Deception, broken promises, bait-and-switch?
My story begins a little over 2 years ago at a Sam's Club and a DirecTV/AT&T contracted sales person who promised to install the newest 4K equipment if we switched (from DishNetwork). The promises included not only the newest DVR, but full 4K equipment and installation, plus the in-club deal as an existing AT&T Wireless customer was a locked rate so long as we didn't change package ( had never heard of a permanent price lock - but as I found out recently - there is no such thing).
Installation scheduled and tech showed up and did all the connections and confirmed everything except said our iternet wasn't fast enough for 4k. He said everything was in place when internet speeds were upgraded.
It took almost a year before our internet was finally capable of 4K - and still no 4K. After going round and round with tech support - they finally determined that the equipment installed "4K-ready" but requires a 4K Genie to actually use the 4K service. They wanted to charge us for an additional box and a tech visit to install, an unacceptable turn, considering we were supposed to have everything necessary all along. After an extended round with AT&T and the retentiondepartment - they agreed, "as a courtesy", to send the appropriate Genie box that should have been installed at my original install - but wasn't. I was promised no charge - with the admission the Genie should have been installed at the original installation date. I also made a point to specifically ask: "this isn't going to also come with another contract, is it? I was told under no uncertain terms that there would be no extension of my contract, as it was their error. I was impressed that the call center took responsibility.
Fast-forward to last month - when I called to inquire why our monthly bill that had literally doubled. Finally I decided to lower our package and the rep also applied 1-year discount. Next bill arrives - and it is even higher than the previous bill that caused my call to begin with. First person tells me there was a record of my call, but no record of any changes made. Was transferred to retention where I was told that there had been a $45 monthly credit issued for the next year - but that it somehow missed my bill - a bill that is on autopay - so was faced with either having bank return/reverse the debit, or just hang and wait for the next bill. I said this was not acceptable and to go ahead and close my account - I was tired of being told different things by different departments. He began to look through and informed me that we would have to pay a ETF because I was under contract! I argued there was no way - that I hadn't made any changes or signed any contracts since original installation. He pulled research and found that the email I was sent to confirm the appointment for a tech to install the 4K Genie... had language burried in the fine print - if I accepted and confirmed the appointment, I was agreeing to a contract extension! The retention rep offered to go ahead and issue an extra credit to my bill for the one that "missed" my auto-drafted bill - so my next bill should be marked lower. But he said there was no way to get out of the contract.
What kind of crazy deceptive practice is this?
And to top it off - this morning, on my one day a week off - I go into the living room and find that the 4K Genie... is on the fritz. After swapping HDMI cables, inputs on TV, resetting the box, then spending another 30 minutes on the phone with DirecTV technical support going through the same diagnostic steps - I'm told its going to cost me another $99 for a tech to come and fix it (which probably means swap out the 4K Genie).
I should have stayed with Dish....