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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
When I called up to get directv installed they were unable to successfully run a credit check on me and/or my credit score was not high enough. (from what the guy said on the phone the check would not pull back a number because I have my credit check locked and even after unlocking they still couldn't get a number; my credit score if really good for a 24 year old) I was told in order to get service I would need to put down a $300 deposit, which I was assured by that CSR would be returned after I made my first payment (this seemed kind of strange to me but I wondered if it was to make sure a $300 bill would go through)
I just made my first payment so called ot ask about that along with some other issues. I now saw on the bill that I am getting a $5 credit to my account every month for 60 months (5 years). I asked someone in billing about this and was told this was the only way they can do it and are unable to either up the amount so that it's not 5 years, give me the 300 in credit now, refund it to my card or give me the remaining amount if I cancel before 5 years is over
It may be on the site somewhere but I never found any terms stating this was the policy if you were required to make a deposit. I relied on the statement of the original CSR which may be my fault that I'm in this situation now. It seems unfair to myself and other customers who have this happen that now I am in theory locked into a 5 year contract with D* or else I lose that money I put up front even though my actual contract was only for 2 years. Has anyone else experienced this before? :nono2:
 

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If its true this must be a new thing with Directv. It used to be that you get your deposit paid back to you in increments over 12 months. 5 years sounds crazy. All you can do is ask them to trace back your first conversation and prove that CSR told you on the first place. Then they must pay you back. On the other hand common sense would tell you that you cant pay 300 bucks and then immediately get it back.
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
ironwood said:
If its true this must be a new thing with Directv. It used to be that you get your deposit paid back to you in increments over 12 months. 5 years sounds crazy. All you can do is ask them to trace back your first conversation and prove that CSR told you on the first place. Then they must pay you back. On the other hand common sense would tell you that you cant pay 300 bucks and then immediately get it back.
I have no problem getting it back over time, but if my contract with them is only for 2 years it makes no sense to me they would make this for 5 years and tell me that if I cancel after 2 years I'm going to lose 3/5 of my deposit and they would refuse to credit that to back to me.
 

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Cool Member
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yeah, directv changed the policies awhile back where the deposit is given back as a 5.00 credit off your bill monthly as long as you keep the account active and in good standing. So for the 300.00 deposit would take 60 months to get back or if you just got the standard recievers, the deposit is 200.00 where it would take 40 months to get back. Take in mind that if you cancel your services before the 60 or 40 months you void getting the rest of your deposit.
 

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It was about 2 years ago that Directv changed the policy on deposits. If you want their service they want you tied to them as long as possible. Your CSR was poorly informed or more likely wanted to make a SALE. You didn't check out the conditions you were agreeing to so I guess you are both at fault.
 

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mookittybark said:
Take in mind that if you cancel your services before the 60 or 40 months you void getting the rest of your deposit.
That doesn't sound legal. If it is a credit deposit, then they owe it back to you when there is no longer a credit risk ... and if you cancel, then there is no longer a credit risk, since you will no longer owe them money.
 

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Upstream said:
That doesn't sound legal. If it is a credit deposit, then they owe it back to you when there is no longer a credit risk ... and if you cancel, then there is no longer a credit risk, since you will no longer owe them money.
I agree... a deposit is to counteract the risk of future non-payment.

I can understand trying to keep someone committed, but to expect that a deposit requirement would be held for three years longer than the existing service commitment and then forfiet.?.? I hope we're not getting all of the story.
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thaedron said:
I agree... a deposit is to counteract the risk of future non-payment.

I can understand trying to keep someone committed, but to expect that a deposit requirement would be held for three years longer than the existing service commitment and then forfiet.?.? I hope we're not getting all of the story.
It is $5 off of the 300 per month. So if I stay a customer of theirs for 3 years I've already gotten 180 of the 300 back and only lost out on the 120. Therefore I don't *have* to stay a customer the full 5 years to get some of it back.

The only thing I could find on their site stated this "(7) Deposits: We may require that you provide a deposit prior to or after activation of your Service, which we may apply against any unpaid amounts at any time. Deposits will appear on your bills as credits, from which we will deduct our charges. Deposits will not earn interest." which is taken from the customer agreement form found
http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/global/contentPage.jsp?assetId=P400042
This in NO way tells me they will not refund the money if I cancel before they 'apply it against unpaid amounts on my bill'. Even if I had looked at this before I signed up it would not tell me that it is $5 a month for 5 years and I've heard different stories from EVERY CSR I spoke with... including I should go to directv.com/freegift which that deal expired in February...

What would you guys suggest I do in this situation? I've heard all sorts of suggestions from my friends including start a class action lawsuit, take them to small claims court, yell at the CSRs until thye do something for me, etc. I know in now in the customer agreement it says we are bound by binding arbitration but stating that after we already had a contract does not always fly with courts and is sometimes found to be an unenforcable provision. (law student here, sorry some law always comes out, which is probably why I got the advice I've gotten from friends :lol: )

I really don't feel strongly enough about this to want to try anything extreme, so the small claims attempt or class action are out. "If you decide to initiate arbitration, you agree to tell us in writing the amount that you would pay to file a lawsuit against us in the appropriate court of law in your state. Unless we agree to pay your fee for you, you only need to pay an arbitration initiation fee equal to such court filing fee, not to exceed $125; we agree to pay any additional fee or deposit required by JAMS to initiate your arbitration. We also agree to pay the costs of the arbitration proceeding. Other fees, such as attorney's fees and expenses of travel to the arbitration will be paid in accordance with JAMS Rules." Now that sounds interesting... taken from the same link I posted above. I would assume that since the arbitration would cost them way over 300 and they have agreed to pay it they would simply refund me the 300 now instead of going to all this trouble.

What I'd really like more-so than them refunding me the money or switching the payout per month schedule is for them to change this term in their contract to be to equal or fewer months than the contract is supposed to be to begin with.
 

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well all i can say this is information that was provided to me by directv from a supervisor. So the best thing I can tell ya is call their customer service 800 531 5000 ask to speak to a supervisor. I guess for me, if I'm happy with the service I really dont see a reason for me to switch providers so Im not worried about if I will loose out on my "deposit". But I can understand if you were told one thing by an agent and its completely wrong I would be upset too
 

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Here is the way I understand it and I will see if a CSR will validate it for me against D* written policy later. Your deposit is currently a positive balance on your account being credited back at $5/mo because of the lack of being able to run the credit report to D*'s satisfaction. You are getting it back in a trickle because they are unsure if you're credit worthy, regardless of the reasoning. In the event you bail prior to the end of your term, (2 years) you will be sent a recovery kit for your receivers and need to ship them back. At that time if you exceed whatever window D* has for getting them back in a timely manner you will be charged for the receiver(s) at the going rate. ($55 per each DIRECTV standard receiver; $200 for each DIRECTV DVR Receiver; $240 for each DIRECTV HD Receiver; or $470 for each DIRECTV HD DVR Receiver this is from http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/global/contentPage.jsp?assetId=P500014 ). My guess is the fee will come first from the deposit and any additional will be charged to the credit card tied to the account.

The only way I think you will ever get it back is in the $5 trickle over 5 years or if you cancel at the end of your commitment of 2 years and send back all the equipment they should refund the remaining deposit since it would then be a credit on your closed account.
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
rahlquist said:
Here is the way I understand it and I will see if a CSR will validate it for me against D* written policy later. Your deposit is currently a positive balance on your account being credited back at $5/mo because of the lack of being able to run the credit report to D*'s satisfaction. You are getting it back in a trickle because they are unsure if you're credit worthy, regardless of the reasoning. In the event you bail prior to the end of your term, (2 years) you will be sent a recovery kit for your receivers and need to ship them back. At that time if you exceed whatever window D* has for getting them back in a timely manner you will be charged for the receiver(s) at the going rate. ($55 per each DIRECTV standard receiver; $200 for each DIRECTV DVR Receiver; $240 for each DIRECTV HD Receiver; or $470 for each DIRECTV HD DVR Receiver this is from http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/global/contentPage.jsp?assetId=P500014 ). My guess is the fee will come first from the deposit and any additional will be charged to the credit card tied to the account.

The only way I think you will ever get it back is in the $5 trickle over 5 years or if you cancel at the end of your commitment of 2 years and send back all the equipment they should refund the remaining deposit since it would then be a credit on your closed account.
Interesting. The person I talked to made it seem that the only way I'd ever see the money again is if I stayed with D* for the 5 years. Your analysis of early cancellation fees being taken from this or being late with equipment would make sense. So if I were to cancel after a year which would be 240 in fees for 20x12 and would have already used 60 back from the initial 300 that would put me at even and have no additional cancellation fees over what I already paid them. I'm assuming you are correct in this analysis but would need to contact them to find out for sure. The way I was invisioning it before your post was that they would not use the 300 for this purpose and I'd be out the 240 from unused money from the original 300 and then a 240 fee on top of that but your way would make more sense.
 

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Legend
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The way I'm reading it is the deposit is held as a positive balance on your account, and they will deduct your monthly bill from the deposit until it's gone?

If I'm wrong then call up and raise hell, because this is your money they are making interest on.
 

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there is confusion on this issue.

1. It is not a deposit. It is a FEE. This fee is non refundable, and is based on the type of equipment that is ordered. Standard receivers have a $200 dollar fee, and Advanced receivers have a $300 fee. Directv is willing to give you a discount of $5.00 each month until you have gotten an amount equal to the amount of your fee, but it is not a refund.
2. This is not a new thing, It has been in effect for at least 3 years, all that has changed is the amounts.
3. your credit is based on the score from Equifax, and you can call them with questions at
  • Phone: (888) 259-2983
  • Hours: 9AM-8PM ET M-F.
hope this helps
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
curt8403 said:
there is confusion on this issue.

1. It is not a deposit. It is a FEE. This fee is non refundable, and is based on the type of equipment that is ordered. Standard receivers have a $200 dollar fee, and Advanced receivers have a $300 fee. Directv is willing to give you a discount of $5.00 each month until you have gotten an amount equal to the amount of your fee, but it is not a refund.
2. This is not a new thing, It has been in effect for at least 3 years, all that has changed is the amounts.
3. your credit is based on the score from Equifax, and you can call them with questions at
  • Phone: (888) 259-2983
  • Hours: 9AM-8PM ET M-F.
hope this helps
That is incorrect - at least in my case. That is true that there is an upfront fee with the leasing of receivers but I was charged that IN ADDITION to this $300. The HD DVR is a 200 up front cost, not 300. I got charged for an HD DVR and this 300 as you call it up front fee. According to the packages page off of directv.com when you do the premier with nfl sunday ticket you get the hd dvr for free (a 200 value) I had originally signed up for the 55$ at first hd dvr package and was thus charged 100 for thereceiver (what the offer showed, 100 off) and the CSR made a note on my account that the other 100 should be credited when the account was made active. It took me over an hour on the phone with them last night to get that 100 credit put back on the account. According to their own website and best buys it is a 200 up front fee for the receiver and then a $5 or 6 dollar per month leasing fee after that. If this 300 fee was for the receiver then I was charged too much and 2 times for something I should have only been charged once for. (I ordered 1 hd dvr and received only 1) I took a look at my bill from the original order before the installation and it indeed does say fee but doesn't specify what the 300 is for. From their customer agreement form: "1) Account Activation Fee: We may charge you a fee of: (i) up to $100.00 ; or (ii) the maximum amount permitted under applicable law prior to or upon activation of your Service account, whichever is less. "

If indeed this is a fee and not a deposit it should have been limited to 100 maximum.
 

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Jared701 said:
Interesting. The person I talked to made it seem that the only way I'd ever see the money again is if I stayed with D* for the 5 years. Your analysis of early cancellation fees being taken from this or being late with equipment would make sense. So if I were to cancel after a year which would be 240 in fees for 20x12 and would have already used 60 back from the initial 300 that would put me at even and have no additional cancellation fees over what I already paid them. I'm assuming you are correct in this analysis but would need to contact them to find out for sure. The way I was invisioning it before your post was that they would not use the 300 for this purpose and I'd be out the 240 from unused money from the original 300 and then a 240 fee on top of that but your way would make more sense.
Since there may be some confusion as to how some of the fees are allocated your best bet would likely be to call and speak with a supervisor. Unless of course you get a message from any CSR who may be lurking about.
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
well because I wanted to check what equifax sees I ordered my credit score (my credit lock is through them and somehow even when I unlocked it apparently directv couldn't see anything) and I have a score of 744/850 which the chart shows I'm in the top 5% for having the least chance of having a deliquent account. According to them my score is in the "very good" range and the only one above it is the 760-850 range which is considered 'great' and I guess they consider that my risk rate is 5%. Is there a way I could just send this to them since apparently they can't see my credit score because I'm sure this should fall into the 'we don't need 300 up front' category...
 

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Why don't you call and talk to a supervisor - or say you want to cancel the account, and then talk to a retention person?
 

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Legend
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
well, I've spent another hour + on the phone and spoke with multiple CSRs and a supervisor who claimed she was a resolution specialist. She claimed there is nothing that can be done at all and I just lose whatever amount of the 300 is left if I cancel before I've been a customer for 5 years. :mad: I graduate in 2 years and have no way of knowing where I'll be living and even what the technology will be like in 2+ years and don't want to feel like I'm stuck with them or out money that they had no right to. I called during work and had to go suddenly so still don't feel this is resolved to my satisfaction... Surely their system isn't so locked down they can't change anything... I see lots of posts of people calling who just ask for somethign free and get it. This was my money I was guaranteed to get back by a CSR in under a month and nothing. I asked the supervisor to listen to that conversation if they still had it saved and she said they wouldn't because that was too long ago.
Edit: Out of all the people I spoke with none of them had any idea if it is a fee or a deposit. The supervisor was calling it a deposit but who knows... I even had one CSR change what she was calling it while I talked to her when I was asking to make sure which it was.
 

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I guess it would be considered both a fee/deposit. Basically, as long as you stay with directv, you will get your 300 back as that 5.00 credit. However, on the flip side if you cancel your services before 60 months, you void the rest of your "fee/deposit". So I can see where it can be very confusing. However, if you happen to move you can take your directv system with you cause it is transferable. But the fact remains that the correct information was not disclosed to you from the beginning.
 

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email [email protected]

she is vp of customer service.

If you don't get a satisfactory answer (i.e., a promise that your deposit will be refunded when you cancel and zero-out your bill), then send a polite, well-written letter, via certified mail, to Chase Carey and Ellen Filipiak, with a copy to your state's attorney general.
 
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