DirecTV Charged With Extortion In Class Action Suit

from the shouldn't-you-have-proof-of-a-crime-before-you-demand-money? dept

We've written about DirecTV's questionable legal strategy a few times in the past. After getting their hands on the customer lists of some companies that were selling smart card readers, DirecTV sent legal nastygrams to everyone on those lists, accusing them of stealing DirecTV signals. This ignored, of course, the fact that those card readers have other (legitimate purposes). While it's likely that many people did use them for illegally accessing satellite TV signals, DirecTV had no specific proof, other than their name on a customer list. On top of that, the letter made it clear that as long as people paid up $3,500, they wouldn't get sued. In a lot of ways, it's difficult to distinguish that from extortion, and so a group of those accused by DirecTV have filed a class action lawsuit against the company for these actions. DirecTV claims the suit has no merit and that it will be thrown out (as similar cases in the state of California have been).

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  1. identicon
    Robert Dodson, 17 Feb 2008 @ 4:37pm

    Followup on previous techdirt listing

    Previously I described the application of a "lease fee" to my upgraded Directv receiver. In the latest communications with Directv, they have indicated that as a "courtesy" they will not be charging a lease fee for the primary receiver and that amount was credited to my bill. Only additional receivers will incur the lease fee (I can see some logic to that) or a "mirroring" fee which will duplicate the primary service on that receiver. Additionally, they agreed to honor the 12 month waiver of HD access fees which was verbally agreed to in my original pre-upgrade conversation with them.
    I have to give Directv a thumbs up on this one although they still have some work to do when it comes to setting up an install contract and getting it right the first (or second) time.

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