By Phillip Swann
The TV Answer Man – @tvanswerman
TV Answer Man, we have been without our NBC station here in Des Moines for more than a month and all DIRECTV has offered us is a measly $10 credit for our missing station. Shouldn’t DIRECTV give us a credit every month until this is over? — Kristie, Des Moines, Iowa.
Kristie, DIRECTV has been without 159 Nexstar-owned local network affiliates since July 2 due to a carriage dispute between the companies. (The blackout also affects DIRECTV Stream and U-verse.) The TV provider has also not been able to air more than two dozen Mission and White Knight stations since October in separate fee fights. The channel outages have infuriated affected subscribers particularly since there’s no indication that any of the three disputes will end anytime soon.
During each carriage battle, DIRECTV has offered a single $10 credit to subscribers whose channels have been blacked out. You can go to the company’s TV Promise page to request the credit. But is the $10 enough for the ‘pain and suffering’ that subscribers have experienced during the fee fights? The Mission/White Knight subscribers have now been without a local channel for roughly nine months, which means the $10 credit comes to $1.11 a month. Does $1.11 a month fairly cover the loss of a network affiliate? When your total monthly DIRECTV bill might exceed $100?
That’s a judgment each subscriber has to make. But note that DIRECTV is not legally obligated to offer any credit. The company’s terms say programming can change at any time. However, if you feel the $10 is not sufficient, call DIRECTV and complain about your missing channel. Tell them you are considering cancelling and you want to talk to the retention department. Over the years, readers have told 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.
Kristie, hope that helps. Happy viewing and stay safe!
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— Phillip Swann