For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Bob Cooper
Date: December 12, 2005
Wasden Obtains Refunds for DirecTV Customers
(Boise) – Satellite television provider DirecTV has agreed to make refunds to eligible customers and to change some of its marketing practices, Attorney General Lawrence Wasden said. The agreements are part of a five million dollar settlement between DirecTV and 22 state attorneys general.
Consumers had complained that DirecTV used small, unreadable print in its advertising to change the company’s advertised subscription and equipment offers.
Under terms of the settlement, DirecTV will pay restitution to consumers who complained that they were charged a fee for not activating their subscription, did not receive local channels as promised, or, we recharged a termination fee for canceling their service before the “free programming offer” ended. DirecTV will review each written refund request received since January 1, 2001, to determine whether the customer is eligible for a refund.
Idaho consumers who paid DirecTV fees for any of these reasons may send written refund requests to DirecTV, State Complaint Program, P.O. Box 29079, Glendale, CA 91209–9079. Consumers may file a complaint form with the Attorney General’s Office. The office will forward complaints to DirecTV for refund consideration. Complaint forms are available on the Attorney General’s website or by calling (208) 334–2424. Idaho residents outside the Boise calling area may call, toll–free, (800) 432–3545.
The deadline for submitting complaints is May 11, 2006.
In addition to the refunds, DirecTV must modify its advertising to provide clear and conspicuous disclosure of all requirements and restrictions of its advertised offers. “DirecTV will tell consumers exactly what they are agreeing to when they subscribe to the company’s services,” Attorney General Wasden said. “If consumers know up front the extent of their obligation to DirecTV, they won’t be surprised when they receive their first bill.”
DirecTV also agreed to pay Idaho $100,000 to reimburse the Attorney General’s costs.
The attorneys general of Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas,Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee,Texas, Vermont and West Virginia also joined in the settlement.
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