DirecTV Apparently Didn't Trust Me To Pay Final Bill

Ian writes that he was once a DirecTV customer. He wasn’t unhappy with their service, and would have considered going back if the stars aligned correctly one day. Switching to Comcast, however, currently saves him $100 per month, which is nothing to sneeze at. What has Ian sneezing mad, however, is that while DirecTV told him that he’d receive a final bill to pay in the mail, the company instead went ahead and charged his credit card for the final bill without his permission.

Recently, I canceled service with Direct TV to go with the Comcast Triple Play to save about $100/month on my phone, internet and TV. When I contacted Direct TV to cancel my service, I of course received the usual retention offers of $35/month off here and there, but the reality was that they couldn’t match the savings that I was receiving without providing me their service for almost nothing, so they canceled my account and shipped me boxes to return my equipment. This is where it gets interesting…

As soon as I received the boxes, I packaged up my equipment and shipped them back immediately. In my case, I canceled service in early August, and was told that I had thirty days to return my equipment, or face a charge. I was also told that I would receive a final bill in the mail, and would be required to pay the bill within thirty days.

What happened next was not “cool” in my book, whereby, on what would have been my usual bill due date, Direct TV used my stored credit card to pay the final invoice without my authorization. Note that I never have had automated payment with them, and had just stored my card on their site for convenience purposes. So, I guess the key takeaway from this story, is that if you store your card with Direct TV and intend to cancel service, make sure that you remove the card from their system before canceling, or they will charge it to satisfy your final invoice without your permission. The sad thing was that I was starting to miss their service, because I really think they do have a superior HD experience, but after charging my card before the thirty days had elapsed for a customer who had been with them for over four years, and for the trivial amount of ~$110, I will never go back to them again. I guess that is why they spend so much to get customers and retain them, because if you leave, the stuff they might do will make you unlikely to come back.

It’s not that Ian wants the $110 back, since he would have had to pay it anyway. It’s just an insult, and a cautionary tale for current customers.

This information isn’t useful to Ian now, but if you’re currently having a problem with DirecTV