DirecTV To Raise Rates Feb. 1 — Can I Get Out?

Chris wants out of his DirecTV contract, and hopes that the upcoming rate increase (PDF link) will let him run free.

He writes:

I have a question that I was wondering you could help answer for me and possibly many others. DirecTV just sent me an e-mail stating that they are raising prices for all of their packages and adding a dollar to each leased receiver. As of now, I’m about 7 months into my 1 year contract with them. Unfortunately, they have given us less than stellar service and I was wondering if I could use this opportunity to drop them and get out of my 1 year service contract without any penalties or fees. Is this possible?

A DirecTV spokesman told us its contracts do not let customers opt out due to a rate hike:

Price increases are covered in the customer agreement (the customer agreement states that prices are subject to change) so they are not an occasion to opt out. It’s become standard practice for all TV providers raise to rates once a year to keep up with accelerated programming costs. We’ve kept ours at a very modest level that is lower than most of our competitors.

New rates for DirecTV service (PDF) [DirecTV]