So, after I emailed the “customer service” people at DirecTV, I got this response.
Dear Ms. Collins,
Thanks for writing DIRECTV! I understand that you are concerned about the early cancellation fee that has been charged to the account. I appreciate you taking the time to let us know your mother’s health condition. Please allow me to assist you on this and provide helpful information.
Upon review of your account, I found that you activated your DIRECTV account on 9/18/2010, and agreed to a programming commitment of 24 months. In return, we make sure that you get your money’s worth with unbeatable combination of programming, service and technology at a great value. In addition, DIRECTV significantly discounts the price of equipment and installation, so we ask you to agree to a programming commitment effective when you accept and activate service.
Ms. Draney, we take great care to ensure that the terms and conditions of our service, including programming agreements and early cancellation fees, are disclosed to each customer prior to activating service. In addition to providing this information in our advertising and point of sale materials, it is also included in the confirmation letter sent by DIRECTV after you place an order for equipment.
For your reference, I have attached a copy of the confirmation letter that was emailed to you. To open the printable file, you’ll need Adobe Acrobat Reader which you can download from Adobe at www.adobe.com/reader.
Please understand that cancellation of an account before your agreement has ended, will result to an early cancellation fee. Due to this, we are unable to honor your request to waive the early cancellation fee. For more information on programming agreements, please visit our website at directv.com/agreements.
Thank you for providing us with the opportunity to be of service to you, Ms. Collins. We appreciate your patience and understanding.
DIRECTV Customer Service
Right about now you are probably going, “What the?” Yeah, me too. Please allow me to assist you? Assist my ass. They don’t want to assist anyone. And it’s all moot, because I did not WRITE them about MY service. I wrote them about my MOTHER and FATHER and the idiocy they were being forced to deal with. So I wrote them back with this:
I am well aware of what I signed with you, and that you have no intention
of giving me the money you took out of my husband’s account.
It does NOT change the fact that DirecTV is ruining their name, very, very
quickly, and using this model (sales oriented, instead of customer and
market-oriented) you can expect to see more and more complaints and more
and more people leaving even though you attempt to tie them to you for life
with chains and contracts drawn in blood.
I am blogging this and it is going viral on my Facebook account. When you
did this to me, it was one thing. When you are trying to DO THIS TO MY
DYING MOTHER, it is completely different, and I won’t stop.
You can read about it here:
So, then I got THIS response from a completely different person.
Dear Ms. Collins,
Thanks for writing back.
I understand your concern with regard to the early cancellation fee that was charged to your husband’s account. I am sorry to hear about your mother.
I just wanted to let you know that we received your email and I have forwarded it for special handling. A specialist will respond as soon as an agent is available (likely within 24 hours). For immediate assistance, please call us at 1-800-531-5000.
At DIRECTV, we’re always working to find ways to provide solutions for our customers for each and every need.
Thanks again for writing. I understand this is important to you, Ms. Collins. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention.
DIRECTV Customer Service
Of course, I have not actually heard back from ANYONE since I got this placating, we-are-going-to-do-nothing-and-pretend-we-care response.
Why do they even bother? They should just wipe out this entire department, the one they must jokingly call “customer service.” I can see all the execs sitting around using their fingers to denote air quotes whenever they discuss this department.
DirecTV does not offer customer service, and never will. When I was trying to cancel MY service, they offered me Showtime free for six months, and ten dollars off a month. I said, “Why don’t you just add all that up and put the credit on my account?” Yeah, they weren’t doing that. Even though the math made sense.
They are MAKING a ton of money, but I do not look for this to last, because there are so many unhappy customers that sooner or later this policy is going to BITE THEM IN THE PROVERBIAL ass.
DirecTV’s policies are neither moral or ethical, and anyone with half a brain can see this. It is time for someone to stand up to them.