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Discussion in 'DIRECTV General Discussion' started by bills976, Dec 14, 2009.
That last one happened to me.
I wonder what the AG's end game is. Most of these will go nowhere in court and they know that.
This seems more like political PR than actually trying to get something done.
I enjoy DirecTV's service, but I do have to agree with McKenna. Their contracts suck and the whole upfront "lease fee" is poor form - it's not exactly customer-friendly. People subscribe to DirecTV because of their exclusives (Sunday Ticket) and the fact that cable companies are even worse.
I am out of my two year contract as of this past October, but enjoy Sunday Ticket and the RSNs too much to give it up. If not for sports, I'd be easily able to survive on OTA and Netflix.
McKenna is a republican/Comcast toady of the first order; the amount of money he and his 'party' have taken from Comcast and the telcos is legendary in this state. Add to that the amount 'local' broadcast stations (many of which are actually owned by out-of-state corporations) , is nothing short of astounding (over $1M just in the last couple of years). He was also instrumental in blocking local cities/counties in installing FIOS-like fiber-to-the-home some years ago.
Of course, in the U.S., such monies are called 'campaign contributions', where in any other western democracy they're called 'bribes'. The state is in the middle of deciding to let Verizon pull out of the state, and sell their footprint (which goes back to pre-WW2) to Frontier, something that Oregon has already gone for (Verizon 'agreed' to an 'extra' $10M to upgrade the entire states broadband infrastructure), an amount which may just cover one county (or small town) at best.
Of course, many of the local broadcast stations, having received several 'extra' channel allotments from Comcast for use as 24-hour-a-day advert stations, are firmly on the side of.... guess who?
The highlight would not make sense based on Comcast's recent endorsements. Being that the topic is against forum rules lets not go that route and get this thread closed. I think its great if he really is trying to do good by the customers. If not this is just another case of an AG trying to get some recognition similar to a lot of AG's in New York going after organized crime to make names for themselves.
Yeah, I have to agree there is a strong Comcast bias among the local broadcast stations. McKenna has, in general, done a good job as AG. I suspect 1948GG might be on track with his motivation in this case.
• DirecTV's contracts are very one-sided, and severely limit customers' rights and remedies.
Okay, I'll buy this one.
• Customers sometimes don't receive the promised promotional rate if they don't submit a rebate form before the service is installed, and sometimes the company fails to tell customers that they need to file a rebate form.
So what's the problem? Fill out the rebate and get the promo rate. IMO, no
problem here. IIRC there is a rebate reminder on the first bill and the confirmation letter.
• The company says customers will receive "free" installation and equipment and service upgrades, but then charges them monthly fees for the equipment or premium channels.
Okay so the DVR was free, but you have to pay for HBO. I don't get this one, why is this wrong?
• The company fails to disclose that its least expensive package ($29.99 a month) is available only to customers who meet certain financing conditions.
Uhh? Anyone can get the Family package, right?
• Customers who didn't ask for a $5.99 per month equipment-repair plan are charged $10 for canceling it.
Okay, I'll give you this one too.
Seems like much todo about nothing.
The issue on the rebate is incorrect. Customers can now submit them online before or after activation. My parents did it before they were activated and they also got a welcome letter talking about the rebate process. The contracts are part of life (it costs a significant amount of money to install satellite). Washington is a very pro cable state. On protection plan I believe directv probably should have better disclosure on that issue.
Corporations endorse who ever they think will help them in a certain area, they are a non descrimination corporation with their own interests first and all politicians take coporate money for their campaigns.... The only solution would be to make it illegal for corporations to donate to political campaigns. Since they are not people they do not have a first ammendment.....
I think the free hardware refers to an issue where customers believe that they get free monthly fees. The free equipment refers to upfront costs which again is a disclosure issue (more of a sales agent issue).
Here's more on Mckenna....
Does this mean that if you're a bum and have a history of not paying your bills they charge you more? Gasp! Does the AG know that credit card companies do the same thing? Scandalous!
I believe there is blame on both sides of this issue. Consumers need to understand what they are getting into before entering into an agreement. Corporations need to be reined in on these contracts of adhesion. Corporations should be required to furnish the consumer with a physical hardcopy of all contract/commitment terms prior to commencement. Also, during a commitment term where their are penalties assessed for early cancellation, the corporation should not be able to arbitrarily raise prices unless the original contract had specific price increase clauses spelling out the amounts and/or percentages.
As for advertising, it's getting about as bad as car dealers. For example, a few years ago, a local dealer was advertising new Camry's for $9,000. The fine print clarified that as being "after $10,000 cash or trade". That sounds ridiculous, but it's not much different than D* advertising $29.95/mo service with three free receivers plus a free HD DVR, but failing to mention that the extra receivers, DVR service, and HD service will almost double the monthly fees.
That's not a disclosure issue. The problem is that people get signed up for it when they haven't agreed to it. They then cancel it and since it is not on the anniversary of their "sign-up" date, DirecTV charges them a $10 cancellation fee.
I'm a lifelong Democrat who has had the good fortune to work with McKenna when he was on the King County Council. He is anything but a toady and is very much into consumer protection. He also doesn't like to lose. This will be worth watching.
McKenna is a good man. This should get the ball rolling for other states to join in.
Here's a link to McKenna's press release:
I would have posted it in my prior message but you need 5 posts on this site to include links.
It will be interesting to see what comes of this if anything. Of course we would all love for things to be a little better for us as far as contracts. If it gets better great. I for one did my homework before signing up and knew exactly what I was getting into. I can see how alot of others would not though. They just want some tv stations and D* is a great choice. One thing it makes me wonder though is if E* has very similiar contracts and why they are not fileing against them as well.
I think DTV's practice of putting lease fee's on the bill for equipment is what led to the free equipment part of this complaint. It is VERY confusing for a consumer. While you and I understand that it really isn't a lease fee, its a mirroring fee, the common consumer understands its a lease fee because DTV is telling them that.
Hey DTV you gave me 4 rooms for free, but now you are charging me 5 buck a month for 3 of those rooms. I thought you said that equipment was free????? Why am I being charged to lease equipment you said was Free????????