Did this happen to anyone else recently?
Just today I (DirecTV since 4/1999) received an email from DirecTV reminding me that I have HBO Max included in my DirecTV package. I was pretty sure I didn't, I have "Choice Xtra Classic" which is an old legacy package I don't even think they offer new customers anymore, and as far as HBO Max goes, don't want it and never asked for it, but if you're giving it to me for nothing, ok then, I'll take advantage of it. A couple years ago they gave us a free season of NFLST out of the blue when I didn't ask for it so I figured well maybe they're doing that again with HBO Max.
Here are some (thumbnail) screen shots from today's email:
I followed the directions to activate my supposed free/included access to HBO Max and as I suspected, I got a message on the screen saying that my package did not include access to HBO Max. I knew this was going to happen as it was my understanding that a few select "unlimited" packages might include this access, but certainly my old legacy package wouldn't. I decided to call DirecTV just to make sure I wasn't doing something wrong, missing a step or something, etc.
The woman I ended up getting connected to was a little difficult to understand due to a slight accent and also because the background noise was so loud. It sounded like she was on the floor of the NY Stock Exchange or something. But after struggling though a battery of ID challenges to make sure it was really me, I explained to her that I received an email stating HBO Max was included in my DirecTV package but when I go to utilize it, the message I get states that it is in fact not included in my package (which I suspected to be the case). It was like talking to a robot that was stuck on the same phrase, I don't know why I bothered. The repetitive answer I kept getting was confirming that my package did not in fact include free HBO Max.
I know that. So then I asked why would you send this out to your customers that don't have it included, was it just an error? Which is understandable, we all can make mistakes. But instead she told me that DirecTV is "randomly sending these emails out to customers...." That's what she said, randomly. I cut her off right there and said "wait a minute, so are you saying that you are knowingly sending these out to people that you know for a fact cannot take advantage of this?" This is where the robotics started, the same "randomly" statement again. "So you are basically lying to some of your customers by doing this aren't you? You are sending them out false information that you know is false before you send it out." Another similar robotic answer again. "It's not lying sir, they are randomly...." as soon as I heard that word again I cut her off. "No, the basic definition of a lie is an intentionally false statement. That's what you're doing. You of all people would know that I did not have a qualifying package but you went ahead anyway and sent it out to me, and no doubt many others, knowing it was false. Why would you do that?"
She then switched gears and said "Well if you do want HBO Max, I can set up a two-month free...." I cut her off again. "No! I do not want anything added to my account that will potentially cost me money now, or in the future. Is that the other reason you "randomly" sent these out? So you can get people on the phone to up-sell them when they call?" "No sir, they just randomly...." "Ok ma'am, I just wanted to confirm if this was a valid deal or not valid deal for me and I think we've done that, thanks for your help and enjoy the weekend." And that was that. It was going nowhere.
So I guess the moral of this story is: Just because you get one of these emails from them, it's not necessarily true. If what she said was true about just spraying these out to customers randomly regardless of if they qualify or not, kind of sketchy to do that to customers in my opinion.