Former DirecTV Bag Man Discusses Extortion Campaign

from the that-can't-be-good dept

As DirecTV continues their campaign to threaten anyone who bought a smart card reader, even if they did so for completely legitimate reasons, it looks like some more evidence is coming out against them. A former employee working in their anti-piracy division is now suing the company suggesting they forced him to do illegal and unethical things in forcing innocent people to pay up. He says he felt like “a bag man for the mob” and talks about how the anti-piracy operation “was an elaborate extortion racket,” that rewarded employees based on how much settlement revenue they brought in. He points out that this encouraged them to work as hard as possible to make everyone pay up, whether or not they had done anything illegal.

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Comments on “Former DirecTV Bag Man Discusses Extortion Campaign”

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Fredric L. Rice (user link) says:

DirecTV worse than Scientology?

I’ve been reading up on this and from the descriptions of the ex police officer and from what I know of how organized crime works, it’s my opinion — and mine only — that what’s being described is racketeering and extortion.

But it’s up to the victims to file criminal charges against the DirecTV suspects and as yet I’ve not seen any suspects get indicted or even questioned by the Feds.

It’s curious: Did DirecTV think that nobody would clal the cops? Did they think that their victims would always believe their alleged claims that having smart card programmers was illegal and to avoid felony charges they wouldn’t go to the cops and would cave in to what looks to me to be extortion?

Cynthia Powell (profile) says:

Direct TV

I can’t believe they went to that extent but I am finding out more and more things about the running of Direct TV, which we have that are totally illegal. Not just unethical, but illegal and when caught as I caught them, just simply refusing to pay up. They had been over charging me since day one, my fault, I had not been checking the bill. When I told them I wanted a rebate for the entire time, was told that was not their policy. Well, my policy is when someone steals from me they have to pay it back. What are they going to do, cut me off? So I have to go someplace else. Fine, I don’t like them anymore anyway. This company needs deeper inspection by the Head Cheese whoever that is. They are despicable.

gene (profile) says:

Sirectv stole the programming

On April 10, 1997 Directv stole my programming. They were sued by 31 attorney General’s and paid a fine of 11 million. Directv then sued me in 2003 for having bought an access card which stopped that 1997 theft of my programming. They claim that I had no right to but an access card to stop there theft. Forced into confidental agreement, people need to be free to report crimes commited against them.

I think it is pretty bad where in a free country a corporation can prevent people from protecting the property they bought and own. Worse, I found our government also agree people cannot buy an access card to stop directv from theft of consumer programming.

Mandi says:

Legal Illegal.... What do they care???

It seems, from my own dealings with DirecTV, that they are morally and ethically lacking. Their behavior, in my opinion remains criminal. Their logic entirely flawed. Their staff just *%&(#$*& rude. They are actually…. Offensive as a corporation. My situation has nothing to do with cards…. It has to do with cancelation not being recorded in their records though i distinctly recall making that phone call. They have continued to take money out of my account for the last 2 years and 4 months at a rate of either $55 or $65 a month for all that time. I am ill. I have spent years…. in a fog…. But finally i have found affective treatment that allows me to be a high functioning human being. I am getting stuff in order again as i could not before. And as i am taking stock…. I come across these charges! Immediately i make some phone calls to family who may know something about it. But they don’t and are shocked and horrified. So i try for a week to call DirecTV but the number never works. We exchange a number of emails. I make it clear i mean business! After all $1700 they took auto pay out of my account over this time. I also remained, very polite in my emails and i have tried very hard to be understanding waiting to hear from them before making any assumptions. Finally I got a call back after being put off atleast once and told to wait most of a week.

A woman returned the call. She stated for the record this is all my fault and they won’t give me anything back except for $20. Shee even talked about it as if the adress was the client. I have yet to see a dead man resurrect like Jesus, and i have yet to see a virgin give birth. And i have yet to see an actual house go into a bank and open a bank account to pay for the bills it racks up. I received no service from DirecTV in all that time. I remember cancelling. She is right. I made a massive mistake! It *SHOULD* cost me some serious money. However, if they didn’t enter into their records that i cancelled which according to her they didn’t. Then it would seem that they cast the first stone by making the first mistake. I should not have had to worry about it as i made the call. I should have worried anyway though sadly the fog was just too thick…. Not an excuse nullifying my responsibility. I *am* responsible. I am just not the *only* one responsible. $20 refund on payments adding up to $1700, seems somehow…. ethically wrong as i am telling them and can present several items of proof that clearly show i was not at that adress during that time. Also, i am putting in a call to the phone company today to check to see if they have the phone records of that call from the week i left that adress. More than that, at the time i cancelled, i was told by some other woman, from DirecTV that it was being entered into their system and may take a month or so to go through…. I was never told it would take almost 2 and a half years to go through!

I do not deserve to get all of this $1700 back. My problems are my problems. Regardless of the reason why or of understanding how i could mess up so badly…. This information serves no purpose and in no way cancels what culpability in this situation belongs to me. I wasn’t just being an irresponsible kid. I had a very real problem. Again this does not excuse it… Just explains it and it definately does not nullify my part in this. I am happy to not get everything back, but when someone says to cancel their service, you cancel their service and you stop taking their money every month. You certainly do not continue removing funds monthly from their account and even raising the amount of funds you are removing without informing the party being charged the new higher rate first. I do think i should be getting a significant amount of money back. I also think i should be losing a large amount as well. There is plenty of responsibility on both sides and they should not be profiting because they just didn’t bother tio cancel someone’s account and then get extra lucky because that person has some deficits. However, i don’t believe i should be turning a profit off of this either. I screwed up too. I have learning disabilities and some mild to moderate psych problems…. They are a massive corporation not relying on 1 mildly defective brain. What is their reasoning???

The woman i talked to also told me i would have to prove i left the adress, which i can. And she quickly added that even if i could i would never get more than $20 back. I requested to talk to a super visor. First was told no. Finally she said one would call me within 48 hours. So i wait. She said no one higher up would be anymore equitable than she was willing to be. She talked over me, yelled at me. She was very very rude. She would not even hear me out and spent alot of time trying to put words in my mouth. Considering my disabilities (which i did tell her about, not as an excuse, but just an explanation *why.* Which does NOT nullify the fact that i made a mistake and am accountable for it.) I thought that this process of trying to talk over and in essence kick and mistreat someone like me on the phone in an effort to manipulate the recording her company was obviously making was…. disgusting. I am sure they would not have been quite as…. agressive, or insidious with someone who was playing on a level playing field.

Well, i am waiting for that call from a manager. And i am wondering what the next step is… As i am a reasonable person. I am also a different person, receiving proper treatment that has changed my life completely. I am studying at a university level these days. And just for the redcord, though i have been foggy in a sense, i have NEVER been dillusional. I know i made that cancellation call! So, if i have to parade out every doctor i have seen in the last 15 years to tell them that, and that if i say i cancelled i cancelled because i am ethical and moral and have never been known to lie. Then that is what happened. However, my new problem is, trying to figure out what i should do next to recoup *some* of this $1700 maybe half…. Maybe a little more than half….. maybe a little less than half…. But settling for a $20 refund….. I am ‘learning disabled,’ not stupid. It is entirely insulting, such an offer. I doubt they would make such a bogus offer to someone non learning disabled. Because they would realize they would just get laughed at. What do i do next? How do i handle this situation? I am still a fairly young person been out of comission for a very long time…. And i just don’t know how to proceed what to say what to do or how to handle this situation. I could really use help.

Gene (profile) says:


It is real simple. You can think all is OK with Directv until one day the programming you paid them for is shut off. Or you call them, cancel service and they later say you never canceled service. The problems they can create for you is unlimited. You cannot win against a 6 billion dollar company in any court. They are litigious. Read Luaces V. Directv 1997, Miami where they took the programming April 10, 1997 people paid for in advance from them. 31 state attorney generals sued in a class action and won 11 million. If that was not bad enough, directv then sued the consumers involved in that 1997 class action for having bought an access card to stop that theft of programming in 1997., Let me run that by one more time…

They took consumers paid for programming and then sued by 31 state attorney generals for that theft. Then directv turned around and sued the same victims of that theft stating they had to right to block the theft. First time I ever heard someone cannot block a theft of there own property. Understand when Directv takes the paid in advance for programming, the public is not supposed to stand in there way. This is also the case of the victim of a theft being sued by the perpetrator. The victim of the theft is then silenced in confidential agreement written by directv.

This does not boad well for crime victims. It opens the door for any victim of a crime to be sued by the perpetrator and then the victim silenced or gagged from being a complainant or asking that someone be charged. The perpetrator goes free from prosecution. Directv is in the position that the government will not go up against them because of there money and power even when the person they sue was a crime victim of Directv.

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