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New Member

Tue, Jun 15, 2021 4:12 AM

Free Upgrade on Direct TV equipment but not actually free

So my family and I first got DirecTV back in 2006 since they were offering a package for Vietnamese Channels, and have been using the old dinosaur receiver up until now. I got a notice from DirecTV saying that I needed my cable equipment to be upgraded or else I would lose my channels including the Vietnamese ones I pay for. I called DirecTV and they said that the upgrade would be free, but I would have to pay an extra $23 for 3 months for liability purposes and that I would be reimbursed/refunded the $69 after those 3 months. So I get the new equipment which included a new satellite. The installing guy made a mistake drilling holes into the side of my house so now I have a whole bunch of tiny holes. Gosh. Well fast forward, 3 months go by and not only am I still charged the $23 on my monthly statements, but I was not reimbursed the $69. So I call DirecTV/AT&T again, and after a lot of transferring between different agents, I was able to get my $69 refunded. Fast forward to the next month, The $23 is still getting charged on my monthly statement.

At this point I'm tired of calling in and getting transferred a whole bunch of times. I'm debating canceling my cable in general and just stream general TV shows and other Vietnamese content online.

I'm just wondering if anyone else is having this problem being charge for something that marketed "free", and if so, how did you resolve it? Was the upgrade actually free or was it a scam? 

Thank you

Accepted Solution

Official Solution

Juniper

ACE - Expert

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14K Messages

6 m ago

Sounds like you had MPEG-2/SD-only equipment. Yes that had to be replaced since those feeds are shutting down. Options were a complimentary MPEG swap or upgrade.

Since SD-only equipment is severely out of date, your upgrade would have been free However that only means equipment is free, not any new services you might gain.

There is no such thing as a liability fee. Most likely that was the new services you got which would be $10 HD, $10 DVR, $3 Whole Home DVR (totaling $23). So the agent told a big lie to get an upgrade on their stats.

For your protection a order confirmation is sent as soon as the order is placed. This details exactly what you are getting. When you are installed you are accepting the order as placed is correct. You had until the install was done to cancel the order as it didn't match what you expected.

If you choose to cancel, you will pay an early cancellation fee (ECF). That upgrade came with a 24 month service agreement which is valued at $20 for each month remaining. So at 21 months left you are looking at an ECF of $420.

At this point the option is keep the service with the $23 worth of receiver services, or cancel and pay the ECF on your final bill (as well as returning the new boxes). When you call and get the voice prompt say "cancel" so that you are routed to the retention/cancellation department. That way you should avoid the multiple transfers.

shannon02

ACE - Expert

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15.3K Messages

6 m ago

Never heard of a $23 liability fee.

6 m ago

The $23 is the regular charge for the new Receiver we got. They said I would be charge the $23 for only 3 month just to keep me liable if I was to cancel my services early. I didn't cancel my service though. The $23 for the receiver, which they said they would take off my monthly recurring bill since this was a necessary upgrade, is still there however. :(

shannon02

ACE - Expert

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15.3K Messages

6 m ago

They told you a whopper that fee will never end so long as you have DTV.  If you where upgraded then the 2 year contract charges a $20 per unused month ETF/ECF.

5 m ago

I see, I'll try calling one more time to resolve it. If not I guess I'll just have to keep my service for 2 years. Is there anyway to file an investigation or report on this issue. Just don't want this happening again to anyone else.

Juniper

ACE - Expert

 • 

14K Messages

5 m ago

Since an order confirmation goes out detailing exactly what you are getting, and you sign off on the tech's handheld once again verifying that order is correct and accepted, there really isn't anything to resolve.

You could certainly call and submit complaint on the prior agent for the misinformation, or even a FCC/BBB complaint. But as long as people keep going by only what they are told and not reading or otherwise verifying information then this will keep happening no matter the company.


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