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
    Kat, 21 Jul 2008 @ 5:08pm

    Watch your bills closely

    Just a head's up to all DTV consumers. Watch your bills closely.

    After a huge installation mess I thought things would go better with the company.(I won't even get into details on that except to say that it took weeks to get right and hours upon hours of time on the phone....and dealing with a number of cust serv reps and contracted installers, none of which would give you the same answer as the prior or next one).

    Anyway..back on my point. I was watching my bills closely because we had a number of "credits" that were to cover the first couple month's fees. All that seemed ok, but then suddenly, on my 6/18 statement, I see this fee for "DTV Protection Plan" which I never signed up for.

    I call them on 7/11 ("Randy") and explain the issue and that I would like that service removed and fee refunded. He of course wastes my time with a sales pitch...and after way too long of a phone call and me jumping down his throat (frustration left over from initial set-up issues) he finally agrees that they did that erroneously. This was after he had me on hold looking for proof that I had signed up for it...which he couldn't find. So he guarantees I will have the credit on the next bill and that the policy would be canceled immediately.

    Next bill comes. LOL. The fee to be credited was $5.59. Well they only credited me $1.00 of that charge....and to boot, they charged me a $6.00 fee for canceling the coverage/DTV protection package that I never signed up for to begin with!!!!

    So, I call again ("Monique" this time). I explain the whole thing to her....of course she tries to sell me on the package again...just like Randy. AFter I finally get her to understand that I'm not interested in the package and am only interested in correcting my bill, she tries to tell me she can't do it because she has "exceeded her daily credit/refund limit". WTF? LOL sorry.

    So after pressing for a supervisor, she suddenly can apply the credits afterall.

    We'll see what happens next month.

    So be sure to double and triple check your billings from them because I'm sure I'm not the only one they have done this to...or even other bogus fees they've charged to others.

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