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Complaints about DIRECTV signal a serious problem, says AG

Complaints about DIRECTV signal a serious problem, says AG

(Credit and Money Matters, Everything Else) Permanent link

DIRECTV has generated more consumer complaints to the Washington Attorney General’s Office than any other business in 2009. Since announcing our lawsuit filed yesterday, we’ve received 75 new consumer complaints about the satellite television company.

California-based DIRECTV is accused of wooing new viewers with ads for low prices while hiding a multitude of fees, planned rate changes and terms that call for automatic renewals. See Tuesday's news release for more information.

The Attorney General’s Office is asking the court to compel DIRECTV to change its business practices, impose civil penalties and provide restitution for consumers.
Click here if you wish to file a complaint.

[UPDATE -- We settled our case with DIRECTV on Dec. 14, 2010.]

Posted by Kristin Alexander All Consuming Blog Moderator at 12/21/2010 03:05:38 PM | 

I was charged a $480 early termination fee for service on a Tivo DVR recorder that I never received. Can I file a complaint against DirecTV to have the money reinbursed as part of this law suit?
A.D. Trawick
[BLOG MODERATOR'S RESPONSE: Unlike a private class-action suit, you can't "join" this case. But you should file a consumer complaint -- Click on "file complaint" from our site. Depending on the outcome of our lawsuit, you might be eligible for restitution.]
Posted by: Al Trawick ( Email ) at 12/21/2009 11:43 AM

I also had a very bad experience with DIRECTV. I order DIRECTV service with two receivers. After using for one month, the smart card of one receiver suddenly stopped working. I called and they sent me another card quickly. BUT, they charged another $30 and I couldn't get it back.

Also the actually monthly charge was much higher than they claimed to be.

I am happy that I cancelled the service already. Now I am using free service: HDTV with antenna. The quality is amazing. If I want more channels, probably I will sign up for internet TV.
Posted by: Cell Phone Lookup ( Email ) at 2/12/2010 8:19 AM

We have two Direct TV receivers, the advanced High definition DVR (model #HR21-200) and a model #R22-100 DVR which is not considered high definition. Service has been called on three occasions for the R22 DVR due to problems with local channel reception. ... [BLOG MODERATOR'S NOTE: This comment was too lengthy to post in its entirety. Debbie -- Please file a complaint with our Consumer Resource Center. Thanks.]
Posted by: Debbie Wisham ( Email ) at 6/28/2010 5:55 PM

I have been disputing the early termination charge on my Direct TV account since June. I have a printed copy of my order from April 2010 showing I have no early termination fee, but when I tell them that they still insist I owe the $480! Two supervisors told me to fax the copy to them but when I call back to check on it they tell me there is nothing in my file. Interestingly enough when I signed online to check that order summary again they inserted the fee! Then yesterday they posted a charge to a debit card on my bank account for $999.11. The bank flagged the charge before I called them since it was posted on a expired debit card. I am fed up with dealing with customer service since every time I call they either don't know what I'm talking about, or tell me I still have the termination fee, or put me on hold to "locate a supervisor", only to leave me there and never return. The last time was over 30 minutes. They have also told me they don't have an escalation department! Help! [AGO BLOG MODERATOR'S RESPONSE: Cherie, if you haven't yet filed a complaint with our Consumer Resource Center, please do. The lawsuit is still pending. Depending on the outcome, there may be consumer restitution.]
Posted by: Cherie Lovlie ( Email ) at 8/31/2010 2:21 PM

What ever happened with the lawsuit with Directv. I quit Directv and asked to be taken off their mailing list. I continue to be solicited to by this unethical company that continues to harrass by soliciting unwanted mail etc. [All Consuming Blog Moderator's Response: Michael, the lawsuit is still pending.]
Posted by: Michael Frier ( Email ) at 9/29/2010 1:38 PM

My service quit last year and I had no TV for the 12 days that it took for them to get a service technician out. They said both of the "new" boxes had quit working...quite suspicicious.
If you want to start service, they can send someone out the very next day to set it up, but if you have a technical problem....then they can't get anyone out for days.

So, now that I have switched to another TV service, they won't quit calling me early and late in the day. They also email me and send me more mail. They are very annoying.
Posted by: Tana Bryan ( Email ) at 11/4/2010 8:13 PM

My husband & I have been struggling with Directv for about 3 months now. technical issues which cut out portions of recorded shows, skipping, squeaking & squaking noises. some shows have audio, but no video. They have sent technicans out 4 or 5 times. [AGO BLOG MODERATOR'S REPLY: Crystal, I had to edit your comment for space since it's really a consumer complaint. If you live in Washington, please file a complaint with our Consumer Protection Division. If you live elsewhere, please contact your state's AGO.]
Posted by: Crystal Heaven ( Email ) at 12/31/2010 1:11 PM

I have been charged for services I did not want. The $12.99 showtime promotion ended Jan 21, 2011. I contacted them through their web site and reqested termination before the billing cycle. I have a bill for Showtime and they seen unwilling to terminate this "fee". I have notified Frontier communication, they said it is not their problem as part of the bundle of service. This is obviously a up sell and business ethics issue. To date, I cannot resolve this issue.
Posted by: Jim Hill ( Email ) at 1/29/2011 10:06 AM

We signed up for Directv last Friday Feb. 11, 2011. The gentleman my husband spoke with promised 2 HD DVR receivers, 1 HD receiver and 2 regular receivers free, he said the second HD DVR receiver is normally $199 but he would throw it in free to get us to switch from Dish network, he assured us that we would receive an email that day stating all of this. The service was to be installed at 12 on Monday, as of 11:45 Monday we still had no email, we called Direct and supposedly the guy wrote our phone number and email down wrong, within a few minutes of finally receiving an email, direct was at the house to install service, I had not even had time to read the contract, when I got there I found out that they had not been authorized to put in the second HD Dvr receiver, I then called Direct and they said I would have to pay the extra $199 and when I looked on my contract it was not there. I was hoping I could find a clause to get out of the whole contract but I can't find one anywhere, I have never unhooked dish network yet, hoping I would find that clause somewhere, but unfortunately the guy who installed Direct also broke our Dish Network satellite, how can a nationwide business like this be allowed to operate this way? [ALL CONSUMING MODERATOR'S RESPONSE: Bonnie, please file a consumer complaint with the Consumer Resource Center.]
Posted by: Bonnie Childers ( Email ) at 2/18/2011 7:20 AM

I cancelled my directv contract within 24 hours ( thee next day) , was charged for 1 day of servive. They have debited my account for 460 dollars early termination fee, saying now that it was 2 days , not 1 that I used before cancelling.. (not true) hence, they stole money out of my account. They refuse to credit my account back. In Georgia I also have 7 days in which to cancel a contract. Pleas help. [ALL CONSUMING MODERATOR'S RESPONSE: Hi Chris. Because you live in Georgia, please contact the Attorney General's Office there for help. Our settlement only covers Washington residents.]
Posted by: chris kliemt ( Email ) at 3/21/2011 6:04 AM

I joined Direct TV and had numerous problems with them. Quest signed me up and never said there was a 2 year contract. .... [ALL CONSUMING MODERATOR'S NOTE: This comment has been substantially shortened due to length and addresses a specific consumer complaint. Michael, our case has been settled so if you are still having problems, please file a consumer complaint so we can address it. I have you sent details in a separate email.]
Posted by: Michael Meyers ( Email ) at 4/5/2011 7:40 PM

Representatives for ACN are selling Direct TV services. ACN Rep's (and Direct TV) are not telling buyers the pitfalls of signing up with Direct tv. For example your bill will always be more than the $29.99 promised and that you will be on a 2- 3 year contact with $500 in early cancellation fees that will be auto debited without notice for the checking and/or debit/credit card on file.
Posted by: Kelly ( Email ) at 12/11/2011 11:57 AM

We too were told we were getting a price they did not deliver. I was told we had an initial price of 34.00 per month and after so many months it would go to "around 45.00" per month. Our bill is now 70.00 per month - we have no premium channels and as of this week have lost Nickleodian and numerous Viacom channels which were one of the main reasons we subscribed.

I am afraid to cancel because I have had friends who had them suddenly debit hundreds of dollars from their checking account for fees and holds on equipment while they were trying to disengage. There are times of the month that this would cause real hardship for me so I am afraid to cancel and feel like all the cards are stacked in their favor.
Posted by: Anne ( Email ) at 7/11/2012 11:33 AM

I cancelled my account due to an encounter with a really obnoxious customer service representative when trying to move my service from Washingtonto Montana. She tried to tell me I would have to start a new 2 year contract with them since I wanted HD to view the local news. I cancelled my service and had to pay for the unfulfilled contract of $178 which I paid promptly. I returned my receivers. Today they took $34.99 out of an account that I don't pay bills out of anymore (overdrawing it). It is for movies I rented back in June, July and August of 2011. They said they never billed me for them. Is that really my fault? Hard to dig out my old bills and prove anything and I had carried a credit balance of $40 some for 6 months. I was told the $178 would close my account. They won't refund my $34.99, because policy tells them they can't. Someone needs to do something about this company. I have never heard of just taking money out of someones account without notifying them of the charges and the fact it is over a year ago is totally unreasonable. I can't believe it is worth $34.99 to have me so mad at them regarding their policies and procedures. They have not heard the last of it. Please help us - the Direct TV victims. [ALL CONSUMING MODERATOR'S RESPONSE: you should file a complaint with our Consumer Resource Center at:]
Posted by: Tracy Lofstrom ( Email ) at 10/29/2012 8:07 AM

I have been experiencing daily disruptions with my service for the past 6 months. Today I have attempted to re-boot my box 12 times & still have no reception. Direct TV has no answers but will their technical difficulties do not seem to affect their ability to pull money out of my account each & every month. 2/10/13.
Posted by: Barbara Banck ( Email ) at 2/10/2013 10:38 AM

I was overbilled in January and every month after being on the phone for an hour they promise I will be credited next month. Today they told me I will be credited at the end of my first year, so in 9 more months. Right, like I'm going to believe that one, considering they tell me next month and that never happens. So I asked to speak with a supervisor after an hour of no results and guess what? He'll call me back within the next four hours. I won't be holding my breath for that one either. But maybe I'll send them a bill for my 3 times calling at an hour each that would be 3 hours x $50.oo and hour, now they owe me $150.00. LOL
Posted by: Helen Fram ( Email ) at 4/9/2013 4:52 PM

My family and I have have been having problems with the signal because someone hit a transmitter line. The guy kept telling us that it would work Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow and now it is Tuesday and still nothing. I am in my dorm computer room at my bording school right now. This happened at home
[Blog Post Manager Comment (lw)] If you wish to file a complaint please visit our website at or you may contact our Consumer Protection Division at 800-551-4636 10:00 am – 3:00 pm Monday through Friday for assistance.
Posted by: Cassandra Hart ( Email ) at 9/24/2013 2:28 PM

I closed my Direct tv after moving fem my residence. This fall they started me up automatically and now continue to charge me on my credit card. I have removed charges, contact them. Now the charge is again on my credit card. I have not used the service since July!!
AGO Blog Comment Manager (lw): If you wish to file a complaint please visit our website at or you may contact our Consumer Protection Division at 800-551-4636 10:00 am – 3:00 pm Monday through Friday for assistance.
Posted by: Kathi Malone ( Email ) at 1/27/2014 10:15 AM

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