October 21, 2008

When Free isn’t…..or why paying your DirecTv bill automatically works out bad for you.

Last year, in the fall, Big Daddy got tired of paying the cable bill.  He decided that he wanted to try switching to satellite and so long as I could still DVR my shows (my extensive DVR schedule is another post indeed) I didn’t care.  Since we signed up in the fall we got the NFL Season Ticket FOR FREE!

Big Daddy pretty much only watches his favorite teams.  He’s not a football fan, per se, but doesn’t mind watching a game on Sunday.  We might have turned on the FREE NFL programming a time or two but since we’re not football fans, we didn’t use the service at all.

Fast forward to yesterday evening, Big Daddy and I were having the talk about the budget when we realized that we were being billed for the NFL package through DirecTv to the tune of $42/month.  Neither Big Daddy nor I had signed up for the NFL package.  We wouldn’t.  We don’t watch that much football (hockey, is another story).  Big Daddy gets on the phone and called DirecTV to find out why, exactly, we’re being charged for a football package that we haven’t and won’t use.

In June, DirecTv sent a notice with our mailed bill letting us know that unless we declined, they’d be subscribing us for the NFL package this year.   Well, Big Daddy set up our bill to play automatically through our bank account.  I won’t get into the fact that Big Daddy and I are space cases about paying the bills and just having our set bills pay automatially means that the satellite doesn’t cut off during Blue’s Clues because Big Daddy or I forgot to pay the bill.  Since our bill was always paid, Big Daddy and I never opened any statements.  We didn’t need more channels, didn’t need special offers and most assuredly didn’t need a Two Hundred and Eighty Nine Dollar football package.

So, Big Daddy gets on the phone and calls DirecTv.  Not only do we not want this package, we want our money back (as apparently our bill has been high since August and it took us until October to figure it out.  I won’t tell you what that means in regards to how often Big Daddy and I balance our checking account either).    Not only will DirecTv not cancel the service, but they won’t refund the money already paid towards this useless, to us, package.

Instead, we get $120 worth of credits (at $20/month for six months) to help ease the Two Hundred and Eighty Nine Dollar sting.

Now, dont misunderstand me.  Big Daddy and I had anb obligation to read the fine print AND to open our statements (and you can bet your butt that we’ll be opening every. single. DirecTv statement from now on in), but it seems like a pretty good revenue event for DirecTv doesn’t it?  Well, we offer you this for free and then you’re automaticlaly enrolled in our three hundred dollar yearly package!  You don’t have to call!  We’ll just sign you up.

Yeah…no.  We didn’t sign up for DirecTv when we did for the NFL package, but I’m sure people do and I’m sure we’re not the only people missing the YAY!  You’re already signed up for LIFE porition of that deal.  So, beware.  Freebies from DirecTv may not actually be free…..And read your statements!!

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Jamie

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One comment on “When Free isn’t…..or why paying your DirecTv bill automatically works out bad for you.

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    That bites, what a racket!

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