My Letter to DirecTV and Exede
Just following through!
To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing a complaint letter addressed to both DirecTV and Viasat/Exede Satellite Internet.
I started the very long process of beginning to sign up for DirecTV on or around March 9th. I experienced problems with DirecTV customer service from day one. These problems have included:
• Problems signing into my account and the inability of support staff (who kept me on the phone between various calls for nearly an hour) to provide me with adequate information (Despite efforts by phone at initial set up, and an e-mailed complaint, I was not able to access my on-line account until Saturday, April 20th)
• Problems with initial set up. A DirecTV representative came to my home on Saturday March 30th, and spent 45 minutes wandering through our home and giving us all sorts of conflicting information. He first said he didn’t think that DirecTV would work for us unless we “asked our neighbor to cut down their trees.” Then he decided it would work, but told me he needed a 40 foot ladder to get to the side of the house where it needed to be installed. (I later found out that what he wrote in the actual notes on the account was that he’d told me it wouldn’t work and that a second person should go out just for a second opinion. A 40 foot ladder also ended up being unnecessary.)
• Similarly, Exede was supposed to show up at my house on Saturday March 30th to set up my satellite Internet. First, a rep called me to say that he was not going to be able to make the 8am to 12pm window and would be there sometime between 12pm and 2pm. Then he called me nearing 2pm and asked me where *I* was because he was supposedly at my address and I was not there. Turns out he was in New Jersey. I live in Massachusetts.
• Problems with bundling, and here is where the meat of my complaint is:
o On the initial day I ordered this service, I spent quite a bit of time with the DirecTV bundling department. They set me up with Verizon for phone and Internet. I told them that I thought it was strange that Verizon was available through them, since the Verizon website indicated they were NOT available in my area if I went directly to their website. They said that all was fine and I’d be set up with Verizon. HOWEVER, about two weeks later, I started getting calls from Verizon on my CELL phone saying that they were trying to change my CELL phone over to Verizon and needed my help. When I called them asking them why they were trying to change over my CELL phone instead of my HOME phone, they said that’s what they’d been given. When I went through a process of verifying my phone and address information with Verizon, I found that it was ALL wrong. Verizon then told me I needed to call about DirecTV because Verizon is NOT available in my area.
o After finding out that Verizon was not available in my area, I spent about another 45 minutes on the phone with a supervisor in the bundling department who assured me that ‘DirecTV had nothing to do with this error.’ He finally agreed to pull the call, listen to the recording and get back to me in 48 hours. I’ve never heard from him again.
o I called and spoke at LENGTH with a DirecTV representative on or around March 24th to talk to them about other bundling options. They told me that the only option is Exede, and encouraged me to go with that option because it would earn me $10 off my DirecTV bill monthly. I asked them about phone and they recommended Magic Jack. I spoke with a woman in the department at great length to understand the 10 MBPS limit. I SPECIFICALLY asked her about my son’s use of Minecraft on-line, and she assured me that the speed of the Internet would not cause problems for that sort of game. She ALSO assured me that that sort of game would NOT eat up my 10 MBPS limit because only uploads and downloads would do that. After talking with her at some length about the 10 MBPS limit in particular, I made the decision to sign up for the service.
On Saturday, April 13th both DirecTV and Exede Internet were finally successfully installed. Both seemed to be working reasonably well, and I checked my MBPS usage meter daily for Exede. It remained blank for most of the first week, indicating that measurements would begin again shortly. On Sunday, April 21st, I logged in to find that my meter was now showing 6.7 usage of my 10 MBPS monthly limit, the usage was based on a starting date of either April 16th (the start of my month as far as Exede is concerned) or April 19th (when a message said that the system had begun measuring limits again). Either way, my meter would not set back to zero until May 16th and it was telling me that I had used over 2/3 of my monthly limit in less than a week.
At that point, I called and spoke with both DirecTV and Exede representatives. From that point on, everyone on the phone and in person has agreed that of course things like Minecraft on-line would eat up my monthly allotment. The installer ALSO informed me that normal usage of basic DirecTV functions (like On Demand or automatic updates) would also eat up my monthly allotment. However, he told me this AFTER HE FINISHED THE INSTALL. This was NOT acknowledged by the DirecTV representative who encouraged me to sign up for the service. Everyone I’ve spoken with subsequently has also acknowledged that normal DirecTV functions do in fact use up Exede’s 10 MBPS monthly limit.
Based on all this, I called and cancelled my Exede satellite service on Sunday, April 21st. Despite a full explanation of my complaint, the Exede Representative with whom I spoke told me I would be charged around $400.00 for an early cancellation fee.
I am now writing to inform you that I have received the following legal advice:
In order to have a valid contract, there must be a meeting of the minds as to the object of the contract. If the seller of a good or service misrepresents the quality or nature of that good or service to you and that misrepresentation was reasonably relied upon as a material reason for your decision, this is grounds to seek to hold the contract invalid for failure of the meeting of the minds and misrepresentation.
It is obvious to any reasonable person that this product was misrepresented to me and that no person who has access to cable Internet should be encouraged to switch to satellite Internet. I have found on-line that it is clear that I am not the only one who has experienced this sort of misrepresentation from DirecTV and Exede. I have also incurred additional expenses to have Comcast return to my home to rewire me for Internet, and to get a piece of the Satellite dish off of my roof to be returned to Exede to avoid additional equipment fee (I dropped the equipment off at a UPS store today) as well as to get legal advice.
At this time, if you refuse to void my contract, I will file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit and the Federal Trade Commission for intentional misrepresentation of your services. If you continue to fail to take adequate responsibility for this nightmare at that point, I will move on to suing you not only for the amount of the cancellation fee that you are attempting to charge me, but also for damages.
I will also copy this complaint and this letter to at least one website per day for every day that you do not get back to me and say that you will void my contract, until there are no websites to post to anymore. (There seem to be a lot of them, though!) I will start this on Monday, April
Do you really wish to go down this road?
Please respond soon.
Very well written letter. I wish you luck. Please do keep us informed.
Originally Posted by serad27
I have forwarded your information to our corporate office. A corporate representative will be contacting you in regards to your concerns.
Oh yeah? I did, too. But it's now Saturday, May 4th and I still haven't heard anything from anyone.
Originally Posted by Exede Lizz
BTW Serad..it appears your main issues lay with Directv. I am sure they would be aware of who you talked with and most likely would have audio recordings (i.e. this call may be monitored for quality assurance) of your purchase. So they should be able to verify what you state in the letter.
Welp, I mysteriously stopped being able to log in to my 'serad27' account, so have set this one up just to say the following:
Yeah, maybe largely DirecTV's fault, but I'd say that Exede has some responsibility here as well... Nevermind that the first installer they tried to send me was looking for me in New Jersey (again, I'm in Massachusetts) and unable to meet the 8 to 12pm window even if I HAD lived there... and nevermind how unhelpful and disorganized the customer service was... Simply the fact that Exede HEARD me share all this info by phone and then still insisted there was nothing they could do but charge me the $400 cancellation fee is awful and definitely on them.
Anyway, I'm pleased to report that two things happened: First, DirecTV DID pull the call and verify what I was saying and was going to supposedly put in a request to Exede to waive the cancellation fee... but when they called Exede to ask them to do so, they apparently were told that Exede had already chosen to waive it ... perhaps because of my letter or posts here or the fact that I also involved a consumer advocate who wrote to them on my behalf, and not that they were apparently going to tell me directly about their decision... but anyway, problem solved.
Thanks! Appreciate the follow-up. Hopefully Directv would stop the practice of pushing Exede to people that already have options for high-speed internet by ways other than satellite, but I won't hold my breath. Unfortuantely, it is all about the sale.
serad37, we're glad we could reach a positive resolution with you. Sometimes mistakes happen, and when they do, we do our best to rectify them. That's the main purpose of this forum, to help provide customer service and address customer-affecting issues. Thank you.
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