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Did CBS News Do a Hatchet Job On DIRECTV & AT&T?

DIRECTV and AT&T have Better Business Bureau grades of ‘A’ and ‘A+’ respectively despite a recent CBS News report suggesting the companies have been hit with thousands of complaints from consumers saying they have been overcharged for TV and Internet service.

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The CBS News report says at least 4,000 customers have posted complaints saying they were forced to pay higher bills than advertised.

The customer disputes, CBS says, are largely stemming from promotional bundles that offer lower prices in the first two years, but then revert to normal rates. The subscribers quoted in the report say the prices actually were raised during the promotional period.

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“I keep getting bills for $79.49 and my contract says I was only going to pay $24.99 for two years,” one customer said, according to CBS News.

Oddly, however, the CBS News report does not say where the 4,000 complaints have been filed, nor how it was able to arrive at that number. The report also does not indicate if the customers’ issues were resolved, or if their complaints were even legitimate in the first place.

But the Better Business Bureau, which carefully monitors consumer complaints and company responses, apparently has no issues with either DIRECTV or AT&T. The agency has given AT&T’s customer service effort a perfect score of A+ and DIRECTV a second-highest score of ‘A.’

The BBB notes that both companies have been the subject of thousands of complaints, but the high grades suggest they have been able to resolve any outstanding issues.

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For what it’s worth, CBS asked AT&T for a comment on the ‘4,000 complaints’ and here’s what the telco said:

“Like other companies, we frequently introduce promotions to provide our customers with the best services and products at the best price. These special offers vary in terms of pricing and duration. If a customer signs up for one of these offers, we fully honor the terms through the promotion’s completion. Customers who enrolled in one of our promotional offers and believe they did not receive the full benefits should contact customer service.”

— Phillip Swann

About TV Answer Man (1552 Articles)
The TV Answer Man is veteran journalist Phillip Swann who has covered the TV technology scene for more than two decades. He will report on the latest news and answer your questions regarding new devices and services that are changing the way you watch television.

4 Comments on Did CBS News Do a Hatchet Job On DIRECTV & AT&T?

  1. When we first got their DSL service we were enticed with a free router/modem. They then pushed us to uVerse stating that DSL was being phased out so we were better off getting it now than later. Again, they enticed us with a free router/modem. From the first billing cycle, they kept charging us for said “free router/modem.” Had to call them every month to have them reverse the charge, with promises each time of no future charges, but the charges continued. So calls to them continued.

    The monthly fee for this device is $5.99. I pointed out that said router/modem could be found online for $20+ and if I provided my own would they stop charging me. They then said they could have the fee removed if I used my own device stating it would void any warranty on the device yadda yadda. Which is contrary to what they said earlier. So yes, they lie.

  2. I was overcharged by AT&T and Directv for almost a year for 2 extra tv’s that I didn’t have. Once I noticed the error and called I was given the runaround for several months. Long story short I only received a partial refund. I complained to the BBB but in the end at&t and directv labeled my case resolved even though I didn’t agree with their solution and it was not marked against them on the website. I called them to cancel and directv said if I stayed with them they would refund the rest of the money but if I canceled they would charge me a $200 cancelation fee (even though I had been a customer for over 3 years.) I was so disgusted with the customer service I still canceled and they sent me the bill for the ETF and I am forced to pay it or they will take it out of my bank account. The fine print in the contract doesn’t allow customers to defend themselves against their unethical business practices.

  3. Christine HICKS // May 19, 2017 at 5:59 am // Reply

    I ordered direct TV and at&t mobile hot spot. The device for the hot spot came but never worked. I asked for a tech to come out set up appointment but they never showed then was told they didn’t have a tech for mobile hot spot. After calling 20 times in 10 days I cancelled their service or lack thereof. Then return in the device was a nightmare. They wouldn’t take it at the corporate headquarters and want to charge a restocking fee.i just received a bill for 10 days of fighting to get service and they want$216.00. Anyone know a good lawyer.

  4. Johnny Mac // May 19, 2017 at 9:23 am // Reply

    Had U- Verse for almost 8 years now and never had a problem…Comcast I had problems on second day of service and couldn’t get them resolved…Oh Well…As they say…Different strokes for different folks…LOL

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