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modify_inc's profile

Tutor

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10 Messages

Sat, Feb 5, 2022 7:01 PM

What Changes Trigger a New Contract When You're Out of Contract?

I've been a long and loyal customer to DirecTV since around 2010. I've been out of contract for many years, just paying my bill month to month. So, when DirecTV offers me special promotions or discounts on my service, I'm thankful! But I'm also apprehensive. I figure there must be a catch or something, like locking me unknowingly into a new contract. So far this has not happened, and I have been pretty satisfied overall with their service.

 

So, I'm curious, what changes will trigger a new contract and what changes will NOT trigger a new contract?

If these answers are available on their website, please provide a link; it would be most helpful.

 

From my understanding, as long as I'm currently out of contract (month to month) these actions are safe (no new contract):

 

1. Discounts & Promotions
2. Reactivate a box that was temporarily deactivated on your account
3. Change your plan

 

These may trigger a new contract, even if I'm currently out of contract (month to month)


1. Move & require new installation

2. Upgrade (requiring technician)

3. Request an additional box (new box)

 

It would really help if these polices regarding what triggers a new contract vs what doesn't was made available. If it is, I apologize, I wasn't aware of it.

 

Thank you

Mike

shannon02

ACE - Expert

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17.1K Messages

10 months ago

If you are on the RC1 account system then you can't reactivate a receiver and sometimes discount & promo do have a contact.  You are correct moving starts a 1 year contract adding new receivers is considered as an upgrade with a 2 year contract with or without a tech.

Tutor

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10 Messages

10 months ago

Interesting!

 

So then if they DID reactivate my box, then my account must NOT be on the new RC1 system. And since I'm using the SAME original box that I've always had with DirecTV since 2010, this reactivation CANNOT and SHOULD NOT be considered an upgrade. I should simply be billed a one-time reactivation charge of around $19.95 and an additional monthly TV Access Fee of $7.

 

So why the (Edited per community guidelines) are they trying to tell me this action requires a 24 month contract!?

(edited)

DIRECTVhelp

Community Support

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16.8K Messages

10 months ago

Hi @modify_inc, thanks for bringing this to our attention.

I would like to help you with this and review your account to better understand what's happening.

Let's meet in a Direct Message to take a closer look on this. Please check your DIRECTV Message Inbox (It's the chat icon next to the bell icon in the upper right corner of the Forums).

Maria, DIRECTV Comunity Specialist

DIRECTVhelp

Community Support

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16.8K Messages

10 months ago

Hi @modify_inc, we're here to help you and make sure all your doubts are covered. 

Please reply to the DM that we sent you to start working together. 

Thanks in advance.

Maria, DIRECTV Community Specialist

Juniper

ACE - Expert

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17.1K Messages

10 months ago

From my understanding, as long as I'mcurrently out of contract(month to month) these actions are safe (no new contract):

Being in or out of a contract doesn't determine if an option comes with a contract or not. Depends on the exact option if a service agreement would come with it.

 

1. Discounts & Promotions

Some 12- or 24-month discounts come with an agreement for the same length of time. In my experience it has been $20 for 12 or $10 for 24 at minimum, though it has been possible to get that without an agreement.

A promotion such as free or discounted Premium (HBO, Starz, etc.) for 3 months does not come with an agreement.

A promotion of free NFL Sunday Ticket for a season came with a 12-month agreement. Haven't heard of this one in quite some time but mentioning so all bases covered.


2. Reactivate a box that was temporarily deactivated on your account

Correct, no new service agreement. However, reactivating a box is no longer an option except possibly for those on the legacy account system.


3. Change your plan

Programming package has no effect on service agreement. 

These may trigger a new contract, even if I'm currently out of contract (month to month)

Being in or out of a service agreement has no bearing if an option comes with one. But service agreement goes from date added. So, if you get a 12-month agreement, but have more than a year left on your current one, your service agreement end date doesn't change. If you have 11 months left, then a 12-month agreement would only push back the date a month.


1. Move & require new installation

Movers order is 12 month service agreement.

2. Upgrade (requiring technician)

Upgrade of equipment is 24-month service agreement. And that was regardless of if tech install or was able to drop ship. You don't get free or discounted equipment without something for them.

3. Request an additional box (new box)

This is an upgrade so comes with a 24-month agreement.

Juniper

ACE - Expert

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17.1K Messages

10 months ago

I should simply be billed a one-time reactivation charge of around $19.95 and an additional monthly TV Access Fee of $7.

Reactivation of a box has no charge itself. It would add the $7 Additional TV fee back on the account of course as that is part of your monthly service.

The amount of $19.95 is how much delivery of a box is. With that charge and a 24-month service agreement mentioned, sounds like the agent was looking at placing an order for an upgrade.

Reactivation options were going away years ago. I think you got an agent who doesn't understand the option they were looking at, or worse knew full well and was trying to scam an upgrade on their stats.

(edited)

Tutor

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10 Messages

10 months ago

  1. Reactivate a box that was temporarily deactivated on your account

"Correct, no new service agreement. However, reactivating a box is no longer an option except possibly for those on the legacy account system."

 

So, since they DID reactivate my original box, then this confirms I’m on the legacy system. And as you stated above, which seems to be the consensus, this reactivation should NOT require a new contract. Yet, on the contrary, they are claiming otherwise.

 

What really baffles me is a supervisor from their Loyalty department actually agreed with me, that I shouldn’t be put under a contract for this reactivation, but that he couldn’t change it because their "system" does not allow it. I could only laugh, because essentially what he was saying is “Yes! We have your money; we took your money, and we SHOULD give it back to you, BUT our system will not allow it. Hope you understand, sir. Have a nice day.”

 

If this is the case, they seriously need to fix their system. At this point, I’m a little concerned about their "system". A rep asked me if my box was mailed to me, and she asked if a technician came out to install it? My answer to both was "No" since I was using my original box. But shouldn’t AT&T know whether they mailed me a box and if they sent a technician out. I’m beginning to think their “system” may just be pen and paper. Obviously, that wouldn't be the case, I'm just frustrated with them right now.

 

Anyhow, looks like AT&T/DirecTV is reaching out to assist me with this issue by asking me to reply to their DM. I feel like if they continue this same rhetoric, my only option will be the BBB. Fingers crossed they do the right thing

Juniper

ACE - Expert

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17.1K Messages

10 months ago

Reactivation of the box would not cause a new service agreement. Hopefully the agent didn't instead activate it like you would a box acquired from an authorized 3rd party, which would put an agreement on the account in error.

The good thing is that anytime a service agreement would apply to the account, there is an email confirmation. That way if something is not right you can address it immediately.

Yes, their system has not had an option to just remove a service agreement. If one is in error, then what happens is they submit a waiver request upon your cancellation showing the agreement was invalid so no ECF should be charged (or adjusted if you had a little time left on a previous agreement). This design of the system I have never liked as depends too much on fixing it long after the fact, instead of right away.

Tutor

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10 Messages

10 months ago

All is good now! Hailey, a DirecTV Community Specialist here was able to resolve the issue.
 
She could not remove/change the contract within the system, but she was able to note my account so that all future agents would know this contract is not valid.
 
Another thing I found interesting is she stated there is essentially two different customer services at DirecTV/AT&T.
 
The standard one, which is the one most people call by default, and then another one that can be reached via social media like Facebook, Twitter, etc. She stated that in the standard system, it shows the new contract IS valid, but in the social media one, it shows that the new contract is in fact, NOT valid. She recommended I reach out to them via social media if there is ever an issue regarding this, and provided me with a case# for reference.

DIRECTVhelp

Community Support

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16.8K Messages

10 months ago

We appreciate your feedback, @modify_inc

It's glad to know that you received the assistance required.

Feel free to contact us anytime you need help. We will be here for you.

Ximena, DIRECTV Community Specialist
Juniper

ACE - Expert

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17.1K Messages

10 months ago

This is the first I have heard of separate departments seeing a different service agreement status. Normally I would be very suspicious of such a statement, but with the changing of account systems since AT&T acquired DirecTV and now a new co-owner of DirecTV changing things up again, I wouldn't be very surprised.

As for noting the account agreement was invalid and why, that is the correct process. That way IF you cancel before that service agreement has ended, there is record of the error making it that much easier for the agent handling cancellation to submit an ECF waiver request.


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