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Dallas Morning News (Watchdog)

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21 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   p010ne

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 01:19 PM

I don't have a problem but Dallas Morning News (Watchdog): "

Richardson lawyer accuses DirecTV of fraud, conspiracy, racketeering "
Eighter from Decatur, County Seat of Wise (of course it's in Texas)

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#2 OFFLINE   Drucifer

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Posted 15 November 2013 - 08:37 PM

Well someone in DirecTV is going to get hung out to dry. 


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#3 OFFLINE   JosephB

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 01:59 PM

DirecTV uses third-party installers, and the one that installed the Robersons’ system on behalf of DirecTV admits he goofed.

In an attempt to get the Robersons off the hook, the installer, Gary Young, owner of Young Ideas, sends an email to DirecTV: “I had just opened my dealership. Went to this guy’s small deli shop and sold him service, not knowing the difference between the commercial and residential as I do now. The customer has no clue also. … I had no intentions of doing wrong. Simply a mistake.”

 

When it goes to court, and the restaurant owners subpoena this guy, DirecTV is going to lose the case and look like an ass in the process. The PR already looks bad when their agent says that he screwed up yet they're still suing. Is it worth $9000 to prove a (wrong) point?



#4 OFFLINE   sigma1914

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 02:09 PM

The installer should lose his contract and pay what the restaurateurs were fined.


If you stop responding to them or put them on ignore, then eventually they'll go away.

#5 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 05:24 PM

Well, this "guy" is not associated with DirecTV he's just a dealer selling DirecTV services.  the restaurant owners can sue this guy after they loose this case.


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#6 OFFLINE   JosephB

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 07:45 PM

Well, this "guy" is not associated with DirecTV he's just a dealer selling DirecTV services.  the restaurant owners can sue this guy after they loose this case.

 

If he's selling and installing DirecTV services under an agreement with DirecTV, then he is associated with them. He may not be their employee, but he is their agent. It's his fault, not theirs, and DirecTV should be going after him, not the customer. 



#7 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 09:00 PM

Except the agreement is with DIRECTV and the customer. The dealer just signed them up wrong.

That's like saying Bank of America should sue a car dealer because they told someone to only pay half what they should pay on a car loan. They have to go after the people paying for the car.

I imagine dealers screw this up by accident once in a while and sometimes maybe so they can sign up more customers and figure people won't get caught by dtv. I don't see any reason DIRECTV would do this as they wouldn't make as much money as if they just did it right in the first place and it's a bit stupid to say they are without more than a few screwups to point to. They don't even have multiple from the same exact dealer!!!! To call it conspiracy an racketeering is hogwash at best.

The dealer should offer to pay the customer for it and make it go away.



#8 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 09:47 PM

There are a lot of things that are charged differently if you run a business. A business phone line costs much more than a residential line. Internet service is more. Cable TV is more. You have to pay licensing fees for ASCAP, SESAC and BMI. Electric, gas and water are billed differently and cost more. And so on.

 

If you open a business, it is ultimately up to you to make sure you're doing things right, you can't blame someone else and get off scot free. No more than you can listen to one of those hucksters who will tell you they can 'file the proper paperwork with the IRS to opt out of paying taxes', then try to claim ignorance when you're caught. If they were naive enough to think they could pay $100/month and get Directv in their restaurant, they deserve it. They obviously knew no one in the business before they opened, nor did they talk to anyone who was in the business. They probably wouldn't have lasted long even if Directv hadn't caught them because they would be ignorant about a lot of the facts of owning a business if they went into it without educating themselves first or getting help from someone with experience.

 

If it is true that the installer really didn't know there was a difference, which I doubt, Directv needs to do more to insure installers are properly trained/screened. But if he installed commercial service for even one customer, ever, he knew exactly what he was doing. Of course the article is trying to make it out as "big bad corporation going after our local good 'ol boys" so it wouldn't provide facts like that, if that's the case. I suspect the installer knew the difference, but he told the owners they probably wouldn't get caught and they agreed to chance it because they didn't want to pay the true cost. They paid much less than they competitors who are paying commercial rates, giving them an unfair advantage. Now they're caught and trying to blame it on Directv.


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#9 OFFLINE   JosephB

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Posted 16 November 2013 - 10:43 PM

Except the agreement is with DIRECTV and the customer. The dealer just signed them up wrong.

That's like saying Bank of America should sue a car dealer because they told someone to only pay half what they should pay on a car loan. They have to go after the people paying for the car.

I imagine dealers screw this up by accident once in a while and sometimes maybe so they can sign up more customers and figure people won't get caught by dtv. I don't see any reason DIRECTV would do this as they wouldn't make as much money as if they just did it right in the first place and it's a bit stupid to say they are without more than a few screwups to point to. They don't even have multiple from the same exact dealer!!!! To call it conspiracy an racketeering is hogwash at best.

The dealer should offer to pay the customer for it and make it go away.

 

If the car dealer were selling the loan on behalf of BoA and misrepresented it to the customer, then yes, the car dealer is on the hook. I don't think it's a conspiracy on DirecTV's part, but they do need to handle it better. DirecTV is a big company with a geographically diverse installer and dealer network, many of whom are not their direct employees. It's really, really hard for them to have a 100% compliance rate with people selling their services, and I understand that. However, they should act in a customer friendly way when it's obvious that the customer did not intentionally defraud DirecT and the dealer (who was acting as an agent of DirecTV) admitted the screw up is on *him*. 

 

 

There are a lot of things that are charged differently if you run a business. A business phone line costs much more than a residential line. Internet service is more. Cable TV is more. You have to pay licensing fees for ASCAP, SESAC and BMI. Electric, gas and water are billed differently and cost more. And so on.

 

If you open a business, it is ultimately up to you to make sure you're doing things right, you can't blame someone else and get off scot free. No more than you can listen to one of those hucksters who will tell you they can 'file the proper paperwork with the IRS to opt out of paying taxes', then try to claim ignorance when you're caught. If they were naive enough to think they could pay $100/month and get Directv in their restaurant, they deserve it. They obviously knew no one in the business before they opened, nor did they talk to anyone who was in the business. They probably wouldn't have lasted long even if Directv hadn't caught them because they would be ignorant about a lot of the facts of owning a business if they went into it without educating themselves first or getting help from someone with experience.

 

If it is true that the installer really didn't know there was a difference, which I doubt, Directv needs to do more to insure installers are properly trained/screened. But if he installed commercial service for even one customer, ever, he knew exactly what he was doing. Of course the article is trying to make it out as "big bad corporation going after our local good 'ol boys" so it wouldn't provide facts like that, if that's the case. I suspect the installer knew the difference, but he told the owners they probably wouldn't get caught and they agreed to chance it because they didn't want to pay the true cost. They paid much less than they competitors who are paying commercial rates, giving them an unfair advantage. Now they're caught and trying to blame it on Directv.

 

 

They did everything right, they called the dealer, he installed it, he told them what package to use when signing up. How are they supposed to know? It's the responsibility of the company selling you a service to make sure they are representing the rules appropriately to you.



#10 OFFLINE   slice1900

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 02:29 AM

They did everything right, they called the dealer, he installed it, he told them what package to use when signing up. How are they supposed to know? It's the responsibility of the company selling you a service to make sure they are representing the rules appropriately to you.

 

 

This assumes that 1) what they're telling the paper is the truth and 2) they did absolutely no due diligence to let them know what they were in for owning a restaurant. Had they worked in the business or talked to anyone who owned a restaurant/bar beforehand, they would have known it cost a lot more than whatever they were paying.


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#11 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 04:54 AM

Here is the DirecTV page for Bars and Restaurants. It appears that DVRs are not available. The rates are based upon estimated viewers at the location. 


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#12 OFFLINE   JosephB

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 09:04 AM

This assumes that 1) what they're telling the paper is the truth and 2) they did absolutely no due diligence to let them know what they were in for owning a restaurant. Had they worked in the business or talked to anyone who owned a restaurant/bar beforehand, they would have known it cost a lot more than whatever they were paying.

 

It's not what the restaurant owners told the paper, it's what *the dealer who sold it to them* told the paper. The dealer said he admitted he told them they were signing up for the right account. It's not their duty to go and ask other restaurant and bar owners what they pay for TV. They went to a DirecTV dealer, asked what it costs to have it installed in their business, and he told them the wrong thing. I honestly do not know how any rational person can still, after that fact has been confirmed by both the customer AND the selling dealer/installer, place the blame on the customer and think DirecTV is completely right in going after them for the $15,000. 



#13 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 09:12 AM

Not knowing the law, does not make you immune to it.  They broke the "law" they must pay.  then the restaurant owners can go back to the dealer to recoup their money


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#14 OFFLINE   JosephB

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 09:26 AM

Not knowing the law, does not make you immune to it.  They broke the "law" they must pay.  then the restaurant owners can go back to the dealer to recoup their money

 

The dealer was not 100% independent. He was acting as DirecTV's agent in the transaction. Yes, they were in the wrong. Yes, they should have to move to a business package. But, is it worth the $15k to drag this out into court? I can understand if there was no evidence to corroborate the business owners' assertions that they didn't know, but the dealer admitted he screwed up. How is this anything but bad PR for DirecTV? DirecTV isn't really "out" that money. The business didn't steal $15,000 worth of tangible items that DirecTV had to replace. Yes, fraud is fraud, but they did not do it intentionally. What really seals it for me, though, is that DirecTV has been busted for their dealer network doing dishonest things and simply being incompetent and then putting the onus on the customers and *had an agreement with the Attorney General* yet they are still pursuing this. 



#15 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 09:55 AM

The dealer is not a representative of DirecTV, they just sell their services.  So they are fully responsible for their wiring doing.  OTOH, the restaurant also broke DirecTV "polices" either willing or unwilling, with malice or not, it does not make a difference.  $15000 seems too little if you take into consideration that they could be fined up to $250,000 for showing a movie they don't have the rights to.


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#16 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 03:42 PM

And sadly even if yet are honest if dtv looks the other way this once then others will try and scam with this "out" in mind.

#17 ONLINE   yosoyellobo

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 04:27 PM

It could have been worse I suppose. They could have been have been downloading music.
http://www.boston.co...nloading_music/

I remember that and thinking that if I had been on that jury that had awarded the $675,000 I would have try to get the maximum amount possible which was more like $800 or $900 million if I remember correctly. Just the inner anarchist in me. :)

#18 OFFLINE   Bill Broderick

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 05:14 PM

The dealer is not a representative of DirecTV, they just sell their services.  So they are fully responsible for their wiring doing.  OTOH, the restaurant also broke DirecTV "polices" either willing or unwilling, with malice or not, it does not make a difference.  $15000 seems too little if you take into consideration that they could be fined up to $250,000 for showing a movie they don't have the rights to.

 

DirecTV may have signed way that protection in Texas.  According to the article:

"In 2010, DirecTV signed an agreement with the Texas attorney general that the company would closely monitor its third-party installers to make sure they engage in truthful business practices. Anything short of that is a violation of the agreement."

 

Depending on when the restaurant became a DirecTV customer (which the article doesn't say) DirecTV may actually be responsible for their agent's actions.



#19 OFFLINE   inkahauts

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 05:37 PM

That kind of thing can only hold so much water.. lawyers usually rip that stuff apart anyway. Just ask the McCourts that used to own the Dodgers...

 

NO matter how you look at it, if this really is all a mistake, its just plain ugly and unfortunate for everyone.



#20 OFFLINE   peds48

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Posted 17 November 2013 - 05:59 PM

DirecTV may have signed way that protection in Texas.  According to the article:

"In 2010, DirecTV signed an agreement with the Texas attorney general that the company would closely monitor its third-party installers to make sure they engage in truthful business practices. Anything short of that is a violation of the agreement."

 

Depending on when the restaurant became a DirecTV customer (which the article doesn't say) DirecTV may actually be responsible for their agent's actions.

"closely monitoring" does not necessarily means "associated with"


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