The TV Answer Man!

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