DirecTV Sees Your Father's Death As Sales Opportunity

Carl’s father had DirecTV service at the time that he passed away, and Carl called them up to cancel the account while settling the estate. The satellite provider chose to see his father’s death as a retention opportunity, using emotional appeals to try to get Carl to take over his father’s service at his own home. Carl was not pleased.

He writes:

My father recently passed away, and being his only child, I had been left with the responsibility of handling his estate. I called DirecTV only days later to inform them of his passing, and cancel his TV service. However, rather than simply cancel and show some compassion, what does DirecTV do? They use it as a golden opportunity to pretend like they actually knew my father, and make repeated high pressure sales tactics.

This is a transcript of the phone call. It has been shortened a bit for ease of quick reading, but the actual content of the call remains unchanged.

DirecTV: How can I help you?

Me: I’m calling because my father passed away, and I need to cancel his TV service.

DirecTV: I’m sorry to hear that, he was a good customer of ours. Do you currently have our service yourself?

Me: No

DirecTV: I’ll tell you what I can do. Since your dad was such a good customer, we can transfer all his services over to your house, and begin billing in your name. That way you can enjoy the same TV programming he watched.

Me: No, I just want to cancel.

DirecTV: I can cancel if necessary, but let me ask something first. Do you know any of your dads friends that need TV service? Can you provide their names and phone numbers? Since we liked your dad so much, we would be willing to sign his friends and family up and give them some discounts on new service.

Me: No, I just want to cancel.

DirecTV: OK, I can certainly do that, or another option. Considering your father was such a good guy, who ordered so many packages from us, I could sign you up for your own service. We can throw in some extra packages free for a few months.

Me: No! Nobody wants service! My dad passed away, I only want to cancel!

DirecTV: OK, I’ll cancel, and send a box for you to return his equipment.

That’s the end of the call. Service was finally cancelled.

Although I still get letters roughly once a week, addressed to my father, saying “we want you back”.

No, evidently not even death is enough to sever your ties to DirecTV.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.