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
    Ronnie Holmes, 1 Feb 2010 @ 9:05am

    DirecTv scam

    In Jan. 2009 I replied to a DirecTv mail flyer offerring Special reduced rate of $49.97 per monthh. I also had DirecTv add 3 additional months of ALL MOVIE CHANNELS for a total of $65.99. Purportedly after the 3 months I could cancel the MOVIE CHANNELS and return back to the $49.97 special. The dish and other equipment were installed on 2/7/09. I discovered AFTER THE INSTALLATION when I rec. my first bill that each reciever was costing me $5.00 dollars per month X3 and the SPECIAL intro offer was actually costing me $94.53 per month untill my "REBATE" kicked in 2 to 3 months?? My first payment was made about 2 weeks after installation for $86.58. Then I rec. a second bill on about the first week of March for $94.53... that is a total of $181.11 in just one months time?? On Sun. 3/1/09 I had no signal for the entire day due to rain and wind(I have a mailer that states, CUSTOMER QUESTION: "WILL I LOSE MY SIGNAL WHENEVER THERE IS BAD WEATHER?" DIRECTV ANSWER: "NO, DIRECTV DELIVERES WORRY FREE 99.9% SIGNAL RELIABILITY. DON'T BELIEVE WHAT THE CABLE COMPANIES TELL YOU") After that day I had intermittent signal and many of the channels would not come in. I called for maintenance on Sun 3/9/09 and was informed a tech. would arrive probably Wednesday 3/11/09. I spoke with the phone rep. on two different times on 3/10/09 concerning the huge bill of $181.11 at which she replied I had to wait for the REBATE to kick in for the savings... I then informed DirecTv that I was highly dissatisfied with the service, reception, maint and missleading advertising and for them to come and remove there equipment from my house. The rep. then informed me that my credit card would be billed for $500.00 dollars for early termination and LEASED equipment(I was not informed of any of this prior) I then had my previous provider come in and re-connect with their service. They informed me that DirecTv literally distroyed my existing cable in my house and they would need to re-run new cable. I then contacted my credit card company and cancelled my card so that DirecTv could not steal money from my account(how can any company deduct money from anyones banking/credit card account without authorization??)Since then I have been recieving bills from DirecTv for $513.31. I have contacted DirecTv to inform them I was reporting them to the Better Buisiness Bureau and searching for a Class Action Suit against them. The account was sent to a law firm for arbitration and I have been forced to pay $642.31 dollars to avoid going to court. When I first made contact with DirecTv via telephone because of a mail flyer, NOT ONCE was I told (1)there was a 2 year contract/early termination fee, (2)I would have to wait months before the REBATE to tke effect, (3)I would be paynig a monthly fee for each reciever, (4)in one month I would be paying $181.11 dollars, (5) I was not home during the installation...my girlfriend signed a document but no copy was left with her!! DirecTv's tatics are criminal and they should not only return the monies I have already paid for the bad to NO TV reception, plus the termination fee and threat to debit private accounts without individuals autorization but also compensate for the trouble and mental anguish they have caused me and thousands of other citizens.

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