frequently worked in cities that people wouldn't recognize unless they were from the area. "I'm in Tukwila" has little meaning to someone who doesn't know the area. Then again, when I'd say it to someone who does know the area, they'd ask me if I'd been to some little restaurant, and I'd have to explain that I only know my way from the airport, to the hotel, and to the datacenter. :) Some places, like Sterling (Virginia) had more of a chance of making people think I was close to their hometown. There are 27 cities named Sterling in the US. Sometimes I was thankful to be in New York, Miami, or Los Angeles. People tend not to get confused, but sometimes I'd slip up and say "LA" for "Los Angeles", and they'd ask how far was I from New Orleans. Ummm. I've been to New Orleans a few times. Different places, sorry.

    So, get used to it. People will get confused. There are plenty of places like that. I do better by just saying the closest metro area, and leaving it at that. Most people recognize the major metro area names.

    What I really hate is when I say I lived somewhere (like Los Angeles), and they ask me if I knew someone in particular. That person would usually be in San Francisco or San Diego. {sigh} And no, I didn't meet any major actors. I swore I saw Steven Spielberg driving a beat up 1985 Honda once, but I'm fairly confident it wasn't him. :)

Re:Washington "State" (1)

tw45 (522481) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515010)

Yeah, tell that to the redskins, i moved all the way to Washington and turns out they are on the east coast!

Corporate behavior (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30512966)

The charges include failure to disclose important contract information (such as early termination fees, 'service maintenance' fees, and rebate terms), misrepresentation, 'negative option' billing, 'unconscionable enforcement of contract to which there has been no mutual consent,' failure to honor promotional offers, and 'imposing charges when no service has been provided.'

So in other words: it acted like a corporation.

Is anyone ever surprised? Corporations exist to make as much money as possible with as little output as possible. Period.

Yes, there may be a few seemingly "enlightened" corporations like everybody's beloved Google. But at the end of the day, every corporation will do whatever it can to get as much dough as it can. Google just either doesn't get caught at their underhanded practices, or realized that getting caught may be bad for business and thus abstains. It is absolutely no surprise that many corporations are not as enlightened.

The real missing story here is just how commonplace this sort of thing really is.

Re:Corporate behavior (1)

gearloos (816828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513948)

Your actually quite wrong on that whole line of thinking. I work for a fairly large (30,000 employee +) corporation and internally it is a constant watch to make sure we are actually doing "the right thing" in every aspect of the business. Both legally, and ethically.

Where does the surprise part come in (5, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513072)

he was surprised DirecTV refused to change its business practices voluntarily.

I'm not surprised DirecTV ignored him. The big corporate types are used to owning government, and tend to get blindsided by guys who take their job as AG to mean that they're supposed to enforce the laws of their state (e.g. pre-affair Eliot Spitzer).

Re:Where does the surprise part come in (2, Interesting)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514604)

Once upon a time I worked at a K-mart and on one summer day a guy shows up in a utility uniform and wearing a hard hat. He walked up to the customer service desk (skipping the line), and politely informed the person working there that if a copy of a check wasn't FAXed to the electric company the power would be switched off in 15 minutes. Apparently nobody had been paying the electric bill for a few months. :)

I've never seen managers scramble so fast in my life, and the power never went out, so I guess they were able to respond in a timely fashion when suitably threatened.

Never underestimate the amount of bureaucracy in any major corporation. The average employee might even want to be helpful but probably is powerless to do anything.

However, in this case the matter at hand was screwing customers, and I doubt the executives felt terribly motivated to be accommodating...

The day is coming where... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30515224)

...the state AGs need to quit just simply filing civil suits against these corporations that do evil things, but instead storm the homes of the corporate principals at 3AM with SWAT teams and arrest them for organized crime instead. And seize all their assets too.

"Washington State" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513180)

...is a university in Pullman.

Re:"Washington State" (2, Insightful)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513842)

If by university you mean an extended frat for drinking and fielding really bad football teams...

Re:"Washington State" (1)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514212)

They have college classes in railroad cars now? The economy must be worse than I thought. What's the course of study? Engineering?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pullman_Company [wikipedia.org]

the 2nd happiest day of a directv customer (1)

lophophore (4087) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513252)

Having recently experienced the 2nd happiest day of a directv consumer, I can say I hate those bastards.

Their contract is written such that they can change the any of the terms (including channel lineup) without notice, and you are stuck. Never again will I buy their service.

Sure, I have no love for Comcast, and I think their service is somewhat more expensive, but they are reasonably up-front about the costs, and you can cancel at any time.

I wish great success for the State of Washington's lawsuit, and not only for the good of the customers in that state, but also hoping there are some large punitive damages awarded, too.

Re:the 2nd happiest day of a directv customer (1, Insightful)

HogGeek (456673) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513700)

"but also hoping there are some large punitive damages awarded, too"

I don't. I have had DTV since 1996. I've never had a problem with them (but I've never tried to cancel either...). I've been given free upgrades (DVRs/Receivers), free premium channels (for a year) and other incentives to "stay on-board".

A "large punitive damages award" would only end up be reflected in my bill...

Re:the 2nd happiest day of a directv customer (2, Insightful)

OhPlz (168413) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514002)

I agree. A lot of this sounds like sour grapes. I didn't buy my HD-DVR at Worst Buy, I bought it direct from DirecTV. They made it perfectly clear that the cheap price was to lease it, and to buy it outright it was insanely expensive. You'd have to know this when you go to activate it, it's part of the process.

EVERYONE has termination fees. Go get cable and cancel it the next day, same deal. I have no problem with states going after companies over outrageous fees, but DirecTV certainly isn't the only one doing it. Same thing with contract extensions. My cell carrier will extend my contract if I even so much as breathe while on the phone with them.

The introductory fee thing isn't unique either. I called my local cable provider not too long ago to price out the competition. They couldn't tell me the non introductory rate. They didn't know (or wouldn't say)! This is the price for a year, you'll have a two year contract. What happens the second year, it's a mystery.

Seems like there needs to be a consumer bill of rights that lays down the law. The billion dollar corporations have way too much power. An individual consumer has little to no effective recourse. I'm not a fan of more government, but other than shunning all technology, what's a person to do?

Re:the 2nd happiest day of a directv customer (1)

Rich0 (548339) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514708)

My understanding is that DirecTV no longer offers to sell equipment outright AT ALL. A few years ago you could buy up-front and own the equipment clear. Buying up-front was ALWAYS the better move. If you changed your mind the equipment had a substantial resale value on ebay, and most of the time DirecTV would offer to buy in from you in exchange for waiving the early termination fees. I suspect that was why they went to the "rental" system - they wanted to have their cake and eat it too.

The funny thing is that I bought my most recent receivers off of ebay (mid-90s models so they're clearly legal to sell) and the bill still had a "rental" fee on it. When I finally canceled service the guy on the phone gave me a hard time about sending the stuff back, but there was no follow-up so they probably figured out their error.

Most of this stuff is really shady - I'm glad that somebody is at least trying to do something about it. IMHO equipment financing deals should be severed from service contracts by law. By all means offer people zero-down phones, but charge it as $10/month for two years rather than folding it into the cost of the plan, or whatever. Then those who don't need new phones don't pay for them, and you can cancel your plan and only pay out the cost of the phone itself for the remainder of the term.

at lest they don't make you pay $15-$20/m per box (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513332)

at lest they don't make you pay $15-$20/m per box like cable and not only that comcarp Chicago land makes you get sports pack to get fox movie channel and speed.

and you pay about $75 comcast digital classic + sports pack + Hardware so you can pay $90-$100 on comcast to get the same as direct tv at $75.
and that is for just 1 tv direct wants $5 /m pre box to add one even for HD DVR's. Comcast wants about $10 per HD and $15-$20 per hd dvr (no e-sata) and you may get a box with small 160gb and maybe a 250-320gb hdd on comcast vs 320-500gb + e-sata on direct tv

Sorry to see it has gotten so bad (1)

dummondwhu (225225) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513526)

I was a DirecTV customer from within the first year or so of its existence up until maybe 4 years ago, when I moved to an apartment where I couldn't have a dish. I was completely happy with them in every way. In the early days, you could buy your own equipment and it wasn't tied to a service contract. The service contracts were a year instead of two. Their customer service was pretty good. Their picture quality, channel selection, and early HD offerings were way ahead of local cable.

I've said many times that I'd go back to them tomorrow if I could, but I'm having to rethink that, based on the things I've been hearing in recent years. It's a shame that a company would take such a turn for the worse.

Fsck DirecTV (1)

pyite69 (463042) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513548)

Same thing happened to me, I bought a DVR after I had been a customer for many years. A year after I bought the DVR I switched to Dish but DirecTV wanted to bill me for another year of service. I still get calls about it and that was like 4 years ago.

These guys are just weaselly in general.

Not my experience... (2, Interesting)

gregarican (694358) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513634)

Perhaps it depends on where you purchase DirecTV service through. The Best Buy "bundled" promo must have hidden a pantload of gotchas in there from the sounds of it.

I've had DirecTV off and on for 9 years now. From what I've experienced (compared to Time Warner and a few other providers) is that DirecTV's customer service is unparalleled in terms of being efficient, effective, and compliant. They have even won J.D. Power awards for customer satisfaction from what I recall. When I was a new customer (or renewing my NFL Sunday Ticket) I'd receive pay movie channels included for 3 months, get used to them, and would get the free period extended (several times over the course of a whole year) by calling into customer service and threaten to cancel my account down the road. Practically every time I called in I got some promo offer extended.

That being said, it could perhaps have something to do with different states having different whys and wherefores. But I do know that going to "Worst Buy" is typically a bad move. From what I've heard their sales consist of a lot of items that are being phased out by the manufacturer. So they are dumped into the market as end of life items at a deep discount. Can't count how many items I've tried to return that can't be replaced since they were no longer actively sold or supported. So I can only imagine purchasing a bundled service through them...

Re:Not my experience... (1)

chrisl456 (699707) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513932)

I 2nd this. DirecTV's customer service has been some of the best of any company I've ever dealt with, right up there with Tivo. Comparing their customer service with my local cable co., Charter, is just laughable. My only real complaint is that you need line of site to their satellites (I live in a fairly wooded area), but that's just the nature of their tech.

Re:Not my experience... (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515154)

I don't doubt your experience may differ from those in Washington. However, I believe the fact that 434 complaints mentioned in the summary has merit from there being 375 unsolicited complaints and 59 "me too" complaints.

I think the problem originates from new customers with new receivers, and may explain why your experience differs.

I think it's a pretty crappy deal. You pay a discounted price for equipment that depreciate in value rather quickly, and after completing the required number of months of service the receiver's value only exist to extort the customer into staying. Cell phone companies have similar arrangements, but usually you own the equipment after the term of the contract or paying the termination fee.

Even though the receiver is basically worthless after you terminate service with them, you practically paid for that receiver by fronting the money and staying with DirectTV for the length of the contract. If DirectTV want these receivers back to curb signal theft, then they should give the receivers for free, specify that a rental fee is included in the subscription price, don't specify a minimum length of service (unless a subscription discount was offered), and allow for easy return of the receiver. If DirectTV did all that, then they also would be well within their rights to charge penalties for not returning the receiver.

Why have either? (3, Informative)

Temujin_12 (832986) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513790)

Why pay cable/satellite companies for TV in general? I've found that I'm perfectly happy with getting all of my TV online through iTunes, Netflix, Hulu, and various network's websites. Just pay for a good internet connection (which generally doesn't have such ridiculous terms and conditions) and stream. You can now even stream sports games from the internet (for a nominal cost from season to season).

The payment structures and contracts involved with cable/satellite TV just seem ridiculous and antiquated now.

And no, I haven't had any problems with bandwidth limits (just get the right package).

Just pay for a good internet connection (2, Insightful)

wiredog (43288) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514542)

Do you have any idea what that costs when you live in an area with no cable tv or DSL service?

FINALLY (1)

gearloos (816828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30513822)

THANK YOU... FINALLY SOMEONE CAN DO SOMETHING ABOUT THESE THIEVES AT DIRECT TV I've been ripped off by these guys and I read every single thing I could over and over like 10 times and they still managed to trick me into $30.00 a month more than I was told I had signed up for. Then theres the box you buy to not own. Like a leased car, you pay around $200.00 to $250.00 for the privilege of renting the thing but they still own it, and charge you a monthly fee to rent it. F@#$king thieves!! Class Action? Sign me up right here. I don't even care if the lawyers get all the money on this one, as long as it costs Direct TV a bankroll, then I'm happy here.

Re:FINALLY (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | more than 4 years ago | (#30515008)

Even better directv had one thing going for them tivo, aka a DVR that works. I bought two of them for 1k each as I had had my previous SD tivo's for 8+ years. Not even 2 years later they stop providing HD to these units and cancel there contract with tivo. To continue getting HD they wanted me to fork over another 500 for a couple horrid boxes that I would never own could not expand the HD etc. The FCC was right when they required unencrypted firewire output on all this stuff. I want a cheap decoder box from these companies with an unencrypted standard digital out. You plug your tv, dvd or dvhs deck into it and be happy. Firewire is the interconnect that was there to simplify and liberate your entertainment stack hdmi and cablecard only serves to enforce you paying through the nose to the companies.

Worthless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30513856)

So DirectTV gets busted. Then what?

Customers get to sign on for the class action payout; everybody gets a premium movie channel free for a few months. Big whoop.

The penalty for this needs to be proportional to the trouble they caused the customer. I think a million dollars ($250,000 for the lawyer, $750,000 for the customer) each ought to do it. Or rather, it ought to stop DirecTV from doing it again.

Re:Worthless (1)

gearloos (816828) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514036)

I think (hope) it will be far more than a million dollars. I'm hoping more along the lines of 25 million. We are talking fraud, deceptive marketing practices, strong arming, and falsifying documents here. Big Charges!

Kudos to the Washington Attorney General... (1)

McKing (1017) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514018)

...for standing up for the people in his state. It's bad when "doing your job right" gets you lauded, but that only means that other Attorneys General fail at that task miserably.

The only "real fix" (3, Insightful)

HogGeek (456673) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514160)

The only "real" fix it to stop treating corporations like "humans". They are a company regardless of their filing.

Hold them responsible for their actions, and limit their ability to "pass on" the cost of their bad actions, so it truly affect their bottom line. They don't care when they get "caught"; They "apologize"; then raise their fees/charges/rates/... to cover the cost of the "infraction", then find a new way to screw the customer base. If they actually had to pay, then they would stop, or go out of business - either way the consumer "wins".

I don't have any evidence, but I'll bet the "lease" deal came out of the DTV hacking that was so prevalent in the not to distant past. If they own the equipment, they have more "rights".

It seems a lot of corporations use this cycle; Telecom, Cable/Satellite, ...

No suprise there (2, Insightful)

buss_error (142273) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514670)

I was a DirecTV subscriber six years ago, and got fed up with them.
Dish is much easier to deal with. Full disclosure: I disconed them too in March, not for poor service or high fees, - I got good service and the fees were OK - but in protest to the Copyright Cartel.

Some find it shocking that I don't watch TV anymore (not even on hulu.com). Until the Copyright Cartel quits their antics, NO COOKIE FOR YOU!

I really hope my state does the same (1)

jayme0227 (1558821) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514764)

I'm really looking forward to the state of Wisconsin establishing new programs with the temporary funds that they receive from DirecTV. Then I'm looking forward to my taxes going up because, since the programs are already established, they can't be taken away and they need to be paid for somehow. I do love how receiving "free" money will cost me more money down the road. I loooove paying taxes.

That said, I doubt that this will do any real good. As in the Intel/AMD case, DirecTV has already benefitted so much from their "deceptive practices" that I doubt there will be a penalty large enough to stop them, or prevent others, from doing something similar down the line.

It's hard to be a Rain God.. (1)

Zaphod-AVA (471116) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514840)

He is just cranky from it raining all the time.

They Hav e Treated Me Really Well!! (1)

arsenard (929908) | more than 4 years ago | (#30514910)

Just love Directv !!! BestBuy is another matter !!

Former employee here: lawsuit probably bogus (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30515036)

I used to work at DirecTV's call center handling all types of calls (Mainbank, CIS, CRG, and Tier 1 Tech). The lawsuits are probably nothing more than sour grapes.

Regarding contract extensions, the service commitment was only extended if we were replacing customer-owned equipment with leased equipment. Replacing leased with leased did not affect the service commitment. Replacing customer-owned equipment under the Service Protection Plan did not affect the service commitment. The service commitment terms are disclosed when the replacement is ordered--it is in the standard scripting.

The equipment you get at retail comes pre-subsidized by DirecTV. That's why it costs about the same as leasing the equipment directly through DirecTV or through a DirecTV dealer. The lease terms are disclosed at the POS. Best Buy, at least, posts notices of the lease in the aisles where the equipment is located.

The ETF is part of the standard scripting too.

I don't know what kind of "account maintenance fees" the suit is talking about because DirecTV doesn't charge an account maintenance fee. DirecTV does charge an "additional receiver" fee (or "lease fee", but not both) for each receiver past the first one. The only other charges are for programming, or HD access or DVR fees if the customer is using applicable equipment--although some programming packages include the HD and/or DVR fees in the base package price.

Generally, DirecTV will not enforce an ETF if the customer moves, orders the DirecTV mover's connection, and the installation technician cannot find a line-of-sight. What frequently happens is that instead of using the mover's connection, customers set up a new account with a local dealer or even through a bundling partner like Qwest. The duplicate accounts don't get discovered until after the new account has already been activated. This means that potentially the customer may have 2 accounts under a service commitment.

I wouldn't characterize this as an attempt to defraud DirecTV, but it creates a sticky situation. DirecTV allows people to hold multiple accounts--generally DirecTV wants one account per service address. But once the second account is activated, it is impossible to distinguish between someone who wants and uses DirecTV at two addresses and someone who moved and is no longer using service at the old address. Usually when the customer calls to cancel the original account, it is after the second account has been successfully activated. If the original account has an ETF attached, things get hairy pretty quick.

I would not be surprised if the bulk of the "complaints" are people caught in that scenario; I don't have a lot of pity for them, because the Mover's Connection is advertised fairly heavily via bill inserts, e-mails, and TV commercials. With the degree of exposure that the Mover's Connection has, I'm not surprised DirecTV would consider these people to be borderline or actual fraud attempts. Not to mention that the number of complaints is (statistically) less than 1% of the customer base in Washington (assuming 16M customers across 50 states distributed evenly).

Rob McKenna, AG? Change of career, I guess (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30515122)

And as he drove on, the rainclouds dragged down the sky after him, for, though he did not know it, Rob McKenna was a Rain God. All he knew was that his working days were miserable and he had a succession of lousy holidays. All the clouds knew was that they loved him and wanted to be near him, to cherish him, and to water him.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?