FTC accuses DirecTV of deceptive advertising practices

By Shawn Knight ยท 8 replies
Mar 12, 2015
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  1. The Federal Trade Commission has accused the nation’s largest satellite television provider of deceptively advertising a discounted 12-monthly programming package.

    The FTC argues that DirecTV fails to clearly disclose the fact that said package requires a two-year contract. What’s more, the cost of the package increases by as much as $45 per month during the second year. If a deceived customer wants to get out of the contract, it may cost them upwards of $480.

    The agency further charges that DirecTV’s offer of free premium channels for three months doesn’t clearly state that users need to proactively cancel the subscription in order to avoid automatic renewal and unwanted charges.

    All things considered FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said the satellite provider sought to lock customers into longer and more expensive contracts and premium packages that weren’t adequately disclosed. It’s a fundamental principle that the key terms of an offer to a consumer must be clear and conspicuous, not hidden in fine print, Ramirez added.

    The FTC is seeking to permanently bar DirecTV from engaging in such conduct and aims to collect a monetary judgment that would be used to provide refunds to affected customers.

    In an e-mailed statement to the Washington Post, a DirecTV spokesperson said the FTC is flat-out wrong and they will vigorously defend themselves for as long as it takes. The spokesperson noted that DirecTV goes above and beyond to ensure that every new customer receives all the information they need, multiple times, to make an informed and intelligent decision.

    Permalink to story.

  2. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 2,477   +126

    SATV and CATV are a joke they rip all customers off with bogus pricing. FTC should look into that instead of worry about the ads use to lure new customers in to the web of high prices poor service from the red spiders of CATV and SATV. I am happy with my OTA and over 84 free Channels mix of 480i, 720p and 1080i with Dolby Digital 5.1 Plus Sound. Now got 24 hour Movie Channel some newer channels have always appearing.

    I've build my HDTV OTA = over the air system with dual HDTV ants for two market share areas NW and SE 80 miles coverage. I use one amp and 8-way power drop line amp for 8 sets with dual HDTV recording tuners which comes out to 4 of them.
  3. EClyde

    EClyde TS Evangelist Posts: 1,310   +434

    What a joke of a complaint.
  4. DirecTV lies like a SOB. In my area, they claim you can get local channels on the dish, and that is a flatout lie, you can't. On top of that, if you want out of the contract early they charge you over $200.00 to get out of the contract, they charged me over $100.00 to get out of the contract when I moved to an apartment in August of 2014, and couldn't take the satellite dish with me.

    On top of that, I had other incidents involving them concerning premium channels and the programming, they are far worse than DishNetwork, the FTC is on the money in their complaint about DirecTV. Anyone who says there is nothing wrong with DirecTV is full of dung.

    It's all over the internet as to how bad DirecTV is, one just has to use a search engine to search up all the DirecTV scams and complaints and the same applies to their competition.
  5. Jim$ter

    Jim$ter TS Booster Posts: 158   +32

    I see those ads for $29 a month SATV but somehow ours is over $120 a month as a long time customer. If I didn't share the bill with others we would dump it. I would say those ads are deceptive and in very super small fine print. They shouldn't be allowed to offer a discount for one month and have that price in big letters like that is what you are going to pay every month. So yes I say they need to change the way they advertise.
  6. Uncle Al

    Uncle Al TS Evangelist Posts: 3,358   +2,006

    The fact is that every cable company and subscriber service extensively use the "come ons" to lure in new customers and none are without their very questionable billing practices or pre-arranged packages that limit the better programming, all in effort to get you to sign up for more and more. If the FTC and FCC were to ever get together with a uniformed front, they could easily straighten this out. Even today, many cable companies sign exclusive agreements with small communities to block competition and limit services.

    Streaming services may take off, but it won't be long before the cable companies want to make that an added service in it's own ultra-premium category and twice the price of their own cable services. Now if the FTC and FCC want to really make a difference, order cable companies to provide the service for ONLY the cost of maintaining the network and have them "live" on their profit from advertisers.
  7. Khanonate

    Khanonate TS Booster Posts: 134   +21

    I'm thinking of dropping comcast and subscribed to directv. Oh well, Plan b before I drop comcast.
    Panamapatrick likes this.
  8. As A DTV subscriber I can attest this is a valid complaint.

    He are our options as a current subscriber: 106.86 monthly for "240+ chs" about 199 of them are junk.... or 79.99 monthly before taxes and those wonderful HD box you "rent" -until something goes wrong, then you pay for them... OR 59.99 a month again before taxes and boxes and local sport networks which add another 25$ bucks....

    BTW, you cannot get chs you want without getting 5-6 chs you don't want. It is a scam in pricing and "choice" No ala-cart, no nothing take it or leave it... I would and will leave , but currently I live in a very rual area so until other options present I am stuck somewhat
  9. thorpj

    thorpj TS Enthusiast Posts: 98   +27

    At the end of the ad (in this article) it says "24 month agreement required"

    In the middle of the screen. if people can't read, what is the problem.

    I don't know anything else about the company, so I'm not passing judgement on that, but I see nothing wrong with the ad.
    Panamapatrick likes this.

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