Free HD. Free for 5 months. Free DVR. Free this and free that. Between DirecTV and Dish, these two companies blatantly shade the truth in their advertising. But the people from Miami-Dade are taking on DirecTV and claim the advertisements are false and mislead consumers. So what else is new? Does anyone really believe that they are going to get satellite service for $34.95 a month?

According to one article this is what Miami-Dade said about DirecTV:

A review of the complaints showed that DIRECTV ads didn’t state the complete price of products and led customers to believe they would pay as little as $34.99 for different packages of services, but were billed as much as $65.99, the agency says.

The agency says DIRECTV buried additional fees in small print in service agreements with customers. For example, it cited a $5 charge for a second receiver; a $19.95 fee for complex installation, handling and delivery; $6 per month for DVR service; and $10 a month for HD access. But the company’s offers of free installation in up to four rooms and free HD DVR receiver upgrades didn’t include information about these fees.

In addition, the suit says customers who thought they were signing a one-year contract based on ads that offered to lock in a price for a full year were actually signing two-year contracts.

And, the suit says, ads that claimed the service offers more than 130 HD channels, including local channels and exclusive sports packages, added in fine print “eligibility for local channels based on service address. Programs not delivered in HD in all markets,” and “Blackout restrictions and other conditions apply.”

When one looks at the ads from Dish, it is the same with them as well. The fine print is full of additional fees. I would also venture a guess that cable has their own ‘shell game’ of  ‘bait and switch’. The most disturbing issue I had with Dish was when they wanted to charge me $100 to install a second HD-DVR.  No thanks. Paying the extra $5 a month was irritating enough.

It is buyer beware.

Comments welcome.

Source – Miami Herald