PSA: DirectTV Pushes Back By Mentioning All The Refunds For Blackouts Its Issued… To Customers That Asked

from the not-the-point dept

Earlier this month, we discussed how DirectTV was one cable operator the Colarado Attorney General is investigating over how it extracts varied and confusing fees from customers and more specifically how DirectTV managed to continue charging customers for a regional sports station that had been blacked out. The overall tenor of the post was, first, that cable operators charging fees in as confusing a manner as possible is par for the course and, second, that even in that landscape continuing to charge customers for a channel it wasn’t offering sure felt like a bridge too far.

Well, apparently the folks over at DirectTV were listening in on our post and decided to email us with a statement. That statement said first that, by the time the story posted, the broadcaster had come to terms and was back on the air. Second came a claim that refunds had been issued… if customers specifically asked for one.

We are thrilled to once again provide our Colorado sports fans the ability to enjoy the NBA Denver Nuggets, NHL Colorado Avalanche, University of Denver Pioneers, MLS Colorado Rapids, National Lacrosse League Colorado Mammoth and other sports. We issued credits to thousands of our customers who asked about Altitude Sports while we worked toward getting it back on air. Customers who have questions about credits should visit

Let’s first allow this to act as something of a PSA: if you’re a DirectTV customer in Colarado with a subscription that includes Altitude Sports, go ask for your refund. You apparently have to, otherwise DirectTV will happily keep your money.

Which, given how cable television invoices look less like a ledger and more like word-and-number jumble, likely means that a whole bunch of people didn’t realize what they were being charged for, didn’t realize that Altitude was in their package, and therefore didn’t realize that they were owed a refund, and so didn’t ask for one. In which case DirectTV keeps that money for a channel it wasn’t providing… and now wants credit for that? Interesting stance on ethics you folks have there.

What this really highlights is how cable operators construct their packages and invoices as though they were building ciphers to keep the Nazis from knowing where the troops were headed. Fix that and perhaps you’d have better informed customers who might ask for their refunds. Or, you know, DirectTV could do the refunds regardless of a request.

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Companies: at&t, directv

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