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Deceptive practices of Direct TV and Viasat/Excede

Tutor

Deceptive practices of Direct TV and Viasat/Excede

Here is the long story which I have sent to ATT as a private message. I do not expect any action from them so I am posting it everywhere! 

After a lot of research and frustration with DSL internet I contacted Direct TV to inquire about satallite internet. Cable will not make the two mile trek because there are not enough houses on my road (farmland in central NY). I made two calls to Direct TV customer service, one  for inquiry and one to double check the information I received on the first call and to order Viasat/Excede Liberty Plan. The information I received was the same from both reps. Liberty Plan was $30 a month locked in for 3 years. I asked both reps verbatim "Just to double check, you are telling me that my cost for the internet service will be $30 per month for 3 years?" I was assured that was the price. I was also informed I would receive a separate bill and that is would not be on my Direct TV bill. I wondered why but figured that Viasat/Excede was a third party and that was why I would have a separate bill. The second rep who I ordered the service from also informed me that there was an equipment lease charge but that if I purchased my own router I would not need theirs and would not incure that extra charge.  I made the appointment for installation thinking that it would be a Viasat/Excede installer.

 

I got notification via email from Excede my install was confirmed for 1/3/18 between 2-5pm. I also had been contacted by Cerone Satellite the intallation 3rd party company to confirm the appointment. NO ONE Showed up. I called Cerone twice and was finally told no one would be able to come that day. They explained that Excede sets up appointments in the state of NY with no thought as to how big the state is and how long it takes the technicians to travel. Since the weather was turning bitterly cold I opted to wait a week for installation. The installer showed up at 4pm. He looked at my house and informed me that he could not install the dish on the vinyl sided house and that he just used his last bag of concrete to set a pole with. I didn't want a pole. My Direct TV dish is on the house and I was never informed that it couldn't be mounted on vinyl siding. I did read through the installation info in the email and web link that Excede sent. No word about vinyl siding. I didn't watch the videos as I don't have enough data or bandwidth to view videos. So, I called Cerone and it was explained that there was no wiggle room on this. So the tech went out to see if he could dig a hole, luckily the temps had warmed enough. When he figured he could get it deep enough he said, "well I guess you can go get that bag of concrete". I said, "I have to get the concrete? Will I be reimbursed for it?" His response, "It is only $5". I said that the cost was not the point! I went anyway drove 10 miles to get a bag of concrete. The tech was in and out of my house, never even offered to take his boots off since they were covered with mud. Luckily I do not have carpet. I put towels down and asked him to at least wipe the majority of the mud off. After helping him feed the cable into the basement, he drilled the hole in my floor for the cable and got the modem hooked up. I asked about hooking up my router. He stated it wasn't his job and he might have helped me but it was late... So then I asked what the speed was. He showed me on his computer that was hooked to the modem that it was 16mbps download and around 1.5 upload. I thought ok I can install the router. I had purchased an expesive router mess system and extender so my partner could get internet in the farm shop to look for parts on an old laptop. I got the router installed and tested the speed....3mbps download..it did make it up to 5 but no where near 12mbps. I thought I would let it wait until the next day, Friday 1/11/18. 

 

It was still slow and upload speeds were below 1 mbps. So I called Excede. A custmer service rep in another county told me there was an outage in my area and it would be restored by the following day. Saturday mid morning it was the same slow and dropping completely out ever 5 min or so. So I called again. Went through from tier 1 tech support to tier III. The tier 1 tech said something about packets and made an adjustment but nothing was better. By the time I got to tier III I had been on the phone over an hour and a half. Then another 45 min. Only to be told it would go to the next level and I would be contacted within 48 hours to check on it. I got my mail in the evening only to find a letter from Excede telling me my monthly service was $50 a month and the equipment lease was $9.99.I called customer service to find out what was going on. They told me that no matter what I would be charged for the equipment (the modem and dish) and that I was on a $30 promotional price for only 3 months and that after 3 months it was $50! I explained what I had been told by the Direct TV reps as well as the installation company. I explained that I specifically asked two different reps on two different days that $30 was the price locked in per month for three years. At this point I was pretty upset as I cannot afford $60 a month for slow intermintent internet. I told the foreign Excede rep that I wanted to cancel and they could come get all their equipment. I have been on phones for six months trying to get reasonable, dependable internet service that I need to apply for jobs, do my banking and update software on my computers. I had and have lost my patience. He told me I had to contact Direct TV because they were the ones that told me the price. I could hear laughing in the phone which I assume was at me and my hysterical attitude by that point. He gave me a number to call Direct TV. When I called the number it was a scam number. I later realized that it was one digit off from the Direct TV number. I finaly got ahold of Direct TV crying I explained what had transpired. I felt duped, lied to and cheated not to mention the time and money involved.

 

Tanisha in Alabama was very nice. She set up a conference call with Excede (Daria). Tanisha explained I wanted to cancel and have the early termination fee waived. Daria explained that she put the request in (1/13/18) but that I should call in a day or two to check on the status of the request. Tanisha stayed on the line the whole time and I was grateful since I feel I cannot trust anyone. My partner who's name the account is in also heard the whole conversation. I have to uninstall all the equipment and send it back in a box that Excede is sending or they will charge me $300! I plan on calling the installation company Cerone to come out to get the wire and dish taken care off so I can pack it as I do not want to break anything!  

 

Generally, I have been satified with my Direct TV service except for the fact that existing customers have to call every few months to get customer loyalty discounts to keep our bill under $100. I think this is an awful scam. We litterally watch about 25 channels and 6 of them we could get over air, but we pay the bill so we can watch History, Discovery, DIY, HGTV and Velocity. I am not sure how long I will think it is ok to pay $100 a month for a few stations. We hardly even watch TV from May to November. We are farmers. TV is our entertainment and internet is our connection to the world, our family in other states, job applications, banking, and a way to find parts for equipment. We have been Direct TV customers for quite a while and I trusted Direct TV to be a reputable company that wouldn't OUT RIGHT LIE to me. I know now I was wrong. Unfortunately I will have to continue to be a customer as I have no other options for extended TV stations. Television is our entertainment. We don't take vacations or go to the movies because we spend that money on TV service.

 

That being said I will never recommend Direct TV or ATT...EVER. Any chance I get I will explain my experience to anyone that will listen. I will be contacting my lawmakers at the state and federal levels to explain what is happening, how ATT/Direct TV takes advantage of Americans. Trust me when I say that I feel the same way about all current communications and internet companies. Cable companies have become virtual monopolies, holding Americans hostage for faster internet speeds and 300 channels of shopping networks and infomercials. It is unfortunate that rural areas of this country have little to no option for consistent, usable and reasonably price broadband internet. Internet is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity when businesses no longer accept job applications mailed but only emailed. It is a necessity when we as a people are being forced to use it or be left behind yet it is not treated as a utility. Internet is a Utility!

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Message 1 of 16
ACE - Expert

Re: Deceptive practices of Direct TV and Viasat/Excede

While DTV may have an Excide bundle option Excide is a separate company with their own terms of service, not sure why DTV would quote a price for a service they have nothing to do with.

 

Good luck with that as since the ISP's have killed net neutrality they have more control.

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*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 2 of 16
Contributor

Re: Deceptive practices of Direct TV and Viasat/Excede

I too have had issues and received horrible customer service. I contacted Direct TV about their service. The sales rep pitched me Viasat Internet because AT&T couldn’t service my location. I was given a quote for $117 per month for both internet and TV. This was presented as a bundle meaning I was getting some sort of discount by getting Viasat through Direct TV. The break down was $37 per month for Direct TV and $80 per month for Viasat. The rep did explain they were two different companies and I would get two different bills but the total would be the same for 24 months. I as well asked 3 times. I even have the offer in writing. The email has an AT@T letter head and had Viasat’s price on the bill. Fast forward 3 months later and my Viasat bill went to $120. Mind you I don’t have a signal and they can’t get a tech here during non business hours Comcast and Verizon always could accommodate). I called direct TV and explained the issue. They told me they have nothing to do with Viasat. I explained that I’ve never spoken to anyone from Viasat and the Direct TV rep set up the service. I told them I filed an FCC complaint as well as an FTC complaint and requested to speak with the escalation department. I was told by 5 different reps that there is nobody else I can speak to unless I walk into an AT&T store. Each of them told me to call Viasat and repeated the same script.

 

 I called Viasat and they apologized but said that Direct TV brokered the deal. I informed them that I would be including them in the complaints but they were firm that it’s not their fault. Mind you I am still without internet service. They also had hold times that exceeded 2 hours.

 

I can’t imagine that neither company has a protocol for their offshore representatives for call escalation. Also the fact that Direct TV can pitch a Viasat product and put their name on their bill but yet claim they have nothing to do with them is absurd. Deceptive sales tactics are common in this industry but at least comcast took customer complaints seriously. My next step is to see if others are having this issue with Direct TV and Viasat claiming they have nothing to do with eachother and see if the media is interested. If they don’t respond to the FTC or FCC, [Per Guidelines:  Keep it Relevant and Appropriate].

Message 3 of 16
ACE - Expert

Re: Deceptive practices of Direct TV and Viasat/Excede

DirectV have nothing to do with viasat. Period. Who was the sales rep? Are you sure you were not talking to a third party?

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*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 4 of 16
Contributor

Re: Deceptive practices of Direct TV and Viasat/Excede

Texas Brit,

 

There are partnered together. Viasat even states this on their website. I called Direct TV and they pitched Viasat Internet as well. I only spoke with a Direct TV representative who gave be a quote for both TV and internet. The Direct TV rep set scheduled the installation for the Viasat and emailed me a breakdown of my charges. This emailed came from AT&T and had an AT&T letterhead on it. I gave my entire breakdown for my Direct TV bill and Viasat bill. I was explicitly told 3 times that this was a 24 month contract and my bill would not change. If you don't believe me, call Direct TV and tell them you are interested in setting up service with them but need Viasat Internet as well. 

Message 5 of 16
Former Employee

Re: Deceptive practices of Direct TV and Viasat/Excede

@TexasBrit

 

Sorry to correct you here but.. Directv have partnered with several smaller cable/satellite internet providers for where AT&T internet services are NOT available. It's been this way for years.

 

CenturyLink, Exede/ViaSat, Cincinnati Bell, HughesNet, Windstream, and Mediacom

 

It's a messy way to do it because when issues arise neither DTV or the ISP wishes to take the blame for service failures.

 

@TexasBrit visit https://www.directv.com/DTVAPP/content/packages/internet

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Message 6 of 16
ACE - Expert

Re: Deceptive practices of Direct TV and Viasat/Excede

Apologies, I knew about the others but not viasat.

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*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 7 of 16
Former Employee

Re: Deceptive practices of Direct TV and Viasat/Excede

It's all good Brit Smiley Tongue

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Message 8 of 16
Tutor

Re: Deceptive practices of Direct TV and Viasat/Excede

I was speaking with a Direct TV rep since I actually called Direct TV three times to verify the price that was quoted to me. I was given the option of Hughesnet or Viasat. Hughesnet was much more expensive and since I don't do anything on the internet that eats bandwidth I wanted something more reasonable. Bottom line is that it was Direct TV that gave me misinformation. I am now back on snail, 2.5 mbps DSL and it is all I can get.
Message 9 of 16
Tutor

Re: Deceptive practices of Direct TV and Viasat/Excede

This is exactly how it happened to me but I was able to get it canceled with a three way call between Direct TV and Viasat. Then Viasat billed me for removal of the transponder, $150! I called and couldn't get anywhere. I filed a complaint with my credit card company and they got my money back. The whole thing took a toll on me mentally and physically! Over 10 hours on the phone in a two week period. The Viasat system never worked. I have DSL but I am at the end of the line and pay $38 for 2.5mbps download. Forget upload! I have to bring my computers to Best Buy to get updates about every six months because the updates usually fail due to the slow connection. If you would like to use my name and story feel free. My issue...I am on a farm in central NY, second class citizen that cannot get broadband for a reasonable fee. Cable monopoly will not bring lines here because there aren't enough people on the road...Farm feeding the country! HELLO... I don't have neighbors because we farm the land. I am sick of it!
Message 10 of 16
ACE - Expert

Re: Deceptive practices of Direct TV and Viasat/Excede

DTV doesn't need internet to work.  DTV gave you the two satellite internet services that they bundle with and AFAIK have no idea what they charge.

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*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
Message 11 of 16
Tutor

Re: Deceptive practices of Direct TV and Viasat/Excede

I am aware DTV doesn't require internet to work. I called DTV because they advertised bundles. They sold me a bill of goods on the phone. I checked back with different agents to be sure that the information I received was correct. I went ahead and let them schedule Viasat to be installed. DTV shouldn't be selling or promoting a company they have really no affiliation with. I was flat out lied to three times! It was complete bull.
Message 12 of 16
Contributor

Re: Deceptive practices of Direct TV and Viasat/Excede

Liar liar!You liar.  They did the exact same thing to me viasat is running a con. Their service is shiza

Message 13 of 16
Tutor

Re: Deceptive practices of Direct TV and Viasat/Excede

I just don't understand how all these companies get away with this crap continuously!!
Message 14 of 16
ACE - Expert

Re: Deceptive practices of Direct TV and Viasat/Excede

DirecTV does not require internet to work. It is service from its own satellite after all.

DirecTV does partner with various ISPs to give a "bundle" promotion as part of the intro offer. (AT&T, Mediacom, ViaSat, Centurylink, Hughesnet and even in the past Verizon, Frontier, WildBlue)

Terms and conditions of service, as well as service agreement, are separate between companies.

 

Though DirecTV does partner with satellite ISP ViaSat/Exeede, it is not recommended to connect the DirecTV box to that internet. Satellite internet or any other data capped/metered internet can have your data eaten through. DirecTV equipment should only be connected to traditional home internet (Cable, DSL, Fiberoptics, etc). Satellite internet is more for outreach areas. Unlike TV service which is just transmission down to you, internet relies on two-way transmission so has limitations.

 

As for the old argument "Internet is a Utility!", Federal regulations keep changing on that. And now Net Neutrality has been repealed. Government is having a hard time catching up to and deciding on how to properly manage internet regulations. I dare say at some levels it still views the internet as just "a series of tubes".

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*The views and opinions expressed on this forum are purely my own. Any product claim, statistic, quote, or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer, provider, or party.
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