DirecTV Double Bills 75-Year-Old Widow, Won't Fix It, Then Debits Huge Cancellation Fee

Here’s a lovely story from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. A unnamed 75-year-old widow says AT&T called her to offer their new U-Verse service with bundled TV, Internet and phone. She signed up, only to receive a phone call letting her know that the TV service wasn’t available in her area yet, but would she like to sign up with DirecTV instead? She agreed, but DirecTV started doublebilling her as soon as her service started. After a few months of the runaround from DirecTV she called to cancel.

She signed up with Chater Communications — and then found out that she had a 2 year contract with DirecTV and would be charged a cancellation fee — despite the fact that she’d only canceled because they were overcharging her and wouldn’t stop.

The woman’s granddaughter told the paper:

“She’s truly on a fixed income – nothing but Social Security,” [the granddaughter] said. “She always had set aside $100 for (cable and phone) bills, and now that was more like $200.”

DirecTV helped her out by debiting $469 from her checking account. Soon after, she started getting calls from her bank informing her that her checks were bouncing.

Robert Mercer, a spokesman for DirecTV, said the company is careful to warn customers that they must be a customer for 24 months to avoid a penalty fee.

Maybe that’s fair, but shouldn’t the company make an exception for the widow of Belleville? After all, she canceled because she was being overcharged and DirecTV wouldn’t correct the error. Mercer said he’d look into it.

We hope she gets the fee reversed, although if she does, that’ll be the first time we’ve heard of it happening with DirecTV.

DirecTV double bills elderly customer, then hits her with cancellation fee [Post-Dispatch] (Thanks, everyone!)

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