This morning I was sipping my coffee and reading some random little news stories - nothing political or things I knew would get my blood pressure rising because I was already in a crappy mood to start with. I saw a little 'lifestyle' article about a 102 year old woman who passed away and DirecTV charged her a $160 'early termination fee'.
"As it turned out, Albright’s daughter or another caregiver often spent the night, and the family had added an additional DirecTV box in a back room.Little did they know that adding a new box meant adding a whole new two year service contract, ABC7 reports."Nobody told us that,” Manrique said. "And in fact we made it clear when we added the TV in the extra room that it was a temporary thing ... We're saying my mother in law's on hospice, we're not gonna pay, you know, two year contract."At the time, DirecTV allegedly said that the family was on the hook because the bill was in Albright’s daughter’s name. Much like many other families taking care of elderly relatives, Albright’s daughter had taken over her mother’s finances.The Manriques said they called DirecTV asking for proof that someone signed a two year agreement.
"And they had no proof other than you started this new service on this date ... and that starts a new contract whether you signed it or not,” Manrique said. "Every time you hiccup they start you on a new two-year agreement basically. It'll run the rest of your life if you accept some other feature or other. They got you.”
As someone who has had DirecTV for a few years myself I found this same "restart their contract but DON'T TELL THEM UNLESS THEY SPECIFICALLY ASK!!!!" scheme going on. We had lived here a few years and our daughter was going off to college so I called to disconnect the receiver in her room as no one would be using it.
There is no reason (ABSOLUTELY NO REASON) this should have restarted a 2 year contract but apparently the customer service reps that help you must get bonuses for renewing these things because I realized a couple months later when I called for another reason that I was under contract with them... which should have run out but guess what? They said ANY TIME I MAKE ANY CHANGES TO MY ACCOUNT IT RESTARTS A NEW 2 YEAR CONTRACT.
Which is pure bullsh*t.
And more importantly, they are not training their customer reps to TELL PEOPLE THIS CHANGE WILL RESTART YOUR CONTRACT ALL OVER AGAIN FOR ANOTHER 2 YEARS. THAT is my major issue. SNEAKY TACTICS BY DIRECTV!!!!! Lying by omission.
However, it seems to be a common practice as I've had Windstream, and our security company (which recently was bought out by another company and changed names and I'm not sure if the 'new' parent company does this so I won't call them out on it)... yet; does the same thing.
As a matter of fact, Windstream (Is it called Kinect now???) has sneakily done SO MANY QUESTIONABLE THINGS that I hate even calling them for anything because they change our contract and bill without notice...
Actually, let me tell you about that last one! It's the most recent.
We've had Windstream since we moved in. It was literally the ONLY internet available in our area and on our street. It was awful. It dropped ALL THE TIME. At one point they were testing it for me and found it dropped 25 times just in a matter of hours.
We chose to rent the router/modem from the company simply because when we moved in I was too overwhelmed with a horrible, horrible, awful relocation, and I had MUCH bigger fish to fry at the time than to go shop for a router/modem and go through the hassle of self-installation. So I told them to bring one out and hook it up and get me online. I had so many other things to tackle at the time.
Skipping ahead a couple years and a few issues, they came out to replace the 'outdated' router when it would start to become super slow or drop a lot. The latest is that about 3 1/2 years ago a service tech came out to see why it was horribly slow and dropping all the time and told us we just needed a new updated router/modem. Ours was old. He got one from his truck and installed it. YAY! IT WORKED GREAT!
So about 4 months ago when our internet was horribly slow and crawling again, I realized our router probably just needed to be updated. I called to tell them the issue and that could check the date on our account but I was pretty sure the last time they gave us a router was 3 or 4 years ago and it just needed to be updated like last time.
She told me she was sorry but I wasn't on their 'replacement plan'.
What replacement plan? I've never heard of that before and in 8+ years of being your customer, I've never had it come up in any conversation or service call.
Apparently they quietly changed their terms... add this $10 a month replacement contract. Hell, in 6 months of paying THAT you could buy your own. Why lease?
She said I could go buy a new router and hook it up.
I was confused and told her we don't own ours. I just lease it from them.
She said no... that I own my own router. I explained I do not... It's their router. Their name on it. They brought it out. They installed it. It's just part of my plan.
She said she thought that maybe 'Years and years ago they had a special where you leased a router for 3 months or something and then you could buy it out.'
We never did that. Just opted to lease a router from them... and it's obvious because it's on our account, it's their router and they've come out to replace it at least 2 times that I recall in the past 8 years (maybe 3).
She didn't have a clue what I was talking about. She said she didn't understand because the only way they would replace the modem/router is if I was signed up for their replacement program at $10 a month, but she could sign me up today!
So apparently they changed THIS part of my contract as well.
The price has gone up 2.5 X's what I was promised with the 'lifetime' cost, they no longer service their own routers and customer service ditz's don't have a clue about anything other than the script in front of them.
Apparently, at some point they completely changed my contract... but never told me. And no, never got a message in my email about it, never saw the changes announced on the bill and well, you know how DIFFICULT it is to find contract terms of your account(s) online... LOL... they try hard to make links so impossible to find so you DON'T read the contract terms).
But what the hell, their company has declared bankruptcy anyway and is being sued by homeowners as well so... I guess I'll just wait and see how this all plays out.
..... meh, it's just the coffee talking again this morning.
Funny customer service coffee mugs I found on Amazon;
Funny Coffee Mug Gift Idea - Do Not Make Me Use My Customer Service Voice Office - 11oz Ceramic Cup Digibuddha DM0360
MAUAG Funny Unique Coffee Mugs - Have a Great Day - but the bottom is a 'fuck you' flip off finger - Gag Gifts, 12 Oz
When I saw this coffee mug on Amazon I thought to myself; Actually... DEALING with customer service reps is this! Being the call service rep is nothing compared to having to call them and DEAL WITH THEM! It's hell for the customer having to deal with idiots too.
Best Funny Coffee Mug Being In Customer Service Is Easy Sarcastic Novelty Cup Joke Great Gag Gift Idea For Men Women Office Work Adult Humor Employee Boss Coworkers Rep