20100615

Problem ID: 3199943739062699401
Entered by: Ben Simo
Is there a problem here?  

Free HD for $10 a month

After paying my monthly bill on the DirecTV website, I decide to take a look at the currently available programming packages. I select the "Change Package" option from the account information page and the following page is displayed.




The "FREE HD Channels" catches my attention. I've been paying an extra $10 a month for HD.  I click on the "How do I get HD channels?" link and the following is displayed.



This says "DIRECTV HD service is now FREE for as long as you're a DIRECTV customer."  I think "Nice!"

So, I go back to my account information to see if I am still being charged $10 a month.



The account information page shows that I am being charged $10 a month for this now FREE service.

I pick up the phone and call customer service.  I was expecting to need to do no more than ask to get my HD service included free with the programming package as advertised.

I end up speaking to two different people -- one in customer service, and one in promotions. During my time on the phone, I was told the following -- some contradictory -- information:

  • You have to sign up for auto-pay to get free HD
  • Free HD is only for new customers
  • Free HD is only available for 24 months for existing customers
  • Free HD is for life for new customers
  • Free HD is for existing customers who don't already have HD
  • Free HD is not available to you
  • Read the fine print on the "Free HD for Life" web page. (I see no such page.)

The DirecTV web site says I have Free HD included in my programming package, but I'm being charged $10 a month. The customer service people say they can't see the page I see and can't offer me what the web site says I already have.

The web site won't let me cancel the $10 HD service and re-add the "free" HD service.  It says I need to call customer service to change my HD service.

So is this a software problem?  Maybe not.  However, as causes many software problems, there appears to be a communication problem at DirecTV.  It seems the marketing, customer service, and web site people need to get together and figure out what offers they are making to customers.

A $160 early cancellation fee doesn't seem so bad right now.

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