By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man

TV Answer Man, is DIRECTV still offering a $10 credit for the blacked-out stations in our lineup? $10 is not enough. We should get more for losing Fox when they have the World Cup and All-Star Game and other sports. Will they have more $10 credits if this goes longer? — Isaiah, San Diego.

Isaiah, DIRECTV on July 2 lost 159-Nexstar-owned local network affiliates due to a fee fight between the companies. Both companies have maintained their initial positions in the battle. DIRECTV says Nexstar is asking for excessive fees to carry their stations while the latter says the satcaster is refusing to pay the fair market rate. In other words, there’s no indication a settlement is imminent.

As we noted earlier this month, the blackout has triggered a strong negative reaction among DIRECTV subscribers. But on DIRECTV’s TV Promise page, the company says you can get a one-time credit of $10 for the missing channel (s).

You can apply for your rebate by signing into your account at the DIRECTV TV Promise page. In past carriage disputes, DIRECTV usually does not offer more than a one-time credit for a missing channel. But if you think the $10 refund isn’t enough, there might be a way to get more. Call DIRECTV and complain about your blacked-out channel. The customer service representative will probably mention the $10 credit but tell he or she that isn’t sufficient. Then tell them you are considering cancelling and you want to talk to the retention department. DIRECTV has a separate group of customer reps available to handle particularly thorny situations where they could lose a subscriber. And that’s referred to as the retention department.

When a retention specialist comes on the line, repeat that you are considering cancelling and that you want to know what DIRECTV will do to keep you. Over the years, readers have told me that the retention rep will often provide free premium channels and/or a larger credit. There is no guarantee this will work, but it has worked in the past. (As a former DIRECTV satellite customer, I have personally benefited from doing this so I can attest that it does work.) You can’t abuse this by calling every other day to get even more perks. But DIRECTV will likely take your threat of cancellation seriously if you call once during the carriage impasse.

Isaiah, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!