The stories about horrible customer service when it comes to the various television providers is the stuff of legends. Most of them have been centered on Comcast.
Other telecom services have tried to outdo Comcast when it comes to horrible customer service. For instance, Verizon once billed a couple $2 million for one month of phone service, but really, no one’s come close to topping the things Comcast has done.
Like the one time Comcast forced a guy to “prove” that his wife wasn’t dead. Like I said, the stuff of legends.
This week, however, we have a new contender who apparently wants to get into the mix: DirecTV.
For you see, Isabel Albright of San Lorenzo, California recently passed away at the incredible age of 102-years-old. So, as one does, her family went about taking care of her affairs, going through her things, getting her house ready to be sold, shutting off all her home’s services, that sort of thing.
Unfortunately for them, when they went to disconnect her satellite TV service with DirecTV they ran into a little snag, reports ABC 7 News.
“Everything was fine until we went to disconnect and that’s when all the surprises happened,” said her son in law, John Manrique of Hayward.
Albright died last December at the remarkable age of 102. The family has been repairing the house for sale, sifting through boxes, closing up a life that spanned a whole century.
Which was why the last bill from DirecTV seemed so galling: Although she lived more than 100 years, Albright still received an “early termination fee” from DirecTV.
An early termination fee? She was 102-years-old!! Not only is that in bad taste, she should have at the very least gotten a small rebate.
“They told us… we’re going to charge you $160 for an early termination fee,” said Manrique. “She’s gone. Nobody’s living (here). We’re selling the house. You’re going to tell us we have to keep the service at a house that’s not ours?”
Yes. Yes they are.
And they were doing it because the family had added a second DirecTV box for his mom’s caregiver to use in a back room, automatically triggering a new two-year-contract.
“Nobody told us that,” Manrique said. “And in fact we made it clear when we added the TV in the extra room that it was a temporary thing…We’re saying my mother in law’s on hospice, we’re not gonna pay, you know, two year contract.”
DirecTV said the family had to pay — even though Albright had died — because the bill was in the name of her daughter, Linda. But John says his wife was paying all of her mother’s bills.
“Because her mother couldn’t do it anymore and a lot of people wind up doing that,” Manrique said. “We were trying to make sure that all the bills got paid.”
After numerous calls to DirecTV asking them to provide proof that they’d signed a new two-year agreement, and not receiving any, but still being billed, Manrique contacted ABC 7 News about it, and voila! DirecTV suddenly decided to waive the early termination fee. Go figure.