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. icon
    linda (profile), 12 Dec 2015 @ 11:34am

    Re: Unethical

    Like most others my dealings with Direct TV have been a nightmare to say the least. I signed up for them in 2013. During that time I called them every other month which they claim they have no record of. I always hear that I should have called them. I would call and say that I had not received my bill in the mail. They would say that it was mailed and ask if I had looked at my bill online. I would counter with if I wanted to be paperless I would say so but I don't so therefor I should have a bill for this month and last month. Which brings me to my not having paid and now am being charged for god knows what because the bill is higher than it should be. Then we would go through my charges and they would have to make corrections. Then I would complain about all of the outages. They said that the signal cannot penetrate cloud cover and they cannot control nature and that they do not issue a credit for nature related outages of this nature. On tv they advertise how easy it is to move with Direct TV so I call them when I move and they tell me it will be $200. I said that is more than the install cost. I just want to move not hemorrhage tv service. So they cut the price to $100. I say well I will cancel it then and go back to time warner. My boy friend called them after he got home from work and they dropped it down to $50. The billing and service issues begin again. I threaten to cancel and they work out a new agreement with me just to keep me promising to mail my statement and that lasted about 2-3 months. Then back to the same problems as my bill increases. In Sept. I call to inform them that my 2 year agreement is up and that I will be moving and cannot have sattelite service and therefor am cancelling my service and to ship out my return boxes, True to form I never received them. I call and they reship them and return the equipment, for 2 months they call and say they did not get the equipment. I offer to email a copy of the postal receipt which they refused. Yesterday I discovered that they pulled $212 out of my new checking account. I used that account 1 time to make a 1 time payment. I called them to discuss this situation and am informed that they cannot put my money back and that even though they clearly charged me excessively and have not ensured that I have received my bill they cannot give me a refund. Marge told me that they sent the bill and that they just got the equipment and that they have to revise my final bill and sent it out. Shirley, a billing supervisor, said that nothing can be done. Nikki said that the charges are for late fees. Elizabeth said that they charge any account that they find in the system. I told all of them that it is theft to bill more than 1 time to a card that was used as a 1 time payment. They said their contract allows them to use any form of payment that they have on file. I have to go to my bank on Monday to file a litigation over this whole situation. I must admit the frosting on the cake, so to speak, was their reps talking to me like I was stupid and did not know how to navigate the computer. Insulting people should be the last thing that they should do. I am going to contact the BBB and a few lawyers on Monday and Tuesday.

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