Indirect TV: The Satellite Battle

Posted by admin - 27/03/14 at 01:03 pm

Quick background, I’m cancelling my satellite service with DirecTV. It’s actually not because of any problems I have with the service, it’s just that…well, TV sucks these days, so I’m cutting the cord for a while. I cancelled my service for mid-March, which was the day my contract ended. DirecTV shut everything down early so I called to complain, then they told me I was actually paid for through the end of the month. After that, it certainly seemed like I was charged for the rest of the month anyway, so I sent them an email. This is the third or fourth go-round with them, after a series of confusing emails.

(Disclaimer: This actually happened.DirecTV)

Bernadette (probably not her real name), I appreciate you getting back to me. Let me make sure I have this correct:

1) I call DirecTV and request that you cancel my service as of 3/19/14, which is the day my current contract expires. Your representatives get that taken care of for me, and never mention anything else about my bill other than I’ll be billed for this later, and my service will be shut off at midnight on the 19th. Sounds good, and so I make plans to finish watching everything on my DVR by then. I’ve been a DirecTV customer for years and never had any problems with you guys, and would certainly consider using you again in the future.

2) On 3/19/14 I try and watch things on my DVR, which shuts off at about 10pm Eastern time. I call up to see what happened, since this isn’t what you told me. Your representative (Linda, perhaps?) apologizes, and offers to turn my service back on for the night so I can finish watching my shows I had DVR’ed. She looks at my account and tells me that I’m actually paid up through 4/3/14, and she can turn my service back on until then since I’m already paid if I’d like. Two things here, I’m growing quickly frustrated with Linda, who appears to speak English in a manner reminiscent of Yoda, and she’s in no hurry to get my service turned back on so I can watch the last two episodes of “Justified” before my DVR goes away again at midnight. Secondly, she’s telling me that I’ve actually already paid through the end of the month, so it won’t really matter if I continue my service until then. Since that’s easier than trying to get a refund, I agreed. So she got my service started again, and I would just keep it until 4/3/14 when both parties end the deal and walk away happily.

3) Until I log into my account, and see that somehow I owe you $35 again. And since your bill is about as easy to read as a VCR manual written in Farsi, I have no idea where that charge comes from, if it’s current, or what it covers.

So even though I tried to cancel my service with you last week and your representative told me everything was square through the end of the month, I owe you $35 for what amounts to me extending my service to cover what you told me I had already paid for? This basically amounts to me paying $35 because you shut off my DVR early, and I wanted to watch those last two episodes of “Justified.” Which is a bit steep. I wouldn’t pay $35 to have Timothy Olyphant come to my house with a local Readers Theater group to act those out.

Am I correct on all of these points? And Do I know owe you $35 to shut my account off on 4/3/14? Would there be an extra charge if I just took your satellite out and shot it? Just asking for a friend.
It took them a while, but eventually DirecTV decided the best way to handle me was in a non-text form. They called and explained, and I don’t actually owe them anything. Probably. They still weren’t certain, but at least they were polite about it.

— Reid Kerr recalls the time the cable company sent a shirtless man to his house and hook up his wiring, which sounds like a gay porno movie but isn’t.

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