Q. I cancelled DIRECTV recently and they said I didn’t need to send back my set-top because it was an older model. But I got to thinking that if they make a mistake and forget, they could bill me for not sending back the receiver. Does this ever happen? What should I do here? Should I hold on to the set-top for awhile? I hope I’m not being paranoid. — Marcy, Peoria, Illinois.
Marcy, you are not being paranoid. Over the years, several ex-DIRECTV customers have told me that they were billed hundreds of dollars for their receivers several months after a customer service rep told them they didn’t need to send them back. Either the customer service reps were wrong, or DIRECTV’s data base was somehow changed to reflect that the receivers should have been returned.
While I suspect this doesn’t happen frequently, you certainly don’t want it to happen to you.
So if DIRECTV says you don’t need to send it back when you cancel, I recommend keeping your DIRECTV receiver for at least 12 months. If they come back and say it should have been returned, you’ll still have it to send back.
Also, if your customer service rep notified you by mail that you didn’t need to return the box, by all means keep that e-mail! You might be asked for it as proof in a collection dispute!
One more point: If DIRECTV does ask you to return the receiver, keep the shipping receipt that shows that the satcaster received it. You also don’t want them coming back and saying you never returned it when you actually did and have proof.
Trust me, this may sound like paranoia, but it’s not. NBCBoston.com, in fact, recently published an article detailing how DIRECTV charged her $196 for a receiver after she sent it back.
“A month later I got a bid saying it hadn’t been returned and that they were charging me $196 and some odd cents,” says Allison Connolly, who lived in Plaistow, New Hampshire. “I figured sometimes the timing can be off — maybe whoever received the equipment didn’t relay it to billing. I had the receipt UPS gave me at the store. They were able to pull the transaction of whatever dock it was left at, at the address where I sent it. Once I had the proof I thought, OK, this will be easy.”
Connolly said she sent DIRECTV the return receipt, but the company charged her anyway and even sent her bill to a collection agency!
DIRECTV didn’t acknowledge the mistake until NBC Boston stepped in and asked for an explanation after presenting Connolly’s receipt.
“We provided a refund and were happy to work with the customer to resolve this,” AT&T, which now owns DIRECTV, told the station.
So, Marcy, hold on to everything. Companies make mistakes and you don’t want to be their next victim.
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Even if DTV says the receiver doesn’t need to be returned the access card in the receiver needs to be returned and customers will be charged if it’s not.
Lesson: DON’T EVER Believe ANYTHING DirecTV or AT&T tells you.
They LIE just as much as Trump
Take any and all DirecTV equipment to your closest UPS store. They have labels already for shipping at no cost to you. DirecTV has present these labels to UPS for this exact reason. Guess DirecTV knew in advance they would be getting a lot of equipment back with the crap services they offer.
Send it back, you’ll be sorry
Save everything I was billed for returned equipment months of fighting and hrs of phone calls finally had to send complaint to FCC Only at that point did it get cleared up I’m still keeping the letter AT&T Sent me saying they removed the charge I don’t trust them. Thieves I think they just want you to give up and pay. Because you get so frustrated I had all my receipts they still kept saying I didn’t return equipment.
Apparently, everytime you change your DirecTV package, they start your required two years subscription all over again.
Take a picture of the units in the box at the UPS shipping office before it gets taped up with a copy of the label, this is what saved me from a $500 bill
I was going thru boxes that had been stored for a few yrs.only to find a non returned receiver that I was told I did not need to return the item by the installers.im not sure how long it had been put away. I took it to the ups store.with and retained the receipt. It would be nice to know if I paid for this reciever from the time the new system was installed.any ideas on how to find this info.thanks
Check your credit report.