Why is DirecTV charging us for NFL Sunday Ticket? They said they wouldn’t

By | October 27th, 2016

When DirecTV promises Stephanie Esparza it will waive the charge for a premium channel, she’s shocked by her next monthly bill. Why won’t DirecTV honor its word?

Question: We are loyal DirecTV customers. A few weeks ago, I used the chat feature on their website to ask about lowering my bill. They were able to offer me a $10 credit for 12 months.

I then asked to have NFL Sunday Ticket removed since we can’t afford it. I was transferred to a different representative who told me that we would be receiving NFL Sunday Ticket for free this year.
We were very excited because we love watching football. Fast-forward to the end of last month when we received our bill. The full charge for the first installment of Sunday Ticket was on it.

I immediately called DirecTV. A representative acknowledged reading in the transcript that I was told it would be free and escalated my issue. More than a week went by and I finally got a call from their account management team yesterday.

I was told they would not be honoring what the representative had told me in the chat transcript. My only option was to continue my current service with no Sunday Ticket as promised. I feel lied to, deceived, taken advantage of, unappreciated and scammed. I’ve canceled my service. I want an immediate refund for last month’s NFL Sunday Ticket charges and an apology. Can you help? — Stephanie Esparza, La Palma, Calif.

Answer: DirecTV should have honored its offer, if not before you showed a representative the chat transcript, then certainly afterward. I see the written dialogue between you and DirecTV as a written offer, which the company is required to honor.

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I don’t much care for the resolution. DirecTV wanted to pocket a full month of Sunday Ticket, which lets you watch every NFL out-of-market game on Sunday, and downgrade your account, without so much as an apology. Way to make you pay for its mistake!

At this point in the story, I’d tell you to get everything in writing next time you get this kind of offer. But wait — you did get everything in writing, and DirecTV still seemed to feel it could ignore its obligations.

So what’s next? An appeal to someone higher up at DirecTV. I list the names, numbers and email addresses of all the DirecTV customer service contacts on my advocacy site. You could also file a complaint to the Federal Communications Commission. I believe the agency would consider DirecTV’s actions an unfair and deceptive practice.

I contacted DirecTV on your behalf. It turns out the agent you were working with misread your account information while chatting with you. (To him, it appeared Sunday Ticket was “free” when it actually wasn’t.) DirecTV promised to provide the agent with “feedback” which I assume means he’s going to get a talkin’-to.

In the end DirecTV made this right for you. It agreed to re-establish your service, waive all related fees and issue a $100 credit.

  • cscasi

    Seems pretty obvious that DirecTV needed to honor what its representative told Stephanie, especally since she had the transcript of the chat conversation and even more compelling is that DirecTV’s representative also read it in the transcript reviewed. Still, many times it takes poking and prodding.
    All’s well that ends well.

  • redragtopstl

    When we switched from U-verse to DirecTV recently (price-driven), we made it clear to the rep who came to our door that we wanted to continue seeing Cardinals baseball games with DirecTV. He wrote up and called in the order; installer came out a couple of hours later to hook up the boxes and the dish.

    Later that evening, we discovered that we did NOT have FOX Sports Midwest, FOX Sports 1, or ESPN. So we called DirecTV, and were informed that we had to get a “sports package” to see those channels for an additional $8/month (which they agreed to credit us back for the first year). The money didn’t bother us; it’s the annoyance of having to “clean up” after the rep. They wanted to give us NFL Sunday Ticket for free when we signed up, but we didn’t want it. (STL’s football team went back to LA, where they stink as bad as they did when they were here. Don’t care to watch them for free or for pay!)

  • The Original Joe S

    When I got DTV, the toad on the phone said I needed a phone connection for each box, or else the daily “ping” would null out the box if there weren’t a phone line. Lying dirtbags: they simply wanted to try to up sell movies. The toad insisted in reciting a list of extras, even though I told him I wasn’t interested; he kept asking me “do you want this package? do you want that package?’. Should have cancelled then and there.

    Fast Forward to HiDef age: Called and got a gentleman who promised me 4 boxes. I said I’d check with the cable, and then call him right back. When I called right back, I spoke with some nasty woman who said “I am not gonna give you 4 boxes.” Fine.

    Went immediately over to cable company just before their closing, and they issued me hi-def boxes. As I’d had cable long ago, the drops were there. I hooked up the box to main tv, and it was booting when I got a call from some smooth-talking toad [ all this within an hour ] who asked me to return to DTV. Told him I went to the cable company. He said I could switch back to them. I told him that one guy promised me 4 boxes, and that the nasty one told me in a snotty manner that she wasn’t gonna give me those, so I’m history. He said he’d give ’em to me if I’d come back. I told him that the new box was plugged in, and was booting up as we spoke. He said “What can I do to get you to come back?” “You could stand on your head, spit wooden nickles, and whistle ‘Dixie’, and I won’t come back.” He then machine-gun blabbed some unintelligible blather [ on which I should have hung up ] and then was gone, never to be spoken with again.

    I will NOT do business with prevaricating dissemblers. They had their chance; they’re off the radar forever.

    Happy with the cable. They’ve treated me well.

    DTV sends exhortations to return, but no postage-paid reply card. They won’t hear from me. AMF!

  • sirwired

    FFS DTV, it’s not like they were promised 15 DVR’s and every station on the dial for $10/mo. It’s one year of Sunday Ticket; would it kill them to honor their own rep’s promise? It’s not really that much moolah.

  • PsyGuy

    I’m wondering if instead of fixing all these cable and television problems, if Chris could just be preemptive and arrange a deal for all of us in advance?

  • PsyGuy

    I use an antenna, get HD and don’t pay anything.

  • Wait, Stephanie canceled her service, and only wanted the one month NFL charge refunded!

    Now she’s stuck with DirecTV when she could save $100 a month by cutting the cord. Amazon and and Netflix streaming services are COMMERCIAL FREE, and cheap as chips.

    For sport, an antenna will pick up several NFL and CFB games every week in HIGH DEFINITION.

    All that plus you don’t get stuck with mystery billing charges that are a cancer of satellite and cable TV providers.

    Stick it to them Stephanie!

  • Added to that the image is sharper because the satellite image is processed, and thereby degrades the image.

  • joycexyz

    Sounds like they’ve been taking lessons from Comcast.

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