Though I haven’t changed my position that Cancellation Fees Must Die, it was interesting to discover that DirecTV was/is monitoring social media for brand mentions, since someone from the DirecTV Office of the President left me a voicemail this morning due to yesterday’s post (and my Twitter mention). I called “Veronica” back when I got back to my office 45 minutes ago.
It’s clear to me that I didn’t “follow their rules” and shame on me. Perhaps you think that I’m not justified in raining-on-DirecTV’s-parade with my rants — and I could probably get in to the inferior quality of their supplied DVR as another justification for my buying a DVR replacement at Best Buy — but suffice to say that due to a broken DirecTV DVR I had a choice: go to Best Buy and have DirecTV service back up-n-running within two hours, or what I now know “their rules” required. Those rules dictated that I contact them for a replacement DVR (and $5.99 per month in a service contract to “protect” their inferior product) while waiting what….3 days for the replacement to arrive by courier and thus be without service?
Since you and I “agree” to allow our conversations to be recorded (you’ll hear that boilerplate mention by DirecTV’s voice response system at the beginning of the recording below), so legally I can record it too and have done so in order to post it so you can hear the reason for their call (I edited out my phone/account number, the music, and got right to the interaction with Veronica).
The punchline? They’ve got me and one could argue that I don’t have a leg to stand on and — having run strategic alliances with a major software company where contracts are at the core and I read and understand every nuance — I should know better. You’d be right, but I’ll wager you don’t read Terms & Conditions of your satellite, cable, Google apps, Twitter and the hundreds of other Web apps you’ve signed up for, have you?
I’ll give them their $280 cancellation fee. But if the more than 40,000 views and pages of comments on this Target Trutech post (or searching on “Trutech” showing it as the #2 link in Google) is any indication of the attention this and yesterday’s post will surely receive, I’m going to guess DirecTV will find that being just a touch more reasonable with someone who’d been a customer for nine years might’ve been a wiser investment than a phone call of no value to either side, and the nickels-n-dimes they’ll get with their cancellation fee.