Q. I read in the message boards that DIRECTV is giving everyone a discount for the Coronavirus, something like $50 a month off your bill. I haven’t received it yet. Do you know when we will get it? — Linda, Fairfax, Virginia.
Linda, DIRECTV this month has provided monthly price cuts for some customers, but there is no ‘Coronavirus discount.’ Let me explain.
DBSTalk.com, a message forum frequently used by DIRECTV subscribers, has posted a topic page asking people to relate their experiences trying to ask the satcaster for a reduction in their bills. Over the years, DIRECTV and other pay TV providers have been known to lower your monthly subscription rate if you call saying you plan to cancel service.
A few weeks ago on this topic page, some DIRECTV subscribers said they received a ‘Coronavirus discount’ when they called the satcaster’s customer service team. They said their bills were reduced by $50 to $70 a month.
“I recently had a $70/month credit expire,” wrote one forum user. “They wouldn’t renew it, but they did give me a $50 ‘Coronavirus’ credit, good for 3 months. They told me everyone is eligible for that.”
This post, and similar ones on other message boards, have led to rumors that DIRECTV is issuing a Coronavirus discount to all existing customers. Unfortunately, Linda, that is not true.
What is true is that DIRECTV, as it has for years, might reduce your bill if you call and complain about your service and/or threaten to cancel. But there is no guarantee that it will. The customer service team makes the decision on a variety of factors such as how long you’ve subscribed, the price of your monthly service, and whether you previously asked for a discount.
Like most service companies, DIRECTV is more likely to shave your bill if you are a valued customer, one who has spent considerable money on its wares for a considerable time. The satellite TV service, which has lost more than four million subs over the last five years, is anxious to keep its best customers.
But it has nothing to do with the Coronavirus.
So if you’re waiting for a ‘Coronavirus credit’ to show up in your next bill, you’re going to be disappointed. But if you call DIRECTV and say you may need to cancel service because your finances are tight now thanks to the Coronavirus, you might get a discount.
Or if you simply say you might cancel for any reason, you might get a discount.
In other words, there is no Coronavirus discount.
Linda, hope that helps. Happy viewing, and stay safe!
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