Silly DirecTV Forgot To Waive My HD Fee

In the rush to drop HD fees to attract new customers, DirecTV pulled a boner and forgot to remove the charges for at least one customer. Andrew says he called the company, reminded it of the oversight and got it to take HD charges off his account.

He writes:

I read your story on sat. companies dropping HD fees. Your story combined with new commercials on TV prompted me to look up my DirecTV bill and see if I was still being charged. Sure enough I was, so I called them. After asking the CSR about it she told me that I can have the monthly fee removed if I sign up for automatic payments. I informed her I already was, so she removed it. What was surprising is they didn’t automatically remove it for customers that were already signed up and had monthly HD fees.

Surprising indeed. DirecTV customers, you might want to check your latest billing statement in case there’s an astounding coincidence and the stunning mishap also befell you.

Previously: Satellite Companies Drop HD Fees


Edit Your Comment

  1. SlappyWhite says:

    So wheres the issue? There was a mistake, you brought it to their attention, and they took it off. Issue resolved.

    • Queep misses WarOtter :( says:

      I think the point is to let other people know that they should check their DirecTV bills.

    • pikebike says:

      really? the issue was they didnt apply the discount to customers they already had. reading comprehension.

      • leprechaunshawn says:

        “the issue was they didnt apply the discount to customers they already had.”

        The fact that they didn’t apply the discount to customers they already had cannot be the issue based on the terms of the offer. The Free HD For Life promotion is for new customers who enroll in automatic bill pay when they sign up with DirecTV. DirecTV did the OP a favor by extending an offer to him that he didn’t technically qualify for. Knowledge is power!!

    • leprechaunshawn says:

      When a company makes an error and corrects it with one phone call and minimal hassle, there is no issue.

    • PupJet says:

      That’s the thing Slappy. They actually DID what they were SUPPOSED to do. Granted it wasn’t automated, but try getting THAT with Time Waster Cable.

  2. BomanTheBear says:

    >>pulled a boner

    I thought you weren’t allowed to say this outside of Australia. The thought of DirecTV pulling a boner has ruined my whole day.

  3. eccsame says:

    Something like this happened to me once. I was getting a burger and a drink at [redacted] and I ordered a large drink. They gave me a medium. I said “I asked for a large” and they said, “oh yeah” and gave me a large. But I do wonder how many people ask for a large drink and get a medium drink instead. I should have sent that story in to the consumerist when it happened.

  4. slyabney says:

    But it was made clear in the earlier article that this really only applied to NEW customers, of which he was not. So there wasn’t a problem to begin with since he was promised nothing as a current customer.

    Your first paragraph states he was a NEW customer but nothing in the text of the e-mail posted actually indicated he is a new customer. It says he saw the commericals and wanted the same treatment. Could you clarify this some more before saying the company made a mistake?

    • Sian says:

      As an existing customer with a legacy plan, all the new plans now include ‘Free HD’. Hard to be weasely about that. Free HD means free HD. I’ll see on the 2nd whether or not I get credit.

      • slyabney says:

        I called and spoke to a rep as well as reports over on fatwallet that all this free HD is for NEW customers but you can talk your way into getting it (I did). However, that could have changed in the past week and maybe they are automatically applying it to old customers as well.

        The story still appears to be wrong though since it states he was a NEW customer and from the e-mail this is still not clear if he was new or a current customer looking into the discount.

        So to be short, everything I read said only new customers would automatically get the credit, everyone else needs to call if they want it. I never read anywhere that’s it’s automatic for current DirecTv customers.

        • grimee says:

          It’s not automatic, like you suggest. I spoke to a CSR 2 weeks ago about this very subject and I was told that as a current customer, I don’t automatically get free HD. But, since I was on the autopay program, I was eligible to get free HD for 24 months. Of course, I opted for the free HD.

          And who knows, after 24 months, I’m sure there will be another promotion or something that removes HD programming costs forever…

          Either way, the OP is misinformed and assumes way too much.

        • brc64 says:

          What does the HD fee show up as on the statement, because I don’t think I’ve ever seen it since I signed up a year ago. My statement fees are just:

          PLUS HD DVR Monthly – $79.99
          DIRECTV DVR Service $7/mo included in base pkg – $0.00
          DIRECTV on DEMAND – $0.00
          Primary Leased Receiver – $5.00

          I’ve never seen a separate “HD fee” Am I looking in the wrong place?

  5. Hardwired says:

    DishTV did the same thing to us. Make sure you call in to remove the HD charge from your bill.

  6. skyguy says:

    Went through this yesterday. I don’t think it’s a mistake on the part of DIrectTV to charge $10 to existing HD customers – I wasn’t able to find any correspondence from them to existing customers, saying that they were going to be dropping their HD charges.

    I talked with a rep, they did confirm that I have auto-payments enabled, and in addition to the HD fee being rescinded (for 24 months, which they’ll likely continue to discount), I got some other discounts, with an end result of dropping my monthly bill by $19 (and associated tax savings).

    Very straightforward conversation, with some other tips on how to get free upgrades on an annual basis.

  7. markrubi says:

    i called the day after this HD for life was announced and the fee is still on this months bill. They said it goes into effect on the next billing cycle.

    • Pigpen says:

      What sucks is with Dish network if you were not paying extra for the extra HD channels.. They are making you either sign a new contract or pay a 99 dollar fee and get on auto bill pay… Just another way to suck you into a contract..

  8. rinehj says:

    I have spoken to a DirecTV associate, they are not removing the fee unless the customer calls in and requests to have it removed. That is the catch. You have to request it removed before they do it. Of course they are, they are losing $10 a customer if not.

  9. tom kyte says:

    I’m a three year customer, full service (all channels). The CSR said she couldn’t do it, I pointed out that I have many other choices for TV – so she bumped me over to some other department where I told them “I don’t think I should have to pay since new customers will never pay – it isn’t a promotion”.

    The guy on the phone agreed with me, removed the fee and is giving me double the fee off for the next six months.

    So, existing customers can get the fee waived – and in my case, a little extra to boot. It is like getting a month free every year now with the reduction.

  10. Excuse My Ambition Deficit Disorder says:

    I’ve been a Dish Network customer for 4 years and get the America250 with a standard DVR. I called them up to see if they would do anything with the bill as we have paid about $74 a month and now new customers get free HD for $40. Long story short, after spending a couple of hours on the phone, getting bumped to 5 different people to finally talk to the “Customer Loyalty” person. He said there was nothing they could do. I even threatened to switch to their competitor DirecTV…what blew me away…he asked if I would like to cancel today as he could put it through the system that day. I told him I needed to check with the wife and I would call right back. I called back about 45 minutes later and didn’t make it pass the first customer service person. He must have placed a note in the system that only my wife would was able to cancel as it was in her name. In the end, they would not give me the $40 free HD for life deal as it’s only for new customers but would give me $40 for 8 months of our current standard DVR service with the same package.

    Moral of the story…it doesn’t pay to be a loyal customer…

  11. Blious says:

    I am quite happy with DirecTV but the fact is that billing errors are common with them

    You need to check every bill with them

  12. Triterion says:

    I just got it removed from my account but it took like 20 freakin minutes, I was put on hold and transferred to the “account specialist” department. Also the first guy I talked to had no idea what I was talking about and had to “look up what that offer was”. It should be a rule or law that if there is a discount available to you that it get posted to your account AUTOMATICALLY. I would have never knew I could get this discount unless I read the consumerist every day, so there are many millions who have no idea about this.

  13. Triterion says:

    “DirecTV currently has 18 million subscribers” 18 million X $10 = One hundred eighty million dollars! No wonder they make you jump through loops.