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DIRECTV Cancellation Equipment Threat - and Question

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by Mark Whitworth, Jun 29, 2018.

  1. Mark Whitworth

    Mark Whitworth New Member

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    Jun 29, 2018
    So I’ve been a DirecTV customer for something like 5 of the last 7 years. I’m on month 23 of my latest contract and I called to cancel because I may want to see what new customer promotions they have and I don’t watch much TV during the summer. I expected I would be told I’d have $20-40 in early term fees because that’s what my agreement said. No problem.

    After being offered some great retention deals (I almost said ok) I asked to be cancelled for now. Rep says ok, then says hang on a second, I need to look into this box you added to your account in March. FWIW, in March I was on a boat a friend had bought out of a bankruptcy. It had been unused for a couple of years, but it had an old DTV box, and because we’d be off the coast I’d called about activating the access card in it on my account. I tell the rep under no circumstances do I want to extend my agreement, but if I can activate it without extension then I’d like to do it for a while. The rep says no problem, it absolutely won’t extend me, and he has me on in 5 minutes. I’ve been paying the extra fee ever since. The rep I’m speaking to now, however, becomes a COMPLETE jerk and says guess what – when you activated that receiver, which was a leased receiver, you extended your contract another 2 years per your agreement. I explained I’d been adamant about that not being the case before I activated it and that the original rep had clearly and explicitly said there would be no extension. The new rep basically says tough luck. I tell him I’ll fight it with whomever, because I’m confident I’ll prevail in a fight over it, and I tell him to cancel me anyway. He says fine – you have 21 days to ship all the equipment back to me. Again, this is in a boat now several states away from me so I pump the breaks and say I’ll get back to him.

    Does anyone know how much of this is BS? I’m prepared to risk the $400 termination fee (20 months x $20/month) because like I said I don’t think they have a legal leg to stand on. I never leased this receiver from them, and I realize they were probably never authorized to activate it for me anyway. If I cancel service of course I’ve got the 2 units in my house to send back, and that should be sufficient I think. If anyone has any experience or knowledge about who to contact about this I’d appreciate a pointer. Right now I’m trying to figure out if we need to just ship back that other old receiver or not. It’s an old HR24-500 if that matters.

    Right now I figure I just got a real jerk rep, but if DTV is really going to make an ordeal out of this then I’m going to complain about his as loudly and visibly everywhere I can, and then I’ll also be contacting the California AG and the FCC to see how any of this could be legal or even tolerable.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    I am going to give you a short answer, wait for more knowledgeable poster, to make a judgement on what to do.
    First, when you add a receiver to your account you definitely add to your contract starting that day.
    Second, you can suspend your account for up to 6 months. However, this does not shorten the contract months.

    What is the model number of the old receiver ? An SD box is supposed to extend by 12 months and an HD box is 24 months.

    When you terminate, they are supposed to tell you what to send back to them. Some old receivers are not worth fixing and they do not want them back. I have 3 here that died and 1 that I just removed from my account. They did not want any of them. However, the last HD box my son uses died this year and they did want it back. Same model as the ones I have they did not want back. Jist of this is that they seem to constantly change their mind.
     
  3. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    Everyone should read the "DIRECTV Residential Customer Agreement" and the "DIRECTV Equipment Lease Agreement" before signing up for DIRECTV service or making changes to their DIRECTV account.
     
  4. NR4P

    NR4P Dad

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    Unfortunately the box being activated does start another 2 year agreement. I've seen one case where a person removed a box from their account after 4 years because they weren't using it. And Directv didn't want it back.

    A few months later, they changed their mind and Directv allowed the reactivation and that triggered a new agreement, on the same box.

    Alternatively ask if you can buy the box. Maybe cheaper than early term fee. Then that might end the commitment. Take names, cities, dates and times. Have them notate your account. And most important, have them read the notes back to you. You want it written in full detail, not shorthand. Then you can refer to a specific date in the notes for a future rep. to review should you need to refer back.
     
  5. P Smith

    P Smith Mr. FixAnything

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    interesting solution ... does someone did that trick ?
     
  6. Pipestr

    Pipestr New Member

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    I have purchased/owned several DTV boxes over the 20 some years I have been with them. yet when one quits working they insist I send it back (after some time passes). Knowing I bought it 10 years ago, when it died I simply trashed it, it would not work, but kept the "card" to use on the replacement, purchased, box. I was told it was so old it could not be re-activated.
    Fine, since the new device did not have a card, ordered one. It cost twice what I paid for the receiver!
    Being "stuck" I paid for it. Got new card, activated it. and destroyed the old card.
    I few months later I get a bill for not returning the broken box, that I owned!!
    After a 2 hr conversation, Customer retention waived the fee (?). Live and learn.
    I have had 3 other receivers I owned that DTV insists now were leased..... I bought them (200), installed them myself, and activated them. Now they want them BACK?
    No point in arguing with them. In the end, if I cancel my service they are unusable, as nothing will convert from one service to another.
     
  7. MysteryMan

    MysteryMan Well-Known Member DBSTalk Club

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    The only sure way of knowing if a box is owned or leased is by contacting the Access Card Dept. and have them verify it's status.
     
  8. WestDC

    WestDC Well-Known Member

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    Your Choices:
    1. Cancel your Account and pay the EFT
    2. Do nothing keep your service
    3. Find a Cable Company (any other Tv provider) that will pay your EFT to Switch service.
     
    Rich likes this.
  9. trh

    trh This Space for Sale

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    A Genie costs $299 at DIRECTV or a third-party vendor like Solid Signal. But those are still leased units.

    It has been years since DIRECTV sold units. And those are so old, they wouldn't want them back.

    As MysteryMan said, you have to contact the Access Card department to verify the status.
     
  10. Pipestr

    Pipestr New Member

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    Thank You West.
    I plan to cancel it the mid - end of August, after 16 years. I have been paying over 300 a month (I have a top package, and 7 receivers). It goes up all the time - Last month I did get it reduced by 70 a month, but income drops by 850/ as of Aug 31, so even 235 is too much for budget.

    I should not have an EFT after all this time, and will fight it if they try (or simply ignore)

    Every TV I own is digital, so simple cheap rabbit ears give me 70% of what I watch now, is free, and I get 25 channels. Been using it last several months for 2 or 3 shows that I love and only comes over the air,
     
    WestDC likes this.
  11. Pipestr

    Pipestr New Member

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    Jun 30, 2018
    Ohio
    Have done that, but no matter what, they say leased. Including the "refurbished", standard one I Bought from an installer for 15 bucks.
    The installer had gotten it from a replacement installation, since DTV demanded it, then told him to throw it away ......... He refurbished it, upgraded it a bit and sold it.
    Plus getting to another Dept is almost impossible since merger, and anything they tell you changes every time you call, and they lie. Can no longer even get to a Supervisor. Some of them even claim there are none, some say they have them but supervisors have no phones, are in a separate building , and some simply have the low level in the next cubicle who gives fake name, employee number and direct phone number. Have caught them many times, when calling back that number or extension. It never exists.
     
  12. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    Question: When they gave you that discount, did it extend your contract. Sometimes they do and sometime they do not.
     
  13. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    The odd thing is that Directv won't let a residential customer activate a receiver on their account that's been active on someone else's residential account. The exception is if the receiver is owned, which makes me wonder if that receiver on the boat was owned.

    Does activating an owned receiver extend the contract, or does that only happen for activating a leased receiver?
     
  14. Mark Whitworth

    Mark Whitworth New Member

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    Jun 29, 2018
    So this is one of the key issues here. I'm a long term customer in good standing. I come by another box, status unknown, and I ask if I can add it to my account without extending my contract and their representative says absolutely. Nothing about any open balance on it. Nothing about it being leased. One can easily argue that my request was exactly an access card status check and I was effectively told that it was ok and that I can add it without an extension.

    The other thing here is that it's fine for people to reference the terms of the SA. The problem is, that doesn't make them legal and binding. 30%+ of employees in CA sign a non-compete when they start a new job. About 1% of those are binding. One can say whatever they like.

    At this point, I think I'm going to contact the FCC and CA AG to note this situation and start that process while I plan some time to go get the box out of the boat. This may take a few weeks to a couple of months and then I'll cancel and fight whatever I need to. In the interim, I'd also like to raise this issue in other areas so I know a bit of the SoCal media that have investigative teams that love shedding light on these types of abuses. If anyone knows more let me know. I know AT&T and DirecTV are heavy ad-buyers, but they're so universally loathed for this kind of stuff that I imagine someone might be wiling to help shed some light on this. This is happening every day with this guys. Ridiculous.
     
  15. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    Before you do that,
    get DirecTV to send you a written explanation / costs of what it will cost you to terminate the contract on ?? Date.
     
  16. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    No direct number anymore and I'm not sure what the Access Card folks are calling themselves now or if the department even exists...in the same manner it used to.

    Rich
     
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  17. Rich

    Rich DBSTalk Club DBSTalk Club

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    There used to be a way to determine if equipment was owned or leased. Since the merger that way has disappeared. In the past you could have called a number that went directly to the ACD. That number no longer is in service and it's a gonna be a crapshoot finding someone who can actually tell you what's owned. I'd be making the calls to the Loyalty Department, they should be able to tell anyone whether the equipment is owned or not...should be able but you might still get sent to other CSRs in other departments.

    In any event, you might not be able to get out of this. I'd call the Loyalty Department and try to get this problem settled in you favor. I don't see any other way to do this.

    What the CSRs are telling you is true, if you add a leased HR to your account you go back to the 2 year commitment. How could you possibly prove what the CSR told you?

    Rich
     
  18. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

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    Loyalty department, 1-800-824-9077
     
  19. Mark Whitworth

    Mark Whitworth New Member

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    Jun 29, 2018
    Great advice.
     
  20. slice1900

    slice1900 Well-Known Member

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    Surely they have some sort of notification requirement for adding a new 24 month commitment - at minimum they should send you an email/snail mail noting that your term was extended, note it on your bill, or something.

    If it comes down to their word against yours that they notified you when you activated that receiver, and you say you didn't, hopefully they would give you the benefit of the doubt if you've been a customer for 5 of the last 7 years.
     

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