DirecTV bill too high? Advocate for yourself

  • Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
  • If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
  • Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
  • Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
Sep 18, 2018
23
78
13
54
#1
My DirecTV bill nearly doubled recently. With a phone call (ultimately unsuccessful) followed up by a Facebook-driven chat, I was able to get a hefty discount restored. Here is how it unfolded as a model to others in the same situation.

After the unsuccessful phone call to customer service, which went to an overseas call center, I sent this message to the official DirecTV account on Facebook:

I have been a DirecTV customer for more than 20 years, including buying the NFL Sunday Ticket package each season. I would like to continue that long-running relationship, but I’m having a billing issue that I’m asking you to resolve. Here are the details:

* I had service reinstalled after two successive moves a year apart.​
* I paid a promotional rate of $65.00 for the Choice package and was told I could call at the end of each year to have that rate reapplied.​
* My rate for the Choice package increased to $124.00 on the July 2019 bill.​
* I called to have the Choice rate adjusted back to $65.00 on Aug. 5, 2019.​
* The phone rep, Tyler, said he couldn’t do anything because the “system is updating.” He offered me the fewer-channel Select base package at the retail rate of $95.00.​
* That is an unsatisfactory solution.​

I know that I paid a promotional rate for programming, but I also know that DirecTV rewards customer loyalty. Please restore my $65.00 rate for the Choice package going forward and adjust my July 2019 bill to reflect this change. I enjoy DirecTV programming and would like to continue being your customer after more than 20 years.

Thank you.

Randy Salas
I heard back right away from their social media team saying that they'd look into it and get back to me. A few hours later, a rep messaged me on Facebook to provide a link to a dedicated chat with her via the official AT&T website.

She said that my promo rate had expired and that there was nothing she could do to restore it specifically. But she ultimately offered a $50 discount for a year off my base package (for a new rate of $74.00) and $12.50 a month off of the half-year NFL package (for a new rate of $36.49). Together, they are just a few dollars more per month than my old rate.

Yes, I'll have to go through this again in a year. But the savings are worth it, especially when my base package is nearly half the rate of DirecTV's retail price.

Thanks to this forum for lessons in self-advocacy.
 
Sep 20, 2015
89
111
33
59
#2
@rasalas--well done. I've found the same with Xfinity (Comcast)--they jack my rates, I call them and I get a significantly reduced rate. I guess they know there is competition (and cord-cutting is now a real issue for them as well), they would rather retain you at a lower rate than lose you completely.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,397
8,503
113
San Francisco
#3
Well done, both of you. It's very satisfying when consumers report success and let the world know how they did it. Thanks so much for posting here.
 
Likes: rasalas
Mar 3, 2017
8
10
3
47
Northeast Ohio
#4
I did the same thing with ATT U-Verse service: I TV adn internet had service with them for 5 years, then moved and took the service with me (move within the same neighborhood). Two years after my move, the bill went up nearly $60/month, I was told that a promotional rate had expired...I was unaware that I even had a promo rate since I had simply ported my service. At any rate, the customer retention department would only give me a $5/month discount, and told me to call back in 2 months to see if there were any more offers. So, I used the contacts here, and within an hour I had a call back form the office of the VP, and within 2 days they lowered my rate to the original rate, and gave me a $15 credit on the next month's bill. Self-advocacy win!
 
Jan 11, 2019
8
2
3
75
#5
Beware trying to pay monthly Direct TV service bill by phone. AT&T's automatic phone isnt. For the past three months I've tried to pay my bill by phone and each time I've been shunted to a live rep. This month it took me 24 minutes to pay a $7 bill (I'm on seasonal hold). I was dumbfounded when the rep offered not to charge me an additional $5. What for asked I? "Speaking to me" was the answer! I politely advised him that I had tried to pay automatically but obviously their system wasn't working. I hadn't planned to speak to anyone, nor had I planned on spending 24 minutes on the phone trying to pay a $7 bill. I further asked, "is this now how AT&T makes its money?" He answered in the affirmative!
 
May 12, 2019
2
0
1
69
#6
I don’t know what the secret is with Xfinity’s retention desk but I’ve been a long time internet and tv customer and I get virtually nowhere. Their attitude is, “when do you want to discontinue service”. And to just get the Internet alone is outrageous. How’d you do it?? Cable providers are like tobacco companies in that consumers are not buying their services or products so what they have left is price increases and in cable’s case, increased fees for rental equipment!!
 
Sep 18, 2018
23
78
13
54
#7
I don’t know what the secret is with Xfinity’s retention desk but I’ve been a long time internet and tv customer and I get virtually nowhere. Their attitude is, “when do you want to discontinue service”. And to just get the Internet alone is outrageous. How’d you do it?? Cable providers are like tobacco companies in that consumers are not buying their services or products so what they have left is price increases and in cable’s case, increased fees for rental equipment!!
One secret: Cancel. As soon as you do, usually within a week, you'll get an offer to re-up at a good price.

The above only works if you have fulfilled whatever agreement you signed initially and are off-contract. It also requires you to bite the bullet and not have service while you wait.

But knowing the above, it's also a negotiating tactic: "I'll have to cancel if you can't lower my bill, and I'd hate to do that because I enjoy your service and have been a faithful customer for XX years. I know if I cancel that you'll come back soon to offer service at a more pocket-friendly price. So could we please avoid that hassle for both of us and just agree on a lower price now? Thanks."

Do this in chat if you can, so you have a written record of the exchange.
 

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,799
17,000
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#8
One secret: Cancel. As soon as you do, usually within a week, you'll get an offer to re-up at a good price.

The above only works if you have fulfilled whatever agreement you signed initially and are off-contract. It also requires you to bite the bullet and not have service while you wait.

But knowing the above, it's also a negotiating tactic: "I'll have to cancel if you can't lower my bill, and I'd hate to do that because I enjoy your service and have been a faithful customer for XX years. I know if I cancel that you'll come back soon to offer service at a more pocket-friendly price. So could we please avoid that hassle for both of us and just agree on a lower price now? Thanks."

Do this in chat if you can, so you have a written record of the exchange.
The problem is if there is no other service except Xfinity- you are stuck. We are going through this now in the Florida home we bought. There is no other service provider where we live and we work from home so canceling is not an option for everyone.
 
Likes: VoR61

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,397
8,503
113
San Francisco
#9
The problem is if there is no other service except Xfinity- you are stuck. We are going through this now in the Florida home we bought. There is no other service provider where we live and we work from home so canceling is not an option for everyone.
Just buy a SkyRoam and pay $10 a day for the internet you need. It also comes in handy when travelling and when your service or power goes down. I'm sure you'd save far more by regotiating a monthly rate than the SkyRoam will cost.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
8,397
8,503
113
San Francisco
#10
One secret: Cancel. As soon as you do, usually within a week, you'll get an offer to re-up at a good price.

The above only works if you have fulfilled whatever agreement you signed initially and are off-contract. It also requires you to bite the bullet and not have service while you wait.

But knowing the above, it's also a negotiating tactic: "I'll have to cancel if you can't lower my bill, and I'd hate to do that because I enjoy your service and have been a faithful customer for XX years. I know if I cancel that you'll come back soon to offer service at a more pocket-friendly price. So could we please avoid that hassle for both of us and just agree on a lower price now? Thanks."

Do this in chat if you can, so you have a written record of the exchange.
Like's not good enough, rasalas, you're a genius. THANK YOU for sharing the specifics.
 
Likes: rasalas

Neil Maley

Moderator
Staff Member
Advocate
Dec 27, 2014
18,799
17,000
113
New York
www.promalvacations.com
#11
Just buy a SkyRoam and pay $10 a day for the internet you need. It also comes in handy when travelling and when your service or power goes down. I'm sure you'd save far more by regotiating a monthly rate than the SkyRoam will cost.
That would make it $300 a month - I don’t think they’ll go down to the $50 a month I’m paying and the $9 a month when I turn it off when I’m not down there.
 
Sep 18, 2018
23
78
13
54
#12
The problem is if there is no other service except Xfinity- you are stuck. We are going through this now in the Florida home we bought. There is no other service provider where we live and we work from home so canceling is not an option for everyone.
Keep in mind that you're canceling with the intent of re-upping. It's just a matter of how long you can live without the service while you go through the motions.

But if, say, you're heading out of town for a week or more, cancel before you leave. You won't miss the service while you're gone, and you'll likely return to offers to re-up at an introductory price that's lower than your previous bill.

Again, though, the key is to use this silly routine (on their part) to your advantage. When you ask to cancel, you'll usually be transferred to another rep who specializes in retention. If they don't make an offer to lower your bill -- and you should make it clear that that's the reason for canceling -- then you should go through the script I detailed above about not wasting either of your time. In my original post, I had every intent of canceling if they wouldn't lower my bill, but they surprised me with the offer before I could give them notice.

FWIW, my contention about canceling is from experience. I've had DirecTV since the 1990s, not long after it started. When we moved out of our longtime house a few years and downsized to a townhome, I was forced to cancel until I could re-add the service at our new address due to HOA rules. When I canceled, I was transferred to person after person trying to convince me otherwise. And even then, I had to call again because the cancellation "didn't go through" the first time. Sure enough, two days after I canceled, I started getting emails and junk mail about re-upping at a better price.