Sunday, March 1, 2009

Dear Direct TV,

Please allow me to first address losing my temper with your representative. I know that listening to someone rant, rave, curse (although I hardly feel one piddly little 'damn' qualifies as cursing), and then hang up on you is probably the worst part of a customer service rep's job. I hope you will accept my sincerest of apologies for this transgression. I hope you'll also note that I made my husband call back immediately and apologize for my behavior, as I was too embarrassed to do it myself. That being said, let me explain why I instantly exploded when when you told me I owed an early termination fee.

Several months ago I called to inquire about canceling my service and was told that there would be a fee. I argued the validity of this and was told that a swap of equipment (from a HD receiver to a DVR) in July of 2007 did, in fact, renew my commitment to you for an additional two years. I escalated my complaint to a supervisor, and was told that if I chose to cancel I would not be charged a fee. We then discussed how you had been incorrectly charging me for a service I no longer had, and you made several adjustments to my account. We decided to keep our service at that time, because although there were problems, they were handled in a manner that satisfied me.

When I called to cancel my service with you this time, again, the dreaded fee was broached. I argued said fee, and told you of my previous experience. I was told you had no record of that. At that point, I am ashamed to say I lost my temper, asked for the amount of the 'damn fee' ($62.50), demanded immediate cancellation, and hung up on your rep.

When my husband called back to make amends and confirm cancellation, he was told our fee would be "approximately $50.00" and that we had four receivers to return. It took the better part of an hour for you to correct this error, as we only have three. Luckily, my husband was somewhat more patient than I.

When I fired off a strongly worded but extremely polite e-mail complaining about your horrible service and the fee, I received a prompt response now telling us that we owed $112.50 for cancelling early. Be glad this was sent to me in writing, because if you think I lost my temper during the first phone call, well, let's just say that was nothing.

Again, the issue was escalated. I demanded an apology, and that you waive the fee for the time and hassle we had to go through. You did respond that although you were "terribly sorry" for our cancellation and the incorrect information your representatives kept giving us, you were unable to waive the fee. The correct fee now being fifty some odd dollars.

While I am no longer surprised by the incompetence of your customer service reps and your shoddy record keeping, I am curious that you will not waive such a small fee in order to make an extremely irritated and wronged customer happy. In today's economy, satellite service is a luxury, and I would hazard a guess that you are losing customers as quickly as rats abandoning a sinking ship. One would think that you would bend over backwards to keep a customer happy, in hopes that they would remember your service fondly and sign back up when times were less troubled. Obviously, this is a mistaken assumption on my part.

Although my readership is not large, and although* a large portion of them are either Canadian** or my mother,*** I hope that, through word of mouth,**** this will cost you at least one customer down the road. One customer in addition to myself, of course. Be warned, Direct TV. People talk, and word gets around.

Sincerely yours,

A Dissatisfied Customer


*I just realized I say 'although' a lot when I'm angry. Odd.

**Hi Zayna!! Do they have Direct TV in Canada? If they do, don't get it!

***Hi Mom!

****And my mouth? It's big.


Zayna said...

Nope, no DirectTV but we do have Bell and they are also a nightmare to deal with. We just got through a similar experience (though in our case it's Hubby who does the ranting and the raving to the reps)when we canceled our phone service.

Lisa said...

My sympathies on having to deal with Bell! I told MM we were just doing local channels and Netflix after the move. I'm tired of dealing with satellite and cable. :)