Father's DTV contract renewed unknowingly during receiver replacement. Best options?

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Balock

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Hello fellow SatGuys! Been a long time since I've been on the site...

My elderly father recently had an issue with his DTV receiver (a Genie of some sort, I haven't paid close attention...he just calls it his "tower") on a Friday a few weeks ago. The offshore phone support determined that the receiver needed replacement and submitted a work order for a new receiver and remote as well (at Dad's request). The earliest a tech could arrive was on Sunday.

Sunday afternoon, the tech arrives and says that he's there to check for service issues. Dad tells him that he's supposed to be replacing the receiver, but the techs work order apparently doesn't mention that. The tech runs his tests and verifies that the receiver still needs replacement but he doesn't have one on the truck (but he does have a new remote). The tech calls a coworker who has a receiver and arrives in 30 minutes. They have Dad electronically sign some paperwork to "ok" the replacement, do so and all is working fine.

A few days later, Dad receives an email from DTV thanking him for extending his contract. He tells me that he never requested an extension and was never told by the techs that he was agreeing to an extension by signing the replacement agreement (all he saw on the device was a space to sign in, nothing staying what he was agreeing to). As far as I'm aware, this was not supposed to be a service or equipment upgrade, just a defective equipment replacement, for which he pays a monthly fee for coverage (similar to what I used to pay as a Dish customer).

He's understandably upset, feeling he was unloading deceived into extending his contract and would like to get the extension removed, but is quickly frustrated with trying to deal with the offshore support teams, who he can't understand half the time. Is there a better option for him to contact (email, phone or maybe even the local ATT store) rather than trying to deal with their first-line support? If he can't resolve it soon, he'll likely jump to Dish (who apparently has an offer for a $300 credit/gift card according to him?).

Thanks in advance for any suggestions you may have!
 

raoul5788

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If the Genie was replaced because it was defective there should be no contract extension or renewal. He should call during the day to more likely talk to an on shore CSR. If they can't help, have him say he wants cancel. That should get him to the loyalty department who should be able to help him.
 
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NashGuy

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Mar 24, 2009
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If he does end up cancelling and leaving DirecTV, be aware: AT&T may no longer rebate to customers a prorated amount if they cancel midway through their monthly billing cycle. I found this out recently when I cancelled AT&T Internet service and I think it may work the same way with DirecTV. So, for instance, if he cancels service one day into a new billing cycle, he'll be charged for the full month and service won't actually get cut off until the end of that monthly cycle. So no point in paying to start new service with Dish or whoever until around the time when the DirecTV service actually gets shut off.
 

raoul5788

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If he does end up cancelling and leaving DirecTV, be aware: AT&T may no longer rebate to customers a prorated amount if they cancel midway through their monthly billing cycle. I found this out recently when I cancelled AT&T Internet service and I think it may work the same way with DirecTV. So, for instance, if he cancels service one day into a new billing cycle, he'll be charged for the full month and service won't actually get cut off until the end of that monthly cycle. So no point in paying to start new service with Dish or whoever until around the time when the DirecTV service actually gets shut off.
True, they changed that policy recently.
 

Claude Greiner

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Sep 8, 2003
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If he does end up cancelling and leaving DirecTV, be aware: AT&T may no longer rebate to customers a prorated amount if they cancel midway through their monthly billing cycle. I found this out recently when I cancelled AT&T Internet service and I think it may work the same way with DirecTV. So, for instance, if he cancels service one day into a new billing cycle, he'll be charged for the full month and service won't actually get cut off until the end of that monthly cycle. So no point in paying to start new service with Dish or whoever until around the time when the DirecTV service actually gets shut off.
I had that happen on my girlfriends account.

I just said screw it and cancelled the service immediately.

I was not going to play that game to time the cancellation with the installation of cable Tv service. Then something goes wrong with the install date, here I am paying for another month.

It stinks, but as long as I’m not 1 day into the new billing cycle just chalk it up and move on.

Just another way for AT&T to steal your money and to screw with people switching service because there are lots of people heaven forbid they should have to pay for something they are not using and want to wait till the very last day, hour and minute to switch to something else.

Try to port over a home phone. I had a lady the other day try to do that and time it with her AT&T billing cycle when switching to Comcast.

I finally told her If she wanted away from AT&T bad enough to just switch it and come to live with the fact she was likely paying for service she wasn’t using.

I knew if she timed it to the last day, something would happen and she would go into the next billing cycle and blame it on me and ask me for a credit.

I was very careful in what I said
 

Jimbo

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I had that happen on my girlfriends account.

I just said screw it and cancelled the service immediately.

I was not going to play that game to time the cancellation with the installation of cable Tv service. Then something goes wrong with the install date, here I am paying for another month.

It stinks, but as long as I’m not 1 day into the new billing cycle just chalk it up and move on.

Just another way for AT&T to steal your money and to screw with people switching service because there are lots of people heaven forbid they should have to pay for something they are not using and want to wait till the very last day, hour and minute to switch to something else.

Try to port over a home phone. I had a lady the other day try to do that and time it with her AT&T billing cycle when switching to Comcast.

I finally told her If she wanted away from AT&T bad enough to just switch it and come to live with the fact she was likely paying for service she wasn’t using.

I knew if she timed it to the last day, something would happen and she would go into the next billing cycle and blame it on me and ask me for a credit.

I was very careful in what I said
Ya know what ... your right, it's not nice they they are doing it that way now, however, I bet most others do it that way already or WILL soon after they see it work with ATT.
 

Jimbo

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I’m really surprised Dish didn’t think of it first.

They already charge for the LNB and to ship the equipment back.
Do they STILL require you to send back the LNB .... wow.

You would have thought they quit that a long time ago, seeing probably over 80% of the dishes are on roofs.

Quite a stupid idea to start with.
 

FTA4PA

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Nov 13, 2013
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Nothing new. We haven't been DirecTV subscribers for almost 7 years. When we had a receiver fail they replaced it under the protection plan. We then received an email regarding our new two year contract. At the time it was only two or three months until the end of the original. Got that straightened out and dropped them shortly after. ;)
 

Balock

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Thanks, everyone, for all the info. Kinda like how they always charged by the full minute for long-distance phone calls even if you hung up after a few seconds...
 
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