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Personal Responsibility, and the lack there of, a buyer beware thread.


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#51 OFFLINE   n3vino

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:37 AM

I emailed D* to find out when I as a Protection Plan customer would be eligible for a free equipment upgrade as their web site states. They said the PP does not include a free equipment upgrade.

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#52 OFFLINE   Bill Broderick

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 02:38 PM

I emailed D* to find out when I as a Protection Plan customer would be eligible for a free equipment upgrade as their web site states. They said the PP does not include a free equipment upgrade.


In your email, did you indicate that you live in Texas? Currently, the free upgrade is only for people who live in Texas. If they didn't realize where you live, I could easily see them answering incorrectly.

Edited by Bill Broderick, 04 February 2013 - 01:32 PM.


#53 OFFLINE   n3vino

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Posted 03 February 2013 - 02:47 PM

O.K., I called customer service and they told me I would be eligible for a free genie upgrade in three months. That's six months before my contract is up. She said that either one of my H25's or the HR24 would be eligible for an upgrade. I did tell them I was from Texas. The CSR did look at my account. I guess that means I can keep the HR24. I'll get more detail when it's time.

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#54 OFFLINE   bobcamp1

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Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:45 AM

When you claim that someone's statements are false, please make a legible and coherent argument or statement. Otherwise your point is lost and your post gets ignored. Either way, thank you for your feedback.


You must understand that the contract you sign is only one of several applicable state, federal, and case laws that describe your relationship with your cable company.

One example of this is Good Faith, which has been well established in case law. It is possible to claim that the cable company has not held up their end of the agreement, which voids the contract and relieves the other party from some responsibilities they may have otherwise had, such as paying an ETF. For example, if the cable company guarantees a price when you sign up yet refuses to honor it after the contract is signed. Or if you move and the cable company can no longer provide service according to the contract. Note that in good faith the customer should read the fine print, but he is not required to go to extraordinary efforts to determine whether the deal is sound or not. So the excuse "D* doesn't typically offer these kind of discounts" is not a valid argument for D* in court. (Besides, I just saw this same deal in a flyer in my Sunday paper.)

There is also "negligence", where one of the parties does or does not do something in a reasonable manner which causes loss or harm. This is different that Good Faith. The accused party is *trying* to hold up their end but fails to do so in a reasonable manner. I think both the original OP who was frequently being overcharged by D* and the McDonald's hot coffee are examples of this.

Many of these cases are not taken to court because the amount of money involved isn't worth the lawyer's time. In class-action lawsuits all those little dollar amounts add up and now it IS worth the lawyer's time. While the original plaintiffs don't recover all their money in a class-action, the settlements help reshape the contract and "standard business practices" for future customers. For example, ETFs are now prorated. Also, if the contract is changed or violated by the provider, you can avoid paying an ETF.

#55 OFFLINE   Darth Malgus

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 12:35 AM

[quote name='bobcamp1']You must understand that the contract you sign is only one of several applicable state, federal, and case laws that describe your relationship with your cable company.



I am not sure what part of my original post would lead one to believe I have any lack of understanding when it comes to applicable legislation and legislation from the bench. However, there is a key difference in the "DirecTV is EVIL" post and the McDonald's hot coffee case. There is actual evidence that has been presented in that case. The man ranting about his bill did not provide any evidence to support his claims. No link to an initial e-mail, no copy of the bill to break down the discrepancies, and no evidence of a movers offer that fit his description. He did however show evidence of his misunderstandings. He also made it clear he would no longer try to understand his bill, and his aim was only to damage.

This disclosure is taken directly from the DirecTV website. "All offers require 24-month agreement. Programming/Pricing may vary in certain markets. Offers end 2/6/13 and are based on approved credit; credit card required, except in MA & PA. New customers only (lease required). Applicable use tax adjustment may apply to the retail value of the installation. "


Notice the new customers only portion of the disclosure. The man stated that he was bringing an existing account out of suspension, and getting a movers offer for that existing account. The offer that you referred to was also a new customer offer. When you couple the lack of supporting evidence with the very clear evidence of incorrect expectations, it makes him appear to be just another disgruntled customer who does not make an effort to understand. Just demand was he wants, the way he wants, because he wants it now. While we will never truly know now that the thread has been closed, and he has not since visited the forums, I would wager he wouldn't have a chance in court.

#56 OFFLINE   bobcamp1

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:29 AM

The man ranting about his bill did not provide any evidence to support his claims. No link to an initial e-mail, no copy of the bill to break down the discrepancies, and no evidence of a movers offer that fit his description. He did however show evidence of his misunderstandings. He also made it clear he would no longer try to understand his bill, and his aim was only to damage.

The man stated that he was bringing an existing account out of suspension, and getting a movers offer for that existing account.


Well, considering the response he got, if it were me I wouldn't bother to post any evidence either. He was found guilty before he had a chance to calm down and prove his case. I can only hope he was able to come to a final agreement with D*.

Since most of this evidence was phone calls and promises made by CSRs and their supervisors, he'd have to post audio recordings of the transactions. Not only does he probably not have them (who would think to record them except me?), but in a different thread there was an entire separate debate about whether THAT was legal (it was, but you can't convince anyone here of that).

Regarding the exact deal he was offered, many people here have unadvertised discounts. Most get them by calling retention and threatening to leave. And there seem to be several different discounts and combinations thereof that can be authorized. So no one can say one way or the other the exact discount that was promised to the OP.

Furthermore, no one can understand DirecTV bills, especially the electronic ones you get to view online. This isn't limited to DirecTV -- Verizon does the same thing. All you can do is hope the final number matches what you're expecting. When it never matches what you were promised, you get really upset.

Finally, there is no jury trial because it would have to go to arbitration. But just because cable companies haven't yet been found guilty doesn't mean everything they're doing is legal. The ETFs are strategically priced -- enough to dissuade people from leaving and provide some revenue when they do, but the amount of money is not worth the effort to take the disagreement to court. Arbitration exists to avoid court orders and/or any legal judgments there may be against current terms and policies. And all class-action lawsuits are settled with the accused always denying any wrongdoing. So to say he wouldn't have had a chance in court is unreasonable -- especially since D* goes to great efforts to avoid the courtroom.

#57 OFFLINE   Darth Malgus

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Posted 06 February 2013 - 08:35 PM

Well, considering the response he got, if it were me I wouldn't bother to post any evidence either. He was found guilty before he had a chance to calm down and prove his case. I can only hope he was able to come to a final agreement with D*.



You can see that he just copy and pasted from a Reddit post, meaning there was time from his original post there to his original post here, since you are speaking out of empathy, how much time would you need to calm down? Furthermore, while the negative feedback might dissuade most people, there was by no means any measure taken to prevent him from supplying more information in support of his case. There were even those offering help. I too also hope he came to his senses and made an effort to understand what his options are, that will make the difference he is looking to get on his bill.

Since most of this evidence was phone calls and promises made by CSRs and their supervisors, he'd have to post audio recordings of the transactions. Not only does he probably not have them (who would think to record them except me?), but in a different thread there was an entire separate debate about whether THAT was legal (it was, but you can't convince anyone here of that).



Regardless of the phone conversations, it is what is material that matters. To repeat myself. A printed copy of the initial order e-mail, a printed copy of the bill showing each item line by line, and the actual equipment he has in his home with the properly authorized recordings. These are all hard evidence of an agreement. As one would say "Verbal agreements are only worth the paper they are printed on."



Regarding the exact deal he was offered, many people here have unadvertised discounts. Most get them by calling retention and threatening to leave. And there seem to be several different discounts and combinations thereof that can be authorized. So no one can say one way or the other the exact discount that was promised to the OP.



I agree that no one can say one way or the other. That was the point I made. Again only due to his lack of evidence. These unadvertised discounts you are referring to are recurring credits of certain services, or just a general recurring credit. These are not available to stack on top of new customer offers. While some can be stacked on top of movers orders for customers with the tenure and payment history, the OP could again have shown evidence of these, if he just made the effort.


Furthermore, no one can understand DirecTV bills, especially the electronic ones you get to view online. This isn't limited to DirecTV -- Verizon does the same thing. All you can do is hope the final number matches what you're expecting. When it never matches what you were promised, you get really upset.



I can understand DirecTV bills, I can understand any bill if I just made the effort to solve the puzzle that a different set of bill can come to be. I use this little discovered technique called... proper researching. You basically study and ask questions until you find the answers you were seeking. Seeing as how you have come to this determination that you are part of the group of people who throw your hands up and say "this is impossible!", I can see now why you have difficulty grasping this thread, and are quick to defend something that should otherwise be indefensible.


Finally, there is no jury trial because it would have to go to arbitration. But just because cable companies haven't yet been found guilty doesn't mean everything they're doing is legal. The ETFs are strategically priced -- enough to dissuade people from leaving and provide some revenue when they do, but the amount of money is not worth the effort to take the disagreement to court. Arbitration exists to avoid court orders and/or any legal judgments there may be against current terms and policies. And all class-action lawsuits are settled with the accused always denying any wrongdoing. So to say he wouldn't have had a chance in court is unreasonable -- especially since D* goes to great efforts to avoid the courtroom.



Finally, to address the issue of arbitration. My comment was made as a hypothetical one. I understand that he will have to go through arbitration, because I have read the DirecTV agreement. He would also not go to a trial by jury. In reality it would be small claims court. Who also would not go through great efforts to avoid the courtroom? You say this as if DirecTV is the only business that would make an effort to avoid litigation. Lastly, based on what I have read from you. You are not someone who would be nominated as an authority to what is reasonable. Thank you for your opinion, please spend more time grasping the concept of what personal responsibility is (the subject of this very thread), and may your anger in what you find make you strong in the force!

Malgus out.

#58 OFFLINE   davejacobson

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:05 AM

Good post. I agree with the OP.Only thing I can add is lack of personal responsibility is the root of most problems from your cable bill the the United States budget.Image a world where every able bodied person took responsibility for their on life and actions and didnt blame anyone for your situation. The getting the free deal goes alot farther than just TV.
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#59 OFFLINE   bobcamp1

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:07 AM

Regardless of the phone conversations, it is what is material that matters. To repeat myself. A printed copy of the initial order e-mail, a printed copy of the bill showing each item line by line, and the actual equipment he has in his home with the properly authorized recordings. These are all hard evidence of an agreement. As one would say "Verbal agreements are only worth the paper they are printed on."

I agree that no one can say one way or the other. That was the point I made. Again only due to his lack of evidence. These unadvertised discounts you are referring to are recurring credits of certain services, or just a general recurring credit. These are not available to stack on top of new customer offers. While some can be stacked on top of movers orders for customers with the tenure and payment history, the OP could again have shown evidence of these, if he just made the effort.

You say this as if DirecTV is the only business that would make an effort to avoid litigation. Lastly, based on what I have read from you. You are not someone who would be nominated as an authority to what is reasonable. Thank you for your opinion, please spend more time grasping the concept of what personal responsibility is (the subject of this very thread), and may your anger in what you find make you strong in the force!

Malgus out.


Oral agreements are just as binding as written ones, despite what everyone else in this forum says. Both can be misinterpreted. Oral agreements have the additional problems of being misheard and difficult to prove. D* may have the audio recordings or the notes on his account, which could be obtained via a subpoena. Due to other unfortunate experiences in my past, very similar to what the OP had, I record all phone conversations with service companies (yes, it's weird, but it works wonders. The CSRs are so much more careful after I tell them.).

Once again, we have no idea what was agreed to, so the idea of "that's not what D* typically does" or "you typically cannot stack new customer credits on top of other ones" is irrelevant. If D* admits they made a promise to a customer that they cannot keep, then the agreement should be immediately terminated and both parties should either come to a new agreement or just walk away.

As far as deciding what is reasonable for each unique case, that's for a judge or jury or arbitrator to decide. Or hopefully for the two parties to decide. None of us can do this without all the facts and claims in front of them. I'm just not in a rush to judgement like others are (including you apparently). Especially after I successfully sued my former cable company. :D

The point is that both sides must take responsibility. Both the customer and the company. If the company provides poor service or makes promises it cannot keep, it should not (and legally cannot) hold the customer to their end of the agreement when it is having trouble holding up its own end. Similarly, if the equipment is damaged by the customer or they want to leave despite the good service, they have to pay for equipment and/or the ETF.

Edited by bobcamp1, 07 February 2013 - 11:14 AM.





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