Complaint Letter addressed to DirecTV and AT&T.
To Whom It May Concern,
I am writing a complaint letter addressed to DirecTV and AT&T.
I started the painful process of beginning a relationship with DirecTV and AT&T on or around April 10th 2017. I called in and spoke with a DirecTV sales representative who sold me on not only purchasing DirecTV service, but also switching from T-Mobile to AT&T for a $25 monthly credit off my DirecTV bill.
During the phone conversation with the sales rep from DirecTV, he explained the costs for both AT&T and DirecTV services over the phone. I actually had him explain the monthly billing on both AT&T and DirecTV twice. The sales rep explained to me the following:
- My monthly bill for DirecTV would be $65.83; which would also be credited $25 per month for setting up AT&T Cell phone as well. The monthly bill should be $40.83 plus taxes moving forward (less than $50.00 total).
- This would take 1-3 billing cycles to have the $25 applied
- My monthly AT&T bill would be $65-$70 total including taxes/fees and this would allow me to get the $25/month credit towards the DirecTV bill
- This bill has been as stated on the phone with the sales rep
At first, when he informed me of the option to bundle the Cell Phone (AT&T) with TV (DirecTV), I actually had him repeat these monthly dollar amounts to me to make sure I was hearing and understanding him correctly. The repeated what I should expect to see on a monthly statement moving forward. At this point, I decided to move forward with the offer. He collected an initial payment from me over the phone and sent me a confirmation email of the TV plan. At this time, I contacted AT&T and let them know I had spoken with a DirecTV Sales Rep and that I was looking for the $25/mo credit offer towards DirecTV bill. The AT&T service was set up.
From April to June, I had 3 billing cycles and this is what my bills had actually been:
- DirecTV: $73.andchange
- AT&T: $0
- DirecTV: $82.andchange
- AT&T: $150.11
- DirecTV: $82.andchange
- AT&T: $71.82
I called in a spoke with a rep on or around July 3rd 2017 to make sure I would not be charged for any of the premium services, since my 3 month free was nearing (April 10-July 10th). He helped cancel my premium channels but let me know that since I have the Unlimited Plus plan with the AT&T contract, HBO comes free of no charge. He left HBO on my account and removed the other premium channels.
I also asked him when I should see the $25 monthly credit applied to the account. He forwarded my concerns to have a supervisor look into why the $25 credit was not applied. I never actually spoke with a supervisor from this conversation.
My July bill statement is now available (as of today 7/19) and now I’ve been billed the following (and charged by DirecTV):
- DirecTV: $109.andchange
- AT&T: $66.andchange
Okay, so the sales rep in April did tell me months 1-3 the bill may be high before the $25/month would be credited. So, why in the 4th month is my bill now $109.andchange? That’s a large discrepancy from $40.83+tax.
I called into DirecTV on July 19th, to question the newest July bill, because at this point, I 1) had not spoken with a supervisor like the customer service rep on July 3rd promised, and 2) the 4th DirecTV statement is nearly 3 TIMES what I initially agreed to over the phone with the sales rep (Remember, $40.83 was what my expected monthly bill should be plus taxes, this was explained in April). For the record, my AT&T July bill is right in the ballpark I was explained by the sales rep, so no complaints at this point with the most recent July AT&T bill statement of $66.andchange.
During the call on July 19th, The DirecTV rep (Romeo – ID# was kind enough to explain to me that I was actually charged for HBO (the premium channels the July3rd rep left on the account thinking I would be getting it for free monthly as part of the Unlimited Plus). I also was being charged for a ‘Protection Plan’, which he kindly credited my account for May, June and July charges, and he removed the ‘Protection Plan’ moving forward. He assured me my bill would now be $65.83 moving forward, but that he would need to connect me with AT&T to look into the $25/month credit that is not being applied.
I think to myself, Great, that sounds easy enough. Nothing is wrong with my AT&T bill. AT&T will apply the $25/mo credit moving forward and apply a $100 credit for April-July and all will be good in the world. Wrong.
I spoke with a ‘Penny’ in billing. She informed me that I was placed into the WRONG AT&T CELL PHONE PLAN. I am apparently in the Unlimited ‘Choice’ plan. This is why the $25/mo credit is not posting to my DirecTV account. The cell phone plan I needed to qualify for the $25/mo credit is the ‘Unlimited Plus’, which was quoted as $95/mo for the first time on 7/19/2017. She asked me if I wanted to get into this plan now to receive the $25/mo credit? WHAT? In April, on the initial call, the DirecTV Sales Rep explained what I should expect to see as a monthly bill moving forward, and it was $65-$70/mo, NOT $95/mo.
Penny, bless her soul, transferred me to ‘Janice’ in Atlanta in ‘Customer Loyalty’ AT&T, who couldn’t help. Janice then transferred me to another guy in AT&T, who I believe stated his ID# as AT&T Rep ID# informed me the most he could do on his end is credit me the $100 for the $25/mo credit missed in April, May, June and July.
ME: Okay, so $25/mo credit for April, May, June and July at least makes me whole for the prior month statement, thank you, but what about the future billing cycles? I will be paying $25/mo more than the sales rep told me I would pay.
AT&T Rep : Nope, you don’t have the right cell phone plan to apply that credit moving forward.
ME: WHAT? The DirecTV sales rep is the one who told me about this offer, is the one who told me what I should be expecting to pay monthly moving forward, which is the ONLY REASON I SWITCHED TO DIRECTV AND AT&T, and you’re telling me that you are not able to credit the account moving forward?
AT&T Rep: Let me see if we can conference in DirecTV to see if they will credit your account moving forward.
DirecTV rep is conferenced onto the phone with AT&T Rep on the line. The DirecTV rep is totally not helpful. So I ask for a supervisor.
DirecTV Supervisor Stephanie is introduced. I re-re-re-reexplain my situation, and bluntly state that I request either a $25/mo credit applied to this account monthly throughout the duration of this 24-mo contract agreement, or, I request the ability to cancel my ’24-mo agreement’ with a waived cancellation fee since the original agreement is null and void. Stephanie, with DirecTV, explains to me that the most she can do is credit my account with a one-time $50 credit. AND THEN she has the audacity to tell me (and a paraphrase since I don’t have the benefit of recording calls like you do, which by the way, please listen to the April 10th call with the DirecTV Sales Rep so you can hear the bait and switch sales pitch I heard):
“Well, since I’ve reviewed this, it appears the confirmation in April states you’ve been placed into the ‘Choice’ plan, I’m afraid I will not be able to apply a $25/mo Credit to your account, and I will not be able to waive your cancellation fee if you choose to cancel your DirecTV services. It’s you’re responsibility to review that to ensure you’re in the right plan.”
On one hand she’s right; the email says ‘Choice’. On the other hand, the hand that was shook with the sales rep; the email also states ’$65.83’ as the Estimated first bill, which is exactly what the sales rep had told me I should expect moving forward on each billing statement. But ,what Stephanie says is, the word ‘Choice’ in the Order Email was supposed to tell me I do not qualify for the cell phone $25/mo Credit? This is not something a customer would ever realize, especially after the DirecTV sales rep explained the expected monthly bill multiple times to me over the phone on April 10th, which is the only reason I even entered into a 24-mo agreement in the first place!
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 the sales rep on or around April 10th sold me a bundled AT&T and DirecTV plan that simply did not exist in the terms which they were agreed to.
I have found online that I am not the only one who has experienced this sort of misrepresentation from DirecTV’s and/or AT&T’s prior billing practices. Since the call on April 10th with the initial sales rep, I have also incurred additional expenses to have DirecTV Installation fee, hours on the phone with AT&T and DirecTV attempting to solve these issues, hours spent switching from T-Mobile and from Comcast, as well as to get legal advice.
At this time, if you refuse to void my contract, OR, credit my account $25/mo throughout the remaining 21 months of the 24-mo agreement, I will file a complaint with the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Unit and the Federal Trade Commission for intentional misrepresentation of your services. Either, or, is suitable. 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 ($400), 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 or credit my account in FULL, until there are no websites to post to anymore. I will start this today August 5th.
Do you really wish to go down this road? Please respond soon. [edited for privacy – please do not post personal information]