DirecTV Settles Complaints About Hidden Fees & Other Deceptive Practices

The nation’s largest satellite TV provider DirecTV has reached a settlement with all 50 states and the District of Columbia regarding allegations that the company misled consumers about its pricing and policies.

Among the many complaints filed against DirecTV are that they didn’t clearly disclose the limitations on certain pricing plans, that customers were enrolled in additional contracts without the terms being clearly disclosed, automatically renewing customers in seasonal sports packages like Sunday Ticket, and saying customers would receive “cash back” when it was really just credit on their DirecTV bill.

In addition to the $14.25 million that will be paid to the states, Wisconsin Attorney General A.G. Van Hollen tells Consumerist that some of the stipulations in the settlement include:

*Clearly disclosing all material terms to consumers;

*Replace leased equipment that is defective at no cost except shipping costs;

*Not requiring the consumer to enter into an additional contract when simply replacing defective equipment;

*Clearly disclosing when a consumer is entering into a contract;

*Clearly notifying consumers before a consumer is obligated to pay for a seasonal sports package;

*Not representing that a consumer would get cash back if the consumer would actually get a bill credit;

*Clearly notifying consumers that they will be charged a cancellation or equipment fee at least 10 days before charging the fee.

A DirecTV tells Reuters the company is taking this settlement seriously and that DirecTV was seriously just about to do all this stuff anyway: “We were already in the process of implementing the majority of the improvements outlined in the agreement when first contacted by the AGs.”