I have come to hate opening the mail. It is not just that bills come in the mail; it is that bills come in the mail that are obscenely higher than they should be.
In the month after my open heart surgery, I opened the AT&T land line bill (normally $30) to find they had charged me $51 for the privilege of having a party line every time it rains. They seem to think it is a perk. It happens every time it rains and the company, who owned our phone lines prior to AT&T buying it, was working on fixing it. They never charged me $51 to come out and say, “Duh, I don’t hear it, because I came out four days after the rain and the lines are dry.” Even though they heard it when they tested the line.
That same month, Cingular cell phone company had a bunch of charges on our bill for features that I had specifically told them to make sure were shut off, so I would not open the bill and have a heart attack. They wrote these off our bill; bless their little heart.
And, finally, that same month, I opened up our DirecTV bill to find an additional $500 tacked on for certain movies. Not a thing that someone who has just had open heart surgery wants to see, trust me. The next month, as I fought the first bill, they charged me an additional $300, for more movies.
Okay, I have a husband and three grandsons in the house. I understand that they like to look at girls and I’m sure that girls sans clothing would be even more attractive. But, none of them are stupid enough to purchase six movies at one time (for which we were charged), nor to watch the movies for a month, in a room that everyone walks through and can see, nor to spend $800 on movies of any kind.
During the time of the purchases, we had company for Thanksgiving and we were gone for Christmas, and some of the movies were bought while the boys were in school. And, yet, DirecTV told me they must have watched these movies, because that is what boys and men do, and we must have had someone come into our house and watch during the time we were gone.
Well, what I do, in these situations, is turn to the internet and find out how many other people have the same problem. LOTS!! In fact, I found class action law suits against DirecTv for the same charges. I found a person who did not even subscribe to DirecTV and was still billed for watching movies “men like to watch.”
I also found out that you cannot find the address of the CEO of DirecTV. I am sure there is a way, but I have no idea what it is. I fought this for six months. I had automatic debit to pay that bill, as I used to do when a bill is the same amount every month and I cancelled that, and will never trust them again with my card.
During the fight, I had at least three operators tell me that the movies were watched in a pattern that people do when they steal your signal and information. And, how do they do that? They do that by the phone line that DirecTV tells you to have it plugged in. Did you know that you do not have to have it plugged into a phone line? None of our receivers are now. That was the only receiver plugged into the phone line and all movies were supposedly watched on that unit, despite the fact that one other unit is in a bedroom, where you can shut the door and have privacy.
The end of the story is that I fought long and hard enough that, while they refused to refund the money (Thank goodness our mortgage payment did not bounce.) they did give us a credit on the money and so we were paid up for about ten months of DirecTv bills. I think they made us promise to keep the service for another year too.
And, after this was settled, they sent us a very nice (sic) letter, informing us that, while they were crediting us for this bill, they, in no way were admitting that the service was stolen from our unit, we must have watched $800 in movies in, what amounted to, a one month period.
The lesson is. No direct billing for DirecTV. Do NOT hook your phone line into their receivers. And, put a password on your account.