New DirecTV Customer Cancels After 24 Hours, Faces $450 Charge

by Categorized: Cable TV, Satellite TV Date:

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This weekend’s Bottom Line column:

Like a lot of cable-service expatriates, Steve Ambrosini thought he could get a better deal somewhere else. Contemplation over, he called DirecTV.

Oh, yes, he could definitely save some money with the satellite provider.

“We went through the list of freebies, specials, promos and discounts,” he says, “and came up with a monthly total of $50.99 for the first year.”

Sold. Ambrosini, a Wethersfield resident, agreed to a two-year contract. About 36 hours after the installer bolted a satellite dish to his roof and set up the receiver, however, he was ready to cancel the contract. That’s when he found out a subscriber has only 24 hours to cancel without a deactivation charge.
The post-24-hour deactivation fee, Ambrosini discovered, was $450. Any dispute, he was told, would be resolved through binding arbitration.

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2 thoughts on “New DirecTV Customer Cancels After 24 Hours, Faces $450 Charge

  1. Kelly Weinberg

    Infuriating!! I had simar experience with DirectTV in 2010. I went over, in great detail, on the phone all the prices, packages, special deals, time frames and cancellation fees well before the technician arrived to install. Because, as a single parent, just purchasing my first home, I was on a VERY tight budget. I was told that the special rate was only for one year and I marked my calendar to be sure to change our package to one with similar pricing. But after the technician had finished installing the ugly dish on my almost brand new roof, he mumbled something about a two year contract as he asked for my signature on the paperwork. I was livid! His only resolution was of course to offer to remove the dish-what, and take the chance of him being angry and leaving holes in my roof?! I had not even moved in yet and only owned the home for 2 months. Over the course of the first year there were many connection problems and as with Mr. Ambrosini, the price they tell you is before all the taxes, fees etc. so your bill is quite different than you expect! And when the special rate was over, the only package within the same price range (because of course over the year, there were price increases) was one without any of the quality channels that I liked my kids to watch and that they enjoyed-basics, I thought, like Animal Planet, the Learning Channel, Travel Channel, Health Channel etc. so then we rarely watched TV anymore. Needless to say, when the 2year anniversary came, we said “GOODBYE” to DirectTV. We’ve been without any television service for almost 2years now and don’t really miss it. More consumers need to let big businesses know they don’t have to take their nonsense.

  2. Elizabeth Becker

    I too was ripped off by Directv. I am now paying more than I did before I signed up with them.
    $170.60 . I cant get out of the contract for another year without a penality. 2 yr total.
    I also lost my original phone number in the process, was without a phone for a week.
    They also gave me “free” Sunday football channel that I didn’t want and had to cancel after the 1 yr time or get another added charge.

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