TV Answer Man, I couldn’t watch some of the games last Sunday when I streamed the Sunday Ticket. A friend of mine said he got a refund for all the technical problems it had. Do you know if DIRECTV gave people refunds? I know I didn’t get one. Please ask them. — Tom, Los Angeles.
Tom, several live streaming services last Sunday reported technical issues with NFL-related programming, including the NFL Sunday Ticket and the NFL RedZone Channel. At one point, the Sunday Ticket stream was buffering so much that DIRECTV issued a statement suggesting that its satellite subscribers watch the Ticket on the satellite channels instead of the online version. (DIRECTV’s Sunday Ticket satellite subscribers get free access to the streaming version as well; it’s also available to some non-DIRECTV subscribers as a separate subscription.)
The Ticket’s technical issues seemed to get better after a few hours on Sunday but its subscribers, some of whom pay $395 (Max plan) for the popular football package, were not mollified.
“Crazy, didn’t know #directv was doing so well financially that you can have a platform with technical issues AND awful customer service. Must be nice to have a business doing that well…@DIRECTV #SundayTicket #nfl,” tweeted Robert Desimone, one of many Ticket customers who expressed their frustration on social media.
By mid-week, some Ticket subscribers said on Twitter and other online forums that they received one-week refunds for Sunday’s glitchfest. Richard Johnson, a writer at SI.com, posted an e-mail on Twitter from DIRECTV that said, “We know we fumbled the ball last weekend while you experienced technical difficulties while accessing your Sunday Ticket subscription. You will be issued a refund for last Sunday’s games based on the cost of your NFL Sunday Ticket package.”
At $395 for the entire 18-week season, the refund could be more than $20, nothing to sneeze at with today’s inflation rate still at historic levels.
However, other subscribers complained that they had not received any refunds for last Sunday.
“PLEASE refund my account for the NFL Sunday Ticket that I have been charged for but cannot watch. I have spent HOURS trying to get this figured out. I was supposed to receive a call back 2 hours ago…..still waiting……,” tweeted ‘Creath yesterday.
“You sent me a really nice email earlier this week about how you were sorry the the first week…was such a cluster and that you would credit me a week. However, when I was actually billed you charged me full price. Why did you lie?” tweeted another Ticket customer.
So did DIRECTV issue a one-week refund or not? I asked a DIRECTV spokesperson and here’s the response:
“We’re giving a credit to the small number of our customers unable to stream in week one,” the spokesperson said.
The spokesperson did not explain how some people are getting the refund while others are not, or the exact number of subscribers who were affected. But I would suggest that if you had streaming issues with the Ticket during week one, you contact DIRECTV’s customer service team. The satcaster is giving one-week credits, but they might need a reminder that you were among the ‘small number’ of customers who were unable to stream in week one.
Tom, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann