DIRECTV – You May Be Entitled To Restitution For Alleged Illegal Practices

If you believe that DIRECTV has misled you in their offers or that you were charged fees illegally, you may be entitled restitution from DIRECTV. The company has settled an agreement with all 50 state Attorney Generals, including the District of Columbia, and will pay back some $13 million dollars to consumers. DIRECTV customers must file a claim within their state by June 9, 2011 in order to receive compensation.

Here is what the alleged claims against DIRECTV are:

  • Failed to disclose clearly its prices and commitment terms.
  • Failed to disclose clearly its promotional prices.
  • Signed you up for contract terms without clearly disclosing the terms.
  • Failed to disclose clearly that it would automatically renew a seasonal sports package.
  • Advertised but failed to provide local channels in your programming area.
  • Enrolled you without your consent in additional contracts when DIRECTV replaced defective equipment.
  • Withdrew funds from your bank account without your consent.
  • Failed to disclose clearly that it charged a fee if you cancelled a programming agreement before the end of the contract term.
  • Extended your contracts without your consent.
  • Failed to disclose that their rebates were bill credits that you had to sign up for on DIRECTV’s website.

It appears that the problem is being caused by third-party vendors that may stretch the truth in their offerings. I receive advertisements continually from third-party vendors offering DIRECTV plans that seem to good to be true. DIRECTV has stated that they are in the process of fixing the problem and want their customers to know what they are or are not getting and do not want the customer confused.

Will you be filing a claim against DIRECTV? If you are, what will you claim you were confused by? Let us know.

Comments welcome.

Source – Consumer Reports

Link to state attorney general offices

DIRECTV – My First 24 Hours

As many of you may have known, I switched from Dish Network to DIRECTV. The reason I made the switch was that DIRECTV offered a Premium TV package that was lower than what I was paying Dish for. I have been a Dish customer for 3 years and have absolutely complaints with the company nor the service they offer. In fact Dish customer care is great. As an example the hard disk went out on my Dish DVR and the company delivered a replacement to me less than 24 hours after I reported the failure. They even included a return box and postage to return the broken DVR.

So yesterday, Wednesday, December 8,2010 the DIRECTV technician arrived at my door to do the new installation. Before he even arrived DIRECTV was in contact with me to confirm not only the appointment time, but also to confirm the exact hour of arrival. The tech. took the time to check where the new receivers would be placed, where the connection to the Internet was and where the location of the satellite dish would be.

The install took about 2.5 hours and the system was up and running. The tech. was very enthusiastic to show me how to record a program in one room and play it in another from any TV. That is a nice feature. With Dish we only had the record capabilities from the main and one secondary TV. Also with the Dish DVR, the second TV connection only broadcasts in standard definition.

Much of last evening was spent setting up our favorite channel menu and dumping the stuff we never watch. Once that chore was completed we next channel surfed to see how the reception was. Perfect on all stations. I was pleased that all of our local stations were in hi-def. Dish for our area still broadcasts the locals in standard def. In order to receive the channels in hi-def from Dish, I had to have a second satellite dish installed, which I thought was a dumb idea.

DIRECTV also offers a library of some 4,000 movies and TV programs that I can stream via my Internet connection.

Thus far DIRECTV is working perfectly. I am pleased with the install.

Comments as always are welcome.

Dish Network DVR Hard Drive Failure – Fast Replacement

Wednesday evening while watching the tube our screen froze. No matter what I tried I could not get a picture so I did a hard reboot of the DVR. When it fired back up, I got a ‘Hard Drive Failure’ notice. Sure enough the DVR didn’t work, but I was still able to watch life TV. On Thursday morning I went onto the Dish Network site and had a chat with technical support. Once they confirmed the problem, they went to order a replacement. No joy. The system was being updated so I need to call back.

Now I must admit that my thoughts were not kind. In the afternoon I went back to Dish Network chat, and completed the order for a replacement. My wife asked when I thought a replacement would arrive and I figured about Tuesday or Wednesday of next week. Thursday evening I received an email notifying that the receiver had shipped from Denver was coming over night air. Interesting. So when I checked this morning when I got up, I checked with UPS and sure enough the receiver was out for delivery.

At 10:00am the door bell rang and their was a special UPS driver with the replacement in hand. Following the simple to follow directions I was up and running within an hour. Now I just have to set up my favorite channels and I will be finished.

It is rare that we ever thank a corporation for the customer service, but in this case I just want to thank Dish Network. Thanks for the excellent technical support I received and for a fast replacement being sent over night.

Comments welcome.

In Case Of Fire Grab Your Cable Equipment First

In Fargo North Dakota, there was a fire at an apartment complex that destroyed 62 of the units, leaving about 150 residents homeless. Some of the residents lost all of their personal belongings, plus their cable equipment from Cable One. In the fine print Cable One requires that the customer be responsible for any damaged equipment and pay for it if it is destroyed. Some residents are stating the cable company now wants to charge them between $500 and $1,000 depending on the type of equipment the customer was using at the time of the fire.

Service agreements that customers sign say you’re responsible for returning equipment in good working condition. But Rich Smith says he wasn’t responsible for the fire, and what it did to his third-floor home. He admits the cable wasn’t the first thing on his mind after the fire, but when he called CableOne Wednesday, “The operator I talked to said it was a big loss to the company. I really had to bite my tongue because I know she didn’t write the policy.”

CableOne’s general manager said, in a phone call, that they’ll work with customers on a case by case basis. It will be based in part on their payment history, and the depreciated cost of older equipment. They won’t charge for modems or DCTs, but they will for DVRs, which are worth $500 when new. G-M Scott Geston added, “We’ve been hurt too.”

This one statement made me think. What is the real value of a used DVR?

but they will for DVRs, which are worth $500 when new.

For any of us who have had cable service, we are aware that the equipment that is supplied may be used when we receive it from the company. We are all aware that used electronic equipment, no matter what it is, loses its value fairly quickly. For those who lived in the apartment complex and who had insurance, it would be interesting to see the value that the insurance company would put on a used DVR.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – Today

Dish Network vs. DirecTV – Who’s Really Cheaper? You Decide

We have seen the commercials from both Dish Network and DirecTV, both claiming they are cheaper than each other. The only thing they both can agree upon is that anything is better than cable. No offense cable users, but I have tried cable TV on and off for more years than I care to recall, and I have never been satisfied with the service nor the pricing. Just my two cents.

But is Dish Network or DirecTV really cheaper as they both claim? I personally doubted the claims of either company and here is the reason why. Each of us have different requirements for our homes. The options from both companies make comparisons difficult, because each uses different types of equipment.

Example. I have Dish Network using an HD-DVR set top box that works for two televisions. For DirecTV you would need one HD-DVR box for one TV and another HD receiver for a second TV.  DirecTV states with this setup you can then watch recorded programs from either TV. But, with two boxes, you have to pay an additional $5 for the second box. Does this matter? Nope, not at all.

Once you compare the two services, pricing is fairly close. I used my current system and tried to duplicate the same with setup using DirecTV. As I previously mentioned, I have both DVR and HD service, I have the 250 channel setup [don’t ask – LOL], the HD Premium service, and local HD channels. Last month my bill was $71.60.

I went over to DirecTV and tried to match a similar package and came up with a price of $70.88. Like I said, the pricing is very close. One must also remember that the pricing for DirecTV was for new customers only.

But as of six months ago, I was paying $91.60 a month. So I called Dish and said I wanted to cancel because I could save $20 a month going with DirecTV. The nice folks at Dish decided that since I was such a wonderful human being, that they would knock off $20 a month to keep me as a happy customer.

Bottom line is this. Both Dish and DirecTV have their good and bad features, but I believe that pricing is fairly close.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Will 2010 Be The Year Cable & Satellite TV Customers Cut Their Service?

A recent, convincing article at CNN Money details why cable and satellite TV customers may be cutting their services during 2010. With the average cable & satellite TV user paying an average of $71 a month, a recent survey suggests that consumers may be either cutting back to basic services or terminating their service all together. This brings up the question as to why this may happen during 2010 and beyond.

CNN Money states:

A cutting-the-cord trend has been the subject of speculation for some time, as networks have increasingly made television programming available for free on the Internet. But a combination of other factors, including a growing number of battles between cable companies and networks, soaring Internet video viewings and an increase in connected TVs and devices, suggest the trend is finally upon us.

“Admittedly, this is a small phenomenon now, but a number or recent transactions and new items point to a shift in consumer thinking,” said Vince Vittore, analyst at Yankee Group and author of the study.

What caught my eye was this statement ‘a shift in consumer thinking’.  I find myself as one of those consumers who is shifting gears and trying to decide which way to flop. The new Blu-ray players now come with Netflix built in to stream video to your TV. I do not currently stream to my TV, just to my computer, and I subscribe to Netflix on their $9 a month plan.. My thinking is once I buy a Blu-ray with Netflix streaming I may wish to trim down on my Dishnetwork subscription, which I currently have.

But I am not sure if going totally to the Internet is the way to go. What do you think and what do you use?

Comments welcome.


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