DirecTV Account Closed In 2004 Goes Zombie, Creates Billing Nightmare

Way back in 2004, Cameron had DirecTV service. When he moved, he ended his service and turned his equipment back in. At least, he thought he did. It wasn’t until this year that he learned the account had gone zombie back in 2005, charging the debit card of a bank account he didn’t watch closely for two years before going dormant–likely because the debit card expired. The zombie account had been slain, and a collection agency tracked Cameron down earlier this year to make him pay the balance on the account that he had never reactivated in the first place. Never mind that he had paid almost two years’ worth of bills without noticing it or even having a dish at the time.

In 2004 I was living in a house in Boston and had DirecTV service. This account was automatically billed to my debit card. I closed my account in good standing when I was moving to NYC. Unbeknownst to me, DirecTV automatically opened this account a year after it was closed (while I was living in an apartment in NYC and thus couldn’t possibly have DirecTV service). The debit card that they had on file was linked to a bank account that I did not monitor as I didn’t suspect any activity.

In January of 2012 I received a letter from First National Collection agency that I owed DirecTV approximately $189 for service in 2007. Obviously this could not have been possible because I had closed my account in 2004. I sent First National a letter stating that fact and to provide me with proof. I never received any proof from First National and in June of this year First National filed derogatory actions on my credit reports.

I have since contacted DirecTV (as per First National’s request) for more information on this account. I was told that they considered my account “suspended” in 2004 instead of closed and therefore they were authorized, without notifying me, to reopen my account and charge my debit card.

For over two years apparently DirecTV charged this account monthly without sending me any paper or digital statements. I have not had DirecTV equipment since 2004 and didn’t notice any charges on my debit card as it was not an account that I monitored.

I wholeheartedly contend that my account was not “suspended” in 2004. There is no doubt in my mind that the account was “closed”. DirecTV has stolen money from me and damaged my credit and good name.

I seek an immediate refund of all charges by DirecTV to my account from 2005 on and an immediate cleansing of the derogatory actions on my credit report.

Important lesson learned from this story: if you’re not going to watch a bank account closely, deactivate any debit cards attached to it.

DirecTV has an executive customer service contact form linked from their officers directory, which is probably our fault for encouraging readers to e-mail the CEO. But if no one at that form listens to you, the company e-mail format is, and that directory of officers is right here.

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