DirecTV Says My Being Out Of Town Is An Explanation For Mystery Porn Charges

We’re sure cable companies constantly get calls from parents complaining about pay-per-view porn charges that no one in their house will own up to. But apparently folks at the satellite provider also thinks people are breaking into empty houses just to watch overpriced T&A.

Consumerist reader Dave says he was reviewing his most recent DirecTV bill, covering mid-December to mid-January when he noticed that there were two unspecified pay-per-view charges for $14.99 each on his bill.

Furthermore, he noticed they were also from early November, during which time he’d been out of town on business. And, oh yeah, in his ten years as a DirecTV customer, he’d never once ordered a PPV movie, certainly not one that cost him fifteen bucks.

“So I call up DirecTV and they tell me there’s nothing they can do,” writes Dave. “They wouldn’t even tell me what the pay per view selections were. I had to badger them into revealing that they were adult titles, though they wouldn’t tell me the titles. Don’t I have the right to know what type of porn I’m being charged for?”

“I kept trying to point out to them that I live alone, that I had no house guests during this time and was in fact hundreds of miles away at the time these movies were ordered,” says Dave, who also offered to e-mail proof of his business trip to DirecTV. “When the CSR heard that last part, he tells me ‘Oh, well there you go! Someone must have used your DirecTV while you were out of town,’ as if that is a reasonable assumption that I should have made from the start.”

Dave says he had to point out that it’s absolutely absurd to think that someone managed to sneak into his house without tripping the alarm and chose to watch a couple of porn films — over the course of two days, mind you — but didn’t steal any of his TVs, computers or “the actual box of porn DVDs that are not terribly well-hidden in my bedroom closet.”

At this point, says Dave, the CSR went silent for a minute before offering to credit his account, not the full $29.98, but six monthly credits of $5 each.

“I thought that was an insult,” says Dave. “Some error happens on their end and they charge me $30, but even though I’ve been a dedicated customer for a decade and have never once had to dispute a charge, they suddenly don’t believe me and want to hold on to my cash for a few extra months.”

Dave ultimately had to escalate his complaint to a supervisor, who agreed — with the usual “We’ll make a one-time exception” scolding — to credit the full amount to his next bill.

“It’s not even about the money to me,” explains Dave. “I really just wanted them to look into how these charges could end up on my bill, but then they started treating me like some liar with porn-buyer’s remorse. If my only other choice for cable wasn’t Comcast, I’d have cancelled my account then and there.”