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Nickel & Diming a loyal customer

Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by gusbuf, May 12, 2008.

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  1. dbronstein

    dbronstein Hall Of Fame

    Oct 21, 2002
    This is why companies continue to add these asinine fees. Sure, when you do a cost-benefit analysis of the time you spend to get your money back, it's probably not worth it. But for a lot of us, it's not about the money, it's about the principle of it. If a company charges me a fee like this (or anything else without clearly stating they are going to charge me the fee or give me a way to avoid paying the fee if they have one), damn straight I'm going to fight it. If everyone would fight these charges they would stop charging them. But when 99% of the people simply accept them, the companies are going to keep pushing and adding more fees.
  2. tcusta00

    tcusta00 Active Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    Thanks for typing out what I really didn't have the patience to elaborate on. :D
  3. gusbuf

    gusbuf DBSTalk Club Member

    Aug 20, 2006
    Well, it did not take very long. I was able to obtain the email addresses of Chase Carey, CEO, and Ellen Filipiak, VP of customer relations (Ms. Filipiak's email is actually available on the main D* website, with some good, patient searching you can find it. Anyway, I sent them both an email stating the situation. At the end of the letter, I also let them know that I had brought the issue to dbstalk.com.

    Not sure what prompted such a quick response, but I have a feeling that someone in customer service visited this thread. Anyway, they are crediting me the $5! It should never have gotten this far, but they did end up doing the right thing.

    For those who think it isn't a big issue, i.e. ronsanjim, well, I say to you to just sit back, relax, bend over, and keep saying, "please sir, may I have another?" each time their nickel & dime paddle strikes your rosy behind.
  4. jdspencer

    jdspencer Hall Of Fame

    Nov 7, 2003
    My web site host will alert me if I have a credit card that is about to expire. Why can't DirecTV do that? Probably so that they can get that extra $5 from those in that situation.

    So, all who read this thread, go online and check your CC info.
  5. David MacLeod

    David MacLeod New Member

    Jan 29, 2008
    similar issue happened to me, each csr kept telling me my bill was fully paid then 10 days later I'd get shut off. after 3rd time I called to cancel my 7 year account. free hr20 sent to me to keep me.
  6. TigersFanJJ

    TigersFanJJ Hall Of Fame

    Feb 17, 2006
    I would send them an email explaining the situation also. It will be a lot less frustrating than calling and being transferred all around to several different people.
  7. Upstream

    Upstream Hall Of Fame

    Jul 4, 2006
    The difference with the airline is they tell you how much the ticket costs. They may not tell you that you can pay a different price if you order the ticket on-line or through a consolidator, but at least you know the cost. In the case of the OP, he did not know that his card was being charged the amount that DirecTV charged it.

    Nonetheless, I agree with you that when dealing with DirecTV it is useful to ask the right questions.

    Whenever I call DirecTV, I go through a script:

    "Before we complete this transaction, I would like to confirm a few items.

    Will this transaction change my commitment expiration date in any way?

    Will this transaction change the price of my monthly service in any way?

    Will this transaction affect my ability to keep my grandfathered Total Choice Plus programming package?

    Will this transaction result in any charges to my account?

    Will this transaction result in any service fees?

    If I change my mind after completing this transaction, can I cancel or reverse it? Will canceling or reversing this transaction change my commitment expiration date in any way, or change my monthly service price, or affect my ability to keep my grandfathered package, or result in service fees or other charges to my account?"​
  8. DCSholtis

    DCSholtis Up The Irons!

    Aug 7, 2002
    +1 You're response is the one that made the most sense throughout this entire thread.
  9. tcusta00

    tcusta00 Active Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    I'm truly curious here. If you went into a restaurant and paid your $50 for dinner and got your credit card bill the next month and saw $55 was charged instead of $50 that you agreed to you wouldn't call? The extra $5 was because the waiter brought you your check instead of you going to pay at the counter yourself, but they didn't bother to tell you about it.
  10. RobertE

    RobertE New Member

    Jun 9, 2006
    My $0.02 to add to the kitty.

    Was the OP negligent in letting his CC expire? Yes.

    Should DirecTv have told the OP about the $5 pay-by-phone option? Yes

    Do I agree with these fees? No. Some banks now charge you to use a teller. Lots of CCs will charge you to pay by phone. Do we have a choice in the matter? A little, but those choices are going away quickly. Remember the cash vs credit at gas stations? They did because they could.

    Did DirecTv make things right? Yes, but they didn't have too. Remember, it was the OP that originally neglected to keep is CC current. If they really wanted to be extreme, they could have shut off his service, then turn around and charge a reconnect fee.

    A little side story. Where I'm at, the gas company has to, by law, come out once a year and check my meter (its inside). They need to make sure I haven't messed with it, make sure its working and my house isn't going to blowup. Anyway, they only give you a day that they will show up. If after some undisclosed "attempts" they can shut off my gas, then turn right around and charge me a reconnect fee. and there isn't a thing I can do about it. :mad:
  11. tcusta00

    tcusta00 Active Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    I hear what you're saying, but it wasn't disclosed, and therein lies the problem. If it was disclosed to the OP he has stated he would have paid another way.
  12. smiddy

    smiddy Tain't ogre til its ogre

    Apr 5, 2006
    Good job sir! Your persistance paid off, if only for the $5.00, but alas everyone here will get the information and learn what to do in case they fell nickel and dimed. :D
  13. smiddy

    smiddy Tain't ogre til its ogre

    Apr 5, 2006
    I agree the airline thing is a little different, but similar. I think the questions you pose are good ones that will go along way towards a mutual understanding of what is going on...in a contract, you have to have a meeting of the minds. This line of thinking helps ensure that at least your questions are heard and the issues addressed, or at least annotated. ;)
  14. JLucPicard

    JLucPicard Hall Of Fame

    Apr 27, 2004
    My guess is it has a lot more to do with not taking on the time and expense of having to babysit someone and take on the responsibility of making sure someone's credit card doesn't expire than some grand scheme to try to screw said "unsuspecting" babysittee out of $5.00.
  15. tcusta00

    tcusta00 Active Member

    Dec 31, 2007
    Guys, I really don't think this has anything to do with the fact that his payment was late because of the expired credit card. This has to do with the fact that DirecTV charges $5 for a phone payment regardless of whether it's late or not, and the person who took the payment didn't disclose it. The $5 was not his penance for being late or letting his card expire - it's DirecTV's SOP for phone payments and it should have been disclosed.

  16. Upstream

    Upstream Hall Of Fame

    Jul 4, 2006

    I don't really ask all those questions (though I have thought about it). I am worried that taking the time to ask those questions will just annoy CSRs who are compensated to get the customer off the phone fast. And an annoyed CSR is not good for a DirecTV customer.

    But I do ask the CSRs to confirm the price and confirm my commitment won't be extended.
  17. heisman

    heisman Icon

    Feb 11, 2007

    Hear, Hear!
  18. mrg

    mrg Cool Member

    Apr 29, 2008
    It seems that many of you are not aware of what constitutes a legitimate charge to a credit card. It requires the agreement of the cardholder, either in a prior written agreement or verbally at the time of the transaction. If this charge was never stipulated, one simply has to challenge the charge with the CC company, refuse to pay it, and send a written statement to the credit card company that you never authorized the charge and were led to believe that there would not be any charge. Any charge made under those circumstances is clearly fraudulent and will be reversed by the CC company and unlikely to be challenged further by dirtbag corporations.
  19. mluntz

    mluntz Icon

    Jul 13, 2006
    Not to get off topic, but I have a sub shop down the street that charges $1 to use a credit card over the phone! Ridiculous!
  20. Button Pusher

    Button Pusher Icon DBSTalk Club

    Jan 19, 2007
    I think this is a good idea.DirecTv's website should prompt a user that is using a CC to autopay when the CC is about to expire.

    Sorry to the OP that it had to go that far.
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