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).

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread

  1. identicon
    Doughboy, 21 Jul 2008 @ 9:50pm

    Re: Watch your bills closely

    holy h*** Kat, you just told our story TO THE LETTER. Not even into the first month of service, a box failed on one of our TVs (lil' POS kept rebooting, find a signal, rebooting, etc...). A couple bills later we saw that "protection plan" added to our bill. I(we) assumed it was the "donkey" who came to service us, that set us up on that plan (without telling us). Now you've REALLY gotten me P-O'd, knowing it didn't even take that!

    That was the first story, and NOW... We had a 'hard' rainstorm tuesday night (7/15). As always, when a storm comes, we lose our signal. It gets late, and time to hit the hay, and still no signal. Wed. morning I turn the TV on, no signal. We call dtv, and the soonest they could get a tech would be 7/21. We threaten to cancel, they offer $10/month off (6 months), waive the service call ($80), and their deepest apologies.

    Well, msg on the answering machine on 7/20: "Just confirming your appointment tomorrow between 1 and 4". Well, got a call from DTV this morning, and for some reason that very same "donkey" that was supposed to fix it today CAN'T MAKE IT. The next date available: Tuesday, 7/29. This time the offer is one month free, $100 credit, and the same $10 discount. Nah, they've had their chance, I have run out of (my) programs on the DVR, and if I watch (or even hear) another episode of "Oswald" (the only thing left, for my child's sake), then I will officially go insane.

    Needless to say, I'm PO'd (if you hadn't gathered that already), and while I'm not a Rockefeller, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet (et al), I make enough to let the cable company have their way with me... last time I remembered, the only time I lost my cable during a storm, it took a power plant going down to cut my electricity, and even then I got it back within five minutes...wasn't even the company's fault. We've GOT to get everyone we know to really understand what (fill in the blanks) they really are, and god bless the cable companies.


    P.S. Don't mess with the Dough, or I'll roll right over ya. Ya listenin, DTV?

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads


Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.