Sorry, You Only Get DirecTV Referral Bonus If You Call Special Referral Number

David referred a friend to DirecTV. The satellite provider has a pretty neat referral program, promising a discount to both the new customer and the person who referred them to DirecTV. Well, theoretically. David writes that he and his friend learned that in order to get their referral discounts, the new customer has to either sign up on the Web or call a special number. He didn’t know this, and now neither he nor his friend will get their discounts.

Two months ago I assisted an elderly friend upgrade to an HD
television to replace an very old set. I purchased it for her and
installed it, along with a new OTA antenna. She had been using DISH
satellite service for six years. They wouldn’t give her any free
upgrades. I recommended that she go with DIRECTV because of their
offers current at the time.

They have extensively advertised that they will pay $100 to each
directv subscriber who refers someone, and $100 to the new subscriber
as well. When my friend called Directv listed in the phone book, she
gave them my name and account number as required under the advertised
policy.

When I didn’t receive my credit and she didn’t receive hers, I called
Directv today. They told me that you have to call a “special” Directv
number to receive these rebates. They said that any other number
called will result in no rebate. You would have thought when she
called up and told them she was referred by me that she would have
been told to call the “special” number. This requirement is not noted
in any of the advertisements I have seen.

My 18-month retention requirement with Directv ends next month. You
can be sure I will then be switching to DISH, who will receive the $90
a month I’m currently paying DIRECTV.

Before switching providers, David, we’d recommend letting some higher-ranking people at DirecTV know about your predicament and the impending loss of your business.

The special 800 number is on DirecTV’s referral program page, but to be fair, it does not proclaim, “IF YOU DO NOT CALL THIS NUMBER YOU WILL NOT GET YOUR DISCOUNT.” So, what do you think?