DirecTV's Bait-and-Switch Billing B.S.

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polksda

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 6, 2005
80
1
Urbana, IL
I'm so furious I could spit. Just got off the phone with DirecTV's CS and I'm royally steamed.

The convoluded way all the various credits and rebates are applied make it very difficult to arrive at REAL cost, so to a certain extent I relied on the information I was given on the phone when I signed up as being accurate. That was a damned mistake.

I switched from Dish to DirecTV in January, and I have my bills autopaid to a credit card each month. When I signed up, my service for the first 14 months was to be $33.99 per month. That went to $34.99 when they raised the receiver lease fee. Fine. Dandy. I can live with that... although for some reason I thought when I was locked under contract, it was locked... apparently that only applies to programming costs and not other miscellaneous charges.

Anyway... I just checked my statements only to find that for the last 2 months I've been charged $40.99, $6 more per month than what I was quoted. At first I thought it was due to being inadvertantly charged lease fees for both receivers than just the second one, but it's much more insidious than that.

Cause: Deliberate understatement of initial charges to make the CSRs understate real monthly costs.

Here's what happened: When I signed up, they were offering an HBO/Starz/Showtime pack free for 3 months. Of course the pricing for this and supposedly an offsetting credit were incorporated into the initial bills, so the net effect should have been $0. However, the package charge was $44 and the credit offset was $50, thus making my monthly package artifically appear $6 lower than it actually was, i.e., when I asked the CSR if my monthly bill would be $34.99 after I cancelled the "free" movie package, either the CSR didn't know or deliberately didn't say that my monthly charges would GO UP $6.

I know I know, I shouldn't bitch about $6, and I actually was undercharged by $6 for 3 months, but it's the principal of the damned thing. The monthly commitment I expected, signed on for, and agreed to was $33.99 a month based on what the CSR told me, NOT $39.99 per month. When the CSR tells me that my net bill is going to be $33.99 or $34.99 per month, that's what I expect it to be, not rise to $40.99 because of underhanded games they play with supposedly "free" packages.

I left Dish partly because of this damned misleading games crap.

They're all deceptive bastards.
 
Jimbo

Jimbo

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Jul 14, 2005
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Are you sure the difference isn't TAXES, they differ state to state so they generally don't quote them.
 
stardust3

stardust3

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You do pay taxes on any free or promotional services. HBO for example is $15 a month, don't know if that's actual price or not but just using that # as an example. Say HBO is free for 90 days, you get a $15 credit for it, but pay taxes on the $15 anyway. Both E* & D* do this.
 
charper1

charper1

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Supporting Founder
May 18, 2004
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You do pay taxes on any free or promotional services. HBO for example is $15 a month, don't know if that's actual price or not but just using that # as an example. Say HBO is free for 90 days, you get a $15 credit for it, but pay taxes on the $15 anyway. Both E* & D* do this.

You are correct; nearly every company does it this way. And the tax amount can vary by locality.
 
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polksda

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 6, 2005
80
1
Urbana, IL
In this case it's a moot point. The "taxes" line item on all bills since service started is $0.00. Taxes do not factor into this.
 
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polksda

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 6, 2005
80
1
Urbana, IL
Apparently Illinois doesn't tax satellite TV service. It was the same way with Dish as well. Varies by state.
 
T

ts7

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 31, 2006
434
7
IL
polksda said:
I'm so furious I could spit. Just got off the phone with DirecTV's CS and I'm royally steamed.

The convoluded way all the various credits and rebates are applied make it very difficult to arrive at REAL cost, so to a certain extent I relied on the information I was given on the phone when I signed up as being accurate. That was a damned mistake.

That is the problem ordering on the phone - you have no paper trail or evidence of what was said. DirecTV actually has a very good online ordering system that allows you to see exactly what your bill will be every month for the duration of your contract (based on current fees). I'm about 8 months into my contract and it has been pretty much on target. In addition you can chat real time with a CSR, giving you the opportunity to document exactly what was promised (I don't think it gives an actual transcript, but you can copy and paste).

I strongly suggest doing everything online rather than on the phone. Same goes for Dish.
 
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spaceghost

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 21, 2008
515
2
So let me get this straight. You were getting free unintentional credits for 3 months and you're complaining you are no longer getting them?

Heres the question; Outside the $1 additional increase for the second receiver, are you getting the rates you were promised when you signed up?

If you have the Choice, it should be 29.99 + 6.00 additional receiver for 36.99 + taxes.
If you have the Choice xtra, it should be 34.99 + 6 add receiver for 40.99 + taxes.(sounds like your package)

It seems like you feel entitled to the additional billing credits because a misunderstood CSR told you so.
 
G

grb

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 7, 2005
809
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Southern CA
I noticed the $6.00 overcredit as well. However, I don't suspect D* of being deceptive -- maybe incompetent for giving me $18.00 too much credit over 3 months.
 
sexton772

sexton772

Member
May 9, 2011
7
0
ca
Every cable provider out their does this bull s****. I am a tech right now working for d*, i just switched from E* because of the pay. And ive also worked for the dark side.....COM........ but they all do this song and pony dance with their customers. And if this pisses you off now wait till your a year and a half in to your contract, and they roll out the most amazing packages for their new customers. And dont give you shizzzzz nit. ITS all B.S when you think about it. HAVE A NICE DAY
 
tigerfan33

tigerfan33

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Jul 12, 2007
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The rebates only insure that you get the rebates. Nothing will stop you and me from getting a price increase. Expect it once a year.
 
H

Hemi 6.1

On Vacation
May 3, 2007
12,056
1
Wayne County,Pa
Say HBO is free for 90 days, you get a $15 credit for it, but pay taxes on the $15 anyway. Both E* & D* do this.
This is not true, I've ALWAYS been credited back all the taxes from any free promo!

You can't charge sales tax on something that free. Its against the LAW!
HENCE "SALES TAX"


I've never been charged TAX on any Free promo in 15 years of both services.

If your not getting your tax back with your promo credits charged then blaim it on your State!
 
hvcomputech

hvcomputech

SatelliteGuys Guru
Dec 20, 2010
137
0
NY, US
In NY state sales taxes are calculated before any discounts are applied to a product. Most stores recalculate taxes after discounts but others don't.

That's NY for ya.
 
hvcomputech

hvcomputech

SatelliteGuys Guru
Dec 20, 2010
137
0
NY, US
Maybe it's because of the additional "watch more, save more" movie package discount ($9.96)
 
Liquidforce88

Liquidforce88

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 3, 2005
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The Land Of OZ
Let's face it. If a customer is told a certain price by a D* CSR, that is the price someone expects to pay. Does not matter if the CSR is an idiot or what ever the reason. Playing these games with multiple rebates that the customer must deal with after the fact, and convoluted ordering process, does not help.

THe thing is they always say well you signed the contract so you are stuck. It does not matter if we screwed up, you mister customer are stuck in ths contract.
 
M

markfp-1

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 13, 2005
340
2
In NY state sales taxes are calculated before any discounts are applied to a product. Most stores recalculate taxes after discounts but others don't.

That's NY for ya.

It amazes me that anybody here in New York State can figure it out correctly. The state has so many variations. Add on top of that most counties and some cities have their own sales tax with different rules and rates it's driving us nuts. Depending on where one makes the purchase the total tax can vary from 4% TO 9%.
 
Last edited:
JUCJ85

JUCJ85

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 13, 2010
509
35
NY
its over 8 percent here in NY.

IDK about anyone else, but I am only charged tax on the receivers and protection plan.
 
B

bbixler

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 13, 2010
514
0
Spring Grove, PA
So let me get this straight. You were getting free unintentional credits for 3 months and you're complaining you are no longer getting them?

Heres the question; Outside the $1 additional increase for the second receiver, are you getting the rates you were promised when you signed up?

If you have the Choice, it should be 29.99 + 6.00 additional receiver for 36.99 + taxes.
If you have the Choice xtra, it should be 34.99 + 6 add receiver for 40.99 + taxes.(sounds like your package)

It seems like you feel entitled to the additional billing credits because a misunderstood CSR told you so.

I wonder if the CSR only quoted the programming package price and didn't add on the $6 for the additional receiver.
 
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