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Author Topic: Direct TV charges for movies purchased two years ago
Karmyn
Jingle Bell Hock


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Today we recieved our monthly bill from Direct TV. There was something different about this one. There were Pay-Per-View charges for three movies. One of them is dated 2/29. Strange, that was over two years ago. Mom calls customer service. It took them over two years to charge us for these movies because we don't have a working phone line connected to our receiver. Huh? Mom was very upset and threatened to switch to Dish Network instead.
Two years! With customer service like that, it's a wonder they stay in business. The person she talked to said she was going to put her on hold to contact the supervisor, but she didn't put her on hold. Mom said she could still hear the woman in the background.
This is the first major problem we've had with them in a long time. I think we should switch to Dish, but mom doesn't think it's worth the hassle. She even said she was going to pay the bill. I think she should fight it more.

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"I have a very cunning plan."

Posts: 506 | From: Texas | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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I'm surprised they let you order the movie without a working phone line to that box. As I recall, that is part of your agreement with DirecTV.

And, if she ordered the movie, she should pay for it.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Lil' Molly
Deck the Malls


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Well, Dish Network is the same way. It has to do with the systems they use to get orders and charge accounts. You have to have the phone line plugged into the unit so they have a direct connection with your household. Order and bill information is stored there (this is what one CS rep at Dish told me). This worked greatly to our advantage in college when we wanted to order something on PPV but not pay for it for a few months. Two years does seem a bit long, though.

ETA: All the guys who have ever installed my dish have told me about this during installation. You also need to hook up the phone line to get some software upgrades.

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Karmyn
Jingle Bell Hock


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She was told that some of them had actually already been paid for. We have a phone line connected to the box, it just doesn't work for some reason. I don't know if this still works, but it was at one time possible to order over the phone. They just charged about fifty cents more. We rarely watch anything on pay-per-view because it's too much of a hassle and besides, I can get it through netflix much easier.
It just shouldn't take two years or more for them to bill us.

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"I have a very cunning plan."

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Well, sometimes it does.

Be glad they're not charging interest.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Kev
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Karmyn:
She was told that some of them had actually already been paid for. We have a phone line connected to the box, it just doesn't work for some reason. I don't know if this still works, but it was at one time possible to order over the phone. They just charged about fifty cents more. We rarely watch anything on pay-per-view because it's too much of a hassle and besides, I can get it through netflix much easier.
It just shouldn't take two years or more for them to bill us.

Well if you didn't have a working phone line connected to the receiver so that they could receive the movie purchase information then how were they supposed to bill you?

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Karmyn
Jingle Bell Hock


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We called in the order. It's a 50 cent surcharge. I don't know if it's still possible to do that.
I think pay-per-view is too much of a hassle now that there's Netflix and Blockbuster rentals by mail. So much easier.

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"I have a very cunning plan."

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happyholidaysfrog
Jingle Bell Hock


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Anglrdr, what right would they have to charge interest? It seems that many unscrupulous companies could take advantage of that by simply not sending bills and then charging interest for them. It doesn't seem like it would be legal.

And two years seems like an unreasonably long time, but I do agree if they are movies that were ordered, then she does owe for them(no interest though).

I would just make sure that any future movies odered on PPV appear on the next bill, if they don't call and tell them "I ordered such and such on this date, please bill me promptly".

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~All we see or seem is but a dream within a dream~
E.A.Poe

Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today.
~James Dean~

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Because they violated their user agreement by not having a working phone line connected to a receiver.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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happyholidaysfrog
Jingle Bell Hock


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But the penalty for that should have been not being allowed to order movies from PPV. Not being allowed to order them over a telephone, then not being charged for two years, and then being charged interest.

If they have an "order over the phone" option(for a fee) then they should be able to use it and not be penalized(other then the fee). Also there is no reason that the lack of phone line in the reciever should have prevented them from putting it on the next bill. Like I said, if they have "order on the telephone" as an option(for a fee) then they need to treat it exactly as they would the regular ordering of PPV(except for the fee).

I still don't see how not charging them for two years and then charging them for the movie plus interest would be a reasonable or legal thing to do.


I do not see how it could be legal to withhold a bill and then charge the person being billed for the amount plus interest because of the failure of the company collecting to put it on a bill.
I'm not saying she doesn't owe the money for the movie, the debt is valid. Your assertion however that Direct TV could have charged interest and Karmyn should be glad they didn't is illogical.

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~All we see or seem is but a dream within a dream~
E.A.Poe

Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today.
~James Dean~

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AnglsWeHvHrdOnHiRdr
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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My water bill has a notice each month that it is due, regardless of whether a bill is received or not.

Now, I do not know the legality of the issue, but it would seem to me that if a charge is incurred, then DirecTV has the right to collect that charge. Sure, the error appears to be theirs, and it wouldn't be the "right thing to do" to charge the amount plus the two years of interest, at least from a customer satisfaction standpoint, though they may well be within their legal rights to do so (I do not know; I am speculating).

However, Kamryn seems to think they should not have to pay it at all. Which I think is ethically wrong.

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"When a stupid man is doing something he is ashamed of, he always declares that it is his duty."--George Bernard Shaw

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Hero_Mike
Happy Holly Days


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For a public utility, or for a service which is "on demand" (like, say, ordering a movie), you are responsible for payment if the service has been delivered. In other words, if you had water then you are responsible for paying for it, just like a movie that you actually ordered.

There does not seem to be any dispute over the ordering of the movies - it seems to be clear that they were ordered. Considering that there is still an active relationship with the people who provide the service, it may be annoying or surprising to be billed for something so late. But there isn't likely a statute of limitations on how timely the billing has to be. It may be annoying, and if they did not make an effort to send a bill, or that previous bills had no indication of the charge, then they really can't charge interest for non-payment of something which was not invoiced in a timely fashion. happyfrog has it right - they can only charge interest for late payment of the bill, and if the movies were never billed, then you can't backdate the due date to when the service as received.

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"The fate of *billions* depends on you! Hahahahaha....sorry." Lord Raiden - Mortal Kombat

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happyholidaysfrog
Jingle Bell Hock


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I said in both of my posts that if they are movies that they ordered then they owe for them, a negligence to send a bill doesn't mean they get it for free. Direct TV has every right to bill for the movies and I have not said otherwise. I did say it seemed an unreasonable length of time to wait to send a bill, but that does not mean I think they are not responsible for that bill.

All I was disputing was the legality of failing to send a bill then charging interest for said bill. I think it would really depend on the fine print. I do not think it should be legal to charge interest unless it is clearly outlined before purchase that interest will be charged if certain conditions are not met.

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~All we see or seem is but a dream within a dream~
E.A.Poe

Dream as if you'll live forever, live as if you'll die today.
~James Dean~

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Hero_Mike
Happy Holly Days


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quote:
Originally posted by happyfrog:
I said in both of my posts that if they are movies that they ordered then they owe for them, a negligence to send a bill doesn't mean they get it for free. Direct TV has every right to bill for the movies and I have not said otherwise. I did say it seemed an unreasonable length of time to wait to send a bill, but that does not mean I think they are not responsible for that bill.

All I was disputing was the legality of failing to send a bill then charging interest for said bill. I think it would really depend on the fine print. I do not think it should be legal to charge interest unless it is clearly outlined before purchase that interest will be charged if certain conditions are not met.

You're right - if they item was never billed, they can't charge interest on it even though the bill is late. They cannot backdate the interest to when the service was first received.

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"The fate of *billions* depends on you! Hahahahaha....sorry." Lord Raiden - Mortal Kombat

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Karmyn
Jingle Bell Hock


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Customer Service first said that two of the movies had been paid for. Unfortunately, since this was over two years ago, I doubt we have those bills to prove that we were already charged. As for violating ToS by not having a working phone line connected to the reciever, I'm not sure what they can do. The jack works, but the reciever doesn't. A phone plugged into the same line will work. We've been with Direct TV for most of the last ten years and at our current address for almost three years.
If the movies were never paid for, then yes, we will pay the bill. If they were already paid for and something can be found to prove this, then we will ask for a new bill. Customer Service has gotten really bad lately. Several times the reception has gone out for no reason. It may be because the reciever is about three years old. I still think we should switch to Dish. I've heard very few complaints about them and the service costs about the same.

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"I have a very cunning plan."

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