The company will also directly pay customers who have specific complaints. According to the settlement, DirecTV told customers they would get money back but gave them credit instead, enrolled them in additional contracts without disclosing details, and did not make clear charges or commitment terms.In addition to the money, the settlement requires DirecTV to:
- Replace lease equipment at no cost if it's defective.
- Clearly disclose if the customer is entering into a contract.
- Make sure customers know if they have to pay for a seasonal sports package.
- Clearly disclose limitations on the availability of local channels.
"Businesses that fail to fully disclose all the terms of their offers will have to pay consumers as well as the state," said William H. Sorrell, the Vermont AG. "DirecTV's customers will now get money back, full disclosure of all programming and pricing, and better service."
But California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. says his state will get $13 million. California has over one million DirecTV customers and regulators there have received 1,136 complaints about the company. In particular, customers said they ended up being required to get an additional year of service when they thought they were agreeing to equipment repairs.
For more information about the settlement, check with your Attorney General's office or DirecTV.