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Direct TV just turned me over to collections: Now what?

This is a new experience for me, which is why I am telling everyone about it. If you have any further recommendations in addition to what I have already done, I would appreciate hearing from you. I have contacted the Montana Attorney General and have gotten legal advice from a lawyer, which surprisingly was to pay the fee and forget about it. I do not want to do this. So what happens now?...a subpoena and court date? and probably a ruined credit rating or even worse? I don't know.

There is an ongoing 400+ person class-action lawsuit brought by the Washington Attorney General against Direct TV, so their business practices have come under scrutiny.

These two letters to Direct TV sum up the particulars of my case.

Has anyone else had a problem with Direct TV? I don't watch any TV, but my family does. Thanks for any other ideas.

(1) September 28, 2009

Dear Sir:

We recently canceled our Direct-TV account after 8 years. Several months ago before the termination of our contract, one of our receivers stopped working. This 8 year-old receiver no longer functioned, so it was REPLACED with another Direct-TV receiver, which was the only option available. Our system was NOT upgraded. Now we are told that we upgraded our system at that time, which we did NOT do. Again, we only replaced a deflective 8-year old unit.

When we canceled on 9/8/09, we were assured by Direct-TV that no fees were to be assessed and what was required would be to return this new unit, which was done 9/16/09. Despite this reassurance and returning the unit, a $200.00 early cancellation fee was charged on our final bill. Our contract has not changed in 8 years, and it is NOT new. We should not be charged for the replacement of an old, non-functioning unit

Please rectify this situation by removing this incorrect charge. At no time during our 8 years with Direct-TV was there ever a bill in arrears or a partial payment. We have been good customers of Direct-TV, and we expect the same treatment in return from you, so that our relationship with you will end in the same way it began….happily.

Yours truly,

(2) Subject: Direct TV Disputed Charge of $175.60

TO: Allied Interstate Collection Agency

December 31, 2009

Disputed Facts:

1. I was a Direct TV customer for eight years.
2. All bills were paid on time until this disputed charge.
3. The two-year commitment with Direct TV was fulfilled six years ago.
4. No signed contract exists that extends my commitment beyond two years.
5. No signed agreement documenting an “early termination charge” exists.
6. No recent contractual agreement exists between me and Direct TV that obligates me to extend my initial two-year agreement with Direct TV.
7. There is no implied contract between me and Direct TV extending this coverage.
8. There is no obligation to pay an “early termination fee,” when no upgrades were made to the initial system installed in my home in year 2001.
9. I disputed the $175.60 charge assessed on my credit card by Direct TV, and after investigating this dispute, my credit card company judged this dispute in my favor and thus posted a $175.60 credit to my account.
10. My lawyer has advised me that because there is no signed contract extending the initial two-year contract with Direct TV, no binding contract exists and no obligation to pay $175.60 exists. In addition, the $175.60 early termination fee was assessed incorrectly.

I ask that you cease and desist from continuing with this collections action against me.

Furthermore, I request that a letter from Direct TV be sent to me acknowledging this incorrect charge and their mistakenly assessing me $175.60. This apology from Direct TV will be the remedy to resolving this entire matter.


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