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Programming Changes

Posted Tue February 21, 2012 6:26 pm, by Heather S. written to DirecTV, Inc.

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About a year and half ago I made the switch from cable to DirecTV. I researched their packages and chose the option that included all of the channels we were accustomed to watching. I fully read their contracts, rebates, and understood exactly what I would be charged each month for 2 years based on the rebates. It is complex, but if you take some time an intelligent person can make sense of it. At that time I agreed to a 2 year contract.

About 2 weeks ago I noticed that a channel I often watch, Cloo, had stopped working, saying I had not subscribed. I emailed customer service and after several communications they escalated the matter. Apparently there has been a change to their package and this channel is no longer included in my package, which per Section 2 is allowable in their contract. However per Section 5 I am free to cancel my service should I so choose. Of course, they will not waive the Early Termination Fee. Each time they reply to my emails they simply reinterpret and explain the contract terms. I fully understand the contract terms. I also fully understand you've left a big gray area there, on purpose. I am not an unintelligent person.

Common sense dictates that when you agree to a 2 year contract the agreement is two part. I agree to pay you xxx amount per month. You in return agree to provide xxx services and equipment per month. A violation on either part (non payment or lack of service) is a breech of contract. As with ANY provider that has contracts with their clients should do, if you have a programming change you a)notify your customers of the change b)provide service until the end of their contract under the current terms or c)allow them the option to not accept the changes to the contract and cancel service without penalty.

It's really that simple, why should I - midway through my contract - be required out of the blue to pay you more money for a bigger package to receive the services for which I originally agreed to? I've paid you each and every month without fail as agreed. While I understand there may not be a better option out there, I still feel that I should be free to research and cancel if I so choose. OR DirecTV should fulfill my contract, as agreed, and provide the channels I originally signed up for at the same cost through the completion of my contact.

I don't expect DirecTV will do anything. I've already communicated with customer service and they seem incapable of understanding my complaint. They say they are ranked "#1 in Customer Satisfaction" on their website. Clearly they don't put customer service as high on the priority list as they claim too. I've informed customer service that I will make sure my experiences with them are known which is why I'm writing this through PlanetFeedback. I've referred 3 or 4 customers to DirecTV and I will not be referring any other customers your way either. Thank you for taking the time to read my letter.


Reply



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by PepperElf Posted Sat February 25, 2012 @ 8:00 AM

You cannot legally show any programming if the network ends their
contract with you.


THIS is why they cannot guarantee programming. And why they can just
take away channels from you.


It's because it's ***illegal*** to offer you say "Channel Pi, the math
channel" if Channel Pi dissolves the contract with your provider.
Yes you signed up for Channel Pi, but they cannot force the network to
remain.



I've seen it happen personally. A local TV network had exclusive
rights to pro football team's games. Their contract with the cable
provider was soon to expire. They told the cable company "pay us $$$"
if you want to keep us. (I think it was a million but I could be
wrong).

The cable company refused because they felt they shouldn't pay for
something others got for free. The contract expired and... they
stopped showing the local channel.

Now yes, they could have paid up... but BY LAW they could not show the
local channel without a contract. In fact, they eventually DID pay up
because they lost a lot of customers over it.



(as for cells, that's apples and statues of elephants... unless you're
talking apps cos... hey some apps get discontinued due to legal
contracts. heck i'd love a grooveshark app but until they straighten
out their legal copyright issues apple won't touch them)

Reply


and as for paying more for a specific channel you once got for basic... by PepperElf Sat February 25, 2012 @ 8:03 AM

I understand by Heather S. Sun February 26, 2012 @ 11:06 PM


no - you're assuming you can just cancel because the programming changed by PepperElf Mon February 27, 2012 @ 7:01 AM

Actually It Does by Heather S. Mon February 27, 2012 @ 11:05 AM


in that case make sure you canceled correctly by PepperElf Mon February 27, 2012 @ 11:08 AM


I agree, Heather by RedheadwGlasses Tue February 28, 2012 @ 1:18 PM

Thanks RedheadwGlasses! by Heather S. Wed February 29, 2012 @ 10:48 AM

by PepperElf Posted Thu February 23, 2012 @ 11:19 PM

maybe it's me but i remember reading their contract for the snow in
utah letter writer and i remember seeing something there about not
being responsible for the actual content or changes in it



perhaps you would like to read that page over as well




http://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/content/legal/customer_agreement

Reply


How can they by MA Bellamy Fri February 24, 2012 @ 9:13 AM

PepperElf by Heather S. Fri February 24, 2012 @ 12:33 PM
by Heather S. Posted Thu February 23, 2012 @ 5:27 PM

I totally agree, and lip service is really all I'll get from this
level of customer service. I'm sure they don't have the authority to
do what I'm asking, let alone change their service agreement - but
that doesn't mean that I can't keep trying!!! LOL

Reply

by Heather S. Posted Thu February 23, 2012 @ 2:27 PM

Hey All!

If your intersted, here is the response I received from DirecTV...
Followed by my reply to them...

---- DIRECTV Customer Service wrote:
>
> Subject
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> Feedback - DirecTV, Inc. Complaint Channels from
heathersorensen@cox.net
>
>
> Discussion Thread
> ---------------------------------------------------------------
> Response Via Email(David W ID 436799) - 02/23/2012 10:23 AM
> Dear Ms. Sorensen,
>
> Thank you for writing and providing your feedback on DIRECTV
services and products.
>
> DIRECTV constantly strives to give our customers the best
programming possible to suit our and customers´ needs and viewing
habits. In order to accomplish this, programming and pricing are
subject to change, but we do our best to notify customers at least 30
days in advance.
>
> We understand that the CLOO channel is important to you. If you are
interested in receiving this channel you may consider subscribing to
our CHOICE ULTIMATE package, which will give you over 245 channels.
>
> Your feedback is of great value to DIRECTV and the services we
offer. As such, I have forwarded your comments to management for
review; please rest assured your voice is being heard and many of the
changes we make are a direct result of the comments and suggestions we
receive from our customers.
>
> As a DIRECTV customer, you've come to expect great things — the
best programming, including shows and sports you can't get from any
other TV service, as well as cutting-edge technology that takes your
viewing experience to the next level, and outstanding customer
service. We will continue to bring you the TV entertainment experience
that only DIRECTV can deliver.
>
> Again, thank you for writing. We appreciate your business and thank
you for your continued support, Ms. Sorensen.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> David W ID 436799
> DIRECTV Resolution Specialist


My Reply:

Thank you David. I have copied your reply and posted to my letter in
various forums so that those interested can see how DirecTV handles
these matters. As I explained in my letter, my frustration is two
fold. While a customer is under contract with DirecTV you "reserve
the right to make programming changes". You "do your best to notify
customers within 30 days". A reasonable person would assume that
should the customer receive such a notification and elect not to pay
more money for the same services you orginally subscribe to, you would
be free to cancel service without penalty during a certain period of
time. After that period expires one would assume that the customer
has now accepted the new programming as acceptable and the contract
remains in force. One would NOT assume that a "reputable" company
focused on being "#1 in customer satisfaction" would leave such gaps
in your service contract to unfairly lock the customer into something
they did not originally agree to with no outlet or concession to an
unhappy customer.

Sadly, my intent her is not necassarily to cancel my service, I am
otherwise quite happy with DirecTV. My frustration comes in DirecTV's
absolute lack customer service and unfair service contract. I would
either like the channels to remain as I originally planned for the
cost I originally agreed to through the remainder of my contract, or I
would like the OPTION to cancel my service so that I can research and
determine if DirecTV is still the best option for my family. I don't
feel that my request is unreasonable, and should (in fact) be written
as standard language into your contract.

Reply

Glad you replied by tali Thu February 23, 2012 @ 2:48 PM

by MA Bellamy Posted Wed February 22, 2012 @ 1:42 PM

the fact that DTV has gotten away with this crap (teaser rates for the
first 6 mos. but you're locked into a 2 year agreement) for years just
means they will continue to do what they want - gouging customers and
providing no value for the cost of the services they "provide." (and
I use that term VERY loosely!)

I just ditched DTV and moved to AT&T U-Verse (which, I realize is not
available in all areas) and I have to say how impressed I am. I pay
less for U-Verse than I did for DTV AND my internet provider combined
by about $70. I have every channel I watched on DTV and I only have a
one year commitment, when my discounted pricing expires.

DTV's parting shot to me was using my credit card that I had used to
pay my monthly bill to post charges of $180 to my bank account without
my consent for unreturned equipment!

They were supposed to send packaging to return ALL my equipment, but
their reps kept insisting I didnt have to return the regular
transmitter that was used in my sons' room. Guess what? It WAS
supposed to be returned and their failure to send what they said they
would means that they get to tie up my money and I am at their mercy
until they send the packaging for THEIR equipment (that I don't want
anyway!!) so I can return it.

If you can avoid DTV, DO IT!

Reply

Yikes MA! by Heather S. Wed February 22, 2012 @ 3:44 PM

by RedheadwGlasses Posted Wed February 22, 2012 @ 1:19 PM

Great letter. I agree with everything.

Reply

by tali Posted Tue February 21, 2012 @ 7:28 PM

Fabulous letter! Hope they read (and understand) what you have
carefully and intelligently laid out. I fully argree with your
arguement. I think they probably do to, but feel that they can "wear
you down" as they do so many. I would put this letter in writing and
send it to them via USPS, with a signature required. That will put
them on notice. Be sure to keep your mailing receipts and return
acceptance card. Stick to your guns! Go get 'em!

Reply


But..unfortunately.. by Harleycat Tue February 21, 2012 @ 11:02 PM

Thanks guys! by Heather S. Wed February 22, 2012 @ 12:35 AM

Why not you? by tali Wed February 22, 2012 @ 6:58 AM

It would be hilarious! by Heather S. Wed February 22, 2012 @ 11:43 AM


I'd like to see by MA Bellamy Wed February 22, 2012 @ 1:44 PM

If you just follow... by tali Thu February 23, 2012 @ 5:18 AM




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