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Motion made to halt DirecTV from automatically deducting/charging ETF

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Ken S, Sep 24, 2009.

  1. BattleZone

    BattleZone Hall Of Fame

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    It *is* possible that what you describe happened; I know that techs have failed to get the agreement signed before. Normally, the HSP won't pay if there's no contract signed, but sometimes one slips through.

    If you challenge DirecTV to come up with your signed agreement, and they can't, then they'd probably let you out of it.
     
  2. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    I think people should be prepared for an ETF because it is unequivocally documented in the Equipment Lease Addendum.

    The two real problems are:

    1. That they are extending the commitments without sufficient notice or consistency.
    2. That they are "extracting" the money.

    As an aside, I noticed today that the commitment for new customers is 24 months regardless of the type of equipment installed:
     
  3. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

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    No, it was not a fluke; it's just that your install technician used a different form than mine. It seems that from information posted on DBSTalk through the years, different contractors (including D*-employed techs) did use different forms.
     
  4. csgo

    csgo Legend

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    Yes, and according to that contract DirecTV can decide to eliminate any or all channels and charge you whatever they want.

    So if DirecTV decides they're only going to offer the Oxygen channel and charge $1000 per month for it you're OK with that? Don't forget they can draft your bank account and/or charge it to your credit card if they want. You can't cancel because DirecTV decided to extend your contract for another 2 years because of the programming changes.

    All of the above is within the agreement. I bet you would change your opinion if that happened.

    Luckily this is the USA and such agreements are not usually upheld in the courts. It takes a few brave souls to fight the battle so the rest of us can be treated legally. That's sort of our history... a few are willing fight so the rest can bitch about it.
     
  5. rudeney

    rudeney Hall Of Fame

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    I sort of did that once. A few years back when they raised rates, I called to complain. I threatened to cancel, and the CSR said I would have to pay ETF's. I asked to be sent a copy of the signed contract and I would gladly do that. After being put on hold for a few minutes, the CSR came back and cited a date in my account where I had verbally agreed to a two-year extension, and that the ETF's would be enforced. I then countered with the fact that my verbal agreement was only to maintain service the service I have, not to allow for any price increases. Again, I was put on hold, and the CSR came back to inform me that I would be given credits to offset the price increase.

    I know I've said this several times, I believe that if D* would just change their business model to mirror what cell phone providers do, it would make things much easier for all involved. They should explain to the customer that a discount on equipment or installation comes with a commitment extension, just like when I get a new cell phone with Verizon for $100 off retail price. Clearly spell-out the terms and give the customer easy (online or on the paper bill) access to the commitment expiration date, just like Verizon does for me. Also, give customers who are out of a commitment a specific discount on new equipment in return for a commitment extension, again, just as Verizon does. It's simple, it puts everything out in the open for all the see, and it might even get customers to add equipment and extend commitments more easily than making them play CSR roulette for discounts.

    Of course we all know that hypothetical situation is extreme and ridiculous. Regardless, something more realistic could happen, such as the loss of a satellite. While they do have some excess capacity usable for a backup, it would still be a huge problem and some channels would be lost. This could be especially troublesome if it affected the spot beams used for locals. In this case, I would expect D* to compensate customers in some fashion. If not, then I do not see a court upholding ETF's if D* was unable to maintain a significant portion of services.

    Like you said, these one-sided contracts of adhesion are often struck down by the courts. I do believe a court would uphold ETF's when properly communicated and charged, though. It just makes sense that D* be compensated for delivering reduced-price equipment and services in return for a guarantee of payment from the customer.
     
  6. wingrider01

    wingrider01 Hall Of Fame

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    When you order service you agree to a contract. Currently I believe they require a credit card as collatoral to complete the agreement, the end user gives them the number and they agree to the terms by completing the order.

    This will probably end in another crass action suite, which means 10 years form now they will still be argueing it and the end user loses again.
     
  7. csgo

    csgo Legend

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    Oct 15, 2006
    If there was a valid contract then DirecTV should be able to provide it as evidence to the court. From what I read DirecTV has been unable to provide this evidence to date. If only one party believes there's a contract, and no evidence exists, then there is no contract.

    End users lose again? I don't see how. I can only see good coming out of such actions. None of us know what the ultimate outcome will be, but hopefully there will be clarification for consumers at the very least.

    I suspect the court will force DirecTV to pro-rate any early termination fees, and drafting of bank accounts or charging credit cards will be prohibited, but that's just my guess.
     
  8. gfrang

    gfrang Hall Of Fame

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    That was 10 years ago whatever commitment i had is now long gone.What gets me is when a receiver goes bad they reset the commitment even though there policy states differently.

    The last time i had my dvr replaced they told me their would be no commitment and when the installer replaced it he told me the same thing, i checked the work order that he gave me to sign front and back and found no mention of a commitment.
     
  9. wingrider01

    wingrider01 Hall Of Fame

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    Doubt it since they already pro-rate the ETF and and have been for years , add ot the fact you give them permission to auto-deduct. Sorry there is only one winner in a crass action suit, and not the end user
     
  10. dodge boy

    dodge boy R.I.P. Chris Henry

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    Sure the end users are winners, if successfull, it will cahnge the behavior of the offending company and we all will benefit.

    Obviously you've never seen Erin Brockovich.
     
  11. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    Salem, OR
    Some background:
    The word "contract" appears only once in either of the agreements in the title of section 4 of the Customer Agreement:
    They've been very careful to use the terms "agreement" and "commitment" except in the heading of this section.
     
  12. ehilbert1

    ehilbert1 Godfather

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    If I cancel before my contract is up I know I will have to pay those fees. I get that and have no problem with it. I really don't have a problem with them charging my credit card for those fees. What I do have a problem with is D* extending my contract without me knowing it. Some of us pay for the PP and when a reciever is repalced they go right ahead and extend our contracts without saying a word. So if we do cancel we're pretty much screwed. To me thats bad business and I don't see how anyone can defend that. I enjoy D* and have no intention of leaving, but the fact and yes I said "FACT" they extend peoples contracts without their knowlege is wrong. It's happening a lot and then when people cancel they have their cards and bank accounts charged that fee. It's wrong and not fair and I hope this case makes D* change the way they do things.
     
  13. JackDW001

    JackDW001 Cool Member

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    In Section 4 (CHANGES IN CONTRACT TERMS), it states that if you contact D* and do not accept the changes, "we (as in D*) may cancel your service". In this case you (as in the customer) did not cancel the service and any damage that D* encountered (as in future payments against the contract) is due to their own (D*) decisions. I don't think there is any way that D* could even expect to collect any ETF in this case. If they elect to pursue it, then they would be opening up themselves to a suit since they are the ones who failed to fulfill the contract.
     

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