TV Answer Man, I am thinking of subscribing to DIRECTV Stream after having DIRECTV for eight years. But I don’t want to get into another contract situation like I was a few times with DIRECTV. Can you tell me if DIRECTV Stream makes you do a contract when you sign up or if there are any other kinds of contracts when you upgrade or do something else? — Tammy, Biloxi, Mississippi.
Tammy, DIRECTV Stream, the multi-channel, live streaming service, does not require a contract when you sign up for service, unlike DIRECTV, Dish and some cable TV services. This is one of the benefits of live streaming. It’s easy to subscribe and cancel. A few clicks on the DIRECTV Stream web site and it’s done.
However, there is one ‘hidden contract’ that you should be aware of.
DIRECTV Stream’s packages start at $69.99 a month (65+ channels) and go to $149.99 a month (140+ channels). But DIRECTV Stream includes an option that allows you to include a streaming device with your plan for $5 extra a month. For example, the $69.99 a month ‘Entertainment’ plan would cost $74.99 a month with the device.
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The streaming device, which is similar to Roku and Amazon Fire TV, includes your DIRECTV Stream channels, more than 7,000 apps such as Netflix and a voice-controlled remote. You can purchase the box for $120 or include it in your plan for the $5 extra a month.
If you cancel service within 14 days of getting the device, you can send it back and get your $120 back if you purchased it up front. You can also send it back within 14 days if you chose the $5 monthly plan.
But if you cancel service after 14 days, the device is yours. That means you can’t get back your $120, and if you chose to do the $5 monthly installments, you have to pay what’s left on the device. You can’t just send it back.
For example, if you cancel after one month, you would still have to pay $115 for the device ($120 minus the first month $5 payment) even though you no longer use it for DIRECTV Stream.
The moral here is don’t get the device. You can use several other cheaper streaming devices such as Roku and Fire TV to watch DIRECTV Stream. You don’t need the DIRECTV Stream device.
And if you think the $5 monthly installment plan is better, think again. You are actually signing a contract that will force you to pay the device’s full price if you cancel prior to 24 months after you first subscribe.
Tammy, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann
Thank you Phillip for the article. What I find interesting is I was confused by the 4K options with Directv stream. I spoke with 3 skewered customer service reps (one being in a store) and was told yes we have 4K, you just have to buy the box. I did and based on another post of yours you already know what happened. Direct Stream is rather deceiving f about their 4K content. What you mentioned is this article is the 100% correct. Since their is no BROADCAST 4K programming on stream you can get Netflix, Hulu, Prime etc on a less expensive device that works better. I am stuck now trying to sell my Directv Stream box on eBay (ugh). I do hope someday they bring 4K programming directly to the subscribers. They need this to keep up with the competition!
So you mean if you are out side of the return period you have to pay for it? Sounds pretty common to me
We cancelled our debit card because DirectTv stream would not cancel our account without paying them 400.00. When we signed up we got 2 boxes, one was free the other wasn’t. That was fine, no biggie. Then we called because our rate went up from 69. To 80 something. So we called CS to find out what happened. They said we changed our plan. We did not change our plan but the insisted we did. And would not give us our plan and rate back. Then it started messing up and buffering alot, and I mean alot. Tried to get them to fix it. They kept saying I was out internet. Everything else in the house hooked to the internet worked fine. Hmmmmm
You could also buy that device outside of DirecTV on eBay or a couple of other places. And it’s less money than what DirecTV stream is selling it for on their site. The device can also be used as an Android box should you not have the DirecTV stream service so it’s still a useful box even if you ended up having to pay for it and you got it from DirecTV directly and you still had to $5 a month plan.
After using this service on both their device and on the Amazon Firestick I highly recommend the DirecTV device. Like someone else said, you can use it for all your other streaming apps if you cancel DirecTv, but it also makes using their service so much easier while you have it. The remote makes it totally worth it. I’m about to order a third one today because using it in the firestick is such a pain.