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
    Rphillips, 1 Jul 2008 @ 7:09am

    Re: Receiver Fees

    That is because apparently you never actually bought the equipment, you leased it.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    Wexler Toriseva Wallace LLP files nationwide class action for purchasers of DirecTV satellite receivers.

    (PRWEB) February 22, 2008 -- The law firm of Wexler Toriseva Wallace LLP, with co-counsel Green Welling LLP, filed a class action complaint against DirecTV and Best Buy, alleging that the companies fail to adequately disclose that a purchase of a DirecTV satellite receiver is considered by DirecTV to be a "lease", for which it charges consumers monthly lease fees. The lawsuit was filed on behalf of consumers nationwide, further alleging that consumers instead believe that they own the receivers they purchase from DirecTV or its retailers, like Best Buy and Circuit City. Only later, according to the suit, do they discover that they must pay lease fees, and return their receivers if they cancel their DirecTV subscription. The lawsuit seeks recovery of all lease fees paid, and a judgment declaring that DirecTV's purported lease is invalid. The class action complaint was filed in Los Angeles federal court (Case No. CV08-00906 ABC (PJWx).

    According to Mark J. Tamblyn, a partner in Wexler Toriseva Wallace's Sacramento office, "consumers should be fully advised that their purchases of DirecTV receivers come with strings. They should not have to discover after paying hundreds of dollars for a receiver that their purchase is more like a rental, requiring continuous payments."

    Wexler Toriseva Wallace LLP (WTW Law Firm - Class Action Legal Services) is a national leader in prosecuting class actions and other complex litigation on behalf of consumer and business clients in state and federal courts throughout the United States. The firm is based in Chicago, Illinois and maintains additional offices in California and West Virginia. Contact: Mark J. Tamblyn (916) 568-1100.

    Additional Contacts:
    Green Welling LLP (Green Welling LLP - National Class Action Attorneys :: Home) represents a wide range of individuals and businesses in class actions and other complex litigation in state and federal courts across the nation. This firm is based in San Francisco, California. Contact: Robert S. Green (415) 477-6700.

    Kershaw Cutter & Ratinoff LLP (Kershaw Cutter & Ratinoff | Northern California Class Action Lawyers, Personal Injury Attorneys) prosecutes complex wage and hour, consumer and mass tort litigation, and has obtained combined recoveries for plaintiffs of over a billion dollars. The firm is based in Sacramento, California. Contact: Stuart C. Talley (916) 448-9800.
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    I just got my bank hit for over $700 this morning because of this.

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