Directv Has The Worst Customer Service of All-Time
August 19th, 2009 by Ice Cream Jonsey

I’m still amazed at what I’ve been through today.  I’m hoping that this turns up in some searches, so people can see what they are in for.

I had been a Directv customer for about nine years. Due to the recent global economic collapse, I cancelled service in July. That went very smoothly. In June, I received an automated call that said that I would have to upgrade my receiver going forward, so knowing that I would have to do that anyway, it seemed like a good time to go without TV.

Things picked up for me, financially, about six weeks later. As it happens, I received an e-mail from Directv with an offer to sign back up. The subject of the mail was, “Come Back And Get Over 150 Channels For Only $29.99/mo For 12 Months.” That sounded like a good deal. They’d rather not have me go to Comcast, I was perfectly happy with them for years… this seemed like it would work.

The e-mail stated that I had to call a phone number to take advantage of this promotion. The promotional code was WBK7. I spoke with a CSR for about twenty minutes and we got everything taken care of. (Or so it seemed!) They were able to schedule a technician to arrive the next day.

The next day arrived, and the tech showed up on time. It’s at this point that I should describe my setup.

I have a single dish, attached to my house. The co-ax cable goes into a “flat” wire, which is placed between a screen window. The other end of the flat wire goes back into more co-ax cable, and then into the receiver.

The tech said that I needed a new flat wire. He said that would be $16. He also said that I would have to have a protection plan at $4 a month, indefinitely. Alternatively, he could drill a hole through my house and install it that way.

Well, that was totally unacceptable.  I’m fairly certain that he was going to try to drill through solid concrete, so that was out of the question. Furthermore, my setup had been perfectly adequate for years. There was no logical reason that they couldn’t use the existing flat wire.

The tech wouldn’t budge, so I got his supervisor on the phone. Directv contracts all this work out, so I was surprised to find that the supervisor wouldn’t budge. He wouldn’t authorize the tech to use the flat wire and he wouldn’t waive the moronic, monthly “protection fee.” I was amazed – if anyone reading this happens to know me in real life, I think it’s fair to say that I don’t get worked up or agitated about anything. The audacity of this clown really pissed me off.  I told the guy, “well, forget it then,” and he was totally happy to let this sale fall through.

After this, I called Directv proper. I got one of their CSRs on the phone, who realized that while the contractors couldn’t give a shit who does and doesn’t stick with Directv, the corporation itself did. He told the tech to go ahead and give me the new goddamn receiver. The tech had to confirm with his boss, however, and who knows what was said, because he came back down ready to do what I wanted them to do 40 minutes previous.

The tech gave me the new receiver, blah blah, everything was working.

At this point, I had no confidence that the rebate was going to happen. I went to and was told that my account was not eligible for a rebate! Well well well! The desperation was pretty transparent, and I guess I was just supposed to be relieved that service was working at all. I called Directv, and got an all-new, all-different CSR.

She told me that my account wasn’t eligible for a rebate, because I had not been away long enough. Of course, this wasn’t mentioned on the e-mail, wasn’t mentioned by the original CSR, wasn’t mentioned by anyone. I asked to speak with her supervisor.

Another 40 minutes passed, and all the while, the gal on the phone told me that nobody could do anything, that it was impossible for me to get this rebate, that the fourth law of thermodynamics involved me never getting this stupid rebate. At this point, it became personal. Not between me and her, but between me and Directv.

The supervisor never got on the phone with me, but did instruct the CSR to tell me the following:

– Tomorrow I am meant to logon to Directv’s website.
– At that point, I’ll see my rebate option show up.
– I can, at that point, get the goddamn rebate I was offered in the first place.

I’ve got zero faith that anything is going to be different tomorrow. I guess we’ll see! You read about horrible fucking customer service all the time, but it’s still a thing to go through it yourself. And I am totally motivated to stick with Directv forever. I honestly like what they offer, and having experienced their competitors when I originally moved out here, Jesus Christ, Directv is the best option. But they’ve got to fix this, this entire episode was a joke and I’d rather go with someone else than ever try to repeat this process again.

UPDATE: I logged into my account and checked their website just for the hell of it. As it turns out, I did not have to wait until tomorrow. The rebate link was there and worked. Halle-frigging-lujah.

18 Responses  
  • bob writes:
    December 5th, 20094:26 amat

    i have had dtv for 9 yrs—best tv you can get—worst suport on the earth total dumb ass’es, callem givem hell!

  • Joseph Bennett writes:
    January 22nd, 201011:57 amat

    We are now proud Dish Network subscribers after my recent issues with Directv. After seeing numerous Dish Network commercials for new subscribers, I called their toll free number on January 18, 2010. The sale rep and I went through some plans that were comparable to Directv at a much better rate. The rep was quick to sign me up on the spot. I told him I was a long time (5+ years) subscriber to Directv and I wanted to give them a chance to retain me as a customer. He was patient and understood and offered to call me back to discuss my final decision. I gave him my number and we set up a time to call.

    I made my first of 2 calls to Directv to their sales department on 01/18/2010. Long story short all she could do was save me $16/month for 6 months. Now, I have been a subscriber for 5+ years and had everything; HD, All of the movie channles, DVR, Sunday Ticket, 6 receivers, etc. Her offer was not even close to Dish Network and I asked her to transfer me to the Cancellation Dept to show how serious I was about this and hope for a better offer. Conveniently I was disconnected.

    I made a second call and this time went directly to the cancellation department. Same story, except this girl was able to get the savings up to $20/month for 6 months. Still not good enough. I was going to wait for the sales rep from Dish to call me back on 01/21/2010 at 6pm.

    The Dish Network called exactly when he said and signed me up with a HUGE savings over Directv.

    Immediatley after getting off of the call with Dish Network, I called Directv to cancel. I went right to the cancellation department. The girl I spoke with this time seemed generally interested in retaining me as a customer. I voiced my concerns over being such a loyal customer and it taking 3 reps to finally find one that seemed to care. I added it was too late, I was cancelling anyway. At this point she sprung on me that if I cancelled I would have an early termination fee. What? The previous 2 reps said nothing of this and she did not mention it until I she completely understood I was dropping their service. After a heated discussion, I asked to talk to her supervisor. After being on hold for 4 miniutes and 42 seconds I got to talk to this guy.

    I voiced my concerns all over again and all I basically got was a “Sorry, Can’t Help Ya!” attitude. No retention offers, and I am still expected to pay the early terminiation fee of $220.

    My final question is how can you be a loyal customer of 5+ years with just about everything Directv has to offer and still be considered an “Early Terminiation” candidate. Directv sucks! Stay away from them.

  • Adam M writes:
    February 26th, 20108:23 pmat

    Joseph you should contact their disputes department and request a refund of your early termination fee. If they refuse, threaten to go to arbitration. It will cost them around $800 for arbitration so they will most likely refund your fee.

    The reason you probably were hit with the fee is that you added new hardware at some point which resets your contract term. This is a not well advertised part of the Directv contract and they do not do a good job of explaining it when you activate new hardware.

  • Tim W. writes:
    March 1st, 20109:38 amat


    I live in Washington, DC … on Capitol Hill … in a townhouse.

    During the recent Nor’easter, we learned that the DirecTV contractor that reinstalled our service removed an out-of-date dish and just left it on our roof. During the Nor’easter (DC got gusts of wind up to 60+ mph), the disconnect dish flew off our roof and crashed into our backyard. Luckily, neither human nor pet was in the backyard when the dish flew off and fell approximately 40 feet from the roof.

    I contacted DirecTV to arrange to have someone drop by to pick up the old dish only to be told they do NOT retrieve old dishes and … actually … consider old dishes to be our personal property and responsibility.

    I’m not sure the associates I spoke to understood me. Had the old dish been left CONNECTED/ATTACHED to our roof, I wouldn’t have an issue. However, with the contractor disconnecting the old dish and just leaving it sitting on our roof, I feel they created a hazard by NOT removing it and disposing of it. Once again, we only learned the contracted left the disconnect old dish on our roof after it blew off and crashed into our backyard.

    When talking with the associate and later her manager, I was told over and over again the dish is my responsibility and their policy is NOT to remove old dishes.

    So, if you return to DirecTV, be sure you specifically tell the contractor NOT to disconnect the dish and just leave it untethered on your roof.

  • David writes:
    March 3rd, 20103:12 pmat
    Would you reward a kid for stealing from your purse? Of course you wouldn’t.Then why is the NFL rewarding Directv with exclussive rights? They lie , cheat , and steal.They charge you to lease their equipment , then charge you upto $5.99 to protect it against repairs.They will also make unauthorized charges to your credit/debit card.This is 100% accurate , google directv complainsts , it will blow your mind , they had over 20,000 complaints in 3 years , thats a BBB record.They have 3 lawsuits pending , in California , Washington , and Oregon.This does not include the silent suits.My goal is to get congress to open the NFL Sunday Ticket to cable companies , And all Satellite companies , At the top there is a Petition , my goal is to get 10,000 signatures then I’m sending the petition to congress.America needs competition , what if there was only 1 electrc company , gas company , Or auto maker?You Get the point , Thanks for your support!

  • David writes:
    March 6th, 20105:03 pmat Would you reward a kid for stealing from your purse? Of course you wouldn\’t.Then why is the Foot Ball League rewarding DTV with exclussive rights? They lie , cheat , and steal.They charge you to lease their equipment , then charge you upto $5.99 to protect it against repairs.They will also make unauthorized charges to your credit/debit card.This is 100% accurate , google DTV complainsts , it will blow your mind , they had over 20,000 complaints in 3 years , thats a BBB record.They have 3 lawsuits pending , in California , Washington , and Oregon.This does not include the silent suits.My goal is to get congress to open the Foot Ball League Sunday Ticket to cable companies , And all Satellite companies , At the top there is a Petition , my goal is to get 1,000 signatures then I\’m sending the petition to congress.America needs competition , what if there was only 1 electrc company , gas company , Or auto maker?You Get the point , Thanks for your support!

  • Anne writes:
    March 13th, 201011:53 pmat

    Today I went to war with Directv. I too a long time customer, over 9 years,
    ‘Valued Customer’ according to my bill and when I called Customer Service.

    ‘Valued Customer’ = Someone we can screw when they leave and guarantee they never come back.

    I too was charged a early termination fee of 116.06 to my AMEX card. I called CS @ Directv to ask what the charge was for. I thought maybe they had not received the equipment I shipped back and were charging me for that. Nope, early termination fee. I told her I would not pay and she said too late they had already charged my credit card. I laughed and told her AMEX wont pay when I put in a dispute so joke is on them.

    Called AMEX started the dispute. Always excellent customer Service at AMEX. AMEX said no problem dont’ pay us that amount and they will take up the issue with Directv. Cool.

    Well I was steamed that I had to waste 2 hours of my saturday with this nonsense so I went back to Directvs website and sent and email.
    Told them I will close my AMEX acct and let it go to collections before I would pay the early termination fee.

    I got the standard rhetoric that it’s all in my contract, blah blah.

    I replied back and repeated my earlier statement. Not paying .

    I am so sick and tired of companies screwing long time proven customers and rewarding new unproven customers. I told them that and that I was willing to ruin my credit and I am. But I am not paying their made up fees. No way , no how.
    I also reminded them of the golden rule in retail.
    Make the customer happy they might tell 2 people. Make them mad and they tell everyone.

    Next email I get is from someone completely different apoligizing and informing that I will recieve a credit on my credit card within 48 hours.
    We will see.

    The last email also stated that it was clear to them that I was not terminating early,my contract was fulfilled in July 2009.

    When will companies get it? It’s the worse case of the Dog and the Bone.
    I am tired of it and I am fighting back. I have all the things that I need. I don’t have any need for a loan so I will ruin my credit fighting these companies.

    I have a couple of stores in my area that are locally owned and operated and I go there and pay more because I know the people in there. Same people year after year. Know my name and care if I haven’t been in for awhile. Sure I pay more but so what. What I spend there is supporting families just like me.

    Not rewarding some ass with bonuses he doesn’t deserve and screwing the little guy.

    Sad thing here is I liked Directv alot. I have Comcast now only because it was a financial decision to switch. If I could afford it I would still have Directv. We had the big pkg, our bill was $135. plus every month.
    I dont’ like Comcast at all. But will never do business with Directv again.

    I figured it out and I had paid approx $12,000. while I had Directv and the bastards wanted another 116.06 to say thank you for being a ‘Valued Customer’.

    Screw them. I am not going to hold my breath on the credit. I hope so because I like my AMEX card. I would hate to close that card.

  • Chris writes:
    May 3rd, 20106:34 pmat

    Anne, EXACT same story with me.

    Long time happy customer, moved and my only option is Comcast. The guy on the phone said I have not fulfilled my commitment so there would be a charge. Wrong wrong wrong – I signed up in 07 with a 24 month commitment! He said OK I will not be charged.

    Well the final statement came today and guess what? “$87 Early Termination Fee” already billed to my Visa. Called back today to explain the whole thing and get it credited. The person on the phone apologized and asked to hold and then he disconnected me!

    I’ve always been a DirectTV fan and have referred them to many people but in two phone call they managed to destroy their credibility. Next call will be to Visa to dispute and then to BBB to report them. Sad.

    I’m posting not just to vent but as a warning to other people before they sign up with DirecTV. Lesson learned: Do not give them your credit card. Stay with paper statements.


  • Jeff writes:
    July 19th, 20101:21 pmat

    I had DirecTV for five years. I dealt with the screen going pixel everytime the wind blew, the constant blue screens and them taking some of my favorite channels away because they were having a pissing contests with Comcast. I also dealt with my wife complaining that DirecTV would not air the WB network because they didn’t want to pay Warner Brothers or whatever their lame excuse was. Looking back, I should have stayed with Comcast because right after I switched, Comcast came out with the same accessories that made me switch to DirecTV in the first place. Staying with DirecTV all that time made it so that I went without Versus and my wife went without WB. Then they took ESPN Classic away with no explanation. Anyways, times got tough and we had to make sacrifices. The DirecTV got turned off. Between Netflix, ESPN3 and Hulu, I don’t even miss it. That’s not entirely true, I did miss SportsCenter for awhile, but as it turned out that too was just repetitive background noise most of the time. ESPN has a fantstic website has everything that I need to know without the commercials. Excuse me, back to the point. A month and half later, DirecTV cleaned out my bank account with no prior warning. They’re were two transactions pending when they did this, so I was also tagged with 56 dollars in overdraft fees from my bank. I’m not without fault in this situation because I did get behind and the service disconnected. I don’t think that gives them the right to zero out my account (Although legally they are right, check the fine print.) When I called customer service to let them know they had taken my family’s critical prescription and food money for the week, they were indifferent and uncaring. I’m just putting this out there so people will know to be wary of DirecTV. If you must have their service, don’t allow them access to your bank account. I didn’t have automatic withdrawal set up with them. It was a one time, one charge only deal, every month for five years. That is how I paid them for years. They still accessed my account and took every last cent out of it without warning. My bank is powerless to fix it because DirecTV has the contract I agreed to (be careful of where you put checkmarks in boxes on the internet.) five years ago. DirecTV is an uncaring conglomerate. When I told the customer service representative that I would have medical issues without the five dollar prescriptions that were waiting for me at the pharmacy, he told me to go to the emergency room because there was no way he was reversing the charges. This was the supervisor. If one person decides not to get DirecTV because of this, then it will have been time well spent. Thank you.

  • Matt writes:
    October 27th, 20109:04 amat

    DirecTv has the absolute worst customer service. I ordered a one day college football plan and they told me it was $24, so I said fine. My bill has a $44.99 charge in the “first of 3 payments” for the same amount. I called to inform them they made a mistake and I was told “once it’s ordered it can’t be cancelled”! After an hour and a half, I feel helpless. They will not budge and treat me like I’m bothering them. It’s like I’m speaking with a bunch of brain-washed people who do not know the difference between right and wrong. It’s crazy.

  • Matt writes:
    October 27th, 20109:06 amat

    Unfortunately I agree with another guy’s comment here. Directv has the best programming, but the worst customer service by far of any company in any industry.

  • Eva writes:
    December 9th, 20105:17 pmat

    I totally understand what Jeff is talking about and as he had stated at the end of his post. NEVER GIVE DIRECTV ANY BANK INFO! If you pay online, even if you make sure that you click on “one time payment only” option, they will still retain your debit or credit card info and will take the money out of your account even if you do not autherize it and EVEN IF THE ACCOUNT ISN’T IN YOUR NAME!! The account was in my boyfriends name and I had payed on it quite a few times but they take it as they can take the money out of my account without my autherization now. They will not try to fix the situation either. I have my bank involved now and if this doesn’t work I will go to litigation over this. It really ticks me off. Not to mention the cancellation fee….We’ve been with Directv for over 5 GD years!! Are they kidding me??? Stay away from Directv all together. Go with Dish network or cable, you’d be glad you did.

  • John S writes:
    December 25th, 20109:30 pmat

    We signed up for DirecTV in 1998. They had roughly 2 million customers and were a good company then. No contracts that I remember, $29.99 for the good package. We paid $380 for a receiver and dish, and did our own install.

    Over the years I’ve seen them deteriorate in every way. The equipment is complicated, customer service is terrible, and the cost has gone up to $90. Plus I can’t even sneeze next to the thing without them extending my contract.

    I added an old receiver in a spare room. It was one that I had stored in my basement, and figured I’d put it in my kid’s room. BIG HUGE MISTAKE I later found out!!

    I hooked up an over-the-air antenna and quickly realized I could get 95% of what I watch (local television), for free, and in HD.

    So I bought a DVR and canceled DirecTV. Figured it would be OK, since my last new receiver was over 2 years old. Well, they charged me $420 early termination on the 2nd receiver. Then immediately charged my credit card. Unknown to me, my contract was renewed on that old spare reciever, even though the CSR specifically told me there was NO contract on this receiver when I added it in September 2010 since it was owned.

    I spoke with 5 CSRs before I actually gone one of them who understood that I shouldn’t be under contract. She put a credit on my account. But that takes 8 weeks to be refunded. So they’re holding on to MY money for 2 months!

    I hate this company and would suggest nobody subscribe to them if don’t want to be shoved around by corporate bullying.

  • rcoke writes:
    June 6th, 201111:49 amat

    I disconnected service because of the smart azz attitute of a customer service person I called a spoke with at driect tv, then someone else called and offered me $220.00 credit if I didn’t cancel their service after getting upset with that customer service person.
    I still had 8 monuts to go on my contract, so I had to pay the early termination fee, except for the cable company that I was going to get my new service from said they would pay for my ETF and to just send them the bill for the ETF. Direct tv refused to send a bill that showed this was an early termination fee, they mark this fee as past due charge thinking the cable company won’t pay, they are still wrong the cable company said they already know that is what dtv does, and they will still pay it, Direct tv is truly has the worst customer service I have ever dealt with, and I will never deal with them again.

  • Ken2112 writes:
    August 25th, 20111:28 pmat

    Ok, so I just ordered Direct TV 3 days ago and realized that I had ordered an extra receiver for which I did not need. So today, I called their CS and spoke with an individule who barely spoke English and felt the need to give a a recap of our conversation every 5 minutes, oh, in between apologies which I have no idea why she was apologizing. Fast forward 30 minutes where she tells me that because I had ordered 2 receivers and now only wanted one. I would be getting a $1.95 refund. So she tranfers me over to the billing department and this guy has no clue what I’m talking about and informs me that he cannot give me any refund until the equiptment is installed. HE IS LOOKING AT MY ACCOUNT AND STILL CAN”T FIGURE IT OUT!!!I was so enraged at this point I hung up and said fuck the refund and if one more thing go wrong….fuck direct TV! All I wanted to do is cancel one of the receivers and thats it. Not spend 45 god damn minutes talking to two idiots who obviously don’t know how to get their job done.

  • Eric writes:
    October 5th, 201112:31 amat

    Directv is flat out the wost with regards to any customer service issue. Can barely talk to an agent half the time. This is especially frustrating when you order movies and it doesn’t work. When you get an agent they are extremely difficult to deal with. The ad campaign saying they have better service than dish is hard to believe. That’s the truth about directv.

  • Steve writes:
    December 23rd, 20117:21 amat

    DirecTV gave me more misinformation than truth and have gimmick after gimmick after gimmick. They wasted days of my time and I had to immediately cancel once I found out what they installed was completely different than what I was lead to believe. They billed me after the cancellation and dumped their satellite and 300 pounds of crap for me to remove and throw in the dumpster for them. Every call to them is time wasted on BS and on hold. And I had to buy stucco patch and silicone and remove many nail from the stucco. Call DirectTV and AT&T at your own peril.

  • Irewoulfe writes:
    March 2nd, 201212:32 amat

    Why are you screwing over the long term customers that made you what you are today? I believe Krystal stated I had been a customer since 2003, I was looking to lower our monthly bill, AND get our outdated antiquated equipment replaced. The only way I could do that was to cancel my service and become a new subscriber… Krystal indicated that she understood and that she would process our cancellation. NEVER did she indicate that DirecTV would not allow the following.
    So I cancelled my service and had my wife activate a new account so that we could get the whole home DVR service (tired of the ‘record one, both or cancel notice), and new receivers and reduce our monthly cost by $20-30 while getting a greater DirecTV experience. Today you folks call and cancel our installation and accuse us of being ‘criminals’ and that DirecTV does not allow this and that we will now be without service for 24 months before we can re-subscribe.
    That is a nice “Thank You for being your customer for so long”.
    Why can’t LONG TIME subscribers get receivers and equipment upgrades (AT RESONABLE INTERVALS). Even the phone companies do that.
    Our old 2003 Hughes RXs won’t do HD, the DVR does 2 channels. Luckily last visit (DVR install) the technician put in a DTV antenna to replace the original DISH antenna that we had to use since our move in 2007.

    So again I ask, “Why are you shafting us long time subscribers when you offer such a grand deal to new clients?”
    BTW, when you deny an install when your own CS rep does not indicate any inpropriety and then infer that we are criminals for attempting this ‘fraudulent act’, we usually end up in the legal arena. Which will be fine by me, I can’t wait for Dish and the media to get wind of this one.
    So, there you have it, one VERY pissed off, dis-satisfied customer.
    Likely no one will read this and we will get screwed by a company we have supported and made the premier sat provider on the planet. Unfortunately you forgot who put you there. Read my blogs

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